Opening doors to the next level of success

Shar_Tzion

1/19/2016

Opening doors to the next level of success

“Fear builds walls to bar the light”
-The Baal Shem Tov

 

Many of us wanted to stay in Egypt. Even as we witnessed the most incredible miracles of all time, we couldn’t help but think about the food we were leaving as we marched into the dessert of unknown. We missed the routine of Egypt. The small joys that we were accustomed to.

Even while witnessing grand miracles, the thought of walking into the unknown and leaving behind the certainty of the small joys of material slavery seemed frightening. It would require exertion and change. We’d rather put a hard day’s work in and enjoy the nightly meal. We’ve trained ourselves to survive in this limited sphere of enslavement. Maybe freedom would continuously require that we meet these moments of tests of our free will, walking blindly into the future with some expected satisfactory result. Many of us were not up for the challenge. And many of us still aren’t today.

There’s a moment that we all keep bumping into. A moment that will repeat itself over and over again through a recreation of the setup of circumstances in our lives. A moment whose purpose is to test our true will. How ready are we to make the space in our lives for increased blessing and success. Without expanding our vessel, we simply do not have the space for this increase – but through expanding it, we make room for unlimited light.

This choice of vessel expansion is what these moments of tests are all about. They require overcoming the adversarial force within us so that we can earn the blessing and success that’s right behind it.

These moments require a meeting of our higher wisdom and our physical action.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that we must force ourself to put all our strength into our prayers. That true devotion is binding our thoughts to our words of prayer – and this is how our inner power will enter our prayers, automatically. That all of our unlimited inner power waits for the moment when it is drawn into the physical words of holiness.

Success needs to be earned in order for it to last.

Kabalistically, manifesting success in every field of our life is the ability to access the potential that exists with us already.

The question is, why is this energy of success concealed and how do we bring it from potential to actual?

A fundamental universal law of success according to the Zohar is that there are 2 major forces within us – the soul and the adversary. The Soul connects to the big picture – it knows that everything that happens in life is to help me grow. That I’m responsible for my own destiny. That I need to shift something to create the space for success.

The adversary is the force inside that makes me jump to the consciousness of temporary success, routine and small joys – to become reactive – every time I face that moment of challenge to react with fear, worry, uncertainty, hurt, blame.

The soul knows that everything is opportunity in my life. A chance to grow closer to that force within myself – the adversary looks to cause chaos in my life – makes me reactive, impulsive, basing my judgment on how I feel this second – my subjective perception of reality.

The Source is the infinite energy of love, fulfillment and success, and each one of us is accessing only an aspect of that success – our potential is not tapped. Our real purpose is to expand our vessel to reveal our next level of success, fulfillment, love and accomplishment in every area of our life. We are all deep inside striving for that next level.

Sometimes we get what we want but we feel empty. Or, when we get it something else, another part of life is taken away from us – this is only because I didn’t really tap into the energy of success. Therefore I have not truly acquired it.

The kabalistic law of success is that the energy of success must be lasting in my life – and in the process of acquiring it, I need to overcome the adversarial force (selfishness, fear, ego, impulsive nature) within – I need to overcome the guard at the door to the next level.

Every time I overcome it I am actually igniting the sense of true fulfillment – becoming the co creator of that fulfillment – opening the door to acquire the room to house increased blessing in my life. The proper consciousness is we are here to expand our potential – go to the next level in every area of life.

Every time we face a challenge our base nature is to become reactive, to worry, to anger – especially when unfair things happen. At that moment, we must pause, restrict, observe – as tough as that challenge is – and recognize that this is really the opportunity to overcome the adversarial force within – because the Source sent me that challenge and the Source also gave me the ability to overcome that challenge.

So instead of focusing on that external opponent that is disturbing me so much, that I have a rage towards – let go! Shift focus on overcoming the internal opponent – the guard at that next level of success. This challenge was given to me in order to expand my ability to access success and blessing. A shift in how I look at things. From the mindset of losing and suffering to one of certainty that it’s for the sake of expanding.

As a result, from an unexpected place, things will improve – the light will reveal itself as we shift our reaction from external negativity to the battle within, and then deal with the situation with a different perception – opening doors to the next level of success revealing itself to us.

It’s not about not dealing with the problems in life, it’s about first pausing and letting go of the reactivity and then dealing with the issue from a place of positivity and clarity.

Between me and the next level of success there is a door that I need to cross and at that door I need to overcome the adversary who is not external – it is internal. The guard at the door manifests itself as fear, uncertainty, anger, entitlement.

Real success and long term blessing will be achieved according to the Zohar every time I am able to overcome the adversary within.

Our sole purpose in this world is to come close to our Source. This is where unlimited joy shines from. The adversarial force’s sole purpose is not to distract us from coming closer to the Source, but to help us grow. It’s entire existence is one of illusion, a coach who pushes us to the extreme to help us attain higher levels of success. At that next moment of test that we face, when the adversarial force is raging within us pushing us to fall, what it really is saying to us is – let me see you withstand my challenge and become great.

Blessings,

Etan

Opening doors to the next level of success

How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

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10/2/2015

How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

Inspired by the teachings of my guide, Rav Baruch Gartner.

Life can appear to be bound by the laws of nature.

We really don’t realize how bound we are to the laws of nature when we are living in nature.

The Torah is the gateway to living above nature.

The world is fooling people.

Our consciousness is really nothing more than imagination.

We really don’t know anything for sure, as much as we really wanna believe we know something.

There are a lot of things that cannot really be proven that we are choosing in our minds to believe.

Many people choose to believe a lot of things that are producing a lot of fear and anxieties, rather than choosing thoughts that are empowering us and bringing us closer to the Source. “I’m gonna get sick again”, “the world is coming to an end”, “I can’t get this out of my mind”, “this is not going to work out”.

The sages attempt to rectify our mind so that we can think properly – to raise our consciousness to a higher level – to reach a platform of higher levels of perception.

The sage’s goal is to try to change our way of thinking from being constricted to expanded. And this is called rectifying the imagination.

Through the rectification of the imagination, we ultimately get to a whole different realm – a different way of living and experiencing life.

We go from one level to the next level to the next level to the ultimate place of clarity – we get to a place which is above imagination.

Rebbe Nachman teaches us that God is above time. Really, only children believe that God is a man in heaven. The truth is that God doesn’t have any character traits. The ones He revealed to us simply serve as rungs to rise up through our imperfect imagination – we rise up from not knowing to knowing that God is above time and space.

Rebbe Nachman said that it is impossible for the human mind to grasp this.

However, we see that there are other things which are also above time.

Teshuvah (returning to our true nature through repentance) is above time. The day a person does teshuvah, he is above time. He rectifies the past.

And the holidays are all above time.

A person can at any moment of his life be reborn. At the time of his passing it was this idea that Rebbe Nachman was bringing himself to life with – the concept of being above time.

There is a type of understanding referred to by Rebbe Nachman as transcendental understanding. It is also referred to as “Shefa Elokim” a Godly outpouring – a sort of Divine flow “Ruach Hakodesh” –  a state of Divine inspiration. A supernatural realm which does not come through thinking or working hard for. A channel of higher perception which bypasses the constraints of the intellect.

This type of wisdom will change your whole life and produce something called “V’hitlahavut Halev” a passionate heart. But it is impossible to experience this level unless a person first sanctifies the seven windows of his face.

This is connected to the holiday of Sukkot, when we commemorate the seven Divine clouds of glory which surrounded the nation of Israel throughout their travels in the desert.

Rebbe Nachman taught that the seven clouds correspond to the seven windows of the purification of the human being, required in order to receive the outpouring of knowledge called “ruach hakodesh” which allows for a person to know things in a supernatural way.

The holiday of Sukkot is connected to the idea of a type of knowledge called “makifin” a transcendental intellect that surrounds us – no matter what level you are on you have a surrounding makif – just like God is infinite, so too is our ability to perceive Him – but our minds cannot contain this perception.

So too, our body is not able to fully house our soul. As a person perfects his senses, the person brings into his aura a higher level of intellect , a makif, into his level of understanding. This is accomplished through purification.

There are certain concepts that a person’s mind cannot really grasp. For instance, the concept of free will and an all knowing God. How can I really have free will if God knows what I’m going to do? No human being can perceive this. This is something beyond human consciousness. A person cannot grasp this.

This in itself is the reason that a person has free choice.

As long as a person cannot grasp that understanding then his free choice is in place because he has the ability to choose this or that, life or death.

But as soon as this wisdom comes into his realm, that free choice will dissipate and he will no longer have free will.

We learn that in the future, the sages will be sitting with their crowns “in their heads” (not on their heads) – what is permeating beyond and around them will come into their intellect – into their heads. Our free choice will not be the same. The sages will be “sitting” (ie. not moving from their place)

How do we bring transcendental reasoning into our minds?

First, we must conceive these transcendental concepts. Similar to the way a woman gives birth through crying out, we give birth to our understanding from the hidden realm. This is the deeper meaning of the process of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Hoshana Rabbah – to scream out from our constricted consciousness to God to help us to sanctify these windows with holiness of Hashem so that we merit to reach a place of expanded understanding.

A person brings higher intellect inside, which is the aspect of Sukkah – the transcendental intellect that comes to us from sitting in the sukkah and connecting to the powers of sukkot through observing the spiritual technology of its laws.

Transcending our ways of being obsessed with the past and the future – transcending our thinking to being above time is what Sukkot is all about. A temporary dwelling – transcendence . The makifin – the higher levels of intellect – the culmination of all the holidays.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach.

Blessings,

Etan

How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

Uman Uman Rosh Hashana!

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9/3/2015

Uman Uman Rosh Hashana!

This blog is all about sharing with others what turns me on. I’ve learned with friends on a one on one basis and a number of them have encouraged me to go wider and this is the format that feels natural for me.

What turns me on, and really all I am interested in thinking about, talking about and writing about is consciousness and our relationship with the Source. How to perceive what’s going on in our lives, how was the world created, why was it created, what’s our purpose and role in creation and where are we going from here.

My personal expression of spirituality is grounded in the wisdom of the prophets and the holy sages past and present. I learn from and with sages and I absorb their teachings and look to integrate their wisdom into my life. Sometimes this is a slow process and other times it’s a swift radical change. Sometimes I don’t have the choice. I believe that life is a constant lesson and our job is to keep our eyes wide open to learn from the wisdom flowing toward us. I look to share this wisdom because it brings me great joy and I enjoy sharing what I believe can bring joy to others.

I have a special connection to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. His teachings can be found in several places including http://www.breslov.org

For decades, the individuals at breslov.org have tirelessly worked on organizing and translating the teachings of Rebbe Nachman. Their efforts have provided me with the luxury of having these teachings organized and translated, ready to consume.

Rebbe Nachman, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, breathed new life into the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism (the Kabbalah) with in-depth Torah scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues until today through many Hasidic movements such as Breslov Hasidism. Rebbe Nachman’s religious philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God in normal conversation “as you would with a best friend.” The concept of hitbodedut is central to his thinking.

I’ve found that there is a general disconnect between many peoples understanding of what Breslov Hasidism is and what they imagine it to be. Unlike Chabad Hasidism, there are no “Breslov Houses”, and without an official leader over the past 200 years, many people connect to Breslov wisdom on their own through books. There are very few Breslov communities one can find and be a part of and the organizational infrastructure is sparse and centralized to a few locations around the world.

Many people think of Breslov as a movement of hippies in white na na Nachman hats dancing to techno music around spray painted vans. A movement of ex cons and social outcasts who have found a gateway to spiritual ecstasy.

As exciting as that may sound to some, there’s an important opportunity now to educate the masses in what Breslov is and how the teachings of Rebbe Nachman are more relevant and critical than ever, for everyone.

The wisdom and relevancy of the teachings of Rebbe Nachman, as well as the teachings which have come from his teachings are extraordinarily powerful and appeal to a very wide spectrum of the population within Judaism and beyond.

The teachings of Rebbe Nachman are deep and multi-layered and one can connect to them on many levels, each according to their own perspective and stage in life.

I’ve found the most beneficial way to learn and develop spiritually is through relationships with guides who have spent their lives clearing away their own chaff and refining the jewels of wisdom within. Witnessing firsthand the attributes and lifestyle of those who live the wisdom provides much more than simply reading a book on our own. Just like experiencing a Shabbat is necessary in order to truly understand its power and meaning.

So how can one who is interested in the wisdom of Breslov Hasidism take their connection to the next level? How can one who’s soul is thirsting for the truth and power in the words of Rebbe Nachman connect to an anchor of this wisdom? They need to develop a relationship with a guide. And this is what breslov.org is creating now through Breslov Campus. Direct access to the Breslov all-stars around the world from the comfort of your own home and office. It’s all about the Rebbe to them.

This is also what my soul brother Rav Dror Moshe Cassouto is building at http://www.emunahchannel.com and the new Emunah Center in Jerusalem. Rav Dror’s friendship, strength and daily videos continue to change my life and thousands of other lives around the globe in profound ways. It’s all about the Rebbe to him.

And this is also what my dear friend and guide in Jerusalem, Rav Baruch Gartner, is building through illuminating one on one psycho-spiritual video sessions which rock worlds and bring clarity, purpose and joy to so many of my friends and family’s lives. Last year in Uman, Rav Gartner said that he is just another monkey on the chain to the big Gorilla. It’s all about the Rebbe to him.

And then there’s Uman.

Next week I’m gonna leave my wife and three kids again for Rosh Hashana. I’m gonna leave them to fend for themselves while I fly to Ukraine for a week. On the surface this can seem like a highly selfish act.

Fortunately for me, my beyond generous and open minded spiritual gangster wife went to Barnard, drove a 1340 CC Harley Davidson low rider, and when asked for her hand in marriage said “as long as you are committed to achieving your spiritual potential”. She knows I plan to slay it out east and bring back a year of penetrating light for the bayis.

I’m fully aware that this sounds odd to most people but I believe I can connect with souls which have dropped their garb. I believe their spirits are still here. And I believe the influence they have over me only increases with their physical passing. So my connection to Rebbe Nachman is alive and well.

I believe Rosh Hashana is the day of judgement, and that what is decreed on Rosh Hashana impacts the upcoming year for my and my family’s lives – so I look at Rosh Hashana in Uman as more of a spiritual business trip than a family holiday like Sukkot, Pesach and Thanksgiving.

Maybe I’m extreme. Maybe I walk so far out from the norm to chase the light so I can bring it back for us. No one ever accused me of being normal –  but I feel that my trip to Uman, to be with 40,000 brothers by the grave site of a sage whose wisdom I immerse myself in – and all my holy rabbis and guides, and brother’s who join me – I believe that’s the most normal and rational thing I can imagine.

Leaving my wife and kids for a week?

Would that be an issue if I was standing trial?

I am. And I’m representing them.

Would that be an issue if I was headed on a business trip to support my family?

I am. This is when health and wealth for the upcoming year is crystallized.

I leave for the most treasured purpose of all – to chase the light of my salvation, to make me a better person, to connect to reality – to alter reality – to channel blessings into my life, my family’s lives, to our people and the world. It’s better than bringing back diamonds and gold.

So does it have to be done in Uman on Rosh Hashana?

My business trip is in Ukraine. It’s where I feel most connected during Rosh Hashana and where I feel I can be most effective in accomplishing my objectives. Sometimes these questions are really more about the one asking them. Like they are looking for strength from your strength – a subconscious effort to accumulate ammunition to battle for their own highest good. And I’m happy to assist.

Every single year, I along with my guides and brothers I’ve brought with me have the most insane positive holy trans-formative spiritual life changing experiences there.

Leaving my kids? I cant wait to take them. I consider it every year. Taking my holy tzaddikim twins to Uman is going to be incredible. They are mad at me every year I don’t. Maybe next year.

The arrival in Kiev is a like a hostile takeover – Jews everywhere – young hasidim from all over the world with runny noses and DNA strand side locks holding onto their tati’s bekishes. Sephardi businessmen with gold rolexes reciting psalms. Disheveled yeshiva students, hands interlocked with Israeli hippies, singing and dancing – and robotic large men with broad shoulders and big hands in uniform stamping passports – the baggage claim – the exit to the buses and cars lined up for the 3 hour drive to Uman. The dancing and singing on the bus. The brotherhood. The excitement in the air.

The strange towns passed by – the open sunflower fields – the expansive forests traveled through by brothers long gone on cold winter nights to visit their tzadik. The history in those forests.

The mafia encounters along the way – the arrival in Uman – the heavy bags and the rocky dirt roads – the heavy flow of joyous brothers walking everywhere in every direction – in song and in awe – the energy is thick and building. The sounds of the shofar, holy beggars shaking cans and Breslov techno blaring in the streets.

The 3am mikvah. The magical sunrise. The all day prayer. The deep meditation in the fields. The pulsating energy radiating from the grave of the Rebbe.

The sweet feeling of togetherness that makes you just stop and smile.

I wish for you and bless you that you be granted in the approaching days of judgement, to be inscribed and sealed in the book of judgement for a good life.

Shana Tova.

Blessings,

Etan

Uman Uman Rosh Hashana!

Soul Mingling | Jah is My Light

IMG_6732 6/26/2015

Soul Mingling | Jah is My Light

He said if it doesn’t bring you joy then why do it?

I said in the world of duality there’s two kinds of joy – one temporary and one authentic – this world is caught up on temporary joy but that leaves with the corpse. I dig eternal joy that for some begins after burial, but for the blessed few is experienced now – it burns superficial pleasures to a crisp. And that’s the secret my friend.

He said what’s up with that beard man. You look so much better with a tight groom. I said part of me agrees – the part that likes others liking how I look – the part that plays the role – that gives me that temporary pleasure. I said I’m trying to merge what’s up inside with my exterior – a complicated process for some to absorb. I said I’m jiving with the holy Zohar bro – the beard represents channels for Divine abundance and reflects supernal Godly qualities of kindness and trust, which I am called to embody.

He said that’s so 1800’s man why can’t you adapt to 2015. I said I’m not trapped in today man. I don’t wear my pants low and adorn myself with billboard fashion no more. What we wear is how we look to shape and express our identity. Holiness and humility seems like sucking the joy out of life – not dancing and drinking at the clubs all night seems like a departure from joy but for me it’s shedding the temporary to pursue a spiritually meaningful life.

He said you’re turning into a bland robot. I said, like Moses, the more I shed my ego the more room I make for the presence of the Creator to fill me in. And my ultimate joy is alignment with the Source- gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

He said can’t that be done with your head while your body is dancing through to the beat of this world. I said yes but it depends on what beat you are tuned to. I said we are meant to enjoy this world for sure but enjoying food to me is no longer like it is for a monkey. Enjoying pleasure for me is no longer like it is for a horse. That’s sideshow stuff man. I’m restricting from the unhealthy snacks with my eyes on the feast ahead.

He said I like what you are saying but it seems way too extreme for me. I’m just not there yet. I said we are where we are in relationship to our point of resistance. Like yoga man. Just be true to yourself and it opens up step by step. No rush man. It’s all about the desire in your heart.

He said how do I build my desire? I said now we are talking bro.

He said for real man, how do I break free and live like you? I said all you need to do is walk and talk with the Lord. See everything as a direct communication, follow your holy soul’s intuition to restrict from the pursuit of temporary and destructive pleasure and exert with all your might toward the pursuit of holy eternal joy.

He said how do I know which is which? I said check out the 613 man. 365 restrictions and 248 exertions – aligned to 365 sinews and 248 bones in your body. All pockets of light accessing the upper realms. I said the first step is to learn from the first of us – Abraham. Separate from your current structures, influences, social norms and expectations, desires, lusts, habits, preconceived ideas and external influences. Walk out of your parent’s idol shop and follow the voice of your Father in heaven.

He said how do I hear the voice? I said open your eyes, but opening your eyes at first is really closing them off to the external world. Ground yourself to the Source of all mega pixel projection and then look back out at the projections – learn the fundamentals before playing the game, learn the meaning of the words before uttering more chatter. Explore the link between your thoughts and your reality, intentions and outcomes.

He said why is God hidden. I said so you can find Him – and once you do He is no longer hidden. He said all I see is nature. I said look at the hand beneath the glove of nature – the force which blows the winds and sends the rains – the banger of the Big Bang.

He said ok, but what’s up with religion. That seems to separate people more than unite, seems like a place for the weak to find solace and purpose – for the masses to flock to seek comfort and meaning in a life of suffering that can’t be explained. I said those are great questions, and there’s no one liner responses. But I also said I believe that the manual came with the vehicle – that the Source did not fall short of sending a map to the maze – that the Creator left us with a job here – and authentic free will to accomplish it.

I said seek for yourself wisdom brother. Ask these questions and seek the answers for yourself because faith is not something that someone else can give to you. It works in reverse to what you see in this world. Hearing and knowing come only after doing. Naaseh v’ nishma. First the action then the knowing.

He said where do I start man? I said love your brother like yourself. It’s all a mirror, all one. I said real joy comes from giving. That’s how we widen the bandwidth of our pipes – we become a partner with the Source.  Pray for the health of another and health flows through you into them. Pray for the clarity of another and wisdom flows through you to them. That’s why we learn that if you are going through lack and you pray for another who is going through that same lack, your lack is hooked up first – like sustenance flowing from your mouth to your organs, the heavenly electricity flows through your cable en route to your brother.

Rig your joy to be activated through giving – and watch what flows through you next bro.

He said thank you. I said thank you.

Shabbat shalom.

Blessings,

Etan

Soul Mingling | Jah is My Light

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3/22/2015

Figure 1

Rebbe Nachman once laughed and said, “If they would allow one dead soul to visit an assembly of philosophers, that would be the end of all their teachings.”

But for those of us who haven’t yet merited, or recognized a visit from a dead soul, here is a bite sized map of how to perceive reality.

Last night while learning Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Formation) – I ran out of those clear sticky things with the yellow tops used to mark pages that blow your mind away – and I ran out quickly – and I started off with a bunch. So I’m sharing something now while it’s fresh and beating through my 32 paths to understanding.

Familiarize yourself with the above “Figure 1”.

Ok, so Keter (crown), on top, represents the system of holiness that crowns our reality. The “Source” is not on this picture – can’t be understood or limited to a word or realm. This is merely a glimpse of the structure the Source chose to give us to allow for us to seek to understand that which He wanted for us to seek to understand about His (and our) attributes. But going into this we need to understand that, like a carrot to it’s farmer, it is not possible to “understand” the Source. Keter crowns everything, every system – from microscopic DNA to the ever expansive universe.

The crown is what we can relate to. The “King” wears the crown – the royalty – the highest – that which we seek to uplift – what we are really living for, and would die for.

Keter is the pinnacle of the system of life. Unique to every situation and stage in life exists the “crown” as the highest and most sacred purpose – that which we ascribe greatness and meaning to. What we stand for. The Keter is where we wanna be leading our friends and family to – always seeking, and reflecting upon the Keter in every experience.

The Source “radiates” His “light” and “systematic majesty” to the crown which is always a level above our comprehension and understanding. It’s the fuel for knowledge. It’s a few steps away from our ability to grasp – so we talk and write about it in allegory and poem – and those on my very limited level tend to use a lot of words to describe it. The crown on the King – the King’s glory – and we get to lift the crown up on top of our “Figure 1” individually and collectively – in every encounter in life and with every thought, action and intention – it’s our guide point – always seeking to raise the crown higher in a system with no ceiling.

And then there’s Chochma (wisdom). Wisdom alone is too bright to comprehend. Wisdom is singular and resides in the brain – and there are 32 paths to understand wisdom. Numerically, 32 corresponds to Lev, which is the Hebrew word for heart – and it’s in the heart where understanding rests.

Understanding requires limits and boundaries in order to contain pure wisdom – just like the inner space of a circle needs that ring around it to be a circle. We need limits to define and contain unbridled wisdom. Chochma is masculine unbridled energy, and Bina (understanding) is the feminine – the womb-like receiving energy which births unique understanding.

Not included in this figure is a realm called Daas (synthesized knowledge). In Daas, all sephirot exist in their perfected state of infinite sharing – it’s when you “know” something so deeply that it becomes etched in your bones and embedded deep in your soul so much that your kids look you in the eyes and feel it clearly without you saying a word. It is taught that Daas is what we “take with us” beyond this lifetime.

And that about does it for our head and brain, and what’s above that – and above the above.

Now back to the right Sephira of Chesed (kindness), which is balanced by Gevurah (strength). Unbridled “kindness” to one’s stomache can lead to terrible disease – to one’s pleasure sensors can lead to aweful addiction and destructive relationships – kindness must be tempered and grounded, and actually takes its true meaning only though partnership with strength and boundary.

And when they are in harmony, you have Tiferet (beauty) – a beautiful life – a beautiful heart – a thing of beauty. Tiferet marks the chest. This is where Bina heart energy comes to reside, joining the upper triangle to the middle. It also forms the site of the lungs – the organ that allows us to exchange energy with the world around us.

To the south we have Netzach (victory) on the right and its partner Hod (splendor) to the left – as we engage the world we need to fight for and defend a life of splendor.

And then there’s Yesod (foundation) – and like Magna Tiles on sand, building anything above this realm is frustrating, maddening, and just plain irresponsible without a strong and solid foundation.

Yesod corresponds to our reproductive organ and it’s the gate from Malchut (kingdom) – the sefirah below it – to the realms above. It is taught that illuminating the realm of Yesod is this generations greatest challenge, and opportunity for evolution. Yesod represents our foundation – our constitution – and only though transforming the desire to receive for our self alone into desire to receive for the purpose of sharing with others can we master this realm which serves as a syphon for the blessings above down to the kingdom below.

True mercy from above is not revealed through material accumulation laid upon a shaky foundation. Yesod is illuminated through the purification of what we say, see, hear, smell, think, and do. The rectification of Yesod  widens our bandwidth – transforming us from a vessel to a cable – from a recipient into a partner of Divine blessing delivered to the realm of Malchut. The highest form of joy comes through giving, because through giving we emulate the attribute of our Creator – the giver of life. We become “like God” as we fulfill our highest purpose of illuminating the world with Divine light. We become “like God” when we free ourselves from material identification and expose the no-thing-ness of our eternal soul.

And Malchut is where we are – this world in front of us when we walk through that door.

Blessings,

Etan

Figure 1