Spiritual Ascent

Although I don't like the word spirituality as it's been devoid of any meaning, and I would rather use something like "expanded awareness" or "entering the matrix of nature", still for the sake the common language we should continue to use it. But please remember that spirituality is not something you buy at the local organic shop.

A good metaphor for spiritual ascent is mountaineering: the higher we climb, the more comprehensive the view. Each new vantage point yields a better understanding of interconnections of things. Gradual accumulation of understanding is punctuated by sudden and startling enlargements of the horizon, as when we reach the brow of a hill and see things never conceived of in the ascent. What is more, the old insights are retained within the new picture.




The Book of Zohar speaks about us. It tells us about what happens within us and only within us—albeit in a very peculiar way that often seems like a fairytale story or a history book. We have lungs, kidneys, spleen, and other organs. But in addition, in our feelings, there are many desires, qualities, thoughts, and drives. In other words, besides the physical body, there also exists the human quality in us.

Who is the human in us? If we open our souls up and examine them, we will find what the authors of The Zohar write about. In the human in us there are qualities known as “Moses,” “Pharaoh,” “monsters,” “Niles,” etc.. We must try to find them within.

What does searching for them within give us? In truth, it gives us nothing. However, by trying to find these qualities within we draw upon ourselves “the light that reforms,” and this is what we are meant to want: to correct our relationships towards others. There is no danger of misunderstanding. Even if we understand everything backwards, it will make no difference. What counts is the effort.

Let us assume that a person walks out at the end of a Zohar lesson and thinks, “I did well today! I felt that I really understood what Moses and what Pharaoh mean within me.” Yet, this is completely meaningless. It may well be that next time, that same person will feel, “I didn’t get any of it today; it’s all dry. Except for a minute or two, I couldn’t even concentrate.” However, those few minutes are exactly what that person gained.

It is with good reason that the states of concealment are the states in which one can toil. One who strains during the darkness and feels that it is pointless should understand that states in which one is made to labor without receiving something to refresh the ego, pride, understanding, the mind, and the feeling are very good for one’s spiritual progress. We must welcome states that feel bland, since it is through them that we grow.



























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