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Let There Be Light and Consciousness from One Level of Soul to the Next

Isaac said,

If we had a goal, it would be to bring the unconscious to light, bring it to consciousness. The reason Shabbos and all Jewish holidays begin at nightfall is because we are bringing light into our darkness. Bringing more awareness.

When God said, “Let there be light,” it meant “Let there be consciousness.”

Question: If our progress in this life depends on becoming aware of our unconscious limitations, is this also true of the beings in other realms?

Yes, Isaac replied. In all worlds, all realms, the challenge is to become more and more conscious. Imagine three bottles of increasing size, and they are one inside the other, each with its own cork. Each contains seawater as well as its smaller bottle.

The smallest bottle is our physical existence. When we finish this existence, and the small bottle breaks, we are released into a larger space. We have an experience of expansion into more seawater. It feels liberating. We gain a wider perspective in the astral plane. Yet eventually we find we are limited by the next larger bottle.

All beings want to and need to increase awareness, in order to go beyond all the bottles. By the time we break all the bottles, we re-join the Unity of the Ocean. We melt into It, and we’re overjoyed to do so.

Watch and listen to your dreams. Dreams are often the best tool to uncover the unconscious. You might like to jot down a few descriptive words the moment you awaken, to strengthen your remembrance.

Question: Please explain more about the levels of the soul, of increasing consciousness. Are they like the bottles?

Yes, the levels of the soul are the Nefesh, the Ruach, the Neshama, the Chaya, and finally the Yehidah. Only the Yehidah is complete Union.

Among the many names for God, Elokim is the One who forms all things in the world of duality. This is a subject-object world, where the subject is your inner witness, looking at the objects.

Havayah is the name of God that means Unity, and God alone.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 62 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – With a Fearless Heart.

bottle maybe

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How to Grow Toward being Non-attached and Loving

Question: I was listening to one of your recordings about Chesed (loving-kindness) and attachment. Attachment is so strong to us, like coffee. I don’t know how I’d do without coffee. My question is: I am so attached to my children – how would I decrease that attachment?

This is a hard question, as so many questions are. It can be answered from the intellect, but it is a matter of the heart. Words cannot explain it away.

The heart loves, and the best it can do is to learn balance.

We sing about the world as a narrow bridge, where it’s so easy to fall off on one side or the other. We learn how to balance ourselves.

Of course we’re attached to our children – who wouldn’t be? They arrive so helpless and so cute. We love them, we protect them, we invest ourselves in them. We pour so much into them. No wonder we’re attached. We can’t push that aside with words or intellect. And then, after we’ve given them everything, they grow up and leave us. We are glad to see their independence, but sad to see them go.

When they leave, we miss the place where we used to pour so much giving, so much attention. Now it’s gone.

What do your children want from you the most? Your attention. They crave attention. That’s really all they want from you.

It’s the same for all things. Even inanimate objects want your attention, which is really your love.
In giving your present-moment attention, you give love.

Giving your full attention enlivens both you and the object of your attention.

As humans we are designed to pour forth loving attention.
When we do this, we ourselves come alive and feel good.
Of course we are mirroring the loving attention of God.

When you give your attention, you are Present.
You are in this moment, not in the past or the future.

The present moment is flowing through. You cannot hold onto it, cannot attach to it.

Attachment happens when we bring our past or future to this present moment of attention.

In meditation you stay here now in the moment and just be. Even though past and future stories will appear.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will get rid of your stories. We humans will always have our stories. The practice is to do our best not to grab the stories.

So there you are, giving your attention to something or someone, perhaps to your grown child. A story of your past or future gets pulled into this moment. Whether the story is happy or sad, desire or fear, it is still a story. It doesn’t necessarily pertain at all to this Present Moment of what’s happening now.

It could be a story of your shared history or a personality flaw you’ve always seen in them or an old guilt or regret you still hold onto in yourself. It could be a story of the future, a worry or a plan about your expectations for them or your relationship with them. None of it pertains to this fresh unique moment you spend with them right now. But there it is. You grab the story and hook it into this moment. This is the beginning of another attachment.

This is where we begin to say, “I need you, I love you, you mean the world to me, you are mine.” We get possessive. We think we possess them.
With each phrase of claiming this person for ourselves, we are binding them. Binding them tighter and tighter.

Eventually they don’t feel this binding as love. They feel it as control, and it is.
That’s attachment. We need them, we control them.

Our spiritual path is to learn balance. Learn to love without attachment, if we can. Easier said than done, of course.

We hope to love unconditionally.

The only way to do that is to fully allow people to be as they are.

We give our attention and love to whatever arises in this moment, without grabbing a positive story or a negative story about it.

The person offering unconditional love is the one everybody falls in love with. They are so easy to be with. Non-attached.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Volume 5, Walking the Bridge: to Freedom and Light

heart-water-stone-balance by Hippopx

(Thanks to Hippopx for this balanced heart image.)

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On Revealed Light and Concealment – when Trouble Conceals the Fruit

Isaac said,

On the mystical side of our tradition, our teachers tell us this world comes into being with a balance of light and dark.

The Light of Being is infused into every part of this world, but at the same time it is hidden from us, concealed.

The light is called “Kedushah,” holiness.
The concealment is called “Kelipah,” which means a husk, a shell, a covering, like the thick skin of an orange. The peel.

Both always come together, the light and the husk which hides it.
In this way light and dark stay balanced.

Duality stays dualistic, two sides, pro and con, up and down, positive and negative.
Each pair is positioned on either end of a continuum.

We stand in middle and feel like we have a choice between the two.
This is the basis of free will in duality. We choose the right or the left.

We are meant to work with the concealment.
Like with an orange, you work to peel off its shell before you reach the fruit, the sweetness inside. You must go beyond the mundane, the concealment, to reach wisdom.

Many aspects of life are like this. You must get past some difficulty, some negativity, to reach the light.

Sometimes a great soul comes to earth, but their great light is hidden by difficulties, concealed in a thick shell of trouble or negativity.

Many generations ago in the Hasidic lineage, Rabbi Simcha Bunim was a great master filled with holiness, vast knowledge and wisdom. He was greatly respected.
His student, Rabbi Yitzhak, was also grounded in wisdom and already had some of his own students. But he continued to learn from Rabbi Simcha, bringing the students along.

Sometimes Yitzhak and his students went to another city to learn from a master rabbi who was intensely argumentative. He was a master, yet his belligerence was his kelipah, the dark shell around him.

Not only that, he often said terrible things about Reb Simcha. Big insults. Yitzhak knew these were untrue and unfair. But Yitzhak didn’t fight back.

Yitzhak’s students asked him, “How can you sit and take it while he insults your master teacher again and again? Why don’t you stand up for Reb Simcha?”

Yitzhak then told them a story of an unfortunate event in his life.
He was walking through a town where he knew no one, and no one knew him.
But a man stopped him and said accusingly, “You’re the one!”
Other people gathered around, examining his face, pointing at Yitzhak.
They said, “Yes, that’s him! That’s him! He’s the guy! Grab him!”
Yitzhak had no idea what they were talking about.

It turned out that they thought he was the man who had abandoned his young wife in that town, the man who had run off many years before. They “recognized” him as that terrible guy.
Yitzhak sat before the Rebbe of that town and explained himself. Thankfully the Rebbe understood and accepted his side of the story. They let him go.

It was a case of mistaken identity, Yitzhak told his students.

He said, “I was not angry that day, but confused. In the same way I don’t feel angry with this teacher for insulting Reb Simcha, because obviously he doesn’t even know him. To be talking like that about him, I’m sure he knows nothing about him.”

Reb Yitzhak was also following the sage advice from the Talmud, which says that when you keep silence, you become an agent for wisdom, “Chochmah.”

Joseph is another expression of Chochmah through silence. Wisdom through silence.

Joseph was born as a great light in the world, but his brothers cast him into slavery. They threw him into concealment, into the pit.

He became a servant in the house of Potiphar, and when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he patiently kept silence. He was an agent for wisdom. He was a light.

But again he was cast into a pit, into the dungeon, concealed in darkness.

The thing about Joseph was that no matter what happened to him, he carried a lot of light.

People could simply see that God was with him. Even non-believers had to admit, everything kept working out for him. Even they would say, God is always with that guy.

You know the story, the wine steward and the baker were also imprisoned. When they each had a powerful dream and needed help to understand it, they went to Joseph. This was their obvious choice – ask the guy who is so connected to God.
Joseph interpreted their dreams accurately, and eventually he advised Pharaoh himself, interpreted his dreams, and saved Egypt from impending famine.

Did Joseph lash out in anger against the events that befell him?
No, he maintained his patience and his wisdom.

In the same way Rabbi Yitzhak shows us how to turn away from anger, no matter what the insults are.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 1 of Volume 4, Walking The Bridge: With Courage And Trust.

glass-flask by Picryl w star

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Have You Noticed the World is Your Awesome Mirror?

Isaac said,

Consider the world is a mirror to you. We have spoken before about this mirror.

Whatever is within you is on display outside of you. For instance, when you’re angry, the outer world gives you more of that vibration, and things are tough. When you’re lighthearted, the world reflects the same back to you. The world smiles with you.

Each of us lives in a mirror world.
Do you feel alone when you look into a mirror?

Dogs would not feel alone. They would bark at “that other dog.” That other form.
But you know that person in the mirror is you.

You’re alone. Just you there. Both forms are you.

It’s tricky to remember this mirror display, because the physical world gives you a delayed response. For instance you grumble when you wake up, dragging your feet on today’s task. Then an hour later in the slow traffic jam you get a flat tire. Both the traffic and the tire match up with your dragging vibration. But you may not see the connection.

The inner gives rise to the outer with a delayed response.

Imagine you’re standing in front of that mirror again. You comb your hair.
Ten minutes later your image combs its hair.
Suddenly you say, “Hey there!” You think it’s not you, it must be somebody different.

This is the illusion we fall under, in this world of delayed response.

Virtually all of us experience the delayed mirror effect. Whatever we set into motion takes a while to happen. This makes it easier for us to believe in separation.

Our default is to think nothing is connected to anything else.
We think everyone and everything is different.
None of that is “us.”

We each feel unique in our particular form.

For a tzaddik (holy person), the mirror is quite fast, almost instantaneous. Whatever he (she) does in the mirror happens right away, so he recognizes it as himself, not as anybody else.
He clearly sees his own projections.

Eventually it becomes obvious that everything is you. You are one with it all.

One, and alone.

The tzaddik with the fast mirror is almost ready to dissolve the personal self.

It’s not like you lose the personal self entirely.
Rather, your awareness rests in the reality that you are One, Alone, yet you are also a specific person with a form.

Your awareness includes both, if you are so blessed to reach that broad view.

This teaching from Isaac is excerpted from Chapter 3 of Volume 3,  Walking The Bridge: The Art of All-Is-Well

(Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for this self-reflecting monkey.)

Self-reflecting_monkey Wikimedia Commons

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How to Get in Touch with Rahamim – Mercy, Balance, Intelligence, and Love

Isaac’s teaching continues –

Question: The meditation prayer you gave us – “Merciful Father, have mercy on me” – can you please tell us more about that?

“Harachaman rahem alai.” The prayer centers on the concept of “Rahamim,” which means balance. Not only balance but a kind of mercy that has intelligence and love.

Chesed (loving-kindness) always says “yes,” and Gevurah (discipline, strictness) says “no.” Gevurah makes good rules to follow. But as time goes by, old rules might be outgrown. Times change, and what may have been a good rule becomes less suitable.

Rahamim is able to see what is appropriate each moment and apply the best response. It is a blend of any amount of Chesed or Gevurah to fit the situation.

When we ask for something, of course we like to hear “yes,” but sometimes it’s actually more merciful for God to say “no.” The reply depends on the larger picture.

In the world before this one, the ancient world of “Tohu,” there was great contrast. Things were either complete sweetness or total restriction and destruction. A world of extremes. Things were black or white, no shades of grey. This contrast was too much for our vessels. The vessels shattered. It was chaos.

Then came the next chapter in the cosmic dream, the world of “Tikkun” (“repair”), where we are now. Here you can have very cold water and very hot water mixing together into the sink. This we can handle. Our vessels can handle this blending much better.

Rahamim allows this blending. Every response may be a different blend of hot and cold. Rahamim mixes Gevurah and Chesed. It’s a mixing bowl.
Rahamim is the very quality that lets us repair the world.

So when we use this prayer, “Harachaman rahem alai,” we are saying not only “Bring balance to me, God” – we are also saying, “Help me bring balance to the world.”

For example, my child asks me for a third ice cream cone. What’s my response? I know he wants it, but the best answer is No. That looks like Gevurah (strictness) to him. But really it is Rahamim, balance with intelligence and love, because it is to prevent the child from a stomachache.

Or let’s say you visit someone in the hospital, and they are miserable. Is it your best approach to go in and cry with them? No. Neither can you walk in and tell jokes. You bring your mixing bowl. You bring Rahamim: mercy with intelligence, a blend of Gevurah (discipline, strength) and Chesed (loving-kindness).

Comment: It is a comfort to know that Mercy is pouring upon us, with all the destruction of that horrendous earthquake this week. It’s difficult to hear about this suffering.

Oh, yes. Suffering is real. You can’t tell the sufferer to look beyond their pain. They can’t do that. You would feel just as bad if you were in their place.

For your sick friend in the hospital, when you face this situation with Rahamim, you don’t need words. You don’t need to verbally support, defend, or avert their worries. You can just reach out and hold their hand. You bring love. You bring balance and mercy – Rahamim.

When you simply hold their hand, you bypass the whole ping-pong of thoughts that ask, “Will I get better? Won’t I get better?” You don’t even get into that.

You just offer your love.

Excerpted from chapter 3 of Volume 2, Walking the Bridge – With Balance.

Pray Peace God Dove Soul Hand Prayer Trust
Pray Peace God Dove Soul Hand Prayer Trust