I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Third Temple

There has been much talk about the building of the Third Temple in certain Jewish and Christian circles. The halakhic problems of such a venture are numerous. Just to mention one major obstacle is the ashes of the Red Heifer. Some have been trying to breed such an animal that fulfills the requirement but up to now with no success. Even if they were successful the ashes of the new Red Heifer needs to be mixed with the ashes of the old Red Heifers. Unless there is an archeological discovery of such a batch of ashes then the purification rituals cannot go ahead. There are of course many other problems if we look at the rebuilding of the Temple in a physical sense.

It is refreshing to read in Brelsov Hasidic literature about rebuilding the Temple or Sanctuary spiritually. It is through prayers and acts united to the aspect of the Mashiach ben Joseph, which build spiritual bricks of this mystical brickwork, which is the mystical and spiritual Third Temple according to Rabbi Chaim Kramer in his book on the Mashiach based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman. This is the Inner Temple of the Soul also called the interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila. Another Breslov Rabbi Yeshoshua Starrett has written a book called "The Inner Temple" as fruit of his 'hitbodedut' and the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Brelsov. Each short chapter is a wonderful reflection to meditate on in ones own 'holy hour' of intimacy and conversation with the Divine.

Lately I have been struggling with knowing what the Divine Will wants of me now. I am always looking ahead to what I could or should be doing instead of practicing the Presence of God in the moment as taught by Brother Lawrence and other mystics. This reading of 'The Inner Temple' helped me to refocus to where I should be in time and place. This short reflection is headed "Beyond Time and Space" on page 10. I wish to share this short extract from the book that touched my heart so you can see the great wisdom and treasures to be found in Breslov spirituality.

"The Temple exists beyond the limits of time and space and contains within it all time-space (Avot 5:5; Bava batra 99a; Vayikra Rabbah 10:9;Likutey halakhot, Tzitzit 3:11-15).The lives we live are usually seen as constricted by time and space. The times we live in, the places in which we dwell, seem to trap us in their time and their space, within their temporal and spatial limitations. The imprints they made on our childhood souls and throughout our growing years seem to mold us in lead, irrevocably, in prisons of time and and of space." As I read this it reflected my feeling of being imprisoned and trapped by my life and its circumstances. I unite this with Yeshua ha Mashiach as the prisoner of love in the Eucharist and redo all of these events of my life and my feelings of being trapped and imprisoned by these events in His Divine Will for the tikkun (reparation)of the world and all souls.

"It is not here and now in which we exist, but in some way distant there and then. The imprint of the past on our memories seems to lock us there, way back when. This seems to be an imperitive, a condition that rules our lives-the feeling that we cannot transcend the circumstances of our earthly lives. But this need not be. We can be set free by finding the deep here and now. A place very much here, yet everywhere, a moment in the here and now, yet eternal. A place where your life is a part of all life, and your story, part of all history. A place not confined to your own time and town, where you can feel part of perpetuity. A place that will put your life in context, and those imprints which made you you in their place. This place sets you free to be the real you and leave the prison you see as you."

Many of us felt this freedom when we first came to faith in Yeshua as the Mashiach as we embraced the mystery of the Cross and its access into Eternity. However as we went deeper into the mystery of the Cross and suffering we felt the things of the past and its darkness surface and seemingly imprison us once again. Rebbe Nachman wrote of this experience in Sichoth ha Ran 79: "When a person begins... truly to serve God, he is often beset by evil thoughts and confusion. Actually, the evil was aways there, but it is only now surfacing. A pot of water may seem to be perfectly clear. But when it is placed on a fire and it begins to boil, all its impurities are brought to the surface. One must stand by and constantly remove these impurities. The original purity of the water was merely an illusion, and with a little heat, the impurities surface. But when these impurities are removed, the water is truly pure and clear. The same is true of a person. Before he begins serving God, good and evil are completely mixed together within him. The impurities are so closely bound to the good that they cannot be recognised, But then this person...begins to burn with a great feeling toward God. He is touched with the heat of purification, and all the evil and impurity comes to the surface. Here again, one must stand by and constantly remove the dirt and impurities as they appear. In the end, the person is truly pure and clear. Purification thus requires this period of agitation and confusion. In the beginning, the individual is totally immersed in the physical, and then he begins to come close to God. One might think that it would be possible to remove this dirt and impurity all at once. But the individual's mind is completely intermingled with this mire; therfore, if it were to be removed all at once, his mind would be drawn out with it [and he would lose his sanity]. One must therefore be purified in gradual stages, little by little."[Rebbe Nachman quoted in "The Light Beyond" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan]

Rabbi Starret continues: "But you must search for this place with all your heart. You must search in your heart for this Temple. Only inside yourself can you transend yourself and find your own inner Temple. Only after King David searched for this Place did God reveal it to him. (Liktey Halakhot, geviat Chov miYetomim). With honest soul-searching, seek out this place. Release yourself from the ego that clings to these molds. Let go of your space and your time. Abandon the feeling that you are trapped. This feeling comes from a lack of awareness; the perception that you are confined to your 'place' is a perception of consticted awareness (ibid, Tzitzit 3:13). Ask yourself this: "Why am I here? What does God really want from me? What is my purpose within God's great plan? What does life demand of me?" Realize that your struggles are common to all life, yet you are still a unique microcosm. Each of us has a unique role in which he can elevate God's world in the macrocosm. Each show of compassion, not anger, brings more compassion to the world. Each time you overcome the dark, negative forces, you bring more light into the world. In your own time and space, though no one may know it, you have elevated the entire world. So take time to go beyond time; find a place to go beyond space. Go deep inside to find the meaning of why you are alive at this time and place. Go to this Temple to find the answers and to leave the prisons of time and space." Thus this is the true leaving behind the third exile and building the Third Temple- the Temple of the heart.


Deacon Dana said...

A wonderful meditation. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I purchased the book you talked about and it is really enlightening. I always thought of building the third temple as preparing ourselves for the Lord, as the temple. Thanks for the info!

(Aharon Yosef) Athol said...

well enjoy. i found it one of the most interesting books I have read which really not only is intellectually stimulating but spiritually helpful. Also his book on Esther is also very interesting.