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.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Three Heads of Divine Will and the Lost Princess: A Hebrew Catholic Perpective


Rabbi Perets Aurebach in his article "In the Wilderness" writes: "In Rabbi Nachman’s story, “The Lost Princess,” the Viceroy follows a side-path through forests, fields, and wildernesses in search of the Lost Princess. Tefilah (prayer) is a quest of searching for the Shechinah (Divine Presence), which represents the sefirah of Malchut (“Kingship”). It catapults the soul to Keter (“Crown”), the ultimate source of Malchut.“Triple-header.” Keter expresses through three heads: RaD”LA (“Unknowable Head”), Atik (“Primordial One”), and Arich Anpin (“Vast Countenance”). Arich, from which arises our deepest feeling of yearning, is called the “root of the emanated.” One connects to it through yearning – through “tree-hitbodedut” in the forest. Atik, which is the root of delight (oneg), is the “end of the Supernal Emanator.” One links to it through meditation in the delightful “field of holy apples” (another symbol for the sefirah of Malchut/Kingship). RaD”LA, which is related to bitul, remains aloof. One accesses it through hitbodedut in the wilderness–the place of complete ego-nullification."

In Chasidism one attains to Emuna by a spiritual ascent or rather a descent to the roots of the Divine Tree. There are the ten Sefirot and the three heads of the Divine Will beyond and within Keter (the Crown). These are associated in Chasidism with the 13 aspects of Divine Mercy. Rabbi Isaac Ginsburg associates the Unknowable Head with Emuna: "Emunah is the spiritual state associated with the inner experience of the highest of the three "heads" of keter, the Reisha d'lo Ityada ("the unknowable head"). Emunah is the essential connection, or "covenant," between Israel and God. In Chassidut we find the saying that the "simple faith" (emunah peshutah) of the "simple Jew" (yehudi pashut) links him to the "simple (absolute) unity" (achdut peshutah) of God's Atzmut (Essence, above the revelation of His infinite light, or en sof ). Every Jewish soul inherits its faith from the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people in general, and from Abraham, the "first believer," in particular. As an inherited trait, emunah is always present in every Jewish soul, though not necessarily conscious."

He also links Emuna to the mystery of the heavenly Manna: "It is the function of the soul of Moses (present in every generation) to sustain and reinforce the consciousness of the faith of Israel, and hence Jewish identity, through the food of Torah wisdom. In the merit of Moses, manna was given to Israel. Its first appearance in Torah reads "man hu," which permutes into the word "emunah." The Jew's innate readiness to fully devote his life to the service of God and sacrifice his life for the sake of God is the essential expression of his emunah in God."

Thus we see that the deepest penetration of the mystery of the Divine Will is the deepest penetration of the Eucharistic Mystery (the Divine Manna). At the level of Emuna one enters into the abyss of nullification of the self in order to attain to the Mystical Resurrection of the Dead (spoken of by Paul in Philippians 3). This is the stage of Wilderness or Vacated Space. Here is the Great Silence that Rebbe Nachman speaks about in Likutey Moharan. Rabbi Ozer Bergman writes: "There exists a stage in life where your free will is tested like never before. This is the Great Void, a "place" or stage in which you have to believe that God is there even when everything indicates that He is not. In a concentration camp, a war zone, or the deepest recesses of your own heart, no amount of knowledge or intellect can save you-only faith...In order to survive the Great Void, you have to acknowledge the testimony of your senses and experience- emptiness, complete, total and absolute-and override that testimony with faith- God's presence...It is impossible to survive the Great Void with hitbodedut. The onslaught of questions, the persistence of pain and the sense of total meaninglessness cannot be withstood without continuous knocking on the doors of a markedly abandoned, empty castle..." This is a dark night of the soul where we are reaching but not reaching, knowing and not knowing, as taught by St John of the Cross. There are many different kinds of dark nights on the mystical journey and this is the final one. It appears as a Great Void of Silence but is in reality the Ocean of the Divine Will and Light. In this Void there is the Divine Hidden Melody which we can only hear when we have total Emuna (faith) that all is for the best.

Leading up to this we attain to the level of yearning or desiring Divine Will associated with Reisha d'Arich and gulgalta (the place of the skull). This is the level of Mystical Crucifixion and ratzon (will). Rabbi Ginsburg writes: "Ratzon is the spiritual state associated with the lowest of the three heads of keter, the Reisha d'Arich ("the extended head"). With regard to the power of will, it is said "nothing stands before (the force of one's) will," and "there is nothing as forceful as will." In the partzuf of Arich Anpin...the "origin of will" is associated with its "crown" or its "skull" referred to as the gulgalta. At this level, "there is no reason (rationale) for will." However, in the intrinsic wisdom of Arich Anpin, referred to as mocha stima'ah ("concealed brain"), there exists "a hidden (unexpressible) reason for will."..." Next we enter the stage of Reisha d'Ayin (the Head of Nothingness) or Atik and Taanug (pleasure). In our nothingness we delight in the Divine Will doing our rounds. This is the level of Mystical Incarnation or Divine Indwelling. This is knowing and not knowing. This leads us to Emuna- to the Lost Princess- she who is the Grace lost at Eden by Adam and Eve.

One of St John of the Cross' Mystical Poems

I came into the unknown
and stayed there unknowing
rising beyond all science.

I did not know the door
but when I found the way,
unknowing where I was,
I learned enormous things,
but what I felt I cannot say,
for I remained unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

It was the perfect realm
of holiness and peace.
In deepest solitude
I found the narrow way:
a secret giving such release
that I was stunned and stammering,
rising beyond all science.

I was so far inside,
so dazed and far away
my senses were released
from feelings of my own.
My mind had found a surer way:
a knowledge of unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

And he who does arrive
collapses as in sleep,
for all he knew before
now seems a lowly thing,
and so his knowledge grows so deep
that he remains unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

The higher he ascends
the darker is the wood;
it is the shadowy cloud
that clarified the night,
and so the one who understood
remains always unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

This knowledge by unknowing
is such a soaring force
that scholars argue long
but never leave the ground.
Their knowledge always fails the source:
to understand unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

This knowledge is supreme
crossing a blazing height;
though formal reason tries
it crumbles in the dark,
but one who would control the night
by knowledge of unknowing
will rise beyond all science.

And if you wish to hear:
the highest science leads
to an ecstatic feeling
of the most holy Being;
and from his mercy comes his deed:
to let us stay unknowing,
rising beyond all science.

1 comment:

Crosshairball said...

The Cloud of Unknowing