October 2012-July 2013
There is one thing that is always present in your life. Not your body, for sometimes you soar aloft in thought or meditation. Not your heart, for there are surely things that preoccupy you about which you are indifferent. Not your intellect, for there are times when your mind must rest.
But no matter what state you are in, no matter your thoughts, mood, or level of awareness, it is always you who is in that state.
Welcome to The Kabbalah of You, a journey of discovery, in which we will ask—and answer—the most fundamental question of all: Who is the mysterious being at the heart of what it is to be … you? The same Kabbalah that leads us up and beyond the highest heavens also leads deep within to explore the divine mystery of your soul.
Throughout life, we look to enhance various skills and talents. A course in music will lead to increased enjoyment; a course in accounting will help us do our business better; a course in astronomy will open up the night sky to our curiosity.
But as diverse as our talents and interests may be, there is an underlying core that is common to all. We all share that humanity, that dignity that makes our lives immeasurably valuable. The Kabbalah of You addresses that core.
The Kabbalah of You is meant for everyone who can be called “you.” Bringing light to what it is that makes you YOU will enable you to discover new depths of meaning that will have an impact on every aspect of your existence. Joy, contentment, courage, self-control, a meaningful relationship with G-d, beautiful relationships with others—these are some of the benefits of being in sync with your deepest self.
This course will uncover how you have a birthright within the Infinite—and how to tap into that awareness for the rest of your life.
No matter where, no matter when, humanity searches for the ultimate. We are transfixed by a sense of self, and despite the enduring mystery of what a self actually is, we assign it the greatest importance. We have a sense that there is goodness and that we are meant to be aligned with it. The Jewish mystics teach that we have a drive towards the good and the G-dly because that is who we are—nothing less than G-dliness in disguise. This means that we have boundless possibilities; our limitations are but symptoms of the disguise that we are meant to shed.
If I really am nothing less than G-dliness in disguise, why do I fall short so often? Surely, none of us have realized our infinite potential, and our awareness of that is a heavy weight. Our need is to weave a web of concrete awareness that assures that every aspect of our life is imbued with our core consciousness. This doesn’t happen naturally; we must partner in our own creation. We must be artists, making every one of our brushstrokes an expression of the infinite beauty and truth that is our very identity.
We all know the feelings of sadness and misery and are never content to rest in them; we seek a good that we experience as good. We are guided towards the experience of good by the questions we ask in our search. What do we seek? If we seek what we want, our search will yield pleasure, physical delight—powerful, but short-lived, and can lead to self-destructive behavior. If we seek rather what we need, we will find happiness. We will then be satisfied with very little—but we can stagnate and become complacent in that satisfaction. But if we seekwhat we are, then we will find energizing joy.
If faith is so simple, why is it so hard? Complexities come easy to the rationalizing human mind. We craft our own sophistication and take pride in it. Faithfulness to something beyond our own grasp, something larger than our own achievements and deeper than our own thoughts demands much more of us. What we seek tolerates no clichéd response and can be satisfied by no mere intellectual answer. Knowing what we seek, we know that faithfulness to the task will require the soul commitment of all we are and all we can be.
Even if I can love someone else, how could I love him or her as I love myself? I take myself for granted, but the one I love is different, emerging each moment from the unknown. The mystics tell us that to truly feel love for the other, and not just to mold our actions, we need to realize that we ourselves are emerging each moment from the Infinite unknown as well. That is really who we are. When we embrace that in ourselves, then our love of our fellow human being is the living process of the Infinite coming to dwell in our own lives, whether at the solitary core of our soul or in our relations that are interwoven with every aspect of creation.
Let’s get down to it. No matter how clever the talk about the soul and its G-dly source, we know ourselves well enough to be secret experts in our own shortcomings. Others might not know our faults, but we do. So how realistic is all this talk? Perfection is for the perfect. But there is something better than being perfect. The one who gropes in the dark, whose life is a perpetual struggle, is greater than one who is “perfect.” True, such a person will always know himself as one who fails—but this person more than compensates with heightened passion and unquenchable thirst. Ultimately, only such a person can make perfection stretch beyond its narrow boundaries and fill the entire world.