Beyond the River: Kabbalah's Guidance for Our Times

 


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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move ourselves in the opposite direction. "

Albert Einstein

Introduction

While there continues to be enough violence and insanity in our post election world right now to warrant the urgent need for any shift in consciousness that we can gather, there are no hints of this shift in consciousness in the newspapers or political front.

Humanity is in a vigorous phase of global challenge. The acceleration of time and the increased energy frequency on the planet are creating volatile change and rapid transformation, for others, it is being experienced as near psychological meltdown. Pressurized change in a short period of time is usually confusing and chaotic. When energy shifts, our perception of reality shifts. When our reality shifts, our relationships are tested and our circumstances can be shaken to the core. And yet, some of us are nevertheless attempting to keep awake, or at least make everyday life somewhat manageable.

It is during these times that we recall what the Kabbalah calls “Life Beyond the River".

Life Beyond the River

The classical Kabbalistic text, the Zohar, teaches that in order to create a meaningful world, G-d ran a “River" through reality, “separating" His Divine presence from physical existence. This River acts as a Veil and it is the source of all concealment and confusion. Our world is therefore referred to as an “alma d’piruda, " a “world of estrangement. " (Zohar 1, 22A).

The “River” or “Veil of Separation" runs through three areas of existence: olam, shanah and nefesh, meaning time, space and consciousness. The River runs through every moment and every thing. Each fragment of physical reality has its spiritual counterpart, but it is separated, or obscured, by the River.

In spite of the separation, a person is still granted the power and vision to stand before these veils of separation and gaze beyond the River, to the Source of all Life, receptive to the breathtaking scope of a Divine Reality.

How is this done when the Veil of Separation is still there? Sarmad, a 17th century Jewish mystic from India, explains, “The Light of Life, which is the essence of G-d, lies dormant in the mineral world, lies in a dream-state in the vegetable world, is awakened in the animal world, and comes to full consciousness in man. " This “Light of Life” is what we call nitzotz HaShem, a “spark of the Divine” which exists within each human. It enables us to have a direct connection to Source, beyond the River. Once we can make a direct connection, we need not fear the turbulence of our times.

The Zohar comments, “Your ancestors had always lived beyond the river. . . and I took your father Avraham from beyond the river. . . " (Joshua 24:2) as meaning “The children of Avraham, Ivrim (Hebrews), are those who have crossed over. They have vivid memories of life beyond the River. ”

In spite of the ability to make our direct connection to Source, beyond the River, many of us tend to still turn away and settle into life on this side of the River/Veil, thereby creating an all pervading sense of the triviality of everyday existence. This is because it is easy to forget when one is challenged. The “side-effect” of being a spiritual being in a human body is that since we have descended to the physical realm of existence which contains the furthest and densest frequencies in the universe, it will take deliberate efforts on our part to return ourselves to our true soul nature.

The Quest Always Begins with Our Quest-ions

Many of us are beginning with just the questions:

What can we do to help? How can we personally contribute to the creation of a world founded in love, not based in fear? What is my purpose? Why am I here? Why are all these things happening to me?

If we do not know, we may feel an unidentified sense of frustration or urgency. “But be assured", Reb Nachman of Breslov teaches, “that if you are asking these questions, you are already part of the solution". You are being guided. The nature of your contribution will be made known to you in divine timing.

The real problem is for those who are not asking these questions, who have buried themselves in self defeat, anger, victimization and often, a desire for revenge.

For those of us who want to “remember", it is important to discern between thoughts and attitudes that create inner peace and those that perpetuate inner conflict. We must be careful to choose behaviors and actions that create life, not destroy life. Since our inner realty creates our outer reality, our contribution begins and continues in our minds and hearts, when freed from anxiety.

Once this is done, the game and our purpose in it becomes more interesting.

Our Purpose

Many people today are finding that their purpose is to serve as pillars to hold the space of peace in this cosmic moment in Earth history. If you are one of these pillars, do not underestimate the importance of your assignment. Love can only manifest on the Planet through our attentive embodiment of peace and light. May HaShem bless you in your efforts. Continue to carry out your mission with diligence wherever you are posted and appreciate yourself for volunteering for this assignment. You have chosen to be in this world, at this time in history for a reason.

Other people are being given more action-oriented assignments. You are being asked to serve humanity by orchestrating or facilitating specific projects. Several people in our fellowship worked very hard on the recent elections. Your efforts have not been wasted, but rather applauded and blessed by the realms above, in spite of the outcome.

Piscean Age Still Grasping Tight

Remember, that it may take time for many to adjust to Aquarian Consciousness. Many still cling to the Piscean Age energy. Pisces, the age we have been in for 2000 years (and are exiting), is symbolized by the Fish. Fish are animals that swim in schools. When one fish decides to shift directions, each and every fish in the school turns simultaneously. It is the epitome of conformity, or “herd mentality". Nothing is questioned. The mob rules.

Aquarius on the other hand is symbolized by the individual who draws water from the well. Water, in Kabbalah represents both Chesed (Loving Kindness) and Mayim Chayim, “living waters", the Torah term for Spirituality.

Always remember, our attitude will facilitate or sabotage our best intentions. So we must not fall into the trap of blame, but rather focus our resources for taking responsibility for your own lives, and our most dominant vibration at any given moment. If we don't take responsibility for our own need to spiritually evolve, we are going to play out our unexamined fears and anger individually in dysfunctional relationships and traumatic life experiences. Collectively we will join the others in expressing our unconsciousness darkness, contributing energetically to the present day storms of social conflict, wars, abuse and exploitation.

Television networks learned long ago that you couldn't make money delivering good news. What sells is crisis. The worse the supposed threat from terrorism, plane crashes, economic collapse and crime, the more people will be glued to their sets. In reality, only the smallest percentage of people are going to suffer from terrorism, midair plane collisions, homicide or even highway fatalities. If you look at statistics, life is safer than ever. But you would never know this from the evening news.

One of the ways, the old Piscean Energy is most successful these days in keeping the old order intact is by pumping us with false images which keep us on the run, make us hyper-vigilant to threat and distract us from our real opportunities. A new era of planetary tolerance and well-being would arise if we became as “consumed” by healing as we are to stress and fear based, politically motivated media bombardment.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

There is No Avoiding “Creating”

Not doing anything is still doing something - its just that now our energy is being used to reinforce itself and continue in its old ways. Many create for themselves darkness, negativity, and even depression in not allowing themselves to grow.

A sure sign that we are living this way is when we find ourselves stuck in “reactivity”. Reactive behavior is also a choice in “creating”. It is still fueling a certain outcome, thereby “creating”.

The question to ask ourselves is whether we feel it is of our highest benefit to create from a position of reactivity. Reactivity is a state we automatically go into when we are not doing our work, when we go back into our “default” state. When we lose focus of the Sacred in our lives and no longer see the relevance in our current life predicament.

Our other choice is to periodically focus on the Divine in our lives, in life beyond the River. In doing this we will become inspired once again to participate in a Divine Plan and Purpose.

Learn to See Everyday Life Tensions as a Recycling Process

The Kabbalah teaches that we grow by “recycling”, by taking in lower forms of energy and converting it into a higher forms…. .

The same way a tree, bush or any blade of grass on the earth takes in a poison such as carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen, we too are expected to take in life’s “poisons” and recycle to a higher, more refined outcome as a result.

In life, newly harvested truths often grow out of a garden of emotional lows. The important to remember here is that when we are down, there is only one direction to move, and that is back up!

Lurianic Kabbalah sees the “getting back up” process as crucial to the evolution of the human soul. It understands the very energy involved in the grappling with everyday tension as the drive behind the liberation of Divine Sparks, which are shards of light trapped within material existence. The only way to elevate Creation itself is by moving into the darkness to liberate it. This is often why very spiritually evolved people are the ones challenged by the biggest difficulties. It is NOT that they are being punished, but rather chosen.

Celebrate Even the Smallest Victory

It is understood that as a result of the Veil/River that separates us from Divine Reality, we have no way of knowing how much our smallest victories could be affecting its spiritual counterpart in the Higher Realms. We have no idea of what shifts we are creating in our overall soul evolution, when taking responsibility for our energy even in the “smallest” everyday tasks and challenges.

Patience is More than a Virtue, it is a Necessity

Remember, sometimes reality has to catch up to your intentions. Whether we like it or not, we live in a time-bound existence. Relax, and don't throw away anything that you tried, where it didn't seem to coordinate as you felt it should in the time you thought that it should. Being patient is all part of a new consciousness for many of us. Much of wisdom comes in intuitively knowing the “what” as well as the “when”.

Final Thought from Albert Einstein

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe, " a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. "

In Spiritual Fellowship,

Rabbi Michael Ozair

Copyright 2004 – Rabbi Michael Ezra Ozair

Rabbi Michael Ozair has been providing spiritual guidance for the last 15 years to a very wide and diverse range of people. He is an ordained rabbi, a well sought after scholar in the area of Kabbalah, published author, and spiritual counselor. Michael's expertise stems from merging his knowledge as a teacher of metaphysics with his experience in practical counseling. He can be reached at coach@kabbalahcoach.com or by visiting his site at http://www.KabbalahCoach.com

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