To Your Path To Paradise (1)
"Hell is unconsciousness." Isidore Friedman
Kabbalah teaches that you function in four worlds. Becoming conscious of your experiences and acitivities in these worlds fulfills your life's purpose.
These worlds do not exist like planets "out there" that you view with your eyes in the night sky. They consist of the four basic dimensions of your self and of your inner life.
There is an order to these worlds, a sequence of deepening levels. At the deepest level you live in the world of Atziluth, which means Origins. At this level you achieve the most complete and direct contact with the divine. In fact, you experience utter oneness with the divine.
Within each world you pass through many levels. Before reaching divine oneness you express your own original nature in the way you live. The greatest artists and inventors express this level. They bring forth something new and eternal. They leave the stamp of their unique individuality in all they do. They are lonely because their commonality with other individuals fade as they pursue their original path. And yet, they experience the deepest union with everyone because of the universal nature of the dimension they come from. In other words, we are all alone, and therefore we have the aloneness of our original natures in common.
Your greatest opportunity for reaching this level is your worst nightmare. It is your worst nightmare because no one wants to experience loneliness. We panic when we sense it's approach. We seek all sorts of escape routes from it, including getting married, having children and cheating on our spouse.
No human being can find a way out of loneliness. Your encounters with aloneness represent the times God reserves with you. You can feel alone when your mate does not agree with you, when your children choose time with friends over time with you, when your supposed "soulmate" breaks up with you, when you find yourself out of a job and walking the streets without an aim.
You can encounter loneliness when you stand alone watching a group of happy partiers, while sitting in a movie theater alone watching a snuggling couple in the row in front of you.
Whenever you feel lonely, that is Atziluth calling. It is time to explore your loneliness, your aloneness, your individuality, your experience of isolation and disconnection. Those qualities define what Kabbalah refers to as the Abyss, and Dante, who was deeply influenced by the Kabbalistic teachings emerging in his time and place, refers to as Inferno.
The Abyss, the Inferno, Hell... these label the stage of senseless suffering. You are in pain. You are angry at God. You feel the urge to rebel. Your pain is in no degree assuaged by any reason you can imagine or understand.
If you give into your urge to rebel, you only make matters worse. Going out and getting drunk with a loaded gun rarely if ever represents a solution. Adolescents rebel because they do not realize their power to direct their own lives. They blame authority figures, including God, for the brokenness of their hearts.
The Kabbalah Tree of Life places the Abyss between the world of Atziluth and the World of Briah. Briah means, Creation.
In Briah you set into motion the creative process that determines what happens to you. You choose your fate. The problem is, though, that as long as you do this unconsiously you can ascend no higher than the Abyss.
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