Friday, March 23, 2012

Borrowing from the Perfected Future

he basic premises that this essay is formulated upon, can be found in the following essays:

One of the interesting indications that our earthly realm is still in a "reshimu" or afterglow stage is that the direct presence of linear and spherical spiritual creative forces, i.e. sefirot,  cannot be detected here. They haven't yet entered the physical realm. When one looks out towards the wider universe, one does not see alternating bands of light and darkness, indicating the spherical forces, nor does one see a ray of light, i.e. the linear force, threading through the universe - also, serving as a reference point to define what's up, down, right, left, front and back in the universe.

When Rabbi Isaac Luria and his close disciple Rabbi Chaim Vital used these metaphors for the spiritual forces used in creation, it seems like they were borrowing from what the perfected future of the physical universe will eventually look like. In the meanwhile, there are spiritual realms already in their own equivalent of the perfected state where the spherical and linear spiritual forces of creation are fully manifest. To describe these realms, Rabbi Isaac Luria and Rabbi Chaim Vital followed the general Kabbalistic practice of describing something spiritual by using it's own physical counterpart as an illustrative device - as a metaphor. In this particular case, it seems like they used a physical counterpart that's yet to be. Still, it's the correct counterpart to use, simply because it is the real one.

Interestingly, Rabbi Chaim Vital mentions early on in his magnus opus "The Tree of Life" that the planetary orbits are the spherical sefirot, creative forces. Based on context and circumstances it seems to me that what he really means is that the planetary orbits are the afterglow of spherical creative forces. After all, the planetary orbits are two dimensional and don't arch all around us as outlying three dimensional spheres. Even more so, to the best that I can tell the two dimensional orbits are not true structures. They're merely the locations of planets at different points in time: past, present and future. This helps build the case that the orbits Rabbi Chaim Vital refers to are the afterglow versions of the spherical sefirot. 

However, what about the notion that the orbits mentioned by the ancients are really invisible spiritual spheres whose general locations are merely indicated by the planetary orbits; meaning, that they're really fully three dimensional (or more)?

To me this proves the point. This is what a "reshimu" or "afterglow" actually is. It's something that has a very well developed spiritual form, but, whose physical counterpart is extremely underdeveloped in comparison - a mere trace of a much grander spiritual structure, awaiting lots of development. Eventually, the afterglow we refer to as the physical universe will transform into a true realm with a fully functioning set of linear and spherical sefirot, creative forces.

The immense time gap between when the  linear and spherical spiritual creative forces entering into the higher spiritual realms and their corresponding entry into our earthly realm is largely a function of time moving much faster in higher realms. We're in a much slower version of time ~ in a sense, we're living in a less technologically advanced version of time. So it takes longer for the same process which already happened in the spiritual realms to reach our earthly realm. The great news is that we'll catch up! We'll yet savor paradise on earth.


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