Sunday, December 10, 2017

Letters of Thought


In several places in his Magnus opus, Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi makes reference to twenty two letters of thought. By this he refers to the communication which goes on inside of one’s own mind/brain. One may think that he’s referring to the conversations we have in our own heads using our native languages. At times, I considered such a possibly myself.

However, I never felt entirely comfortable with that answer because Rabbi Shneur Zalman clearly states that behavioral actions cannot occur without their first being a communication from these letters of thought. There are populations of people who don’t have a verbal language. Among them are babies and deaf mutes. Yet, they clearly act. So, by virtue of their capacity to act, they too must be in possession of these letters of thought.

So, these letters of thought cannot be referring to internal conversations in one’s own mother tongue. It must be something deeper and more innate; something shared by all humans. Today, we have technology which can serve as a model to help explain what the letters of thought possibly are.

Most people are familiar with computers. Regardless of the native language of the user, all (or at least many) computers share the same innate computer language. From this innate language, the computer forms and projects images, words, music, sounds, etc. into a medium understood by the user. For example, though the computer does not think in the user’s native language, it can communicate with the user in his/her native language.

Similarly with the human mind/brain, buried within there's likely an innate language which is hardwired into every human being. It’s likely extremely similar or even the same within every human being. This language has it’s own basic combining components which operate like letters to make words, i.e. larger units of communication. According to the Alter Rebbe there are twenty two of them, matching the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

I call this language “Brainish”. As there’s English and Spanish, so there’s “Brainish”.  Just like with the computer’s mind, “Brainish” also forms and projects images, words, music, sounds, etc. into a medium understood by the person’s conscious mind. From there the person can have an internal dialogue, speak with another, dream, play, act, etc.

It might be useful for the future of humanity to discover and understand how to consciously access “Brainish”, as this can go very far to increase intelligence and communication in all sorts of ways.

         -------------------------------O---------------------------------


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ladder of Light


Visible light is merely the low end of the light spectrum.

Beyond are light waves vivid with the consciousness of plant life.

Further beyond are light waves spirited with animal life.

N’ even beyond that are light waves which are human souls.

This light spectrum continues up, even higher and yet higher...becoming increasingly alive.

Always remember that what you see is barely the lowest rung of this massive ladder.

---------~✡~✡~✡~---------

Utopia upon Utopia ...


As the knowledge base of humanity grows, dark spots leading to ignorance and misdirection shrink.

Knowledge will beget knowledge.

Then kindness from below and blessings from above will permeate the human condition;

Commencing a utopia, commonly called, "the messianic era" ~ followed by utopia upon utopia upon utopia upon...

In a never ending stream of succession.  

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Updating and Transmitting


The Zohar (Vayetze 158b) explains that the Book of Psalms was composed with divine inspiration, רוח הקודש. Yet, earlier in the same section, the Zohar also explains that the book was a renewal of songs from earlier times. Usually, one associates divine inspiration with special guidance to yield brand new knowledge, not simply as an aid to recast what’s already known.

The lesson to me is that often knowledge which resonated well in past generations can’t simply be transmitted, as is, to a new generation. What worked then does not necessarily work now. Rather, a special divine inspiration is required to lend spiritual guidance to do a creative repackaging; allowing old teachings to come alive with a contemporary feel; opening the ears of audiences will be receptive in rapt attention.

In line with this, King David and his fellow composers probably felt that a simple repetition of songs known from the past, felt sterile and lacked resonance. They needed to rework these songs with a fresh surge of creativity, which fed off of divine inspiration, so the songs could speak freshly and relevantly. As Psalms are filled with biographical tidbits of King David's life, it’s likely that the updating went very far; though without obscuring the core messages.



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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Image of God


The Book of Genesis assures that all humans are created in God’s image (1:26). This is mentioned first in the account of creation and reiterated later to Noah after the flood, when God reminds him why human life is sacred (9:6). Therefore, the sacredness of every human life cannot be ignored - regardless of the atrocities that humans seem capable of. Yes, we have to concentrate on our better side to get a better result out of this sacred project called, “humanity”.

Somehow, we need to learn how to recognize the divine image in ourselves and in others. In most cases, one needs to learn how to manifest his/her own divine image before being expected to recognized it in others too. Of course there’s the (currently) rare exception of a human being whose divine image is so fully manifest that s/he can serve as a model for others But, today such a person, who can easily serve as a light for others, is not commonly found.

It makes sense to me that manifesting one’s personal divine image and recognizing it in others is the spiritual project meant to be shared by all human beings. However, we need to be able to identify what a “divine image” even is before we can talk about proactively manifesting it.

At the very least it means that there’s something divine in the soul of every human being which is not shared by the rest of creation present in the physicality of the universe. It’s not simply speech or even intelligence, as the snake in the Garden of Eden had both and still didn’t have a divine image.

Obviously, a divine image does not mean that God’s essence has an image. Images are limitations, as they have boundaries. God is absolutely Infinite. Nothing of boundaries can be ascribed to Him. However, His revelations within finite realms, can take on finite forms. However, they are not Him. They are merely His projections. These projections or revelations are from Him, but they are not Him. It’s in this spirit that the Midrash describes Him as alternatively appearing like a warrior at the Red Sea and as a white haired sage at Mount Sinai. Also in this spirit, the prophet Ezekiel described what he prophetically envisioned as bearing “a likeness as the appearance of a man” (Ezekiel 1:26).

The Biblical commentary “Kli Yakar” picks up on this and explains that it’s possible that human souls derive from the prophetic image of man which God projects to represent Himself to the prophets (Genesis 1:26). In this sense, we are created in the image of God, that manlike image which God sometimes uses in prophetic revelation. In other words, the image which the prophets see, is not just mental imagery. It has a spiritual reality, no less than souls or angels do.

So what does this manlike image stand for, which is common to all human beings? Quite possibly, it stands for the revelation of unity in a world of separation. This unity is not intended to dislodge distinctions, but, rather to unify them. Without distinctions, there would be many unified facets and potentials which would never find their way into revelation. For example, without cellular differentiation during gestation the genetic potentials for various body parts (like arms, legs, torso, ears, eyes..) would never manifest. Such bio-distinctions are hugely valuable for the vast unifying genetic potentials they tease out. On the other hand, without a unifying life force streaming into all these distinct body parts of what use would they be? Proper coordination between them would be mostly or even entirely lacking. These precious distinctions require a unifying connection.

In humans, the image of God or the soul, is this unifying connection on the biological level. However, that’s just the start of what the image of God does within a human being; as it’s largely passive and not proactive. Each creature from the plants, the fish to the massive mammals have some spiritual force, which they’re passive to, also accomplishing the coordination of all their parts. Such a force within them is not yet called having the image of God. The real experience of the image of God is more active. It truly manifests when humans actively unify the diversity found their personal life situations and in those of others too.

The cultivation of this sensitivity and skill begins with a worldview which appreciates both sides of the equation, both the unity and the diversity. Understanding that life does not automatically come with both sides working well together, one calls on his/her desire to give (and sometime even his/her desire to receive) to promote this sacred project. In today's world, it seems to be our active work as a force for unity amid the plentiful diversity is what best manifests the image of God in each and every one of us.

                       ---------------------------O--------------------------

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Turkish Coffee


Turkish coffee, Turkish coffee,
 I used to think of you as mud!

I’d glance beneath surface,
 N’ behold a swamp in my mug!

The mire was deep enough,
 To house half my pinky within.

Now that my Wife prepares it,
 So deliciously filled with her love,

Neath surface all I can see,
 Is sediment of her sentiment!


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Amidst Paradox


If paradox scares you,
 N’ makes your head spin,

Then make it a subject,
 Of your daily meditation.

Chart its two dots,
 In absolute opposition.

Then draw a line,
 Right between them.

A “line” but not,
 A literal geometric line.

Rather a string of ideas,
 Like beads along a necklace.

Perhaps, this string,
 Is not even really linear.

It may snake and curve,
Setting new dots on its way,

To expose pearly depths,
 Gleaming amidst paradox.

           ---o---

Your sweat is worth it!
 Your wisdom will glow radiant,

As each paradox,
  Signals an awaiting depth.

--------------O------------

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Soul n’ Brain


I am particularly perturbed by experts who proclaim that there is no need for a soul to explain the psychological aspects of life. They feel that because they can concretely point to a neurological process, the whole human mind can be explained exclusively on biological terms. This is a very superficial perspective.

The biological brain is merely a very complex vessel to receive the spiritual influx of a soul. Of course, tweaking any vessel will affect its capacity to hold. Just try passing a pin through a plastic cup containing water and see what happens.

So too, tweaking the biological brain will affect its capacity to grasp, carry and convey the influx of the soul. That does not mean that biological life is soulless. It just means that the precise and complex vehicle to convey the soul has been compromised. A brain damaged person is by no means a soul damaged person.

I remember reading an account of a neuroscientists who boasted that there's really nothing meaningful to an out of body experience because he induced one by tinkering with a certain nerve. Reading this account, I wondered at the amount of bias this scientist brought to his work. Why didn't it occur to him that he discovered a way to expel the soul from the body? Don't worry; a week later, the same magazine featured another scientific personality who was making a case for near death experiences.  LOL!

But, my point is that it should occur to thought leaders in the neuroscientific world that just because you tinkered with the radio does not mean that you tinkered with the broadcast. The brain is like a radio picking up the broadcast of the soul (which is not in physically defined space).

Actually, a computer would be a better analogy than a radio. The wireless internet flow can be compared to the soul and the electrical juice to the biological food. Diminishing or enhancing a computer’s functioning has no impact on the wireless stream of information flowing from the internet, only to the computer’s capacity to process and convey it. Imagine a computer technician boldly declaring that there's no such a thing as internet because he can fiddle with a few wires and internet capacity is suddenly turned off. Furthermore, he concludes that the internet is really something generated from within the computer itself. It has no external source! I He’d be declared an instant laughingstock!

However, this is equivalent to what neuroscientists do when they suggest subtly or more openly that a human has no soul just because they successfully tinkered with the organ which receives flow of the soul, processes it and then conveys it. How sad!

Studying the soul itself is really outside the scope of the field of neuroscience. They shouldn't be the one's purporting to inform the public on such matters. That would be like an lawyer posing as a physician. They’re two separate fields. It just doesn't work!

I cannot say for sure who is qualified to responsibly share such notions with the wider public, in a way that makes it across religious and cultural lines. However, honest silence is better than misinformation. Also, there's a body of responsible research done on large pools of people who had near death experiences and underwent past life regression. I am sure that much information about the human soul can be gleaned from there in a way that can be accepted across the wider sweep of religious and cultural boundaries.

                         ----o----------------《》---------------o----

Reflections on Einstein’s Relativity


In consideration of the issue of what moves around what in space, Einstein’s Relativity, I wonder about the following. Couldn’t the problem be solved by a method to detect and delineate the shape of the displaced of space fabric?

The whole theory of gravity from a relativity perspective is explained by displacement of the fabric of space. The larger the object the greater the displacement. In turn, this causes other objects to alter their course. As an object moves, it should also displace the fabric of space. So, if a large body leaves its displacement in a relatively stable area and a smaller body is constantly changing its spot of displacement relative to the large body, wouldn’t then we then say that in this scenario it was the smaller body which has moved?

I am aware of the challenges to making such discoveries. Firstly, the scientific community doesn’t even yet know what the fabric of space is, let alone how to measure it or it’s displacement (though they can now detect gravity waves, which is part of this puzzle). From a Kabbalistic perspective, I suspect that the fabric of space is an afterglow of pre-big bang energy has lingered and coarsened, so it can participate in the physical universe, as the fabric of space. This follows the pattern of the reshimu after the tzimtzum. The big bang seems to me to be the physical realm’s echo of the tzimtzum, which would make the fabric of space it’s relative reshimu.

However, regardless of the Kabbalistic possibilities, the fact remains that scientifically the fabric of space is uncharted territory that can really answer a lot of questions.


The other day, when thinking about the fabric of space, I contemplated how it exerts gravity. It occurred to me that when a large item is inserted into space, the displaced space fabric is bunched up around it - and quite possibly for a huge distance around it, though the bunching may soften up as it gets further and further away from the large body causing the displacement. So, in essence the fabric space is much more concentrated around the body causing the displacement than further out. The concentration of the fabric causes it to push harder against the body than it would in an area of space devoid of stellar or planetary bodies (if such a thing exists). It’s like a displaced piece of rubber trying to push back. This greater the displacement, the thicker (the more concentrated) the stretched rubber and the greater the push back. It’s this push back that we think of as gravity. For example, it’s what’s pushing us up against our planet.

Now if space is a fabric of sorts, it’s difficult to imagine it also as time. Time does seem like it’s stuff. I think each unit of space fabric is assigned its own time reality (for a lack of better term). A unit of space may either contain its own time reality or be contained by its own time reality. Either way, for the purpose of this essay’s focus it amounts to the same thing.

As an organic organism is made up of many cells, so too space fabric can be made up of discrete units of space, with each unit having it’s own assigned time reality. So, it’s not that’s that a unit of space fabric is time itself, rather it has a distinct time reality associated with it. For example, the human body contains millions upon millions of cells. Most cells (except for red blood cells) contain DNA. This fact, does not mean the cells are DNA. They’re discrete units of life, which also happens to contain DNA. If there happen to be a thick concentration of cells, then there will also be a thick concentration of DNA material.   

So, when concentrated space fabric is bunched up around a planet, there’s also a bunching of the time realities associated with these space fabric units. Much like a thick concentration of cells also means a thick concentration of DNA. The encounter with such a huge concentration of time causes time to slow down. This is why the bigger the planet, the slower the time. The universe is older from Jupiter’s perspective than it is from earth’s perspective. I wonder what might be the age the universe from a zero gravity perspective.

Now how does this account for going faster in space means going slower in time? When one zooms through space, one accelerates one’s encounters with units of space fabric and hence, also their associated time realities. So moving into them fast, forces an encounter with huge pools of time realities at once. Like gravity, this too slows down the experience of time; causing one to “time travel”. It’s the same idea as gravity. It’s an encounter with a huge concentration of space fabric causing an encounter with a huge concentration of time realities. Moving through more of these time realities slows time down.

I wonder about the relationship of space fabric and the material (including energy) around us. Since space is a fabric of sorts (using the word loosely), did somehow the material (including energy) around us arise from space fabric? Is space fabric a kind of proto version of the stuff which stars and planets are made of? Right now, I have no clue. These are just questions for further thought.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Manna Through the Clouds

Succot Reflections 5778:

The Zohar emphasizes what it means that the clouds of glory came as a result of the merit of Aaron. It explores many of its implications. Somehow, this got me thinking about the clouds of glory’s interaction with the manna. In the desert, the 12 tribes were covered by the clouds of glory. But, those outside the camp, like the mixed multitude, weren’t. Their nature was that they were rabble rousers and so, they were antithetical to what Aaron stood for, loving peace and pursuing peace. Therefore, they weren’t covered by the clouds, which were brought about in Aaron’s merit.  However, since Moses prayed for them to be included in the exodus, they still received the manna which was brought in Moses’ merit.

When the manna reached the 12 tribes, it had to pass these clouds of glory and were no doubt affected by them. The clouds, likely, processed the manna further – improving the manna for consumption. However, when the manna reached the surrounding encampment, outside the clouds, it did not get that processing. It just dropped down as it was. This may reconcile two accounts of the manna. One account is that it tasted like anything anyone wanted. Another account is that it was “unsatisfying bread” and was like coriander seed, in need of further processing. It’s possible that for those who received their manna through the clouds, it tasted like anything that they wanted and was perfectly satisfying. For those who received the manna beyond the reach of the clouds, it was like coriander seed, required preparation and had a fixed taste; probably, good, but fixed – one that someone can get bored of.

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we prayed for the manna for the year. Our portion of blessing is a physical expression of the manna. Then on Succot, we eat in a succah, which is a physical expression of the clouds of glory. By doing so, in effect we are asking for our manna to be come through the clouds of glory and be sweetly processed by them; to receive the manna in a way that loves peace, pursues, loves creations and brings them close to Torah.

------------------------------O------------------------------

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

-


Y?


Human thinking,
Begins with,
Y?
Ends with,
Y?
Never escapes,
Y?


God's thinking,
Begins not,


Ends not,


Never asks,
Y?


-----O-----




Sunday, September 24, 2017

Global Paradise


We no longer suffer from a lack of external resources, but, from a lack of love.


Over this Rosh Hashana, I have come to realize that we are now living in a vastly different kind of time period than we had in the past. The past was marked by a scarcity of resources basic to human life. Food, medicine, distance, lack of information were just a few examples of the often seemingly impassable barriers of the day. They were real and formidable obstacles. Only a few could live comfortably, as resources were relatively scarce and hard gained. Such situations often lead to oppression, slavery and even seemingly benign forms of upper classes taking advantage of lower classes. All sorts of cultural norms and religious doctrine formed around legitimizing and perpetuating class hierarchy.    

This generation seems to be the very first in human which has access to enough resources to transform our planet into an earthly paradise. We have plenty of food, medical know-how, instant global communication, swift shipping systems, renewable energy resources, (hopefully soon) basic universal income, etc. Our seeming problems can, with the right cooperation, become wonderful opportunities. For example, our problem of rising ocean levels can be coupled with the new Israeli desalination technology to provide water for very large populations. Plus, we can create extensions of the ocean into mainland areas of large continents; a measure which can have so many benefits. Among these benefits are a balancing of the sea level, sparing of coastal cities and islands, making desert and wilderness areas habitable,  an influx water and fish into new areas, an expansion of habitable area for aquatic life and for terrestrial life  living symbiotically with aquatic life. Such measures may have profoundly positive impacts on economies, as new construction projects, towns and cities, fishing areas and resorts dot the globe.

Whereas yesteryear’s barriers to crafting our planet into a paradise came both from what was external to us and what was internal to us, today’s barriers are truly internal only. The only real barrier seems to be the human heart. It’s about where people are spiritually and psychologically. We no longer suffer from a lack of external resources, but, from a lack of love. Do we love each other enough to help each other? Though a great start, there needs to be ultimately something more than simply, we all share the same set of problems and can only lift ourselves out via cooperative efforts. That kind of attitude is much too superficial to last, as it mostly reeks with self concern.

This harks back to the wisdom which our sages offered that the exile of the Jewish people was primarily a result of an opposite of love. In the first century, Jerusalem had sufficient resources to avoid the problems which led to the Jewish people becoming a landless nation. It was internal politics and infighting which led to the problems and elicited an unfortunate Roman response. Had the local population been more sensitive to each other and really considered their situation, Rome would not have attacked Jerusalem, sacked the Holy Temple and chased the Jewish people from their homeland.

Though I seem to be merely repeating an old message, it carries particular relevance for us today. Years ago, people were able to hide behind the excuse that the world appears as it does because there just isn’t enough resources to go around and it had little to do with who they were personally. Today, the rug has been pulled from right under this excuse. All necessary resources are present and can easily get around. The only barrier seems to be human heart itself. We need to ask difficult questions on the personal level and on the societal level, such as, “Will the selfish edge of politics and financial greed give way to the better side within each of us, to the call of our souls?”

Soon before passing out of public life, the late Lubavitch Rebbe reported to the world that the messianic age can easily happen, “Now!” We just have to really, really want it. Back then I certainly trusted him, but, it sounded to me like something of a  miracle. I couldn’t see how the earthly dots could connect to make such an event neatly possible. Today, with internet and so much further technological progress, I so clearly see it. However, the human heart and soul still has to want it! We have succeeded in changing the outer world. Now we need to change our inner worlds.

Perhaps, many of us really do want it.  But, are we reeking with this wanting so desperately, to the point that it just overflows into meaningful actions!

I know that I am. That’s why I write!

---------------------------------------O--------------------------------------

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Chai Elul - T'Shuva M'Ahava

I present the following lively happy melody. Please use it for Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and all manner of celebration! 

Please do not "sell" recordings of this melody - except for sincerely charitable purposes.

This melody emerged in the midst of prayer/meditation on Shabbat, Chai Elul 5777. The context of the prayer/meditation was a beseeching to be more spiritually connected to my Creator and to discover my Saintly Mentor and spiritual community; within the context of Judaism. 






Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hint


Late in day in cafe’,
 As he watched, she eyed her watch.
Her hint was taken.

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In Jewish mystical teachings, what's male is more related to space and what's female is more related to time.

What's male, tends to be a cosmic echo of God's Infinity. Therefore, he’s lured to the expansive - as in the expanse of space.

What's female tend to be a cosmic echo of God's Oneness.  Therefore, she’s lured by unified form - as in the looping cycles of time.

Their relationship with time is the inverse of their relationship with space. He seeks outer expansion in a burst; maximum space in minimum time! She seeks to draw materials over time into a localized area; maximum time in minimum space!

He’s more wide-eyed, as he faces the expanse of space. She's more attuned, as she flows with the rhythms of time.

He conquers to reach across the expanse space. She magnetizes opportunities, as they ebb along towards her along tides of time.

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