The secret teaching in developing this relationship with the unknowable is hidden in the mystical foundation of the nature of relationship itself. The exploration of these aspects gives us insight into the nature of Ein Sof. Thus, whenever God is discussed in this book, we are not talking about a thing in itself, but a representation of a far deeper mystery. In the Song of Songs, the mystic whispers about the kiss of its lover: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine. We can feel the aching heart of the lover: "I am sick with love, his left hand is under my head and his right embraces me.
We experience the thrill of anticipation: "My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door and my heart was thrilled; I rose to open to my beloved. It is about us, about every human being, and it describes our potential relationship with the Divine. Perhaps you do not believe this; perhaps you feel that having an intimate relationship with the Divine is beyond you, reserved for others, or another lifetime.
This is not so. It is part of our heritage; it is yours and mine to have. All we need do is learn how to let go of our fear, for fear maintains the barriers of separation.
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Because when we awaken to the realization that the presence of the Divine is revealed in the fullness of each moment, our hearts melt and the floodgates of our inner yearning open wide. This is a mystical epiphany. It cannot be rationally explained. Although we cannot cross the barrier between us and that which lies beyond infinity, we can experience in the depth of our being the realization that for each step we take, the Divine steps with us; each breath we draw is connected with the breath of the universe; and that lover, beloved, and the essence of love itself are all reflections of exactly the same thing.
In each of these moments we "know" the presence of the Divine and there is no separation. One of the great Jewish mystics, Abraham Abulafia 13th century , says about one who has achieved this level of spiritual awareness: "Now we are no longer separated from our source, and behold we are the source and the source is us. We are so intimately united with It, we cannot by any means be separated from It, for we are It. This is described in a lovely Sufi story of a man who constantly cried out to God, but received no response.
After a while the devil whispered to this man, "How long will you wait for God to respond 'Here I am' to all of your entreaties? In a dream, however, he envisioned an image of the Divine. The man said that God had never answered his call. The wise dream-image, representing God, then said, "Did you not realize that every calling of yours IS itself my response? The urge to call out to God is always answered simultaneously as it is spoken, for ultimately there is no difference between the caller and that to which it calls.
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The Kotzker rebbe, Menahem Mendel 19th century , a famous hasidic teacher who lived his last twenty years in voluntary seclusion, asked one of his students, "Where does God dwell? Mystics throughout time, in all traditions, have said the same thing. We do not have to search for God because the presence of the Divine permeates all things. If there is a search at all, it is God searching for Itself, so to speak.
The closest we can come to thinking about God is as a process rather than a being. We can think of it as "be-ing," as verb rather than noun. Perhaps it would help us understand this better if we renamed God. We might call it God-ing, as a process, rather than God, which suggests a noun. This idea was developed by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, who goes further and explains that the kind of verb that represents God-ing is different from the ones we have in our ordinary language.
Most of our verbs are considered transitive, which require a direct object, or intransitive, those that do not. He suggests that God-ing is a mutually interactive verb, one which entails an interdependency between two subjects, each being the object for the other. For example, "communicating" could be such a verb. If I were speaking to an audience, I might not be communicating. I would be engaged in the act of communication, but if the audience were not attentive and were thinking about other things, I would not be communicating no matter how much I talked.
My verbal communication is dependent upon a listener; it cannot be a one-way street. Other obvious verbs that fit into this category are loving, sharing, dancing, kissing, hugging, and so forth. We can relate to God as an interactive verb.
It is God-ing. Moreover, from this perspective, creation should not be treated as a noun. It too is an interactive verb; it is constantly creation-ing. And, dear reader, you should not treat yourself as a noun--as Joan, or Bill, or Barbara, or John. With regard to God as an interactive verb, you are also verbs; you are Joan-ing, Bill-ing, Barbara-ing, or John-ing in relation to God-ing, just as I am David-ing.
Each part in the universe is in dynamic relationship with every other part. In human interactions, such as marriage, one partner is husband-ing while the other is wife-ing.
The two, in this sense, are one. We normally experience relationships in terms of their component parts; we are mistaken, however, when we assume the parts are separate. It is important to remember that the concept of God-ing is a way for us to have a relationship with the Divine. This should not be confused as having a relationship with Ein Sof.
Many names of God are included in Ein Sof; God-ing is one name--a name that happens to be a verb rather than a noun. The true discovery of the intimacy of our ongoing relationship with the Divine can dramatically change our lives. It often happens spontaneously, without a reason.
Some call this experience "grace. We are sitting on the beach, walking in the woods, caring for someone who is dying, even driving on the freeway and suddenly we are overwhelmed by a strange light that penetrates our consciousness and we are never again the same. We read accounts of such transformations and conversion experiences that have changed the world. Occasionally, individuals devote themselves to a spiritual life because of such experiences.
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However, most people who commit to an inner path do so because they yearn to connect with truth and meaning. This commitment usually involves undertaking a variety of practices that become part of one's daily life. They may include meditation, prayer, movement, diet, self-restraint, periods of seclusion, mantras, service, acts of loving kindness, and other time-tested techniques to alter consciousness.source
Eventually, when the practitioner's priorities are clear, the inner light of awareness slowly becomes illuminated and her or his perception of reality steadily changes. On the spiritual path, either through a brilliant flash of insight, or in the slow, steady progress of continuous practice, we gain wisdom. It is not intellectual knowledge, but wisdom--a deep knowing--inexplicable, indescribable and exquisite beyond imagination. This wisdom is the fountain of true mystical experience, the driving force of all spiritual inquiry. It is what sustains us when we are faced with doubts, nourishes us when the world seems bleak, and comforts us when we face the death of loved ones.
Without it, where would we turn?
What would we be without the awesomeness of the unknowable God? There is no answer to this question; we cannot prove anything about Ein Sof. Rather, it is a self-reflecting inquiry. Yet, when viewed from the perspective of our dynamic relationship with the Divine, it is a self-fulfilling question, for paradoxically the source of the question is the answer it seeks. Consider this from your inner awareness. Not you the noun, the person you may think you are, but you the verb, the process of being in full relationship, continuously, with its creator. When a question arises within you, who is asking the question and to whom is the question addressed?
Assume that there is no "me" to ask the question and there is no God out there to answer it. The question is part of the process of David-ing and God-ing in a mutual unfolding. Try to do this in a way that melts all barriers of separation.