Walking the Path in Humility

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Martina
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Walking the Path in Humility

#1 Postby Martina » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:24 am

Shabbat Shalom friends!

“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together. Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”” (Genesis 22:1-12)

I have been contemplating humility and what can obstruct us on the path. This story came to mind pointing to Abraham who is acting in great humility. To have an heir to pass on this stream of light transmission was the ambition of his life in the Holy One. At the time this story happens he has grown very close to God and is a holy tzaddik. Yet when God commands him to sacrifice Isaac he humbly takes the boy without question making no great claims of himself.

This seems to point at where we are centered in. Is it in the Holy One having complete trust and faith whatever happens, regardless if our ego agrees with it or not? Or is our ego holding on to all we claim to have achieved in insecurity?

I think there can be a great danger in pride obstructing us from the path. How can we work with such feelings if we become aware of them in ourselves and others?

In Gratitude,
Martina
Martina

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Re: Walking the Path in Humility

#2 Postby Elder Sarah » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:31 am

Shabbat Shalom Sister Martina!

Blessings in the dance and flow of the Queen of Shabbat!

Abraham and the call to sacrifice Issac is a great look into humility, providing a beautiful example of how to walk in a such a way. We have to imagine, the walk of Abraham and Issac to this place of offering. Within both of them we can observe an extreme level of self restraint. Remembering, it is said Issac was not a boy, but rather a young man who went along with his father and the call. In examining humility we also must take into consideration humility needs balancing with spiritual self worth, a Divine pride. This is a pride that takes up a sense of self worth in which one remains confident in what the Lord had guided, sure in themselves, sure in Christ in them. This pride is very different than the arrogant pride that tends to put oneself above others, even can tend to put oneself parallel with God. It seems, either of these, Divine Pride or Humility left on their own becomes imbalanced. Within Abraham we can observe a spiritual humility that does not question what the Lord has instructed, combined with a spiritual self worth that enters in and engages with full force what has been instructed.

In the story, we hear a very important key pointing to how to walk in this way. When Issac speaks,

" Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

We hear Abraham answer with, "God will provide". Consider this mentality of God providing along with a mentality that balances Divine pride with Divine humility. To say "God will provide" is to move toward what has been instructed with no doubt, with no reserve. This is humble in that there is absolutely no questioning of what needs to happen, and yet, there is a certain pride involved in the method by which this movement is carried out.

I think also of the example of Yeshua and his response to the last temptation ,"Do not put the Lord your God to the test"This is said in a response to the temptation to throw himself off the highest point of the temple, that if he were to do this isn't it said, He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands". If you consider this, here exist a temptation an arrogance that might think one is always protected by God, in a way, it is a temptation that puts oneself equal to God. Considering this, then turn back to the statement "God will provide" and hear the difference. The confidence God will provide is an alignment with God, but not in a way that thinks of oneself as on the same page with God, or even God forbid, as God God's self!

There is a story found in Gnostic scripture regarding the demiurge and them trying to create the golem. So, they create this body and then huddle around trying to figure out how to infuse breath into it. In this huddling and conspiring, they eventually turn away and upon turning Gods power enters in and infuses the body with the breath of life. When they turn back, they notice the body breathing and say, We did it! Not even considering Gods power did this thing.

I draw upon this story in this context to connect back to the power of the statement, "God will provide" this statement brings an awareness of this creation as Gods creation. When we walk in this awareness we can see all that is transpiring being in God, as God and in this way we can walk empowered to act as a co-creator, in this Divine Pride, yet always abiding in a Divine humility that is aware of Gods presence within and ever beyond, as above all things. In this way I think of Jobs response to the Lord where he says, I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, "Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge? Surely I spoke of things I did not understand. Things too wonderful for me to know."

In the story of Job this response is spoken at the end, where the Lord has revealed to him the vast expanse of creation itself! As well as all that has been involved in creation. The Lord says things like,

Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"

This segment in Job always returns me to humility. which then becomes a Holy Awe and Wonder! Praise God for such a creation!

May all return to you on this Holy day you have made!

Shalom,
Elder Sarah

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Re: Walking the Path in Humility

#3 Postby sheryl » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:34 am

Shalom Dear Elder Sarah and Sister Martina!

I am in awe with what is being drawn out from this well known story! Praise be She whose abundance brings such delights!

If I might add to the swirl of contemplations. Tau once spoke that our children are an extension of our own egos so that in this story I am now hearing that what Abraham was willing to offer up to the Holy One was the most treasured part of himself. As you have pointed out, Elder Sarah, Isaac too approached the event with willingness as well, with a full self offering.

And if a prior teaching is being recalled correctly, the two patriarchs coming together in self offering brought balance to Hesed and Gevurah. It is being heard that the Sefirot are able to interact with one another, balance one another, through humility, so that humility brings a healing, a completion, within the Tree of Life, the true human being. Please correct any misunderstanding.

Also, it comes to mind that a connection with what is presently being shared by Elder Gideon on a teaching from the Book of Yonah is being felt. Elder Sarah, you mentioned this from Job:

I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, "Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge? Surely I spoke of things I did not understand. Things too wonderful for me to know."


Can we say that Job was taken into the depths, the straits or restricted consciousness bringing him distress? But in the depths, in his humility, something of God was seen, his consciousness expanding to see, something greater of God's Plan? It comes to mind that this event was going into the depths for Abraham. I cannot fathom that he did this without struggle, but his willingness in the depths, his humility and acknowledgment that God will provide expanded his awareness, allowing him to see something of God, represented by an awareness of the lamb in the thicket.

I am wondering in this moment if Abraham's taking Isaac up on the mountain can be compared and contrasted with Yonah's journey, as well as Job's, into the depths? In all three scenarios, God did provide - GodSelf provided the means whereby God's intentions would unfold. And in all three scenarios, with and through the humility of the righteous ones, there was a shattering of klippot within the depths, and something greater of God, or of God's plan, was gazed upon.

May all walk in humility, as God provides all that is needed to fulfill God's Intentions.

With gratitude,

Sheryl

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The Humility of View

#4 Postby Elder Gideon » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:18 pm

Shalom Sisters!

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

Anchoring this conversation in the Sacrifice of Isaac is a marvelous context to engage this mystery of humility. I'm most grateful for what you're all drawing out.

God will provide Himself the sheep.Rabbis in the Zohar [1:120b] read the grammar of this moment hyperliterally: Not us, but God will provide for Himself when he needs to, but now: My son, not a sheep. Looking into the Hebrew of this providing, I enjoyed learning that it reads yeereh, יראה, he shall see. God shall see for Himself the sheep. But if we put ourselves in the story, we don't know how God will see, how God will provide. That's our part in linear time, to act without full knowledge of every consequence. I'm convinced that not-knowing is precisely how we realize our faith, make real what we feel or intuit moving deeply behind appearances. If I know the outcome, then I don't really have a choice. To choose without knowing makes real the view I choose. Humility is this awareness of how little I know or understand.

The lives of Abraham and Sarah pioneer a map of the Tree of Life that other generations will follow. The merit their humility generated was due largest in part to their being the first to journey towards the Promised Land with no precedence before them to reference. For all they endured, their growing cycles of descent and ascent were as nothing compared with the final test of their faith in the sacrifice of Isaac. I recall this mystery in their lives having correspondence with their approach of Da'at, the Veil of the Abyss. The Veil of Qeshet (between Malkut and Yesod) is to one's personal karma what the Veil of Paroket (between Netzach and Tiferet) is to collective karma. Breaking through the collective karmic continuum into Tiferet is not the end. The final test is the Veil of the Abyss between Hesed and Binah which holds the most subtle seeds of the karmic continuum of this cosmic cycle. In a single Tree of Life, I've heard a companion insightfully connect these three veils to the transitions between olamot: Qeshet is the transition to Yetzirah, Paroket is the transition to Beriyah, and the Abyss the transition to Atzilut.

What these three veils have to do with humility is everything. Few endure the Veil of Qeshet, caught as they commonly are on self-flattering experiences of their delusions of spiritual grandeur. These are self-ordained individuals believing they're somebody for the cherry-picked half-truths they teach. Harder yet for humility is passing through the Veil of Paroket, for this requires the surrender of one's name and form and personal history, a grand misunderstanding from a singular point of reference. To pass through this veil is parallel to movement through the fourth heaven, Zebul, a realm of martyrs: Souls approaching the angelic high priest of this heaven willingly become burnt offerings, incense rising into Ma'on, the fifth heaven. In this life, this movement through the Veil of Paroket is Tiferet: the experience full Light Transmission. Hardest of all is the Veil of the Abyss, for this requires the cessation of the I-thought altogether. Having recognized a great deal of the sacred unity and even come to embody something of its knowledge, one is not fully realized until one can consciously merge with the Holy One and remain awake, aware, and individual.

Abraham and Sarah move through all of three of these veils, the third of which is when Hashem calls them to sacrifice Isaac. Few have the humility to grow to this edge of unification with the Divine. As Sheryl's pointed out, what Abraham and Sarah most treasured in Isaac had to be offered. Hear in this one's own realization will also have to be offered to breakthrough into a greater Supernal realization. What I hear being tested is precisely what Sheryl notes for Yonah and Job just the same. According to whose perspective are we living? From whom does everything come? For whom is everything destined? To have cleaved to Isaac as their only son and posterity could understandably come from an extension of their ego. That Abraham and Sarah offered him willingly showed Hashem that Isaac never belonged to them but God. So also for us. To cleave to anyone or anything in this world misunderstands from where all comes and to where all returns.

Humility provides by showing what is needed next. I haven't heard until now that, as God will provide Himself the sheep, humility provides what we need by the way we see our circumstance. It is proud, like Job, to complain; it is humble, like Abraham and Sarah, to be grateful. Pride cannot see what's actually present, only humility can see what is so. Humility is in one's view.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Psalm 51:15-17)

Elder Gideon

Martina
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Re: Walking the Path in Humility

#5 Postby Martina » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:56 am

Shalom Friends!

Praise Ma for these deep contemplations. I can only begin to understand what has been shared here.

Elder Gideon wrote:
“According to whose perspective are we living? From whom does everything come? For whom is everything destined? To have cleaved to Isaac as their only son and posterity could understandably come from an extension of their ego. That Abraham and Sarah offered him willingly showed Hashem that Isaac never belonged to them but God. So also for us. To cleave to anyone or anything in this world misunderstands from where all comes and to where all returns.”


Everything you say seems to imply Yohanan and Yeshua as two tzaddikim moving in perfect humility, completely aligned and offered up to the Holy One. We see this in Yohanan when he points out that he only prepares the way for the Messiah, in the baptism of Yeshua and his willingness to offer up his life.

There is this same movement in Adonai Yeshua being tested 40 days in the wilderness and clearest in the Garden of Gethsemane. God's choice was for him as the perfect lamb.

I am grateful for any corrections to these thoughts.

Blessings,
Martina
Martina

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Self-Negation

#6 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:32 pm

Shabbat Shalom, Martina:

Your insight into the humility of Yohanon and Yeshua is very perceptive. Inner Christianity and Gnostic texts such as Pistis Sophia regard Yohanon as the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah; our oral tradition goes even farther to see Yeshua as the reincarnation of Elisha. They are deeply familiar with each other on levels beyond their ruach and nefesh.

Outer Christianity marginalizes the Baptist as when John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented (Matthew 3:14-15); and He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30); and The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals (Mark 1:7). Our lineage understands otherwise, that Yohanon was among the loftiest souls of the prophetic succession, so much so that he is first to receive and transmit to Yeshua in the Jordan River the apostolic succession: The Spirit of Messiah came fully into this life wave through their joint self-negation.

You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them (John 13:13-16); and Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11); and He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light (John 5:35); and finally, What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet (Matthew 10:9).

What we see between these two tzaddikim is the perfection of self-negation. Compared with Noah, who advocated nothing for humanity's salvation before the flood, or even Abraham, who only bargained for the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah by virtue of the number of its righteous ones, Jewish tradition is very proud of Moses for verbally offering his own life to divert Hashem's wrath against the Children of Israel. Adonai Yeshua and Yohanon go even farther, literally offering Hashem their death in self-negation. We understand something of Yeshua's self-offering, for He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7). What many might not consider, however, is how Yohanon had deliberately drawn so much archonic attention to himself, away from the one whom he was first to proclaim the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29), so that by the time King Herod was finally forced by his own word to execute Yohanon, the Messianic movement through his protégé was beyond containing. For these reasons, Yohanon is historically regarded as the first martyr of the Gospel.

Being a martyr today is not defined by dying a public death for one's faith. The fourth heaven, Zebul, is one merited by souls who sincerely live for anything greater than themselves. This is far beyond religious conceptions, for the consciousness of one who makes the needs of others a priority higher than their personal wants is one that naturally resembles self-negation. What self is being negated after all? Elder Sarah put it so well just earlier tonight: "Our life is not about here." She's absolutely right. We're here for the liberation of others. This doesn't mean we can't enjoy here, so long as our starting point is from above. To be born from above is to be aware of no-self, wind that blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8 ).

May our humility be simply our attention to another's need as if our own.

Elder Gideon


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