Following in the Way of the Spirit of God

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Tau Malachi
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Following in the Way of the Spirit of God

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:57 pm

Following in the Way of the Spirit of God

“The angel of Yahweh said to him, ‘Why have you beaten your ass these three times? I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me’” (Numbers 22:32).

The tale of Balaam is curious, for although he was a false tzaddik, a sorcerer in the lineage of Laban, he was able to invoke The Name, and he was visited by the Holy One and angels, and he received instruction from the Holy One and an angel. In this we may understand the great compassion of the Holy One and heaven, even laboring to save a wicked person who engages in great evil with conscious intention, offering the opportunity for repentance, or a return to God. Also we may understand a distinction between false tzaddikim and true tzaddikim, for the prayers of true tzaddikim ascend to the Throne of Glory and Palace of the Messiah, and they are answered, and true tzaddikim are able to nullify heavenly decrees; more so, true tzaddikim have a capacity of aliyat neshamah, mystical ascents of the soul, so that not only are they visited by the Holy Shekinah and angels, but they are able to ascend and visit the heavens and the Palace of the Messiah - the Supernal Abode. These are all powers that are not ascribed to Balaam, or false tzaddikim, although some deceivers may claim to have them.

There is something much more, though, to be drawn from this, for even from the stories of sorcerers and evil doers in the Holy Torah we can glean teachings and deep wisdom. Here we may ask, why does the angel of the Lord take issue with Balaam beating his ass? The answer to this is in the charge given to Balaam during a visitation in the night (in his dream): “That night Elohim came to Balaam and said to him, ‘If the men have come to summon you, get up and go with them; but only do what I tell you to do’” (Numbers 22:20). In this we may understand that Balaam was instructed to follow in the way of the Spirit of God, and to pay attention, and be open and sensitive to the Spirit of God. Then, along the journey he was put to the test, a warrior of heaven was dispatched to intercept him, and the angel of the Lord stood in his path, sword drawn, but Balaam was not able to see him, for he was full of himself, filled with selfish ambition and acting in self-will, his heart hardened and his inner eye shut. Understand, the ass of Balaam was well trained and had never acted in that way before, therefore although Balaam was not able to see the angel until the Lord opened his eyes, according to the instruction given to him he ought to have paused and considered why all of a sudden his ass was behaving in such a strange manner; hence, he was preoccupied and not paying attention, and did not remain open and sensitive to the Spirit of God. Thus the angel of the Lord gave him the instruction again, though extending it to speech: “Go with the men; but speak only what I tell you to speak” (Numbers 22:35).

From this we may learn, when we pray and invoke Ha-Shem seeking guidance, first we need to purify ourselves, letting go of self-grasping, attachment and aversion, and we need to invoke with an open heart and mind so that we might hear and understand the guidance received without distortion or obstruction, and therefore be able to follow it. Likewise, receiving guidance, or inspiration, and then following it, we need to remain open and sensitive to the Spirit of God so that if redirected, or if further guidance is given, we may receive it and follow it, for very often we are set into motion and then further guidance or inspiration is given along the way, invoking a conscious response to what’s happening in the moment when it become relevant.

This also applies to times we intend to fulfill a commandment or enact a good deed - good works. If along the way we encounter a barrier or significant resistance, we have reason to pause and consider if we are being redirected, or if we are being guided to fulfill it in a different way in skillful means, one that’s new and creative, adapted to the specific circumstances we are intending to address. At the same time, however, we need to exercise spiritual discernment, for barriers may be generated by the Other Side, and the resistance we encounter could very well be from an angel of the Adversary, Satan; hence, truly, enacting a commandment or good deed we need to remain open and sensitive to the Spirit of God, listening and hearing, looking and seeing, and feeling, willing to go wherever the Spirit carries us, seeking only to fulfill the will of the Most High. Thus, in any divine action, whether sent by God, or having the intention to fulfill a commandment or engage in a good deed, we need to abide in communion with God, and be open and sensitive to the Spirit of God; lest, per chance, we veer from the way of the Spirit and be lead astray.

To be open and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and to receive true guidance from the indwelling Messiah and Holy Spirit, we need to go within and live within; we need to cultivate our interior life through daily prayer and meditation, study and contemplation, and worship, and acquire self-knowledge in this way. Then we will have spiritual discernment and be able to follow the guidance we receive, fulfilling the will of the Holy One in our lives.

O Holy One, let Your Spirit move with, in and through us, and guide us in the Way; may we always walk in the good company of Your Holy Shekinah! Amen.

Yahweh Shalom!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Mark Daniel
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Re: Following in the Way of the Spirit of God

#2 Postby Mark Daniel » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:26 am

Shalom dear Tau,

A quick addition to this beautiful contemplation in the hopes it may spark more teachings.

I believe the hebrew word for donkey is Pered. As Moshe Bar notes these letters P.R.D. are the same as the first three steps in the P.R.D.S. (the orchard) approach to study. What is missing is the final step 'Sod', which refers to secret or personal gnosis (as I understand it).

When I read this I was reminded of an old sufi adage: 'it doesn't matter how long you leave a donkey in a library it will never gain wisdom".

Reflecting on your entry Tau Malachi it seems to me that even without the Sod much can be learned, and much power can be amassed. But perhaps true wisdom will nevertheless remain allusive (like the false Tzaddik in the story). And power without wisdom, as we learn from the Rabbi's who entered the PRDS, can be a dangerous thing indeed.

One more final thought about donkeys and wisdom. I have seen the four levels of PRDS attributed to the four universes: P-Asiyah, R-Yetzirah, D-Beriyah and S-Atzilut. Correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that there is a deep relationship between Atzilut and Chokma (Wisdom). And so any study that neglects the level of Sod, that is insensitive to the Holy Spirit, will always fall short of Wisdom (Chokma).

All my love to you all, and to this ever-flowing Wisdom!


Mark-

Tau Malachi
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Re: Following in the Way of the Spirit of God

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:07 pm

Grace and peace to you in Hayyah Yeshua!

That is a beautiful insight brother, and it may be drawn out in a number of directions.

On one level, it is as you have said, for only when the esoteric knowledge is acquired can there be full kavvanah, conscious intention, and perfect devekut, passionate cleaving, and therefore the invocation of greater supernal influxes (Atzilut).

On another level, though, we may understand this in the opposite way, given that here we are speaking of Balaam, a sorcerer.

“Your way is perverse before me.” If we look into much of the occult and new age there is a seeking of esoteric knowledge devoid of its proper context - true devotion and worship, and good works; hence, many want secret knowledge, “occult knowledge,” for the sake of their own self-interest and self-glorification, with little, if any, desire to return to God or serve God.

The plain meaning, grammatical associations, and so on, these corresponds with thoughts, words and actions that invoke influxes of the Sefirot (Divine Attributes), and likewise that form vessels for the reception of the influxes; apart from enacting the commandments for their own sake, or for the love of the Lord, and engaging in good works, loving our neighbors, there is no vehicle for the reception and extension of influxes, and whatever esoteric knowledge we may have is vain and fruitless.

Apparently Balaam has esoteric knowledge, though he does not understand it in its true context and does not serve the Lord and love the people; Balaam serves his own self-interests, and his service to people comes at a high price. In this regard we may recall the four who sojourned into Pardes, and consider the one who “cut his plantings” and became known as Acher - the “Other”; though acquiring esoteric knowledge and entering into deep mystical experiences, he lacked the understanding and wisdom to realize its proper context, and apparently his intentions were in error - perhaps akin to those of Balaam, or Simon Magus in the New Testament.

So we may understand this in these two ways, each reflecting certain truths - the need for esoteric knowledge for the sake of greater spiritual works, as well as the need for the cultivation of righteousness, true devotion and good works joined with the knowledge of deep mysteries.

As for the intimate connection of Hokmah and Atzilut, indeed brother; perhaps you may recall that the Partzuf of Hokmah is Abba-Father, corresponding with Atzilut - the entire array of the Tree of Life is in Hokmah, or the “Father.”

Aleichem Shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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