Greetings and blessings in the light of the Messiah!
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
This is a inmost essential transference of consciousness at the time of death, and, as the Ari teaches, it is also a transference of consciousness at the time of going to sleep, understanding that how the soul, or consciousness, passes into sleep and dream, and passes into death and the afterlife is very similar, and reaches into the same inner or metaphysical dimensions. According to the Zohar, sleep and dream are “one sixtieth” the power of death, and just as in death the soul takes flight, descending and ascending, passing through all manner of realms and worlds, so also in sleep and dream souls take flight; the distinction, though, is that in sleep and dream the soul preserves a vital connection with the body, and running and returning the soul reenters the body, but at the time of death the vital connection is severed, and although a soul might attempt to return to the body, it cannot reenter the body. Thus, what we call “death” is more powerful, a significantly more intense experience of transition, one that will lead to a completely different life, whether in inner, subtle dimensions, or in the material dimension. What we call “sleep,” on the other hand is somewhat less intense because we return to our body, to this life and world, and yet, according to great mekubalim, like the Ari of Sefed, through sleep and dream there is the possibility of a great transformation of the soul, consciousness, and therefore a great transformation of our present life, so much so that it can be as though we receive a new life, a new incarnation, drawing in the influence of inner aspects of our soul.
As we know and understand in our experiences of the Feast of the Blessed Dead, and specifically the inner form of that holy feast, the “rite of sending a soul,” and as we know from our experiences of significant moments of Light Transmission, and our deeper spiritual and mystical experiences in prayer and meditation, our consciousness can ascend into higher, more expanded states, and can open to inner, metaphysical dimensions, and we can experience various gradations of nearness or closeness to God, and oneness with God. In other words, while as yet in this body, this life, our soul can reach into the same realms, worlds and universes as in the afterlife, and we can experience the seven earths, seven heavens and the eighth heaven, Supernal Malkut, through the Divine Grace in the Messiah. In fact, each time we go to sleep and our soul, or consciousness arises in dream, there is an opportunity for the ascent of the soul through the heavens, and for very luminous dreams and visions in dream; yet more, as in death and the afterlife, there is the possibility of greater nearness to God, and the experience of oneness with God, or various grades of the reintegration of our soul with the Light Continuum, Yahweh. If and when souls run and return in this way, experiencing heavens and gradations of reintegration in sleep and dream, naturally there is a significant development and evolution of the soul, or realization of the soul, and great tikkunim are accomplished – radical transformations of our soul, our consciousness, are possible.
The actualization and realization of our soul, the embodiment of the inner aspects of our being, and the embodiment of the Messiah and Ruach Ha-Kodesh, is accomplished through our incarnation, through the material dimension; and yet, the fruition of our realization, the completion of the tikkunim of our soul, happens in dream and the afterlife, or in the World to Come – the greater fruit, reality, of what is realized in our incarnation is experienced beyond this body and life, beyond this world. Every authentic wisdom tradition in the world teaches us this, and all teach us that we are generating our experience of sleep and dream by how we live each day, and are generating our experience of death and the afterlife by how we live this life, and all speak of a greater fruition, realization, beyond this life and world.
Here we may say, whatever our orientation, whatever occupies our thoughts the most, whatever our soul most loves and cleaves to, the soul becomes, in dreams, in afterlife experiences, and in incarnations; understanding this, we have every reason to pay attention to our thoughts and desires to ensure that they are directed to where we wish our soul to go, for wherever thought and desire goes, there we go, there we are!
In this light we may recall a very beautiful and powerful teaching of St. Paul in his Letter to the Colossians, in which he writes:
“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and you life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory” (3:1-4).
If we inquire into “things that are above,” they are mysteries of the Holy Torah and Gospel, and the Word to Come, mysteries of the seven heavens, and more so the eighth heaven, and mysteries of the Divine Attributes, the Holy Sefirot and Olamot. Thus, understanding that our soul goes where our thoughts and desires are directed, St. Paul teaches us to contemplate the mysteries of the gospel and the heavens, and to set our minds and hearts on the World to Come, cleaving inwardly to the Risen Messiah, orienting our life and soul to El Elyon, God Most High.
The foundation of this, of course, is living the gospel and living in the Messiah, cultivating faith, hope and love, and seeking knowledge, understanding and wisdom; it is in the spiritual life, good works and charity, and in study and contemplation, prayer and meditation, and an ever deepening of our communion with the Holy One. If we were to speak the most essential key to an ascent of the soul, an ascent of consciousness in the Messiah and Holy Spirit, it is passionate devotion and cleaving in the fullness of faith, hence devekut.
Basically speaking, the more we are immersed in the spiritual life and practice, the more zealous, passionate, our devotion, the deeper our worship, our communion, the greater the ascent of our soul, our consciousness, in sleep and dream, and in death and the afterlife, and so also during our prayers and meditations. This is a simple truth, for in so doing we enact an active and dynamic surrender to the Messiah and Holy Shekinah, and we co-create the conditions necessary for the full action of Divine Grace. The more we live the gospel, the more we live in the Risen Messiah, the more our soul can be uplifted and illuminated by Ruach Ha-Kodesh, the Holy Spirit.
This will become reflected in our dreams, and visions in dreams, and it will become reflected in our afterlife experience – the greater our faith and devotion, our devekut, the greater our ascent and realization in the Messiah. As St. Paul teaches us, in wisdom, naturally, we always seek a “better resurrection,” as well as “greater gifts of the Spirit.”
The seven heavens, and the countless “mansions,” or heavenly realms and worlds within them, correspond with various gradations of nearness to God, and from one heaven to another, or from the exteriors to the interiors of the heavens, souls experience greater nearness and communion with God, and experience greater oneness with the Holy Light of God; and the eighth heaven, and the countless light realms and worlds within it reaching into Ain Sof, the Infinite, correspond with various gradations of oneness with God, nearness becoming an experience of conscious unification with the Holy Shekinah, and the delights of the union of the Holy One and Shekinah, or Holy One and The Name.
The more we cleave with our heart and soul, mind and life, to Yahweh Elohim, and to Hayyah Yeshua, the further the ascent of our soul into the seven heavens and their interiors, and if our devekut is faithful and passionate, it may come to pass that our soul may be drawn into the eighth heaven, Supernal Malkut. It is in this that the greater tikkune of our soul becomes possible and is accomplished, our soul becoming fully uplifted in the Messiah, fully illumined by Ruach Ha-Kodesh.
Now souls can ascend through the heavens, moving from one to another as though “climbing a ladder of lights,” or “flying through various altitudes,” and souls may pass into the eighth heaven in this way, assuming they do not get caught up in one of the seven heavens along the way, or do not become distracted, bound up in attachment to the splendors and their bliss. If their sole thought and desire is for greater nearness and unification with the Holy One, deeper communion and intimacy with the Holy One, then they may reach into the eighth heaven, Supernal Malkut.
It is also true that through the good grace in Yeshua Messiah, the Son of the Human One having descended from the eighth heaven, and becoming incarnate, and ascended into the eighth heaven, that souls can be uplifted through Divine Grace from any of the seven heavens into the eighth heaven in an instant. Because of this descending and ascending of the Soul of the Messiah, emanations of the sanctuary of grace, pure light realms, are manifest within all of the heavens, lower and upper, and so also great tzaddikim in the Messiah, apostles or “saints,” generate light realms as sanctuaries for souls in the heavens, laboring to uplift souls from the seven heavens into the eighth heaven, the true kingdom of heaven, Supernal Malkut. Thus, apart from a sequential, linear ascent through the heavens, if a soul abides in the fullness of faith and devotion, through the good grace in Hayyah Yeshua they can be uplifted, exalted, into the eighth heaven from within any of the seven heavens.
There is an even greater possibility, and even greater movement of Divine Grace – if we have full faith, and full zeal for Yahweh (the Light Continuum), and we cleave in full with our heart and mind to the Risen Messiah, without passing through the seven heavens our soul may be uplifted, exalted, into the eighth heaven.
Thus, when we go to sleep, or when we are dying, if we pray this prayer empowered by Adonai Yeshua on the cross, from dreamless sleep instantly, or from death instantly, our soul may arise in the eighth heaven, Supernal Malkut, directly; hence, our soul may experience full reintegration with the Light Continuum, Yahweh. This, naturally, will bring about great tikkunim of the soul.
Here we may say, this prayer of Adonai Yeshua on the cross, enacting the transference of consciousness, full self-offering at the time of his death, is the heart essence of the Lord’s Prayer, or what has been called the “Secret Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer, however, is something more than the words spoken, it is a full and clear conscious intention for reintegration, complete unification with the Holy One, a full focus of the mind and heart, thought and desire, on the Holy One – a single intention, thought and desire for the Holy One of Being. If prayed with full kavvanah and devekut in this way when going to sleep, or when dying, then this full reintegration, or full unification, will come to pass through Divine Grace.
Thus, cleaving to our hope in Hayyah Yeshua, going to sleep we may pray, “Father (Abba), into your hands I commend my spirit,” and this proves to be a powerful spiritual practice that can generate lucid dream, heavenly visions in dream, and experiences of nearness and unification in dream. Likewise, it will generate the conditions that can make the transference of conscious possible when the time of our death comes, and through the transference of consciousness, just as the Gospel of St. Thomas teaches us, we will not “experience death.”
This prayer of Adonai Yeshua, of course, is an evolution of the prayer from Psalm 31, for in praying to the Father, Abba, the soul is directed into Atzilut, and more than Malkut of Atzilut, the soul is directed into Hokmah of Atzilut, which corresponds with the full reintegration of the soul with the Light Continuum, Yahweh, the complete tikkune of the soul. Thus, in Messiah Yeshua we have a very special blessing and empowerment for this essential transference of consciousness when we lay down and go to sleep, and so also when we lay down at the end of life, our soul shedding physicality entirely.
If we take up this prayer of Yeshua Messiah when going to sleep, there is another prayer we may take up while awakening in the morning: “Adonai, I give praise and thanks to you for restoring my soul to the body, and for the renewal of my life this day. Amen.” This completes and seals the running and returning of the soul from sleep and dream, and it invokes remembrance of our dreams upon awakening.
There is, no doubt, more that can be said about these mysteries and this spiritual practice, but it seems that what has been shared is enough for the moment.
May all living spirits and souls be uplifted in Hayyah Yeshua. Amen.
Peace be with you!
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia