Contemplation of the Greatness of God

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Tau Malachi
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Contemplation of the Greatness of God

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:21 am

Contemplation of the Greatness of God

Who can fathom the immeasurable greatness of God, the Infinite (Ain Sof) and Eternal (Yahweh), the Supreme (El Elyon)? In truth, no mortal being can comprehend the greatness of God, and not even the greatest among the angels can! Yet, the very foundation and heart of the way of knowledge, the way of the sages, is the contemplation of the greatness of God, and every day the sages of wisdom occupy themselves with the contemplation of the greatness of God; it is within and behind their study and contemplation of the Holy Torah and Gospel, and esoteric wisdom (Kabbalah), and every practice of spiritual contemplation they take up.

It is good to contemplate the greatness of God, aware of yourself and all of creation as nothing before the Holy One, aware that, in truth, the Holy One is nameless and unknowable, the Great and Supreme Mystery, within all creatures and creation, enshrouding all creatures and creation, and yet ever beyond all creatures and creation, the One-Without-End. If you contemplate the unfathomable greatness of God with full kavvanah (concentration and devotion), free from self-grasping, attachment and aversion, drawing near to the Shekinah of the Eternal One, and merging with the Holy Shekinah, you may experience self-nullification, the recognition of the no-thingness, emptiness, of your being, your soul, and you may become aware that there is nothing but the Holy One alone, there is no other apart from the Infinite and Eternal One.

In the experience of self-nullification pure radiant awareness may dawn, and in it is the most subtle and sublime wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the Holy One (Habad); and it is very good, but what is known and understood cannot be spoken, it is secret, known only to those who are able to abide in spacious radiant awareness free from self-grasping, desire and fear.

Joined with the contemplation of the greatness of God, and inseparable from it, is the contemplation of the Unity and Oneness of the Eternal (Yahweh); this too occupies the sages of wisdom each day, and having understanding they have dread of ever being removed from the Unity and Oneness of the Eternal, the “fear of Yahweh” that is the beginning of knowledge (da’at) and hokmah (wisdom).

If you seek to sojourn in the way of knowledge, and seek to acquire Habad, at the outset of each day and at its conclusion contemplate the greatness of God, and the Unity and Oneness of the Eternal, and throughout the day let your mind return to this in each moment the opportunity presents itself; if nothing else, remember that God is with you, and that God is ever beyond you, and set your mind upon God ever beyond, the Transcendental, the Supreme (El Elyon).

At the outset of sessions of study and contemplation abide for a moment in primordial meditation, just being in the presence of God, and contemplate the greatness of God, and then engage in your study and contemplation with full kavvanah, without distraction; and likewise, at the conclusion of your sessions of study and contemplation, once again contemplate the greatness of God, and end in a moment of primordial meditation, just being in the presence of God.

When the Holy Shabbat comes, on the Day of Rest, seek to venture deeper into the contemplation of the greatness of God, taking more time for this contemplation, aware of yourself and all creation as nothing before the presence of God Almighty (El Shaddai), and yet abiding in the awareness of the presence of God (Elohim) within all things, and turning your heart and mind to the contemplation of the Supreme (El Elyon) as the creator of heaven and earth, the source and sustenance of all (Kol), yet transcendent of all. Let your devotions on Shabbat, your worship on Shabbat, arise from this presence of awareness, cleaving to the Messiah and Holy Spirit, aware of the Unity and Oneness of the Eternal (Yahweh).

Just as on the Shabbat, so also on all Holy Days - the Days of Feasts, contemplate the greatness of God through the corresponding mysteries, your devotions, your worship, arising from the awareness of the immeasurable greatness of God, and the Unity and Oneness of the Infinite and Eternal; hence, from holy awe and wonder, and the Wisdom of Ain (No-Thingness).

Now there are many ways to contemplate the greatness of God, and we may share a few. First and foremost there is the contemplation of the greatness of God through creation, the heavens and earth, considering creation and nature, and the presence and glory of God in it, considering the inconceivable vastness of creation, the countless worlds and realms that compose it, and the countless creatures, sentient beings, within them, contemplating the One-Without-End within and behind it all, yet ever beyond it all, the nameless and unknowable, infinitely greater than the entire matrix of emanation, creation, formation and making. Likewise, you can contemplate the greatness of God through all of the mighty acts of God, and the revelations of God, or you can contemplate the greatness of God through the Divine Attributes (Sefirot); truly through all things, in many ways, we can contemplate the greatness of God, seeking to draw near with our mind, heart and life, filling our thoughts with that Great and Supreme Mystery until thought ceases and the mind becomes silent in the moment of self-nullification, self-transcendence, aware that the Infinite and Eternal One alone is Real.

May the Holy One bless your contemplations, and grant you insight! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi
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Where Were You When

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:34 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi:

Many thanks for reviving this Order of St. Tzafkiel with such a practical and powerful invitation to contemplate the greatness of God. Transcendence is such when self-nullifying. Great art, as well as science, is great when self is nullified, if but for a moment.

The relationship of God's greatness with the archangel presiding over this order fascinates me for many reasons. As personifying El's Understanding in Beriyah, Tzafkiel and cosmic memory seem to be very related. With memory, I'm hearing structure in every sense of the word. Physical and metaphysical structure is memory. To glimpse deeply into the endlessness of structure, infinitely small and large, is a sense of God's unspeakable greatness. Is it not some intuition of how bottomless the ground of reality actually is that takes both the breath and the thought away?

I wished to compare in this vein the climax of the story of Job with the way of the contemplative. Less in judgment, more I hear Elohim's humbling address to Job as the very line of contemplation you're introducing. Job's lamenting is silenced in awe of the greatness of God. Job in himself is nullified, but if all of the cosmic images with which Elohim addresses him are a body of vision, Job is transcending himself rung upon rung in the knowledge of God's greatness. I'll even dare further to ask if, allegory of the whole book aside, the climax of the book of Job couldn't itself become a guided meditation by which a contemplative intentionally self-nullifies?

I welcome any corrections or clarifications regarding any potential relationship between the book of Job and the Order of St. Tzafkiel.

Gratefully,

Elder Gideon

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Re: Contemplation of the Greatness of God

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:04 am

Grace and peace to you from Yeshua Messiah!

First there is something we may say concerning the namesake of this Holy Order and the way of knowledge taught in it. Tzafkiel corresponds with Binah of Beriyah, and this indeed is associated with the structure of the great matrix of creation, the entirety of the Realm of Perud (separation); in effect, as you have shared, memory corresponds with structures, formations, patterns in consciousness from which all things in creation arise and appear. At the level of Binah of Beriyah these structures are what have come to be called “archetypes,” universal patterns in consciousness generating countless and diverse forms of themselves, and the knowledge and understanding of this great mystery is held by Tzafkiel, along with other manifestations of divine knowledge and power attributed to this archangel.

Now, Binah is called ‘repentance’ and ‘ascension,’ and as we know the Divine soul, neshamah, corresponds with Binah. Neshamah is centered in our head, in our brain, and through study and contemplation, and especially the contemplation of the greatness of God, neshamah is stirred and the influence of neshamah is invoked; hence, we are able to access our greater intelligence and divine nature through mystical contemplation. As we know, Tzaddikim have a capacity of aliyat neshamah, mystical ascents of the soul into the heavens and beyond, and generally speaking this corresponds with the way of power, and at times the way of devotion, but through deep contemplation there can also be ascensions of the soul, consciousness, not necessarily generating out of body experiences and visionary experiences, but rather the merging of the mind and heart, and soul, with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and the experience of knowledge and understanding of deep esoteric mysteries, and the corresponding light of wisdom, or spiritual illumination. Contemplation with kavvanah, full conscious intention, concentration and devotion, corresponds with repentance, or turning away from falsehood, evil, to what is true, good, and it is a way for the mystical ascension of the soul, though of a more subtle and sublime nature, one that in its fruition may transcend mental consciousness, and thought and thinking, venturing into supramental consciousness, experiences of pure radiant awareness and conscious unification, which gives rise to Supernal Habad - wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Understand, self-nullification is not a fall into unconscious oblivion, or some mindless union akin to ordinary individuals in their experience of dreamless sleep, but rather in the experience of self-nullification of which we are speaking the initiate remains awake and alert, and there is an experience of radiant awareness of a most subtle and sublime nature, and in that radiant awareness there is the delight of Habad, universal, supernal or primordial, and with this perfect joy, this delight, there is abiding peace. This, specifically, is self-nullification in the contemplation of the immeasurable greatness of God, and in it the soul, and the mind and heart, and even the body, may be bathed in the Holy Light of the blessed Ain Sof, the Infinite, and the soul may merge with that Holy Light.

The way of a mystical contemplative is not vain and idle intellectualism and its conceptual theories and philosophies, but rather is deeply spiritual and intuitive, reaching into a far greater consciousness and intelligence in us than the ordinary finite intellect; hence, a divine and supernal intelligence, or what has been called the Perfect Thunder Mind. Thus, beginning with the ordinary mind and intellect, through contemplation with kavvanah, conscious intention, concentration and devotion the mystical contemplative reaches into the intelligence of the higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind, universal mind and overmind, and beyond into the supramental, or Perfect Thunder Intelligence - full God Consciousness.

Concerning the Book of Job, and the discourse of the Almighty (Shaddai) concerning the works and mysteries of creation, this, indeed, is a Holy Scripture that instructs in the contemplation of the greatness of God; certain so! If studied with full kavvanah, and with awe and wonder, cleaving to the presence of the Eternal One (Shekinah of Yahweh), and taken up as ones own contemplation, as though receiving the discourse and revelation directly from the Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim), one may experience self-nullification, self-transcendence, and illumination with the light of Habad, the Supernals.

In closing we can say, as we learn from the story of Job, when we have an open heart and humble mind the Spirit of God will enlighten us and will reveal to us deep mysteries of God and creation; and such Habad will further humble us and lead us into even deeper contemplation of the greatness of God, greatness and glory Without-End.

May the Holy One enlighten us and grant us wisdom! Amen.


Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi

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Hishtavut

#4 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:37 pm

Shalom Tau Malachi

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here I am’ (Genesis 46:2)

Understand, self-nullification is not a fall into unconscious oblivion, or some mindless union akin to ordinary individuals in their experience of dreamless sleep, but rather in the experience of self-nullification of which we are speaking the initiate remains awake and alert, and there is an experience of radiant awareness of a most subtle and sublime nature, and in that radiant awareness there is the delight of Habad, universal, supernal or primordial, and with this perfect joy, this delight, there is abiding peace.


I'm most appreciative of your clarifying that self-nullification is not an unconscious lapse into forgetfulness. This would defeat the entire point of the Spirit. Rather, one is quite awake and alert, aware of what is transpiring without grasping or resisting. It reminds me of peak experiences in my journey so far, where every point of reference evaporated, leaving only awareness without any need of a location or self.

This is a delicate point you emphasize, Tau Malachi. I can neither be too tight in my contemplation of the greatness of God nor too loose. Either way is a lack of the full awareness of God's greatness. Rather, like you drew out in the Shabbat discourse just today, to abide between these extremes is a similar balance one practices with God within and ever-beyond. To side too far with either is also a lack of the full awareness of God's greatness.

In this, I'm being reminded of hishtavut, a state one practices that is neither attached nor adverse to what arises. You've spoken about it in this post many years ago. While I reconsider the basics you've introduced in that post, I also wished to know how hishtavut functions in the way of the contemplative.

Gratefully,

Elder Gideon

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Re: Contemplation of the Greatness of God

#5 Postby Mark » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:49 am

At the outset of sessions of study and contemplation abide for a moment in primordial meditation, just being in the presence of God, and contemplate the greatness of God, and then engage in your study and contemplation with full kavvanah, without distraction; and likewise, at the conclusion of your sessions of study and contemplation, once again contemplate the greatness of God, and end in a moment of primordial meditation, just being in the presence of God.

Now there are many ways to contemplate the greatness of God, and we may share a few. First and foremost there is the contemplation of the greatness of God through creation, the heavens and earth, considering creation and nature, and the presence and glory of God in it, considering the inconceivable vastness of creation, the countless worlds and realms that compose it, and the countless creatures, sentient beings, within them, contemplating the One-Without-End within and behind it all, yet ever beyond it all, the nameless and unknowable, infinitely greater than the entire matrix of emanation, creation, formation and making. Likewise, you can contemplate the greatness of God through all of the mighty acts of God, and the revelations of God, or you can contemplate the greatness of God through the Divine Attributes (Sefirot); truly through all things, in many ways, we can contemplate the greatness of God, seeking to draw near with our mind, heart and life, filling our thoughts with that Great and Supreme Mystery until thought ceases and the mind becomes silent in the moment of self-nullification, self-transcendence, aware that the Infinite and Eternal One alone is Real
.

Shalom Tau Malachi,
Thank you for these teachings about the process of contemplation. Your clarification of the meaning of self-nullification that Elder Gideon quoted was also very helpful. I appreciate the guidance to begin and end with moments of primordial meditation. Your mentioning the many ways to contemplate the greatness of God is also an inspiration for practicing. If my strongest inclination is the contemplation of the Holy One in Nature is it sufficient to simply focus on that if the energies of nature help to connect with the spiritual energy within?
In the love of Yeshua and Magdalene,
Mark

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Re: Contemplation of the Greatness of God

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:06 pm

Shalom,

It all depends upon what you are seeking brother, and it’s all about the tikkunim-mendings of your soul, and what will bring about an actual spiritual realization, and more so, full enlightenment and liberation. I cannot comment on tikkunim for you, we do not have that relationship, but if what your seeking is simply blissful energy that brings pleasure this practice you most like might work well for you, and may fulfill your desire. If you are seeking something more, then something more will likely be needed for you.

Blessings!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

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