A Mystical Way of Contemplation among the Sages of Wisdom
As is known the Zohar teaches that study and contemplation of the Holy Torah and Gospel is greater than prayer, or worship, potentially drawing souls into deeper intimacy with the Holy One and Shekinah, into experiences of greater nearness and oneness. According to masters of the tradition the entire Torah, Gospel, is The Name of the Supernal One, the Most High, filled with countless Names and Cognomens; therefore to contemplate the Holy Scriptures is to contemplate and mediate upon Ha-Shem, The Name, and in deep contemplation, meditation, to merge and unify the soul with The Name. In this an initiate may enter into the same stream or current of Divine Revelation through which the Holy Scriptures were spoken and written, and so experience Ruach Ha-Kodesh, insights and illuminations, and even prophecy and revelation of secret mysteries of the Holy Kabbalah, or the Works of Creation, Works of the Chariot and Works of Salvation.
When a holy sage engages study and contemplation with full kavvanah, conscious intention, concentration, and devekut, cleaving, oneness, their contemplation ventures into deep meditation going beyond ‘prayer,’ hitbonenut becoming hitbodedut. In complete self-isolation and self-negation - deep meditation, full conscious union with the Shekinah of the Infinite and Eternal One becomes possible, and in this there may be a dawning of God Consciousness, true knowledge of God -Supernal Habad. Thus, indeed, as the Zohar teaches study and contemplation of the Holy Torah and Gospel is superior to the prayers and worship of the faithful, or those who cleave from the outside, in twoness, and as is taught in the Straight Path such contemplation, meditation, in oneness for even a brief period is worth seventy years of worship in twoness! Understand this!
There are many different ways of hitbonenut or mystical contemplation taught in the way of the sages, and some of them intersect with practices taught in the way of the prophets. Here it is given that I might share a way of mystical contemplation, meditation, that is employed in the way of the sages and way of the prophets, and perhaps two variations of it, with God’s help. To take up such a spiritual practice, though, there is need for preparation, self-purification and sanctification, the generation of merit - positive karma, and the maturation of the interior life, an active labor for the cultivation of the qualities of God - the Divine Attributes.
When an initiate in the way of the sage wishes to delve deeper into the secret mysteries of a passage of the Holy Scriptures, or a passage from the Sefer Yetzirah, Bahir or Zohar, or any other sacred and holy writing of the great tzaddikim, seeking a revelation or illumination from heaven and the Holy Spirit, they will study and contemplate that passage or portion again and again, committing it to memory, becoming intimately acquainted with it and with it’s essential points. Then it becomes possible for them to take their contemplation into deep meditation, turning inward and upward completely free from any outward, external distraction. Seeking insight and illumination from heaven and the Holy Spirit they will envision light above their head as though a great and brilliant star is shining there, and they will envision that holy light streaming down into them, transforming them and their body into light, and they will envision that they are light surrounded by an endless ocean of light. Abiding in meditation in this way, in oneness with the Light of the Infinite (Or Ain Sof), they will hold a conscious intention of an ascent of their soul into heaven, and with the intent of ascension and revelation from heaven they will take up the passage or portion in meditation as though it is a sacred chant, repeating it over and over for a time until silence comes, and from the silence the movement of the Holy Spirit, the arising of insights and illuminations, knowledge and understanding of hidden secrets.
There is another variation of this practice that it is given for me to share. As you may recall there is the practice of ‘ascending to the Upper Room’ that is taught in the tradition, and likewise, as is known, there are ‘schools’ of sages and prophets, or great tzaddikim in the heavens. Thus, engaging the very same practice an initiate may hold the conscious intention of an ascent into one of the ‘heavenly academies’ to inquire of a holy and enlightened one in heaven, seeking a teaching of secret mysteries from them. In this way an initiate may even seek out the soul that generated the teaching or revelation they are contemplating and inquire directly from that holy and enlightened one concerning the secret wisdom within and behind it, drawing out a special teaching - new teachings and revelations.
This, of course, is an evolution of a common method of hitbonenut taught in the way of the sage. In the basic and common method, without engaging any visualization or intention of ascent, initiates will take up study and contemplation with kavvanah and devekut, praying for insight and illumination, and they will focus on a passage of Holy Scripture, or other sacred and holy writings, going over it again and again until it is committed to memory. Then they will take the passage into hitbodedut, deep meditation, using the passage like a sacred chant as in primordial meditation with sound, merging their mind with it, and having repeated it many times they will abide in silence, waiting upon the Holy Spirit for some insight into the secret wisdom within it. If their mind strays from the stillness, silence, and from the focus of the contemplation, meditation, they will take up the repetition of the passage again. The initiate will continue in this way until the conclusion of their session. The evolution of this practice of hitbonenut, contemplation, and hitbodedut, meditation, arises from this basic way, and it is good to be well established in this basic way of hitbonenut before engaging in the evolution of the practice through visualization and the intention of ascent. Thus it is good for the novice in the way of the sages to begin with this basic practice of hitbonenut and hitbodedut, and to engage in the spiritual work of preparation before taking up the evolution of the practice as taught above.
As mentioned above this is also a practice of contemplation and meditation that is taken up by initiates in the way of the messengers, the prophets, and in this you will understand that it is known, at times, to be a practice that may bring direct experience of Ruach Ha-Kodesh, or prophecy and revelation. As perhaps you might imagine new teachings and new revelations are often acquired by the sages of wisdom in this way; it is an essential spiritual practice they use in study and contemplation.
Abiding in the good company of the Holy Shekinah - the company of heaven, may you be blessed with knowledge of God! Amen.
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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia
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