The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

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Tau Malachi
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The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:57 pm

The Power of Thought

“If you walk in the way of My statutes and keep My commandments and you fulfill them…” (Leviticus 26:3).

This calls for contemplation because, if you consider it, this verse could have been written in a simpler way, “If you keep My commandments,” but instead it is prolonged and this leads us to inquire why it’s prolonged.

The sages of wisdom teach us that thought is powerful, and that where our thoughts are, there we are, and likewise, whatever is done in thought it is as though we have enacted it. Thus, whatever we take upon ourselves in thought, conceiving in our thoughts the performance of a commandment or good work, the Holy One joins thought with deed and it is accounted to us as though we performed the commandment or good work. Therefore when we hold the intention and thought of a good work our soul is blessed and elevated, and merit is generated, and the brightness of our soul in the World-To-Come increases; just the intention and thought of performing a commandment or act of loving-kindness accomplishes this, for in mercy the Holy One receive it as though it were enacted and done. If we take it a step further, and we speak and enact the good intention and thought, and we fulfill it, then our soul is further elevated and there is an even greater increase of the brightness of the soul in the kingdom of heaven.

Thoughts are powerful, and even if the conditions are not present to enact a good work held in our heart, nevertheless light-power or merit is generated, the force of that holy desire is in the world and it’s subtle influence rays out into the world. Thus, with just the intention and thought to do what’s good and true – faith and love, blessings flow into this world.

If you look at the verses that follow this verse you will find the promise of blessings or bounty, material and spiritual, and whenever we uplift our mind and heart to the kingdom of heaven and Holy One, and we cleave to the Holy One through the Divine Attribute (Sefirot), there is an influx of shefa, blessings or bounty, not only for ourselves, but for all who are around us.

In this light perhaps you may recall a teaching of Adonai Yeshua concerning this:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a another person with lust in their heart has already committed adultery with that person in their heart”
(Matthew 5:27-28).

This accords with our interpretation of this verse from Leviticus, whatever we hold in our thoughts it is accounted as though we have enacted it and it becomes the reality of our experience, more or less; hence, wherever our thoughts are, there we are. This is true of positive and negative thoughts, or for good or evil just the same. If, indeed we walk in the way of the statutes of Yahweh, holding them in our hearts and minds, and we keep the commandments of Yahweh, cleaving to Yahweh through to the Divine Attributes, we have sanctuary from negativity or evil, and our soul is elevated to a higher grade; hence, we walk with the Lord, following in the Way.

Naturally, having the intention and thought of a good work we wish to speak it and enact it, fulfilling it, not for the sake of rewards in heaven, but for its own sake, or for the joy of doing what’s good and true. As long as we are in this world action and embodiment is our purpose and mission, for the Holy One has placed us in the World of Action (Asiyah), and we are ordained by the Holy One to draw out, enact and embody the good – the Attributes of the Infinite One (Ain Sof).

As perhaps you might already be aware, this teaching speaks to the wisdom of the practice of one of the Three Roots: Set your mind on those things that are above.

May we be blessed and empowered to accomplish all good works given to us, all as God wills! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
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Statute and Law

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:13 am

New Moon Shalom, Tau Malachi!

Rabbi Abba said, "Come and see: At first, Israel entered into the covenant of the blessed Holy One and did not enter properly. Why? Because they were circumcised but the holy insignia was not revealed. As soon as they arrived here, what is written? There He set him statute and law (Exodus 15:25)—there Israel entered into two holy parts, through that revealing by which their sign was revealed, called statute and law (Zohar 2:60b).

I'm very enamored with what you've shared of the power of thought and action, how in an inner sense what one imagines doing is in that inner context already done. This is observable everywhere around us. Most everything that publicly happens has already privately happened.

I'm filled this morning with three programatic visions of the future for youth at my school. Everyone of these visions involves many people—particularly youths working together with adults—to accomplish very practical, grounded, and empowering changes for themselves, their peers, and their immediate school community. As I let my imagination fly in this way, I observe a great deal of energy, joy, and hope welling in my heart, with no new-age self-flattery whatsoever. Just the most literal outcomes from a few focused years to come, seeing something very beautiful and sustainable, all for a specific community of young people. With Ma's good Grace, something of these may come to pass.

Whatever we are individually or collectively imagining is all a function of covenant, the simplest meaning being agreement. Within this, I hear desire. You often teach that everyone is 'channeling' beings-forces. As everyone is constantly desiring, everyone is in covenant. To desire is to agree with something. Circumcised, desire is refined, sensitized, and sublimated, though the Rabbis teach that this refinement and greater sensitivity of desire is completed in two parts, statues and law.

The distinction between statutes and law is important and very related with what you've illustrated here in the manifesting power of thought and action. Statute, you taught recently in our Zohar continuum, is the process of submitting to what must be, even when there's no apparent reason. Our vital soul and mental being might not understand the real reason for refraining from some activities in some circumstances, even when there's a consensus that says otherwise. Why follow this growing sense of what one must do, without any affirmation from others? Over the course of submitting to what has no immediate gratification or obvious purpose is the principle of statute, preparing the heart and mind for a yet subtler cognition of Reality As It Is: Law. Supposing that beneath all cultural mores around the world there is a metaphysical grain, a transparent, all-pervading, all-embracing pattern. To move against this grain intrinsically binds consciousness; to move with this same grain inherently releases consciousness. Perceiving this infinite grain of endless detail and nuance is the larger principle of law.

To bring this all together, our thoughts are private deeds before they become public. To grow out of our selfish, animal nature is by intuiting statutes, deeds which need be done even when no one else knows. As gratification is delayed with maturation and intention, a deeper awareness opens of law to perceive what constricts or expands consciousness. If I'm not straying too far to ask, the rabbis in context of the Zohar quoted above make one more move to cite,

There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. He said, ‘If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you’ (Exodus 25:25-26).

The power of thought manifests either in disease or healing. What plagued the Egyptians is what plagues all people to this day. With little or no awareness of self-restraint and submission to the needs of future generations, existence on every level has become toxic. Our air, water, soil, and seas are but a radiant display outside of what is backing up inside. Greater physical, mental, and spiritual sickness is inevitable if consciousness continues to constrict. To move with the grain—with the law—is to move with the voice of YHVH your healer.

I wish to therefore ask how thought and deed interact with statutes and law as one's process in tikkune? I am YHVH your healer. What I've thought and done put me in this circumstance. To begin to experience a shift, demands statutes of self-restraint, even when everything in me says otherwise. It now seems that glimpses of real healing in my life come only by the subtler awareness of the law written on my heart, the voice of YHVH your healer.

Gratefully,

Elder Gideon

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#3 Postby Kathleen » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:24 am

Greetings to you all,

I am deeply en-couraged by these two posts. An understanding that all of our compassionate goals and desires, revealed by way of thought, originates from the Spirit, unfolds for me here in this distinction of statute and law. As does also an understanding of "gnosis" as that which is experienced as the fruit of obedience to statutes hidden in one's heart which often finds no confirmation or affirmation among consensus. It is immensely reassuring that the nurturance of thoughts of good works is blessed by the Lord.

The danger is to make law of statute, a not at all uncommon temptation. What is required in the healing of one, though informing of healing for all, is necessarily unique to the individual according to her calling and purpose, and to the circumstances through which thought and deed have placed her. It is a fascinating mystery how such personal leadings nevertheless result in good fruit for all to eat, may it be so, and that by way of statutes the seed-grain of universal law takes root.

I hope that I have stayed within the spirit of these two posts and have not gone too far afield. I look forward to more of this discussion.

Gratefully,

Kathleen

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#4 Postby Elder Sarah » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:09 am

Praise to the Holy One for these revelations!

I am very intrigued by this exploration for thoughts, what we hold in our heart, and the exchange between commandments and statutes. First, the contemplation arises asking of the relationship between heart and thoughts. In the verse quoted where Yeshua is speaks,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a another person with lust in their heart has already committed adultery with that person in their heart” (Matthew 5:27-28),

it is curious that this intention to commit adultery is in the "heart". This brings me to another verse in Matthew (15:18-19)

"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander."

This points to a mystery that thoughts arise from the heart. Now, this leads to something we can read in the Sefer Yitzerah, where Aryeh Kaplan comments, "The Talmud therefore identifies the heart as the scene of the battle between the Good Urge (Yetzer Tov) and the Evil Urge (Yetzer HaRa)." This idea gets further drawn out when we read in Ecclesiastes (10:2), "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left."

When looking into heart and thoughts I notice, it seems a bit easier to detect thoughts running through the mind, where that which abides in the heart appears a bit more subtle. In this way, perhaps we can say we learn to understand what is in the heart through witnessing the thoughts running through mind? what becomes a curious exploration is the mystery that to change thoughts, we are working to change heart, but at the same time, it is heart that influences mind.

This is where I am led to ask another question regarding the exchange between Law and Statutes. I was taken by something Elder Gideon mentioned, "our thoughts are private deeds before they become public." I would greatly receive a correction if this is taking things too far out of context, I must say, though, this mention of public and private led me to a contemplation of the Sefirot and Netivot. If I am not mistaken, we speak of the Sefirot corresponding to public roads or paths, while the Netivot correspond to private roads or paths. Because we know the Sefirot to correspond with the commandments, can we say the Netivot correspond with Statutes?

Holy One, we pray bless the people and the land this day to walk in your commandments, carrying out your statutes!

Shalom,
Elder Sarah

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#5 Postby Kathleen » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:51 am

Elder Sarah wrote:When looking into heart and thoughts I notice, it seems a bit easier to detect thoughts running through the mind, where that which abides in the heart appears a bit more subtle. In this way, perhaps we can say we learn to understand what is in the heart through witnessing the thoughts running through mind? what becomes a curious exploration is the mystery that to change thoughts, we are working to change heart, but at the same time, it is heart that influences mind.


Greetings Elder Sarah and to all,

This is an interesting and important point you've brought up and I am interested in what our Tau might say concerning it. I have learned through the practice of meditation that "thoughts running through the mind" are of little to no consequence unless the "heart" identifies with them. So, in practice, I tend to distinguish between mere thought and the thoughts of the heart, though please don't ask exactly how I do this! Certainly I do not count every petty, banal, or ignoble thought that enters my head as a reflection of my heart. It is my understanding that it is the thoughts we choose to nurture that constitute the thoughts of our hearts; what we dwell on and build our dwelling upon, and that this choice itself reflects the "thoughts of our hearts".

I am intrigued by the idea that the Sefirot have to do with law and the Netivot with statutes as this captures the heart of what I was seeing/saying in my first post. Good stuff!

Thank you and be blessed!

Kathleen

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#6 Postby sheryl » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:10 pm

Shalom!

I am delighting in the teaching that Tau Malachi has given and the insights that each of you have shared.

Kathleen, you said: I have learned through the practice of meditation that "thoughts running through the mind" are of little to no consequence unless the "heart" identifies with them. This insightful observation gives rise to the question, what is the heart? It is said to be the well-spring of life, but can it also the 'dead pool"? It seems that there is an energy that arises before thought, and it does feel that this energy is emanating from the heart and that we can then see thoughts arise from this energy. In this way, we can see and feel before thoughts arise, so we can see and feel negativity before negative thoughts arise, as well as love, before loving thoughts arise. I had not before thought of feeding thoughts (fueling them) as coming from the heart as well. It seems that if we are drawing out the good from our thoughts, it will be loving energy that fuels them! :)

I am wondering if we can associate doing without a reason to do with this energy from which thoughts arise?

Any corrections or additions will be received with gratitude.

Sheryl

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#7 Postby Kathleen » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:34 pm

sheryl wrote:Kathleen, you said: I have learned through the practice of meditation that "thoughts running through the mind" are of little to no consequence unless the "heart" identifies with them. This insightful observation gives rise to the question, what is the heart? It is said to be the well-spring of life, but can it also the 'dead pool"?


Blessings to all,

Simply because "I" can observe thoughts running through the mind leads to the conclusion that "I" am not the thoughts. This may be one of the first insights gained from the practice of meditation. When our attention is gathered within the area corresponding to the heart, there is both a cessation of thought in that place and the awareness of thoughts rising and falling away. What is the heart? What is the mind? Does anyone really know? What you mean, Sheryl, by "dead pool" I have no inkling.

From the extraordinary works of Peter Kingsley and his brilliant studies of the Pre-Socratics, I read that Empedocles said that humans think with the blood around their hearts...a fragment that has left me wondering and searching for years what is the heart; what is the blood. At a residential retreat once a participant asked the Rinpoche if a material heart transplant would alter the thoughts of the person. I thought the question irrelevant at the time. For me then the "heart" as the seat of perception is not the material heart. But I don't know. Here lately I seem to be saying this often. "I don't know." "I just don't know."

I've been thinking often of this thread throughout this week. How do we know the thoughts of our hearts? Perhaps the life-display; the conditions and circumstances of our lives, what we are experiencing and feeling, doing and not doing and so on...maybe these things reveal our hearts best.

Thank you all for this opportunity to discuss such things. It's a very rare pleasure in my life.

In gratitude,

Kathleen

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#8 Postby sheryl » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:17 am

Shabbat Shalom!

Simply because "I" can observe thoughts running through the mind leads to the conclusion that "I" am not the thoughts. This may be one of the first insights gained from the practice of meditation.


This is a keen insight, Kathleen, and one I have found to be essential as we embark on a conscious spiritual journey. Elder Gideon has taken this a step further by speaking of that which is wearing this awareness of thought! Contemplating this can get our mind dancing!

In considering heart, you might also find it curious that in Judaism heart is leb or lamed bet, and is said to mean inner man, heart, soul and mind. And so heart, mind, understanding, thought, etc are all interconnected in Judaism, giving the question of what is heart an even greater swirl. To the Hebrews, it appears to be that from which thought, understanding, etc arise.

By dead pool I was meaning the uncircumcised heart, one encrusted with pain and suffering. Our true heart, one that is circumcised, one that is freed from the bondage of klippot or the accumulation of our responses to pain and suffering, is called in scripture the wellspring of life. Again this points to the arising, the fueling, of all that is good and true!

What is heart is a contemplation that is delighting today, grateful for your additions, Kathleen.

With gratitude,

Sheryl
Last edited by sheryl on Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#9 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:48 pm

Grace and peace to you in Hayyah Yeshua!


In the teachings of the tradition we often hear of the Spiritual Sun, indwelling Messiah, within and behind the heart, and we might inquire what this means. Why is it said, “Within and behind?”

Understand, at the outset what we call our “heart” is not our heart, but rather it is a klippah, a husk encrusting our heart that is formed by self-cherishing, attachment and aversion, and by various negative emotions and feelings we hold on to, feelings of guilt, betrayal, rejection, grief, feelings of not being good enough, smart enough, and so on, along with various other forms of negativity generated in this life and previous lives, pride and arrogance, jealousy and envy, greed and lust, fear and anger, and so on. This corrupts thought and desire, distorting our perceptions, and it corresponds with the evil inclination (sitra ahara). When this klippah is present the Holy Scriptures speak of a person having a “hardened heart,” such as we hear in Exodus of the heart of Pharaoh.

This needs to be circumcised - dispelled or shed, so that our heart is no longer encumbered by it; hence, to access our heart and open our heart, and to access our inner being, and commune with the Messiah and God, this klippah must be shattered. If it seems your heart has been broken, it is this klippah that has been broken, and you are wise to leave it broken and not seek to patch it together again. Our heart does not break, but rather it’s the klippah we have called “our heart” that breaks, and it is through its breaking that our true heart is realized and is opened. Thus, through the “breaking of the heart” we are able to have an open and spacious heart - a heart of compassion - the good inclination, having room for everyone and everything, along with the presence of the Messiah and God, the Holy Shekinah.

“I know” or “I do not know,” these two thoughts are one and the same, corresponding with the klippah of the heart; hence, both are obstructions to Habad (wisdom, understanding and knowledge,) and likewise love and compassion. Let go of them, and just be present with an open heart - open and sensitive to your environment and what’s happening, and to the Holy Spirit, and you will experience true knowledge and love - a fiery intelligence. Do not think so much about it, but learn to go within and live within, and learn to feel, hear and see, and your heart will instruct you, your inner being, inner aspects of your soul, will instruct you, along with the Holy Spirit.

Laws and statutes, all of this in “engraved in your heart” as the Torah teaches; hence, understood by your heart, not the klippah of the heart, but your true heart and soul.

There is mind, heart and body, or mind, speech and body - these three. What is the heart, or speech? The driving force of life and the soul, and the sanctuary of communion, or nearness and unification with the Messiah in God.

Look and see! The heart is the place of union of thought and desire (or vital energy), and thoughts, dreams, held in your heart, as well as the klippah of your heart, are charged with desire (or vital energy). These are powerful thoughts, and in a manner of speaking they assume a life of their own, and they form and manifest the reality of your experience, whether for good or for evil, or admixture; this is true in life, or waking consciousness, as well as sleep and dream and death and the afterlife.

We are talking about the heart as a metaphysical, or psychic and spiritual reality, not so much about the physical heart; but, indeed, the physical heart and blood are talismans of something more in our energetic being. Any significant physical ailment or event may serve to bring about a change in our way of thinking and feeling, or our consciousness, more or less, as with any significant experience of life, but with a heart surgery, or heart transplant, the very same continuum of consciousness or soul will apply, the consciousness or soul reintegrating with it in the recovery process.

Such physical terms as “heart” and “blood” are used to designate principles in our energetic being or subtle body, and while the physical part may be a talisman and vehicle of something of the corresponding energy-intelligence, what we are speaking about is something more than the physical. This needs to be understood.

To know the heart requires an awakening experience - our anointing with the Holy Light and Spirit of God, and it requires prayer and meditation, and yearning to draw near to God and have knowledge of God (or enlightenment). To know the heart is to know our innate connection with everyone and everything, and with the source of our being, the Infinite; the feelings of separation that plague us, these come from the klippah of the heart, or a hardened heart.

Now if we are going to speak of the heart (Lev), and speak of the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, which are private or secret paths, and which are called “paths of the heart,” remember that the Sefirot are also called Netivot - Sefirot and Netivot are accessed through our heart, and when we open our heart greater influxes of the Sefirot and Netivot become possible, or influxes free from impurity, distortion, become possible.

As perhaps you might imagine, if our thoughts are unified with influxes of the Sefirot and Netivot, these become as the “thoughts of God and the angels” and are the most powerful of all, as we see with great tzaddikim and the divine presence and power that moves with them.

These were a few contemplations I was inclined to share this afternoon.

Shalom Aleichem!
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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#10 Postby Kathleen » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:46 pm

Greetings and blessings to you all,

Thank you Tau for this beautiful and clear teaching on the heart.

Special thanks for this:

[quote="Tau Malachi"]“I know” or “I do not know,” these two thoughts are one and the same, corresponding with the klippah of the heart; hence, both are obstructions to Habad (wisdom, understanding and knowledge,) and likewise love and compassion. Let go of them, and just be present with an open heart - open and sensitive to your environment and what’s happening, and to the Holy Spirit, and you will experience true knowledge and love - a fiery intelligence. Do not think so much about it, but learn to go within and live within, and learn to feel, hear and see, and your heart will instruct you, your inner being, inner aspects of your soul, will instruct you, along with the Holy Spirit. [/quote

There has been struggling, and this is true help.

I am grateful,

Kathleen

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#11 Postby sheryl » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:45 am

Shabbat Shalom, Dear Friends!

Thank you, Tau Malachi for your words, giving us a deeper insight into heart.

It might be recalled that a discussion about Mother's Heart arose from our retreat this summer, and with the mentioning of the 32 paths of Wisdom as the secret paths of the true heart, something being contemplated from the Sefer Yetzirah comes to mind. There, Rabbi Kaplan teaches that the Wisdom, Hokmah, Father God, can be likened to water, while Understanding, Binah, Mother God, can be likened to pipes for the water, or the 32 Paths that Wisdom can take. And so it comes to mind that Mother's Heart is Understanding, is the 32 Paths of Wisdom, and is the true heart of all creation, to only be discovered or known, as you shared, Tau Malachi, through our learning to go within and live within, and learn to feel, hear and see, and your heart will instruct you, your inner being, inner aspects of your soul, will instruct you, along with the Holy Spirit.

Edited to add: It also comes to mind that when we are speaking of the true heart, we are also speaking of the joining of Wisdom and Understanding, Abba-Imma, perhaps arising as the Bridegroom and Bride join together in what is called the Wedding Chamber?

Gratitude for these teachings on heart, and praise and thanksgiving to the Queen of Shabbat who gifts us with Understanding.

May the True Heart teach each of us about our heart, our inner being.

Sheryl

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Re: The Power of Thought: Leviticus 26:3

#12 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:27 am

Shalom,

The heart is often called the Bridal Chamber, unifying the descending and ascending force, and the upper and lower interior stars, this corresponding with the Groom and Bride. In this love and knowledge and joined with understanding and wisdom.

Blessings!
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