As we're approaching the Feast of the Blessed Dead, reflections looking back over the year are inevitable. I'm often contemplating the grain of my conscience, where, as God asked Cain, If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:7). The Zohar has recently offered a grand image of total conscience from 2:85b:
All the commandments of Torah are connected with the body of the King—some with the head of the King, some with the trunk of the body, some with the hands of the King, some with his feet, and none leaves the body of the King. Therefore, whoever transgresses the commandments of Torah is like one who transgresses against the body of the King, as is written: They will go out and stare at the corpses of the people who transgress against Me (Isaiah 66:24)—against Me, literally! Woe to the wicked who violate the words of Torah and do not realize what they do! For Rabbi Shim'on said, "The place against which he sinned, that very place exposes his sin. If he sinned against the blessed Holy One, the blessed Holy One exposes his sin, as is written: Heaven will expose his sin, and earth will rise up against him (Job 20:27).
As I contemplate our teachings of dying and death and afterlife, I'm very curious how to hear their entire context as inside the Zoharic Body of the King. You've taught that there are 613 Commandments of Torah plus 7 directives from the rabbis, which total 620, the value of the Hebrew word Keter. As all Commandments are contained in Keter, unfolded through the process of construction, tzimtzum, the Body of the King feels like the Great Tree of Life. Here, however, rather than a glyph, is a body where 620 commandments correspond to 'internal' and 'external' parts. To transgress commandments is to inflict harm, even 'open' this great body to the Other Side. God forbid! To heal what has been afflicted is by way of teshuvah, repentance; the greater one has sinned, the more will be accomplished when one consciously returns 'to the body', making whole their part of the Body of the King. I'm hoping to learn more about how this metaphor of all of the Commandments as a Body of King personifies personal and collective conscience.
How one knows what they've done or failed to do, is not by any external judgment, but precisely how Rabbi Shim'on describes the exposure in one's conscience. The Perfect Master essentializes this in John: This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God (3:29-21).
Whether in life, dying, death, or afterlife, there appears no where else but this Body of the King. O Lord, you have searched me and known me./You know when I sit down and when I rise up; /you discern my thoughts from far away./ You search out my path and my lying down, /and are acquainted with all my ways. /Even before a word is on my tongue,/O Lord, you know it completely./You hem me in, behind and before,/and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; /it is so high that I cannot attain it./Where can I go from your spirit?/ Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. (Psalm 139:1-8).
You recently taught that there aren't separate displays of peace, wrath, joy of the LORD, rather, there is only one display, one palace. What might this single palace have to do with the single Body of the King? How is this Body of the King our personal and collective conscience?