Israel & the Straight Path: Struggling With God

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Tau Malachi
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Israel & the Straight Path: Struggling With God

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:12 am

Israel & the Straight Path: Striving With God

In the Holy Torah, as we know, there is the amazing story of the patriarch and prophet Jacob wrestling with an angel and ultimately being victorious. Such that at the conclusion of their struggle with each other the angel blessed Jacob, and integral to the blessing of the angel of God upon Jacob was giving him a new name spiritual name, Israel. As we also know the meaning of this name is very interesting, reflecting what transpired between Jacob and the angel. It means, ‘He who contends with God (El)’ or ‘One who struggles with God,’ or ‘One who wrestles with God.’ There are teachings in the Holy Kabbalah concerning the need of those seeking true knowledge of God to struggle with God in a manner of speaking, seeking to realize and embrace God as God Is, Reality as Reality Is, rather than clinging to mental concepts and vital sentiments, or shallow exoteric doctrines, born of ignorance and error - misperceptions and misconceptions. This, indeed, is as a ‘struggle with God.’ That interpretation of Israel, or struggling with God, and the teachings drawn from it are good and true, and there is much insight and wisdom in them concerning the seeking of knowledge of God and there various agitations and difficulties we might face; yet, in the teachings of the Straight Path - the Gnostic Path, there is another interpretation, another reading of the name Israel, or ‘struggling with God. God willing, and with God’s help, I pray that I might share this with you.

As you know, the Straight Path is founded upon the truth of the innate oneness of the soul, and indeed all creation, with God Most High, and based upon this truth, in the Straight Path practices are given that seek to facilitate recognition and realization of our innate oneness with God, there are various views and practices given to us with this intention. As an example, ‘let your body be as the body of God, let your heart be as the heart of God, let your mind be as the mind of God, let your soul be as the One Soul, or the “soul” of God’; joined with this, so also ‘seek to see with God, and seek to hear with God, and seek to feel with God,’ and so on. Understanding this, now consider the meaning of the name Israel, and just as you seek to see, hear and feel with God, so seek to ‘struggle with God, in God. Do you understand?

Integral to progress in the Straight Path is a full striving for knowledge of God, and in this striving, a striving to cultivate the attributes of God, a striving to realize higher grades of soul, higher states and stations, and part and parcel of this active aspiration, this striving, is the struggle to overcome various barriers, and various negative personality traits, all manner of internal klippot - ‘impure husks.’ It is given that we actively strive, struggle, in this way and put forth our full effort to overcome internal klippot and cultivate the qualities of Christ, the attributes of God - the realization of the perfect human being. Indeed it is, and yet, through our own efforts and actions alone we cannot purify ourselves of sin, error, and we cannot ascend through higher stations and states, but rather this transpires only through the grace and mercy of God, the forgiveness and generosity of God, and the action of the Spirit of God; our active and dynamic surrender, submission, to God is a conscious co-labor, co-action, with the Divine Presence, the Spirit of God, and so ‘struggling with God.’ Through God’s power, and God’s power alone, are higher states and stations attained, and ultimately it must be that it is not we who struggle, not we who are the doer, but rather God, or Christ and the Holy Spirit that engage the struggle and are victorious - it is through God’s power that we have victory! Praise God!

Thus, seek to struggle with God. Do not struggle in the illusion of separation, in twoness, but in the awareness of oneness, or the faith in oneness, and so learn to invoke God and rely on God to overcome all obstacles and barriers, and to resist all temptations, and to endure all trials and tribulations. This is the very intention of God Most High in the great revelations that have been given through the prophets and apostles, that we might seek to strive with God to fulfill the ultimate will of God in creation; hence the desire of God in creation that human beings might know God and embody the fullness of the Divine Presence, Holy Shekinah, Holy Spirit.

Now there is something more concerning this wisdom that it is given for me to share, a view of our challenges with sin, error, and various negative states and barriers. Naturally it is incumbent upon us when we sin, error, or fall into negative states, to repent, to ‘return’ to God and to strive to overcome whatever barriers we encounter as we sojourn in the Way. Certainly we are not to give into such things, or willfully perpetuate sin, error, negativity, or fail to address sin, error, negativity when we fall into it; but, understand, neither should we let ‘accusing angels’ take hold of such things, or fall into ourselves because of our faults and the barriers we encounter, but instead we must struggle with God to overcome negative states and barriers, and understand that these too are in God, in the Divine Presence, and that, in truth, God never departs from us, God is with us even when we have turned away or gone astray, venturing into sin, error, negativity. The truth is, sin, error, negativity, when we recognize it for what it is and we repent, returning to God - the Good, the Truth, may bring glory to God as we strive with God and overcome it, and as the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God comes into effect, the radiance of the love and compassion of the Most High shining brightly with us; and likewise, as we repent, return, reintegrate with God, the True Light, there may arise an even greater experience of nearness or oneness with our Lord, and it may be that the Spirit of the Lord uplifts us to a higher grade of soul, or higher state or station.

Thus, seeking to ‘struggle with God’ there is no reason to fall into great anxiety and depression, or various other negative, self-obsessed states that may arise because of sin, error, but rather when we find that we have sinned, committed error or generated negativity, understand that it is a call, as it were, to turn to God, invoke God, and actively struggle with God for tikkune, healing, mending, and for restoration to positive states and the enacting of what’s good and true, what’s in harmony with the will of God - faith and love.

There is, no doubt, more that may be said of ‘struggling with God’ in the way of the Straight Path, but for the moment this seems to be enough. Here it seems good to pause and wait upon the Holy Spirit.

With the help of God Most High, through the mercy and grace of the One God, may we be blessed to overcome all barriers and come to full knowledge of God; may God be glorified with, in and through us! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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Re: Israel & the Straight Path: Struggling With God

#2 Postby Marion » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:43 pm

Shabbat Shalom Tau Malachi!

Thank you for this contemplation, and this elucidation on teachings of the Straight Path!
How glorious that Israel struggled as God and for God, not in separation as I've heard in the past!

I wish to ask for more clarification on this teaching. If Jacob wrestled with God, as God, am I understanding that this would create quite a presence of power around the Tzaddik? Then meeting his brother Esau, Esau could perhaps feel something of this presence in him, and perhaps knew if he killed his brother, it would be worse for him. In this, I am reminded of the stories of White Buffalo Cow Woman, where two warriors see her. They are both taken my her beauty and presence; one wants to possess her as his wife, and they other says "she does not walk with her feet on the ground, so how can I possess her?" According to the story, the one is taken into her embrace and falls as a skeleton to the ground. She goes with the other to his village, to teach and initiate his people.

In this, I am remembering teachings of the sacred circle, how we pray that the Skekinah walks before us, to the right, to the left of us, and behind us. Realizing this, and putting on this body of vision, perhaps this created a fiery presence around Israel that changed his brother too? This is also beautiful because it speaks to the faith that we are taught to hold, that if we walk in the world in beauty and holiness, all beings will be blessed naturally; all according to their ability to receive, and according to the will of the Most High, El Elyon.

There is something else with the teachings of the sacred circle. You have taught us that each one of us is in the center of the sacred circle. Therefore, we stand at the point of the culmination of all six directions. It just occurred recently that I had been conceiving of cycles in life and continuum like a wheel placed on it's end, with the apparent bad times, when we feel like God is far from us, at the bottom, and the apparent good times, when we feel like God is close to us, at the top. What if these cycles, these ebbs and flows are more like the sacred circle? How could anyone say that the East is better than the West? Or the North more enjoyable than the South? Moreover, how could anyone say that God is not equally in all of these? It seems that Esau is caught up in the ego; because who wants to fight against apparent duality save the ego? Israel, on the other hand, is caught up in God; he knows that there is no separation, and no fight. So he blesses his brother, in the presence of the Most High, El Elyon.

May you disclose yourself to us oh God, and unveil your presence before us!

Blessings and Shalom,
Marion

Tau Malachi
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Re: Israel & the Straight Path: Struggling With God

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:05 am

Greetings and blessings in the Holy light of the Messiah, the light of all prophets and apostles!

There is Jacob and there is Esau, and according to the Midrashim at the outset it is the ‘angel of Esau’ that Jacob wrestled; but as we know, in the end, the angel of called Peniel, ‘face of God,’ and it is accounted as an angel of God. This is interesting!

On an esoteric level Esau corresponds with nefesh behamit, the bestial, vital soul in a condition of impurity, ignorance, and Jacob corresponds with ruach, the human spirit, intelligence, established in the ‘heart.’ Esau is nefesh behamit, the bestial nature and ego, and this must be subjugated and brought into submission to ruach, the human spirit or intelligence, and the Truth, God Most High. This all, in fact, transpires within Jacob, who ‘wrestled the angel of Esau with God and so was victorious.

Consider this. Can the ego overcome the ego, and bring the ego into submission; can the ego, false self, in fact, accomplish anything on its own? Likewise, apart from God, the Messiah and Holy Spirit, can there be deliverance from bondage, healing and enlightenment? No, indeed! Rather, it is ruach, our spirit or intelligence, joined with the Holy Spirit, that subjugates nefesh and the ego and generates nefesh elokit, a godly soul in us; this happens through a ‘striving with God,’ and in God, through God’s power, God’s mercy and grace. Understand, to begin with, unless God sent the prophets to us and God engaged the revelations, and likewise God unveiled and disclosed Godself to us, we would not know to strive, or how to strive, for the knowledge of God and our salvation, our enlightenment and liberation. Then, naturally, there is an ongoing play of divine intervention and intercession, along with divine inspiration, that helps us along the way and facilitates our full Self-realization in God, the knowledge of God.

This striving with God is to bring nefesh, the ego, into submission to to God, and to refine, transform, nefesh behamit into nefesh elokit, which bears a resemblance to the Messiah - the perfect human being, and so to God Most High in whose image human beings are created; this, in turn brings souls into nearness, and, through God’s grace, the realization of oneness with God, the True Light.

Now, first and foremost in this teaching we understand all of this as internal, all of this transpiring within Jacob himself, with God’s help; and we understand that this is a process that all souls must engage as they return to God, as they labor in the realization and ascension of the soul.That said, it is true, as this unfolds in a soul, as they come into being as a tzaddik - righteous one, as they are blessed to attain higher grades of soul, higher states and stations, and as more and more there is an embodiment of the Divine Presence, Shekinah, Holy Spirit, there is a Living Presence with them, and manifesting as them, and they do have an ability, as God wills and ordains, and as conditions allow, to convey something of their states upon others, imparting blessings, empowerments, in this way. There was something of this, no doubt, that transpired between Jacob and Esau, and through God’s power, the action of the Divine Presence, there was peace and goodwill between them. How wonderful! Praise God!

Here we may share that tzaddikim do engage in spiritual intervention and intercession for their companions, their community, more or less, depending upon the relationship that each companion forms with them and what is given and ordained in God. This is a manifestation of God’s mercy and grace, as is the intervention and intercession of angels on our behalf. Though they may offer helps along the way, instruction and guidance, and blessings and empowerments, understand that they cannot, and will not, do our work of salvation for us; each of us must struggle with God and seek to work out our salvation, Self-realization, with God’s help, and so fulfill our destiny in God.

May we be blessed to pass away in the Eternal One, Yahweh! Amen.

Shabbat Shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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