Voyen Koreis





INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER










INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER











INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER








INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER

Voyen Koreis





INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER




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16. TZIM-TZUM

 

 

Before we deal with this all important Kabbalistic concept, once again let’s look at the Tree of Life, and specifically at the Triangle of Foundation, in relation with the last sephira, Malkhut. We should already understand that the inspiration to give or to receive things in life comes to us mainly from Netzah. It is our imagination that makes us think of what we want, what we need. However, we know as well that imagination in itself would not get us anywhere. Imagine that you are an artist, a painter, and that you see in your mind a beautiful painting with vibrant colours, which you would like to give to the world. You also know that without going to the essentials this is where it will forever stay — in your mind. To give the painting a life, to make it possible for other people to see and enjoy it, the painter has to do a lot of things that do not at all belong to Netzah, but to other sephiroth.

We have seen before that imagination or inspiration always works hand in hand with the practical side, which on the tree is Hod. When we go to this sephira it will tell us all about the things that we should do if we want to complete the painting. It could be a little risky though, especially if we are already in love with our as yet unborn painting. Hod might also tell us not to bother at all and go to the pub instead, where we could meet with other painters who too intended to create their masterpieces, but somehow never got to do it. It might have other ideas, telling us that the painting, though indeed beautiful if finished, is not going to be in line with the political correctness of the time and the place we find ourselves in. That if we went ahead and painted it the way we want to do it we might get into trouble with the authorities, who want all art to be ideologically unobjectionable and fit to publish in the government sponsored periodical. At the same time to drive the point home it might remind us of our wonderful partner and our two children, with another on the way. Even though we keep telling ourselves that we are steadfast and fully determined, do we really want to endanger the future of members of our family as well? All of the above are the rational ways of Hod.

Suppose that all is not so bleak. No one has objections to abstract paintings other than that they don’t look quite so nice as auntie Hyacinth’s landscapes, and Hod thinks that it is feasible for us to do it. Our intended painting thus moves another step towards manifestation. Between Hod and Netzah, slightly underneath them, is the sephira Yesod, known as the Foundation. It is also said to be associated with the astral world, the realm next to our physical world. This is where our painting will take the final form, though still not its physical shape. Yesod is called the foundation because this is where things are made; it is the last point of non-differentiation, where everything becomes differentiated into Malkhut, the last sephira, also known as the Kingdom. Like a factory of creation, Yesod collects and balances the energies pouring from the neighbouring sephiroth Hod and Netzah, and transforms them, giving them their final physical appearance. Our unconscious mind is at home in Yesod, and if for instance we use the drip paint method of Jackson Pollock on our painting, here our hands will be lead by some other invisible hands that belong to this realm, to exercise certain movements, resulting in various drip lines and splashes characteristic of the style of painting that we are working on.

We have used our Netzah generated imagination to ask for something that we can share with others, we have subjected the project to the logical scrutiny of Hod, for it to be built in the foundation of Yesod, and finally manifest in the world of Malkhut, where we receive what we wanted for ourselves and to share with other people. 


 

JACKSON POLLOCK

The painting above looks like being of a chaotic order. The American painter Jackson Pollock had devoted his life work to exploiting this invisible order; he might even have sacrificed his life to his search. Naturally, anyone can see anything in an abstract painting, but knowing how Pollock’s paintings came to be created perhaps helps to understand why this artist has such an important place in the history of modern art. Let’s have a look at him and his work in some detail.

Pollock’s parents were both of Irish-Scottish extraction, and the family moved from Wyoming, where their youngest son was born in 1912, to Los Angeles when he was sixteen. There he enrolled at a Manual Arts High School, and he came under the influence of his teacher and head of the school’s art department, Frederick John Vrain Schwankovsky, a painter and illustrator. Schwankowsky, who was a member of the Theosophical Society, taught Pollock a great deal about the hermetic colour-music theories of other theosophically inspired painters, such as Kupka or Kandinsky. Schwankovsky also introduced his pupil to advanced currents of European modern art, and encouraged his interest in theosophical and occult literature. At this time Pollock, who had been raised an agnostic, also attended the camp meetings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a personal friend of Schwankovsky, who had once been declared the future Messiah (or incarnation of the Lord Maitreya) by the Theosophists, but who had later severed his ties with the society almost completely. These early spiritual explorations prepared Pollock to later embracing the theories of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the exploration of unconscious imagery in his paintings in subsequent years. Throughout the 1930’s and 40’s Pollock developed and refined his stylistic vocabulary and by about 1947 he finally arrived at his signature painting technique, which involved pouring, dripping and flicking paint onto large canvases stretched on floor, creating densely filled works that are often invigorating in their sense of freedom and blindingly complex as well. To help him arrive at this technique, Pollock apparently observed Indian sand painting demonstrations in the 1940s. Other influences on his dripping technique include the Mexican muralists and also the automatism, which was very much the “in” thing in the 1920’s with the Surrealists. Pollock denied that his works happened entirely by “accident”; he maintained that he usually had an idea of how he wanted a particular piece to appear. I believe that this is the key to understanding this painter’s work. Another factor that is not always considered is the ways Pollock moved around (and indeed on) the canvas. Fortunately, a film exists that documents his movement, and it shows that the painter finds himself in a trance-like state, perhaps not dissimilar to the “dance of the Dervishes.” Dervishes are members of the Sufi Muslim sect, known for their poverty and austerity similar to that practiced by mendicant friars such as the Franciscan monks.

 

DANCE OF THE DERVISHES

 

Pjotr Demjanovich Ouspensky (left), the Russian philosopher and esotericist whom I already mentioned, wrote about his experience with watching the dance at Istanbul in 1908 thus:

“… what particularly struck the eye here and what at once arrested my attention was the fact that they were all different. Not one face was like an­other. And each face at once impressed itself on the memory. I had never experienced anything like it. In the first ten or fifteen minutes while I was watching the ceremony of salutations, the faces of all the dervishes in the circle became near and familiar to me, like the faces of school-friends. I already knew them all and with an incredibly pleasant feeling waited for what would follow.

      Again, as though from a distance, came the sound of music. One after another, without haste — some throwing off their robes and remaining in short jackets reaching to the waist and a sort of long white skirt, and others keeping their robes — the dervishes rose and with calm and assured movements, lifting the right arm, bent, the head turned to the right and the left arm outstretched, slowly stepped into the circle and with extraordinary seriousness began to turn, at the same time moving round the circle. And in the centre, his arms bent in the same way, looking at his right hand, a dervish with a short grey beard and a calm pleasant face slowly turned on one spot, shuffling his feet with a peculiar motion. All the others, some very young men, others middle-aged, and some quite old men, turned round him. And all of them turned round and moved along the circle at a different speed; the older ones turned slowly, others, the younger ones, with a speed that took one’s breath away. Some appeared as they turned to have their eyes closed, others merely looked down, but no one of them ever touched another.

In their midst, not turning like the others, slowly walked dervish with a grey beard, in a black robe and with a green turban wound round his camel-hair kula, with the palms of his hands pressed against his breast and his eyes lowered. He walked strangely, moving now to the right, now to the left, now advancing, now receding a little, but all the time proceeding round the circle, only sometimes passing as though from one orbit to another and back again. But he never touched anyone, just as no one touched him.

How could this be? I could not understand it. But I did not even think about it because at that moment all my attention was taken in watching the faces.

The sheikh sitting on cushions in his place opposite me, the dervish turning in the middle, the other dervish in the green turban moving slowly among the turning dervishes, the very, very old man slowly turning among the young ones - all of them reminded me of something. I could not explain it to myself.

And the dervishes continued to turn round and move along the circle. Thirteen of them were whirling at the same time. Now and then one or another stopped and, slowly and calmly, with face illumined and concentrated, sat down by the wall. Others rose and took their places in the circle.

And involuntarily I began to think that this is what is described as a mad whirling, which drives them into a frenzy! If there is anything in the world, which is the complete opposite of frenzy, it is precisely this whirling. There was a system in it, which I could not understand, but which made itself clearly felt, and, what was most important, there was some intellectual concentration and mental effort, as though they were not only turning, but at the same time solving difficult problems in their minds.

I walked out of the Tekke into the street, full of strange and disturbing impressions. I felt that I had found something, something extraordinarily valuable and important, but I felt at the same time that I had no means of understanding it, that I had no possibility of drawing nearer, that I had no language.”

        Pollock might well have been able to put himself into a similar kind of a trance. The key words in the Ouspensky’s account I believe are: “intellectual concentration and mental effort, (as though they were) solving difficult problems in their minds.”

        What has Pollock himself to say about his painting style?

“When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”

In 1950 Hans Namuth, a young photographer, wanted to photograph and film Pollock at work. Pollock promised to start a new painting especially for the photographic session, but when Namuth arrived, Pollock apologized and told him the painting was finished. Namuth later wrote about what happened next:

“A dripping wet canvas covered the entire floor … There was complete silence … Pollock looked at the painting. Then, unexpectedly, he picked up can and paint brush and started to move around the canvas. It was as if he suddenly realised the painting was not finished. His movements, slow at first, gradually became faster and more dance like as he flung black, white, and rust coloured paint onto the canvas. He completely forgot that Lee (Kratzner, Pollock’s wife and a notable artist herself) and I were there; he did  not  seem to hear the click of the camera shutter … My photography session lasted as long as he kept painting, perhaps half an hour. In all that time, Pollock did not stop. How could one keep up this level of activity? Finally, he said ‘This is it.’”

 

Jackson Pollock: The Blue Poles (1954)
 

Pollock was a great painter, but unquestionably he also had a lot of human faults. One feels that because he was so preoccupied with creating an order out of chaos this must have had something to do with his psychological problems. After all, even the two most famous 20th century psychologists, Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, who like Pollock both delved in the theories concerning the human unconscious mind, were not free of problems themselves. There is always some disorganisation, because we are surrounded by a chaotic order, in which everything is apparently at cross-purposes with everything else. This, of course, is what makes it work, without this disordered order there would be nothing.

There is no garden that would not have some weeds; there also are no great men who have no vices. We have to accept that greatness with warts and all, and have to realise that most human giants, who are bigger in their ways, are also bigger in their vices; they tend to have a bigger appetite for everything, including the whole of life. People like Pollock usually suffer a great deal of antagonism. Their peers, who usually envy them their success, dislike them. The real and perceived faults in their character are often brought forward and exaggerated. We have to understand that without them and their pioneering work this world would be greatly retarded. It is the cacophony of life that makes the world go forward; this is what eventually leads to equilibrium to be found in the central sephira, Tiferet, also called the Beauty or Splendour.

TZIM-TZUM

We might ask, how about this? We desire certain things, at the same time fully convinced that we are doings so with the view to share them, in accordance with the universal principle; and yet we do not receive them! This does not mean that God doesn’t like us, and it probably does not mean either that we are deceiving ourselves, while our subconscious mind plots some sinister plans for enriching ourselves at the expense of others. It is far more likely that there are other ways that will be opened to us; meanwhile by not receiving what we think should be ours we are being prevented from straying off our path. We all have a mission in our life of which we may or may not be fully aware, and what we have wanted, however badly, simply is not what was needed to help us to fulfil it; this is why we are not getting it. Viewed like this, lack of success in some endeavours would not give raise to frustration, anger and cacophony in our life. We know that evil is unfulfilled desire to receive without sharing, but if we had asked for something that we know would be to the benefit of humanity and if we are still not getting it, is it not obvious that we are not meant to go that particular way?

We all have some assets; they might be physical ones, like a special build and toughness of the body, or perhaps intellectual like a gift for mathematics, or artistic such as a good singing voice, talent for drawing, etc. We have them for the purpose of helping us to fulfil our special role in this life. This is also why we must not covet, why we should not look into other people’s backyards and kitchens, let alone to the boxes of treasures in their attics. What we would see there are these people’s own tool, their special talents and qualities, to help them play their roles.

To bestow his limitless goodness on humanity, to share with the spirit of man the vacuum of unfulfilled desire to receive, God generated the primordial space and the limitation of time, space and motion. The souls were unable to earn the light, to share or to give to each other; this brought about the restriction of Tzim-Tzum (sometimes also Tsimtsum).

Tzim-Tzum is a Kabbalistic term meaning “a contraction following a previous expansion.” The idea is that after creating the world, God withdrew, to allow other things beside himself to exist. With the Creator’s presence everywhere (understand in a direct way — God’s presence is still always here), nothing much could take place. It is a difficult concept, but perhaps if we say that God lined up for us a sand pit and said: “Now do whatever you can with it,” it might be understood to some degree. We might also say that Tzim-Tzum is a rejection of the light, which created a vacuum. This permitted the emanation and creation of all the worlds, through the process of progressive revelation.

The light that flowed formed vessels (sephiroth), which contained further light. Incidentally, thinking of the sephiroth as vessels or receptacles is useful, because if we imagine a cascade like one on the right, it helps us understand the concept of passing of energy from the highest source to the lower spheres. Once a vessel is full it begins to overflow, and the energy begins to pour into the next vessel, finally being all gathered by the lowest vessel/sephira, Malkhut.

Another way of looking at this transference of energy is what some Kabbalists call the “lightning strike,” where it moves from Kether to Malkhut in the manner seen on the diagram, left. Whichever scheme we use, we must be mindful that the energy by its passage leaves behind a pattern, which becomes form. In the Kabbalistic tradition, the first set of vessels was too weak, and the individual sephiroth could not sustain the light and therefore they collapsed, except the top three. This braking of the vessels is known as shevirah. The broken bits and shards of the vessels then fell into the abyss, where they formed the worlds of the Kelifot.

At the next attempt, the light was allowed to overflow into the vessels below, as we have seen in our diagram. There was a sharing, however the vessels became too opaque and thick, so the limitation caused the physical to be created, which is governed by the laws of restriction. The incompleteness and deficiency caused by the restrictions of Tzim-Tzum caused more incompleteness and deficiency, which brought about chaos and lack of harmony, and with it the resulting evil inclination, brought about by the unfulfilled desire to receive.

What is this restriction and how does it work? If we take light from a reflector and throw in onto a white surface, such as photographers’ white umbrellas, the light is thrown back. The white fabric of the umbrellas restricts the receipt of the light and reflects it back, creating more brightness, which comes from the back or the sides, wherever we have placed the umbrellas. If on the other hand we have a mat black board and throw the light on it in the same way, the black board absorbs much of the light. Another example of usefulness of the restriction is the way energy latent in water can b

16. TZIM-TZUM

e utilised. If a large amount of water falls on a field, unevenness of the ground causes it to become unevenly distributed, and the result would be that it only forms puddles and swamps, perhaps infested by mosquitoes, toads, or other unpleasant creatures. However, if we put some barriers on two sides, we restrict the passage of water, the water will flow within the banks in one direction, forming a river. We then can put there even more restrictions, such as paddled wheels, watermills and aqueducts. People have been using the movement of the water in this way for grindings the seeds and making flour for hundreds of years, and more recently for turning the power latent in water into electricity. Wind generated energy, which some say has a great future, is another example. The more restrictions we put onto matter, the more useful it becomes. The rays of the sun are spread everywhere evenly. If we take a magnifying glass, which restricts and concentrates the rays and if we throw the concentrated rays onto a piece of paper, the paper will soon start to burn. The more we tighten the skin on a drum, the more we make it to suffer, the better and more resounding noise we get when we hit the drum. Without some traction, without resistance given by air or by water, there would be no challenges for athletes, swimmers, etc. There would be no competition, and no world records to break. All these were examples of Tzim-Tzum, the great cosmic restriction, at work.

The reason why we are on this Earth is that God detached from himself a spirit, and that spirit is man. According to the Kabbalistic tradition, Adam, when he had his feet on the ground, was as tall as the highest point in the sky. What does that mean? Man is of the earth, but he is a spiritual being; he was once able to see face to face with God. But then came the primordial sin, man decided that he wants to have his own will and knowledge of good and evil, that he is not going to be a puppet any more. So it was made possible for him; man was given his body of flesh and was sent to the Earth, to learn here to receive with the view of imparting. This is the spirituality that we are going to develop only if we take an active part in the process of Creation.

Having come down from above, man is like a football. When a football or basketball comes down, and there is no one to bounce it, the ball makes only a few hops and then goes slack. Similarly, if we live on Earth without taking part in the drama of life on the stage of the world of Malkhut, then we are not going to bounce back in any significant way. If we know the conditions of the game, we take the ball and keep bouncing it, fully expecting that it is going to hurt our hands and our whole body because of the restriction of Tzim-Tzum. What do you do when you fall down on the floor? Unless you don’t mind staying there forever, you must use the floor to get up again. No matter how many prayers you have said in the morning, there probably wouldn’t be any rope being lowered down to you from heaven, sent to you by a saint or an archangel. You have to use the earth to lever yourself up; we have to use our intelligence and the strength of our muscles. If we live our life to the full, if we bounce our ball as much as we can then the ball will not only be going,

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, boom, boom .  .  .  . 

Instead it is going to be a BOOMERANG, bouncing right up to heaven!

The soul is transformed when it leaves its habitat in the upper world, so that it can reside in the body of flesh and blood. In the higher world the soul is unable to impart anything to the infinite, because the infinite is complete, it is perfect, it cannot be changed, it cannot have anything added to or having subtracted from it. The soul leaves for the lower world to find fulfilment for itself by paying back what it owes. When it comes here, in the world below, in most cases it forgets its purpose, and becomes distracted by the earthly attractions. This tragic happening can be symbolised by the following story.

 

 

There was a man, let’s call him Barnabas. He had a wife and a family, and he could not make the ends meet. One day he heard about a far away island, where there are supposed to be diamonds lying in the streets. Barnabas went to a travel agency to make enquires about the island, and learned that it will take him three months to get there. So he went to his wife and he told her:

“I will be away for six months. I will go to Faraway Island, pick up a few diamonds, and when I come back we will have no more worries.”

 The wife said:

“Yes, I will miss you, the children will miss you too . . . but off with you, so that you don’t miss the boat.”

Barnabas leaves with two suitcases he intends to fill with diamonds; he boards the boat and arrives to the Faraway Island. When he gets there, he indeed finds diamonds everywhere, in the streets of the town, in the sand on the beach, under the sea, in the garden. Everywhere he goes he walks on diamonds; he can roll in diamonds.

The night comes, and everything around gets dark. Barnabas finds that the inhabitants do not have any light. And it is getting a bit chilly too.  He asks them what they do about it, and they say:

“Nothing. There is plenty of light during day, especially with all these diamonds shining around. And who needs light at night anyway?”

Barnabas thinks about it, and then he says:

 “If there are diamonds here, there must be some coal somewhere too.”

They ask:

“And what is coal?”

“It’s a black stone and if you pick it up it will make your hands dirty.”

 “Oh, yes, there’s plenty of that here too, on that hill up yonder.”

“Can I have a pick and a shovel?”

Barnabas finds the coal, he brings it back to the town, and he lights the coal. People gather around the fire and say:

“Wow!”

They see that in the middle of the night coal can produce light and heat and they immediately want to buy it from him.

Barnabas takes some diamonds, goes to the wharf and asks when the next boat sails. They say:

“Ha, ha! The boat comes every twelve months.”

“That’s bad. What am I going to live from?”

“Well, why don’t you sell us more of that coal?”

Barnabas takes the pick and the shovel, mines coal, sells it and gets food galore. He has no opposition; people are not used to working this hard, they have no need for it because of the diamonds. He becomes fully absorbed by mining and he works for the whole year, perfectly happy with his work. When there is the time for the boat to come, he fills his suitcases and sails home. He says to his wife:

“Here I am, a bit late, but it was worth all the waiting!”

“Show me what you brought”, says the wife.

Barnabas opens the suitcases and they are filled with coal!

“These are not diamonds!” cries the wife.

“What diamonds, diamonds are very common. The coal is what made me earn my living, for that coal I had the best of the food and the best of the drink, diamonds are really unimportant, coal is much better!”

 

This parable shows us the state of the soul when it comes to the world below. It comes for a purpose, which is to give back what it received, to learn how to receive, to impart to other people. But it gets caught in the meshes of everyday life, of having to earn the living and interrelate with their families and others, so that it completely forgets about its purpose. The purpose is like the diamonds; it is everywhere. Opportunities to make good deeds are on every corner of the street, it does not require a supernatural effort to make people smile and be happy.  Souls descend into this world to correct the imbalance of receiving and sharing. They forget their Divine purpose and become preoccupied with the wants of the body and of this transient world. Like the poor man who was distracted by the necessity of earning a living, our desire to receive is very strong and our purpose is to balance it out with the desire to give. But we soon forget, we become selfish, self-centered and all we have to show for the sojourn on the Earth is a case full of coal. Jacopo Ligozzi: Allegory of Avarice

 

CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE


    We have seen that the restriction of Tzim-Tzum is what makes things happen in this world. Kabbalah teaches us that we are meant to receive with the view of imparting and, indeed, if we gain any wealth, any knowledge, anything at all, without effort, it lacks what we might dub the “creative intelligence”. It is this intelligence concealed in matter that gives us the joy of acquiring and of sharing. On the other hand, any wealth or power acquired by stealth, by crime, by bullying methods and so on, is not going to benefit the person who acquired it in a long run, because its spiritual energy, its creative intelligence, is missing.

The wealth acquired in such manner is invariably ill spent, lost and it will bring no enjoyment at all. In such cases it almost looks as if the money, without the creative intelligence, doesn’t know where it should go, and consequently it ends up in wrong place, in wrong hands. Who would not have seen movies about bank robbery, where near the end everybody fights for the bank notes that fly out of an open briefcase? Nearly all films on this subject have such or a similar ending. In real life, those people who rob banks or service stations usually do get the money, but then they don’t know what to do with the money. They are not used to having large amounts of money, and the only thing that it can do for them is to give them power or semblance of wealth – so they go out and show the money. After that it is only a matter of time before either the police arrests them or other gangsters rob or even kill them. Interestingly, the only member of the gang that in 1963 staged the most successful robbery of all time, the so-called Great Train Robbery who managed to slip through the police network, never enjoyed what he gained. Ronald Biggs spent all of his money on facial surgeries, false documents and later on lawyers, when he was forced to fight extradition charges, so his share of the big loot brought him no joy at all. After nearly forty years on the run, most of which he spent in Brazil, Biggs returned to England in 2001, where he was immediately arrested. His stated desire was to “walk into a pub as an Englishman and buy a pint of bitter”. At the time of writing Biggs is still in prison, having suffered several strokes and heart attacks.

To people with the real creative intelligence, money is never the objective, only the means. If you enjoy what you are doing for a living it always seems to come to you, perhaps not in bundles but enough to survive. Though some people appear to be predestined to make a lot of money effortlessly, and also spend a lot, equally easily. When it is spent well, more money comes their way.

 TO: 17. BODIES OF MAN


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