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Darkness

“Darkness covered the face of the deep.” Genesis 1:2

Before there was light, the EIN SOF withdrew itself (Zimzum) from one place and created a void. This void made a space for the EIN SOF OR, Eternal Light, to enter. This void was the darkness that covered the face of the deep.

Before there could be light, there needed to be darkness through which it could shine and penetrate. This is the foundation for the dualistic nature of the world of creation, out of which all other dualities unfold...light and dark, earth and sky, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, and love and fear.

This darkness is not just the absence of light, it is the boundary between form and formlessness, and it is also the spiritual darkness that descends upon us as we struggle to touch the light of the Divine.

I have experienced this spiritual darkness many times. I am immersed in a spiritual darkness at this very moment. This darkness has lasted several weeks and began after writing my last entry about the Eternal Light. The writing of the entry and several other processes in my life and spiritual practice converged and I experienced an extended experience of "light" which was then followed by a descent into darkness.

Through my experiences of light and darkness I have come to realize that after a period of closeness or nearness to the Divine light, I often experience a period of disconnection or desolation in which I seem to loose touch with the Divine, and the light and love of the Divine appears to be replaced by an experience darkness (or a Dark Night of the Soul). This darkness is like a cloud of unknowing that surrounds me and fills my being.

For years I perceived these dark times as a withdrawal of the Divine presence, but I have learned that from the Kabbalistic perspective, one can actually perceive this darkness as a sign of a greater nearness to the Divine. From this perspective, as we approach the Divine through intent and practice, we move through many layers of body, mind and spirit until we reach the light, then we enter that dark void between the light and the EIN SOF, which is actually the closest we can be to the Divine without giving up our physical form.

Now that I hold these times of darkness as times of nearness to the Divine, my entire experience of the dark times is very different. I surrender into the unknowingness and feel a sense of grace and blessing. I become aware that there are forces beyond my perception moving deep within, unearthing and dissolving the barriers I have between myself and the Divine. In this way darkness covers the face of the deep within me and reveals the hidden Divine face.

"I will come to you in a cloud of thick darkness,

that you may come near to me

and hear when I speak with you..."

Exodus 19:9

 

"Clouds and darkness surround the Divine Presence"

Psalm 97:2

 

"The Divine Presence makes darkness Its hiding place" Psalms 189:12

 

 

 

 

Index
Welcome
Introduction
In Beginning
In The Beginning
Before The Beginning
Endlessness
Eternal Light
Darkness
The Divine Orchard
The Awakening Self
The Divine Name
Season of Liberation
The Ten Lessons
Kabbalah Q&A

 

Comments

 

It looks as though you are talking about a more "traditional" mystical and contemplative style of kabbalah.

Who do you think should study Kabbalah? Why? and how?

Like a lot of traditional teachings, it's not always easy to separate philosophy from physics (or metaphysics I guess) with kabbalah. There are ethical teachings and pantheons and descriptions of the mind and of the universe all mixed up. It's an interesting old soup, been thru a lot of changes over the years.

Posted by: Bill

 

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and probing questions.

I have received them and am meditating deeply on your words and on my response.

In gratitude,

- Mark

Posted by: markallankaplan

 

A wise response.

I have thought in the past the one of the benefits of the study of kabbalah is that it encourages and promotes the concept and the ideal of wisdom.

The same could be said of many other traditional systems, of course.

Posted by: Bill

 

Thank you for your patience in waiting for my response. I have surrendered all my ways to Spirit and wait for that moment when the "Spirit moves me."

I heartily agree with you that the study of Kabbalah encourages and promotes the concept and ideal of wisdom...seeing how it is the nearest attribute to the crown of creation.

The form of Kabbalah I am exploring in this blog is traditional in the sense that it is deeply rooted in Judaic Kabbalah, although my interpretations of some of the material is non-traditional in nature because they are the product of personal mystical communication with Kabbalistic forces.

My perspective is also non-traditional in that I believe anyone can study Judaic Kabbalah. While it is true that a great deal of Judaic Kabbalah is rooted in the Jewish tradition itself, I believe these roots have universal aspects to them that can resonant with students from other traditions. I also believe that one can study Kabbalah alongside other spiritual systems as part of an integral spiritual practice that embraces all faiths (an approach I personally prefer).

From my perspective, the reason why someone should study Kabbalah is if they feel drawn to it. If there is a resonance in one's being when encountering the teachings of Kabbalah, then I believe it is calling to you.

My own leaning for how one should study Kabbalah is based on my own experience. I believe that one should study either traditional Kabbalah by itself or in conjunction with or preceding studies of non-traditional or esoteric Kabbalah. In this way one keeps a soul anchor in the root of this powerful mystical path.

Kabbalah in all its forms is indeed a rich, diverse and interesting soup. It's stock is healing and soothing to the body, heart, mind and soul; it's bubbling surface is a mirror of the cosmos; and it's deep churning undercurrent is the hidden river of return. And strangely enough, every being who tastes this soup, has a unique experience of it that miraculously leads to a universal process.

In gratitude for the gift of your postings,

Mark

Posted by: markallankaplan

 
 
 

 

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