Free Will and The Mind of God

The essential issue upon which all is balanced for creation to be creation-ing is that of free will. Throughout the ages, theologians have debated whether or not human beings have the ability to choose freely. It has been a key issue because free will imputes that God does not control the universe. If God is in control then we are not really free to choose; God always "knows" what we are going to do. If we really have choice and God does not "know," then God is missing essential information.
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Love is the Soul's Sister

We can appreciate the soul better when we get to know her sister. Just as the soul transcends the limits of time and space, so does her sister: love. Does love have time boundaries? Can we give love shape? Sometimes it may seem to have qualities when we put limits on it. In fact, in some situations, we are able to feel the symptoms of love. But this is transient and love remains indeterminate, unbounded, timeless and completely beyond our comprehension.
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Ecstatic Moments

Kabbalah teaches that we cannot comprehend the meaning of life without exploring profound depths within ourselves to attain a clear recognition of our own essential nature. From the kabbalistic perspective, all of our physical, emotional and intellectual knowledge will fall short of its potential when not informed by the clarity and awareness that comes out of spiritual knowledge. When spiritual teachers talk about “enlightenment,” they are usually referring to a quality of insight that casts the light of revealed truth onto our experiences. Some teachers suggest that enlightenment endows one with supernatural powers.
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Experiencing a Sense of Divine Presence

An almost universal goal of spiritual practice is to evoke a primordial realization: that all things are inseparably interconnected; therefore, we are never alone. The full implications of apprehending this understanding on a gut level draws us out of our sense of separation and aloneness to an extraordinary spiritual experience, known as Presence. In physics, the idea of Presence is expressed in the theory of energy. In simple terms, the entire universe is composed of the presence of energy in various forms. Each cell in our bodies is a function of energy, each breath we take, every step, every movement, every relationship, every event is an expression of energy. It is impossible to consider that we might separate ourselves from the source of energy. Indeed, even after death, our energies transmute into other energetic forms. This idea is so elementary, a universe without energy is inconceivable and absurd.
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Primordial Human Consciousness? (N)

The first Adam/Eve is called by Kabbalists Adam Ha-Rishon (primeval human consciousness). This in no way resembled the human form as we know it. The Jewish sages speak of it in hyperbole. It had stupendous proportions, reaching from earth to heaven; it stood astride earth from one end to the other. It could see to the far reaches of the universe, for the light at that time was called Ohr Ein Sof, the limitless light, a metaphor for pure awareness. Adam Ha-Rishon did not see with eyes, it saw with an immeasurable "knowing." This teaches that as each and every mortal being is a spark from the original Adam Ha-Rishon, we all have the potential to perceive everything knowable in this universe.
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What is the Meaning of Perfection? (N)

A rebbe one quiet summer evening changed forever my perspective of enlightenment. The subject of that evening was "perfection." This rebbe said, "Kabbalists say that Ein Sof [Boundlessness] is perfect, by definition, and this universe is constantly in the process of perfecting itself. Indeed, Judaism says that the very purpose of existence is the continuous perfecting of the universe. "Imagine an advanced computer program in an 'intelligent' computer that is designed to learn as it goes. Each time it does a function, it learns by its mistakes and does the function more efficiently the next time. As long as it is learning, constantly improving, it is fulfilling its purpose. "However, if the computer functions in a way that it ceases to improve itself, it is programmed to self-destruct. Why? Because its purpose is to continuously perfect itself. If it achieves perfection, it no longer has anything to do. Thus it enters a stalemate with no place to go.
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If God is not what we think it is, what is It?

What is God? God is not what we think It is. God is not a thing, a being, a noun. It does not exist, as existence is defined, for It takes up no space and is not bound by time. Jewish mystics often refer to It as Ein Sof, which means Endlessness. Ein Sof should never be conceptualized in any way. It should not be called Creator, Almighty, Father, Mother, Infinite, the One, Brahma, Buddhamind, Allah, Adonoy, Elohim, El, or Shaddai; and It should never, never be called He. It is none of these names and it has no gender. When we call It God, what are we talking about? If we say that It is compassionate, full of loving kindness, the source of love, we may be talking about our image of what we think the divine nature ought to be but we are not talking about Ein Sof.
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Can We Change Fate?

The soul is the kabbalistic key to discovering the secrets of life and death. If we constantly remind ourselves that soul dimensions should never be construed as physical entities, but are "patterned forces" like bubbles passing through various realities, we can use the teachings about souls to gain an uncommon perspective on the spiritual nature of the universe. In an remarkable zoharic passage, Rabbi Eleazar asks Rabbi Simeon a question: "Since God knows that people will die, why are souls sent down to the world?"
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What is realization?

The human mind creates its own reality. Everyone deeply and intimately knows this fact; we live with it thousands of times daily. Our minds are continuously giving birth to new thoughts that can last little as a split second or as long as many minutes. Some of us experience selective mind states for hours, but usually these mental states are continuously interrupted by brief excursions to various other realities that we create. Even as one reads these words, one’s mind may be focused, but it is likely flitting from here to there, partially engaged in assimilating these words, but also scanning ambient sounds and visual experiences, physical feelings of the body, tactile experiences, a wide range of emotions, movements of the digestive and pulmonary systems, and noticing that just reading these words automatically sets the mind in motion through suggestion and association.
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What is meant by higher awareness?

In ancient times, before the word Kabbalah was used, Jewish mystical practitioners were called yoredei merkevah, those who descend in the chariot. They had many other names as well: masters of the mystery, children of the king's palace, those who know wisdom, the understanding ones, those who entered and left in peace, those who reap the field, and so forth. These mystics were immersed in teachings that collectively were called ma-asey merkevah, the work of the chariot. The teachings were closely guarded secrets and an aura of great reverence was built around merkevah mysticism.
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What is meant by the idea of the Godding Process?

The opening sentence of the King James Bible reads: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. This simple sentence plants a seed that has taken root in all Western religious tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It may come as shock, therefore, to discover that a thousand years ago closely guarded kabbalistic teachings in Judaism proposed a radically different translation of the Bible’s opening line. This new translation—secret for centuries—dramatically alters our understanding of the Creation story.
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If there is no self, no "I", then who knows that it does not exist?

Awareness, in the way I define it with a capital A, is non-dual. There is no subject/object, no sense of self. Awareness is pure, primordial, Knowing (without a knower). You may ask, who is it that knows? But there is no answer. We might say that an organism without an identity knows. In the same vein, there is thinking with a thinker, that is called consciousness, and there is a kind of thinking that is associated with Awareness, and this is called Knowing
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What is “Thisness? What is Big Mind?

(Dialog with a student.) I believe that I have on occasion had a pure big A Awareness experience and felt suffused with well-being and serenity. It seems to me that this is not a thought but a state of mind. Actually, it is neither thought nor state. It is IS-ness, or THIS-ness, it is “what is” and nothing can describe it. If there is something our minds can grab, then for sure, that it is not IT. Also, be careful about the idea of well-being. For even when we are feeling like crap, there is full Presence, full Awareness, always, at all times.
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What is the difference between awareness and consciousness?

I make a distinction between Awareness with a capital A, awareness with a small a, and the meaning of consciousness. I use Awareness in its primordial sense: Primordial Awareness, the totality of all, including yesh (thingness) AND ayin (emptiness). For example, one of my teachers describes ayin-emptiness as "cognizant" emptiness, having a knowing quality. This Knowing quality (capital K) is identical with Awareness capital A (Perhaps we should call it Primordial Knowing--the essence of Knowing itself, or simply: Knowing without a knower).
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