The Journey of the Soul 8 – Tzimtzum/Tikkun
The Journey of the Soul
אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ
A-dnai sifatai tiftach, ufi yagid tehilatecha—
G‑d, Open my lips, that my mouth can declare Your praise
Tzimtzum explained in Creation is when the Or EnSof (The Light of The Creator) Concealed Himself so that creation could exist. If G-d was to Reveal all of His Glory the universe would cease to exist because it couldn’t stand the intensity of His Light. One could ask how is it that HaShem could Remove Himself from any part of creation? Nothing exists without there being some degree of G-d’s Presence.
We conceal bits and pieces of our true selves. Sometimes it is because we don’t trust that the other will accept that part of us. Sometimes it is because we want that part of us to stay private or hidden between us and G-d. Americans especially treasure their privacy. That can be a good thing and it could be a negative thing. Judaism is about community. Living in a community makes it difficult to hide any part of our lives.
The power of the soul to affect things in our world is called conscious determination.
It is tzimtzum that makes possible free-will choices. For, without tzimtzum there can be no darkness; without darkness, there can be no evil; without evil, there can be no alternative to make free-choice a reality.
In Bereishit (Genesis) 1.5 we read……………
And there was evening and there was morning, one day
Darkness preceded the light. This is a physical and spiritual truth. Often in our own lives darkness precedes the light.
Every descent is for the purpose of ascent. Every failure to keep G-d’s Commandments provides an opportunity for repentance and ascent back to G-d. David provides us an example where we watch his failure in falling for Batsheva. His failure provides us with a great example of remorse and repentance in Psalm 51. Our souls descend from heaven into our physical bodies in order to cause an ascent by means of Torah and Mitzvot.
And do not let your evil inclination assure you that the grave is a refuge for you — for against your will were you created, against your will were you born, against your will do you live, against your will will you die, and against your will will you stand in judgment before the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He. Pirkei Avot Treasury Artscroll Mesorah 4.29 pages 293-294
Even though we are born against our will, we do not want to die – which proves that we want to live. If so, then we must account to G-d for what we do with our lives. Pirkei Avot Treasury Artscroll Mesorah 4.29 page 294
We have the opportunity to provide tikkum (repair) our souls and the world. The path has been laid out for us in the Kabbalah. We can study the worlds and the descending, ascending levels of our souls through the worlds.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43.6 defines the five worlds and these five worlds define the path of our five levels of our soul.
כֹּל הַנִּקְרָא בִשְׁמִי וְלִכְבוֹדִי בְּרָאתִיו יְצַרְתִּיו אַף עֲשִׂיתִיו
All that is Called by My Name ( Adam Kadmon )
For My Glory ( Atzilut )
I have Created it ( Beriah )
I have Formed it ( Yetzirah )
And I have Completed it ( Asiyah )
Five worlds, five levels of our soul that need refining in order to come closer to HaShem.
The Infinite (Eyn Sof)
Beyond all descriptions of analogies.
the finite worlds.
The World of Emanation
Structured energy flowing directly from the Emanator.
The World of Creation
Accessible only through meditation and mystical experience.
The World of Formation
The patterns, Laws, formulas and paradigms that underlie the physical world, which can be inferred through reason and imagination.
The World of Action The universe of space, time, matter and energy experienced directly through the senses
See The Tree of Live Donald Wilder Menzi, Zwe Padeh Arizal Publications page xxiii
The five levels of our soul that we have looked at are in ascending order:
the lowest level, call it the animal level, the level which animates and gives function to the body – enters the body during the nine months of gestation.
Centered in the heart – tied to our emotions – develops when an infant is suckling at its Mother’s breast
Requires a lengthy period of mental development – our intellect – is what allows one to distinguish between good and evil.
Moral consciousness – communes with G‑d as He Transcends the worlds.
cleaves to and reflects the original Infinite Light – connects us with HaShem – complete spiritual unification and wholeness.
Chaya and Yechida are concealed.
We cannot conceal all that we are from G-d. So let us leave concealment and go to tikkun. In order to repair ourselves we must allow our soul’s journey to rise from world to world. This is done with Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh – Accounting of the soul
chazak, chazak, v’nitchazaik.
Be strong. Be strong. And we will strengthen one another.
Blessings and Peace