AyinBase with R' Paltiel Sunday 8 Kislev
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You cannot understand the sun rising. Nature is a miracle. The infinity of the world is before us. The question is how do we relate to it.
The Zohar says that there is a gain by chochmah by its contrast with the opposite. When light engages with darkness, the essence is revealed.
The principle: what is darkness? What is light? There is a practical level that let's you see across the street. It is light that is behislabshut/enclothed in the world – this is the physical level that can be emulated by the camera. This is not what we mean by 'sight'. True, there is a physical element. But beyond this element is recognition that despite the physical level, there is relating to the object without contact, that gives us a new perspective on the world. This is the start of the difference between light and dark.
Darkness says an object only exists to the extent that it affects us.
Sight relates us to the reality that there is reality beyond ourselves. There is a real presence. This is the difference between light and darkness. This is the effect of light – 'that there is a reality independent of my experience'.
What is this reality? It is not the object itself. Through light I get to recognize that there is a Creator.
When you enter a room that is set up in a certain way, one sees the the one who sets it up, not the objects.
Now, light can refine darkness. How? Take this metaphor: you are invited to a dinner. Everything is set up properly. And then the host who invited you says, 'enjoy the meal, I'm going elsewhere'. It is a terrible let down. The food is there, but relative to the host's presence this is tangibility/darkness. The host's presence is the reality. It has no attributes. Essence has no features.
This purification is by means of hiskafia/submission. This means there's no element of personal gain. The Rebbe Rashab said that in fasting there are 2 possibilities – fasting or dieting. Fasting is a fast when it relates to Him.
Without the host the plate is just food. With him it is a meal. So too regarding a mitzvah. The rebbe came out with a campaign about teffilin. There was opposition. Some said, 'the one putting it one doesn't know what he's doing...' but the point is that the mitzvah is there because He told us to do it (wether or not some of the meaning are grasped or not). The fact that He calls for it goes beyond any features. It is reality itself. This is why it has to be by means of hiskafia/submission specifically – recognition of His presence and doing it 'cos He said so. You subdue your own interest.
I have to do it because there is a King. This is the elevated consciousness.
One can say, 'I want a cheese burger, but what can I do? My Father in Heaven said don't eat it!' and in this way he restrains himself. He doesn't kid himself and say 'I don't want it' – he wants and overcomes the desire and in this way the Higher intent is fulfilled. Why?
You invite someone to your table, not because you're a good cook. This is like doing mitzvoth because it makes you a better person. It is significant, but not where it starts. You can't serve 'fast food', but the central theme remains the relationship. That's where it starts from. When he invites the guest it is not to show-off his cooking skills. It is tasty, but that's not why we're there. There is beauty in mitzvoth, but that's not why we do them, we do them because of the relationship with Father.
G-d said, 'I want a dwelling place below'. And that's how it all got started... it represents how He wants to relate to His creatures. The main thing is 'my Father in heaven is telling me...'
By us doing His will is his intention fulfilled. Because of the element of submission/kfiah, there is a superior quality in the of negative commandments over the positive.
The soul is able to purify the 'animal soul', because it is above/separate from hishtalshalus. The world acts through action and reaction. This is hishtalshalut – things evolve and devolve. 'cause and affect' will impact everything that is not a primary truth. The soul is beyond this. They are simply not affected by anything external. The soul is rooted in Essence. Thus the soul can purify the 'animal soul'.