Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vantage Point

Notes fromYehudah based on today's class:

Navua (prophesy) upgrades a Chacham’s hasagas ha mitzeus 

(This example is taking place within the larger discussion of how a haara of a higher level can be superior to an etzm of a lower level.  When the etzm experiences this higher haara, the haara brings an elevation to the etzm, and vice versa the etzm makes the haara more significant.)

A Chocham has an intellectual grasp of the world of Atzilus, the world of complete G-dliness.  Nevertheless, there is a profound difference between the way a Chocham who is not a Navi perceives Atzilus and the way a Chocham who is a Navi perceives Atzilus.  This is true even though a Navi’s prophesy is on a lower level than Atzilus (for example, Yetzira). 
The mashal of the empty cup vs. the cup with tea

We can get a handle on the superior quality the Navi adds to the Chocham’s hasaga through the example of how one sees an empty cup vs. a cup with tea in it. 

When one sees an empty cup on the table, one primarily sees the physical cup as its own entity.  He sees the mitzeus of the cup.  Second and subsequently, he perceives a purpose in the cup.  He logically understands that the cup didn’t get there on its own, someone had to have put it on the table for a purpose. 

When one sees a cup on the table with hot tea in it, right away he sees that this cup is here because of the person who wants to drink a cup of tea.  The mitzeus of the cup--the cup as a stand-alone entity—is insignificant. 

The four worlds

The empty cup vs. the cup with tea helps us to understand the difference between the four worlds.

The difference between the four worlds (Atzilus, Briya, Yetzira, Asiya) is the extent to which G-dliness is apparent.  In Atzilus, G-dliness is all that exists.  There is no mitzeus.  Asiya is almost completely mitzeus without a revelation of G-dliness.  Yetzira and Briya are mitzeus but G-dliness is also revealed there. 

Asiya perception is like seeing the empty cup.  The main thing you see is the mitzeus.  However, by logical deduction, you know that there must be G-d who created this mitzeus. 

The perception from the higher worlds is that you see G-dliness directly, like seeing the cup with tea.

Both a Chocham who is not a Navi and one that is a Navi intellectually perceive Atzilus.  However, a Chcocham who is not a Navi sees Atzilus from the perspective of this world of Asiya, whereas a chocham who is a Navi sees Atzilus from the perspective of a higher spiritual world (for example, Yetzira). 

This is a significant difference.  The Navi Chachom understands the G-dly world of Atzilus from a base perception where G-dliness is reality.  The non-Navi Chacham understands it from a base perception where reality is mitzeus.  The Navi’s reality is G-dliness not mitzeus.  Through his nevua he has seen the mahus of the higher spiritual world, where G-dliness is revealed, and this has made an impression on his mind.  His sight in nevua is akin to physical sight.  Like physical sight imparts the reality of the world to a person, the navua imparts the reality of the spiritual world on the Navi.  This is true even after the nevua is over.  Similarly, a blind person who has once seen knows the reality of this world whereas a blind person who has never seen does not have a yetzer hora because this world is not real to him.  The non-Navi Chacham’s base reality is in Asiya, which is the world of mitzeus.  Thus both the Navi-Chocham and the non-Navi Chocham understand Atzilus.  But the Navi-Chocham’s understanding is more profound.

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