Using the Physical to connect to the Spiritual
How can you use the physical to connect to the spiritual?
It’s brought down in different sources that the Neshamah goes through great suffering due to the fact that it is brought down to this physical dimension.
The parable that we can think of to understand this is that of the daughter of a king. She’s forced to go and to live the most simple basic life of peasants. All the time she is missing the Palace of her father all the time.
This daughter of the King will treasure anything she will find that comes from the palace. She will take it and try to get the most out of it.
She will try to again get the connection to the experiences that she had when she was in the palace.
When we are privileged to practice Kabbalistic Meditation correctly, it gives comfort to the neshama because this is something that is related to what the Neshama was experiencing when it was in the heavens with Hashem.
When someone has an experience which is very physical, eating chocolate for example, there is a possibility to just enjoy the senses that receive the pleasure.
There is also a way to relate the pleasure back to the source of the pleasure, which is Hashem.
So if you are taking the pleasure and your trying to get the most out of the experience, it can be anything that is related to this world, all the different kinds of pleasures etc. So if we are taking advantage of the experiences that we have in this world to go back to the source of any experience of pleasure, we can experience them in the physical Dimension or we can use it as a springboard to go high to ascend.
This is the goal of all the meditations is to be able to live our everyday life in a way that everything will be related to Hashem.
If someone, for example, has pleasure from chocolate, and while he is experiencing that he can be thinking about Hashem.
When we are experiencing only the physical pleasure then only the lowest part of our self which is related with the physical will have the experience of the pleasure.
It is a very high level to be able to do this. The basic level is starting with meditation to remove anything external that is pulling us down from being able to concentrate and connect to Hashem. It is a much harder and much higher level to be able to use the physical to connect to the spiritual.
So the first stage is first to just do a meditation. Then we combine it with prayer.
After a long period of time of practicing, that person will be able to accomplish anything that he wants in his life.
So in a way, there’s two points that go in opposite directions – physical and spiritual. We would think that the practice of meditation per se is the highest but it’s only the starting point.
The experience of the physical is the lowest but it’s also part of the end goal; to be able to relate all the physical back to the spiritual.
The physical world, the physical Dimension is the furthest out. Those parts of spirituality called the Sparks that fell into this physical Dimension fell the furthest because they are coming from the highest spiritual worlds.
To be able to practice the technique of taking these Sparks and bringing them up is the hardest job. It means takong the stones that fell furthest and to bring them up all the way to their original place. [This is in a way rebuilding the Palace of Hashem.]
Intimacy with Hashem
It is said according to the efforts will be the reward, And what is the reward? Intimacy with Hashem.
The value of getting five minutes with a top lawyer is a whole lot, just as is the value of to have few minutes with a top doctor.
This is one of those things that you have to pay a lot of money to be able to have intimacy with someone.
So if we would have some kind of beginning of understanding about Hashem, we would understand that there’s nothing bigger. There’s nothing more valuable than intimacy with Hashem. It’s the top of everything. There’s nothing that is even compared to that in any way within all the pleasures of this world.
This is how we have to look at this world. What’s bringing us closer to this intimacy. We have to value it and to give it a high priority. Find out what is taking us away from this intimacy and we have to run away from it.
It’s not easy because Hashem put us in the physical body that has all kinds of lust and desires and the default of the physical body is to be pulled by it and get away from the core of intimacy of Hashem. But the moment that the person is privileged to remember his wrong direction he should take action as soon as possible to get back to the beginning point of the connection with Hashem.
It’s very similar in a way to eating, when someone eats a healthy diet and then he cheats with some kind of fattening food he feels guilty afterwards.
After repeating this process a few times the cheating is not as great. It isn’t worth it. It doesn’t cover the few hours of suffering afterwards. Then he is ready to stop cheating on his diet. It will take time until it sinks in and the person is ready to live it, but that’s the principle.
We want to connect to Hashem. It means that in any part of our life the meditation and all kinds of the practice of the different Mitzvot and prayer and so on and also physical activities such as eating and sleeping is to be able to bring everything back to its source.