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26.1.14

Talking with God where ever one goes  is a remarkable concept in the thought of
Brother Lawrence in his little book The Practice of the Presence of God.  

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{Reb Nachman later took up this theme and it seems unlikely that he got it from Brother Lawrence. In any case there is a slight difference. Brother Lawrence is concentrating on being in the Presence of God and the speaking with God as a side effect. Reb Nachman is concentrating on speaking with God in one's own language with one's own words about one's own problems. The focus is a little different. In any case I think as worthy as this is it tends to take off the focus from learning Torah which is about hearing what God has to say. Talking with God is telling God what you have to say. No wonder that talking with God does not seem seem to improve people's character by a single jot.


 While by itself it does not sound like much but it has the potential to answer a lot of conundrums.
At least I should say it did solve a number of problems that I faced over several years.
I will just mention here a few points without trying to develop this into an essay with one single point.
Talking with God  should  considered  an priori value.  In this concept of speaking with God while alone, it would make sense to take a bag lunch in the morning and go out into some nearby forest and spend the whole day just talking with God.




We find in classical books of Musar that separation from this world is considered a noble goal. [See Chovot Levavot [Duties of the Heart] Shaar Habitachon for one example.] where it says in the old days when someone wanted to fulfill this he went out into a forest and built a hut and stayed there for several years subsisting on some merge diet and learning Torah all day.

Talking with God alone for some time during the day seems to me to be a good way of tasting a bit of separation from this world while still being in a position to fulfill ones other obligations It seems that if one can't do this every day, then at least on weekends one should take a field trip to some mountain top and spend time alone with God.[Get hiking boots before you do this.]

] It seems to answer the question of how to be attached to God. Now in the Torah we do find that attachment to God is one of the goals of the Mitzvas. [I mean to say that most of the mitzvas of the Torah are not considered goals in themselves. The Torah itself says to do the mitzvas for certain reasons that it lists. Attachment to God is one of these goals.  As it says in Deuteronomy: "Do these mitzvas in order to love and fear God, and to be attached to him."]

[] To me it seems unlikely that Yoga can lead to attachment with God. It depends on sitting and thinking. And sitting and thinking can easily become thinking about things that have little or no relationship with God. And also there does not seem to be an reason to say that thinking about God leads to attachment with Him. I should say as a preface that I consider numinous value to be highly connected and correlated with Moral value. Prayer seems to have the value that it is in fact in the category of a mitzvah-- that of prayer which is in fact one of the 613 commandments.Yoga does not seem to have that advantage.



[] It seems to me to be important in fact to follow the Reb Chaim from Voloshin program of learning Torah. The reason is that prayer may open one to hear the words of God, but then one needs to learn them. That is one should not think that since he has talked with God that it is automatic that God has talked with him. One still needs to do the effort to learn what God's Will is in the Torah.