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9.11.10

Worship as Will

Worship as Will
Of Man
1)

 To him the soul was not the bottom of the ladder (the bottom of all creation) but contained all the good and evil worlds, and in it is room for much more.


But his idea of the "self" is different from that of Nietzsche [which was borrowed by Freud and modern psychology.] Nietzsche opened the door for the idea of false consciousness- which is so well used by the Left. If people don't want what the Socialist government tells them is for their good, it is because they don't really know what they want--false consciousness. the depths of the soul into subterranean hell and into the highest of heaven are vast--but one always retains free will and knows what he is choosing.









Faith
2) The faith is faith in God now— faith in God is trust in God right now. Not any theology . Just simple plain trust in God right now. Anything that detracts from that, like creating articles of faith outside of that simple principle is simply a trick of the sitra achra (Dark Side) to detract from faith.\

 Prayer is actual prayer--not Shemona Esra. ) [Rav Shick did try to tell people \the Torah itself is pantheism. However this goes against the understanding that the Rambam and Saadia Gaon and all the rishonim (first authorities) had of the Torah. Plus לבד  means "alone". For example I  can say," I went to the market alone without Joe." So when the Torah says אין עוד מלבדו. It means nothing exists alone without God. No one that ever knew Hebrew thought it means pantheism. It is well known that the world view of Torah is monotheism.]
It is common to find books that supposedly explain the Torah but in fact change its meaning. That is why it is important to stick with books from the Middle Ages which were written before the different falsifying movements began. However the Musar schools of Israel Salanter do attempt to understand teh Torah as it is without changing its message to fit their agenda.



Reason and Faith
3) The crisis of our age is that our first principles are contradictory and incoherent. Reason and Faith (as in belief in reason and belief in Torah) is an absolute contradiction in belief.
4)a strong connection between reason and faith,  but it can't be at the expense of nullifying the essence of either one.

5) Just like the human brain is structured like a computer with levels and sub-levels so all aspects of a human being are reflected in mathematics. But the connection is inverse. It is not parallel but anti parallel. For in the purest form of mathematics logic there is absolute necessity but zero content—the sentence of logic can stand for anything you like. A sentence “A” can stand for any proposition you like and formal logic just deals with sentence like A, B etc. Spirit it is just the opposite. God is perfectly free. He is not bound but the law of contradiction, but he is infinite in content. Similarly everything in Mathematics is located in soul in an inverse relation.



6) There is a third type of perception that is not based on sensory perception and not on reason. It is called faith. It is how God is sensed. The first thing is to have faith and then a type of perception comes in. This is how the writings of the Arizal work also—one believes and then perception comes in. The main thing about it is it perceives content while reason only perceives form or universals.

7)  The rejection of reason is the equivalent of the rejection of morality.-This does not happen at first but eventually rejecting reason means a persons loses his conscience-- because all moral values have their basis in reason. One could object that he believes in Torah and that is a higher morality than reason, but in fact even the mitzvot of the Torah are perceived through the sense of reason (beside the fact that the Rambam and the Gemara understood that all mitzvot are based on some reason and are not goals in themselves).

8) There are different types of perception. Sometimes there is a zadik had the spiritual type and therefore he is believable in that area but not in areas where that kind of perception is not relevant—like areas of music or reason or justice or morality.


Values

9)  the underlying values in Torah.  speaking with God simply with no formulas, faith in God not in doctrines nor faith in books, the disagreement between tzadikim and also the disagreement between system of thought—all this to   is in the category of ontological ignorance. Not only that we don’t know and can't know but also that that lack of knowledge leads to great things e.g. the existence of the world itself depends on that lack of knowledge.

10) At first I thought there are paths of holiness. For a Jew only the Jewish path works. There are religions that are straightforward evil. But outside of them many religions have some very important elements of good and one born inside of that system should stay they and just ignore or get rid of the bad elements. But even a good path like Torah can become perverted. It can start out in the direction of God but right before it gets there it veers off to the side.
But now this seems to me now to be ridiculous—there are not several paths to holiness. There is only one—simple plain human decency and morality-pay your bills speak the truth, don't steal, honor your parents. i.e. The common sense morality of the Ten Commandments.)





Education

13) That means I am essentially saying a very simple thing: that education should consist of learning the great Torah books that deal with the essential questions of life—the existence of God, the meaning of life, is there reward and punishment? What is good? What is justice? Therefore the books that I think people should learn are the Torah, the oral and written law.[i.e.Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, Tosepfta, Sifri, Sifra. [You don't need to do every Rashi if you understand the Gemara, but you do need to do every Tosphot and Maharsha] This should not be particularly hard of you learn fast--say the words and go on. saying the words brings the מקיפים (surrounding light) of what you are learning closer]. But this also means not reading books that destroy the mind and morals. It means being able to discern what are really great books and what are modern fads, and shiny new theories that will disappear in a short time because essential they are just second rate hacks offering up re-digested material they got from else where and are presenting it as if it is original thought. (World books—books that contain a picture of the whole world and there is at least a possibility that they are believable and know something about what they are talking about and have some essential insights about human beings and human problems. And possible solutions)

) Existence itself is a field. Abstract objects hit the field and then start existing. Like when an electron hits a magnetic field and starts reacting.



) The indication is that fields of existence or of justice or music or morality are fields. That is why music was specifically in the area and time that it was. It is why Kabalah was specifically in Tzfat in the specific time and place that it was .
Talmud Study

16) Rather that the Gemara is a path to the light for one who already has good character traits.
Misuse of the Talmud does not cancel use. One can learn from the Talmud great morality and decency. That is the proper use of the Talmud. But one can misuse it also.

17) The unreasonable ineffectiveness of Musar (Books about Ethics written during the Middle Ages) to make moral people is disturbing. This is what I always noticed about Musar. It was not very effective to change people’s character. The reason is that it is not believable that it has some deep insight in life or human beings or the universe in general.

18) Torah has holiness and brings one close to God—but only to the degree that it influences one not to lie, not steal, to honor his parents, pay his debts, work honestly for a living. I.e. the essence of Torah is this and everything else about Torah has value only to the degree it is connected and brings to this. And that there is only one path towards the infinite light of God and it is to never lie and never to allow a lie into ones soul. It is not by lots of prayer or learning Torah.




19)  The purpose of Creation is to know God. Torah is to know God. But to know that something exists is not the same as knowing what it is. “To know God” means content. And that can't be known by doctrines and dogma. That comes by a simple faith that is totally independent of any doctrine not opposed to anything and is totally self sufficient. And it effects an person’s entire personality and every waking thought.


10.10.10

A school that would take the Rambam would learn Mishne Torah, Aristotle's Metaphysics, and Physics


I suggest a school that would take the Rambam/Maimonides seriously. That would be Tenach [Old Testament] and the Mishna Torah of the Rambam himself (containing the entire oral law) plus Maase Merchava (Aristotle and Plato) and Maase Breshit (Math, Physics, chemistry, and Biology.)Talmud \The Rambam also held it is a small thing as compared to science and philosophy (as he understood science and philosophy which means Greek philosophy and natural science—not all the nonsense today which poses as science).

 To understand halacha, is impossible without the Rambam. (The Beit Yoseph wanted to decide like the Rambam. And he knew the Rambam and the Rif always poskin (decide) the same way except in one particular tractate (Ketubot) in which they always disagree. Saying to go by the majority of Rif, Rambam, and Rosh just means that he decided like the Rambam in 80% of cases. Still I admit to understand the Rambam on any particular case without the Gemara is also impossible.

I met one fellow who had a edition of the Mishne Torah with no commentary at all.
That seems to me to be  a great idea for a halacha session. But it does not take the place of learning Gemara.


To sum up: In the Mir Yeshiva in NY there was an official Halacah session from 9:15 AM until 10:00 AM. In practice this  was only from 9:30 until 10. At 10:00 you learned Talmud until 1:45 PM which is when the Musar session began. What I suggest for halacah is to do the Rambam with little or no commentary. In the afternoon learn the Metaphysics of Aristotle as the Rambam said and also Modern Physics. This would be the complete Rambam program in three easy steps.

(1) Rambam with the Gemara and Rav Shach's Avi Ezri, (2)The Metaphysics of Aristotle. (3) Physics. 

3.10.10

HI

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Is it not better to see the chazon ish as simply seeing the failure of musar to create moral people even to the degree of having a simple understanding of the difference between right and wrong and concluding that no one has so far not found a better solution that sitting and learning Gemara?I do agree that it might have been deeper also. Perhaps the Chazon Ish had discovered the vast underworlds inside the Self that he thought was better not to open up like some Pandora’s box. I see all the time all types of distorted warped sanctimonious personalities that come out of of the religious world.

26.8.10

The Ari over the Ramak

 Kabalah. There are serious problems involved in learning it. The Ari himself warns that one who is not properly prepared, Kabalah kills them--spiritually. [That statemnt is in Parshat Haazinu]. [And the Ari repeats this warning  a few places].  That means: they enter into the Intermediate Zone and think they have reached great spiritual heights, when really they have sunken deeply into a world illusion. And who am I to argue with Isaac Luria?
So learning Kabalah at all should be short and sweet.--if at all.
And if you do learn it at least make sure it is authentic.

Kabalah in the Ashkenazic world after 1700's  got thematic material from Shabati Tzvi. Plus most Ashkenazic interpretations of the Ari are all derived from Natan the false prophet of the Shatz.

So my recommendation when it comes to Kabbalah is to learn one or all three of these schools of thought: 1) Reshash (Shalom Sharabi) --in Jerusalem that would be the yeshiva, Shaar Hashamayim of Mordechai Sharabi. 2) Yaakov Abuchatzeira --in Israel that would be David Abuchatzeira in Nahariya. 3) Moshe Luzzatto.

You could do this on your own if you are not in Israel. The Kabbalah Center in Israel has a great edition of the Ari, with Shalom Sharabi's book in the back of the Eitz Chaim and the notes of the disciple of the Ashlag. And that is a very good place to start.
As for what people are looking for authentic kabbalists or mystics-- I think many descendants of Bava Sali [maybe all] have some degree of the Divine Spirit because of some kind of merit that he must have had.
In Netivot, I was very impressed with Shimon Buso, a grandson of Bava Sali from the side of his mother. If authentic mystics is what you are looking for, that is probably the first place I would start.--and his mother also -the daughter of Bava Sali Avigail Buso.

But outside of that Abuchatzeira  family, I would avoid mystics. Most are heavily into the Intermediate Zone, and drag their followers down into the bowels of hell with them. I see this all the time.


22.8.10

In the thought of Isaac Luria the way the world was created was this





 In the thought of Isaac Luria the way the world was created was this: (step 1) The light of God is everywhere and thus no place for creation. (step 2) He withdraws himself from a certain area to create an empty space ("the Chalal Hapanui"). (step 3) Then He sends down his light into that space; first as 10 circles [concentric spheres like an onion], and then in the form of a human being (Adam Kadmon), mentioned by Hegel.  (Step 4) Then the light comes down from Adam Kadmon to make the world of "Nekudim". (step 5) Shevirat Hakelim breaking of the vessels of Nekudim. (step 6) Bringing up the broken vessels and bringing down the light of the Divine name 45 to create the world of Emanation. (step 7) Ditto for the world of Creation, Formation and then the Physical Universe.

12.8.10

The Rambam posits a system of a priori values that the mitzvoth are to bring to.


Learning Rambam is not claiming he had absolute truth.
It is searching to truth and justice. The Rambam posits a system of a priori values that the mitzvas are to bring to. [The Sefer Hachinuch brings them on each commandment] Certainly you will admit that is already an improvement on judicial activism of Supreme Court judges that think that if they say something that makes it moral and obligatory for people to listen to them. 

But there are books on a secondary level that are needed to find the depth of the first level books--for instance Aristotle I think is necessary to understand Plato. Some later people are important to understand Kant.

So an author like Reb Chayim HaLevi is important to understand the depth of a first level person like Maimonides. For example most people open up a Rambam and don’t see any problem at all. (They never get past the superficial level.)

10.8.10

What happens when you read book is your stream of consciousness is focused into what the book is saying. And if it is bad it can affect you badly. And some of it might even seep into your sub level subconscious]

I think most problems in the  world comes from a blurring of the distinction between
 books and great  books.
I mean there are  Jewish books that are not great. Even bad. [What happens when you read book is your stream of consciousness is focused into what the book is saying. And if it is bad it can affect you badly. And some of it might even seep into your sub level subconscious]



My orientation is as a Rationalist. But that does not cancel out the fact that I believe knowledge is available by non rational non perceptive means.
I have great respect for the Ari (Isaac Luria)and Rambam
The general rule of thumb I would like to suggest is that people learn the great books of Torah that are original, fresh, powerful, i.e. The Torah, Talmud (Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot).