Journal entry 65
Journal entry 65: “There are two ways of thinking about G.dliness:
One way where we speak about ‘A Creator’ and ‘the creation’, as if each was it’s own separate topic, but they are joined together in that ‘The Creator’ animates ‘the creation’ and the creation receives life from the Creator;
And the other way where there is no existence of ‘creation’ whatsoever and the name ‘creation’ is only borrowed form our side, we only ‘create’ ourselves because of the constriction of our perception, and in truth everything is ‘Creator’ – G.d, but it’s all a different content that has no relation to the partial revelation because G.d is explicitly everything, and not a part of parts, these two ways of thinking have a particular effect on the ‘spirit of man’.
Logic and accounting come from the way of relating to the world and the creation as something other than G.d, but poetry and the soul’s longing come from the second way of looking, where nothing exists outside of G.d, and G.d’s Glory fills all. Mussar is a branch that combines logic and poetry/song in the proper blend. If one power is lacking it cannot stand.
Therefore when we think according to the first way and differentiate between G.d and the world, we see a vision of G.d’s Righteousness, of the greatness of the mussar that is revealed to us when we think about G.d, and the laws of this mussar are filled with logic and accounting. Then when the second way of thinking about G.d comes Whose Righteousness and full splendorous mussar have already been established properly in the soul, poetry/song is strengthened by the higher, ecstatic depiction of ”there is nothing else besides Him”, and this adds the fruits of blessing to the mussar.
But, if the beginning of thought is only imprinted from the one side of “there is nothing else besides Him”, there wouldn’t be any place for a depiction of mussar in relation to Godliness to act upon us. We cannot recognize a moral value in relation to one thing from its side to itself, but rather in relation from it to others.
Even though the exalted height of this second thought is higher than the entire vision of the value of mussar at all – as it is higher than all thoughts and limitations – in any event, a person cannot grasp a thought that is higher than his limited comprehension in its full majesty, and values of mussar always have to be looked for where they are awakened and then returned and awakened in all the paths of life – thus terrible danger can spread from having the second thought overpower the first.
However, if the first thought whose wings are clipped overpowers the second, that could cause the spirit of man to sink, and by sinking he could lose many delightful things. Therefore there is no other remedy except to arrange the idea in such a way that the first thought always enclothes the second, and the first is only revealed as a garment for the second which is higher than it – ze’er anpin (small face of G.) – is a garment for arich anpin (large face of G.d) – and YHVH is Elohim.
Translation by David Friedman