Category Archives: 2 Lines Teachings

The Spiritual Significance of the Body

The body is the vehicle for the soul… It houses the awareness of the soul.  Without the body the awareness/the soul would remain ephemeral, it would remain as merely a dis-embodied “spirit” trapped in the “spirit world”.  The body is what allows the soul, spirit, and G!d to be manifest on Earth in materiality.  It is in fact the entire purpose of creation… And as humans (and especially as Jews) it is our role/job to help actualize this manifestation, to be co-creators at this point in the process of creation.

We do this by grounding our spiritual awareness’ in our bodies, and this is the point of wrapping t’phillin, of doing an yoga asana practice, of blessing food before and after eating it, of washing our hands in the morning (n’telat yadaim), of wearing tzitzit and so on.  The main point: Unite the soul with the body.

When the two seemingly opposite poles of heaven and earth, soul and body come together there is an indescribable enlightenment and bliss which occurs and this is the purpose of creation.

And Yes, You Must Make Yourself Small

“In meditative prayer, a word on a page or in our mind’s eye can be used as a visual
meditation. A word in our throats and mouths can be used as a vibrational meditation. On a
subtler level, the breath we use to sound a word can become a gate into the inner reality of
God’s presence. Never despair of entering this gate. All that is required is to slow down.

And yes, you must make yourself small. You must give up the little me that clings to the
familiar and is afraid of going beyond me. You must give up thinking that you know. Allow the
awareness of eternity to penetrate into your consciousness. Stand in its mystery. Stand in the
mystery of God’s eternal reality that is only hidden but never absent. Admit and stand in the
mystery of your own existence. Do not let mundane thoughts distract you. Declare your desire
to serve Hashem, to cling to Him, to remain in His presence forever. Fear not that you will be
unable to return to the little me again. It will happen soon enough. In the meantime, while you
are in this sacred space, ask for wisdom and understanding, ask for forgiveness and blessing,
ask for love and mercy. Ask for redemption—for yourself, your people, mankind, and all
creation. Ask to take the light of this moment-in-eternity into your life.

You will then not only yearn for such moments, but discover the secret of inducing them. This
is what awakening from below is all about. By immersing yourself in holy words of prayer, you
become a vessel for Godliness, a conduit of Hashem’s light. Such that even when you are not
in prayer, by simply contemplating the reality of Hashem’s infinite oneness, you draw its
precious light into yourself.

In truth there is no end in the service of Hashem. It is an infinite dance in which we enter more
deeply into the holy of holies of our being each time in order to bring back greater and greater
awareness of His presence in all spheres of our life. Even when we attain a higher or more
expanded level of consciousness, we must never become heady about it, for it is merely a
stepping stone on an endless journey to Ein Sof. It may be a higher level relative to anything experienced so far, but it is extremely rudimentary relative to what is presently beyond our
reach. Let us therefore humbly acknowledge our smallness and ask for Hashem’s help. This is
the meaning of “Min hametzar karati Yah; anani bamerchav Yah—from my constricted straits I
called out to God; God answered me [by bringing me forth] into expansiveness” (Psalm 118:5).
In other words, after experiencing the joy of coming close to the Blessed One in our prayers
and in our service, if we realize that even our highest attainments are inadequate and
immature relative to that which is presently beyond us, then Hashem will surely bring us
closer. On the other hand, if we think we know it all and become insensitive to His helping
hand, it is only our loss.”

-Realizing The Unity, Avraham Sutton

Working on Behalf of Our Fellow Man

“…The commandments of the Torah are the basic building blocks for perfecting human society, for the prat (individual) and the clal (collective).

The Torah is replete with commandments aimed at helping us overcome the inner inertia or
natural selfishness that prevents us from actively working on behalf of our fellow man. For
this reason they are directed precisely at those areas of human activity where our sense of
good and right comes face to face with own own selfish interests. For example:
“If there be among you a poor man…do not harden your heart or shut your hand
against your needy brother. Open your hand to him generously (patoach tiftach), lend
him and lend him again (haavet taavitenu) sufficiently for all his needs” (Deuteronomy 15:7-
8). “Give him again and again (naton titen)…Open your hand generously to your poor
and destitute brother” (ibid. 15:10-11). “And when you set him free, do not send him away
empty-handed…You shall provide for him liberally (haanek taanik) from your flock, your
barn, and your winepress, so that he shall have a share of all the things through which
Hashem has blessed you” (ibid. 15:13-14). Hashem blesses man with tremendous bounty,
but for what purpose? The Torah declares, “So that there shall be no destitute person
among you. For Hashem wishes to bless and bless you again (barekh yebarekh)” (ibid.

Every one of these verses contains a double verb-form (open-open, lend-lend, give-give,
bless-bless) to emphasize the importance of overcoming whatever rationalizations we might
make in order to extricate ourselves from these basic social regulations. But more than this,
the Torah expresses here the most profound truths, that by giving, especially when we feel
completely exempt from any involvement, we create a loving society.

These endeavors are preparations for true communion with God. The greatest human
beings who ever lived—the prophets themselves—were all involved in raising the
consciousness-level of their generation. And they didn’t do this by separating themselves
from their people—certainly not for long periods of time. All were involved in every aspect of
their people’s lives. They communed with God at night, or whenever they were alone, or
even when they weren’t alone—for God was the center of their lives, and their
consciousness of Him was intense and ecstatic. Nevertheless, they understood that it is just
as important to be like God—that is, to emulate Him by caring for His creations—as it is to
be with Him by leaving society and going into spiritual seclusion.”

-Realizing The Unity, Avraham Sutton

Knowing the Truth

Knowing the truth

“Do not try to know the truth, for knowledge by the mind is not true knowledge. But you can know what is not true -which is enough to liberate you from the false. The idea that you know what is true is dangerous, for it keeps you imprisoned in the mind. It is when you do not know that you are free to investigate. And there can be no salvation without investigation because non-investigation is the main cause of bondage.” (I Am That, Nisargadatta Maharaj)

The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false.

The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false.

“You must gain your own experience. You are accustomed to deal with things, physical and mental. I am not a thing nor are you. We are neither matter nor energy, neither body nor mind. Once you have a glimpse of your own being, you will not find me difficult to understand.

We believe in so many things on hearsay. We believe in distant lands and people, in heavens and hells, in gods and goddesses, because we were told. Similarly, we were told about ourselves, our parents, name, position, duties and so on. We never cared to verify. The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs. Of these the idea that you are the body is the worst. With the body comes the world, with the world – God, who is supposed to have created the world and thus it starts – fears, religions, prayers, sacrifices, all sorts of systems – all to protect and support the child-man, frightened out of his wits by monsters of his own making. Realize that what you are cannot be born nor die and with the fear gone all suffering ends.” -Nisargadatta Maharaj

A gateway into an entirely different world

A gateway into an entirely different world

“… So that one seems to have stepped abruptly through a gateway into an entirely different world and mode of living. The small limiting ‘self’ of everyday life, the self which insists on its personal rights and its separateness, is no longer there to isolate one from everything else, and in its absence one is received into a much wider order of existence common to all that breathes. Separateness has gone and, as the clamour of thought dies down into the inner silence, an overwhelming sense of ‘being’ takes its place. Not only has the head ceased its chatter, but the very words it formerly used have lost all relevance. Such limiting concepts as ‘yours’ or ‘mine’, ‘his’ or ‘hers’, are meaningless in the boundless realm into which one has been received, and even those old devisions of time into ‘before’ and ‘after’ have been drowned in the fathomless depths of an ever-present ‘now’. So also has disappeared that distinction dear to the heart of the Western philosopher, the division between the subject and the object, the knower and the thing known. All the old partitions are down at that moment, and one becomes conscious of a unity, an intensity of existence, a blissfulness of ‘being’ never experienced before” (Kenneth Walker, A Study of Gurdjieff’s Teaching)