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Shabbos Chic Blog

Thoughts On Spiritual WorldsThis Week

ShabbosChicUniverseLooking out into night sky, we can see that there are other planets and other galaxies far beyond our own. They are in the physical world, and we can actually see them through high-powered telescopes. There is logical, rational, scientific evidence of the existence of other worlds, and we can rely on that.

But in the spiritual world we cannot be so sure, since we cannot see or understand different spiritual worlds with a telescope. We have our own soul to guide us, as well as the teachings of many sages throughout recorded time. But we don’t have an instrument, a tool to provide logical, rational, scientific evidence of spiritual worlds, so that’s what makes it completely different and rather intimidating. 

For millennia, Torah scholars have studied the reality of spiritual worlds and written about them, mostly in the Hebrew language. These writings were only accessible to their students and their peers, not to common people.

Over time, little by little, more and more of the ancient teachings have become available, and now we have the great privilege of reading and studying ideas that were hidden for many centuries, now translated into English and other languages. It is the first time in history that common people have the advantage of deep spiritual understanding about other spiritual worlds.

Here is a brief summary of four spiritual worlds, based on teachings of revered Torah scholars and Sages who taught only in Hebrew, and the four names are English transliterations of Hebrew words:

Atzilut – We are accessing the spiritual world of Atzilut when we see, in a moment, that we are unable to successfully navigate a difficult situation without God’s help. We admit it silently or even out loud, and we have confident expectation that God will provide us with exactly what we need.

Whenever we feel tension or lack, we know God has everything required, and so we also have everything required by opening up to receive it from God. We acknowledge our lack, we acknowledge God as the ultimate Source and we humbly ask for help. 

That’s it. That’s when we are operating in another spiritual world, right where we are on this planet now. And that’s how we co-create solutions with our Almighty God.

Beriyah– We are accessing the spiritual world of Beriyah when we pose a question and confidently expect a response from God, not necessarily in a difficult moment. In other words, we are not desperate and lacking.

It’s easier to ask God for help when we’re worried and hurting. To access Beriyah, we choose to reach out and ask for help in order to grow spiritually. That takes a little more maturity than waiting for desperate moments to ask.

Yetzirah – We are accessing the spiritual world of Yetzirah when we begin to see that every situation and circumstance we face in life is carefully designed by the mighty hand of God to promote our spiritual growth. We look for opportunities to grow in every moment, every day.

We become excited and fascinated by this process, unlike our former preoccupation with solving problems and asking for guidance. We understand that our guidance is flowing in every moment already, and begin to appreciate and even look forward to new, fresh guidance as a moment-to-moment reality.

Asiyah – We are accessing the spiritual world of Asiyah when we can bring our reality in the world of Yetzirah into action to accomplish things in this world. We fulfill the longings of our soul to repair the world, just as we were designed to do.

We can see the tangible results, and so can other people. This is where the physical world and the spiritual worlds meet, in us, in a moment, forever. This is what we were born to do, and we can rely on that. We can see the evidence of other spiritual worlds in our own lives.  

"The animal never desires to transcend its own nature. It is content to follow its instincts, to conform to its original programming. On the flip side, that which is truly human constantly strives to outdo the self, to push beyond, to redefine what it means to be human."

Rabbi Asher Crispe, from his awesome blog, Interinclusion

"According to Jewish philosophy, there is no present; rather, we exist in a state of constant transition between the past and the future. Man is not meant to be static. His existence is one of perpetual re-creation, in which he is charged with the often overwhelming task of transmuting the lessons of experience into the choices that will define the person he will become. His goal is to transform himself, over the course of a lifetime, from an animalistic creature of the flesh into a divine being guided by the promptings of his soul."

Rabbi Jonason Goldson, from an article on Jewish World Review

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