Mystical Musings: Reflections on the Zohar

Ma’amar 2: The blossoms have appeared in the land, the time of pruning has come, the song of the turtle dove is heard in our land

Life sprang forth from the saturated earth, heavy with the moisture of the rains that had come. Curling, unfurling, bursting through dirt, stretching stems and lengthening leaves. Color dots the hillside, life has returned—a sight to behold. Eyes see this rebirth and people emerge from their winter hiding place. Limbs stretching, pigment returning to their skin as they step into the sunshine. Nature’s clock has awakened them, they follow the path of the flower. Growth, unending growth. What was once a thawing hillside speckled with early spring flowers is now a forest. Vegetation blocks the light from the earth, flowers have to stretch ever higher to reach the sun’s sustenance. What once beckoned people out of their caves of hiding has become a new sort of concealment. One finds another and they begin pruning back the growth. The gather bouquets from what they cut to fashion paths through this cacophony of color. Vegetables are harvested for the great communal meal, held with all in attendance in the center of the field. Song and merriment, celebration and a sense of community and communal responsibility for this land, which we live on in partnership.

 

Ma’amar 4: Mi bara eleh

A question can be a statement when looked at another way. Mi bara, Beresheit bara. Mi, Hochma—from the point of Divine Wisdom the entire world ementates. From singular to the many, a point becomes expansive. Dichotomies, one thing and its opposite held together, bound forever as the basis of the universe. The sun and the golden calf—afraid of all they couldn’t see. In place of all that was hidden they revealed. They couldn’t stand the power of seeing Gd, but they couldn’t endure without it. The fused, complex nature of Gd, they separated.

They could only believe what they could see. Vision—a masculine sense. We created a vision-centric religion based on reading the written word. And because of who did the redemption from Egypt come? Because of the merit of the righteous women of that generation. The prominence of Miriam who sensed the hidden springs of water and revealed them to the people. The midwives and the women seducing their husbands in the field—all understanding the birthing process—how exactly to become a vessel for the concealed to become real.

How do we practice cultivating acceptance for/belief in that which cannot be printed? That animating force of the universe that remains in the realm of the concealed. There must be a way to cultivate faith in this force without having to try to wrestle it into the light of day. For, as soon as we do, it no longer is what it was.

What is our practice of acknowledging the mystery, for welcoming it in whatever form it will come. For surrendering? For opening up channels within ourselves for it to flow through?

 

Ma’amar 5: Mother lends Her Daughter Ornaments

When does Ma become fully adorned? When does our central place of holiness become fully radiant? When the male and female aspects of each of us are united and balanced and in harmony. In song and joyful dancing we unite these aspects of ourselves, of the world, of the universe, and beyond. Chag—circling, making whole and complete that which was disparate, in tension, unbalanced. And the circles become spirals radiating up and down, uniting every realm of existence. And we recognize that hidden within everything is the potentiality for all things. Just as Gd brought forth each species with seeds according to its kind. So too can we bring forth manifestations of those seeds of potentiality within us. And to call each by name. To create with an intentionality so that all that comes forth comes forth in perfection.

All possibilities exist within us. How wide can we stretch our imagination? How wild are our dreams? Teach us to envision beyond what is, to remove the arbitrary limits we impose on ourselves, so that our creative imagination can bring into being that world which is constantly coming.

And to call it by name. To describe it as we see it. Teach us to see with clear, compassionate eyes and a brimming, loving heart. For we can only see what we are capable of seeing, though eternity exists beyond our plane of vision. Those worlds are constantly being birthed and so we must continually stimulate our senses and challenge our capacity to evolve. So that we ourselves are constantly coming, becoming who we are.