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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rav Kook on mystical thought, freedom, and the self

Orot HaKodesh I, pg. 86:

"Knowledge of the highest secret matters is not meant to spread through the world in a great expansion, that many may know of them, for it is impossible. And if many know of them in their external aspect, they will know nothing of their internal content, and all this will do more harm than good. Indeed, this knowledge must penetrate to all secrets that contain a divine element of supreme contemplation. And those individuals unique in their spiritual height, raise the world from its degredation by their very existence and not by their tangible influence."

Perakim be-Mishnato ha-Iyunit shel ha-Rav Kook, II, pp. 55-56:
"My thoughts are wider than the seas; to express them in prosaic words I cannot, for I am unwillingly forced to be a poet, yet one who is free. I could not be bound in the fetters of meter and rhyme. I flee from simple prose, from its heaviness, its constriction, and I could not put myself in other confines, perhaps even bigger and more depressing than the weight of the prose from which I flee."

Arpelei Tohar, pg. 59:
"Mystical knowledge is unique in every individual. It is bound up with his selfhood, is unrepeatable and transmitted by no sound or explanation. "They shall be yours only" (Mishlei 5:17). A righteous man shall live by his own, his very own faith. And from this luminous faith, which forms a seperate Eden-paradise for him, he goes forth to walk in the gardens of the Lord, bounded as public domain, where his mind intermingles with that of his fellows."

Arpelei Tohar, pg. 40:
"We feel this 'spiritual muteness,' alas, how much we have to say, how great is the light of justice and wisdom illuminating us in the depth of our souls, but how shall we discover it, how clarify it, how will we utter and bring forth even the tiniest edge of that sublime brightness, for that, the gates are shut before us. In prayer we approach them, with supplication we knock, in joy and praise we raise our voices, offering allegory and thoughts, keeping watch by the doors, perhaps they will open a crack, only a needle's breadth before us, and words will stream from our mouths, and our tongues will be as flowing streams, rivers of honey and butter."

Yep, that pretty much describes how I feel. And as I start to imagine the sweet smell of the air of the land of Israel, to which I am, b"H returning this comming summer, I start to long for that clarity which can only exist in the land. At shul friday night, I saw a friend carying Rav Charlop's Mei Marom. I commented that I have never seen that sublime book outside of the land. My friend commented that this is because all who can appreciate this book have made their way back home already. Hashiveinu Hashem veNashuva, Hadesh Yameinu keKedem!