Sunday, January 22, 2017

I hope you ended off 2016 fruitfully.
We have two talks coming up in February on the Play of Light and Dark and since we will not be able to cover this important subject in only four hours I thought we could kick off the New Year with some additional thoughts on this topic.

For those that can attend

The play of these two polarities is really the tension that arises between two feelings - Love or Fear. The emotion of Fear has many guises; hate, vengeance, envy, compulsions, cravings, addictions, habits..., all of which are part of Narrow or Monkey Mind which can only be controlled by spiritual practice.

The play of light and dark has been there since the beginning of time and since the Creation. As described in Genesis we were kicked out of the "Garden" for eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge - the knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge is commendable but has its dark side too since it leads us to be tempted amongst other things - irresponsibly - with the sentient pleasures around us. The Ancestors advise that; 
"Information is not to be equated with knowledge, knowledge is not to be equated with understanding, understanding is not to be equated with wisdom and wisdom is not to be equated with virtue."
In Genesis the punishment for eating of the Knowledge Tree and aligning with the serpent that represents the dark side was severe...
Fortunately there was also a Tree of Life in the Garden. If we can persuade the Cherubim who guard it with their flaming swords to let us in again we can still be readmitted if we are found to be worthy.

The Tree of Life is essentially a balance between contraction and expansion. Our will determines the balance. We can also refer to the contraction as Fear on the left (green here) side of the Tree and also in the center. On the right and in the center are the Five Loves designated above by the red hearts.
The central sephira or energy center of Tiferet or Beauty (blue) connotes love, empathy, compassion, forgiveness. The tension created by the triad of Judgment (Fear,) Mercy and Love is necessary for discrimination between right and wrong, skillful or unskillful. Kabbalah talks about "sweetening the judgments" - judging the behavior rather than the person since none of us are perfect.

Sadly many of our political leaders and the movies focus on vengeance and the mantra of; "I don't get mad, I get even!"

The choice between light and dark given to us by free will, and the relentlessness of Karma or the Law of Cause and Effects is in fact a paradoxical template for spiritual perfection occurring over many life times and through reincarnation. There can be no growth without conflict, no rose without a thorn so that we should embrace the challenges that life presents. If not for these, living would be like spiritual diabetes - extremely boring.
Click to highlight the link and then you can meditate on the song below; 

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