Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Levels of Memalei Kol Almin Consciousness

Memalei Kol Almin

Memalei Kol Almin[1] is that G–dliness that can be grasped by the human mind. For denizens of higher realms such as angels, this manifestation can be apprehended directly. Denizens of this world, whose senses only relate to raw physicality, are totally unable to apprehend G–dliness directly. But they can still appreciate G–d’s greatness on an abstract level. However, this requires spiritual sensitivity. Thus, the more sensitive one is, the higher the level of G–dliness he can intellectually grasp.

There are several levels of this sensitivity:

Earthly Multiplicity

A person on a very low level can only appreciate G–d through His earthly manifestation. This person reflects upon the multiplicity and complexity of nature, and how every creature contains a unique divine vitality. This is expressed in the verse, “How numerous is Your handiwork, G–d!”[2]

Nevertheless, although created by G–d, since earthly creatures lack a conscious grasp of G-dliness, they are spiritually coarse. The level of G-dliness that one can grasp through them is thus also relatively inferior.

Celestial Vastness

A more spiritually sensitive person can grasp G-dliness by gazing upon the heavenly realms, where G–dliness is not as hidden, for the heavenly spheres possess superhuman intelligence,[3] which they use to comprehend the divine manifestation that they receive.  Their excitement at their knowledge leads them to passionately submit themselves before G–d, and this spurs them to rotate. Their rotation is in fact a form of prostration and self-effacement, for they rotate towards the west because the Shechinah is in the west,[4] and they wish to prostrate before it.[5]

This meditation also involves reflecting upon the enormity of the celestial spheres and the cycle of their orbits. The heavens are not as impressive for their multiplicity, but primarily for their immense scale and vast reach. This is the meaning of the verse, “How great is Your handiwork, G–d!”[6]

Angelic Beings

A still more spiritual person can sense G–d’s majesty through beings even more awesome and sublime: the angels. He reflects upon their profound understanding of G–dliness and their passionate, all-consuming worship of G–d.

Adapted from the Rebbe Rashab’s Sefer HaMa’amarim, 5671, pp. 228-229.

[1] Lit., “filling all the worlds.”

[2] Tehillim 104:24.

[3] Cf. Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah.

[4] Bava Basra 25a.

[5] As it is written, “The legions of the heavens prostrate before You” (Nechemiah 9:6).

[6] Tehillim 92:6.

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