Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:November 12, 2014
I want to share something based on a teaching I think most of us know from the Zohar. Referring to both Sarah and Abraham, it says B'im Bayamim, that they "come with their days." It says that Abraham took with him all the unique Light that is revealed in any given day. But, what does this mean?
We are actually meant to be able to experience in every single moment of our life any awakening, any lesson, any inspiration, or any Light that we have ever experienced. But, for most people, it is not like that. We can see miracles or study something today which inspires us, but the reality is that a year from now, the chances of seeing miracles or of that same teaching inspiring us is almost zero; or, certainly not to the degree that they inspired us in the original moment.
Therefore, the secret of what is called “coming with your days” is not just that when a person leaves this world all the days were filled with Light, which is the simple understanding of it in the Zohar, but more than that, is that even while a person is alive, he can have all those moments of inspiration, learning, and all those experiences that really gave him Light every day. We can have those moments today and experience them as we experienced them when they first happened. However, for most people it is impossible, for most people it is not the reality. And, yet, kabbalists teach that this is the way we are actually meant to live… so why don’t we?
Unfortunately, human nature is such that any time we experience a new form of Light, we are inspired and excited by it, but then right away after that first moment of inspiration, certainty, and understanding, it starts getting old. This happens all the time. How many times do you hear stories - a person is so inspired, "I will never forget those amazing miracles." Then six months later, sometimes even less than that, it is completely forgotten. Moments of inspiration, understanding, or miracles do not remain as exciting a day later, a week later, a month later, a year later. The true reality should be - and this is the direction we want to go towards – that in any moment we are able to feel the same experience and are able to be inspired by the same teaching as we were the first time.
This is true not just about spiritual work, but also about life. Anything that we are doing that is important, every part of our life - whether it is relationship, work, etc. - should be as exciting, inspiring, and filled with Light as in the first moment of it. That is the true way life is meant to be lived.
So, how do things become old? How does inspiration become uninspiring? How does wisdom become lost? When a person acts with a Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, when a person falls into the illusionary reality of this world, then every thought, word, and action makes it so that everything that he or she has done that was connected to the Light of the Creator becomes old. What does it mean that it becomes old? Every time we act in a way of selfishness, in a way of doubt, in a way of fear, we are creating a veil which covers all those experiences, Light, and inspiration, thereby making us forget them.
Therefore, we have to realize that every time we act in a way of selfishness, we actually build a veil that closes off all of our previous experiences and all of our previous Light. The purpose of that Light and those experiences, however, is to remain alive. But we forget it. We cause it to become old; however, we know now that it does not really become old, it just becomes covered.
We make this choice every day, and we have to be conscious of it. If you are about to do an action of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, if you are about to fall into the illusion of this world, becoming angry about things that are not real, remember that what you are doing is actually forcing yourself to live an old life. In so doing, you are not allowing any of your previous inspiration, knowledge, or connection to influence you today.
When it says that Abraham came with his days, it means that when he was 100 years old, he had with him the same level of inspiration that he received from each moment from the previous 60 years.When he learned something, when he understood something, when the Creator came to him, he understood it and all that excited and inspired him for 80 years. We, sometimes, are excited and inspired in just a moment or in a day from something that we have just learned or experienced. But can you imagine if it were possible to live today with all of the wisdom, inspiration, excitement and Light that you have ever experienced? You would be one of the most righteous people who has ever lived!
That is the secret to what it means when it says Abraham “came with his days." It is not just that all the merit and all the Light came with him when he left this world, but that every day he lived he had all the Light, inspiration, excitement, and understanding from his entire life. Imagine what that would feel like; imagine what that would mean for our ability to connect, for our ability to do our spiritual work.
Abraham “came with his days” because he was always fighting, never falling to the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, to actions that are in the realm of the illusion of this world, or to fears, doubts, and angers. Therefore, he was able to experience every moment of inspiration, every moment of wisdom, every moment of connection that he ever had. And because he was able every moment to feel that, he was able to do the things that he was able to do, he was able to change the world.
Just think about it; if you were able to experience all of those moments in every single moment, you would explode, because we have had in our lives hundreds or thousands of moments of amazing inspiration, moments when we felt, "Oh, I am going to stay up 24 hours a day, every day for the next year, changing the world." And you could still have that and all your other moments of inspiration in your life now if you break down the wall you build with every action of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone.
Abraham merited that within every moment of his life he felt every moment of connection, inspiration, and understanding that he had ever experienced. Even though he aged chronologically, all the Light, inspiration, and connection was always new to him. And to the degree that a person consistently pushes himself to go out of the illusionary world of what we call our nature and attaches himself to the internal aspect that is of the Desire to Share, the aspect of the Light of the Creator, then a person can merit to feel all of those moments of inspiration, understanding, and connection just like Abraham.
When a person merits living this way, he is always inspired; inspired not just from what happened to him today or yesterday, but from what happened to him in his entire life. It is an amazing gift that is available to us if we push ourselves to receive it.