|He who returns one Soul, it is as if he has redeemed
the entire world.
I'd like to share here my own technique for making Tikkunim - that is to say, for raising up the Holy Sparks in things - that I've been practicing and teaching for over 15 years. It's really rather simple, but first requires some background information.
There are two principles of modern science that lend themselves to Kabbalistic interpretation. First we learn from astrophysics that prior to creation the universe was coextensive with itself, in a state of "quasi-stationary equilibrium," which was shattered at the "big bang;" from this shattering, science tells us, cosmic "debris" scattered throughout the universe forming stars, planets, etc. This scientific description is identical to Isaac Luria's Kabbalistic 16th-century cosmogony of Shevirit HaKelim, or "Shattering of the Vessels," from which the notion of "raising up the Holy Sparks," or Tikkun, arises. Second, it is a principle of subatomic-particle physics that nothing can be conceived that does not actually occur at some level of the universe.
This second principle has been demonstrated in, of all places, the teaching
of basketball. In a famous experiment, a group of basketball players were
tested for their skill at free throws. After a base-line score was obtained
for each player, they were divided into three subgroups: one went about
their regular activities for an hour; the second practiced making free
throws for the same amount of time; and the third sat quietly for an hour,
visualizing themselves making perfect free throws. At the end of the hour
all three groups were retested for their free-throw skills. The group that
showed the least improvement was, of course, the one that did nothing;
the group that showed only slight improvement was the one that actually
practiced making free throws; but the players who showed the most significant
improvement were those who merely sat quietly and
making perfect free throws. Imagination is diminished reality.
Given these considerations, the "Tikkun of Yakov Leib" (as I immodestly call it) is really very simple: In every action I perform I visualise the Holy Sparks within the "thing" I touch returning back to God. Now if, indeed, "nothing can be conceived that does not actually occur at some level of the universe" -- and if, as we propose, imagination is actually a form of diminished reality -- then my action here results in an actual Tikkun, and I have collaborated with God in repairing the world.
For example, when I sharpen a pencil, I visualize the Holy Sparks within it being liberated by my actions and returning to their unity with God; similarly when I eat my food, clean my cat's sandbox, wash the dishes, dump the trash, see a dead animal on the road, drink vodka, pick my nose, clip my fingernails, trim my beard, see someone smoking a cigarette, urinate, move my bowels, embrace another person, pet my animals, shake hands with a friend, grind coffee beans, turn the pages in a book, water my plants, swat a fly, give my son a footrub, open a door, close a window, flush the toilet, break an egg, make an omelette.
Admittedly, there's nothing very "grand" in any of this. It's for the
Prostak and the Ahm HaEretz, the "creaturely man and not the guiltless
one[s] who hold aloof from the world," as Jung has said. The Tikkun of
Yakov Leib won't make you famous, smarter, better looking or more admired
It won't give you samadhi, satori, nirvana or any other form of "enlightenment,"
if that's what you're looking for. It may not even work. What it does do,
however, is saturate every moment of your life - from the most sacred to the most profane - with a profound awareness
of God and the Sacramental Life. What you do with that, if anything, is
up to you..
(Regarding these mediattions) there are similar Mahayana Buddhist practices, Sufi practices, Mystical Christian practices, and Hindu karma yoga. A similar use of intention is also at the foundation of Pagan "white magical" practices. Intention is also at the basis of much of the positive thinking school too, but this is often employed for personal gain rather than universal upliftment. When such practices are used for self-advantage at the expense of others or for destructive purposes, they are called "black magic." According to most traditions, the forcefulness of the intention is directly proportional to the degree of empowerment of the awareness entertaining it, and the positivity or negativity depends on the quality of the intent. Thus, there are said to be forces of "good," that is, of unification and spiritual reality, and also forces of "evil," that is, of selfishness, separateness, and deepening of the cosmic illusion which is spiritual ignorance.
Interestingly, in Yoga and Vedanta, a similar result is accomplished for all "sparks" without intention with respect to any specific sparks. According to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for instance, when one "transcends," i.e., experiences transcendental consciousness (samadhi or turiya), the ground state of the Unified Field is reached in supramental experience. This results in the enlivenment of the inherent energy and intelligence (devata) of the field structure (Veda). As a result the entire field response by becoming more lively with creative intelligence. The laws of nature (devas) wake up, so to speak, and operate more efficiently, since they are less burdened by gross consciousness, characterized by inertia (tamas) and selfish desire (rajas). When the knower (rishi value) is awake in itself (in a person in samadhi), then the process of knowing (devata value) is empowered so that the known (cchandas value) takes on its true value as Reality instead of being under the delusion of appearance. This happens not only for the one experiencing samadhi, but also for the entire field. A great deal of scientific research has lent strong confirmation to this hypothesis.
originally posted on Donmeh West
- The Donmeh of the Internet
page historypage uploaded 7 November 1998