A Davening Experience

This past Shabbos while davening, I had a fascinating excursion about the Oneness of God, both filling and surrounding, how we are apart, but not apart.

I often conceptualize the place at which I move mentally from "this world". Very often it is as though I am standing on what seems like a very high cliff, though rather than sky being above and ground far below, there is simply "nothing" one step beyond me. Vast and endless nothing, to be sure, but of certainty not full of stars or anything like that of a starscape. It is just full of God.

I was observing the men davening below me as I stood on the balcony, this scene seemed so clearly physical, and somehow separate from the empty holiness I had often perceived. As I stood there the images began to fill my mind.

This time it was a different: No longer just a cliff, there was a doorway at the entry to this vast place, and the letters of Hashem's name were floating within the doorway. As I stepped into it, the letters began to swirl slowly around me, enveloping me, like a whirlwind and my physicality seemed to dissipate into them. It seemed as if I was carried by them into what I had previously perceived as a void, what I understood to be experiencing as best it might be possible for me, what it felt like to be within the "mind" of God.

Only this time there was no void. Instead what I saw there was... exactly what I had seen eyes open, men davening in the shul below me. I sensed that it was the "within" that reflected the "without" -- a heavenly complement as if harmonics of the holy energy invested below. I sensed that the "void" was far from empty. Nothing exists here below that is not within that place as well. We affect the heavenly realm. It affects us in return.

Still words don't convey the experience. No vocabulary would be capable of capturing it.

I returned to where I stood, sensing, at least for the moment, a connection to eternity in the place of the present.










9.11. 2001

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