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The Light of Our Soul Breaks Forth
We are not always prepared for spiritual, elevated experiences. The many times that we lack supernal illumination are well-fitted for a dedication to the revealed, exoteric teachings of the Torah and this-worldly service.
But since the light of our soul breaks forth immediately, we must give that light its freedom so that it will spread forth.
We must envision, imagine, grow wise and attain, strive and yearn for the highest heights, for the source of our root, for the life of our soul, for the light of the Life of the Soul of all worlds, for the light of the supernal God, for His goodness and majesty.
Orot Hatorah 10:2
A Great Thirst
In special moments of divine illumination, we feel a great thirst: a thirst for holiness in general and for the Torah and its commandments in particular.
That allows us to attain in the correct degree the ability to be constantly involved—with great love and constant diligence—in Torah and its commandments, in perfecting our character and in elevating our thought.
Together, these make it possible for us to cling to the Divine. Then all the pleasures of that closeness to God are broadened for us.
There Is Nothing Old
In the fullness of our soul, we sense the necessity of absolute goodness, the impossibility of its not existing, and the unceasing longing in the depths of our heart to rise to it, to approach its heights, to gaze upon its pleasantness.
We feel that the fulfillment of this absolute goodness in the completeness of its being—free of every boundary, of every condition and ordinance, of every definition and alteration—is a universal fulfillment.
The only way to fulfill our hopes for such goodness is to gaze—to the extent possible—upon the sparks of its radiance. Then strength and life, eternity and splendor shall descend to us and fill us.
After all this vision, we still remain thirsty for goodness to ascend. We still do not embrace the full circumference of goodness in its wholeness. We shall do so only when we shall see, besides the fulfillment of goodness, an ascent of goodness: a constant blossoming, an increase of strength, an ascent without limitations, without standstill.
The fulfillment of our ideal-oriented thirst will show us how to distinguish between the divine light and the worldly light, which draws life from its source.
The divine light satiates our exalted thirst for absolute goodness in its heights.
The worldly light, which grows ever brighter and which constantly rises, drawing from the life of its source, will satisfy us with the goodness of ascent, of increase of might, of additional rising—for which we so deeply thirst and yearn.
We will not be compelled to slake our thirst for knowledge and goodness—when they are united, making understood all existence, making knowable the secret of its ethical grandeur—with a dry conclusion that existence and decay are the final endpoint; a conclusion that leaves us mortified and shaken, filled with desperation about an on-going, unfolding process that depresses our spirit with the groan that “there is nothing new under the sun.”
We rise above everything to the simple vision that our senses could grasp from existence only superficially. We step forward spiritually, striding higher than the sun. Then we pronounce that there is nothing old: everything blossoms, everything rises, everything constantly increases light and life.
Nor does the magnificent spirit fall when it sees that the path of ascent is circuitous, incorporating ascents and descents, advances and very great retreats—for the descents and retreats are filled with the spirit of ascent and advance.
The comprehension of this progress—as it approaches completion, becoming well-integrated in a knowledgeable, ethical life, as it is blessed and emerges from unripeness so that it is not eaten green—lifts the human spirit to the heights of divine light. It makes us assimilate within ourselves the inner goal of the knowledge of God—free of every ordinance and boundary—that exists within the treasure-house of the soul of Israel, that is revealed through the divine manifestation unique to Israel as the highest blossoming of the stream of light of the human soul in the midst of all the nations.
This constant progress fills us with an idealistic, ethical outlook on all of existence. It brings us to the fullness of a divine, knowing and comprehending light that unites our existence with the light of the Life of worlds, with the ultimate purity and ethics, strength and power in all their fullness.
The honor of God, wrapped in the breadth of creation in all its rich and varied hues, becomes known to us in its ideal radiance, growing constantly.
“May His great name be magnified and sanctified.”
Orot Hakodesh II, pp. 466-67