Thursday, May 1, 2014

Living with Paradox : Breating and Quieting the Mind

Rav DovBer Pinson is one of the primary religiously orthodox Jewish thinkers and writers who openly writes and discuss such topics as non-duality and mediation.

In Breathing and Quieting the Mind Rav Pinson takes on some basic meditation techniques, and illustrates how they fit with Jewish life, Kabalistically understood.

The reader will encounter one of the basic problems of Jewish mysticism.  As Rav Pinson understands it, God is everywhere; there is no meaningful separation of God with anything else.  The duality we see in the world is not exactly an illusion, but not exactly real either.  But definitely the world we think we see is not the world that we see.

The Kabbalah as understood by Rav Pinson and others takes this unity as a premise, and then paradoxically further divides the world into sephirot and their interactions.  This is part of the Jewish mystical tradition, and should be respected.  But its net result is the piling on of further paradoxes and the atomizing of reality.

As difficult as this can become, and as a stumbling block one must be wary,this is part of reality, mysticism,  non-duality, and not a fault with Rav Pinson’s book. 
Living with paradox is part of the game.

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