One must consider; What is man? If one considers and reflects upon oneself and all that one does in this life and all that happens with oneself; if one is truthful in his consideration, one will come to understand that in truth, there is no existence at all other than the existence of the Holy One, Blessed is He. As it is written: “There is nothing other than Him.” (Devarim 4:35) and as is written: “The entire world is full of His glory.” (Yeshaya 6:3) Since the entire world is full of His glory, therefore, it is simple that nothing else exists at all, for if there were something else that existed, this something else would be something separate from His glory; in which case the world would be not be full of His glory alone.
One who would quarrle with this, will quarrle, for certainly this is a large sugya in kabbalah; the existence of something other than Him, Yisborach; for we know that the worlds were created and as such are something new, and therefore are something that must be understood as separate from Him; the scope of this subject and the true understanding of the matter is awesomely large and deep; see, for example, the Introduction to the sefer HaZohar, by the Ba’al HaSulam, ztz”l, and it is certainly not my intention here to m’palpel in these matters which are great and awesome and holy; fortunate is the one who delves into them in order to understand them for the sake of serving Him, Yisborach.
Where I wish to go here is to bring my reader into some kind of parralel understanding with mine; to hear the questions that I pose and to reflect, and to see the light of the path which I have found which leads from these questions.
My first question here is: since in truth, there is nothing besides Him, Yisborach, and this reality should therefore be in front of us always, as it is the foundation of our faith and thus the light of our life and our true hope; to live according to this understanding; as the Rambam write in his 13 principles: “I believe…that the Creator, Blessed is He, did, does, and will do all that is done;” thus being the case, then the question resounds; what is man? For “There is nothing other than Him.” tells us that man truly has no existence, and the above principle of the Rambam teaches us that man also does nothing; therefore, what is man?
What I have come to undestand is that man is essentially what is termed in our times as “consiousness”; that is: a person is aware of what seems to be his existence, that he has thought and sensation, that he has a body which he manuvers through his thought, that events happen to him and that he effects events, that he has a will, etc.; in whole–he is aware of that he is alive, he has life.
Yet, in light of the above, that one cannot elude the primary fact that there is no existence other than that of the Holy One Blessed is He, and furthermore; to ascribe existence to something other and separate from Him, this is avodah zara. As is is written: “There is nothing other than Him.”
Therefore, to consider that one possesses life, this is a problematic position which encounters the very opposite; death, itself; that is: avodah zara, which is true spritual death without end, Heaven forbid. For to see oneself as a being, as a distinct entity, posessing life, etc.; in this,one has defined himself as separate from Hashem, Heaven fordid, which is avodah zarah and death, for in truth there is nothing besides Him, Yisborah, at all.
So firstly, my purpose here is to bring my reader with me into the place where these kinds of thoughts and awarenesses are going to take root in ourselves: namely, that we should come to consider that there is nothing besides Him, Yisborach. If we can merit to attach ourselves to this reality: to being aware that all of our awareness is not truly awareness of ourself and of our life but rather awareness of Hashem, Yisborah, for there is nothing outside of Him at all; this truly in an accomplishment, and truly a first step to coming to serve Him in truth; may He desire this, amen.
digital image: Tzaddik 6