Living in Divine Space

Part 2: Seven "Heavens" and the "Earth" Beneath Them

Jewish Meditation

Living in Divine Space
Basics in Jewish Meditation



Part 2:
Seven "Heavens"
and the "Earth" Beneath Them

The primary structural model of Rabbi Ginsburgh's system of Jewish meditation is based on the Talmudic teaching (Chagigah 12b) that the spiritual universe in which we live comprises seven "heavens" and the "earth" beneath them. In accordance with the Talmud's description of each heaven's function, we may conceive of these seven heavens as levels of Divine consciousness through which we may ascend to consummate knowledge of God and union with Him, as follows:

  • Vilon ("the Curtain")–our experience of God's continuous re-creation of all reality.

  • Rakia ("the Firmament")–our experience of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet as channels of God's creative energy and the building blocks of reality.

  • Shechakim ("the Millstones")–our experience of God calling us by name and giving us a mission to perform on earth.

  • Zevul ("the Abode")–our experience of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple as they exist in the spiritual realm, ready to materialize themselves in the physical realm.

  • Ma'on ("the Residence")–our experience of the Divine forces that act in nature, enabling us to emulate God in our lives.

  • Machon ("the Resting Place")–our experience of God's ineffable Name Havayah, His omnipotence and omnipresence, reflected in every aspect of reality.

  • Aravot ("the Heavens")–reaching the ultimate state of true bitul ("selflessness") in the experience of God alone, making us a "Divine chariot," a vehicle of God, to fulfill His desire in creation.

The "earth," situated below the seven heavens and upon which the seven heavens rest, is the foundation of this meditative ladder. The meditation presented in this article, "Living in Divine Space," corresponds to the earth, and is therefore the most basic meditation, intended to infuse us with a consciousness of God in this world as He reveals Himself to us through the means of the six constant commandments of the Torah. We must first master this meditation, becoming adept at "Living in Divine Space" before ascending to higher levels of Divine consciousness. It is the ground, the general orientation of Divine consciousness, from which we can learn to ascend.

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