Questions in the Bible

Where Am I? The Secret of Divine Consciousness

After his sin God asked Adam, "Where are you?" Do you know to what depth you have fallen?

Adam ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He pursued knowledge (God wants us to be knowledgeable, doesn't He?). And he got it – the knowledge of the depth to which he had fallen by disobeying the word of God.

The answer to the query "Where am I" has both an objective and a subjective side to it. Objectively, I'm here in this lowest of worlds, a world of deceit, etc. Subjectively, I myself am responsible for having entered this psychological state of being.

"Where am I?" is the second of our six existential queries. The second last is "Who put me here?", and the answer we presented above was – God!

So on the one hand (the right hand, so to speak) God put me here, but on the other hand (the left hand) I'm responsible for getting myself here. From the objective point of view God put me here (no other has the power to put me anywhere), but from the subjective point of view I sinned and so fell into this estranged psychological state.

As stated, the question "Where am I?" and its answer "In this lowest of worlds" is the question of kingdom (malchut), the lowest of the Divine sefirot, of which is said, "Her feet descend into death." In Hebrew, "feet" means "habits." Sin is no more than getting into bad habits. And look where it takes us (with its/our feet)!

"Who put me here?" is the question of crown (keter), the highest of the Divine sefirot, the super-conscious origin of faith, pleasure, and will. "The end is wedged into the beginning and the beginning into the end." If you fall, the higher you were the lower you fall.

God asked Adam "Where are you?" (איכה). Squaring each of the four letters of this word (12+102+202+52) gives 526 = מודעות, "consciousness." That's what Adam wanted, and that's what he got. The product of the four letters (1×10×20×5) is 1000, alluding to the 1000 lights that were given to Moses at Sinai – perfect, rectified Divine consciousness. The rectification of Adam's sin is by acquiring Torah knowledge, which itself is inherent in the sin, the quest for knowledge.

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1 comment

Rachel June 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm


If we want to use the 'koach medame' to understand what the Rav referes to in "the higher you were", and " the lower you fall"; what are those hights and those fallen states relate to, sin or states of consciousness or both or none?




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