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Stay in the Emptiness: Marc Gafni

Marc Gafni » Blog - Spiritually Incorrect » Eros-Ethics-Meaning » Hebrew Wisdom » Shadow » Stay in the Emptiness: Marc Gafni

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The cherubs once again serve as our guide. Remember that the vortex of Shechina in the biblical myth is no less than “atop the ark in the Holy of Holies, between the cherubs.”

‘Between’ is interpreted by the kabbalists as a word which dances between the emptiness and the fullness.
In the first unpacking, between, bein in Hebrew, is understood as the ‘empty space between the cherubs.’ Bein is the emptiest place in the world – hence the place in which the Shechina dwells. A seeming endorsement of the emptiness.

In a second understanding, ‘between the cherubs’ is said to be the place where there is no emptiness. That is the place of Shechina – that is to say of erotic fullness, the radical intensification of presence from which wells up the voice of God. A seeming endorsement of the fullness.

The meaning underlying these paradoxically different understandings of bein/ between is clear. Only when we can hold the emptiness does it become filled with the divine voice.
Beautifully, the Hebrew word bein also means wisdom – beinah

For wisdom only comes when we are willing to stay in the emptiness long enough to hold center and walk through. When we try to fill it too quickly we always wind up shocked and deeply unsettled when the emptiness does not go away. Instead, the void gets deeper, thicker, more palpable, virtually suffocating us.

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