The following article is an exploration of the spring break season and its spiritual implications. In it there will be a unique perspective with special emphasis on the importance of appropriating our dualities with the purpose of transcending them. The duality of spring is that, although it is a time to “clean the house” thoroughly, it also asks us for our lightness of being and simple confidence.
When we totally and unconditionally surrender and trust the mysterious and unknown void with our lives, we enter the domain of the Fool for Gd. We become servants of Gd, who is as free as we can be as human beings. There is no way that humans will ever experience pure happiness, peace, or love without connection to Spirit. We will always find our next level of pain and challenge until we can hold onto our divine connection in all of our human interactions and worldly activities. Being a Fool for Gd, we are guided by the allure of a deeper mystery, a presence that leads to unimaginable freedom. This article is just an attempt to wake us up to the truth of that freedom.
The birth of a new energy cycle
Every year when the Sun enters Aries, when Earth begins a new life cycle on the Spring Equinox, and when the Moon and Sun unite on the New Moon in Aries, we are offered another opportunity to redefine ourselves. , our world and our place. in that. The following is a study of some of the energy shifts taking place this month.
The Talmud records: The conception of the world is in Tishrei (autumn); The birth of the world is in Nissan (spring). (Tosaphot; Rosh Hashanah 27a).
Kabbalah distinguishes two types of spiritual dynamics. It speaks of an itaruta de-leylah and an itaruta de-letata, “an awakening from above” and “an awakening from below.” An awakening from above is an encounter initiated by G-d, an epic event in history, a miracle, a deliverance, a moment when the veil is lifted from the course of history and the hand of G-d becomes visible. . However, an awakening from below is one that comes from the hearts and minds of human beings. Something within the human soul breaks in and draws closer to God.
According to the Talmud, the birth (of the New Energy) occurs next month, the Hebrew month of Nissan. This itaruta de-leylah, awakening (initiated) from above contributes to birth in us. This birth comes as a result of the conception of the first part of the year. But unlike the Fall / Winter conception season, Nissan initiates a different energy dynamic. The connection we make with our Higher Power is no longer something we have to work towards, nor does it depend on any merit, but is more about allowing and receiving. The “excitement” starts from Above.
Our job is simply to “clean the house” so that we can house this New Light and allow it to stimulate in us a process of awakening to our Higher Nature.
When the higher meets the lower
Itaruta d’leila, or “Activation (initiated) from above” gives us a specific spiritual work to do. Our job is to allow the Divine to penetrate our depths, our darkness and the most hidden aspects of ourselves. According to Kabbalistic philosophy, the lower has to be transformed, not neglected, rejected or condemned.
What does it mean to “transform the lower”?
The lower part of us is the area of the psyche that an individual would prefer not to recognize. It contains the negated parts of the self. Since the self contains these aspects, they arise in one form or another. Bringing the lower into consciousness diffuses the burden that our darkness has upon us, and in the process we may even retrieve valuable resources from it. The transformation comes from having accepted your lower parts and having integrated them as components of your Being.
Easter is a time of incredible Itaruta d’leila, an undeserved outpouring of goodness and beneficence from Gd. Israel had descended to the 49th level of impurity and had almost no merits with which to plead with Gd for salvation. However, Gd started a great Exodus for Israel. At Easter, a person must be an open vessel to receive this blessing from the Divine Flow. In preparation, we get rid of the chametz, all the vanity, the inflated ego and the resistance to change. At Easter we must remove all false exteriors, we must be free of obstructions and open ourselves to receive Gd’s blessing of new beginnings.
The Hebrew month of Nissan corresponds to the English month of April.
The English month of April is when a new energy cycle begins. The word “April” comes from the Latin verb “Open” which means to open, to release. The term itself implies the energetic work that we must do – open and let go – to clean the house so that the New Energy enters and stimulates a change in us. The “spring cleaning” is a starting point to host a divine visit.
Origin of April Fools Day
Just as Nissan is the first of the Hebrew months according to the Torah, April was the New Year on the Old World calendar. Ancient cultures, including those as varied as Roman and Hindu, celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1. Even the zodiac wheel begins with the constellation Aries (April). But in the year 1582 this natural resonance synchronized with the cycles of nature changed, at least with a new calendar ordered by the Church. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated on January 1. However, many countries resisted the change. In fact, some European countries held out for centuries (Scotland until 1660; Germany, Denmark, and Norway until 1700; and England until 1752). But the first to resist the new calendar changes were France. Still keeping their traditional calendar (celebrating April 1 as their New Years), they were labeled “April Fools” and it became a local custom to prank such people.
Ironically, the word “fool” is actually an appropriate term to describe the nature of the month of April. Because just as Aries is the beginning of the Zodiac, the Fool card is the starting point of the archetypes of the Tarot Deck.
Meaning of the fool’s card: Beginning of a journey with simple faith. Jumping into a new phase of life. Be free-spirited, carefree. (as in the Beatles song “Fool on the Hill”).
The zodiac sign Aries corresponding to April is represented by the head of a ram, a symbol of “the energy that flows, the creative force of the Spirit”, like the symbolism of the Tarot, it is the beginning of a journey.
Easter happens this very month, because it is also a new beginning. It is the holiday that commemorates the birth of the nation of Israel to freedom after being liberated from the limitations of Egypt.
On the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish holiday of Purim, where one is expected to increase his joy, joy, and foolishness, comes before Passover. “This is not a coincidence,” explained my Rebbe R. Shlomo Carlebach. “Purim comes before Pesach (Passover) because Purim prepares us for Pesach. I need to get in touch with my joy, before I can even begin to think about leaving my Egypt.”
Court Jester as Enlightened Fool: Historically, the court jester was a state-sponsored mischief maker who was not only allowed but hired to speak his mind, often in jokes, riddles or songs, when others were forbidden in the presence of power. The jester was the only acceptable form of deviation in the king’s courts, he was expected to scoff at all cultural taboos, pierce the ruler’s ego, and publicly break the rules, thus allowing an outlet for perceptions, behaviors, and feelings that of another. otherwise they would be “forbidden.”
The ability to flout current norms and standards that society sets for ourselves or imposes on us is an important part of growth, as it allows us to “unlearn.” Unlearning is as important to growth as learning. Some of our current knowledge, beliefs, and assumptions about what the world is like may no longer serve our best interests. The jester allows us to stand in a mirror and examine our own shortcomings. When we can do this with genuine humor and honesty, we can open ourselves to transformation.
Embracing the paradox of the season: introspection and foolishness
There are two main points that serve as Spring’s duality:
First, that a spring cleaning and a personal inventory are necessary to receive the influx of the Divine Light poured out on Creation during the spring season. Second, that we must have an almost naive and foolish surrender to the uncertainty of our own personal journey. In a sense, it is a duality in the sense that careful introspection is required to possess all of our parts, which is not an easy task. The other requires a separate participation in the evils of the world and a conscious “lightness of being.” This double task of living is the key to our liberation. It is when we can embrace both polarities and honor each one as they arise that we are in a better position to “emerge.”
It is when we can be the ALL that we are, our light and our shadow, that the Divine can find us in the direction of our home. When we do not live at our home address, it is much more difficult for Gd to communicate with us. A spring cleaning may not be enough on its own. But a deliberate decision to go home and live there for real will have a better chance for transformation.
Why is it important to “possess our darkness” as well as our light?
In short, because the darkness that we do not possess possesses us.
This spring, we must accept that we are all here to learn how to navigate this human journey. Therefore, honor yourself and your way. Take a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself, but don’t forget about yourself either. Celebrate this Spring with a good cleaning, and get rid of what is no longer necessary, always remembering to play.
It is in this season that the Divine comes not only to fill our container with Light, but also to give us the strength to create that container, especially if we do not have the strength to do it ourselves.
The last sentence of a simple fool
May we give each other the strength to drive out of our minds all thoughts that are not of our highest and noblest nature. Please, Gd, may we not be tempted to doubt the light that illuminates the entire world. And through this light, may we become more familiar with the depths and power that we are, as we share our Divine Heritage together.
Preparing for the Exodus,