On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 12

The third, higher level, is called “A good thought that joins with deed”, this being love and fear of G_d as they relate to action only. The explanation of the matter is that being that in the above mentioned, second level, though his motive is specifically accepted by G_d, in other words, his only desire is to be close rather than far from G_dliness and furthermore, this desire comes about because the matter of HaShem’s greatness is important in his mind, however, as of yet, no excitement has been activated in his mind, since the matter is still utterly distant from him. He just wants it to be close, but as of yet, it is not close. Being that this is only an aspect of intellectual “acknowledgement”, it is not called by the name “good thought”, but simply “thought.”

This may be understood by an example in worldly affairs. We observe that there are two types of thought: The first one is when a person thinks about some good or splendid thing which he regards as very great, such as magnificent wealth, but which belongs to another, or the extraordinary greatness and glory of a king or prince and the like. This is called “dispassionate thought” because it neither affects nor relates to him altogether. Neither the money nor the glory is coming to him, only that he thinks about it because of its preciousness and importance in his eyes and he wishes very much that such a good and splendid thing would come to him etc.

The second type of thought is when he thinks about something good which affects him personally, such as when he profits from a good business deal or when he receives honor and greatness or when he personallyacquires great fortune. Such thought comes to him in a manner of excitement and his soul is somewhat drawn to it, meaning that he is moved by it.

As known by experience, when a person receives some news about a good business deal which will greatly affect him, the whole power of his mind becomes preoccupied with it and he positively adheres to this thought with an excitement called “adhesion of the thought” (strong attachment of thought in that he is greatly affected and moved by it etc). The indicator for this is that he will be somewhat preoccupied and moved (absorbed and engrossed).

This is similarly understood to be the case in regard to contemplating G_dliness with such thought, in that he adheres strongly to it, like something which directly affects him, as mentioned above. This is called “A good thought that – in the very least – joins with deed.” This is to say that, in the very least, the resultant ramifications produced by it are love and fear that apply to deed.

However, in regard to the “dispassionate thought”, mentioned above; though he desires to come close and truly be excited, as of yet, he has not become excited even in the aspect of “listening within thought.” Rather, his acknowledgement is only from a distance, as mentioned above. The only result born of it is the shame that he feels. In other words, there falls into his heart shame over how distant from G_dliness and how spiritually deficient he is, which includes the matter of the general inferiority of this physical world compared to the upper, spiritual ones. This is because he has absorbed the contemplation of the Divine until he sighs with shame and the like (His estimation of himself and of the world falls greatly). Its only result is the resolve to desist from evil and to do good etc.  In other words, since this is so, that G_d is infinitely great and this world is very low, therefore the right and proper thing, is to do His will by desisting from evil and doing good, very, very much.

This is the least of spiritual levels, but after all, since it contains an aspect of G_dliness, he can enter the lower Garden of Eden due to his Divine contemplation. However, it is not considered to be actual love and fear of G_d, with any degree of excitement (This is in contrast to the worst level of all, mentioned above, in which there is no aspect of G_dliness whatsoever. As mentioned above, there, all he wants is excitement, rather than any G_dliness and whatever desire for G_dliness he may have, is very concealed etc).

However, regarding the above mentioned “good thought”, it says, “Hear O Israel etc.”[1] in addition to being followed with “and you shall love etc.”[2] As mentioned above, here, the essential thing is only the “excitement of hearing” in this thought, from which love is born. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that, as of yet, there is no heartfelt excitement at all. The excitement is only intellectual. Furthermore, this love only relates to action – to turn away from evil etc., and not at all to the inner aspect, as it is with heartfelt excitement.

Albeit, itis higher than the “resolve” born of the above mentioned “dispassionate thought”, in which his love comes about only because it is the right thing to do, rather than being an actual excitement of the intellect. However, here the love comes as an aspect of intellectual excitement. For example, to desire with complete longing, at least in thought, for the revelation of G_dliness in the good deed that he does, and to be very far from its opposite, which opposes G_dliness.

All this is called fear and love of G_d, even though it only relates to actions. But they are invested with great intellectual light and vitality, similar to thought that very much relates to oneself in worldly affairs, in which there at least is intellectual love for G_dliness with the stimulation of the mind and fear of its opposite, similar to the fear of damage or destruction etc., as mentioned above. This is sufficient for those of understanding.



[1] Deuteronomy 6:4

[2] Deuteronomy 6:5

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