If we follow the path of involution from the non-dual ground of Be-ing through the increasingly veiled stages of manifestation, we find that the deepest energetic quality of Be-ing is Divine Love. In Kabbalah, Divine Love (Hesed) is represented by Avraham, whom Be-ing calls, Avraham, My Lover… (Isaiah 41:8.) Were it not for Avraham, who personifies the continuously pulsating, sustaining power of Love, no world could manifest. Yet for the manifest world to evolve and reach its fullness, a contraction of Love is required, because Love in its most intense form overcomes and precludes any separation and individuation. So Divine Love, an emanation of Divine Wisdom, restrains a bit of itself and sacrifices its beloved all-embracing state as an offering to Be-ing. The G-ding Power tested Divine Love… (Genesis 22:1.) …Take your beloved all-embracing state and elevate it as a sacrifice, above and beyond the (dualistic) world-space in which YaH is only discerned as a spice. (Genesis 22:2.)
Thus Divine Love itself, through its sacrifice and devotion to Be-ing, makes way for its own opposite and offspring, Gevurah(Restraint and Discriminating Judgment). Avraham (Divine Love) birthed Yitzhak (Gevurah). (Genesis 25:19.)
Yitzhak is the progenitor of dualistic consciousness. These (two) are the offspring of Yitzhak consciousness, which descends directly from Divine Love. (Genesis 25:19.)
Yitzhak suffers greatly from the loss of his Mother, Sarah the Shekhinah. His relationship to Divinity is a terrifying one, because he doesn’t know where to find Her; His progenitor Avraham’s Power of Love was Yitzhak’s Fear…(Genesis 31:42.) Yitzhak calls Divinity “Fear,” because in Yitzhak-consciousness, one fears that Divinity is something that can be lost.
So why did Sarah prophetically name him Yitzhak (He will laugh)? Because the more he awakens and returns to the Shekhinah,the more he can recognize the joke of dualistic consciousness, which appears dual but is really One. Laughter comes through reuniting with the Shekhinah. (Proverbs 31:25.)
However, before one can ascend from Yitzhak-consciousness to the level of Divine laughter, it is necessary to come to know oneself clearly on the level of the personality. Happily, Yitzhak attained a level of dualistic understanding through his devotion to a descended emanation of the Shekhinah. (Genesis 25:20.)
Contemplating the Shekhinah, Yitzhak turned himself over to Be-ing; praying that his devotion would be fruitful. Be-ing responded by transforming him so that he was aware of the dualistic tendencies within his soul. (Genesis 25:21.)
Yitzhak-consciousness is characterized by inner conflict. The Midrash says that Rivkah suffered greatly while pregnant with the twins, Ya’akov and Esav. Whenever she passed a holy place, Ya’akov would start kicking and trying to break out of her womb. Whenever she would pass by an unholy place, Esav wanted to come out. In Yitzhak-consciousness the soul (Rivkah) is troubled by an internal struggle between competing tendencies: the yetzer tov (positive urge) and yetzer ha-ra’ (negative urge). Two tendencies contended within her; so she thought, ‘if that’s the way it is in dualistic consciousness, what’s the point of this I AM?’ and she turned to Be-ing for an answer. (Genesis 25:22.)
Yitzhak-consciousness is essentially a struggle. Sometimes one tendency prevails and sometimes another. For that reason, it is often difficult to discern if any real progress is even being made. Reassurance and direction depends on reliance on a higher source for guidance. Be-ing informed the soul that there are two ego-driven tendencies within the depths of our personalities and our instincts are pulled in two directions; one will ultimately become stronger than the other… (Genesis 25:23.)
As long as one doesn’t get the joke of dualistic experience Yitzhak-consciousness can never lead to redemption. Both positive and negative tendencies within Yitzhak-consciousness are egoic and support a dualistic view. Nevertheless, for us to evolve, the holy, positive tendency has to prevail and become stronger through liberating and elevating the holy sparks that are also present in the yetzer ha-ra’.
And the old one will serve the younger. (Genesis 25:23.)
A wise but impoverished child is better than an old foolish king. (Ecclesiates 4:13.) The Zohar likens the “wise, impoverished child” to the yetzer tov and the “old, foolish king” to the yetzer ha-ra’, because, according to rabbinic tradition, the yetzer tov appears in us at a later stage of development. As we progress, older structures from earlier stages of development remain part of us, but now they can serve more evolved objectives. Although, like Ya’akov, the newly emerging, more evolved personality structure makes mistakes in its early stages, we recognize its superiority, because it arouses us to aspire to higher goals.
May we all realize that dualistic consciousness is the offspring of Love.
May our newly emerging aspirations lead us higher and closer to Divinity.
May we recognize the egoic nature of even our best impulses
And, discovering the joke of dualistic consciousness,
Laugh together in our reunion with Shekhinah.
Rabbi Moshe Aharon Ladizhyner