1 Existence Unplugged
2 From One Reality to Another
3 Do You Want to Dance?
5 Beyond Self-Interest
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A running summary of the 9 discourses that comprise
Hemshech Tzaddik Dalet:
Hemshech Tzaddik-Dalet dissects the very nature of existence,
indeed, the very nature of reality itself. It’s central
and most remarkable theme is that existence as we see and
experience it is not real at all.
What is real? is the big question posed in this series. Is
something real because you can touch and see it? Or is that
simply a circumstantial reality, which has no validity outside
of the world of our senses. If something were to be truly
real, wouldn’t that dictate that it be real even if
and when we don’t see or touch it? In other words its
reality is based on it being fundamentally and essentially
necessary, not because it just happens to exist.
Think of it this way: What is reality – the sub-atomic
forces that energize and define all of matter, or the matter
itself; the DNA that shapes your entire being, or your being;
the electricity that runs through our appliances, or the appliances.
What is more real: The cause or the effect? The peel or the
fruit? Your body or your soul?
Is existence energy or matter? And if you were to find out
that matter was just a form of energy, and should that energy
cease to flow all of matter would simply vanish – how
real is that matter even while it looks so formidable?
Is power defined by its immediate or by its enduring strength?
How much credence do we give to something that is powerful
today but will disappear tomorrow?
How would you look at yourself and your vanities if you were
to know that it is all based on a state of blindness: Our
inability to see behind the curtain? What would feel like
if you were to discover that the things we worship and control
our lives are nothing more than a shell concealing a fruit
Hemshech Tzaddik-Dalet explains that material existence and
even – which is more astonishing – spiritual existence
has no true validity of its own. Nothing dictates that matter
or spirit must exist. And even when they do exist, their entire
being has no self-contained power; it is driven entirely by
Divine energy. The only true Reality is the Divine Essence
of all, which exists because it must exist. In the words of
the Tanya: Everything has a cause. But G-d has no cause other
than Himself; nothing preceded Him; His being derives from
His own self. G-d’s existence must exist, for it is
true reality. G-d is an existence that is unlike any existence,
“a non-existential existence.” It is real because
it is real; a reality that exists because it exists.