Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain, Founder & Spiritual Director

"Let me tell you something. There are three kinds of joy: the joy of worldly enjoyment, the joy of worship and the Joy of Brahman. The joy of worldly enjoyment is the joy of [lust] and gold, which people always love. The joy of worship one feels while chanting God's name and glories. And the Joy of Brahman is the joy of God-vision. After experiencing the joy of God-vision the [sages] of olden times went beyond all rules and conventions." -- Sri Ramakrishna (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Abridged Edition, 1974, p. 311)

Now, to begin with we must not confuse Brahman, to which Sri Ramakrishna refers here, with Brahma. The latter is an aspect of the Hindu trinity, usually represented with four faces and four arms, holding many symbols such as a rosary. However, Brahman is entirely different; it is the indefinable, impersonal Absolute Existence, the all-pervading Transcendental Reality of God-Without-Form, and as such is virtually identical to the concept of Ayn Sof in Judaism and Kabbalah.

It is this disembodied Brahman that the Hindu mystic experiences in Samadhi -- just as the Jewish mystic experiences the disembodied Ayn Sof in what he calls Devekut. It is a moment -- often lasting no longer than a few seconds -- in which time collapses in upon itself and there is the abrupt experience of nothingness, or No-thing-ness, which is precisely what Ayn Sof means in Hebrew. There is neither up nor down; forward nor backward; here nor there; this nor that. Even the heart seems to stop beating but, as I say, only for an instant -- but an instant that seems like eternity. After this, as Ramakrishna says, one no longer is bound by the "rules and conventions" of ordinary religion. The match has lighted the fire and is no longer needed; it can be discarded. As the 18th century Jewish Avatar, Jacob (Yakov Leib) Frank, said:

"Everything that has been till this day has been done so the seed of the Jews be maintained and the name of Israel not be forgotten. But now there is no more need for Commandments and prayers, but only to listen and do and go on until we come to a certain hidden place." (From Sayings of Yakov Frank, trans by Harris Lenowitz, Tree Publications, 1978, p. 20)

The Vedantist calls this "certain hidden place" Samadhi, the Kabbalist calls it Devekut, and the Zen Buddhist calls it Satori -- the effects of which the latter describes as, "Before Satori, chop wood carry water; after Satori, chop wood carry water." Sri Ramakrishna put it this way:

"What is Samadhi? It is the complete merging of the mind in God-Consciousness....In [the Samadhi attained through devotion] there remains the consciousness of 'I'.....God keeps a little of the 'I' in his devotee even after giving him Knowledge of Brahman."(op. cit., p. 312)

This "consciousness of the I," its absolute necessity according to Sri Ramakrishna both during and after enlightenment, is what the 18th century Jewish mystic, the Ba'al Shem Tov, alludes to when he declares, "A perverted sense of humility separates one from service to God." The experience of Samadhi, Devekut, Satori -- or whatever else you choose to call it -- does not destroy the ego so much as ripen it -- an experience out of which one emerges essentially no different than he was before, except between the times of "chopping wood" and "carrying water" -- both of which chores he carries out in exactly the same ways as he did before.......or at least to the eye of the casual beholder.

| Sabbatai Zevi | Jacob Frank | Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain |
| A Critical Re-Assessment of Sabbatai Zevi |
| Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain's Professions of a Holy Sinner |
| The Zohar | Vedanta & Kabbalah | The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas |
| The Sponataneous Jesus Lectures | The Holy Qur'an |
| Special Topics |
| Knowing the Unknowable |
| A Brief Note on Enlightenment |
| A Neo-Sabbatian Discourse on the Son of God |
| A Primer of "Yalhakian" Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah |
| Participating in the Continuing Incarnation of God |
| Sabbatai Zevi's 'God of the Faith' | Evolution of the Ego |
| Two Torahs of Kabbalah: Torah D'Atziluth & Torah D'Beriah |
| On the Limits of Antinomianism | The Transformation of God |
| Commentary on the 13th Century "Treatise on the Left Emanation" |
| A Selection of Neo-Sabbatian Quotations Culled from Various Sources |
| Commentaries on Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's 12th Century Text, "Explanation of the Ten Sefirot" |
| Kabbalistic Genetics of the Holy Seed & Reclaiming the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel |
| A Commentary on the Book of Job | Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams |
| To Die for the People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus |
| The Shemot Shel Katzar Tikkunim: Revealing the Concealed Names of God |
| The Christian Myth of Melchizedek vs. Hereditary Jewish Priesthood |
| The Apocrypha of Jacob Frank | The Tikkun of Raising Animals |
| Appointment in Smyrna: A Neo-Sabbatian Odyssey |
| Sabbatai Zevi and the Mystery of the Red Heifer |
| The Kabbalah of the Hindu Mantra "OM" |
| The Mystery of the Middle Column |
| The Hidden Structures of Water |
| Exegesis on the Rod of Aaron |
| Book of Silence |
|YaLHaK's Garden of Neo-Sabbatian Verses|
| Ten Sefirot of Jewish Kabbalah | Sufi Lion of Bektashi Islam |
| Mandala of Tibetian Buddhism | Seven Chakras of Tantric Hinduism |
| Ox-Herding Pictures of Zen Buddhism | Rosarium Pictures of Christian Alchemy |
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