Thursday, January 5, 2012

The World of Asiyah


There are five worlds, according to kabbalah. The lowest is the world of Asiyah -the world of action and function. Its where things are completed. Creation is done. For example, say you are building a computer. You put in this part and that piece and use the screwdriver to do something (or whatever it takes to build a computer) and finally, your done. Then you turn on the computer and there it is- functioning. That is the world of asiyah.

It has a physical and a spiritual component.

Applying this to human behavior (as chassidut does), in the physical part of the world of asiyah, it is very comfortable! Comfortable because its routine. There is where you can do dishes and let your mind drift away. Or clean or work or do some sort

of labor and let your mind drift. This is the place where the spirit does not dwell.  Its also the place of

sleeping -physical and spiritual.

Most people actually like this place -definitely businesses like this place--for their consumers. They don't have

to think. And effectively, there are many forms of distrations invented in the world to help us to stay in

that world. TV shows, movies, stories, long work hours, etc. But Judaism, does not want us asleep. We need to be

awake. There is much to do and little time.

Just yesterday, I went on a bus to Telzstone, a small town right outside of Jerusalem. The driver was doing his job driving. I was not used to that town and wasn't sure where to get off. So I asked the driver, "where is haGra street?"

The driver replied that he has no idea. He just drives his route and doesn't really know the place!!  Talk about the world of Asiyah. There was no thought involved in his actions. He just functioned like a machine or an animal.

Honestly, I tend to be like that if i'm not careful. Just get the most minimal information that I need to function without thinking. I have to push myself not to be that way -like a work ant.

In Judaism there is a value in being inquizitive and desiring knowledge. In fact, the Jewish stories found in the Talmud and that the rabbis write, are meant to wake us up as opposed to stories putting people to sleep.
May we have awareness of our surrounding and be knowledgeable in what we do.

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