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The Prior Conditions of the Meeting Between Man and God© Part: 3 By Dr. Zadok Krouz

מאת: krouz zadokיהדות04/03/20111265 צפיות שתף בטוויטר |   שתף בפייסבוק

 

Dr. Zadok Krouz

 

Investigation of the pats of the Commandment "You will Love" in its total construction.

 

1.The Parts of the Commandment

 

I divided the commandment into two parts. The first portion describes the solitary "I." The commandment "love me" is not yet understood. Man lacks the capacity to love and contains no essence of love; he is all ears. The commandment is the first content to drop into this attentive hearing. The summons to hear, the address by the given name, to 'you', the seal of the discoursing divine mouth – all these are but preface to the complete content of the real essence: love. In this "preface," the first part in my terminology, what can the soul say in response? For there must be a reply. The obedience to the commandment cannot take the form of muteness. It, too, must become audible, become word. For in the world of revelation everything becomes word, and what cannot become word is either prior or posterior to this world (Star 208-210). Perhaps Rozenzweig's reference is to death as he quotes from the Psalms

: "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. But he will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore, Halleluia" (Star 280, from Ps. 115: 17-18). The dead cannot speak; they completed their task with their death.

 

But the soul remains silent and does not respond, for it has not experienced love, and that period of not being loved, of lovelessness, seems to it covered in deepest darkness. There exists a lack of trust and doubt of the lover's love. It is true that God speaks in the manner of one who demands love, yet voices no indication of his love by saying, " I love you."

 

The origin of the darkness, Rozenzweig believes, is in the past and only the past, because the sin dates from then, a sin which continues to flood the soul with shame. As long as man remains tied to his past and the "darkness," he does not yet have the strength to speak what is in his hear with confidence, but continues to have doubts in his heart as to the response he will receive, since, as was stated in the first part of the commandment, God demanded the soul 'to love' with no accompanying declaration from God of His love. In this portion of the commandment, the soul seriously doubts that it will receive response or confession.

 

In its entirety. The concluding part instructs man in anticipation of the acknowledgment. Nothing short of the acknowledgment carries the soul into the bliss of being loved. Previously, all was lovelessness. Hence, it is not easy for the soul to admit, for in the admission of love, the soul bares itself, and to bare oneself is not accomplished without difficulty.

 

In this part, the soul wants to be loved, but finds difficulty in acknowledging the dark past in which there was no love. In the first part, the soul encountered no sweeping shock or agitation. In the second part, the soul had to receive a shock to become the beloved soul. The soul, in order to become beloved, had to exchange the shame which blocked the beloved mouth that whished to make acknowledgment. And for what was the shame exchanged? Rozenzweig answers: "For current sinning, not for a 'sin' committed in the past…" (Star 212). The confession relates to the present, meaning that it is certain of God's love, as certain as if God had spoke into its ear, " I forgive."

 

It is as if the excuse to flee the responsibility resulting from past sin prevented the soul, ashamed of its sin, from facing the sin in the present, which is the actual and real time. The soul preferred to remain in darkness like Adam hiding from God in order not to answer for his deeds, or those of the serpent. The more the soul fled from the sin into the past, the more embroiled it became. Only the removal of the sin from the past into the living present resurrects the sin but at the same time causes the shame, which gnawed at the good in the soul and distanced it from God, to die; such a process is comparable to the  psychiatric techniques of freeing one from guilt by resurrecting the sin, thus making it current and destroying the negative causes of past disgrace.

 

Thus, Rosenzweig states:

 

Past sins are confessed altogether only for the sake of yet present sinfulness, but to acknowledge the latter is no longer to acknowledge sin—this has passed like the acknowledgement itself—no longer to acknowledge the love-void of the past. Rather the soul says: even now, even in this most present of moments, I still do not love nearly as much as I know myself loved. (Star 212)

 

Distancing myself from love in the present and the knowledge that I am loved by God are real assumptions of the actual present moment. The knowledge that I am loved replaced the remoteness from the present and removes the burdens of sham for the sin which led to the uncertainty and lack of faith in God and the inability to head God's voice saying " I forgive." The soul says how remote it is from loving (because I am a sinner), but it knows that it is loved, and this acknowledgement is already the highest bliss for it, for in encompasses the certainty that God loves it.

 

Undoubtedly, in utilizing the concept of raising past sin to the present in order to treat it, Rosenzweig was influenced by psychiatry courses he took as a medical student prior to becoming a philosopher. Man removes his past sin by acknowledging, and to acknowledge he must overcome the shame of the sin, an act which can be done only by admitting the he remains a sinner. The past in his consciousness did not enable him to speak his heart with confidence, and he doubted God's love for him.

 

In the last part of the commandment Rosenzweig shows the great power of though, the power which enables man to actually hear God whispering into his ear, " I forgive": "..it (the soul) no longer needs this formal absolution. It is freed of its burden at he very moment of daring to assume all of it on its shoulders."

 

2.The irrational as a source of self-persuasion and influence.

 

Rosezweig certainly perpetuated the power of the " mental" act that exists without our knowing it. It is deep within us, yet does not affect out individuality. Just as the discovery of America moved the center of gravity of the old world to the West, so too, the discovery and freeing of the mental power, "the irrational," will in the future likely move the center of gravity of man's life from the cognitive, conscious layer of understanding to the subconscious status of pure belief that inheres in the soul of man. The unrecognized term " the irrational" was borrowed from his correspondence with Rudolf Ehrenberg dated November 18, 1917 (Naharayim 205).

 

This is not the place to discuss this complicated subject. An investigation into the unconscious or "the irrational" would require its own treatise, in which various explanations would endeavor to free their elements from theories changing day to day. But there is a body of facts, proven by experience, about which there is no dispute, and this body of facts enables us to understand Rosenzweig's position vis-a vis the concluding part of the commandment "to love." Two questions relating to the source and form of Rosenzweig's treatment of the subject, assist in understanding that position:

 

1) What is the source of self-persuasion or internal, absolute conviction that God, as it were, declares when he says, " I love you" or whispers in man's ear " I forgive"?

 

2) In what form does the soul convince itself ( or more precisely, man's consciousness) spontaneously, to throw off, the compulsion of the shame and pass its entire self over to love? For only yesterday there was "darkness," " doubt," "lovelessness" and suddenly there is a radical change to total confidence and "true bliss" (Star 226, 200, 212-213)

 

Rosenzweig responds to the first question by referring to the soul. The soul is the source of the self-persuasion or internal, absolute conviction. And what, then, is this soul that serves this promising function? Rosenzwig answers:

 

The soul is the image of God. "Defiance and character, hubris and daimon had merged in him and had turned him into a speechless, introverted self" (Star 200). " With a resemblance to God, with a personality not mediated through generalization of category nor necessitating multiplicity, with a self. Something new has dawned. But something more than self too—a soul? He is created speech-less" (Star 188) "Were the soul a 'thing', it could not be faithful… it derives from the self of man" (Star  203).

 

The soul is the power which generates our life: " Now that he emerges from himself, the forces that formed him are disclosed again…pride is… primarily, the beginning of the emergence…" (Star 200)

 

The soul is the seat of feelings, the activating force: " An awe compounded of humility and pride, together with a feeling of dependence and of being securely sheltered" (Star 201).

                                                                                                                                          

The soul is the origin of memories. It knows each and every detail, registers every movement that one takes and every though that one has; therefore, it is even a source to learn from, an experience which ultimately is our experience as wel as of our fathers. Without this important information, the artist cannot attain inspiration for his work. ( Star 219, 227).  The inspiration requires the completeness of all the details and only wealth of memory of the soul can supply it.  "The lifeless image now becomes itself filled with the life which it hitherto only aroused in the spectator ( the unconscious), and thus it comes alive ( conscious). Now it can open its mouth and speak" (Star 201). Such is the essential, real man of Rosenzweig.

 

The soul is not static, but rather exceedingly dynamic: " He breathed the spirit of life into his nose…," " filled up that life with power… and it  lived…it can speak" (Star 201)

 

The soul is mysterious, with many details and explanations of it being not within man's understanding.  "Humility is..an altogether essential attribute for him who has it, an attribute in which he moves because he simply does not know differently any more" ( Star 201). Few people know why they do one thing rather than another; they usually do something the correct way when relying on the soul; when they permit the conscious to intervene, they err.

 

One who relies on the acts of the soul, on its singularity as the source of power and material, has already completed most of his work. This fact brings Rosenzweig to the feasible conclusion: " And gives (man) to be borne on it…it knows that no evil will come to it. It knows that there is no power in the world that can steal its consciousness" (Star 200). For it knows the soul (the unconscious) is more correct, knowledgeable and absolute than the conscious.

 

The soul supervises the physical process: digestion, absorption, blood flow, actions of the kidney and lungs ( it is true that these processes are controlled by the brain, but the intelligence does no do the work; rather, it is the soul, the unconscious): " After the reversal that occurred in him, he felt agitated, but also bears the fear  with trembling" (Star  201). The physiological influence of the soul is so great and real that one can open one's mouth and speak even with God: "It can open its mouth and speak" (Star 201).

 

3. On the Source of Self-Persuasion and Influence

 

            Rosenzweig’s description of the soul is in effect a description of the  “unconscious”; the two share traits which make them seem as one. On the existence of the unconscious, there is almost no dispute among the researchers, and the function of research and science is to conquer more and more of the domain of the unconscious of the soul and raise them to the conscious (see Bergman, 132; see also Gordon).

 

            “There is ‘in the intellect’ (better we should say ‘of the intellect’) something irrational, something not embraced by the concept of truth (since the truth is forever ‘conforming the likeness to its predicate’)… something of the intellect that is beyond intellect (‘beyond’ in the sense of logic), it is the unity of the two…”True, intellect is the basis of reality, but there is also reality in the essence of intellect” (Naharayim 207-208).

 

            Is it doubtful that every person struck with a club knows that the bones of the forehead are stronger and harder than the bones of the top of the head, or that a blow to the ears is more dangerous than a blow to any other part of the skull? In any event, when one protects his head with his hands, he protects the endangered parts and rests his forehead to garner the blow. Consciously, certainly everybody would not react the same way, and not everyone is capable or skilled to make that decision, but the unconscious assembles the memories and experiences not only of us, but of out father and our fathers’ fathers, and during the course of many years, the defensive action became disassociated but, nevertheless, occurred, notwithstanding our will and conscious understanding.  Rosenzweig explains: “..for again he does not know any other way…in regard to man in which it inhabits, it is a compelled trait absolutely” (Star 201).

 

            There are many examples of Rosenzweig’s “compelled trait.” When a child flees from being hit and feels the first ready to strike, he will bend over, his back arched. Unconsciously, he will do what is necessary to distance himself from the attempted blow. When struck, he will bend his back like a car, symmetrically, by which he will protect his heart and lungs. When a person is stabbed from behind, the back will arch, causing the ribs to close together, slowing and restricting entry of the foreign object, sometimes making it impossible for the aggressor to remove the knife from the victim’s back.

 

            The domain of the unconscious (the soul) contain a mine of information and memories that we would be unable to reach except by deliberation, experience, study and great toil: “ It is that which emerges from the originator without his knowing how, the essential prerequisite of something greater... In effect, then, he regards it only in order to disregard it” (Star 224). Man has not other way but to “be borne on it” (Star 200).

 

But the task of the unconscious is not only to record, remember and provide upon request; it also has an enormous creative capability. With its vast experience, it makes new combinations and performs much of our work which the rational mental processes of man cannot do: “and realization (the unconscious), that only in it do we find bridges on bridges all out experiences are those of bridge-making…(therefore) only by their relationships, in creation, revelation, redemption are they opened.” “God and the world and man—this conjunctive ‘and’ was the beginning of experience…it must be, then, that it is true in regard to something” (Naharayim 208,230,238).

 

            “The irrational,” Rosenzweig states, is “ the something of the intellect which is beyond intellect (beyond the logical) intending the genius of man’s power of intellect by means of confirming the coordination of the image with the aspiration” (Naharayim 208). Therefore, it is no marvel that “we are able to do properly many things when we rely on the ‘irrational,’ for the rational is not capable of performing them…” for only man through the last of all generations can confirm (Naharayim 238).

 

            That is, man must wait until the end of time before having the perspective to confirm or understand the “irrational” and its actions; of course, this understanding is beyond man’s capability. We thus recognize that by permitting the conscious to perform our work, we err hither and thither. Also, we will not be able to locate the reason for the lack of success since the “I is impenetrable and silent and waits to hear God speak” (Naharayim 211).

 

            The intellect remains open-mouthed to the appearance of the problems of the human body and is lost in the fields of analysis, and each discovery only shows the depths of new secrets. There is no doubt that the ration is the mechanism most appreciated, the seat of logic and ethics, the source of understanding and appreciation of the artistic,. It is a machine, but not the propellant. It provides neither feelings, force nor energy. Those are provided by the irrational, for that is the singular artistic reality. In Rosenzweig’s words: “ this something of the rational, which is beyond the rational (beyond in the logical sense) is unity… it is reality” (Naharayim 208).

 

            The soul, the irrational, “contains a wealth of details…it becomes manifest only when and as the idea eternalizes the details…not for nothing does one speak of ‘epic scope’…” (Star 223). The man who is seen is the mask only; his actual personality lies behind the irrational or the soul in him. It appears that the irrational records each and every movement we make and every thought we think. In ascending the many steps, the irrational records the number of steps required to ascend one level, and just as we did not feel the matter being recorded, we also will not feel the use of its experience. That it actually counts, though not in the conscious language of number, is proven from the fact that if we want, we can also occasionally life this number from the unconscious to the conscious. One concludes that, on the basis of details of “epic scope,” the unconscious learns from such experience. The unconscious is a power station:

 

the strength to hold fast, which the beloved soul maintains towards the love with which it is loved, this strength of trust is drawn by it from the defiance of the self which has integrated with it. And because the soul holds onto him, therefore God allows himself to be held by it…It (the soul) proved to be a vital, creative force by tearing the lover’s own love away from the moment and ‘eternalizing’ it once and for all (Star 203).

 

            The soul is the dynamic force in our lives. The details or the memories are not mute like the marks on a phonograph record, they are vitally active, each one creating one thread in our personal yarn. The soul of the irrational does not rest, and is even more awake when the conscious is sleeping, at which time the soul’s eye is ever more open, thus “ imparting to it eternal being” (Star 203).

 

            And how can the soul, “the vital, creative force”, rest for a moment? “Without the storms of defiance in the self, the silence of the seal in the faithfulness of the soul would be impossible”. “It ( the soul) listens to the voice of God from nearby…certain of the love of God, as certain as if God had whispered in its ear ‘I forgive’ …” (Star 212).

 

            “That His love breathed life into him testifies to man himself that he exists” ( Star 201). Rosenzweig explains that the soul brings man to a real, living happening between two living and existing realities. “Love is prevented from making an image of the beloved” (Star 197). Rather, it feels, storms, rests, breathes, hears, and listens to the love of the lover. Only the soul, or irrational, will fill the role of supervisor of the physical process which Rosenzweig emphasizes. The irrational takes part in controlling the digestion, absorption, circulation of the blood, activities of the lungs, kidneys and other vital organs. Our body is called a clock which if wound would continue to move on its own. All the processes, as complex as they are, rest under the management of the brain. Nevertheless, it is not the brain which does this work; rather, it is the irrational, which in this case is the unconscious. The though process itself and its contents are unable to determine the chain of electrochemical events which comprise life (Deliberations).

 

            According to Rosenzweig, therefore, the source of the internal self-persuasion of inspiration and realization of the concluding part of the commandment to love is the soul, or what cognitive philosophers refer to as the irrational or the unconscious.

           

4. On the Manner of Persuasion of the Soul Itself

 

             The second question posed centers around the realization and inspiration of the soul. Rosenzweig responds with the saying” The conclusion of the act is in the beginning, thought” “ Sof Maaseh B’Mahshava Tehillah)” (Naharim 231, from the poem “ Lecha Dodi”). “It is your intention that something will emerge from the conscious – you must first put things into it, just like a cake” (Naharayim 238). Initially, one must bring in the “experience of reality” (Naharayim 238).

 

            The concept of verified truth is, as noted above, a cornerstone of this new cognitive doctrine. In this context, Rosenzweig states that philosophy cannot become enervated until it descends into man and becomes independent of it (the soul). Then “verified truth” occurs, bringing in conclusion, the following form of reality: A=B when B (man) recognizes his dependence on A (God).

 

            Now, the truth having been clarified, we can amend the true order of the three—God, man and the world. God, the God of the truth is placed at the head and only he may say “he is” (Naharayim 239).

 

            Rosenzweig speaks of two levels of intelligence. One he calls “cognition” and the other “experience of reality” ( that is, the unconscious soul) or “verified truth.”  These exist in mutual, continuous activity. Just as every detail in cognitive activity is founded in the unconscious, so too every thought in cognitive activity descends to the lower level (‘experience of reality’), where it becomes an integral part of our being, or A=B in Rosenzweig’s formulation (Naharayim 216; Star 212).

 

            Cognition takes energy from the unconscious and fulfills its function of caring for and determining out intellectual, conscious and bodily conditions. If the thought is good (God loves me), man is in “absolute bliss,” and if bad ( the absence of God’s love), man is solitary and abandoned, enveloped in a depression caused by the shame of his sin.

 

            This turning of though into an element of out lives Rosenzweig calls “experience of reality” (Naharayim 238) or in other words, spontaneous and positive self-persuasion. Since this is a normal activity of our brain, it will not be difficult to prove and confirm it by daily experiences (these examples do not concretize a direct, absolute experience of God, but they at least prove that the principle of the form on which the question is asked is acceptable). It opens the gate to understand Rosenzweig’s method of understand the essence of the commandment to love.

 

  • In walking down the street in dismal temperament, you meet an acquaintance in gay spirits. His smile arouses you, and after speaking with him for a few moments, your despair passes and it its place you feel confident and joyful. What caused this change? Nothing other than the idea in your mind. Gazing at him, listening to his voice and observing his laughter, your conscious intellect involved itself with the idea of joy. And this idea, after it passed to the irrational was realized. For no logical reason, you became happy. “For not from the mouth of God came to it this certainty (certainty of love), but from the mouth of the soul (from consciousness via the irrational)” (Star 212).
  • You were visiting a friend at his home and listening to a frightful incident of the dead rising form their graves. Late at night you return to your home. The fear described in your imagination became real in the irrational; you walk hastily past dark areas and seek the lit path and are ecstatic when you arrive at your home. It is the same path that you walked many times in the past, nonchalantly, but the pleasant associations are now forgotten, and the most normal objects are now foreign and frightening. The internal power of self-persuasion cannot turn a pole into a walking corpse, but it they easily cause impression, all of your sense impression will be distorted, items will be given unnatural proportion and routine objects will become frightening.

In each of the above examples, the concept of a mental state – joy or fear – is that which is presented to the brain and made real. When thought arrives at the irrational, Rosenzweig calls it “reality” (Naharayim 208). That is, you were, indeed, happy or afraid. Now, therefore, we understand the second part of the commandment to love, which maintains that “ the beloved no longer needs to acknowledge the love of the lover… is it as certain of his love as if he whispered its admission in its ear..This acknowledgement is already the highest of bliss, for it encompasses the certainty that God loves it” (Star 212). This transformation from the past sin to present sin, which is the acknowledgment of love, is not in the domain of the intellect. The intellect of man plays almost no part, rather its principal occurrence is in the sense domain, the experiential or unconscious and instinctive. You were, in fact, loved: “…as if I knew that I was loved” (Star 212).

 

            This concretization of the essence of the commandment is love. From the moment it reaches the irrational and is received by it, it is made into a never-ending element of our lives: “Not the new solitary moment is that which gives it its presence but rather the eternalization of the moment; since it knows it loves ‘forever,’ and only for that reason, does it feels itself loved every moment” (Star 201).

 

            However, it is easier to recognize the spontaneous, self-persuasion of Rosenzweig: “…from real word to real word,” and “…as if God whispered into its ear…’I forgive”…” The result is bodily rather than mental, which is clear to use when Rosenzweig emphasized that “only by reflex action can we—and we are commanded even—to recognize the real world also as representative or part of its speech” (Star 217, 212).

 

  • Everybody knows what is called “stage fright.” Its victim can be a normal person, mentally and physically fit. He can also have, in his private life, a sweet voice and be intelligent, a man of ideas with the ability to express them. He can also be confident that those who listen will support him and his ideas. But put him on a stage, and his knees shakes and his heart flutters; he does not know what to say or says too much, he cannot speak clearly, and after stuttering a few words, he must retract his words. The reason for this peculiar phenomenon is in his thoughts prior to his mounting the stage. He feared that he would be ludicrous, would be uncomfortable or perhaps that he would forget his speech or would not succeed in delivering it as he wished. These negative ideas, upon returning to the irrational became real. And exactly that which was received (in the irrational or the unconscious) came to him.
  • There are people who suffer from St. Vitus’s Dance. The disease causes them to contort their faces, twist their heads or move their shoulders. Others who come in constant contact with them, who live or work with them, are likely to acquire these habits without feeling it. The idea of this habit, situated firmly in their brain, becomes real and they begin to perform the same movements.

 

Examples of the law described by the above examples appear everywhere. Did you ask why people faint when seeing blood or why we turn our head in looking from a lofty perch at that which is below? There are neurotics who lose the ability to speak or see and others who are unable to walk. Some suffer from disturbances in one vital organ or another. The reason is not something actual, but is the idea which becomes real in the irrational.

 

            The above instances of involuntary acts exemplify Rosenzweig’s belief that “ only by reflex action can we – and are commanded even—to recognize the real word also as representative of part of our speech” ( Star 207). But does this occur always or by chance only? Does the commandment to love occur according to this, and not another, universal law through self-persuasion by means of though penetrating to the conscious resulting in its final realization in the irrational?

 

            Sometimes love that is imprinted form the essence that is exterior to man only increases the hate in our soul, or joy which strengthens the depression we feel. There are persons who become angry when seeing another profess love to that one’s beloved and are upset when watching a comedy on the stage. Doctors are able to listen to the sad and depressing afflictions of their patients without being moved. It seems as if there are contradictions in these instances. But they are nor, and they can be used to confirm the law mentioned above. Just as it was known to one of the great Jewish poets, who lets his friend respond to the king of the Kuzaris (Kuzari 5:27): “I see that you find my words heavy on you and light in your eyes” (quoted in  Naharayim  240).

 

            The doctor also, in listening to his patients, does not let these ideas inhabit the conscious brain. His thoughts immediately pass on to medicine, to the treatment he will proffer. He does not base his assistance only on hygienic actions, but also utilized the unconscious or the irrational or his appearance and his demeanor. Or he will concentrate his thoughts on the scientific matter before him, and then automatically relate it to the patient as a thing to be investigated. He does not fear climbing the rooftop since thoughts of the danger immediately yield to his knowledge of his head and feet being well placed.

 

            We have now arrived at a significant point in the process of self-persuasion, in the concluding part of the commandment of love which Rosenzweig attempts to explain. No idea presented to the intelligence will become real until the intelligence accepts it. This assumption is emphasized in his discussion on the ability versus the will in his article, “The Builders” which we shall discuss later. “ True, intellect is the basis of reality….” This reality is the first stage of receiving the idea by the irrational…But there is also reality in the essence of intellect…which is irrational…” ( Naharayim 207), which then, makes the idea real.

 

            The second stage of the process of self-influence begins in the concluding part of the commandment. Man must know that everything does not rest in his intellect and that he is at all times opens to processes influenced by the understanding of new ideas; only by receiving such new ideas will realization occur. Rosenzweig remarks” …the concept of verified truth is made the cornerstone of the new cognition doctrine…. There is a man who never says ‘he is everything…’ This thing is beyond their understanding ( of the scientific philosophers)” (Naharayim 223,238).

 

            The majority of the mistakes made by those holding the new philosophy in the field of reality result from their ignoring this basic fact. When a man suffers from severe pain, it does not help to say “it does not hurt you” or “in the next world you will receive reward for your suffering.” The first declaration contradicts the facts; the second is so far removed from reality that it is impossible to accept. Man will refuse the attempt at this realization – the self-persuasion will confirm the fact of his suffering, but which the conscious will treat the pain and undoubtedly make it worse. This attempt at realization, which assumes “that all the rest, the world and God, already lies in man” (Naharayim 223), only reinforced the shame for the sin of the past; the soul cannot repulse the compulsion of the shame by giving itself over entirely to love” (Star 211).

 

            We can now formulate the fundamental law of reality: Each idea that comes to our conscious intellect, if received by the irrational, is changed by the irrational to reality, and from that moment is an ever present element in our lives.

 

            It is the process which Rosenzweig calls self0influence of love which comes “buy itself” and “cannot be previously assumed.” It is the self-persuasion that God loves the soul and man and love is “nothing but fate…from ignoring everything that preceded it or that will come after it…” (Star 224, 198, 194).

 

            It is a law that man’s brain is directed by it through the pat until the present: “it bursts forth from the suffering of the hidden God (the image, the irrational) to revelation (intellect)” (Star 194). The thought that God loves, held by the soul, determines not only the condition of our spirit, but out feelings and sentiments; “shock,” “bliss,” “agitation,” “trembling,” heartbeats, stuttering, blushing and other bodily actions are reactions to the state of “as if God whispered in its ear ‘I forgive,’ and as if “bursts forth…the hidden God to be revealed” (Star 211, 212, 201, 194).

 

            The above phenomena of the body result from changes occurring in blood flow, activity of the muscles and the vital organic actions. These changes are not dependent on the will and intellect; they are conducted by “something which is beyond intellect…which comes as reality,” and they will come by surprise.

 

            If we apply our conscious intellect to the idea of love, joy, forgiveness, support and good, and if we can also guarantee their acceptance by the irrational, they become real (“arrive as real”), and they are able to raise us to a new being based on the recognition “that (the sine) is present…. Again there is not acknowledgement of sin….There is no admission of the lack of love in the past….(but) the knowledge that I am loved” ( Naharayim  207, 208; Star 212).

 

            Rosenzweig’s religious existentialism, which is an original method among religious, and certainly non-religious, existentialism, tries to overcome the lack of certainty that one can be beloved.

 

            The idea of love, which in the substance of the commandment reaches the brain, requires the emotional reaction of man, according to Rosenzweig. As the “shock”; -- the level of emotion which accompanies love---increases, so does the force of the self persuasion increase: “Thus a shock was necessary before the self could become a beloved soul…in the past there was a time without love…for until this moment it had not been moved nor gripped” (Star 211).

 

            Similarly, the moment one sees oneself at death’s portal can change one’s entire life. Therefore, one should not be surprised that Rosenzweig begins The Star of Redemption with the sentence: “ All cognition of the All originated in death, in the fear of death” ( Star 45) and concludes it with the words: “ into life” (Star 437).

 

            This emotional factor serves as important function in realizing the purpose of the commandment to love and to insure its acceptance: “the certainty that God loves you” (Star 212). The act of spontaneity is greater insofar as it touches emotion.

 

            The body and the soul work one on the other, like parts of an electric induction machine. Goethe stated that when a man laughs without reason, the laugh itself brings the person to a condition of joy. Goethe, who died almost fifty years before Rosenzweig was born, undoubtedly influences Rosenzweig. Though Goethe questioned the philosophy of Kant, his contemporary, each saw in man himself the creator of his life. Goethe wrote in his masterpiece, Faust, in 2832, “There are many puzzles will be solved.” He placed in the mouth of Mephisto the answer: “But many puzzles also will be assembled there” (qtd. In Rosenzweig, Naharayim 240). “ There” is undoubtedly the soul of man, the irrational, and the solution are the calming knowledge that many puzzles are assembled there.

 

            At the most difficult period of his life, when he was suffering from paralysis of almost his entire body, Rosenzweig instructed himself to use this power of self-influence. He continued to think and write at a time when he could move only one finger or one hand, which he used for typing his manuscripts. Courageous conduct, power of survival the battle against his illness only strengthened the proof of his methods of religious existentialism, which allowed him to believe that internal, spontaneous self-persuasion is the intrinsic, omnipotent divine power. Rosenzweig’s cure was an emotional, rather than a physical cure, for he knew and read Faust:…”emotion is everything…” (qtd. In Rosenzweig  Star 221; compare Star 227).

 

As far as we can see, acceptance or refusal of the idea of the knowledge “for I am loved” by the soul is irrational, dependent on associations linked to them. Thus, the idea of the absence of shame is accepted if it draws after it similar idea that require similar emotions. For example, “ the acknowledgment ‘I am a sinner’ removes from man his being a sinner in the past and removes the shame from him” (Star 212). Certain that God will forgive his sin, he does not feel the absence of love in the past, and the acknowledgement of the current sin in though already “ is not an admission of the sin which became past as the sin itself…” (Star 212).

 

            On the other hand,  the idea of live is denied if the association are contradictory ideas, whose emotional load is of another type, such as: “…doubt as to what answer will be given to him…the soul, uncertain, wanting to make the acknowledgment, harbors doubts that its acknowledgment will be accepted” (Star 212). In the last case, the original idea of love is hidden by the associations, almost in the same manner that the chemical alkali can hide the presence of oxygen.

 

You are on a boat traveling through stormy waters. You approach a sailor, and in a tone of voice sharing the difficulties, state: “Dear man, you are pale. Are you seasick?” He laughs or waves you away in anger, depending on his nature. He was not seasick because his associations are contradictory. In his mind, he is immune from the illness, he does not think of it as a threatening past (like the shame which enveloped man and depressed him), but considers it a present illness, and in the present he is also immune from it; therefore, the illness draws not fear or doubt of his immunity, but rather certainty (“it is certain of God’s love”).

 

Continuing your tour of the deck, you meet a passenger whose countenance indicates dear. “Sir, you look terrible! You must be seasick; let me help you on your way.” He pales, the word ‘seasick’ raising in him ideas of fear and bad tidings. He accepts your help in reaching his cabin, and there his internal self-influence is realized.

 

            In the first instance above, the idea (shame) is expelled because the association (in Rosenzweig’s case, love) overcame it; in the second, the irrational, because it was supported by similar ideas (the doubt of God’s response, recollection of the sin, etc.) accepts it.

 

            As noted earlier, the function of feeling in the concluding part of the commandment to love is to ensure acceptance of the idea of “the love of God” by the irrational:

 

…rather the concern is with that feeling which immerses itself into the individual natural form and transforms it, through the power of immersion, form a natural form—in and of itself but dimly visible, ambiguously unclear, aesthetically therefore invisible, and so to speak mute—into an artistic form which is determined, unambiguous, aesthetically therefore visible and so to speak eloquent. ( Star 227).

 

            However, in addition to feeling, there is another condition that ensures acceptance quite and rest. The means used by man to realize the essence of the commandment to live is the thought that the cognition must be silent until it accomplishes total rest: “…it necessarily emerges as serene diffusion…a pride which simply exists instead of distorting man’s countenance with convulsive might…, which spreads out under and around man like the still waters…but a pride which simply is, in which man is at rest and allows himself to be borne, such a pride is, to be sure, the very opposite of ever-resurgent defiance” ( Star 200).

 

            Since it knows that love is “forever” (Star 200), constant rest, and not the rest of a solitary moment, gives it its strength. Realization of the concluding part of the commandment to love is, as stated above, one of a thousand possibilities man is given by God; yet, it will be realized only via a natural, spontaneous approach. And what is this approach if not the rest which grows from the ability of man in the framework of his will, Only the ability brings man to being chosen and into the sphere of responsibility: “Not by our will but our ability is the matter dependent” ( Naharayim 88). And “just as the cognizance of everything in the cognizance is not yet knowledge, do doing everything in the doing is not yet an act…the principle is – from ability will be done what will be done” (Naharayim 91). “We know only one thing, that we all have the possibility of ability” (Naharayim 92).

 

            Rosenzweig undoubtedly sees in the will an uncertain force, one that even hinders and causes delay. An attempt to force the unconscious or irrational to accept the idea by the effort of will and not by the intellectual capability will end in failure. Will is defined as a dynamic element in personality. We think it is possible, with effort, to encourage the will, to guarantee victory of one element of personality on the second, which opposes it. By means of the force of will we elevate ourselves, and thus crush the activity of the substantive, that is, of the understanding with the irrational. Only from the ability to think “will be done what will be done.” With out hands we destroy the conditions which enable the success of realizing the concluding part of the commandment, and with the same hands we can cause it to fail.  The man who determines realization of the commandment to live is, ultimately, the non-advanced person, who lacks dynamic desires of energy, unsophisticated and na?ve, “serene” man, entirely “tranquil” (Star 201,196).

 

            Rosenzweig thinks that he errs, who wants to realize the commandment to love: acceptance of the though and its being are fixed in the irrational, via effort of will, in order to ensure the victory of the one element in personality against htat which opposed it ( love versus the absence of love.) Man, whose entirety is ashamed of the sin of the past, thinking that God will not forgive him, will sit and convince himself that God will forgive him. Her attempts. By means of the efforts of his will, to force the irrational or soul to accept the though that God will forgive him and return him love. The effort leads to hyperactivity, and the association of the absence of love in which he is enveloped from the start appears by itself. And he starts to think the opposite of what he intended. Addition effort raises again the though of the “current sinfulness” (Star 212); there is certainty that he will forgive, but because he is present more alert, the opposite associations also become firmer. His thinking capability is the sole control in his brain, and an additional effort of the will cannot move it from its place. And, truly, anything that continues to rise up against it will only reinforce it. This phenomenon demonstrates the concept which Rosenzweig  describes in these words “ … within one’s ability, that will be done what will be done … (for) ultimately, not by our will but our ability is the matter dependent” ( Naharayim 88, 91).

 

            Some people argue that nothing can withstand the will, yet everyone must know that there are several things which withstand it. Who has not experiences a fearful thought which, though repulsed, returns quicker than it was expelled? The will is the power by which we force this thought or another within us for a period of time. But it is not the expulsion with governs, but rather the reality that is the thought. And what is that: an accurate thought.

 

            When taking examination, persons often encounter the dismaying experience of having all the information they have accumulated though study disappear when reading the exam  questions. Not one clear thought appears. It only remains for them to grate their teeth and call their will power to assist. However, when they leave the examination room, and the tension lessens, the ideas and information return clearly and strongly. Forgetfulness was due to the idea of failure, which the examinees nurtured in their brain prior to the examination, and the efforts of the will only completed the disaster.

 

            Rosenzweig states:”… a happy soul…all of it says rest.” We must realize that so long as fear of failure follows us (“it still had doubt in its heart as to the answer it would receive”), efforts for the will will not bear fruit. The act will be effective only if, in place of fear or doubt, we bring confidence( “certain is it of God’s love...as if he whispered in its ear…,’I forgive’”) and a peaceful view of success rather than a fearful and complaining dread of failure. “...until he reaches total dedication from complete certainty…” And when is this “until”? Rosenzweig responds: “constant rest…when the hour will come, the wisdom will come” (Star 196, 201, 212, 215, 229).

 

            Success in the concluding part of the commandment to love is dependent upon the skill of a healthy intelligence in waiting; it has no “id?e fixe” (Naharayim 229).  The soul will nullify its shame and attain the answer “I forgive” and knowledge “he is” (“My beloved god, he truly is God”) only via the certainty which comes from waiting. He must continue to love; the hour will come, wisdom will come. This secret envelops within it all the wisdom of the new philosophy. It teaches, in Goethe’s words, the ‘understanding in time’…” (Naharayim 229).

 

            Every effort to quicken the process of self-persuasion in the essence of the commandment to love is fatal. Every artificial attempt only hastens failure rather than success ( as stated by Rabbenu Haim Ben Atar, who lived in Jerusalem approximately 250 years ago, in his book on the Torah,  Ohr HaHaim). An order of redemption of Israel is hinted at in Lev. 25, and Ohr HaHaim enumerates three factors for redemption: 1) the merit of the righteous men and the people, 2. Suffering, and 3. Redemption which is not dependent on merit. So, too, realization of the commandment to love requires restful waiting, with which it will succeed. Only if the brain concerns itself with the positive ability of thought rather than effort of dynamic will will the commandment be realized to the extend of its realized capability: “ My beloved God, he is truly God” (Star 213).

 

5. Time and Unity in the Commandment “You will Love”

 

            As shown above, the present time, and only the present time, is the most significant and important factor that characterizes the command. Every attempt of reconciliation with the past only immerses the soul in doubt, uncertainty and hesitation in answering. Were the time of the commandment not the present, this condition of the command could not be fulfilled as one of the conditions for the meeting between man and God as formulated by Rosenzweig. It was also noted that the present restful times ensures attainting the bliss in which the acknowledgment that God loves in enveloped. Only one single factor can assist by means of its singular characteristics in opening the mouth of the beloved. This factor is time, which transfers the sinfulness of the past “ to current sinfulness, nor as ‘sin’ that I committed in the past” (Star 212) By changing one time for a contradictory time the soul sweeps away the shame of the sin and offers himself entirely to love.

 

            In his discussion of the valid time of the commandment, Rosenzweig relies heavily on the commandment “to love” as being a commandment in time to the extent of seeing time as the essence of the content of the commandment. Rosenzweig sets forth several assumptions: “ The commandment knows only the moment…thus the commandment is purely the present...its content tolerates only the form of the commandment, of the immediate presentness…” (Star 209). Rosenzweig thinks that since it is a commandment in the form of the imperative (Gebot),  it is based only on that moment of the pure present. All its content is an utterance that must be in the present, otherwise there would be no distinctive command and the commandment’s complexion would change. Its content is time and also its occurrence, for it takes place in the imperative: “love me.” “ Love me” is the perfect expression,  the pure language of love (Star 209).

 

            This present, which emerges from each and every moment of man, and at the moment of its emergence it already attains speech, has no intermission for preparation or even though. Its consciousness has already emerged in the hidden secretive irrational, and the idea is already accepted that God loves him. BY means of this secret, the love of God for him is revealed each and every moment. Love in the present, upon its emergence, attains perfection, but the acknowledgement is not yet complete, for the third condition, discussed below, must be fulfilled.

 

            In “emergence” (Naharayim 209), there is not even an appeal to thought or actual preparation, for the advent and the speech “love me” are one. The momentariness of the present and the speech of command are one unity of the occurring reality which leads to realization of the completion of the concluding part of this commandment. This is the unity of the commandment in the pure language of love: ‘love me’ = momentariness emerges. “For in it time is made real entirely. Not in time does the entire occurrence take place, but it, time, itself occurs” (Naharayim 228).

 

            Time is that which makes distinctive the commandment defined “this is today”; it is the occurrence, “the imperative of the commandment’ (Star 209). The love of the lover lives, under the domain of “ the great today” (Star 209) – “for you will guard this wole commandment, to that which I command you this day (each and every day), to love the Almighty, your God”; “which I commanded you today to love the Almighty, your God, to walk in his paths and to obey his commandments and laws…” (Deut 19:9).

 

            All the revelations, Rosenzweig says, are subsumed under “the great today” (Star 209):

 

            “today on the mountain of the Almighty he will be seen” (Gen. 22:14)

 

            “today the Almighty appeared to you” (Lev. 4:4)

 

            “today that which the Almighty said” (Sam A 24:5)

 

            “this is the day that the Almighty gave” (Judg 4:14)

 

            “I five to you today” (Deut, 4:8)

 

            “this is the day God made” (Ps 118:24

 

            “obey that which I commanded you today” (Exod. 34:11)

 

“You shall obey his laws and his commandments which I command you today” (Deut. 4:40)

 

            The commandment, then, knows “today”—the moment of the pure present in its renewal. i.e. each day appears as new. (Lam. 3:23: “They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”) The commandment is not the form of the declaratory “which has behind it the whole cumbersome rationalization of materiality, and at its purest therefore appears in the past tense” (Star 209). Study of the sources is sufficient to show that the “great today” is the symbol of the commandment. “The great today” is the basis and secret of certainty, the total confidence in the content of the commandment, for it confirms the presence of today standing before me as opposed to the past of yesterday which no longer exists and the futures of tomorrow which cannot be located. Whom will the soul believe if not the “he is” of the form of the utterance of the present, of the now, of the real imperative – “love me” ? (Star 213, 209- 210).

 

            In what can the soul hope if not the form of the present tense of speech – “ I am a sinner’? Rosenzweig thinks that the soul can, after it dares to bring the past to the present, free itself from its restrictions and become ready to feel “ that its acknowledgment of the past sin, again is not an admission of sine but that it became past like the sin itself upon which it acknowledged…(rather its knowledge is renewed)… I knew that I am loved” (Star 211-212).

 

            Thought in t he present says to the soul that the knowledge in the past that it was loved is renewed each and every moment of the present. By force of the momentariness of the present, t he past is cleansed and gains hope in the present and in preparation for the future. This is the generating force, potential power made kinetic, love, facing the future. This is an enormous force, which cleanses the soul of every bit of shame of the past sin and terminates its doubt as to God’s answer. Present time grants the soul total certainty in the love of God at the moment it dared to acknowledge, the past behind it, her entreaty prepared.

 

            In realize the commandment to love, the resent has the power to fill the soul with associations which support and strengthen the soul, the irrational. Only in the present does the soul know that it has no business with “ …self-delusion of the beloved soul but that her beloved is a veritable man” (Star 213). It is a sort of rebirth of the soul in the present, a birth of gathering refreshed strength and certainty to realize the reality of the commandment to love. As it is said, “…and make you a new heart and new spirit” ( Ezek. 19:31) and” …and ye shall bring forth the old because of the new” (Lev. 26:10). This is “today” in which the love of the lover lives (Star 209), and each day is “like new that everybody desires it.” (Lam. 3:23). Therefore, the verse says “today” “in order that you will not consider it like a command of the king, to which man does not may attention, but like something new that everybody desires it.”

 

            In the commandment to love, present time renews itself each moment as a new and existing moment. It is not constant present which passes once to the past, like the indicative. “The love of the lover is light which burn constantly anew, each moment must become for it the first sight of love” (Star 201). Rosenzweig requires that the commandment not renew itself forever as a dynamic present. It must renew itself each and every moment. It is forever within “today,” but all the dead yesterdays and tomorrows will one day be devoured in this victorious “today.” “Only this completeness of each moment permits it to grasp the entirety of created life, but thereby it can really do so” (Star 209, 201, 196, 198).

 

            The entire contact of the commandment to love is utterance of the pure present, distinctively “pure language of love”; otherwise, there would be no distinctive command and the commandment would change complexion. And what factor distinguishes the commandment from other commandments? Rosenzweig explains: “The imperative of the commandment makes no provision for the future; it can only conceive the immediacy of obedience. If it were to think of a future or an ‘Ever’ it would be. Not commandment nor order (Gebot), but law (Gesetz)” (Star 209).

 

            The verse says: “ You will obey the commandment and the laws and ordinances which I command you today to do” (Deut 7:11), and not “ you will obey the commandments,’ for one commandment alone is distinguished from the other commandments, laws and ordinances, and this is the commandment to love. It could never be law, whereas the other could be, and therein lies its distinguishing feature.

 

            “What is this commandment of all the commandments?” Rosenzweig asks. His answer is “you will love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Star 210).  That is the distinctiveness of the phase “love me!” (Star 210), which does not think about the future and is thus not law. He explains: “law reckons with times, with a future, with duration. The commandment knows only the moment; it awaits the result in the very instant of its promulgation” (?Star 209). Law does not direct itself towards something, but speaks objectively in the third person to someone; the commandment is singular in that, grammatically, it is the imperative of the present, it is directed to the you. Law considers that which will follow, with time, with the future, with the impersonal. It worries about changing the condition, about the encounters with time and the possibilities of alienation and infidelity.

 

            Contrarily, the commandment to love knows only the moment: “the commandment knows only the moment” (Star 209). Rosenzweig maintains that if each commandment, exteriorly and to some degree posteriorly, could also be law, one commandment could not in any way be law, and that is the commandment to love. The commandment is not to be understood as law as one constant and preordained formulation, but as an imperative resulting form the moment of revelation. Revelation is the momentary meeting between man and God, and the commandment receives from this meeting the form of momentariness. The relationship of Rosenzweig to the commandment to love is the imperative relations of command only (Gebot). Its content tolerates only one form of the commandment, of the immediate presentness and unity of consciousness, express and expectation of fulfillment. In this pure, temporary form, Rosenzweig find the commandment to love’s supremacy vis-?-vis the other commandments. Thus God’s speech begins with “ you will love,” and everything added to it, potentially becomes also law; however, in potential and actuality there is only one commandment that does not change its essential covering, and that is ‘to love him’ “today in which exists the love of the lover ‘which I commanded you today’” (Star 201, 209).

 





 
     
     
     
   
 
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המדע כידוע לכל, משרת אותנו בטכנולוגיה, מציאת תרופות למחלות, וביחוד נוחות. זאת הסיבה שרוב האנשים החליטו לבחור ולדבוק במדע ובממסד המדעי, כי הם ראו בו את המייצג הבלעדי של הידע והקידמה המשרתים אותנו בחיינו.

 
 
 

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