Thursday, 14 April 2011

Challenge Your Worldview to a Workout Part 2


In my last post on “Challenge Your Worldview to a Workout Part 1” I talked about theoretical knowledge and put ideas in to practice. The former referred to as “literary fat” and the latter as an “idea work-out”.

Having posited that your worldview is what you consume (ideas, interactions, etc) and that processing is required on your part to make best use of what you consume. Let’s take a look at what areas to focus on. After all different exercises strengthen you in different ways and it’s important to be aware of what areas to target.

Passover and Limitations

Project Managers are often keen to work out what the constraints their project operate in, as this is key to understanding how to plan, manage, control and adjust projects. However, the constraints don’t just apply to the projects; they also apply to the Project Manager (and practitioners of magic & mysticism in general).

It’s coming up to the Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover) next week that celebrates the miraculous exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt. The reason I mention this in relation to this post is because the word Egypt is linked to constraints.

Here is a link from torah.org to an in-depth article about the Exodus of which I’d like to share the following extract:
The word "Mitzrayim:" is usually translated as "Egypt." But with ko'ach ha'chidush such as only the Sfas Emes can deploy, he reads the word 'Mitzrayim" in a totally innovative way. The Hebrew word "meitzar" means "constraint" or "limit". The Sfas Emes is reading "Mitzrayim" as being the plural of of the word "metizar". Thus, "yetzi'as mitzrayim" has become: "liberation from one's constraints". The Sfas Emes does not spell out what he has specifically in mind when he refers to personal constraints that Pesach teaches us can be overcome. I suggest that he is referring to long-standing attitudes, ingrained assumptions, and habits that too often constrain a person's growth.
The message that I understand the Sfas Emes is teaching is that the exodus was not just about phsycial liberation but also a spiritual and psychological one. We each carry around within us limitations that are self-imposed on our personal growth. This time of year is ideal for reflecting on what those limitations and constraints might be.


Change Requires Preparation of a Receptacle

The final point I’d like to make is that Jewish Kabbalists quite like to talk about metaphors of lights and vessels. The light is contained within the vessel according to the vessel’s ability to hold the light. In simpler terms, if a person is trying to overcome their self-imposed limits there needs to be a receptacle to accommodate those changes.

For example, someone trying to get fitter is working on their body (vessel) improving its level of fitness.  Part of the preparation of the vessel could also be to improve the balance of nutrition. Visualization of where you want to be in the future is also a way of creating a vessel; it’s a mental image that you hope to grow in to in the future.