Returning Light Meditation (an Unconditional Love Meditation) by Avraham Loewenthal is a new piece added to the shop this month. I have owned this piece for a few years now, it is one of my most unique and contemporary works of Jewish art that hangs on my wall. We bought it on our last trip to Israel when we were in Tzfat.
As explained by the artist himself who is featured in the photo above holding the one that is hanging on my wall.
This painting is inspired by a drawing which appears in the Kabbalah when discussing the spiritual principle of Tzimtzum. The principle of Tzimtzum is at the root of all spiritual principles discussed in the Kabbalah.
It is explained in the Kabbalah that G-D created the world only in order to give goodness and pleasure to the creation. In order for the creation to experience pleasure in G-D’s bestowal of ultimate goodness, G-D created a desire to receive this pleasure. In order that this experience would not contain the inherent separation of G-D bestowing this pleasure and the creation receiving it, the Tzimtzum allows for the creation to receive all of G-D’s goodness in a manner where this reception is in the form of giving and complete oneness.
The details of the Tzimtzum are extremely complex and are described in great detail in the Kabbalah. A basic idea of the Tzimtzum is that the limitless pleasure and Divine experience that we were created to experience, is only revealed to the extent that we become similar to our Source and manifest the desire to give.
The principle of Tzimtzum explains that it is only in the consciousness of pure giving that we can be receptive to the experience of G-D’s goodness. The Tzimtzum explains that when we are trying to receive only for ourselves, that we are not able to experience the goodness. The extent to which we evolve spiritually to truly embody the desire to give, we become unified with our Source and are able to experience the pleasure of the Divine goodness.
The Kabbalah explains that the root of all of our spiritual work which we have been given, is to work towards transcending our desire to receive for ourselves alone, towards realizing our spiritual nature of truly caring for one another and desiring to give. We become able to experience the infinite goodness at the root of our every moment when our spiritual transformation is complete and we have attained the consciousness of pure unconditional love.
The line coming down from the top center of the painting represents the limitless pleasure and Divine goodness that we were created to experience. This experience is bestowed to the creation from the place of unconditional love and pure giving, as there is absolutely no need or desire to receive in our Divine Source.
The smaller rectangle near the center of the painting which is half dark and half white represents the desire to receive aspect of our consciousness. It is painted half dark and half light representing the natural thought process when deciding whether or not to take any particular action: “If I’ll benefit from it, I’ll do it. If I won’t benefit, then I won’t.”
The horizontal line in the painting represents the spiritual work of working towards transcending our desire to receive. This spiritual work is called Torah.
The white space above this line represents our spiritual goal of realizing the spiritual state of unconditional love and pure giving. This is the place of completely transcending self-interest, and of truly caring for the other. This evolution of consciousness brings us to experience the infinite goodness at the root of all creation. This Divine experience is represented by transcending the horizontal line and connecting to the thin line that comes down from the top center of the picture.
The spiritual practice of working towards transcending our desire to receive, in order to attain the spiritual consciousness of desiring to give in its purest form, is called in the Kabbalah Tikun Habriya The Fixing of Creation. This elevated consciousness is called “giving in order to give”.
The experience of G-D’s infinite goodness in our perfected state is called Matarat Habriya The Purpose of Creation. This experience is in a state of consciousness called “receiving in order to give”. The unconditional love and goodness of the Creator is experienced by all creation in a state of complete oneness.
The circles in the painting represent the Kabbalistic principle of Or Makif Surrounding Light. The principle of Or Makif explains that the experience of G-D’s infinite goodness is available to us every moment. Since the experience of G-D’s infinite goodness can only be experienced when we completely embody the desire to give, the revelation of this spiritual light and experience awaits only our inner transformation of consciousness. This principle explains that we are not waiting for G-D to finally decide to reveal goodness to the creation, but rather that all of the revelation of goodness is waiting for us to reach the consciousness of pure giving and unconditional love which can experience the goodness which is already present.
This image is a meditation on the foundational spiritual principle of the Torah and the Kabbalah. The foundational principle is that in every moment of our life, to the extent to which we are caring only about ourselves, there is a disconnection from the goodness. To the extent to which we are trying to truly care for others, there is a connection to the goodness. The Kabbalah discusses in great detail the inner spiritual work towards attaining our ultimate consciousness of pure unconditional love.
The spiritual principle of Tzimtzum in relationship to our inner spiritual development is discussed in great detail in the holy writings of the master Kabbalists Rav Yehudah Lev HaLevi Ashlag z”l and his son Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag z”l.
Also explained in the video below: