If only I would have known!! Why G-d gave us a subconscious

Murky Depths

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Why G‑d gave us a subconscious


If only I’d have known! Scarcely a day goes by in which we do not bewail the limitations of our understanding. If only I’d known why she said the things she said . . . If only I’d known why he acted the way he did . . . If only I knew why I’m behaving the way I am . . .

Of course, there’s a lot to be said for the boundaries of human knowledge. The fact that we don’t know everything gives us the space and the freedom to make decisions in our lives. Poets and prosaists alike would agree that it is the ambiguities of life that make it worth living.

But not knowing also limits us. Isn’t there some way to know and not to know at the same time?

Indeed there is. That’s why G‑d gave us a subconscious.

“Everything that exists on land,” says the Talmud, “also exists in the sea.” The Kabbalists apply this law in a broader sense as well, explaining that the whole of reality can be divided into two realms: “the revealed worlds” and “the hidden worlds.”

The sea is the mystical twin of land. The sea has mountains and canyons, rivers and weather systems, and living organisms of every type and form imaginable; but everything is submerged within its watery depths, almost completely hidden from inquisitive eyes (we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floors of our own planet). By the same token, the physical world is mirrored by a hidden spiritual universe, and our conscious mind is but a reflection of the hidden, subconscious chambers of our souls.

“Everything that exists on land also exists in the sea.” Every element in the revealed worlds has its corresponding reality in the hidden worlds. The two may be as externally different as horses and seahorses, yet they are nevertheless linked in some mysterious way. Thus, when we negotiate our lives with the “terrestrial” part of our psyche, we are also drawing on the vast reservoir of knowledge and intuition stored in its oceans.

What joins these two worlds? An old, old memory: a memory of the day when the sea split open to reveal what lay within.

Our sages tell us that when the Red Sea split for the Children of Israel, all the waters of the world split as well. The waters of the Amazon split and the waters of the Mississippi split, as did the waters in all the swimming pools in the Hamptons and all the hot tubs in California, all the watercoolers in Manhattan and all the teakettles in China. The great murky sea of heaven split open to reveal its secrets to all. And the deep, deep sea of the human soul split in two, and for a brief moment all its contents were exposed to the light of day.

Then the waters of creation returned to engulf their sea-worlds, and life reverted to the glorious ambiguity which it is. But the memory of that day lingers on, forming a tenuous bridge between the hidden and the revealed.

By Yanki Tauber; based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
David Brook lives in Sydney, Australia, and has been selling his art since he was in high school. He is currently painting and doing web illustrations. To view or purchase David’s art, please visitdavidasherbrook.com.
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April 17, 2012
what about the beaches
That is such an intriguing beautiful comment
(above). It seems we live on the earth and are 'beached' but also in a subterranean world we call the unconscious. We take what bubbles up through dreams often cannot distinguish what is more real, and yet there are these echoing connects, what is above is below in all contexts. In the garden we unearth surprises, and in the garden of the mind, likewise. A copper beech in full regalia is a mighty tree providing shade and great beauty. As we walk the very beaches of our world it could be as Joyce wrote in Ulysses: signature of all things. See glass and shells which murmur to our ears of ocean.
ruth housman
marshfield, ma
April 12, 2012
What about the beaches
If the sea is the subconscious, and land is the conscious, then what can be the beaches. The beaches of the world are where life thrives in the real world, and by the same token the border of the conscious and the subconscious mind must surely be the part that best supports life and merits the most investigation.
Melbourne, VIC
April 10, 2012
Murky depths
I read in an old a book called the trinity of Plato that this Greek philosopher was influenced by the Jewish thought when he elaborated his myth of the cave.
Rafael Segura i Garcia
Valencia, Spain
April 10, 2012
what is above so.. below
You so beautifully explicated this as in the connection between horses and sea horses. I was pondering this today in my garden , that surely what we see above is deeply connected to what is below and so we say heaven also, on earth. 

In Pardes, the mystical peeling of layers of text, we know that what we see is always the gift no matter how deep we plumb the mystery in 'unearthing' derp truths about our universe. And it could also be said that the journey inwards as in deep contemplative thought takes us to this same place as truly it is all, profound and profoundly connected.

What you wrote is beautiful, deserving thought and to be so honored as a sacred truth about our lives and truly the entire Creation.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
April 8, 2007
what does it mean?
You write, "the deep, deep sea of the human soul split in two, and for a brief moment, all its contents were exposed to the light of day."

Could you please elaborate? What is the sea of the soul? What does it mean that it split? What are the two parts? What are its contents? What does it link?
January 3, 2007
Thank you.
Appreciate the depth of outreach and service of this website, and the related materials in the various forms (audio, text etc). It is a gift to me, where I am often alone and yet these writings remind me that I am not alone, that others have similar questions in their hearts, and that there are many faces of truth, yet only one truth. In a world of seeming endless confusion and a turning away from what is true within and around, I am thankful for the reflection this site offers...and the affirmation of reason, heart and soul.

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