Below is a video of an ocean whirlpool that is intended to be a moshel to help us understand the nature of our spiritual work to choose connection with Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy over the natural urges. Hashem creates the world with chesed, everything is chesed. Chesed is likened to water In fact the upper realms refer to male water (upper yud) and female water (upper hai) of Hashem’s name yud k vav k. Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy flow freely to us through our tzelem elokim because we are made in Hashem’s image. Yet we do not naturally experience a perception of tzelem elokim.
Without Torah, we experience life as if we are in that wall of waternearest to and directly peering downward into that scary vortex and trying to hold on and not get pulled in. It is all we can do to hold on sometimes.
When we learn Torah, and we find out that surrounding that vortex and whirlpool trying to pull us in there is a sea of kindness and love and chesed, we build within ourselves tools to swim toward the outer waters and hopefully away all together from the whirlpool and its vortex. Torah is the wisdom we need to understand that there is a loving, kind Source that we are constantly connected to and with determination we can strengthen and experience that connection. When we learn Torah we experience the uplifting of passion from gripping imagination so that we can bring that imagination away from contemplating the void and darkness of the vortex, for without Torah the lower soul might mistake the power of that vortex 9hatred, violence, hurtful words, anger, fear, etc) as the source to connect for spirituality. Torah is the wisdom we need to understand that there is no other Power in the world and that we are constantly attempting to declare the many ways Hashem has brought the appearance of powers into the world with full belief that the Source, Hashem is One and is all good.
Being alive in a body means that we are subject to the coverings of taiva/desire and gaiva/arrogance at all times, having a tendency to be drawn towards the swirling confusing downward pulls. The Hebrew word for skin and the Hebrew word for light are both ohr, skin with an ayin and light with an aleph. As we do the work of repairing our unrectificed characteristics that stem from being in a skin, we make it possible for Hashem’s light to be shine into this world through our resulting thoughts, speech and deeds. Through our prayers and speech, we create wind that nourishes the Creation in a way that only those who are alive can do. And this is the functionality of our soul. To crush the impurities in order to use our lives to reflect Hashem’s attributes into the world.
The flow of tzelem elokim within us that seeks the happiness of relating with Hashem while in a body often gets pulled into worldly affairs by the naturally occurring effects of having free will and an intellect and ego that develop from having physical life in the form of a body. The more we learn Torah, the more we see that there is only happiness when we are reflecting His Attributes into this world. What do we have to know in order to stay away from the whirlpool and vortex?
Blame and shame corresponding to taiva and gaiva corresponding to abandonment and annihilation are the vortex of the whirlpool. What draws us in is the competing currents of tzelem elokim and natural urges both looking to be the fulfiller of happiness. Torah teaches us that the only happiness is understanding that all there is in the world is Hashem Who is all good and that His Glory fills the world, and He glorifies us with tzelem elokim in order for us to do the work of rising above our nature in order to reflect Him into the world through our speech and deeds.
Understanding how to prevent whirlpools becomes a great moshul for how to glue ourselves to Hashem.
Take two plastic bottles. fill one with water. place the mouth of the second bottle on top and then turn both over so the water will flow into the lower bottle. What happens is that there is a competition between the air and the water for which will escape into the bottle and a whirlpool forms. Now take one bottle and put a small hole in the bottom of it, put your finger over the small hole and repeat, only take your finger off the hole as you turn over the bottle. The water flows into the lower bottle far more smoothy because the air is able to escape through the hole.
Thus when we pierce our taiva and gaiva by rectifying the impurities within us of desire and arrogance, water and fire, we literally make it possible for our tzelem elokim to remain in contact with Hashem’s atrributes of mercy in a flow that provides happiness that is independent of the surroundings and circumstances. Because happiness remains connected to reflecting Hashem into the world, the draws of the lower nature do not swirl in competition for the place in our heart from which we will subsequently act. Instead our lower nature flows out smoothly through free willed choice based on emunah, love of Hashem and having awe for the manner in which Hashem creates the world. This is bitul, recognizing our role as tzelem elokim, and shifliss, lowliiness, being able to steer away from the draw of the ego attempting to trap happiness in worldly matters that try to attract live force to benefit the unrectified characteristics.
To pull away from the natural impediments requires Torah and free willed choice and complete emunah that Hashem is with us and loves us and will provide all the good that is indeed good for us. this is the focus of our lives every dayk to make this choice and thereby nourish the unverse with our speech and deeds that declare Hashem Echad.
It is a deception that swimming into the vortex of worldly matters will be the manner to secure our happiness. Rather it is the effort of swimming out of the vortex by gluing imagination to ways to reflect Hashem’s attributes into thought speech and deed that pulls out of the grip of the swirling waters into the calm soft waters of lovingkindness and mercy and happiness and in this world and the next. Every person is starving for this connection to Hashem. Hopefully the images below will help us understand our swirling emotions and how to avoid getting pulled into the vortex of darkness when we have every intention of trying to be good in Hashem’s eyes and to bring happiness into our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
A rapid circular current of liquid. [syn: vortex, maelstrom]
- A vortex is any whirlpool with a downdraft.
- A maelstrom is the term applied to the most powerful whirlpools.
The most powerful “natural” whirlpools are the result of tidal changes and the resulting fast-flowing water through narrow shallow straits.
But most people are more familar with smaller less dangerous whirlpools that occur in streams or at the bottom of waterfalls. To be sure, these whirlpools can cause lots of problems for watercraft, and they can pull people down and not let them up. So they are dangerous, but not to the scale of a maelstrom whirlpool that can swallow a boat.
How do whirlpools form?
Any time water flows through a narrow path, it forms at least a partial whirlpool. As the water passes through the narrower opening, it accelerates and forms a more powerful force. If the downstream area then enlarges, it can mature into a complete whirlpool.
As water is pulled into an opening by gravity, it begins to spin. Once this begins, it intensifies and forms a cavity in the center of the drain. The cavity creates a vacuum into which objects such as bubbles, water molecules, and other floating objects are pulled. As these objects are “sucked” into the vortex, the centrifugal (outward) force maintains the hole in the middle through which air passes.
What makes whirlpools spin?
As the water is pulled down into the opening, the water particles fight for the smaller space and push each other to the side. This pushing and nudging by itself would not necessarily cause the water to spin, especially in a perfectly-shaped funnel and no other directional influence on the water. But a perfectly-shaped funnel never exists in nature. There are inconsistently-shaped rocks or other obstructions that force the water away from them. This initiates a spinning motion that accelerates as the water is pulled by gravity.
What gives whirlpools their vortex shape?
As the water spins and accelerates, the centrifugal force tries to force it to the outside. Of course, it is contained by the rocks or other naturally-occuring obstructions, so it cannot “fly out” of the natural funnel. Water is heavier than air, so the center of the vortex creates a column of air which is simply the vacancy caused by the water being forced to the side.
Can a whirlpool suck a boat or ship into it?
It is merely a matter of size. If the maelstrom is large enough and the boat or other object is small enough, the object will be drawn down through the vortex along with the water. It is understandable then, that fables exist about large ships being sucked down and eaten up by giant whirlpools, but actual documented cases that we would consider trustworthy do not exist. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to try to paddle through a large whirlpool in a row boat. Even small whirlpools are VERY powerful. While it may not suck a human being down into it, it is very likely that even an Olympic swimmer would soon tire trying to avoid it, and then risk drowning. So NEVER try to challenge a naturally occuring whirlpool in a stream or river.