A rabbi once told me – and rabbis are usually very good on storytelling, especially when the word Kabbalah is involved – about the dialogue between mind and soul. I thought, or at least my sarcastic self thought, what a fantastic title for a book! The Dialogue Between Mind and Soul. Well, if I saw such a book on the shelves of a bookstore, I would think, it is either an amazing book or a very bad one, there is no middle ground here.
He told me that the soul has a particle of the divine, therefore the natural objective of the soul is to seek for the greater particle, the divine itself. However we can’t achieve the divine, because the divine is perfect and one can not be perfect, one can only aspire to the perfection.
Which, in a strange way, brought to my mind Stefan Zweig in his self-biographical book, The World Of Yesterday. He wasn’t religious, the only part of his book I can remember that refers to some kind of divine, of superior force beyond himself is the part in which he describes his love for manuscripts. He collected manuscript and other forms of art from great artists he admired. Zweig justified his desire to acquire such collection based on his need to comprehend that moment in which an artist creates something, creates his art, the moment of the creation of the thing that is going to make that artist immortal.
I remember this part of the book because it was a simple search of a man trying to understand something beyond himself and also part of himself, the creation.
The rabbi continued, after one’s death there will be no need for food or other physical pleasure. One’s soul will seek the divine, will sit in the presence of such divine, absorbing the wisdom and knowledge emanating by this presence and will be glorified and illuminated by such presence. And one’s soul will be happy and feel pleasure. One’s soul won’t be alone, other righteous souls will sit besides it.
While he was describing such great after-death moment, I honest could imagine such place and it was beautiful, then my sarcastic self came and said “bloody hell, this is the paradise of nerds! “A place where the soul is going to absorb knowledge and wisdom”, for g’d sake! You’re all nerds!” (by the way, my sarcastic self speaks with an english accent).