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AGAIN Rabbi Simeon spake and said: "Observe further what is written, 'And he went on his journeys' (Gen. XII. 3),83b-84a signifying that after the termination of his trials and probation he lived the perfect life. By the term journeys (masaav) is implied the various ulterior stages through which Abraham had to pass ere arriving at perfection. There had been a descent from the time the Lord first appeared unto him; that is, a putting off or a ridding himself of affections and propensities and attachments of the lower self to the sensual and phenomenal, resulting in purification of the soul which, when attained, prepared and enabled him to commence ascending onward and upward through the various states and stages of the divine life after coming out of Egypt; that is after his probation. It is stated, 'He went on his journeys from the south even into Bethel, the place where he had pitched his tent at the beginning'; he progressed and advanced in the divine life so that by the mental and spiritual illumination which he ultimately attained, he became fully initiated into the comprehension and understanding of the mysteries of the Hidden Wisdom and graduated to that degree termed 'teleiaor,' perfection, when it is written, 'And there Abraham called on the name of the Lord' (Gen. XIII. 4) and became a just man made perfect. Blessed are they who attain unto this degree of righteousness, for they become invested with an aureole of light and are jewels in the crown of the Holy One. Blessed are they in this world and in. the world to come. Of these it is written, 'The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day' (Prov. IV. 18)."

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As Rabbi Simeon ceased speaking, they came to a shady grove where they all sat down to rest themselves. After a while Rabbi Simeon began speaking again.

"It is written," said he, "'O turn thou unto me and have mercy upon me' (Ps. LXXXVI. 16). Though these words have been commented on, they possess an esoteric meaning that has not as yet been given forth. They are occult words. What caused David to give expression to them? David was longing and desiring to reach unto that state in the divine life which would be as a crown unto him; therefore, he said, 'Give thy strength unto thy servant.' That is, the power that descends into the soul when it becomes receptive of the divine; as it is written, 'he shall give strength unto his king' (I Sam. II. 10), alluding to King Messiah, 'and save the son of thy handmaid.' Why did he designate himself as 'the son of thy handmaid' and not as the son of his father, Jesse? Because when a man enters on the higher and diviner life he becomes as one born again of the Schekina or Holy Spirit, through whom as through a mother all supplications and prayers are made and offered. Tradition states that David in this petition makes reference to King Messiah.

Next: Chapter LXXXIX. The Esoteric Explanation of Lot's Parting from Abraham