×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You
     

The Secret Life of God: Discovering the Divine within You

by David Aaron
 

See All Formats & Editions

How much does our perception of God really matter? Many of us aren't conscious of our image of a "higher power." For some of us, that unspoken image is a Judgmental Parent or an exacting Old Man in the Sky. For others, God is an Imaginary Friend who is there to fix problems after we create them.

David Aaron can help you discover a mature, new understanding of

Overview

How much does our perception of God really matter? Many of us aren't conscious of our image of a "higher power." For some of us, that unspoken image is a Judgmental Parent or an exacting Old Man in the Sky. For others, God is an Imaginary Friend who is there to fix problems after we create them.

David Aaron can help you discover a mature, new understanding of God and lead you to discover the wellspring of Divinity within you. By drawing on teachings of Kabbalah that were secret for millennia, he helps you to reclaim the power you've given away to negative images of God or passive images of yourself. These mystical secrets of Judaism can offer reassuring guidance, meaning, and purpose to the lives of people of all faiths.

In the journey to discovering God's secret life you will:

   •  Awaken to your life's deepest purpose
   •  Delight in a deeper connection to your true inner self, God, and others
   •  Learn to experience God's infinite love for you
   •  Rise to new heights, cope with challenges, and make courageous choices
   •  Achieve true peace of mind and freedom from anxiety

Aaron shares these profound ancient teachings in simple, everyday language with a touch of wit and humor. Rich in personal stories and anecdotes, his examples from daily life help us tap the transformational power hidden within and illuminate the surprising paradoxes of spiritual growth. Awakened to finally experience a personal connection to God, we are at last able to receive God's love unconditionally and discover our ultimate identity, divine purpose, and true happiness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to one ancient sage, "Kabbalah is not the path to paradise but the path to paradox." Yet Rabbi Aaron untangles enough of that paradox to leave us with a much clearer picture of paradise. He takes the existential and makes it tangible; his answers of "yes" to either/or questions somehow make sense, and at the end of the day, his love for and delight in the study of kabbalah is contagious. With a tone that is soft but firm, Aaron offers a particularly embracing sort of guidance. His approach, open and honest with a nice dose of humor, makes the mysteries of God less frightening. Contemporary analogies share time with family anecdotes and Talmudic lessons. He gently pushes the boundaries of what we think we know to be true and encourages us to broaden our perspective. Most striking is his ability to logically explain a theological abstraction. For example, "when the Kabbalah talks about why God created the world, it is not asking `For what reason?' but rather, `For what purpose?' " He illustrates his point by asking why Henry Ford invented the car for what reason? To please his mother? Impress a girlfriend? No one knows. Ask for what purpose and the answer is simple: transportation. Aaron notes that "When we talk about God, we are not simply saying we don't know the reason why God created the world, but rather that there really is no reason. There's a purpose for which God created the world, but not a reason. Although the world is purposeful, it's still unreasonable." Though at times a bit repetitive in a sermonic kind of way, anyone seeking answers about the nature of God those familiar with Aaron's writings and teachings and those new to the study of kabbalah and even Judaism will feel equally comfortable within these pages. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A lecturer and founder of the spiritual retreat center Israelight, Rabbi Aaron (Seeing God) is also a popularizer of the insights of the Kabbala. Here he argues that the true nature of God is not to be found in a simple reading of the Scriptures alone but to be intuited by mystical perception, such as that found in the Kabbala. God's perfection is of two kinds, the first static and unchanging, the second a kind of "becoming." It is in this second perfection that human beings can participate, so as "to reveal a dynamic perfection of becoming, to overcome our failings, choose goodness, and grow for God's sake." Not all readers will find Aaron's reasoning easy to follow, but many will find the journey fascinating. For most collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"With a tone that is soft but firm, Aaron offers a particularly embracing sort of guidance. His approach, open and honest with a nice dose of humor, makes the mysteries of God less frightening."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a very inspiring work on a subject that deserves more exploration. Rabbi Aaron has given us much to think about with his rich reservoir of fresh images. His advice is simple and sound."—Spirituality and Health

"Aaron's humor, engaging narrative style, and use of anecdotes makes the biblical material and philosophical concepts he delineates accessible. The Secret Life of God offers individuals of any religious background assistance in dealing with some of the paradoxes of the mystical life."—Dragonfly

"David Aaron is a wise, compassionate, brilliant teacher who uses irony, paradox, and gentle humor to reveal the deepest, ultimate teaching of Jewish mysticism. It is simple and simultaneously profound. . . . An essential read."—Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of God Is a Verb

"The most brilliant and profound exploration of the Kabbalistic teachings and philosophy about our transcendent and immanent relationship with the Divine that I have read in twenty-six years of Kabbalah study."—Gabriel Cousens, M.D., director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, Patagonia, Arizona

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834825222
Publisher:
Shambhala
Publication date:
07/12/2005
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,167,265
File size:
329 KB

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

When
I was a child I had a very intense relationship with God, or so I thought. I
can recall many times that I would make deals with Him. I knew He had His hands
in everything and could do whatever He wanted. This meant that I needed to get
Him on my side.

The
funny thing is that I really developed my relationship with God sitting in the
bathroom. Please give me a second to explain.

Whenever
my parents would go out of the house I would start to worry. For the first
couple of hours I would just feel a little tense, but after a while, when I
figured they should have been home by now, I would really get nervous. My
stomach would then feel sore and I would immediately get the urge to go to the
bathroom. It was then and there that I spilled my guts out to God. I would pray
that He bring my parents home safely, and I promised that in return I would be
the best little kid in the world. Each time I would take upon myself a
commitment to do some good deed.

The
amazing thing that happened was that my parents would arrive very shortly after
that. This seemed to confirm to me that the bathroom was a very special place
for meeting God. I believed that for me the bathroom was the sanctuary where
God heard my prayers. Others went to synagogue or church, but God and I had a
special meeting place in the bathroom.

Sometimes,
when within seconds of my prayers my parents would arrive home, I felt that God
had manipulated me. I thought to myself (but I knew He read my thoughts),
"You knew all along that my parents were about to arrive, and You stalled
them. You set me up to get the better deal."

Bargaining
seemed to be a big part of my dialogue with God from childhood into
adolescence. But finally I couldn't stand living in fear and the constant
feeling that to get anything from God there always had to be some kind of
self-sacrifice.

Then
one day, I finally mustered up the courage to deny God. But even when I stopped
believing in God, I nonetheless continued to fear Him.

Often
our happiness, confidence, and spiritual growth are stifled by our perception
of God. Many people are still living with their childhood God and need to free
themselves from His overbearing shadow. The remedy to this problem is to
finally, maturely confront the true identity of God and ourselves.

Does
the simple reading of the Bible give us the whole picture? Or is there a secret
side to God and humanity that will put everything into perspective?

This
is what this book is all about. But you are probably wondering who am I to be
talking about the secret life of God. How do I know what it is?

For
the last twenty-five years I have researched this very issue. I didn't do it to
write this book. I did it to heal myself of theophobia—to free my soul from a
pervasive fear of God and to find personal enlightenment and happiness. I knew
in my heart that I had been dealing with a deity created in my own image, born
out of my fears and insecurities. I decided that I needed to find a source that
could answer my questions about who is God and why do I exist. I needed a book
called
Everything
You Always Wanted to Know About
God
and
Yourself, but Were Afraid to Ask.

In
my search I did not find such a book, but I found something better—I found an
entire tradition that deals completely with this issue. It is called Kabbalah.

Kabbalah
is the mystical interpretation of the Torah, which embodies the teachings of
the prophet Moses. It is a tradition consisting of ancient wisdom that reveals
the inside story of God and humanity created in the divine image. It exposes
the secret life of God and our ultimate purpose on earth. It offers profound
answers to deep questions like:


  • Why
    did a perfect God create such an imperfect me?
  • If
    God is so good, why is this world so bad?
  • If
    God is so kind, why is there so much suffering in the world?
  • Why
    do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why
    do I exist at all?
  • What
    does God want from me?
  • Can
    I ever be good enough?
  • Does
    God need me?
  • What
    difference do my choices make?
  • Am
    I free, or is life predetermined?
  • If
    God is all-powerful, then why does He want me to serve Him?
  • Why
    is God referred to as He? Why can't God be female?
  • What
    happened to all the miracles?

To
answer some of these questions takes only a chapter, to answer others takes a
lifetime.

The
answers in this book are not mine. I am just translating the secrets from
Kabbalah into a language that anybody can understand. All I want to do is share
the incredible relief I experienced when I discovered that God is not who I
thought He was. And I want to share the empowerment and awesome joy in getting
to know the real me and the real you.

I
hope that by the end of this book you will not only have answers, but also have
glimpsed the rich treasure trove of wisdom that can lead you straight to the
source of all life, love, and happiness.

In
the Jewish tradition the essential name of God is called the Tetragrammaton
(from the Greek for "four letters")—transliterated from the Hebrew
as YHVH
(yod
heh vav heh).
As
a reminder that God is beyond human grasp, this essential name is never
pronounced, even in prayer. The common practice, when speaking colloquially of
this name, is to use the Hebrew word
Hashem,
which
literally means "the Name." This is what I do in my personal life,
and this is the approach I took in my two previous books
Endless
Light
and
Seeing
God.
But
for the purposes of this book—because we are addressing common
misunderstandings about God, I felt it would be necessary to use the word
God
to
succeed at redefining it and clearing out a lot of the baggage it conjures up
for people. Also, to avoid the convolutions of English usage, I reluctantly
acceded to using the pronoun
He,
even
though (as we will see in chapter 5)

it
can be very misleading and does not give us the full truth about God.

The
subtitle of this book hints at the fact that we are all secret agents in the
secret life of God. Indeed, the secret life of God is so secret that it is
secret to most of us, who, in fact, are living it.

But
it doesn't have to be.



What People are Saying About This

Gerald Schroeder
One can study music in two ways: looking at the notes written on paper or hearing the music. The same is true for the study of Kabbalah. With Rabbi David Aaron we hear and feel the marvelous music of this ancient source of wisdom.
author of Genesis and the Big Bang Theory, The Science of God, and The Hidden Face of God
David A. Cooper
It is simple and simultaneously profound; a secret that can transform lives. This is an essential read for any serious spiritual aspirant.
Rabbi, author of God is a Verb.
Gabriel Cousens
The Secret Life of God is the most brilliant and profound exploration of the Kabbalistic teachings and philosophy about our transcendent and immanent relationship with the Divine that I have read in twenty-six years of Kabbalah study. Rabbi David Aaron has revealed and clarified deep Kabbalistic insights in a way that make them accessible to every level of spiritual seeker.
M.D., director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, Patagonia, Arizona
Joseph Telushkin
With David Aaron's characteristic common sense and extraordinary array of life experiences, he fills The Secret Life of God with wise advice that can help every reader.
author of The Book of Jewish Values
Simon Jacobson
Many signposts are needed in our lonely spiritual journey. Heartwarming, personal, and soulful, The Secret Life of God is a very welcome companion to travelers on the challenging roads that lie ahead. It infuses us with hope and direction.
author of Toward a Meaningful Life

Meet the Author

Rabbi David Aaron, the son of a Holocaust survivor, has struggled since early youth to understand the world's potential for hatred and paradoxical yearning for meaning, love, and creativity. His own spiritual journey led him to Israel, where he studied Torah and Jewish mysticism under the tutelage of the great masters. He received his rabbinical ordination in 1979 from the Israel Torah Research Institute (Yeshivat ITRI). A popular lecturer in North America and a frequent guest on radio and TV, he is the founder and dean of Isralight (www.isralight.org), an international organization with programs throughout North America, South Africa, and Israel. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Chana, and their seven children and three grandchildren. For more information visit www.rabbidavidaaron.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews