by Adam Foley
“Every part of you has a secret language” – Rumi
An old deck of cards was about to revolutionize my perspective on Love forever. My twelve-year-old-self loved rummaging through antique stores. I liked to imagine I was a character in The Goonies, and there was a trove of hidden bounty under these piles of used books and clothes, just waiting for me to uncover. If I had known then how to be honest with myself, I could have sensed that I was utterly bored with the pace of my life. I wanted to find a lost compass with a hidden emblem, an old wardrobe with a secret door, or a map to somewhere out of adolescence. In a way, this time, I did.
Tarot cards were never something I subscribed too. Nor did I even dwell on the thought that they may hold any applicable meaning. But this well-loved deck that I salvaged from a used book store was an art piece. The black-printed outline of skeletons, priestesses, and swords felt like a magical puzzle waiting to be solved. My adolescent attention span was incapable of deciphering their code on my own. These were the days before googling was something of second nature. The deck was discarded in my room among piles of other forgotten antiques, trinkets and forgotten prizes. I could never have suspected that the man who would help me solve the deck’s riddles was none other than a Rabbi.
I had reached the initiatory age to begin my Bar Mitzvah training. Our local Rabbi, an ex-hippie, who often sported a tie-dye Yamaka, was assigned the pain-staking task of convincing a budding teenager that Hebrew could be fun. I played along, wrestling the Hebrew vowels with my tongue. Repeating and memorizing texts from an old cassette tape. And running the Yad, a pointer, topped with a doll-house sized silver hand, along the ancient ink of the Torah. But I was fooling no one, and the Rabbi was constantly aware of my disinterested mind.
One day the Rabbi spotted the Tarot deck hiding under a pile of books. “Look,” he said, “look at this. Hebrew is everywhere, the stories of the Torah in all things.” He brushed the deck off with his hand and pulled out a card. He pulled a fading picture of a giant tower. The picture looked dark and somber. A lightning bolt shot across the illustration demolishing a tall and crumbling tower. Two men fell from either side to their inevitable death. And true to his word, dispersed through the sky was the floating Hebrew letter Yod.
“Look!” He said, unable to hide his own excitement. He explained to me that the letter Yod represents a Divine point. Like an atom. A singular point to represent God’s omnipresence. Before I had time to respond he continued, his inspiration apparent, “but that is not all. This tower is from the Torah. Do you know the story about the tower of Babel!?”
He informed me that a parable is told of humanity building a tower so tall they believed it may reach Heaven itself. God comes to see humanity’s tower and is disappointed. God sees that humanity is united but lost in their understanding of true Heaven. Instead of simply explaining the mysteriousness of the universe, God chooses to confuse the people’s united front by scattering humanity across the face of the planet. Furthermore, God divides humanity’s once shared common language into multiple languages. Humanity is left to struggle, separated by distance and broken from understanding one another.
“God sounds cruel and full of it” I replied to the Rabbi. “Or,” there was a spark in the Rabbi’s voice, “this is a metaphor for humanity’s longing to come together again. It is the origin story to the pain we feel day today, to our lack of understanding one another. Perhaps, the real meaning lies not in the story of separation, but the clue, or hint, that there was, and still is, a common language that brings us all together.” I decided to bite, “And what language is that, Hebrew?” “No, no, no… a spiritual language without words. A language that is spoken in the Soul.”
He reached over and handed me the Tarot deck. He told me the meaning of the Tower is not suffering, but a dismantling of the old and untrue. The tower represents spiritual literalism, ambition, false premises, and false beliefs. Humanity wasn’t going to literally find Heaven through a physical structure to the sky. Heaven is found by an internal truth. “So,” he concluded, “the question behind the story, is not why has God forsaken us, but with what internal truth do we find our common language again?” It took me a moment to realize this question wasn’t rhetorical. I took a few shots in the dark at an answer, “a common goal, perseverance?” “Don’t just guess,” he interrupted; “Think about the people in your life. What bonds them? What brings them together and creates true understanding?” The answer now was simple and clear, “Love.”
Later, I investigated this image for hours. I would turn the card over and over, almost expecting God to leap out of the imagery. It is strange how a story can sink into your mind and its meaning grows over time. It was not until after I had my own spiritual encounters with God, did I fully grasp the tower’s heights. (God is neither male nor female, but for the sake of simplicity I will use the pronoun She in reference to God.)
In the story of Babel, God does not explain to her people why their attempts are futile to reach Heaven’s door. Instead, she confuses them further, babel literally meaning confusion. Humans need to discover the answer themselves. This action, which at first seems cruel, but truly is an act of Love, holds the most significance. We will never understand God objectively. In cerebral thought, God will always exist as metaphor, symbolism or abstruse debate. We will never comprehend God unless we learn to receive God in a new way. God could not hand us the answer, because the answer cannot be given, it needs to be known. And we can only know, feel, and experience God within our Love.
Skepticism in God is expected. God can never be proven by the governing laws of our reality. Advocacy against the existence of God will always prove valid because it is based on sound reason and fact. It is because God is unprovable in her infinite mystery that our logical minds cannot receive her. Only through our hearts can we perceive such a vast Love. God replies to our prayers, our questions and our pain of separation through an intuitive heart-knowing. An answer that cannot be given but can always be received.
God destroys our tower of literalism. She casts humanity apart, demolishing our limited form of communication, and asks us to discover a new one. She claims our structures for seeking God are fundamentally flawed because God was never delineated from our own existence, but interwoven in our being. God is in our Love.
Love is a common word in all religions. The word Love falls upon the tongues of priests in cathedrals, rabbis in synagogues, Buddhists in temples, and Muslims in mosques, all in describing the omnipresence of Divinity. We’ve only recently begun to scientifically catalog personal experiences of meeting God. Groups like the Near-Death Experience Foundation have collected thousands of stories worldwide. An overwhelming majority of these accounts recollect feeling a Divine source as unconditional Love. Personally, when I felt God it felt like being submerged in total acceptance. God felt like a homecoming, a feeling of Love that is known and touched in every molecule of my body. And at that moment, I discovered a truth–that we never had to seek God, because God is a constant, pervasive Love that is already here. She is a hum, vibration, a pulse in all things.
In times we all have dipped our consciousness into this primordial pool. When we stare into the eyes of our lover and feel a rush of Joy, we know God. When we pick our child up from school and their wide smile fills our chests with ineffable good, we are seeing God. When a dear friend gives us a hug, we are hugging God. The instance a loved one passes away, in many cases, people have described experiencing a surge of unconditional Love occupying the room. This is feeling God. It is Love that allows us to enter these intermediate states; it is our bridge, our true tower, to the Divine.
When I met Elisa, I found we did not have to wait for God to descend upon us, but we could open ourselves to God at any moment. Conscious intimacy could unlock the doors of suppression to a quality of God already coursing through us. It was not that Elisa was more spiritually evolved or that we were unique, it was only that we loved one another unequivocally and had the intuitive skills to navigate our emotional blocks. It is these same intuitive skills that we are attempting to provide in our upcoming book.
If we can learn, if we can bare, to Love ourselves the way God Loves us, we are whole. If we can Love each other through the Soul, and Life itself, we are fully alive, every breath exhilarating in its naked miracle. Anyone that has worked with Elisa or me, knows we speak a lot about Soul. God is almost a digression in our obsession with Soul work. But there is an intentional reason behind this. The Soul is our individual expression of Divinity. The Divine is like a vast ocean, and each of us is one of its drops. In loving one drop, one Soul, entirely, we can connect to its source.
The Soul is the meeting place of our humanity and Divine source. It is through Soul work we may integrate such a Holy vastness into the mundane tasks of our lives. Many people have met God, but few have allowed God into their daily lives, or their relationships. Incarnating Soul gives us the profound ability to walk the fine line between the mystical and the physical. We learn how to bring God into our actions, our touch, our sex and our hearts. Soul teaches us that God is not found in a single discovery, but God is a process of living.
Simply put, the process of discovering God is learning to love by the true definition of Love. With Soul dialoguing, with ourselves and our partner’s Soul, we are handed the instruction. Soul, with inexhaustible patience, provides the step by step manual towards our Divinity. Soul knows what we need, and what our partners need, to heal. By following the wisdom of Soul, we may deepen our Love day by day until our it is as boundless as God herself. It is through truly knowing what unconditional means, that we know God.
For most of us the love we know now pales compared to the truth of Love, with a capital L. The Love that resides in the Heaven of our hearts. We will need to clear our relationships of needy clutter to awaken to the Divine potential of a relationship. To actualize a Soul-to-Soul connection, the false ideas of who we are and how we understand our relationships will have to die. As God destroyed our false structures, we will have to shed all that we think we know, to reach what we’ve known all along.
We all have our towers that need to be demolished. I remember the day I had the visit from the Rabbi so clearly because he transformed a picture of chaos and doom into a beautiful catalyst of spiritual transformation. I’ve included this section on the Tower to lead to a critical point. If we are suffering within our relationship, it may not be fundamentally wrong. We may just be in a stage of transformation. A comfortable and safe way of being with a relationship may not be working for our Soul anymore. The bigness of our Holy Love is bursting wider than our previous paradigm. An old self is dying to give birth to a new way of Love. Our preemptive ideas about Love, what Love should be, and how we fit into one another’s lives all need to be destroyed before we can begin to build again. It is with this knowledge we can transform a relationship. Finding the Holy in our Love will change us forever.