Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale revived: From the barrenness, brokenness, and blackened leaves of our wintry lives to the real latter rain that G-d promised—bodily resurrection, where our soul matrix becomes a wheel within a wheel.
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Picture: Tree archway in snow, Edinburgh (Source: pinkpigart.co.uk)
We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i’the sun,
And bleat the one at the other: what we changed
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream’d
That any did. Had we pursued that life. . .
—Polixenes, Act 1, Scene 2, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
Yes, Polixenes, if only we had.
In Shakespeare’s play, Polixenes—King of Bohemia—describes his childhood relationship with Sicily’s King Leontes as twins, buddy buddies, innocents. That is, until life happened and they were cast out of their Gan Eden-ish (Garden of Eden-ish), grace-like existence and into Leontes’ irrational rampage, where he goes all Othello on his wife, Hermiones, and longtime buddy, Polixenes.
For the sake of the plot—not entirely unlike our own life stories—the characters don’t choose the more innocent path . . . leaving Shakespeare to expose familiar elements of the soul’s journey—its rise, decline, fall, redemptive resurrection.
I am a feather for each wind that blows.
—Leontes, a deranged soul consumed with misjudgments ,
Act 2, Scene 3, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeare’s tale bulges with jealousies, accusations, misjudgments, malicious lies, for-the-better-good lies, over-the-top emotional reactions, bitterness, relationship splits, disloyalty, paranoia, tyranny, expulsions, broken hearts, death, presumed resurrection, some reuniting, and renewal.
The Bard of Avon even turns the physical tables of the atmosphere to mirror the inner soul rumblings of his characters‘ interactions—Sicily’s Mediterranean warmth and light are vanished, replaced by a wintry heart of darkness.
It’s the stuff of life.
More to the point, the stuff of a nefesh-driven life—the lower part of the soul matrix.
Self-focused. Earthly tethered.
And largely the reason why we need a bodily resurrection.
EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR
journeying between weight and responsibility
Okay, so you’re not exactly like Shakespeare’s Antigonus, the king’s advisor who was chased off stage by a bear. But “bears” and their presumed Shakespearean connotation—the word appearing about 12 times in the play, teetering between bearing the onus for your actions and their related guilt, with the fierce “bearish” beast appearing in the midst of it all—do have their place in your soul experience and its aftermath, your future resurrection.
Bearing your soul.
Bearing the weight of your actions—good and not so good.
Bearing the scrutiny of others and our internal self.
Bearing the hardships and testings along life’s journey.
Bearing the responsibility for what you’ve said, done, thought, written, shared, taught, imposed, desired, touched, took, gave, blessed, cursed, healed, harmed, lifted up, brought down.
Bearing the yoke of heaven.
Bearing the final outcome of it all—with your soul’s work salted by fire, tested by His Holiness/Purity and either reduced to ash and stubble or glorified in Him.
Think of it as your winter’s tale. Birth. Life. Death. Resurrection. The place where the physical and spiritual fuse, divide, then fuse again. It’s how your life begins—and how it unfolds on its way to a spring revival that will last eternally.
Your multi-layered soul—a matrix of sorts, made of your real essence—is stitched into your body (which is part of your soul matrix) while in the womb. Together, they embark on a journey and specific life work . . . a work that ignites your soul-body refinement, laying the foundation for your bodily resurrection.
Three Hebraic expressions are used interchangeably in scripture for “breath”and “soul”—neshama (highest of the three-part soul matrix), ruach (human spirit), nefesh (lowest soul part, includes the body).
Collectively, these elements reflect the soul’s life force, emotions, intellect, and umbilical-like connection to G-d.
Each soul part reveals aspects or dimensions of the soul matrix.
Each one, distinctive, yet interconnected and interdependent.
Each one, a gift from G-d.
Each one, having purpose, value, and needing care.
Each one, playing a part in your now and future bodily resurrection.
Indeed. The entire soul matrix belongs to the L-rd.
הַנְשָמָה לָך וְהַגוּף פְּעֳלָך
The soul is Yours, and the body is Your handiwork.
Need a reminder? Click this popup: Soul Matrix recap
Neshama (neh-shah-mah)—breath/breath of life, nishmat chayim [נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים], that G-d breathed into Adam per Genesis 2:7—higher/holy part of the soul, attached to G-d, drawn to His holiness and higher dimension, bringing His light and voice through. It's linked to your soul identity—and attached to your ruach.
Ruach (roo-akh)—wind per Genesis 8:1 [רוּחַ]—human spirit, rises/descends. Seat of emotions (the heart). Works like a transmitter, stirs your love for G-d and exhales the breath of G-d's love to the world. Acts in tandem with the neshama to pull the nefesh and entire soul matrix upward. It's positioned/attached between your neshama (higher soul part) and nefesh (lower soul part).
Nefesh (neh-fesh)—living being, seat of appetite/craving, lowest part of the soul. From the Hebrew shoresh/root nafash [נפש] meaning “to rest” per Exodus 31:17. The life force (Leviticus 17:11), includes the physical body. Entrenched in an earthbound reality, focused on and tethered to the natural realm/physical world and attached to your ruach.
Only humans have a neshama. But every living being—human and animal—has the ruach and nefesh soul-matrix parts. See Job 12:10; Genesis 1:20-21, 24; Ecclesiastes 3:21; Proverbs 12:10; Isaiah 56:11.
Read the blog post Combat Zone to see how the soul matrix can play out in your soul journey.
NO SMOOTH SAILING
The nefesh makes a way for the higher soul parts—neshama and ruach—to join the body in a human experience in this worldly dimension.
For you and me, that’s often an issue. A big one. An inner battle that impacts not only this side of heaven . . . but what happens at the bodily resurrection.
Neshama focuses on pulling the soul matrix upward into the things of G-d—raising the level, glory to glory for a spiritually fruitful life.
Ruach can get swept upward—but also can be brought downward into the nefesh’s world-centered grasp.
Nefesh focuses on earthly desires, often pulling the soul matrix downward with greed, twists, turns, outer influences, etc.—yet its real mission is supposed to be surrendering to the will of G-d, referred to as the nefesh needing to “accept the yoke of heaven.”
A cause more promising than wild dedication of self to unpathed waters, undreamed shores.
—Camillo, Act 4, Scene 4, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
Per Judaic thought—Maimonides, the renowned 12th century Jewish philosopher—whenever character traits get out of sync, they erect a veil that blocks the flow of divine light to the soul.
For those on the other side of the Judaic-Messianic bridge, a New Testament passage in Ephesians 4 explains it even further . . . teaching that when the soul is darkened, the heart is blinded and becomes callous, losing all sensitivity and indulging in every kind of impurity with greediness.
All that can contribute to a crisis of faith, causing the soul to feel removed from G-d—or worse, feel He has turned away.
We need a bodily resurrected state at the end of days
to reorder the soul matrix into a holy alliance.
The earthly tug-of-war shifting in your neshama-ruach-nefesh soul life may not be to the extent of Shakespearean drama or some seamy, edgy movie . . . it can be subtle. Far, far more subtle.
This news is mortal to the queen:
look down and see what death is doing.
—Paulina, Act 3, Scene 2, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
How is death working in the soul? With subtle—and often culturally acceptable—movements. Look what death is doing.
murder by an unkind, thoughtless, or arrogant mouth
murder by critical thought
murder by facial expressions
murder by ignoring the widowed/fatherless/poor/needy
murder by apathy
murder by turning from G-d’s ways and thoughts
WINTER. RAIN. RESURRECTION.
real meaning of the latter glory being greater than the former
Rabbinically speaking, winter, rain, and resurrection are linked. But it’s how the neshama-ruach-nefesh tango plays out vs. the giver-receiver nature of G-d that creates the substance of your individual bodily resurrection tale.
Think of G-d.
Essence of Love.
Essence of Goodness, Holiness, Truth, Wisdom, Pure Purpose.
Releaser of His Goodness and Love to His creation.
Receiver of creation’s praise and love.
Circular funnel of Love, Goodness—desiring to flow out from Him to you, soaking through you, pouring over you, and back to Him, so on and on and on it goes.
Now think of the nefesh (with the body).
Compelled by this world.
Will to receive for self—not give.
Not surrendered to the yoke of heaven.
Separated from neshama, enticing the ruach to be pulled downward.
And therein is the reason behind the soul matrix battle—and the need for a resurrection. You weren’t created to stay locked in this war-torn state forever. This present leg of the journey is meant to help your soul matrix become something more. Something greater. You are to emerge and walk in your heavenly reality—how you already exist in His heart, in His mind, in Him.
With a bodily resurrection . . . the war is over.
The receiver-driven nefesh body is dead, corrupted, disintegrated.
The seasoned soul matrix has been tested, tried, hopefully having been submerged and empowered by His Truth, Life, Way, Word.
If so . . .
A glorified body awaits you—clothed in G-d’s righteousness, revealed and released through your neshama and ruach.
Nefesh is no longer tethered to earthly realm.
Neshama floods the newly glorified vessel with G-d’s Goodness, Holiness, Love.
Nefesh works in holy harmony with the neshama and ruach—in alignment with G-d.
Nefesh is transformed into a vessel that gives and receives in a sanctified way, without self-gratification/self-adoration—raised in the image of G-d, mirroring His circular, love-funnel nature, a complete circle of His flow.
With the bodily resurrection,
the neshama-ruach-nefesh matrix
finally can operate in
holy, giving-receiving state,
in sync with G-d . . .
a wheel within a wheel.
Something that can’t be done solely in our
earthly, winter journey.
SO BRING ON THE RAIN
G-d says you and I are like trees—Psalm 1:3, Psalm 92:13, Psalm 52:10. Read those scriptures here.
Psalm 1:3. They [who delight in Adonai and His Torah] are like trees planted by streams — they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, everything they do succeeds.
Psalm 92:13. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in the Lebanon.
[Flushing out Psalm 92's imagery]
Palm trees grow upright to 100 feet, but casts little shadow, not eclipsing other vegetation.
Every part is significant and useful.
Palm trees are a sign of a water area, victory symbol, peace symbol, eternal life symbol.
Like a cedar in Lebanon: on mountains/highlands, not lowlands.
Cedar grows downward into rich, deep soil (like G-d’s Word) and upward, toward the heavens.
Psalm 52:10. But I am like a leafy olive tree in the house of God; I put my trust in the grace of God forever and ever.
A tree is vibrant, flourishes, bears fruit, stretches its roots and branches. But in winter, it’s dormant, still, laid bare.
Rain comes after the barrenness, brokenness, and blackened leaves of winter.
The rain heralds in the spring, hope, vegetation, new beginnings. The Talmud calls the time of the resurrection the “rainy season.” The resurrection will usher in a spring, a hope, a lasting fruitfulness.
Hosea 6:2-3. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence. And let us know, let us strive to know the LORD: like the dawn whose going forth is sure, and He will come to us like the rain, like the latter rain which satisfies the earth.
The latter rain is the greatest glory.
The latter rain is bodily resurrection.
So we all need to take heed during this earthly “winter tale” journey to live and walk wisely.
What plays into your soul’s future resurrection? Your relationship with the real G-d—the only one, the one of the Bible, not some version of “god” or what religion may/may not say about Him—and your life choices.
The question for any of us is this: Will it be a bodily resurrection to everlasting life . . . or a resurrection to judgment?
(Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28-29)
GO DEEPER & READ MORE
Check out all the segments of Resurrection Jewish Style.
RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
what’s been revealed
RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 1
real-life accounts cont’d
RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 2
what’s the point of a resurrected body, anyway?
RESURRECTION JEWISH STYLE: PART 3
why does an orthodox rabbi—a non-messianic at that—believe in Jesus’ resurrection?
In the shadow of the ladder, Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag
http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Path-of-the-Soul-1-Discovering-Mussar.html (Maimonides character traits)