Divine Arousal from Above
Love is almost always proceeded by an act of will. We do not fall in love unless we decide to fall in love. Only after we internally give ourselves permission are we open to the experience. But once we open the gate, the radically pleasurable perception of falling in love, and the joy and wonder created in its wake, are given to us free of all charges. The Kabbalists refer to falling in love as “arousal from above.” The love granted to us is real enough; it is simply not the result of human effort. It is something which is aroused from beyond.
According to the Kabbalists, there is nothing malicious or even capricious about the whole enterprise. Falling in love is a gift from God, pure and simple. Falling in love is a divine gift from a God whose primary characteristic is love for Her creatures. God bestows upon us a gift of inner certainty and clarity.
On the other hand, the nature of such a gift is that it is too great for us to accept fully. We cannot hold the dazzling brilliance of the light… something shatters. We can touch the love for a time, but we lack the vessels to hold it.
Falling in love is actually the core of the Kabbalistic Big Bang myth. A close reading of Lurianic Kabbalah reveals the powerful meditative truth that the motive force of creation was God falling in love with the world. Out of that love emerges the universe. God emanates a world in love. The image for this emanation is light pouring into vessels. God “in love” with the world. The emanation of light just keeps pouring forth. The vessels, however, are unable to hold the light. They shatter. The process of living is to gather the sparks of this fallen light and to repair the broken vessels.
The Erotic and the Holy Marc Gafni