We live in a multi-dimensional world. On a horizontal plane there exist length, breadth, and dept. On the vertical plane we experience parallel levels of consciousness or altered states, the most common one being the dream state during sleep.

The four Hebrew letters that constitute the name of G‑d known as Y, H, V, H (Yud, Hei, Vav, Hei) also represent these multi dimensions. It is interesting to note that this name consists of one true double (H — the letter Hei) , and also note the similarity of the Y (the letter Yud) and V (the letter Vav). That pictorial similarity exists interestingly in the English and the Hebrew as well.

In fact, the feature of "doubles" is apparent in the cosmos far beyond the likelihood that probability theory would predict. The human being possesses two feet, two hands, two eyes, two nostrils, the two hemispheres of the brain, etc. The world is made up of up/down, right/left, positive/negative, male/female, etc. This duality stems from the duality-laden name of G‑d.

The first Hei of the Name refers to the spiritual plane of shape and form. The second Hei refers to the physical analogue that we read as the finite world. The Yud — which in Hebrew is the smallest letter — represents the exclusive Divine G‑dhead, and the letter Vav (which in Hebrew is shaped as a downward-extended Yud) demonstrates the flow of Divinity from the most ephemeral spiritual planes into the realm of time and space — the world of our daily sensations and experiences.

Chassidic teachings instruct us that G‑d transformed the spiritual into the material, and our job is to reverse the process and return the material back into the spiritual. We do this by elevating the second Hei into the realm of the first Hei.

A classic manner through which we achieve this is via eating. Interestingly, Kabbalah teaches that the spiritual source of the food must be of higher order than the human being. After all, it is the food that sustains us, and vice versa. We draw from its spiritual energy in order to survive. Yet the human being has the capacity to act as the lever of creation. By "borrowing" the food’s energy we can elevate it to a higher plane by using the energy wisely, to maintain and develop the spiritual progress of creation. Should the energy be used unwisely, by inflicting pain, destruction, divisiveness, and selfishness, then the spiritual energy latent within the food is degraded.

At this stage of the world’s development the initial Hei, the spiritual realm, is hidden from our eyes. But a time will come, when that Hei will be revealed to mortal eyes, and at the same time, the double nature of the world will be reconciled. All doubles will return to a state of unity and oneness.

MASTERY: Food addiction, like any addiction, has a spiritual base. It is based in the ego self — the drive towards self-satisfaction that is the signature of the Nefesh HaBehamit (the lower-order spiritual self). The antidote is to draw upon our strength and discipline (Gevurah) and promote the flow of compassion for the Divine spark within us that is effectively imprisoned in Kelippot (the "Husks" — a restrictive spiritual encasing that imprisons the light of Divinity) through the misuse of food. Food discipline is one of the major teachings within Kabbalah.

MEDITATION: Take a bite of one of your favourite foods. Don’t gulp it down but masticate it in your mouth for the longest of times, savouring its taste and texture. Associate the enjoyment you are experiencing with the understanding that you are elevating the food. A good meditative daily exercise is, before sitting down to eat, bring to mind and give deep consideration, to a Mitzvah, a good deed, that you will do soon after, thereby elevating the spiritual sparks of sacredness latent within the food.

Follow-up resources: The Ten Sefirot of Kabbalah (audio) Achieving Inner Balance and Unity (audio) available at Rabbi Wolf's Website (see link below).