“G-d is all and all is G-d” (Rebbe Isaac of Homil)
“G-d is all” means that nothing exists except G-d. “All is G-d” means that G-d’s very essence appears in everything. This constitutes the Divine soul’s “run and return” – it’s cycle of ascent and descent.
To only run (saying only “G-d is all”) results in nihilism. To do nothing but return (saying only, “all is G-d”) results in pantheism. Running and returning together elevate everything to its root in Divine nothingness.
Although G-d is all, the world, paradoxically does exist. And although all is G-d, our physical senses deceive us in this “world of deceit.” (Tanchuma Emor 10)
The moral: stay here, but don’t take what you see at face value.
The Wondering Jew, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
When a person believes that one has succeeded in achieving closeness to G-d and understanding of Him, it is a sign that the person does not know anything at all. Otherwise, the person would understand that one is very far from G-d and knows absolutely nothing, because G-d’s greatness is without limits.
Based on Rebbe Nachman, Likutei Moharan I: 63
The Essential Rabbi Nachman, by Avraham Greenbaum
Hashem says, “I will surely do it for My own sake” (Isaiah 48:11), as in, “‘Who came before Me that I should reward him?'” (Job 41:3) – “‘Who made for Me a mezuzah before I gave him a house?'” (Leviticus Rabba 27:2)
It is not proper to think about receiving reward for anything, for all of our good deeds and all our prayers are given to us by Hashem. Therefore, even if a person occasionally merits some salvation and to draw a little bit closer [to holiness], a person should not think that one merited this as a result of one’s own Torah study, prayers and good deeds. For everything is from Hashem, and were it not for His great kindness, we would already have drowned, G-d forbid, in exile.
Rebbe Nachman, Likutei Moharan I: 2
There are many searching questions about Hashem. But it is only fitting and proper that this should be so.
Indeed, such questions enhance the greatness of Hashem and show His exaltedness. Hashem is so great and exalted that He is beyond our ability to understand Him. It is obviously impossible for us, with out limited human intelligence, to understand His ways.
Inevitably there are things that baffle us, and this is only fitting. If Hashem’s ways were in accordance with the limits of our meager understanding, there would be no difference between His understanding and ours, and this is inconceivable.
Rebbe Nachman, based on Likutei Moharan II, 52
Based on The Essential Rabbi Nachman, by Avraham Greenbaum