Each of us has a private inner world of turmoil that feels internal but is not our true essence, it is not our tzelem elokim. Let’s make a clear demarcation in our thinking between what we struggle with and what is tzelem elokim. We are made in Hashem’s Image, meaning that in His Name, yud k vav k, He put in the tip of the yud an understanding of Him as the basis of our relationship with His Name. Those attributes are explained in Tomer Devorah but digest to Hashem’s constant tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of our confusion of mind because of our struggling, forgiving us and casting sins into the sea. Hashem is patient with us as we struggle with challenges and turmoil because He utters every iota of our existence and He thinks of every attribute within our tzelem elokim. The entire place of the world is Hashem.
Yet Hashem is concealed. How does He do that? Hashem gives us free will. He enclothes our tzelem elokim in a body with an unconscious and a subconscious, with desires and instincts that have access to our neurocircuitry and confuse our identity. This construct when we are children forms in a brain that is like wet cement ideas that carry forward for a lifetime. Children have child-like understandings and we continue into adulthood with some of these as running our neurocircuitry. Imagine a hose with water flowing through it. We bend the hose to keep the water from flowing out. That bend could be a trauma, a false belief, an injury, the result of abuse, mistreatment, poor shaping skills – a whole host of circumstances that Hashem designs to set our free will point. But free will we still have unless someone is mentally incapacitated in that area.
So Hashem flows life force and something bends that life force so that it does not get reflected into reality as good. That is our struggle, our middos that we have to correct. It is our inner concealed world that we struggle with. It is hard to make progress with it if the intellect makes the mistake of thinking that is who we are. It is what we are responsible for, but it is not who we are. We can choose to unbend that hose. We may not be able to physically unbend it, but we can choose to tell Hashem that we love Him and WISH to have that hose unbent because we desire to use the life force that is concealed in a way that will reveal His complete goodness in the world. Imagine now Hashem at the mouth of the hose, and He sees this trickle of water coming through that hose, water that He knows has been trapped in that kink in the hose for many years – the water may be a little brown but is delightful to Hashem, and He immediately comes to respond with love and value and His Presence is experienced.
Hashem opens the kink in the hose for us when we confess to Him and regret how our taivas and gaivas developed from our childish understandings and that we apologize, see our mistakes, and have a plan for the future. That plan for the future is to associate happiness with learning Torah, emulating Hashem’s Attributes as described in Tomer Devorah, living with emunah and bitachon giving love and value to others knowing our survival is in Hashem’s Hands alone and that He alone determines what is good and only does what is good. We ask Hashem to reveal His good upon the elements of water fire wind and earth that are lessened of impurities because of our teshuva, our cleaning child-like understandings and instincts from our conduct out of love of Hashem and awe for how He creates the world, with us having a partnership role in creating positive or negative influence.
May our endeavors be granted success and be a merit for klal yisrael and may we soon see a new light in the world as His glory is revealed with rav chesed and His Presence returns to being revealed in time and space.