“Inner Shabbos” Introspection Project –
An Ingathering of Souls
to each other through compassion and
with Hashem through Kiddush Hashem
What is real inner tranquility?
We all want our lives to have inner tranquility, peace in our homes and communities, and peace in our hearts. There is so much motion in this world and so much confusion resulting from the perceptions and misperceptions that ensue. Although we may see short term results for what we say or do, either by seeing something good come from it or by seeing a pattern that is unproductive, we do not realize the full impact of our words and deeds in creating either positive or negative influences upon our own lives as well as upon the world.
What to do when confusion strikes
Having the patience to bear our confusion of mind is a key ingredient in living with real free will and a yearning to emulate Hashem (patience is one of the 13 attributes of Hashem). And having the information we need to comprehend the milieu of thoughts and emotions that flow through us means also having the absolute truth about how we are created and not just our biological design. Without having the Torah to fully disclose to us that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations, our goal of striving to use our free will for our ultimate good is stymied by deceiving lures. With the wisdom that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations, the deceiving lures that are internally experienced by external to our true essence can be re-labeled as externalities felt internally and the process of removing their influence can begin, which may be a lifelong effort, yet each step produces another level of tranquility in our lives.
How the absolute truth of Torah helps
Inner tranquility is internalizing that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations. Inner tranquility is to know that all Hashem is sending to the world is chesed, kindness, and that it is in our experiencing that kindness through eyes and hearts that are subjectively oriented in order to give us free will that distortions begin – the kindness that Hashem sends in giving us life so that we can return that kindness to Him with love and awe must first be firmly and sincerely understood as Hashem’s kindness, as opportunities to see where our imperfections can be improved to more closely resemble Hashem’s kindnesses. Imagine a poor craftsman to whom a king wishes to give money. The king does not want to give charity to him for fear of embarrassing the craftsman, so the king breaks some things and asks the craftsman to repair them, paying the craftsman handsomely. This is one way to look at the challenges we experience as kindnesses from Hashem.
Internally externalizing the confusion from our true inner self so that it can be removed
Once we see that the strength is a kindness from Hashem alone, we can begin an introspection process as to why it does not feel to us like kindness, what lack do we feel, why is that lack important in our eyes and hearts and then we can see where to work on our faith and trust in Hashem, for all is indeed good and it is in breaking our nature that we develop true and sincere confidence in Hashem and His love for us, a huge contribution to real inner tranquility. Why are we upset? Why do we want the thing that is lacking? Keep asking until we see our motivation – is it for Hashem or is it for a subjective reason that we come to see as limiting us from being more like Hashem? When we see the motivations for what they are, and we are truthful with ourselves, we are able to discern the characteristic that Hashem is asking us to rectify.
What is most often the case is that a false belief became engrained in a learned behavior from a childhood experience and is projecting itself outward into our lives from our subconscious over and over again until we stop and realize part of the soul (with which there is no gap with Hashem) is trapped in a false place and is in need of us arousing compassion upon it and remove what is blocking it from experiencing that there is no gap with Hashem’s kindnesses. Our falsehoods, our self-sabotage, our sins are what is blocking the kindness.
Arouse love for Hashem.
Cling with yiras Hashem to performing the task of pulling back our subjective agenda and the corruptions associated with promoting our personal desires.
Identify with returning something of our true essence to Hashem in emulating His Kindness (forgiving, casting sins into the sea, overlooking someone else’s faults).
Ask that our teshuva now and the repair of the corrupted midda be an aliya for the neshamas of our parents and ancestors (Adom looked into the world of darkness, this world, and wanted to show Hashem how much he loved Hashem, to go far away and lift it all back to Hashem and have that loving reunion. Hashem asked Adom not to. It is as if a parent teaches a child not to go in the street to avoid getting hit by the car. A parent might think let him learn for himself . But since it could be fatal, a parent tries to teach. A child that listens to the parent is spared the harmful possibilities. Adom chose to run into the street. Each time we are distracted from emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes of kindness or from mitzvahs, we are subtly running into the street after our own eyes and hearts whose biology lure us there with subjective assessments of happiness and pleasure that are false. Thus when we learn NOT to follow, we are both repairing the cover over the truth of Hashem’s kindness along with something that has existed within us all the generations back to Adom – a subtlety resisting authority inherent in being a creation out of a thought of Hashem albeit that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations )
Ask Hashem to please help us serve Him with all the might of what is going on within because all we want is for everything within us to make it possible for Hashem to be revealed in this world.
Ask Hashem that our teshuva be a merit for klal yisrael, that we should be deemed to be redeemable b’ahava.
How do we internalize that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations so that we can find our inner self and externalize internally what needs fixing?
To really feel what this means, we first direct our thoughts to the reality that Hashem is the only Being that really exists – He is One and there is no gap between Hashem and anything we are or see or experience. Hashem thinks and the world exists, He is One with His Creation without any gap even though the way He thinks deliberately gives the appearance of autonomous independent reality to what He is thinking of. Along with our sense of autonomous independent existence comes our survival instinct, that we are responsible to do everything we can to remain alive and thrive, to take care of our bodily and material needs as well as reaching our potential through the pleasure of actualizing the unique gifts Hashem has given us.
By giving us survival instincts, Hashem gives us a credible alternative to Hashem having no gap with His Creations – and free will is born
By giving us survival instincts and perceptions that are felt experientially, Hashem Who is the true Source of our survival and our life is able to hide in this world and create a realm where His creations have real free will. In truth, survival and success are in Hashem’s hands alone. Despite Hashem’s giving us our talents and challenges, despite our education, despite everything we do, it will be only as He thinks of it. In no other way can it be other than as He thinks of it. He creates the world every moment and gives us the creative power of speech to form prayers, therefore giving to us a relationship aspect that has the potential to affect His Thoughts based on our love for Him and our demonstration of that love by emulating His Compassion.
Why do our learned experiences attach and ingrain to survival instincts?
Sensorily our learned experiences become attached to our survival instincts. Even so, we have another part of the mind capable of re-labeling our survival reactions based on being faithful to knowing that there is no gap between Hashem and His Creations. In that moment of patience where we bear the confusion of mind to the apparent triggers of our reaction, we are capable of drawing upon the compassion built into a deeper part of our mind, our life force, that is at all times undamaged and made in Hashem’s Image. And in that moment, we can pull away from the appearances as they are defined by the subjectivity of our survival instincts and learned behaviors long enough to be with Hashem in an inner moment of connection, clinging to Him in order that we provide no interference to the light that is trapped in the apparent spontaneous thoughts can be absorbed into the light of compassion that is Hashem’s mercy. In that moment where we suspend our subjective reality, we are exercising our trust in Hashem and striving for truth so that He can be revealed in this world. That is a moment of inner Shabbos, where we are with Hashem in a profound way, a transcendant way. From that place, we can assemble all the apparent pieces as Hashem thinks of them back to one through the creative power of our prayer shema yisrael .baruch shem kavod. Our effort to do so becomes an energy for our eternal life.
When our emunah, love and most of all awe of Hashem are strong, we can live holy lives
Hashem is giving us real free will so that we can use it out of love for Him to do His Will. We can weave together worlds.
Transcending survival instincts out of love and awe is the focus of this discussion group
This effort is the focus and subject of our discussion group – we want to hear attempts, both positive and negative, to do the work of pulling back in order to assemble together out of compassion for Hashem what is hidden in the false negativity with the healing from our surrounding light, His Compassion, the goodness that is undamaged in all of us that can seep into the crevices of nature in order to bring light into this world. We do this through prayer and introspection in that moment of inner Shabbos. We build the connectivity out of free will and love in our hearts, with awe in how Hashem has created this world and given us the ability to make this choice. Just as Adom and chava were originally one, and Hashem divided them into to seemingly different beings so that together they could have a satisfying beneficial relationship, so too has Hashem created the soul of the Jewish people and given us form out of the earthly materials so that we can bring satisfying benefit through us as He desires into the world as His Chariots. All of our talents and abilities have value even without the subjective application to our survival instincts. When we realize that is the fulcrum upon which we move to lishma service, that insight can help us happily find and hold from the inner Shabbos within us as the basis for prayer, thought, speech and action.
Understanding our inherent built in light is the first step to stopping negativity in our lives
When we experience a challenge and are not aware of the ability we have to exercise the real free will described above, the result is nothing less than self-sabotage and possibly idolatry although it might not look like that from the vantage point of our survival instincts.
Let’s start with examples that are easy to see.
We are on a diet, trying to reach either a healthy weight or reduce sugar or salt. We are at a wedding or dinner party where the food is not really what is permitted for us. Nevertheless, we rationalize it and indulge, only to experience a negative consequence in our health goals. We may or may not take responsibility and get back onto the diet. It happens to all of us. Most of us do take responsibility and go back on, trying to reach the goals we set. But look at that moment, what happened? If we are in the moment and we are understanding what is our ultimate good, would we really choose to eat what is not permitted? The reason we do is because we deceive ourselves by thinking it won’t really matter. If at least we are mindful and understand our situation and how we will balance it, that is another matter. But just reaching for the food listening to a deceptive message is a natural self-sabotaging act. In essence we are saying that our body is going to run things, not our higher wisdom, and that thickens the influence of the body to a degree that quiets the voice of reason for the future. What can be more self-sabotaging than that?
Perhaps it is easier to see this place of confusion when we see an 8 month old baby that is tired but refuses to lie down in the crib. The baby has already learned that the crib means sleeping and the baby has a will for playing, being held, eating and more.
The baby cries and cries refusing to lie down and rising each time with tearful pleading as if to say I am not falling for this cribbie thing..I want to have fun. I am exhausted but that is not what matters. I know best. Listen to me and take me out of this cribbie. Obviously we can see here why the baby needs to sleep and why the parent needs to help the baby to develop the ability to go to sleep in the crib.
We simply don’t know what is good for us.
We are here to correct our corrupted character traits and rectify something in this world
And the thing that is the most good for us is to relate to Hashem in prayer assembling what seems to us to be independent unrelated pieces of light He thinks up that are indeed all Hashem into a recognition of Hashem is One through the prayer Shema Yisrael. He is One and desires a being willing to recognize that at all times despite our survival instincts.
In so doing, we rectify something that Hashem designed in our nature built especially to house a resistance to seeing Him as One in order that we might think we have autonomous independent existence . Recognizing it as a falsehood, that it is a scam of a Divine Order—and crying out to Hashem that all we want is for all our might to be used to reflect His Compassion into the world is the work we are here to do.. Don’t fall for the subjective emotional arguments that claim happiness to be in goals in time and space! That is the scam. Hashem and His Creations are One and we can bring that so deeply into us that we can be with Hashem in the moment and unify and assemble something into a revelation of Him.
When we develop the emunah, the ability to be faithful to this, we will have an inner
Shabbos within us that will permit us in our prayer shema yisrael to weave worlds together as He Desires making it possible for this world to be a place where His Light can be seen in nature.