The derech means living in Hashem, living in a emunah, not because we understand emunah, and not because we choose to do so. Rather, because the more we live in true humility, the more we understand who we really are, b’emes, our vulnerability, our weaknesses, our midos ra’os, our frailty, our true m’tzius, the more we come to see our y’sod of helplessness, and are thus forced to cry out, to be dovek to Hashem.
it is the way to be m’galeh Hashem’s ohr into the bri’ah, and that is the entre tachlis for which Hashem created us.
The neshama understands simplicity and repetition. When ideas get complicated, we are forced to go to our sechel, our understanding, which brings us into ourselves, and thus away from Hashem. We have a level of charisha, of hisbon’nus to do in taking this complicated ideas and refining them until they are simple and easily digested by the neshama.
In every millisecond, we are being tested, and the test is always, “Do I exist?” vs. ayin ode milvado. That test is the bechira, the goal of which is always to be maker that the answer is ayin ode milvado. The more we move in this direction, the less of a yesh we become, until eventually we melt away into the ayin ode milvado. Along the way, the bechira enables the journey, as that is the tool Hashem gave us to keep choosing Him. However, eventually the veil is lifted, and we realize that even the bechira is Hashem’s, and along the way, we were able to use our bechira to think that the bechira was ours (sounds funny, I know).
There is no such thing as a corrupted thought. All thoughts are from Hashem, and are avodah is NOT to delve into them, but rather react to them as sibos that force us to tefila, to cry out to Hashem. Our teva-dik reaction is to turn towards thoughts, and try to control them in a variety of ways, such as understanding, denial, analysis, etc. However, in all of these reactions, we are inserting ourselves back into the picture, and thus we become ba’al habayis, we try to make ourselves in control. In avodah, Hashem sent the thought to show us that we are not in control, to bring us to hachna’ah, to avodah, back to Him. Our attempts to control through the machshavah are the opposite direction from why Hashem sends the thoughts.
One was we can tell whether or not we are turning towards true avodah is whether we are going with our tevah, in a natural way, or we are going against it. In the case of thoughts, our tevah is always to try control, and thus we are going with our tevah. Living in emuna peshuta means going against our tevah, because real emuna is not of this world, not teva-dik, but l’ma’aleh min hatevah.
Emuna peshuta contains the word peshuta because it must be simple. If we turn to complicated understandings, turn to the sechel, we are turning towards being in control. The whole goal is NOT to be in control, but to be makir the One who is truly in control.
Emunah is not something we understand. Rather, it’s a reality we enter. It’s a state of being. As long as we are in the picture, we are still in the reality called olam hazeh. The avodah is to let this reality go, and m’meila, we then come to live outside of ourselves, which is to live in emunah, to live in the reality of Hashem. But not as an understanding, but rather, as a reality that we are forced to live in because there is no other place left to turn.
Rav Asher’s derech is very much about avodah, meaning what is the effort (or, better put, non-effort) that we live in at every moment to be mevatel ourselves to make more space for Hashem.
What is sounded like to me is that our thoughts come from Haxhem for us to peel back in order to reveal Hiim and be connected to our true self made in His Image, and that is the avoda at all times and the thoughts are sent to guide us to return all to its Source and reconnect on the basis of touching His Merciful Middos…in other words to see our work as not believing subjective thoughts as true but rather use them as springboards to push ourselves back into reality, that we are at all times connected to Hashem’s 13 attributes with the mission of revealing them so He can be seen in this world.
to do so we need tremendous emunah that there is no gap between Hashem and us even though He thinks us up with a sense of autonomy just in order to give us free will and subjectivity which we can choose to submit back to reality
Rav Asher’s derech is that we work from the middos within ourselves. All middos in the entire bri’ah are from Hashem, so we don’t make distinctions between the 13 middos and any other middos. Rather, if Hashem arouses a midda in us, or puts a midda in front of us, it’s a siba to turn towards Him in avodah.
we experience middos and they become a mirror to see those seem middos within our own selves. Once we see them and find them inside, the internal relationship with the middos becomes the platform to cry out.
That’s a really short, and really inadequate, way of trying to say something that Rav Asher spends hours upon and hours explaining.