On chol hamoed we went to the zoo where there is a glass window peaking into the sea lion pool. It is a window wall and easy for many people to stand and view the swimming sea lions.
One of the visitors, a girl and her brother, brought a handsize ball. She and her brother played catch in front of the window wall and the sea lion swam after the ball each time it was thrown, as if the sea lion was going to retrieve it. Throw after throw, the sea lion faithfully followed after the ball as if never giving up hope that it could retrieve it, despite the obstacle of the clear glass. The sea lion obviously understood it could not reach the ball, since when the ball was caught by the other child the sea lion would himself spin in a circle as the ball had done. It was truly beautiful to see how the sea lion played ball with the children even though it was not able to access the ball. It kept going after what it wanted, despite not being able to reach the object of its desires, having fun in the process.
How many of us do this with the happiness that we seek? And how many do this with the lusts we have for revenge, or with the grudges we bear against others that generate negative thinking that is prohibited by the Torah? If we really understand that there is absolutely no way ever that what we want from our negative drives will be received, and if it is received it is really taking us away from something that we could have gotten that is far greater and more eternal, would we drop the pursuit of falseness?
This is the question each of us needs to ask ourselves. Are we ready to realize that we can live a life “beyond the glass wall” of the imagination of secondary cause and effect that is imprinted upon our nervous system? Or are we wed to pursuing power based on our effectiveness in directing imagination for subjective goals?
Nothing happens without Hashem’s direct involvement. Nothing. Ever.
Where shall we invest? In imagination for subjective self-oriented goals or in imagination focusing on bringing into the world a revelation of Hashem’s kindness and will according to Torah, His Written Will for us to follow, 613 commandments for Jewish people and 7 for non-Jewish nations? What we say and do really matters! And yes, all happiness stems from the reality that there is a Creator Who loves us.
When we break out of the belief that the imaginary clear glass wall called “me” is the focus of our existence and we have to keep trying to get our will done, and instead we focus on accomplishing 613 mitzvah and emulating merciful conduct defined by Hashem’s 13 attributes, we come closer to Hashem in every moment and become part of the greater and primary cause and effect of the world.
May we understand this!!