Did you ever feel like for the first time a suffering you went through makes sense? It is not often that we can see how suffering comes out for the good because a person really has to be in tune with the truth that has come out of it. In order to see the truth that comes out of it, we have to have been willing to seek the self knowledge that shows us what we once believed and relied on was false.
It is not that we behave according to false beliefs knowing they are false, deliberately deluding ourselves out of stubbornness. We really believe that our false beliefs are true. That is the incredible result of having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that these ideas became mixed together and confused, deceiving us.
The forces at work in the formation of our beliefs begin when we are very little, starting from birth, before there is even language. Our brains receive messages of good and bad based on the emotional expressions of those around us, primarily our parents. These formative beliefs and the disciplinary tactics of our parents, who provide our global and local governmental environments, give us beliefs we try to extend to the world at large as we mature.
As we find our independence, our minds remain bound to the beliefs we develop and then life teaches us to bring more truth to our beliefs, with reality checks and more. Ultimately the rest of our adult lives is about bringing more and more truth based on Torah and being made in Hashem’s image into our beliefs so that our actions reflect truth over our subjectivity more and more.
What happens then when the good inside of us is placed in an environment that globally seems to deny us respect? The part of us that knows we are good cries out for fairness, for respect, for just treatment. Yet, if we have a false belief, and others don’t agree that our belief is true, it is very hurtful. We feel victimized and oppressed. On that basis, those that don’t agree back off, because when we love every person, the last thing we wish to feel is that we are causing another harm or pain. And if the belief of those who don’t agree is so true to them that there is no accommodation, it then appears as if it is a battle of beliefs this one versus that one. Just one against another. And ultimately, without bringing absolute truth into the picture, there is divisiveness, pain, and conflict.
There is absolute truth in the world. Yet that absolute truth is relegated to just an opinion, and even amongst those who do understand there is absolute truth, the yearning to assert one belief over another can become clouded by beliefs that may contain something that is not entirely true due to the deceptive nature of beliefs in general in how they are formed.
As arbitrary and scary as it might seem to establish an absolute truth, in fact it is the source of knowing what is really good in this world. Bringing ourselves to submit to the true reality of Hashem and Torah is the beginning of real wisdom.
In these darkest times, each one of us is a candle of Hashem. The soul of man is Hashem’s candle Yet we can be hidden in the darkness of our beliefs born of persecution and suffering. Our coping mechanisms may have caused us to forget that we are all incredible beings of light in a darkened body and a lower world, yet we are at all times completely connected to the greatest Source of love and good that there is – Hashem Himself. He alone is the good and all good comes from Him.
If we fear that we will be drawn deeper into the darkness, it is incumbent upon us to light our homes with the truth and the recognition of His Goodness every single day and even throughout the day, with praises and thanks. And then when we submit to this absolute truth, we will receive more light and truth to straighten out our clinging from our unwittingly false beliefs to something that is true good. Each moment, let us yearn for that true good to come into the world.
The most recent shiur number 24, has so many answers that we all need to use our emunah to serve Hashem in the moment with proper understanding. It is emes and even if you llisten to it first, go back and listen at least from 22 because he really helps us understand not only our children but also our own lives.