It seems to me that the most important focus we can have in our inner struggles regarding ethical actions is the battleground itself. The more we can understand the battleground in layout and in the unique content each heart brings to that layout, the better off we will be in extricating our soul from error.
In previous discussions, we have gone through how there is only one Being Who is alive. The life that we experience is proof positive that there is One Being Who is alive, because there is absolutely no way science can detect what life itself is. We can enumerate characteristics of things that are alive, like a heartbeat, brain function, and more, but what life is itself is undefinable. We have an experience of life because the One Being that is alive gives us a body with perceptions which touch a nervous system which records memory. Yet that is not life itself. Rather it is our lifetime, our life experience, or even our life mission or work. What IS our real life, meaning the life we create and build from this lifetime, is determined by our will to utilize this lifetime in the manner that the One Being that is alive instructs us so that He can give us an eternal life that we will feel joy and Simcha in receiving because we chose while in this lifetime to learn Torah, pray for help, and emulate Him.
That summary said, lets zoom in more deeply on the battlefield.
The observation for today is to explore a theory about the core of what causes us to experience pain from the poor choices of others. For discussion sake, lets consider that what triggers us in fear or anger the most is what appears to be a threat to our ability to utilize successfully our coping mechanisms to survive. What could be more intimidating than someone directly utilizing power and force to demonstrate their ability to counter our best tool to protect ourselves, our family, our community, our country, or our beliefs?
Do you agree?
If so, we can proceed.
What I want to show here is that the One Being Who is alive is the only Being that determines our survival. The reason this is important is so that when we are on this battlefield, we can serve Him.
If I become angry, insulted, afraid, hateful, outraged, or out of control with aggressiveness, it is because part of the life force that the One Who is alive allows me to experience has latched on to the illusion that I have the ability to determine my own survival on my own. The subtle difference between understanding He is the ultimate determining factor in my survival and not my coping mechanisms or powerful tactics is the battlefield from which my actions will be based. To the degree that I fall into the trap of associating my actions based on life force connecting to “ME” as the cause of my survival, the more pain and suffering I will experience when I am out powered and unable to counter a more forceful opponent. That is because by connecting to ME, I have actually weakened my soul, not strengthened it. How? I have invested parts of the life force given to me in an illusion that is called by my lifetime name as the real self when in fact the lifetime is but a temporary existence being uttered only by the One Who Lives so that my real self can choose to associate with Him over the natural appearing me. If a person puts a penny in an empty jar, it rattles and makes a lot of noise, but it is not necessarily more valuable than a penny in a full jar. The particles of our soul, because man was created on the sixth day, have the potency to affect all of the created things that were uttered into existence prior to man, because Hashem creates man from all the created things, be they solid, liquid, gas or radioactive/fire. The elements of our soul can have a positive or a negative influence on solid, liquid, gas or radioactive/fire atoms throughout the world. This is why it is important to guard our souls from running after the messages that would attach us to false beliefs about where our survival comes from. If we lose connection to the truth that He Alone determines Who survives, we leave out a crucial step in whatever coping mechanisms, powerful tools or action steps we rely on. That crucial step is crying out to Hashem and remembering that we are without Him nothing but an empty vessel He creates from the dirt. The reason crying out is so important is because it places our natural tendencies towards ME back into reality that He Alone lives and we beseech Him to bless our efforts to positively affect the world by bringing Torah and His Mercy into all our speech and deeds.
By regaining divine consciousness, the murkiness that draws our life force to attach to it and which gives us anger, fear, humiliation, outrage and more becomes an opportunity to create positive influence, according to His Will, and we indeed show Him our love for Him, our deep love not just for all the beauty and pleasure of a lifetime in this miraculous world, but for His Will itself. He desires a being that can relate to Him and choose to create positive influence in the world, even if our natural urge is towards a survival message that sprouts from a negatively charged place. That charge is something we can extricate and bring instead to serve His Will and create positivity. How? By remembering that He Alone provides love, care and protection and He has many ways of doing so.
It takes emunah to rely on Hashem and Torah learning to truly know that man is given the ability to create a positive or a negative influence.
This is the landscape.
Now the battlefield is full of our individual traumas and personal experiences. Spiritual maturity would be our effort to start the process of investigation to truly see Who is it that has given us love, care and protection, albeit we may have the false belief that it was our own hand.
The part of us naturally drawn towards the me will go along when it has no other choice, out of a desire for relief from the pain it experiences. The higher soul though is IN for the joy of infusing divine consciousness into the elements of the soul that are deficient in being able to retain awareness that He is One.
An example of this is the evil King Manashe who was an idol worshiper and as he was being boiled alive, in desperation, decided to cry out to Hashem for help even though he denied him all his life. The angels did not want his prayer to be heard but Hashem drilled a hole under His Throne and allowed the prayers to enter and accepted the prayers and the King was saved. Manashe did teshuva after that as well.
May we all find the time to see through our own deceiving thoughts that would encourage us to rely on the ME as if we could just by building a strong, powerful, insured, reliable society or network. May we instead see that the simple act of recognizing the One Living Being above actually enhances our insights in building strong systems because they are based on truth and not on the power of the hand of mankind.
And may our eyes upwards result in a positive influence in the world that will bring a new light and utopia.
Later in the day from when this was written, Rabbi Dror posted this three minute clip from a shiur he had given in August of 2017. I thought it was far better said on the same point that I am trying to bring out.