There is a children’s book entitled “Me Too” about a boy whose baby sister wants everything that he touches and his mother sets up the household that the boy has to share, give her a turn, and include her. The images show a boy who is not exactly thrilled with these rules, angry, resentful, feeling forced against his will. At the end, the baby girl gets something and the boy wants some too, saying “Me Too” and his mother upholds the rules and the boy gets some too. It is a very cute story, right to the point.
The reason that I mention this is because this story brings out in us all the unconscious impulses that can lead us away from bringing compassion and mercy into the world. The impulses include jealousy, desire, and wanting honor, consideration.
Even as adults, we remember, if not identify, with this struggle. How far have we gotten in our own understanding of the role those impulses play in our lives? Have we developed coping mechanisms and socially accepted rules? Have we gone even further, uprooting these impulses ability to affect our actions through a love for Hashem and an expression of gratitude that gives us a perspective to speak to our heart’s imagery based on Torah and Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy?
When we make progress in uprooting these impulses ability to affect our actions, it does not mean that we no longer have the impulses! It means that we have consciousness of these impulses to realize that they are coming from the elemental unrectified aspects of our physicality. We are made from dust. Adom was formed from the dust of the earth taken from Israel. From Adom comes every person who ever lived and who ever will live. We are all made from the dust. It makes sense, then, to spend some time investigating the consequences upon our unconscious and subconscious mind that physicality brings. Jealousy, desires, craving for honor. Survival. Torah addresses each of these impulses and gives us the antidote. Without the clear wisdom of Torah, how would we know that these impulses are given to us in order to give us real free will in a world that conceals the truth – that Hashem is all loving, all good and the only Being that is actually alive!
Obviously we find ourselves at odds with this truth in a split second of perceptions in a world of stress and adversity. Yet from the Torah we can come to realize that Hashem’s love is a constant presence that we can yearn for, loving Him and desiring to “download” His Mercy through the parts of us that are reactive so that those very neurological channels formed from the dust of the earth can become vessels that reflect into the world Hashem’s mercy.
The inner world that we are capable of revealing is an inner world with access to unlimited light and love. The challenge is to have emunah in the truth over the constructs and designs that our neurology naturally experiences. How can we grow in our capacity to reveal? Rabbi Shalom Arush teaches to turn on the light with a simple thank you and then to go to prayer – go out to the fields and pour out your heart and pain and disappointments and yearnings to Hashem. Tell Him more and more.. He really wants to know. The expression of gratitude followed by the outpouring of our hearts is the emunah that creates the relationship to Him. He is all powerful. He desires for us to ask. If it is good for us, He wants to give it to us. If it is not good for us, we realize we do not want it.
For example, it is well known that winning the lottery can ruin lives, even causing the death of the winners from wanton lifestyles. Yet we go and buy the ticket. Do we say, Hashem if it is good in your eyes, it sure looks like it would help a great deal to me to win the lottery. But I only want it if it would be good in YOUR eyes. By the time we realize this, we probably no longer even want to buy the ticket, realizing all the good that He has given us and how grateful we already are. Are we not in touch with the impulses that might be jealousy, desire or craving for honor? Do we really want the money for some other reason? Really? And if so, if Hashem wants us to have it for that reason, doesn’t He have myriad of ways besides gambling to give it to us? Whether we buy the ticket or not, it is worthwhile to consider our impulses, be grateful, pray and then be happy no matter the outcome. Hashem loves us and only does good with us, even if we do not understand how it is good. Each moment of not understanding and saying thank you strengthens our ability to draw into our neurological reactions something more that will reveal Hashem’s mercy. He is One and we are connected.
May we feel blessed and strong in our clinging to Hashem in gratitude, may we comprehend the evolution from our natural impulses to impulses that pulse mercy through them instead of acting out jealousy, desire or the seeking of honor. And may we even come to realize that we can “enter the land”, meaning our neshama can enter the raw material of our physicality, which is a nice way of seeing the potential we have to affect everything by creating images based on Torah upon which to emote and act.
see also http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1ET
listen also to this translation from the derech of Rabbi Asher Freund (especially the last 5 minutes that discuss how the generations parallel jealousy (Hevel and Kayin), desire (generation of the flood) and craving for honor (generation of the tower of babel))
For more translations from Rabbi Asher Freund’s derech click here: http://beyondanydoubts.com/2016/05/05/the-derech-of-rabbi-usher-freund-readings/