Rabbi Nivin, reachable through www.newchabura.com, teaches us to understand the fundamentals of the male and female egos. Although it might sound politically incorrect, it is imperative to understand how Hashem has constructed us so that we may develop an eternal identity of joy from this temporary existence.
For women, the ego is based on love me love me not. For men, the ego is based on deferentially respect me or not. These impulses are so deep within our natural life force that the messages slip past our conscious mind and we pick up the matter somewhere into the survival messages that follow.
It is important to understand that when we are in a negative place, it is because we got confronted with something that differs from our view of ourselves and how we wish to be seen. If we see this as a matter to deal with in terms of spirituality, our approach will be far different from our otherwise natural approach.
The spiritual challenge is to realize that our essence, the part of us that is connected to Hashem, is at risk of enlivening thoughts and emotions that are damaging and hurtful, either to ourselves or others, and that it is a CHOICE, albeit we do not see the place where we have free will yet.
When we understand that there is no essence in the world other than Hashem, then it is easier to begin our investigation regarding what misguided belief is being kept “alive” by our very soul, despite the feeling that we are “victims” of some circumstance.
Self-knowledge is needed to get us out of the world of shame and blame.
Once we realize that our image of ourselves has been challenged, we may not yet see how it is love me love me not or respect me respect me not, so let’s take a look at our imagination trail. Would we associate what we experiencing in the category of Kayin and Hevel in jealousy and murderous rage? The generation of the flood, lust gone unbounded? Or the generation that rebelled against Hashem with the the tower? Or a little of both?
Talk out each segment until we see that our thinking is not true. Then see, is it love me love me not? Or respect me respect me not? Once that is revealed, then we have clarity that we are dealing with the human ego that is giving access to our essence to thinking from our natural existence that is damaging. Do we want to have this thinking created as our identity for all eternity? I would think NOT.
Thus our task is to confess this to Hashem. I have this line of thinking, filled with jealous, lustful, or craving honor images but I do not want this thinking now or for all eternity. Please help me excavate my essence from the natural attraction to this line of thinking and instead may the essence You give me, the life force You bestow, reveal compassion, Your Essence.
Without the wisdom of the Torah, how would we otherwise know that taking the time to do this actually brings into the world a doing force of compassion? It is not US that does it, although it comes through us. It is our choice to hold back the hurtful thinking generated by our egos that makes all the difference. Hashem creates the darkness within us but WE decide if we choose for Him to reveal His compassion or continue to conceal it. At least in our own inner worlds. And beyond in a way that we may not fully comprehend but trust is true.
Thus if each of us, in our own inner worlds, makes choices that reflect Hashem’s compassion into the world, a doing force is present that chooses otherwise to hide in order to give us real free will to have a relationship with Him forever.
Let our investigations begin. May we have the emunah to face what we find inside without damaging judgments of ourselves or others, but rather to help us yearn and plead with Hashem to help us excavate our essence from what grips us.