The experience of pieces of learning falling into place brings the segments of the learning to a stronger and more bonded foundation. Yet we need to use our restraint and free will in order for that bonded foundation to come together and to be platform for action. Here are some pieces to consider for bonding together for action.
Understanding how the yearning of our higher soul, that has pure love and awe of Hashem, motivates us to actualize explains a great deal about our pursuits. The blind spot that is added to our pursuits, however, is the mistaken idea that we can actualize our mission – namely to reveal Hashem’s love and kingship – through the pursuit of physical goals and attainments. The blind spot is brought to us by our nature, which is given to us in order that we have real free will to follow after pursuits that reveal either our own love for ourselves, our own glory, or, in many sad cases, to repeat and re-enact whatever might have damaged our self-concept when we were vulnerable and dependent, thereby trapping us in pursuits that empty the yearnings of our higher soul into the dust of the earth.
The biology of a person tells the story of everyone. We want love and value, or we want something we believe gives us love and value, we are unable to attain it, we feel frustrated and thereby stressed, stimulating the hormone cortisol, and our natural survival instinct whispers what damaging things we might consider in self-defense. The more deprived of what we originally wanted when we were vulnerable and dependent, namely love, nourishment, proper guidance, and help regulating our emotions, the more of our life force flows into this natural survival instinct mode when circumstances appear to threaten us in the area of love and value.
To the degree that we did not receive unconditional love to help us learn how to regulate our own emotions, we may have absorbed from modeling coping mechanisms that seem powerful and effective in the goal of “getting what we want.” Instead of learning at an early age that getting the object of our desire is not getting love or value because love and value come from loving Hashem and connecting to His Value and Will, we adopt the tactics of the more hurtful examples, of the wisdom that they show us in “surviving.” Inside, the part of us that is fearful is still fearful and longing for love. We are not relieved of these distresses, despite the attainment of the objects of our pursuits.
The more we rely on the use of these powerful alternatives to real love and value, the wider our experience is and the more often when our survival instincts are triggered we will complete the stimulating lack and frustration with an effective act of power that may be damaging to others and to ourselves, without realizing it.
We may even come down to a black and white set of judgments…either you are for me or against me type thinking. Our nature is happy to step in to our rescue with our best battering rams! The “simpler” we make our judgments, boiling them down to “does this serve me or not” type questions, the more the survival instincts agitate and spiral the original lacks of love and value that our higher soul is really yearning for, projecting them onto the people or circumstances before us, and targeting the same with our powerful retaliations to perceived threats.
The more we defend these actions as justified, the more we lose sight of the true origination of the lack, which is the absence of awareness of Hashem’s constant love and the impossibility of ever having the creative value that is Hashem’s since we are limited creations only able to reveal Hashem’s love and value.
Existence is an opportunity have a foundation of learning so strong within us that we do not get pulled over the threshold to pursuits that are based in the belief that we have autonomous independent existence. Rather, we exist to reveal, to trust that no matter how things are unfolding, Hashem is with us and in every moment of emunah, gratitude and trust in His Kindness, we soothe our survival instincts and create positive influence that brings real revelation of Hashem’s love and kingship into the world.
Hashem knows that we have this struggle. We do not have to be embarrassed by having a yetzer hara magnetically and naturally pulling us to the side of despair and destructive action. But we do not have to go there. How do we learn to regulate our natural tendencies? The Torah teaches us about the forces within us, Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy as well as the forces of lovingkindness that flow through us because we are creations made of the utterances through which Hashem creates everything.
We learn to regulate our natural tendencies by having spiritual object constancy – emunah – that Hashem is One and all loving. We are not here on our own. We are here to bring the spiritual forces within us into a bonded connection to Hashem’s lovingkindness. These are the sparks of tohu that fell into this world in order to be rectified and redeemed. Thus, each of us has the ability to redeem some spiritual energy through attaining emunah and crying out to Hashem that all we want is to see the King.
What happens when we forget? Our destructive action in self-defense triggers a lack in another who then, with their black and white thinking, agitates and retaliates. There is no end to this cycle unless both parties recognize and embrace Hashem’s purpose in creating us, to reveal His Love and Glory instead of our finest survival instinct responses, and through that trust and love of Hashem, infuse the spiritual energy with our free will choice to do so, thereby redeeming the spiritual forces within. Our actions, based on knowing that He is One, now provide a channel through which real love can come into the world and real positive influence is made.
When we are reduced to my view versus your view, and we fight for these with our best weapons, we are not really going to get anywhere.
May we see how to build a real foundation for our lives, for our families, for our communities and for the world and may we give voice and expression only to speech and deeds that actualize the yearnings of the higher soul to be a channel that reveals Hashem’s lovingkindness and Kingship.