When we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a zoohama entered into our inner world that had not previously been internal but external. This internalizing of what had been external is almost indistinguishable within our inner world because it is experienced through our perceptions as they flow through our brain, our lower brain. The first level of our reactions to what is happening in the world comes from the wisdom we have accrued over a lifetime from our instincts and what we have learned from experience.
The persona that is formed is what we believe to be our identity.
Torah teaches us that our identity is that we are made in Hashem’s image.
We do not naturally feel that our identity is a being made in Hashem’s image. In fact, if we never learn any Torah, what is the likelihood that we would be as great as Avraham Aveinu and discover it on our own?
Close your eyes for a moment. Maybe take out a recording device. Describe “who you are” – perhaps as we do in elul – making an inventory of our patterns and choices, our likes and dislikes, our consistent challenging situations, our beliefs about what we are. Describe as much as possible. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does this sound like who you are? If someone wanted to share your inner world, would this cover it? If someone described your inner world to another who knew you well, would they feel that it is the real you?
Now set that down.
Take a look at what is written or recorded. Are there any words like, patient, overlooking faults, slow to anger, forgiving, overlooking insults?
If so, then these qualities are coming from the neshama, shining into the world Hashem’s love and mercy.
If not, no matter how familiar and well recognized it sounds, your true identity has not been accurately portrayed!!!
We are made in Hashem’s image.
That is our true identity.
Covering our true identity is a shell that is what we believe is the “me,” a being with imperfections.
The being with imperfections is the playing field for our true identity to exert itself.
We are our effort to affect our speech and deeds to reveal our true identity as being made in Hashem’s Image.
That is who we are for all eternity.
An identity based on being our effort to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy in our speech and deeds is one that places us as part of an absolute compassion, that places us as if within a circle of white light where all is inter-inclusive of everything else.
When we have clarity that this identity is, in fact, our true identity, then we are empowered to take our unique identity that we wrote down or verbally recorded and remain loyal to that knowledge.