A series of experiences has shown me something that I am humbled to say because of the impact I believe it is having. What I am awakening to is the real possibility that we do not have emotional relationships with people. We have emotional relationships with our understanding of people and the understanding of the people is determined by our freedom from the illusions projected by and our attachment to ego-messages. When our understanding of people is predicated on Hashem’s love for all of us, and when we truly comprehend the challenge of life and how patient we must be with ourselves and others through this lifetime, we free ourselves more and more from illusions and attachment to ego-messages.
Awakening to how deeply our perceptions are colored by the Evil Persuader is the beginning of realizing the importance of attaching to Hashem. The default is to attach to the messages of the Evil Persuader all the while thinking that its messages are who we are. We are all searching for self-knowledge. Perhaps that search should be re-named searching for knowledge about how to free the true self. In any event, the Torah teaches us that our ego is a starter identity we need in order to comprehend what identity is at all. From that starter identity, we have real free will to build eternal identity. The more we see how we are drawn naturally and attach to messages that are coming from our natural inclination, the more we are free to will that we attach to compassion. Our true identity is a soul attached to Hashem, placed in a body, so that we may come to experience opportunities to make this choice. If we understand the adversary but do not heed it, it cannot overtake us.
Why do we get upset in relationships? What are the messages we are reacting to? Where are those messages coming from? And what do we do? We talk to people and ask for help. And where do the messages that the advisors are drawing from come – education, profession, experience, and hopefully Torah. Yet which do we attach to – do we cling to the messages of Torah or do we feel it is up to us to decide our path, depending on how strongly we are attached to the painful messages?
The purpose of this writing is to clarify for everyone – our identity IS NOT the messages of ourselves that are causing us distress. All of us are plugged into the same Evil Persuader, listening to its advice very carefully. It suggests to us how to wield power. For example, all of us understand how children have a natural desire to attach to parents and teachers. Thus, the evil persuader would suggest to us that if we trigger this type of response, we have power over people. Really? We have power? Hashem is the Only Power. When we listen and think these thoughts, we are literally feeding our soul to the darkness, not exercising power. Will people be damaged and will we feel a “reward” from the Evil Persuader by feeling like we are in control and we mastered the other? Yes. Will we have actually exercised power? No. Hashem allows us to deliver a damage that He alone determines is just. We get no credit whatsoever for doing a good deed. We have placed our souls into the precarious place of darkness. Even if the outcome for the other person is just, we did not do a mitzvah at all.
What saves us from the fiery coals that the evil persuader has at its fingertips to project through us? Emunah. Our soul loves Hashem without stopping because it is attached without stopping to Him, despite being in a body that is insensitive to that reality. Yet the love for Hashem is there. We need more strength in emunah. We need more insight into our natural attachments to the messages that are projected through us so that we don’t “fall for that one” again. We need to pray more sincerely that instead of succumbing to the natural will (which we see concerns the illusory self, an image of nature), that our true love for Hashem and desire to attach to Him as One prevail.
How deep are the basic messages of self that are false. On the one hand, we thrive on holding ourselves above those who we see as sinning, lacking, acting poorly and more. On the other hand, we despise feeling judged and gloated over when others see our faults and shame us, reject us and more. Regardless of which side of this basic see saw we find ourselves, we begin to see the see saw and realize that IT IS NOT US but the evil persuader who is benefiting when we perceive ourselves as either up or down on that see saw!!! We are NEVER UP!!!!! UP is darkness. Down is darkness.
Thus, all relationships are props. Shall we “bite” and find ourselves naturally relating in this see saw? Or shall we see the opportunity to attach to Hashem and view ourselves as a part of His Compassion alone, holding ourselves with awareness without succumbing to the demands of the messages we feel. We gain information from the messages but we do not depend on them for our actions. Our actions instead are to strengthen ourselves in emunah and trust Hashem and do teshuva on whatever is coming to confuse our mind. What we return to Hashem in those teshuva moments, the kedusha we release from the grip of the Soton projecting illusions through us, contains an infinite compassion that we usher into the world with which Hashem silences the evil persuader, the only one interfering with our simcha. The other person is a prop. We may love them, but even that love is natural and therefore in the arsenal of the evil persuader to paint pictures for us about another, about ourselves, about life, about Hashem. The place for our love is to Hashem. When we realize this, and we step above the reach of the evil persuader to do Hashem’s will and act compassionately, with forgiveness, with patience, with kindness, we are revealing Hashem and doing His Will. We love each other. We give the benefit of the doubt. We do not hate or bear a grudge.
It is a divine promise that when we submit our will (what we think of as our will but which is really just attachment to the “good advice” of the evil persuader) to do His Will, we release kedusha to its Source. And we do mitzvahs. Hashem then blocks the will of our adversary – the evil persuader. It never has anything really to do with people or power. It has everything to do with emunah, bitachon, love for Hashem, Torah, mitzvahs and real free will.
Our relationship with Hashem is the source of the greatest simcha. Human love relationships become shockingly secondary, as important and comfortable as these are. They assume a healthier perspective in the realm of importance. Yet having this perspective means that we recognize that the love relationships are given to us from Hashem. He is the Source for all good. And our attachment is best placed with His Torah and mitzvahs, loyally following Him despite what natural messages our perceptions might lead us towards. Comprehending the “self” that listens to these messages means comprehending how our unconscious and subconscious are woven into the hands of the evil persuader. Hashem wants us to redeem ourselves from its grip using real free will and the innate love for Him in our soul.
Following Torah and emulating His Compassion despite the exile means we comprehend deeply and trust.