The natural thinking that we have is our inner environment. Whatever has happened in our lifetime has imprinted itself and plays a role in our emotional makeup. Hashem designs us this way, with a nervous system and perceptions into which our life force is cast and bonded. Thinking is the quality of our nefesh elokis, stemming from the gifts with which Hashem has designed our soul. Yet the vessel of our brain and the pairing of a soul in a body intertwine experience into what seems like one – we feel the message and we believe that is our identity too, regardless of how negative or hurtful or despairing or otherwise blind to Hashem’s goodness the messages and experiences are.
This place, this inner environment, our understanding of the world is NOT our essence. It is a vessel that is filled with something of Hashem’s Infinite Light – namely our life force, our nefesh elokis – bonded to the natural messages of the vessel, the brain.
Hashem may place a soul in a body in such a way, under the dominion of nature, yet He has designed the nefesh elokis to serve Him by drawing His Light from that natural inner environment back to Him so that He may give it to us to bring into the world through our learning Torah, prayers, acts of kindness, and mitzvahs. He desires that we be the channel across which the Infinite Light come from the world of darkness and nature back into the world through mitzvahs. In so doing, His Infinite Light shines into the world. And even though He does everything except recognize Himself, which is up to us to do, to recognize Hashem and have compassion on the Shechina in exile, He gives us credit for all the good that He does through our submission.
We are capable of holding the paradox that although I am having a strong negative reaction, Hashem is doing everything, the world is good, and He is all loving. One can truly see that this is a paradox when we consider Jewish history, but the force of our doubts is stemming from our faith in naturally developed responses. What if we truly suspended that? What if we truly recognized the opportunity to be the channel to bring Elokim into the world no matter what it seems like?
What if we have so much emunah that every message that comes to mind is submitted back to the expanded understanding that Hashem is doing everything, the world is good, and He is all loving? While we may not like what is happening to us, when we accept it with the intention of moving forward with learning Torah, prayer, chesed and mitzvahs instead of doubts, pain, anger, and resentment we are embracing the reality of the nefesh elokis He puts in us. Our ability to choose to be mesiras nefesh and to make this choice immediately extricates us from the natural thinking because we are exercising the nefesh elokis quality of compassion by showering the Shechina in exile with compassion. And that uplifts us from the batterings of the kelipas.
It takes emunah. We are limited beings and cannot fully understand. But we can trust Torah and move forward with its instructions. The main inner work is our intentional compassion upon the life force within us that is otherwise animating the messages echoing through the kelipas of lack and how it feels.
So many of us carry so much. Yet we must believe in the design of the nefesh elokis and the love of Hashem and that He is the one doing everything, including bringing our soul from the kelipa back to Him when we tell Him sincerely that we want to go above our nature.
There is safety in looking inside because we have emunah in Hashem and in the soul of the Jewish people that He has designed, for Hashem, Torah and Am Yisrael are one. Let that sink in. Hashem did not send us into the darkness of confusion without making sure that our souls are completely connected to Him and that we have the ability to use compassion, will and speech to serve Him.
It is elul. Hashem is standing right here, right now, with thirteen attributes of compassion, with which He has fashioned our soul. He is asking us, “where is it hard for you to exhibit this compassion? Tell me, let me give you Divine blessing and assistance in your efforts. Please try.”
Thus we stand before Him, with our animalistic instincts, our despair, our reactivity, confessing and pleading with Him that He is King over this and we want to bring His Light to the world and not keep acting out this painful reaction.
He loves us. He knows what we need for the year regarding material things and relationships. But what He doesn’t know is if we want to be like Him, compassionate. And this is what elul work tells Him, that we are willing to search for where we need to be more like Him and to ask for that and mean it.
May we be zocheh to a year of inner peace and be a light to our families and communities from a place of sincerely knowing that He is all loving, the world is good, that He is doing everything and that we are literally a part of that, His keyboard.