Rabbi Asher Freund speaks about the importance of recognizing that Hashem is doing everything and that we are helpless, with no control, yet we are able to move forward to do much good in the world, and this realization is healing for us because we are choosing to truly be one with Hashem, the One Who is above nature and the One to trust. He emphasizes that every Jewish person, regardless of their orientation, has in common the goal of nullifying the sense of independent existence, using hisbodedus to do so, and strengthening emunah.
Rabbi Moshe Genuth teaches in Rectifying the Ego all of the steps to doing this. the run and return that brings us closer to Hashem, the moment of shifless (lowliness) from where we realize our deficiencies and run to Hashem and then the bitul, the drawing into the world of the blessings Hashem flows.
Rabbi Rome describes in detail the prayer process and shows us literally in the morning prayers exactly this process.
Yet at the root of all of this are the four elements, earth, wind, water and fire, the forces of the soul, the right axis, which is kindness, water, the left axis which is strength, fire, the central axis, which is wind, compassion, and the landing place, malchus, earth, the body.
The flow of our life force from Hashem is intended to come into the world to reveal Him – we are made in His Image – but because of the eating of the tree of knowledge, our will to do this is confused. As a result, distortions form along the way that we misinterpret as who we are. Not only that, there are forces given to the yetzer hara with which to further hold mirrors to our eyes.
In pre-creation, Hashem hides Himself in stormy wind, thick clouds, and flashing fire and from there He makes the world. The angel in charge of nature has these sparks under its domain. Every atom in the universe is either liquid/water, gas/wind radioactive material/fire or solid/earth. This includes whatever comes into our perceptions, although we may not see it that way at all.
It takes hisbodedus and education to begin to relate to what is happening within and around us through the flow of Source light into the world.
Below is a starter emergency first aid chart to help. Try it. See if you feel an inner shift to calmness, a relief from the grip of the pain that often accompanies the feelings of lack. Being battered back and forth between the darkness and void, the lack of pleasure and the ego implications, is not only painful, we are actually feeding our life force into the darkness with each thought and imprinting hurt in our consciousness.
We have a choice.
If you use the card below and wish to explore the elements in detail, to heal, to redirect life force, please do so. Rabbi Itamar Schwartz, Theory and Fixing Your Character Traits – Four Elements . The english pdfs can be downloaded here
addendum: if nothing else, let us begin to see fundamental falsehood – the main fundamental falsehood is that the pull we feel “I don’t want to do this, this is not for me” is actually a message from the yetzer hara steering us away from receiving real vitality.
The reason this is crucial to see through is because we follow it loyally into the dark.
Here are two examples from today.
As I do after davening, i say 13 perakim of tehillim, as Rav Asher recommends. As I opened the book, there was that “gut” feeling..I don’t want to do this. And I almost laughed. Reading this tehillim has been such a source of vitality and yet this animalistic rearing came anyway. I paused, I looked at the message, in my gut, what does it want to do?
go clean the windshield of the car? really?
So I took out the emergency first aid card above…Already I am experiencing the pleasure of my divine soul that knows Hashem is doing everything and loves me. I am moving to give lovingkindness so that the feeling of that experience is felt by me. WATER…and I said water a few times and yearned for that feeling of love and turned with love to the tehillim. I said the whole set with a whole heart.
What would have happened if I skipped the tehillim because I was not in the mood and went to wash the windshield?
I would have believed that self-care involved listening to something that wants to drain me of vitality.
The second example is about the falsehood that we have to live with self-criticism and guilt.
I had delayed some of my davening this morning because I wanted to send out the blog post. When I went back to finish, I started by accident over again at mode ani. when I realized it, a harsh voice came knocking on my door calling me names…fire.. very familiar messages of course.
Only I am thoroughly convinced that anything coming from jealousy, taiva and kavod are completely the subconscious lures into the dark and NOT my true self, including this guilt message from the orbital cortex. Wind. It wants to beat up my self image. Please may my emotions be generated only from love and awe of Hashem. I want holy ruchnius. WIND.
I took the life force from the message of the underworld and turned it around.
I felt the inner shift.
The message dissolved and I just picked up where I was supposed to.
Emunah that we are emanations from Hashem here to flow through a humbled channel is crucial to trust so that these powerful natural lures that have control over our subconscious mind until we route them out – stop claiming our life force!!
There is hope for us to get out of galus when we stop building the darkness and go to the light, no matter what. go to the light. Torah, avoda, chesed and mitzvahs, fire, wind water and earth.