Why take the time to develop deeper behira points at which to exercise free will to serve Hashem and emulate Him?

The only good news there is about the yetzer hara is that for each of us, it is the same thing over and over again until we are able to pull free from its downward spiraling pull.  Wherever our free will point was set in childhood, our traumas, circumstances, education and more, our mind recalls, projects, and relives these throughout our lives.  If we had very traumatic events, our lives can be filled with that trauma over and over, as we experience it in current matters in order to be given the opportunity to release the part of our soul and the Shechina in galus with it that got trapped.  To do so, we need total emunah, and that takes Torah study, prayer, and time.  Without those, we live with our mind as it was formed, struggling every moment to keep our heads above water and not get pulled into the darkness and swallowed up. Much of common sense is designed to help with this.

ocean whirlpool with ship by vortex

 

So what is the rush, really? If we beat the yetzer hara now, what will we do for aggravation the rest of our lives? Isn’t the fact that I keep Torah and do mitzvahs and am fairly normal and successful enough for Hashem to give me olam haba?  The default position means that inadvertently, we remain stuck in the taivas and gaivas and feed the wrong forces.

 

It is important to understand that the opening through which the yetzer hara draws us does not close. That opening is in us.

 

With a desire to improve, effort and help from Hashem, we can familiarize ourselves to be able to stop, have awe of Hashem, exercise emunah, redirect passion to learning Torah and cry out to Hashem to save us declaring that we desire only to use our total being to reflect Hashem’s attributes of mercy into the world. Each time our life force gets mixed in with our perceptions, intellect and imagination, which is every second, we experience another opportunity, another view, of where and how we can easily be pulled toward the vortex of destruction. It is as the opening in our first moment of consciousness that we can begin to recognize which pulls are from the yetzer hara and what inner strength we have with which to cling instead to Hashem’s attributes of mercy in passionate personal prayer asking to be plucked out of the pull whose potential to permanently damage and destroy is well known.

 

As a person more and more recognizes the component parts of the subconscious and unconscious in terms of the elements,

 

water/chesed/torah/love Hashem/chochma/wisdom/taiva/desires

Fire/gevurah/tefilla/awe of Hashem/bina/imagination/understanding/emunah/gaiva/arrogance/fear

Wind/tiferes/speech/ruach/compassion/

Earth/malchus/solid ground/actions/sadness/depression

 

 

the more consciousness we have meaning that when the matter arises, we see a free will point where we can choose Torah and emulating tzelem elokim over the natural urges.

 

This is an infinite path. Hashem is infinite. Although the tzelem elokim that He gives us that is made in His Image, we ourselves are not infinite. Yet aspiring to His Kindness sets us on a path of infinity. Thus it is our effort alone to embark on this journey that merits the pleasure Hashem desires to give us. No matter where on the path we are, the effort gives nourishment to the universe and has a positive influence. No matter where on the path we are, we have the free will, unlimited free will, to make the effort.

 

Thus the question is not what will we do for aggravation if we get to all our challenges today, but rather what pleasure can we experience through more and more connection with Hashem and what goodness can we add to the world if we embark on the journey? We see this idea when Avraham after his briss mila was in a state of connection with Hashem and broke it off to go do a mitzvah. Avraham knew that by doing so, the joy of connecting with Hashem the next time would include the pleasure of that effort to emulate Hashem’s kindness.

 

The flip side is, that if we do not embark on the journey to find deeper free will points and ways to prevent our tzelem elokim from participating in the activities that add power to the natural forces of the downward pulling world, inherently and unknowingly in most cases we are contributing to ideas or beliefs that just further trap us and draw us toward that vortex of destruction.

 

No pressure, but it might be a good season with Elul on the horizon to at least do some exploration to take one more step in finding out how we slip and make a plan for steering clear of it and redirecting.

 

Women interested in doing so are invited to visit www.becomingdivine.com/elul/

Human Life has Value 6 – the logical mind that plays on confusion of where survival comes from may be trying to protect us but is pulling us into destruction instead – but we have real free will!

Being alive means that there is an inherent confusion of mind, an inability to not know. This is why there is life insurance and health insurance, to secure as much as possible the uncertainties of daily life. The human confusion of mind and inability to know what really lies ahead is easy to understand – the confusion of this world affects the Stock Market and every planning board or government agency.

 

Let’s look for a moment at confusion of mind, uncertainty. We can be quite certain of our opinions, we can make a definite plan, we can even follow through with our plan with professional and well-thought out tools with which we have been successful in the past. This is, in fact, what education is for, to help us make an order out of life to achieve goals to implement our vision.

 

We accept without questioning what we can and cannot do in professional settings. We have education and then there is whatever happens. Surely we see this in the field of medicine, where all the training that doctors have contributes to saving life but ultimately there are boundaries on how much doctors are given access to help.

 

The idea of looking into that confusion would cause us to feel weak, powerless, depressed and small. Thus all of society is built on doing to the highest degree what we are able to do. What we must understand is that Hashem Himself loves our efforts and awards success to them. By ourselves even the areas of our education and best crafted tools would be no contest for the forces of confusion and devolution that would pull us into the vortex of destruction if we were not inherently part of Hashem’s will for us to exist and benefit from His Good.

 

Is there anyone who does not see how limited our minds are and how easily confounded we are? Why would we blame each other for confusion of mind when we all suffer from it? We must ask ourselves, why would we concretize with words and deeds the forces drawing us into the darkness of the vortex of destruction thinking that the darkness is the light, the solution? In truth, when we live so close to the vortex of the whirlpool drawing us into the vortex of destruction, we are no longer in touch with the reality of the calm seas that are life-giving and peaceful.

 

Yet the darkness can be turned into light, but not by investing talent and goals to it. Darkness becomes light when the mask over the light is taken off, meaning that there is an inherent understanding of the falsehood of the darkness and that appealing to the light behind it will lift us out of it. How bitter does it feel to say I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers, but Hashem knows what is going on and He is good and does good? It is bitter because it gives us the sense of being helpless, it seems to define us as victims to the bold ones that exhibit might in their domination and conquering.

 

Whatever effort we need to make in order to solve the problem, the very first crucial step is to say I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers, but Hashem knows what is going on and He is good and does good. When we then talk to Him in prayer, sharing the frustration with the way nature is affecting us, we are in fact speaking to the Source Who is the Only One and Who CAN actually help in a moment – if our emunah is total and our belief beyond any doubts. We can add to our prayer I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers, but Hashem knows what is going on and He is good and does good and please help me rise above any doubts about that by taking the strength of those doubts and adding it to the potential of light that I am privileged to reflect of Your Glory into the world. Once we have properly aligned our existence to serving Hashem in this way, we are in a frame of mind to consider solutions.

 

We all understand the inherent confusion and inability to now that is part of being alive. We all know what it means to be tricked and taken advantage of. We all know that the experience of being tricked and taken advantage of leaves us with angry frustrated feelings. Yet silently when we see the deceit that tricked us, we are drawn closer and closer to that vortex, admiring its strength, considering how we can work that power into our lives in a way that will benefit the world. However clever we assume that is in holding us afloat and out of its tentacles and reach, electing to adopt the power of the forces drawing us toward the vortex of destruction IS our destruction. Therein is the most important choice we have – are we going to attach tzelem elokim to serve Hashem or to help us reach goals that ultimately put the crown on our head?

 

We all need love, value and kindness. Systems and societies that mistreat others need close examination. Whether the system is given a label that confuses us, such as what we are seeing with the rape of the women and children, who are sold into slavery, helps us to see the inherent dangers of living with perception of externalities as something that can bring us to a place of truth. It is only with understanding the very basic foundation of man, that we are limited in what we know and are here to have a relationship with Hashem to help us reflect His Kindness and Mercy into this world, that we begin to find our important role in creating nourishment for the universe.

 

Hashem has many ways of making His Will known. Yet the basis of Judaism is that He tolerates our mistakes and sins, and forgives. Why? Because we are not here to gratify Hashem’s ego interests in seeing His Will done! We are here so that He can have a relationship with Him so that He can give us eternal good, which is the joy and pleasure of being near to His Glory with our tzelem elokim.

 

When we stew against others, it is like a premeditated criminal act – in our thoughts and hopefully not farther with speech or deeds, we stew with damaging judgmental thinking, designed to damage to hurt people and to provoke a response. Such stewing can be stopped by realizing its messages do not bring us to happiness, bring us love, or give us value. Acting out the false righteousness of these kinds of thoughts actually damages our ability to protect ourselves and have our voices heard while keeping everyone safe.

 

Yet every label hurled at us, every voiced downgrading, shaming word, strikes us in the area of doubting ourselves so that the tzelem elokim becomes drawn to natural goals and thereby into the whirlpool of destruction – lower imagination that traps the tzelem elokim in its thinking that the tzelem elokim must connect with the emotions of survival being generated by the outward attacks is the grip we need to make more translucent. This is the behira point, our actual point of free will, where emunah must be so strongly willed that we can accomplish in the moment the service Hashem wants from us – to have awe of Hashem and be willing to trust in His Detailed supervision despite the apparent grief and loss that our logical mind is trying to protect us from by playing upon our confusion of mind.

 

Women are invited to join us for learning for elul – http://beyondanydoubts.com/elul/

Human Life has Value 5 –Hatred and violence are not a pathway to happiness, meaning or divine dignity

What is inborn in human nature is survival and an intellect able to create an image for itself. The more difficult our childhoods, the more complicated the tasks of life become because the image that we create for ourselves is often “violated” by circumstances. Why?

 

When we experience traumas, abuse, bad parenting, or other imprints on us at a young age, these become imprinted in our minds when our brains are still “wet cement.” As we grow up, concepts and understandings formed very early in life provide the platform for our interactions with others.

 

As the intellect and ego form, we decide what image we wish to project. Who are we? How do we believe we should be treated? How do we present ourselves? What are our goals and aspirations? All of these considerations compose the image that we choose to project. And when other people say or do things that contradict our image, we experience emotional pain and disappointment and become triggered to take an action to “restore” what we feel is lacking.

 

Getting to know ourselves helps us to look inside to see if what we are experiencing is a projection of the belief systems we developed early in life. If we are honest, it is imperative that we come to see that this is the case 100 percent of the time without fail. Our thinking alone is what causes us to feel lack and feel upset. The circumstances may need a solution, but our whirling emotions are coming from only one place – the projection of what it means that the image that I believe about myself has been violated by another or by circumstances. This is very good news because if I am causing my own misery, I can stop doing it!!!  Rabbi Nivin has personal development chaburas that give tools to help.

 

With help from Hashem of course.

 

The whirling emotions are the experience of our tzelem elokim getting pulled toward a dark vortex built into the natural side of us that whispers in our human ear to believe and look to its logic and suggestions for our happiness – the question is will we cling to the competing inclination that Hashem has instilled in us by giving us free willed choice or will we cling to remembering that Hashem has glorified us with a tzelem elokim and that all glory is His and our role is to breathe that connection in and out, no matter how much our human nature wants to trap happiness in worldly matters. http://beyondanydoubts.com/2014/08/17/1538/

 

Once we begin to feel the lure of this dark vortex, it is important to immediately turn to the six constant mitzvahs to quickly swim back to the calm waters of kindness. When we Know there is Hashem and that there is No Other Power, and we feel drawn by a seemingly other power, namely our own human nature, it is effort that we must make in order to swim back to a place of knowing that Hashem is One.   That is, in order to become a better vessel to reflect Hashem into the world, we have to make our physical existence more transparent, less solid!! We have to wipe off the beliefs that cause us to think that the image we project of ourselves is absolute truth. Absolute truth is that Hashem’s Glory fills the world.   Our projection of our image is part of the way in which we are empowered to reflect Him in this world, but our true image is that of being tzelem elokim, made in Hashem’s Image.

 

Torah teaches us how to cling to Absolute Truth. When we understand how Hashem is all kindness and that everything is good, we can begin to breathe and begin the task of swimming away from the dark vortex that wants us to mistake anger, fear, hatred, violence, survival and destruction as spiritually satisfying so that it can pull us under never to be heard from again. Please see Tomer Devorah with Hisbodidus Cards

in order to find out what Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy are and how we can reflect them into this world. Why? Doing so is the only source of true happiness there is!

 

What Hashem desires from us is that we love Him, that we have a relationship with Him where we can have the awe to understand how to trust in His Divine Providence and thereby save ourselves from the vortex that is at the root of all human nature, and that we understand our functioning in the manner that He Designed, to create a nourishment for the universe every time we swim away from the vortex of the downward pulls back towards emulating His Attributes of Mercy. What we overcome with that effort is tremendous repair. Success is up to Hashem, but it is absolute truth that all He asks of us is to love Him, walk in His Ways and trust in Him.

 

How then do we comprehend the terrible tragedies we see in the world today, unspeakable inhumanity taking place at this very moment where women and children are being captured, raped, killed, beheaded, jailed, sold into slavery – totally losing the image and values that are unique to them. The vortex of human nature has no Torah in it. It is dark and it draws into it like a black hole whatever comes into the outer part of the whirlpool. The power of the vortex has as its ultimate Source the Creator of the world; however, being drawn into it is not a sign of spiritual effort. A sign of spiritual effort is the resistance we make to attempt to emulate Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy. When we have the faith to know that we are here to make that effort and to trust that He will do only good with us for having made sincere effort, we are able to maintain a sense of happiness even if, Heaven forbid, we lose our very lives. Rabbi Akiva is the epitome of the example of understanding that.

 

It is time for us to understand that the swirling emotions that we experience are resistable. When we stop pitting one against the other the inclinations, and instead we enroll the imagination of both inclinations to understand with all our heart and all our soul and all our might that all we want to do is reflect Hashem in this world, we rectify and make more transparent the illusion that there is any glory other than Hashem. All Glory is Hashem’s and He is All Good. Good in our eyes. In order to unmask that good, so that the good that is concealed in the appearance of tragic and horrifying and terrifying circumstances will prevail and the these tragic and terrible happenings will stop and instead there will be peace and well-being. Recognition that the choices of people like you and me in reflecting Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy into the world can help is crucial. If we want the world to be a better place, we have to be better people. To be better people, we have to emulate Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy. Reflecting mercy into the world brings us the pleasure of being the conduit of touching His perfection. We get to choose our eternal identity – are we going to unmask His glory by submitting our subjective image of who we are to the truth that we are made in His Image in order to bring Mercy to the world over the natural urges and ego-based desires? Or are we going to endlessly attempt to assert as absolute truth the subjective image that we have developed about ourselves based on the ideas formed in our minds when we were very young, one that inevitably will cause us to be drawn into the dark vortex of emptiness and falsehood?

 

The choice is ours. But first we have to know there is a choice, that life does not have to be lived clinging to that last rim of water above the vortex before we go under. We can ask Hashem to help us swim away from the vortex (we will need His Help) and away altogether from the whirlpool back to clarity, calmness, kindness and divine dignity.

 

Torah is the path. All its ways are peace. Passion is for Torah and prayer. When we make our self-image more transparent, we are able to reflect something far more divine into the world that then gives us a true image in this world and for all eternity. We are empowered to do great things in nurturing the world when we submit with all our heart to bringing out tzelem elokim as our true identity. We can step over the obstacles that try to draw us into the vortex by clinging to true identity and asking Hashem to help us. That effort is for a spirituality that will bring calmness, clarity, pleasure, and dignity.

Women interested in inspiration to understand the importance of trying to identify where we need to triumph tzelem elokim over our self-made image/ego desires and urges are invited to visit http://beyondanydoubts.com/elul/

 

Blame Shame – swimming out of the whirlpool in order to accomplish the happiness we all seek

Below is a video of an ocean whirlpool that is intended to be a moshel to help us understand the nature of our spiritual work to choose connection with Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy  over the natural urges. Hashem creates the world with chesed, everything is chesed.  Chesed is likened to water  In fact the upper realms refer to male water (upper yud) and female water (upper hai) of Hashem’s name yud k vav k.  Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy flow freely to us through our tzelem elokim because we are made in Hashem’s image. Yet we do not naturally experience a perception of tzelem elokim.

Without Torah, we experience life as if we are in that wall of waternearest to and directly peering downward into that scary vortex and trying to hold on and not get pulled in. It is all we can do to hold on sometimes.

When we learn Torah, and we find out that surrounding that vortex and whirlpool trying to pull us in there is a sea of kindness and love and chesed, we build  within ourselves tools to swim toward the outer waters and hopefully away all together from the whirlpool and its vortex.  Torah is the wisdom we need to understand that there is a loving, kind Source that we are constantly connected to and with determination we can strengthen and experience that connection. When we learn Torah we experience the uplifting of passion from gripping imagination so that we can bring that imagination away from contemplating the void and darkness of the vortex, for without Torah the lower soul might mistake the power of that vortex 9hatred, violence, hurtful words, anger, fear, etc)  as the source to connect for spirituality. Torah is the wisdom we need to understand that there is no other Power in the world and that we are constantly attempting to declare the many ways Hashem has brought the appearance of powers into the world with full belief that the Source, Hashem is One and is all good.

Being alive in a body means that we are subject to the coverings of taiva/desire and gaiva/arrogance at all times, having a tendency to be drawn towards the swirling confusing downward pulls.  The Hebrew word for skin and the Hebrew word for light  are both ohr, skin with an ayin and light with an aleph.  As we do the work of repairing our unrectificed characteristics that stem from being in a skin, we make it possible for Hashem’s light to be shine into this world through our resulting thoughts, speech and deeds.  Through our prayers and speech, we create wind that nourishes the Creation in a way that only those who are alive can do.  And this is the functionality of our soul. To crush the impurities in order to use our lives to reflect Hashem’s attributes into the world.

The flow of tzelem elokim within us that seeks the happiness of relating with Hashem while in a body often gets pulled into worldly affairs by the naturally occurring effects of having free will and an intellect and ego that develop from having physical life in the form of  a body. The more we learn Torah, the more we see that there is only happiness when we are reflecting His Attributes into this world. What do we have to know in order to stay away from the whirlpool and vortex?

Blame and shame corresponding to taiva and gaiva corresponding to abandonment and annihilation are the vortex of the whirlpool. What draws us in is the competing currents of tzelem elokim and natural urges both looking to be the fulfiller of happiness. Torah teaches us that the only happiness is understanding that all there is in the world is Hashem Who is all good and that His Glory fills the world, and He glorifies us with tzelem elokim in order for us to do the work of rising above our nature in order to reflect Him into the world through our speech and deeds.

Understanding how to prevent whirlpools becomes a great moshul for how to glue ourselves to Hashem.

Take two plastic bottles.  fill one with water. place the mouth of the second bottle on top and then turn both over so the water will flow into the lower bottle.  What happens is that there is a competition between the air and the water for which will escape into the bottle and a whirlpool forms.  Now take one bottle and put a small hole in the bottom of it, put your finger over the small hole and repeat, only take your finger off the hole as you turn over the bottle.  The water flows into the lower bottle far more smoothy because the air is able to escape through the hole.

Thus when we pierce our taiva and gaiva by rectifying the impurities within us of desire and arrogance, water and fire, we literally make it possible for our tzelem elokim to remain in contact with Hashem’s atrributes of mercy in a flow that provides happiness that is independent of the surroundings and circumstances.  Because happiness remains connected to reflecting Hashem into the world, the draws of the lower nature do not swirl in competition for the place in our heart from which we will subsequently act.  Instead our lower nature flows out smoothly through free willed choice based on emunah,  love of Hashem and having awe for the manner in which Hashem creates the world.  This is bitul, recognizing our role as tzelem elokim, and shifliss, lowliiness, being able to steer away from the draw of the ego attempting to trap happiness in worldly matters that try to attract live force to benefit the unrectified characteristics.

To pull away from the natural impediments requires Torah and free willed choice and complete emunah that Hashem is with us and loves us and will provide all the good that is indeed good for us. this is the focus of our lives every dayk to make this choice and thereby nourish the unverse with our speech and deeds that declare Hashem Echad.

It is a deception that swimming into the vortex of worldly matters will be the manner to secure our happiness. Rather it is the effort of swimming out of the vortex by gluing imagination to ways to reflect Hashem’s attributes into thought speech and deed that pulls out of the grip of the swirling waters into the calm soft waters of lovingkindness and mercy and happiness and in this world and the next.  Every person is starving for this connection to Hashem.  Hopefully the images below will help us understand our swirling emotions and how to avoid getting pulled into the vortex of darkness when we have every intention of trying to be good in Hashem’s eyes and to bring happiness into our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

 

 

A rapid circular current of liquid. [syn: vortex, maelstrom]

  • A vortex is any whirlpool with a downdraft.
  • A maelstrom is the term applied to the most powerful whirlpools.

The most powerful “natural” whirlpools are the result of tidal changes and the resulting fast-flowing water through narrow shallow straits.

But most people are more familar with smaller less dangerous whirlpools that occur in streams or at the bottom of waterfalls. To be sure, these whirlpools can cause lots of problems for watercraft, and they can pull people down and not let them up. So they are dangerous, but not to the scale of a maelstrom whirlpool that can swallow a boat.

How do whirlpools form?

Any time water flows through a narrow path, it forms at least a partial whirlpool. As the water passes through the narrower opening, it accelerates and forms a more powerful force. If the downstream area then enlarges, it can mature into a complete whirlpool.

As water is pulled into an opening by gravity, it begins to spin. Once this begins, it intensifies and forms a cavity in the center of the drain. The cavity creates a vacuum into which objects such as bubbles, water molecules, and other floating objects are pulled. As these objects are “sucked” into the vortex, the centrifugal (outward) force maintains the hole in the middle through which air passes.

What makes whirlpools spin?

As the water is pulled down into the opening, the water particles fight for the smaller space and push each other to the side. This pushing and nudging by itself would not necessarily cause the water to spin, especially in a perfectly-shaped funnel and no other directional influence on the water. But a perfectly-shaped funnel never exists in nature. There are inconsistently-shaped rocks or other obstructions that force the water away from them. This initiates a spinning motion that accelerates as the water is pulled by gravity.

What gives whirlpools their vortex shape?

As the water spins and accelerates, the centrifugal force tries to force it to the outside. Of course, it is contained by the rocks or other naturally-occuring obstructions, so it cannot “fly out” of the natural funnel. Water is heavier than air, so the center of the vortex creates a column of air which is simply the vacancy caused by the water being forced to the side.

Can a whirlpool suck a boat or ship into it?

 

It is merely a matter of size. If the maelstrom is large enough and the boat or other object is small enough, the object will be drawn down through the vortex along with the water. It is understandable then, that fables exist about large ships being sucked down and eaten up by giant whirlpools, but actual documented cases that we would consider trustworthy do not exist. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to try to paddle through a large whirlpool in a row boat. Even small whirlpools are VERY powerful. While it may not suck a human being down into it, it is very likely that even an Olympic swimmer would soon tire trying to avoid it, and then risk drowning. So NEVER try to challenge a naturally occuring whirlpool in a stream or river.

Human Life has value 4 – love, awe and faith process and heal and each of us has our unique role in this

We experience the love of our parents and teachers. As a child, we feel that love and it nurtures us.

 

When we grow up, that experience of receiving love comes from the Source of all. It is unconditional. By the very reality of being alive, love is coming to us, sustaining us, giving life and sustenance. The purpose of our existence is twofold – to bring the positive talents being given to us into time and space and to repair and uplift something from time and space that only we have the key to unlock and release its potency for positive influence. Through the use of free willed choice, with love for Hashem and with awe for what happens when the life force He sends to us gets sidetracked by roadblocks of ego, and with total faith that all there is in the world is Hashem and that there is no other Source of any power whatsoever, we fulfill everything that He expects of us.

 

We all enjoy the feeling of being loved. And we are. So what blocks it?

 

We cower like a bruised animal because of misconceptions about our identity that were formed when we had only a child’s understanding of what was happening around us. These imprints that formed when our brains were like wet cement remain with us. This is how Hashem sets for us what we will be projecting onto every moment of time, the current canvas upon which we expect to see the image that we believe is who we are. The thought in our mind becomes the film that our life force passes through and we perceive it everywhere on the screen of life that is really only a mirror of this very thought.

 

Very often, what we see is extremely potent. And painful or depressing, anxiety ridden or anger producing.   The potency is proof of how powerful and immense the life force that is given to us is, and more so, if that is our portion, how great is the Source of that life force, animating every person along with everything in the universe? This is awe of Hashem.

 

When we are in the dark of our lower feelings, we are very far from feeling the love from Hashem we all want to experience, the light and delight of being small and beloved. When we are committed to knowing that there is only One, we can call out to Him and complain, why am I so distant that I cannot feel You? Knowing that it is only a matter that our life force became stuck in a whirlpool of self-consideration, what is it that will compel us to release our grip that is keeping us from experiencing that light and delight?

 

What in the world would help us open the grip of our will? How can we rise above the mood to consider that the mood is the impact that the thought we projected onto the canvas of the moment is reflecting itself back through our moment by moment experience of emotions? What do we have to do in order to release the strength from the imprint in our mind so that it no longer is an obstacle but rather becomes a boost to our ability to experience light, love and delight?

 

This process demonstrates the value of human life. We are here exactly to do this spiritual work of utilizing the investment of life force given to us in order to distill from nature and soar for healing something that only a being in a body in time and space can release through free willed choice out of love, awe and faith in the Source of all.

Human Life Has Value 3 – Consciousness of the physical world is not the totality of human consciousness potential

Most of us who have been privileged to raise children know what it feels like when our child comes in with tears and a complaint against another. Our hearts go out to them and we want to soothe them. Yet their emotions are sometimes high and their imaginations create urgency and then their words and actions can be angry. Especially if their words are directed to the parent, our own physiology gets triggered and we are witnessing our emotions reacting to the scene.   With all our good intentions in the moment though, things from our subconscious and unconscious come into play and may trigger our responses in less than a desirable way.

 

What is determining our conduct in that moment, our emotions that in that moment could be hateful or something deeper that is always loving and calm and connected to the highest good?

 

When life comes at us in a fast paced way, we feel far more often as that witness to seeing our emotions play before us in real time. How much time is there to reflect, to consider, to search our hearts and our true values to see how we could respond with a little more sense?

 

Inevitably, when there is a great deal of pain, suffering, loss, grief and emotional expression enhanced by imagination, the thing that seems the deepest value becomes related to stopping the pain, stopping the loss, stopping the source of the emotional torment. We may even find that our own will to do so is increased if we entertain the natural feelings of resentment or even hatred that might be a byproduct of our anger.   All of this belongs in the category of witnessing our emotions in the moment.

 

We have a deeper part of us that we can access, and that is our values.

 

Unfortunately, sometimes our deepest values are not accessible either, because of trauma experienced when we try to assert those values and receive chastisement, shame, rejection and more. Even so, there is a deeper part of us that is untouched by the goings on of worldly matters. That deepest part is connected to a place of All Good, All Love, and All Kind. For our deepest part is our soul that is connected to the Source of All and He is only Good.

 

Without calling this religion, it is important to comprehend that we have a consciousness for being connected to something good, no matter what errors we have made, no matter how upset we are, no matter how long we have been undergoing a trauma.

 

Consciousness that there is a part of us that is connected to something that is all Good, even if in the moment to moment drama of life we are not seeing it, is something that shows us the value of human life. Only people have the ability to turn to this consciousness with free willed choice and make effort to rise above the negativity that the drama of life often presents. Depression, hatred, fear, and more may otherwise begin to feel like a spiritual connection instead of this place of being connected to all Good.

 

The place we have free willed choice is to understand that what we want and what we lack have importance, but our essence must remain attached to this Source of Good, love, and kindness, and that everything we do must reflect that. It is only when people do not know how to respond from the spiritual connection to love and good that instead hatred revenge fear or depression begin to be gripped by the imagination as a spiritual imperative.

 

There is always available a connection with a loving Being in a way that brings happiness by virtue of that connection despite the circumstances. Viktor Frankel saw in the Holocaust that those who gave away their last piece of bread lived longer than those who ate the bread they gave it to. They thrived on the happiness available in being connected to the Source of Good.

 

Having unified will for our emotional agendas and believing we are doing it for a good reason brings voice and expression to values that often deviate from the will of the Source of all Good. Its own fire eventually burns it out, for the Source of all Good desires to be the core of our spiritual connection. Human history has been a long series of conflicts and battles. It is important to ask ourselves if we have fallen away from remembering that the Source of Good, who is all loving and kind, is the center of our spiritual values. The beauty of being alive is that we have free willed choice. Even if we forgot for our whole lives, we can stop and ask, are we happy, experiencing a connection with love and kindness in our hearts? As long as we are alive, there is an express elevator back to connecting with the Source of all Good. Never despair. We are all beloved, every one of us. The Source of all Good is very patient. He wants us to choose to put love and light and kindness at our deepest center.  Every person can feel this core goodness. It crosses the boundaries of every religion or atheistic value system. We have to reflect and find this good, for that is the value of being alive, to be able to bring that good into the world.

 

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Resolving taiva and gaiva – bitul and shifless (humility) are the result

The effort we put into removing the impurities of taiva off of the element of water restores us to bitul, to desiring only what is good in Hashem’s eyes, and to reflecting His Good into the world

 

The effort we put into removing the impurities of gaiva off the element of fire restores us to lowliness/shifless, to a passion only for Torah and tefilla in order to connect in devekus by uplifting the passion to serve Him.

 

The flow of life force through us creates a constant ability for the efforts of bitulling taiva and uplifting passion through shifless to create positive influence.

 

This is our functioning as nishmas am yisrael. Only while we are alive and struggling with the natural challenges of being in the kelipas do we have the standing to be able to exert influence by resolving desires and uplifting passion.

Human life has value 2 – choosing what gives us satisfaction matters in every moment

There is a great deal of good in the world that comes through the kind acts of people.

Doing good deeds gives us a sense of satisfaction, knowing that we made a difference to someone.

 

The sacrifices we make to do good deeds is formative of our inner being. We often have to make a great effort to triumph goals of kindness over the obstacles and stumbling blocks and trials that invariably get in the way. Each triumph strengthens our integrated ability and determination to do good deeds.

 

The satisfaction that we experience is not the same as a satisfying meal or satisfying a personal need. There is a pleasure associated with the satisfaction that we feel when we quietly see the good that results. That pleasure is a gift that comes to us through our inner being from a deep place. And as we strengthen our inner being, more opportunities will present themselves, for when we create a useful vessel, it is a beloved reliable pathway for the good deed and a means for us to receive happiness and pleasure for being chosen as the delivery system for the goals of the Higher Being. That recognition is for all eternity.

 

Choosing to form our inner being into a vessel desirable to the Higher Being for the fulfillment of His Will brings us satisfaction and pleasure in this world and eternal reward. We accomplish this by getting our natural resistances out of the way. It is a loving and gentle choice to triumph over the natural daily living in order to experience satisfaction and to develop the inner being.

 

Being alive means having a choice to be that pathway for good, no matter how much it might seem that we are in the dark or suffering or in terrible circumstances, there is an internal choice we can make that can mean everything to ourselves and our loved ones.

Human life has value 1 – the soul of a person is the deepest thing in the universe

A human being is the deepest thing in the universe. The experience of life based on our externalities cannot capture the immense meaning inherent in the existence of every single person.

 

Yet on a horizontal plane, in relationships, in business, in families, the best love and value we can give each other can only go so far in securing a sense of that deep inner being that is housed in our body but exists on much deeper levels than just time and space.

 

On a surface level, if we look at each other, what makes us different from looking at a rock, or a plant, an animal or a work of art or engineering?

 

If we hold a rock in our hand, we know it exists. Its existence is intrinsic. Yet when a young person wants to get a driver’s license, the presentation of their physical existence is not enough to prove that they exist and who they are.

 

Who we are goes far beyond the body we move around in. And our ultimate identity develops over the course of a lifetime.

 

Recently Robin Williams took his life. He was so successful, brought so much joy into the lives of people – yet he had an internal struggle and opted out. Perhaps his death by his own hand reached into our hearts because for the past few months the value of human life all around the world seems to be very much under-valued, with hundreds of thousands of people being exterminated by bands of people in different countries. We do not know the immense value of each of those hundreds of thousands who have been killed. In their worlds, they made a difference to their families and loved ones, at a minimum.

 

When someone whose face is known worldwide, whose image is one of success, ends his life, it is time to fight back. Life no matter how difficult it is has a value that is beyond the capacity of people including ourselves to truly appreciate in full.

 

It is time to begin to take another look at the life of the inner being. It is time to realize that the expression of the inner being does not have to be visible to others – rather, there is an expression of the inner being that can make a difference even if no one ever knows about it.

 

One of the highest things we can do is give charity to another person without them knowing who gave it. Why? Because if the receiver knew who gave it, they would probably want to thank and give appreciation to the one who gave the money. Believe it or not, that experience of pleasure for being acknowledged would interfere with the greater pleasure of the satisfaction of having helped the person. How?

 

If the person thanks us, we are happy in the moment, that we are acknowledged. But what about a month later? In a quiet moment, do we continue to enjoy that acknowledgment? But if we donate without the person knowing who gave it, and we see that the money has done good for that person, then whenever we think of that gift, there is a satisfaction that we feel, a happiness, a pleasure, that no one else can touch, that is within our inner being.

 

Think about it. We have an inner being. That inner being is something besides the image that we project in the world. It is far deeper and has intrinsic value.

 

Being able to wipe off what blocks us from feeling that intrinsic value is a doable task. It is possible because the reality that we are deeper than our bodies and egos is absolute truth.

 

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Understanding ourselves to be able to triumph tzelem elokim over the natural urges – free ourselves from the grip of hopelessness

Because we are alive, and as long as we are alive, we have the natural inclinations that have a stronger presence in our lives than the far stronger inclination of the tzelem elokim.   When we are faced with choices, if we even see the brief message of the tzelem elokim attempting to direct our actions we should consider that to be the result of our great effort to learn Torah and to prayers to Hashem to help us be upright.

 

But because of the constant, persistent natural urges that seem stronger than our will, we may make the mistake of thinking that we are trapped in them; after all, it seems that the natural urges are part of who we are, and that despite their presence, we struggle and we try to do the right thing and therefore we are good people. Thus, the presence of the natural urges that we wish to overcome seem to be part of the landscape of our lives.

 

Because most people don’t let these natural urges run their lives, this landscaping and how we cope with it leads us to believe that we have to co-exist while we are alive and that there is not much relief, that we just have to continue to step over our natural destructive instincts and carry on. We are patient with ourselves in this regard, yet very often we grow impatient with others who suffer from the same universal composition.

 

What if we COULD gain relief from some of the natural urges that landscape our lives and subjective realities? Would we be willing to entertain the idea that with a little effort over a few weeks or a year we could move and gain some relief? Do we believe that it is possible to break our nature?

 

The Vilna Gaon tells us that if not to break our human nature, what purpose is there in being alive? Thus we know that it is possible to break our nature.

 

Are we willing to exert effort to gain relief? A better question is are we willing to set boundaries for our natural urges so that we can experience the happiness and pleasure Hashem has designed for us to experience while alive.   Is the answer “yes” to this question more appealing now when we measure it in terms of pleasure?

 

What if we could gain relief from some of the natural urges that landscape oour lives and subjective realities? Here we need to choose to see that we are NOT that landscaping, or our past mistakes or our faults. If we identify with the landscaping then our emotional investment in being good and right can confuse us from making a choice that can bring us to real pleasure. The image that we develop to project into the world notwithstanding, our essence and only true identity is tzelem elokim. From this perspective, our effort to examine what is in our natural urges becomes approachable.- what flows through our unrectified hearts, our unrefined character traits, our animalistic instincts and reactions and lusts and more? If we see that it is a strength, something that Hashem has glorified us with through uttering us into existence and thinking of our soul, we can keep that bit of His Glory, the strength, and realize the rest is just a result of being in a fallen world. That strength becomes the truth unmasked about our natural urges that we have free choice to raise upwards with imagination to glue to the truth that we are tzelem elokim here to bring His Light into the world. Doing so recognizes our condition of lowliness, which really is the inner penimius of malchus, of understanding how to create an arousal from below.

 

Creating an arousal from below of making effort to triumph tzelem elokim over the natural urges becomes a structured exercise when we understand the task – unmask the part of what glorifies us from the emotional labeling of the heart that makes the matter feel so strong, whirling like tornadoes or hurricanes at times. Leave the labeling and mask behind identifying it as the natural impurities on the elements of water/taiva, fire/gaiva, wind/speech and earth/solid vessel. When we willingly wipe off these impurities from the reactions that are natural within us, we are giving ourselves a kapara. The result is that the elements within us, water, fire, wind and earth become purer. Our effort to do this is a demonstration that we truly want our mercy to triumph over the natural. This is the arousal from below and the image that we project as a result of doing this effort will more and more reflect tzelem elokim into the darkness and confusion of whatever circumstances we face.

 

When we see how we grip our natural urges and resist doing this introspective work, it is easy to understand how we have a world where darkness seems inevitable. When we see that we have real free will and the ability to choose to wipe impurities off of our unrefined characteristics, we come to increase the clarity and pleasure there is in living. And when we come to increase the clarity and pleasure there is in living, we being to realize the value of life, to be able to reflect light into the world and provide a way for Hashem’s glory to be visible in time and space.

 

 

What causes us to grip our natural urges is imagination that can be freed to instead grip onto Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy. We are intelligent beings and can surely see that pleasure and living with the value that Hashem has designed for us, to be His Vessels to reflect Him into the world, is far better than succumbing to the pit of hopelessness that our natural unrectified characteristics unbounded will throw us.

 

We are choosers but understanding the place of choice is truly what matters. And understanding the place of choice means understanding that our true identity is that of tzelem elokim here to be a vessel to reveal Hashem’s Will as stated in Torah. The alternative is to kick and scream or get depressed or anxious that Hashem is not delivering to us the image that our natural urges would like to project. We can set boundaries and tests to help us realize when our imagination is to put the crown on our head in order to receive kavod for the glorification of having a tzelem elokim, or instead to choose to use imagination to put the crown on Hashem’s head in order to uplift the glorification that He provides and choose to use both our inclinations to reflect Hashem’s kavod into the world for His Sake, for He desires our hearts in order to be revealed in time and space.

 

It is true that people are glorified because Hashem gives us a tzelem elokim. The question is, will we attribute that glorification to what we say is good or to what Hashem says is good, according to Torah.   Therein lies the struggle, the honest look at the impurities upon the water/desire/taiva, the fire/radioactive arrogance/gaiva, the wind/flightiness/ruach/ speech and the earth/malchus/solid vessel/sadness that generate the bitterness involved with the experience of living with unrectified characteristics.

 

Bitterness is a sign we are far from Hashem. We can release the strength so that it can ascend and be used in His Service restoring happiness that was trapped in a falsehood of our unrectified characteristics projected into an image.

 

What glorifies us is tzelem elokim, that Hashem gives to us. Reflecting tzelem elokim brings true pleasure each time we choose to do it, making our pleasure something within our reach because it is a product of our choosing to make the effort to unmask it and reflect Hashem into time and space.

 

Life has value. The ripple effect of making choices has cosmic impact. Hashem wants to have a relationship with us so that His Glory is visible in time and space. When we value our lives and our choices in this way, we reflect commitment to His Will, His Goodness and His Mercy.

 

May we be wise and make the effort to rise above believing we are trapped in the hopelessness of being alive with natural urges that reflect unrectified characteristics.

 

May we not fall into the hands of self-pity or into fallen ahavas Hashem that might cause us to enable others to feel justified in trapping their tzelem elokim in hopelessness and destruction/self-destruction.

 

May our strength that testifies to the glorification Hashem gives us through life itself then be uplifted to be glued to reflecting into the world only His Mercy.

 

May our triumph of tzelem elokim over the natural urges that we are able to accomplish by setting boundaries for the natural urges based on water, fire, wind and earth be a pleasing arousal from below that will create a consciousness within us for redemption, for clarity, for connection, and for love and awe of Hashem.

 

And may that arousal from below bring about the Arousal from above.