A two year old discovers the power of saying no. NO! What amazing power that triggers. “Drink your milk!” “No!” Books are written about this!!! How a child will develop depends on the relationship through which we shape and help the child to mature and grow. And people do mature and grow into adulthood. And people do wield positions where they are making decisions that affect other people in important ways…we have Presidents, we have CEOs, we have Generals and many more titles of authority that also hold power.
Every one of us has the ultimate power, a way to affect our lives beyond any title or human circle of influence. The ultimate power is to create positive influence through choices that connect us to the Source of all that is uttered into existence. Understanding that there is One, a Source that is the only Source of power, Who desires a relationship with us, Who wants our heart, is the beginning of the removal of suffering and bitterness in the world.
We can become experts, as did the Nazis, in dominating, removing dignity, and destroying life. It is no compliment to be chosen by Hashem to be so revealed in one’s evil and faults as to be “hired” to enforce His Will in bringing something beyond human understanding. When we see the devastation of people willingly murdering others, which we see today as well, it looks to us like power. Nevertheless, when the question is, did such an act bring happiness, that same person may not be in touch with anything connected to the actual feeling of happiness. It might be something of happiness trapped in achieving a lower worldly goal. When Moshiach comes, it will not be on the list of things we want to show to our credit, for which our eternal life will be based.
Yet each of us has that impossibly persistent self-referencing message that tries to protect us, although it is often misguided in its means, starting from our first NO when we are two, trying to achieve our goals and dreams, trying to secure our dependency needs and happiness. We can learn the best of this, the smartest of that, the cheapest of all, the tastiest of everything, and we can feel accomplished and it can look as though things are just great. But inside, where is the happiness?
There is a place that feels like it is our insides and then there is a place that inside of us that IS our essence. This is the best way to understand our two inclinations. The problem is mostly that we don’t know what the sound of our essence is unless we learn Torah and search to bring the messages of Torah into our minds so we can bring them into our hearts.
What do we see around us? Are those in positions that have the power to affect others happy in their essence? If they have only built lives based on the place that feels like our insides, it could be they have accepted a certain cynicism about life and have achieved a level of contentment. Truly I think this is very common. Yet when the circumstances in the world begin to rattle as they are today, how do we take our investment in reaching goals that feel like our insides and re-invest them in our essence?
When we are willing to understand our functioning in being able to declare that Hashem is One, we make the necessary shift to remembering Hashem and Torah. In one moment, a person who is ready to is enabled to acknowledge the Shechina in all of our powers and circumstances, for better or worse, that feel to us like our insides. Simply by making a choice to see our essence as our effort and sincere desire to reveal Hashem’s Glory through our hearts instead, we align our thoughts with Torah and Hashem and lift ourselves from the entrappings of the many layers of garments that cover our essence.
When we re-direct all energy released from self-referencing with love in our heart for Hashem Who is One, a channel of bracha to flow through us and into the world opens. We are not separate from one another. My success is not your downfall. Your accomplishments do not diminish my potential. What we each struggle to accomplish represents uniqueness. However, Hashem expects each of us to make this ultimate mesiras nefesh, to recognize that He is One. It is not a compliment from Hashem if He gives us a role of inflicting damage upon another. We need to take careful stock to see where we may be doing something that we think is good which in fact is something that we will regret when Moshiach comes. How do we know if what we think we are doing is good or not in His eyes?
The Chofetz Chaim and the Chason Ish both took time out every day for hisbodidus, verbal introspection. The Chofetz Chaim spent two hours every day in seclusion, speaking out loud to Hashem, in order to be able to understand what feels like insides and what is essence. Without hisbodidus, without getting very quiet and opening up honestly to Hashem, the only good goals we will aspire to are those of what feels like our insides.
And where will our happiness come from in a world gone mad? How will we protect ourselves from adopting standards required to maintain a falling morality? What feels like our insides will downgrade along with the movements of society in time and space unless we anchor ourselves to Torah, gluing ourselves to Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy, getting quiet enough to find our essence, and identifying our esteem with effort to reveal Hashem’s Attributes of Mercy.
And it all comes down to our self-preserving reactions of hate, what we take exception to when we feel insulted, overlooked, abandoned or annihilated. That trigger to our brain causes us to experience a lack which without Torah and Hashem we believe to be worthy of retaliation, reaction, pro-action or goal setting. Nevertheless, satisfaction is not happiness.
There is only One. It feels like two. It is our highest functioning to understand the design. With free will, we choose to declare Shema Yisrael, Hashem is One. He alone provides everything. In Hashem is our trust. Each time we experience a sense of our natural existence, we have standing to unify His Name and create brachas for the world. Let that become our new natural. And may we soon see a new light in the world.
Let us hate hatred. Let us burn out thinking we are what feels like our insides in order to rise to a level where we realize our essence is tzelem elokim and we can reveal His Glory. Let us burn out thinking we have independent existence in our souls and rise to a level where we realize we have uniqueness to draw bracha into the one soul, Nishmas Am Yisrael, to effect a repair upon that soul that we alone came here to fix. Let us burn out thinking that the advice of our self-referencing self-preserving is wisdom and rise to a level where we realize that the wisdom of the Torah is the only truth upon which to build with our imagination if we desire true pleasure in this world and the next.
May we be zocheh to redemption bahava