The path to self awareness and inner connection weaves through the darkness of our world. It requires us to recalibrate the balance between our soul and our bodies.
We are always descending within the darkness of the physical world. It is that descent, that confusion we find in our lives that we must abandon in order to rise up to the path of the light. This is the path of the Creator, who is hidden in all of Creation. Yet, until find the true Tzaddik, the loop that was forged at the time of our birth in this world will continue.
We rise only to fall – fall only to rise. We hold onto our false sense of self because we are too afraid to move forward. This is the job of the Tzaddik – to show us our own way. It is the path most carved out for each of us that allows us the comfort to let go of all of the false perceptions we have packed into our mind.
When we let go – we find ourselves and the body is once more ruled by the soul.
We all want to be set free – to move on from our quagmire of doubt. But how do we leave our exile when the negativity of our past keeps haunting us holding us back? The key is to let go of the faults and hangups from our past and move forward to real self awareness.
The world seems so upside down? Good people don’t seem to get break, and evil reigns supreme. Why? Doesn’t G-D care? Why did he create such an upside down world? Rebbe Nachman’s story – the Exchanged Children delves into the root of our confusion and exile.
Sometimes we fall so much we cannot see through the darkness that has become our lives. Our vision has become blinded from our own doubts – our own fears.
This is why we must strive for actualized Emunah – activated faith. When we see that the Creator’s will fills up and permeates all things and all things are in fact a reflection of the Creator’s unity, then our fear and confusion will dissipate. All experiences are messages from the Creator to us and each one of our experiences is unique.
We do not need to fear the unknown, but rather embrace the daily rush of events thrown at us by seeing the world through the prism of Emunah.
There is a need inside each of us to achieve success. However, this notion of success changes depending on the person. The more one is pulled away from his or her being, the more success is an endless pursuit after a career or social standing or money.
However, if one is grounded and truly seeking a successful relationship with the Creator, then success means drawing close to the Almighty. How is this possible? The first step is recognizing that all of our sustenance comes from the Creator. When this is realized true joy no matter the situation can be attained.
True success does not come by way of career or financial gains. Success is being happy with what the Creator has given you.
Rebbe Nachman’s story the Sophisticate and the Simpleton is a classic explanation about the struggle each of us experiences within. It is also the struggle between the increasingly vacuous Western World’s importance on success in one’s career versus a life filled with faith and contentment.
Coronavirus has come. It has swept across the globe in such stunning fashion that it has laid waste to not only lives and economies, but to our preconceived notions of who we are.
I grew up in the age of globalization. It was drilled into me from high school onward that we were heading towards a borderless world that was only an air flight away. Even with my turn towards traditional Judaism and my move to Israel, I still believed to this to a certain extent.
The problem with globalization is that it is based on an infinite amount of resources and cheap products that essentially just turn traditional cultures and communities into carbon copies of one another.
How was the world meant to be built? China. The authoritarian regime would help produce this new world of anonymity, phone addiction, and infinite consumer products. Of course all of us have played along nicely.
The coronavirus pandemic destroyed all of this. It has blown out the idea that one can build a perfect world on the fulfillment of desires by using cheap slave labor in a far away land. Rather than a perfect word, the pandemic has revealed just how bankrupt these notions have been all along.
We have been trying to fulfill our ambitions for products and money and by doing so we have destroyed forests, ruined top soil, and assigned whole populations to a life of factory and wage slavery.
None of this has been holy work – it has been about giving into our base desires.
So much of what we experience and grapple with can be traced back to that initial decision of Adam and Eve to taste from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It was simply about fulfilling a want versus focusing on needs.
We are constantly tripping up over the same challenge and it is about time we have learned from our mistakes.
Rebbe Nachman teaches in the 24th lesson of Likutey Moharan that one who lives in excess eventually falls into depression. In a sense, what Rebbe Nachman is saying is that the more each of us lives a life oof excess, the more the collective world falls further away from what it is meant to be.
We are meant to be G-dly beings – to repair the broken world that exists around us and within us. We can do this. We can return to our authentic selves, but we first must exit the world of desires and excess.
The coronavirus has taught us that we can in fact live on so much less than we thought we could. Will we continue on this path or return to our lives of excess once the world opens back up?
The choice as always is before us.
The world is changing. Oil is in negative for the first time ever. The US government has taken over large parts of the economy. Joblessness is souring. Global Depression appears to be on our doorstep.
The coronavirus or COVID-19 has changed us. Yet, deep down inside to most of us who have been warning about the excesses of the Western world, none of this is surprising.
There was bound to be a black swan event, one so big that it would knock down the mirage that is the West. After all, how many more Netflix shows can one watch, or feel fulfilled by cheap Chinese products?
The West has nothing to it anymore. There is no vigor of inner yearning or civilizational direction. The excess has been a drug. All of it designed to fulfill base desires and promising nothing in return. Yet, none of this – the pleasure filled dreams of a millennial generation, fed to them by the hi-tech priests of Generation X is real. Most importantly none of it is sustainable.
The world as we know it, is gone.
For me, all of this has been foretold. Most importantly as the West falls something must take its place.
We must construct a world that is truly sustainable. This new world must leave behind the false desires that are based on nothing else but our own inner whims. In many ways, we must leave the virtual and return to the Earth that has been Created for us. It is this Earth that is waiting to be redeemed and it us who are meant to be its redeemers.
Until now it has been used – a place that is merely a production engine for the products that were meant to fulfill us. We have run after the illusions of our own making – the false dreams and the promise of fortune.
Now we must change course. We must leave behind the “gods of gold and silver” and replace them with truth.
The coronavirus is the trigger for the collapse of the world of falsehoods – the world of truth lies within us. Its holistic melody yearning to break free. Are we ready to step forward and reveal it?
In these moments when the darkness seems so deep we must realize that this is where G-D is. Sure when the high is there – he is there, but he is here now with us at our moment of need. Our purpose here is to recognize the G-dliness in our world no matter how far away it appears to be. That was the meaning behind leaving Mitzrayim and that is the reason why we are meant to spend so long in this final exile.