Everything physical comes densely packaged. In our realm,even energy follows this rule.
It needs to be "generated" to be formed, Which means, opened up and released. Upon release, it's ready to be "conducted". Spiritual energy is already loose and free. It needs no "generating", only "conducting". Just tune in and be a conduit for the flow. ~ O ~
We are now in the Jewish month of Elul, a month designated for spiritual self improvement and growth in preparation for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I just encountered a unique observation about myself, which embodies for me most of my personal Elul experience for this season.
In the midst of studying Torah with a study partner, we conversed on the topic of spiritual struggles and it simply dawned on me that a person needs to identify and identify with his/her personal holy cravings. Just as a person has unhealthy cravings, so too s/he has holy ones as well. There’s no negative without at least an equal positive and cravings are no exception to this pervasive pattern.
I am sure that everyone has a unique set of holy cravings. For example, high on my long list includes immersion in the study of the Matok M’Dvash version of the Zohar and the Rabbi Shalom Ber of Lubavitch discourse series for the Jewish year 5659. Also included, is teaching Torah, initiating fresh Torah insights, protracted meditation, heartfelt prayer, writing deeply and helping people in need.
What I discovered about myself is that I unconsciously practiced a technique to undermine my own draw to unhealthy cravings by simply identifying more intensely with my holy cravings. Even if it’s ideal to avoid all cravings, it’s sometimes difficult to pull oneself entirely away from their allure. However, one might still be free to choose which set of cravings to identify with.
This can be compared to a hungry person sitting in a restaurant. It’s true that s/he will most likely eat and is fully expected to. Still, s/he does not necessarily need to choose an unhealthy dish, when there’s a vast selection of healthy ones.
I am extremely thankful to the Creator for bringing to conscious awareness what I was unconsciously doing. Firstly, it positively impacts my self image. When I was undergoing this process subconsciously, essentially I thought of myself as a “sinner” who just got a “lucky break” and was simply distracted from pursuing temptation by unexpected Divine intervention. Now, I see myself as a good person who's on the path of identifying with his inner goodness and is open to the lure of the holy. What a difference!
Secondly, as long as the process was subconscious, there was not able to wield it as freely. I felt like Benjamin Franklin who had to await a rain storm for lightening to fill his leyden jars with the electricity to a high capacity. He could not generate anything close to that level on his own. Similarly, I had to passively await a flow of vaguely identified holiness to offset the unhealthy cravings I squirmed in. Now, I can make a powerful choice to strongly identify with my better self. I want to make this self my homebase and build on it even further. Now I know that I can choose to live inside my own spiritual home built from the bricks and mortar of holy cravings.
It’s lovely to just “be” in the moment. Speaking of “be”, I think of the letter “b” which is ב in Hebrew, the very first letter of our Torah. The letter ב means “home”. This letter comes in two forms, with a dot floating in the center or without one; symbolizing a “home” whether inhabited or uninhabited.
The simple reason why the Torah begins with ב is to teach us that the Torah is about making a “home” ~ a “home” for people ~ a “home” for Divine Lights ~ a “home” for the Divine Presence. Once a “home” is established, we can move towards the messianic book of the Torah which begins with the letter א, the first letter of the Torah’s alphabet and the first letter of the Hebrew word for “light”, “Ohr” ~ אור.
Normally, one may think of higher spiritual lights, in a state of unfettered freedom, as the ideal “be” environment. Here, deep serenity is imagined to prevail. Here, the Creator’s Oneness illuminates, binding opposites and resolving paradox by dissolving limitation. However, this is only true for those already dwelling on those levels, not for the denizens of lower realms looking up at lights too high for their own level. The reason peace and bliss exists on those higher levels is because they too have “homes”, just ones which for them are level appropriate. Their “homes” are unbroken, spiritual domains where domestic harmony prevails. Any discussion of domestic disharmony reported in the Zohar is not about those higher levels themselves. It’s about their relationship with us. They show us a face of disharmony when we are unworthy. We don’t connect the cosmic couple. They are already connected. We connect their connection to us.
In a sense even the Creator Himself has a “home”. As Ultimate Oneness, He’s at once the Ultimate Cosmic Home and its Sole Inhabitant. By Him, both are Seamlessly One and the same ~ with no distinction between them. Being at once, Home and Inhabitant must be the ultimate frictionless state; so gentle, so settled, so serene ~ so blissful. So ב or“home”is literally to “b” or “be”.
We Jews have a tradition that the Creator granted Moses his prophecy mainly for the sake of teaching the people. Like Moses, you never know for whose sake you were taught what you were taught. So it's wise to be generous with teaching others. For all you know, you might be just the agent designed to pass on a message to someone who can make better use of it than yourself. Still, don't feel dejected. Even if it seems like you were only intended as the straw for someone else's drink, with straws some drops always adhere to the walls. So, obviously some of the message was intended for you as well.