Chapter 29: A Remedy for a heart of stone & spiritual insensitivity
1. The longer the contemplation the more the animal soul is crushed, and the G-dly soul is revealed:
- The longer that one contemplates on the above matters in order to break his heart both in his mind and through reading books on the subject, the more he is able to despise and degrades the side of impurity and bring it down from its state of haughtiness.
- Doing so removes the darkness and concealment of his G-dly soul which comes due to his animal soul.
2. Shouting and screaming at one’s animal soul to crush it:
- As the sages suggested, in addition to the above contemplation and research from books, one should also scream and shout at his animal soul, which refers to his evil inclination, in a loud voice, in order to crush it and humble it.
- How to admonish the evil inclination: One should scream and admonish his animal soul in his mind by telling it that it is truly evil and wicked, [a selfish narcissist, a gluttonous and lust filled animal] etc. etc. He should tell his animal soul, “For how long will you continue to conceal the light of G-d from me? G-d is found everywhere, including right here, and you conceal this existence from me. You however continue to conceal this fact and deny the truth which is clearly visible.”
3. The benefit of the above admonishing and crushing of the animal soul:
- The above admonishing of the evil inclination will help remove the concealment of the animal soul from the G-dly soul and allow it to experience G-d in a real way which is similar to sight.
- Experiencing G-d in a way of sight is the major root of all one’s divine service, [and hence the above exercise to accomplish this is of much importance].
4. How crushing the animal soul causes the G-dly soul to once again experience G-d:
- Evil is like darkness and has no true substance: The reason that shouting and crushing the animal soul has ability to then reveal the G-dly soul and have it experience G-d is because the side of evil really does not have any substance to it and is similar to darkness which is simply a lack of light and has no intrinsic substance of its own.
- The moment one shines light the darkness disappears: Now, just as regarding light, the moment when turns the light on in the room the darkness is banished, so too regarding evil the moment when shines the light of good the darkness disappears.
- How can one say that evil has no substance if it gives vitality to the entire physical world? In truth, the side of evil contains much energy and power as it gives vitality to all living creatures including those from the complete side of evil, including impure animals and Gentiles. [Accordingly, how can one say that evil has no substance?]
- The energy and life force of evil derives from holiness: [The answer to the above is that] in truth evil contains no intrinsic energy of its own and all of its energy and vitality comes from the side of holiness. Accordingly, it becomes completely nullified in the face of holiness, which is a source of energy, just as darkness becomes nullified once physical light appears.
- If so, then how can it conceal the G-dly soul-G-d gives the animal soul power to overcome the G-dly soul? [According to the above it is not understood how the animal soul at all has the power to conceal the G-dly soul and prevented from experiencing G-dliness if we just stated above that on the contrary it becomes completely nullified in face of G-dliness and light, and is not the G-dly soul G-dliness and light? However, in truth the answer is] that regarding the G-dly soul specifically G-d made an exception and allow the animal soul to conceal it and not be banished in its presence, in order to arouse man to strengthen himself to overcome it, and crush it on his own by humbling himself and destroying his pride.
- If so, then how can crushing it remove its G-d-given power of concealment-Crushing one’s animal soul causes G-d to remove its power to conceal the G-dly soul: [Although G-d himself gives the power to the animal soul to conceal the G-dly soul, and therefore technically this power should remain and the concealment should remain even after one crushes the animal soul, the reason it does not remain is because] when man crushes his own personal animal soul, this causes an arousal above in heaven for G-d to likewise crush and lower the side of evil, and remove the permission he gave to the animal soul to conceal and overcome the holiness of the G-dly soul, and once it’s permission to overpower the G-dly soul is removed as a result of one crushing it, then it returns to its natural state and is nullified and cast away just as darkness is casted in face of physical light.
5. A source for the above concept from the sin of the Meraglim, and the Jewish resolve and faith expressed after G-d admonished them:
- How can a complete lack of faith be followed by a complete and pure faith in G-d? A proof for the above concept that crushing the animal soul then in turn automatically reveals the G-dly soul can be found by the episode which discusses the sin of the Meraglim. In the beginning it says that the Jewish people exclaimed disbelief in G-d’s ability to conquer the land of Israel, and hence did not want to go up to Israel at all. Immediately afterwards, however, it says that they themselves decided to go up and conquer Israel on their own even though they did not receive permission from Moses to do so. It does not make any sense as to why they suddenly changed their beliefs regarding G-d’s ability to conquer the land. Nothing happened in between, such as a miracle to prove G-d’s ability, and the only thing that happened in between is that Moses told them that they would be punished by G-d for their lack of faith and that now they would not enter the land after all. How would this punishment by G-d and His promise not to bring them into the land restore their faith in Him that He can now conquer it?
- The explanation: The explanation to the above question is as follows: The Jewish people themselves are pure believers in G-d and his infinite capabilities, however, the side of evil which is invested in their bodies arrogantly concealed over this belief and faith and hence caused them to express disbelief in G-d’s ability to conquer Israel. However, the moment the G-d admonished them and shouted at them for being such an evil nation, and promised to have them die in the desert, then these somber and morbid words because their hearts to become crushed, and automatically this caused the side of evil to lose its power to conceal the G-dly soul, and hence the natural and intrinsic faith that the Jewish people have in G-d returned to their consciousness.
6. A lesson regarding how to deal with questions on faith in G-d:
- The questions on faith in G-d derive from the side of evil: From the above story with the Meraglim every Jew can learn a lesson that if he has thoughts of heresy and questions regarding his faith in G-d, in truth of these thoughts are simply coming from the side of evil which is overpowering is natural and instinctive faith.
7. Even the side of evil has no lack of faith in G-d:
- Even the side of evil does not have any questions in its faith in G-d, and it was simply given permission to play devil’s advocate, and confuse man below with false arguments and questions, in order to increase man’s reward.
- The side of evil is like a harlot hired by the king: This is similar to a harlot who was appointed by the king to try and seduce his son with false claims, in order to increase the sons valuing greatness in the eyes of the king, as part of the Zohar.
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