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Creating a Positive Environment for Our Soul

Topic: Well Being | Posted:May 6, 2015

The Talmud, in discussing the portion Behar, says that King David says, "When I wake up in the morning, I have a desire to go to different places and do different things, and my feet drag me to study, drag me to do the spiritual work." What does this mean?

Our souls, for most of us, want to leave the body. Why? Because the body is the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, whereas the soul is the totality of the Light of the Creator, the Desire to Share. As such, there are not two more opposite forces in this world than the body and soul. The soul literally, every second, wants to jump out of the body.

Therefore, King David knew that the only way he could make sure he could do everything he needed to do in his life was to create a proper environment whereby the soul desires to stay within the body. So because King David, with his consciousness and spiritual work, was able to create, every day, the desire for his soul to stay within his body, he was able to accomplish the purpose for which he came into this world.

So how does the soul stay in the body? When it wants to leave, the Light of the Creator basically pushes it back in. It's a basic understanding that most people, as long as our life is based on the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, create an environment within which the soul does not want to stay. But, to enable our process of transformation and correction, the Creator forces our soul to stay within the body for at least a certain amount of time.

Before man fell, the soul wanted to be in the body. If the body consciousness is of the Desire to Share, then the soul wants to be there. When the Creator said to Adam, "If you connect to the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil…" which meant bringing into your body the consciousness of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, “…you will die,” it wasn't a punishment, but a reality. Adam was creating an environment within which the soul does not want to stay any longer.

But the soul is in pain, almost constant pain, so much so, the kabbalists say, that it wants ultimate death. Death is when the soul tells the Creator, "I just can't take it anymore." Sometimes it's an accumulation of 70 years of pain for the soul, sometimes it could be a few great moments of Desire to Receive for the Self Alone. But at a certain point, the soul says to the Creator, "I just can't take this environment anymore," and the soul leaves the body.

It says that the Shechinah, the Light of the Creator, comes to support somebody who is sick. And we know that when you go to visit somebody who is ill, you should not simply sit on the bed, or even on a chair, but rather you should cover yourself, because the Light of the Creator is more pronounced and present on the head of a person who is sick.

But, why does the Light of the Creator become more pronounced on somebody who is sick? Because sickness, and really any state of discomfort, is a manifestation of what we have created for our soul within our body. On the extreme side, if a person is 24 hours a day acting in the way of the Desire to Share, then the soul will stay there forever. Why do the righteous achieve a state of Removal of Death Forever? Because the soul says, "I don't want to go anywhere, this is the best place to be, every moment of every day sharing and connecting to the Light of the Creator… I want to stay here.”

However, on the opposite side, when a person is completely of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, the soul says to the Creator, "Just take me out of here as soon as possible." Most of us are somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. And now we understand that any time there is discomfort or sickness, it is simply a state by which the soul has said to the Creator, "I just can't, it's too much,” too much accumulation of actions of Desire to Receive for the Self Alone.

When the soul at a certain point says, "This is way too much for me," and it starts to leave a little bit, it creates sickness and discomfort. It is what creates any type of upheaval that the individual feels. To correct this, therefore, it says that when a person is sick, the Light of the Creator comes to the head of the person to see if it can talk the soul back down into the body.

There is a section of the Talmud that I've studied and heard many times, but now, hopefully, it has a new depth of meaning. It says that if a person has a headache, he should study or do spiritual work, and as it says in Proverbs, the Light of the study or the spiritual work helps the mind or the head. Therefore, if a person's throat is bothering him, he should study and do spiritual work, and the Light within the study, within the spiritual work, can heal the throat. If a person is feeling sick in the stomach, he should do the spiritual work, he should study, because as it says, the Light within the study, within the spiritual work, can bring healing to the stomach. If a person is sick in his entire body, he should do the study and do the spiritual work, and the Light within the study and the spiritual work can bring healing to his entire body, and so on.

So, if an individual finds himself in pain, he has to realize, first, why it's happening. It's happening because he has created an uncomfortable environment for his soul to reside in. Therefore, he is doing this study or this spiritual work because he needs to create a little bit more comfort for his soul within his body.

This does not mean, of course, that we do not use medicine, but the kabbalists teach that we have to always realize that the root cause of any discomfort, of any disease, is the fact that we have created an uncomfortable environment for our soul. We use the physical healing as well, but the real healing comes when you realize that the reason there is this disease or discomfort is because you have not created the proper environment for your soul to want to stay in.

Therefore, one important teaching of this Shabbat is the understanding that if you want to accomplish the purpose for which you came to this world, you have to have the complete support of your soul. Most of us, unfortunately, don't. And the reason why most of us don't is because, if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that over our lifetime we have created a not-so-positive environment for our soul, and so while it's still there - thank goodness – it is not in its complete force. Because of this, we have to not only do our spiritual work, but do it with this specific consciousness, "I am connecting now, I am doing the spiritual work now, because I need to create a better environment for my soul within my body, and with that better environment, my soul can reveal itself more completely.” And when the soul feels comfortable within the body, you have the ability to completely reveal its Light.

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