Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:March 26, 2014
The kabbalists say that man was created on the sixth day of Creation, after all the animals were created. Why? Because the Creator wants us to remember that we have the choice to either be elevated above all of Creation when we are growing spiritually and revealing our Light, or to be lower than a mosquito when we choose not to grow spiritually or reveal our Light.
The Zohar says when Adam was created he filled the entire world. But when he fell spiritually, after taking part in the lashon hara – negative, or evil, speech - of the snake and went after his Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, the Creator shrunk him down to the size that we are now. Spiritually, this means that we can be either great or we can be diminished. How is it decided? Rav Ashlag shares an important and powerful lesson: how we view ourselves is who we are.
All too often we allow ourselves to do small negative actions while at the same time we are very careful not to allow ourselves to do big negative actions. Rav Ashlag says this happens because on some level we don’t view ourselves as being that important; that because we think we are not that important – that we are not Moses or Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai - we believe that we only need take care of not doing the big negative actions like stealing or hurting anyone, but it doesn’t much matter if we do the small ones.
So, if this is how we live our lives, if this is how we view ourselves, then this is who we are. Therefore, what this means in the long run is that when we want to pray for another person or we want to bring healing for another person, the Creator will say, “One second, how powerful are you? Remember yesterday when you did that little thing and you said it wasn’t a big deal because you are not Moses? Well, then today when you come and try to bring healing to this other person, remember, you are not Moses, you are not that powerful.”
Hopefully, because of this teaching – coming to know how important and powerful we are - we will make a big switch in consciousness and begin understanding that we cannot even do little negative actions. When we view ourselves in this way and we live our life in this way, then tomorrow when we come before the Creator to bring healing for another person, the Creator will say, “Well, if you are an important person (indicated by how we view ourselves) then you’re powerful and strong enough to bring this Light into the world.” Because how we view ourselves, how we allow ourselves to act and live our lives, is who we are.
When we participate in Shabbat and come to hear the Torah reading, our thought needs to be that every word we say and every connection we make is important, because we are important, not in any egotistical, silly way, but in the truest way. When we grow this appreciation of ourselves, we become this person; there is no dichotomy between how we view ourselves and who we are. How we view ourselves, how we allow ourselves to act both positively and negatively, is who we are. Our souls are revealing a tremendous amount of Light in this world. When we view ourselves in this way, this is who we are, and then, when we need to bring Light and assistance to another person or simply bring Light to ourselves, we will have the power to do so.
If, on the other hand, we say to ourselves, “I’ll do the big things. I’ll make the big connections. I’ll make sure I don’t harm anybody in any big way, but with regards to the little things, that’s for people greater than I,” then that is who we are. We make ourselves insignificant with this consciousness, and when we want to bring Light, we will not have the power because we have told ourselves we are not important and, as such, have made ourselves insignificant.
This is one of the most significant teachings from Rav Ashlag, which hopefully influences both our positive and negative actions. We cannot allow ourselves to be anything but particular in our spiritual work, because what we do is important. We need to be careful of the small, negative actions, because we are important in the truest sense. We are significant.
When we live and view ourselves as being significant, we have power and can bring the Light when we need it. How we see ourselves, and how we allow ourselves to act with the small things, not in the big things, is who we are, how powerful we are, and what we can do in this world.