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The Process is the Purpose

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:October 21, 2015

It says the Creator comes to Abraham and tells him, Lech Lecha - Go from where you are, from your home, to a location I’ll tell you later. Don’t worry which direction you should go, don’t worry about where you are going; just go.

Why didn’t the Creator tell Abraham where he was going? One of the commentators, the Matnot Kehuna, says something beautiful. He says that if the Creator told Abraham directly to go to the Land of Israel, Abraham would know how to get there, and, as such, be able to get there in however long that process takes. But if the Creator doesn’t tell Abraham where he needs to go, then Abraham is going to get lost.

God comes to Abraham and tells him I want you to go, but I’m not going to tell you where; decide on your own. So, Abraham wakes up and starts walking east, then the next day, walking north, so he’s going in all kinds of circles, waiting for something to be revealed to him. And the Matnot Kehuna explains that it is this time, the time when Abraham got lost, that the Creator wanted him to have the merit for. If the Creator would have told him to go to the Land of Ca’anan, the Land of Israel, he would have only gone, let’s say, 100 miles. But because Abraham doesn’t know where to go, today he’ll travel 30 miles north, tomorrow 30 miles west, then the next day 40 miles east, and he will have ended up travelling 1000 miles for a trip of 100 miles… and getting the Light of all those thousand miles that he traveled, instead of just the smaller amount of Light for the 100 miles he would have traveled if he had known where he was going and how to get there.

From this we learn an amazing lesson.

Very often in our lives, we like to have goals, and whenever things happen to disturb the process we think is going to bring us to our goals, we get upset. Because in our mind, where we want to go and what we want to manifest is what’s important, and we want to get there through what we think is the shortest and quickest process. We think that the goals we have made for ourselves are our purpose in this world, but the Creator is telling Abraham, and this is a lesson for every single one of us, that the goal of our life actually is the process - the process that leads us in wrong directions, the process that takes us away from where we think we need to go.

We think we know what the goal is, which is ridiculous, because we actually have no idea what the goal is. Yes, it’s important to make certain goals for ourselves so we have some sort of direction, just like Abraham did. But the real purpose of life is the process he went through, and we go through.

The commentators say an amazing thing. Abraham decided, as the Zohar tells us, that he wanted to go to the Land of Israel. He had the ability to see the energy in different countries, and he, on his own, came to the conclusion that to manifest his potential, his goal needs to be to go to the Land of Israel, where he’ll be able to reveal his potential. As such, Abraham decides where he’s going, and then the Creator comes to him and tells him to start traveling. But the Creator is not telling him where to travel, so Abraham doesn’t know anymore. His original plan was to go directly to Israel, but now the Creator is telling him to start traveling around. If the purpose of the Creator’s revelation to Abraham was to get him to Israel, then there was no purpose for the revelation, because Abraham had already decided that he was going to Israel. The purpose of the revelation was to lengthen the process. Why?

It is an important lesson. If we can see the goal from where we are today then it’s not the goal, because our goal, or our next level, is not something we can comprehend today. It is the change that we are going to go through in the process that prepares us to be able to receive our next level. If Abraham traveled from where he was directly to the Land of Israel, he would never have manifested his connection to a higher level of consciousness, a higher level of connection to the Light of the Creator.

We have to understand that if we want to get to a level beyond where we are now, it means that we can’t comprehend it today. Yes, we make some goals for ourselves, which are important in our own mind, but we need to realize that there is no way that we can really see where we need to get. If we begin the process, are in the process, and realize that the purpose is the process and not the goals we have set for ourselves, it changes everything.

If Abraham had not gone through the whole circle from where he was to ultimately reaching the Land of Israel, he would never have been able to receive that elevation of connection, that elevation of consciousness. Abraham had decided, and knew spiritually, that he had to get to the Land of Israel, because that was where his next level was going to be. And the Creator comes to him and says, essentially, “No. You have to go into a process. The purpose of your life is the process that will bring you transformation. And only as you go through that process will you ultimately be able to go to your next level. Your next level is something you can’t see today. It’s something you can’t comprehend today.” Therefore, the only thing we can know for sure is that we need the process, and we should enjoy the process no matter where it takes us, because the process is the purpose. Not the goal.

The Creator comes to Abraham who has already decided on his goal, and tells him to go somewhere else, because by going in the way he thought he should go, he would not be able to manifest the purpose for which he came to this world, which is what we call the Land of Israel, a higher level of connection to the Light of the Creator, a level which nobody had previously achieved. It is only when the Creator tells us to go to a place that we don’t know, go to, as the kabbalists call it, a place of lack of certainty, when the process is difficult and brings lack of clarity, to go through a process that seems to be going away from our goal, and we do it, that we can manifest the potential of our soul.

On Shabbat Lech Lecha, the Creator gives Abraham, and us, a great revelation and lesson: the process is the purpose. There is no way that we can see our next level from where we are now, and because of it, the only thing we can know for certain is that we need a process. Because only by going through the process - the difficult process, the dark process, the process with lack of clarity - will we be brought to our ultimate purpose.

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