On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 32

After all these words of truth on the many different categories understandable to any beginner who has started to taste the words of the Living G_d (each according to his intellect, knowledge and understanding and according to how much he has accustomed himself in the service of the heart[1] from his youth), each person should recognize and discover his own place and level. He should discern all the categories of errors he has fallen into. If he is pure of soul and his heart is truly directed toward HaShem, he should always be diligent to keep his mind’s eye properly opened concerning this, so as not to delude himself.

For it appears that the chief cause of the present state of ruin – this being that the light of Torah and the service of the heart is diminished even amongst those who seek and desire closeness to G_d, is only due to delusion; that each person deludes himself. This happens because he is lax and does not put his whole heart into it to the fullest extent. He only desires closeness from afar, but his heart is not with him. Concerning this the verse states, “Why does a fool have money in his hand to acquire wisdom, but his heart is absent?”[2]

The important thing is to set one’s heart properly to the ultimate truth of the words of the Living G_d. This is what he should devote his soul and his heart to all the days of his life. Why should a person infect his soul with emptiness and falsehood, thus distancing himself from G_d, rather than coming closer, heaven forbid? (Do not fool yourself!) As well known, the main cause for the admixture of good and evil is self-delusion etc.

      Truth be told, all this applies specifically to those who truly seek and desire closeness to G_d. However, this is not found amongst most of our Chassidic brotherhood. Therefore, I am compelled to approach them with open rebuke that is motivated by hidden and revealed love. My purpose is to reveal and to teach each one about his malady and affliction. Though a person’s soul may weep in secret and he may truly grieve over it, nonetheless, pride and attachment to self-love covers over everything, to the point that he will be incapable of seeing any faults in himself at all, as known that all of a person’s ways are pure and upright in his own eyes. For such a person there is no hope of correction etc.

Now, actually, the error of self-delusion, due only to ignorance, is not the main problem. Rather, the problem comes mainly because one’s heart is generally discouraged from occupying himself and desiring matters of Chassidus.

For the most part, those who are completely preoccupied with business affairs, with all the Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chaya and Yechidah of their natural souls; if occasionally, at certain periods or during the time of prayer, their spirit revives in them, they will be incapable of bearing the laborious yoke of depth of concentration in their mind on the subject of G_d’s imminence or transcendence, not in a general way and certainly not in a way of particulars, to the point of having the above mentioned “Good Thought”. At most, it will be in the category of a “Dispassionate Thought” from a very great distance, in which the matter does not affect him altogether. All this is well known to anyone who acknowledges the truth and does not wish to delude himself, heaven forbid.

Now, the resolve that results from this is extremely dispassionate. Therefore, its positive effect is only temporary; that is, to learn Torah for only a short while after his prayers. Furthermore, within an hour or two, even this low level of commitment vanishes and becomes as if it never was. Instead, he occupies himself in his business and other physical needs with the aspect of the Yechidah of his natural soul, as if they are matters that literally touch his soul to the core and are the apple of his eye, similar to the aspect of, “All my bones shall declare, ‘HaShem who is like You’”[3] mentioned above in regard to service of HaShem.

Even when he hears or sees the words of the Living G_d, he hears and sees them from a great distance, and when he understands them well, he merely acknowledges them etc. He soon forgets it all as if it never was, like the verse, “You cast your eyes upon it and it is not, for it grows wings and soars to the heavens like an eagle.”[4] This cannot be considered to be a state of a “listening ear” at all.

However, his essential, natural Jewishness actually remains intact within him. This is the aspect of the Nefesh of the Divine soul, which is the matter of desisting from evil and doing good, with, at least, a residue of his original dispassionate resolve. But here too, there is great laxity. He will readily find leniencies for himself as far as fulfilling his religious obligations, because of all kinds of hindrances,such as the materiality of the body, business worries and the fact that the essence of his natural soul is drawn to matters of this world.

Finally, he descends to the level of an inanimate object, which is called, “The dulling of the brain”. At this stage he does not even hear from afar, so that he loses all talent to understand or absorb matters of G_dliness in his mind altogether. This is so much so, that questioning the benefit of Chassidus no longer applies to him, because he is no longer within the category of hearing altogether. All this is known to anyone who acknowledges the truth.

[1] Prayer is called, “the service of the heart”.

[2] Proverbs 17:16

[3] Psalms 35:10

[4] Proverbs 23:5

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