On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 40

The highest level of this category are seasoned Chassidim that have received every bitter taste into their very souls with regard to the words of the Living G_d. Furthermore, they have no intention of attaining any level in intellectual excitement or benefitting themselves whatsoever. On the contrary, all they wish is closeness to G_d, in and of itself. When they contemplate G-dliness, to its depth and to its breadth, it is only to reach ultimate Truth (totally without delusions). This is called “Divine Delight” with true intent. Here HaShem dwells in each person according to the purity of the depth of his intent for G-dliness (Truly profound absorption).

The indicator for this is that afterwards one comes to true humility (Nothingness. He essentially is a nothing; not that he makes himself into a nothing by considering his unworthiness etc.) Therefore, under no circumstances is he affected by insults nor does he notice them altogether. This is because he truly is despicable and loathsome in his own eyes, because he realizes that, in and of himself, he has nothing. This is the opposite of self-aggrandizement (However, since, after all, he does have a body, he will therefore be somewhat affected by simple embarrassments. As known, this does not at all contradict this matter).

Here too, there are many different modes that are distinct from each other depending on how deeply humble one is, for there are those who lessen their self-importance by only imagining themselves to be truly humble etc. If each person takes care to know and examine himself, he will discover his personal shortcomings, on condition that he desires to view himself honestly, without excusing himself out of self love (deluding himself).

Another reliable indicator of true non-self-awareness and delight in G-dliness with the above mentioned intent (great pleasure) is the aspect of how drawn one’s soul is to closeness to G_d throughout the day, specifically through action. Such a person will disdain the vanities of the world (of going about empty-headed and empty-hearted), so that he will be greatly distressed about wasting time in idle chatter and hilarity, which are so common nowadays. (He will constantly be very attached and attracted to G_dliness through deep thought or to the study of the revealed and hidden levels of Torah in speech and the like).

Yet another indicator is how little importance he places on the pleasures of this world, such as honor, fine clothes, good food or other similar coarse lusts or animalistic behaviors. (He realizes that the world is not the ultimate purpose in life.) (As the Zohar expresses it, “He casts the matters of this world behind his shoulders etc.) (For him, the ultimate purpose of life is closeness to G-d in the light of the inner and external levels of Torah.) Even in his business dealings he is not in a rush to amass wealth, but rather only to meet his needs. He does not invest the whole depth of his heart into his business dealings, so that it is equal to him whether a business deal is culminated or not. Rather, “he casts his burden upon HaShem”,[1] (as will be explained in a special tract on the matter of how one should be occupied in earning a livelihood etc.)

The opposite is true of a person who is superficial in the above mentioned intention. As soon as he concludes his contemplations and involves himself in business matters, he arrives at the very opposite. Thus, he invests himself into his business dealings, to the same extent as he did to his contemplations and more, with absolute and deep devotionwith all his soul. Because of this, when he later returns to reawaken his devotion to G_d, it is very remote for him and he has to expend great effort to have a sense of closeness etc.

It is pointless to address the subject [of the previous paragraphs] at length because it is a rare level and not commonly found. Even amongst people that could have been worthy of it, many have fallen due to several reasons and causes; whether it is because their hearts are greatly immersed in preoccupation with earning a livelihood, reaching the very depth of their souls until it causes decay in everything,[2] to the point that, “Their souls abhor all manner of nourishment.”[3] In other words, they become so distant from matters of G_dliness that they no longer have the talent of a “listening ear.”

Or whether it is because of extreme arrogance and throwing off the yoke,until the illumination of Divine light turns to darkness. This happens because they greatly sense their own self-importance which, amongst the expositors of Chassidus who pretend to be wise, is caused by the desire to be honored as “Rabbi”.

Or it could be that from the very outset an admixture of the evil called “fraud” and “arrogance” motivated them to delve into matters of Torah and Chassidus, so that from the very beginning their inner drive was only to become “Great”.

This evil sickness is hidden and concealed in many layers of concealment, even amongst those who seem to be clothed in many beautiful garments of pious conduct before the eyes of man. However, HaShem peers into the heart and one’s end proves his beginning. When he finally falls, he reverts to what he truly is. This is clearly known to any thinking person and is tried and tested in the case of people who rose and then fell to the lowest, unspeakable depths. This is sufficient for those of understanding.

(It can also be due to falling into carnal cravings that completely dull the heart and mind, until one becomes so coarse that his heart becomes as unfeeling as a rock towards matters of G-dliness.)

Another cause may be natural impudence. Such people are called, “the belligerent of the generation” (they feel very powerful in themselves). This is the very opposite of non-self-awareness. Therefore, from the outset, such a person was never moved by G_dliness (because he feels totally self-reliant), and, as known, whoever has never been moved or has never experienced true non-self-awareness, can never come close to G_d with true closeness.

His end proves this. He is left empty of everything but his brazen impudence, like a king without a crown,[4] until all he can do is attack and despise everything, including others etc. (This is the meaning of the statement in Zohar, Parashat Shelach[5], on the verse, “a tested stone”,[6] that when the righteous suffer, the Divine light rests upon them, whereas when the opposite kind of people suffer, they revile and blaspheme G-d etc.) How one responds to suffering is the true test of the complete authenticity of the above mentioned matter. This is sufficient for those of understanding.

As, known, this kind of person is very commonly found. It is therefore necessary to diligently guard against them from the very beginning of their rise, so that they will not harm others etc. He who guards his soul will stay far from them.

[1] Psalms 55:23

[2] Chullin 64b

[3] Psalms 107:18

[4] Sanhedrin 99b and 105a

[5] Zohar 168a

[6] Isaiah 28:15

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