Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Are you one of those, afraid to say you believe in G-d?

So many people talk about Mother Nature, the force out there, call it whatever you want…. What are they talking about? Are these people ascribing power to the unknown, blindly?

Believe there is a solution to every problem, and if you think positive it will be positive. Last time I checked, people are dying left and right suddenly, unexpected, in accidents illnesses etc. They haven’t seen any answers to, their problems. People in hospital beds, thinking all the positive in the world and dying anyway.

You ever hear of statistics and probabilities? When was the last time anyone was ready to throw a thousand dollars at a company stock on the basis of, thinking  positive? If 75% of the times chances are to the negative, you really have to be blind to think totally positive.

Why is it people are so afraid to use the word, G-d? The moment G-d is introduced, “you must be a religious fanatic. Some throw back or something.” The last time I heard the news, people were killing each other for life insurance policies, robbing stores for its money,  or just plain going nuts and going on killing rages because of negative influences stemming from horror movies and/or drugs.

Maybe the throw back and problem isn’t G-d after all? Perhaps what’s causing some in our society to be living like cave men, the culprits are, money, drugs, and horror movies?

According to the latest polls 90 % of Americans believe in G-d. So why are we so afraid to say so, in our schools and in public and to our friends?

Once a King was speaking to his advisor about the possibility of a G-d. By mistake he tipped over the ink wells on the table in front of him and they spilled on his royal clothes and on the table in front of him. The king excused himself to change his clothes. The advisor quickly cleaned up the mess on the table and came up with a brilliant idea.

As an accomplished artist he drew in the place of the ink mess a beautiful picture of the gorgeous landscape as seen  through the windows of the palace. When the king came back he asked the advisor, what happened on the table, where did the beautiful picture come from? The advisor told the king that the ink that spilled over, formed itself into the sophisticated picture.

The king told the advisor to stop pulling his leg. It is impossible that inanimate ink could form itself into exact precise locations and intelligently make itself. “Only someone with a great mind and talent could draw such a beautiful portrayal of my garden” said the king.

The advisor then told the king, “Why should anyone be thinking differently when it comes to the beautiful landscape of the huge universe in all its precision and beauty?”

No one would ever believe a novel of a thousand pages that keeps every reader in suspense from page one to the very last paragraph and includes so much wisdom came together just randomly by all the letters falling into place. Why then should we think the universe with infinitely so many more components and so much more complex and complicated than the most difficult text book, happened randomly?

All this is besides the personal testimony of countless otherwise intelligent scholars and sages over the generations who have personally experienced and communicated with what they have clearly said, was the One and Only, G-d.

People hesitate to use G-d because, if there is a G-d, we must be beholden to Him, and for some people that’s pretty scary. Truth is, when viewed properly, the thought and acceptance in our heart that there is a G-d is extremely comforting.  Using every opportunity to strengthen our relationship with G-d is most fulfilling and gratifying.

More next week.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to get anyone into a state of tranquility and self confidence.

The following is a quote from one of the great mystics. “Thoughts and the ability to visualize are incredibly powerful. As if it were convincing and lifelike, these faculties will place a person anywhere. At that moment the person is totally elevated from the nonsense and trivia of the earthly reality. His awareness, his consciousness, his aspirations travel away. His thoughts are dancing, elevated in the realm of the spirit and soul, and his flesh is detached and perhaps even estranged from him...”

It is possible for a person to physically be in one place, an unpleasant place, and be completely and totally unaffected, through his thoughts that put him in a place of peace and tranquility.

”The Baal Shem Tov said, “Where a person’s thoughts are, that is where the person (truly) is. “ In the seminal book on mysticism the Zohar, it says. “The Human existence - is thought”.  It is through the channel of one’s thoughts, at the top of one’s form, the soul energy of a person, the quality of his life and his feelings are drawn and then shine in one’s body.  The desire for something and the resolve and determination inside a person must work with and through ones thoughts.

Strength and weakness in a person’s life are all the result of ones thoughts. Thought is compared sometimes to a funnel. In the same way that through a funnel water is given shape and  is directed ,  it is through the conduit of thought that the full power or weakness  of the soul will  make its’ way into a person’s  actual body.

Thoughts that accentuate optimism, faith in G-d and happy beliefs will shape and express the soul accordingly. Negative thoughts give shape to the soul and with that everything about the person to reduce itself to that undesirable pattern. The influence of good thoughts on the soul is far greater and deeper than speech and action, because of its closeness and constant attachment with the soul.

G-dly words and inspiration, for example the book of Psalms, are the ultimate in good and positive thoughts of wisdom and light. They are particularly beneficial to influence, mold, and direct the soul and one’s life for the good.

When a person thinks G-dly thoughts, which is most compatible with the spark of G-d within, they encompass and synergize with the soul and this will trigger from ones essence and depth the full shine and infinite light that knows no bounds. This will allow the soul, a spark of G-d, to bring forth the strongest of life itself and makes any person in whatever circumstances they are in feel both peaceful and at the zenith of personal confidence.

Thoughts that are the opposite of Holiness and G-dliness will cause tremendous hurt to a person, by going against the nature of one’s own soul and strangling the soul. This choice, to think non-worthy, negative thoughts places a perimeter on the soul and reduces the soul of its light in the body which results in darkness and uncertainty.

The positive influence of a good thought, finer speech and actions is much greater on the soul than a bad one. “Greater is the measure of goodness over the measure of punishment.” A small positive light will chase away much darkness from a large dark room. Positive, inspiring thoughts are more powerful than the darkness caused by negative thoughts.

The more a person accustoms and trains oneself to think positive thoughts, the more we habituate our souls to flow in a positive direction which brings about great positive results.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Can a person have his cake and eat it too.

Can someone drive a Rolls Royce and also be spiritual?


Anybody who is somebody, wants more of a spiritual connection in life. Some of us are not sure why that is so but the desire is there. For some they aren’t even sure what spiritual means. To some, spiritual means nonphysical, transcendent. To others, spiritual could mean a whole range from psychic to mystical to divine.

For the sake of our conversation, spiritual means divine and G-dly.

When G-d revealed himself to the Israelites at Mt Sinai the verse says, “And G-d descended over Mt Sinai...” The mystics tell us, that with the giving of the Torah, with this great gesture on G-ds part, a bridge was formed and sealed between the lower worlds and the higher worlds. It became possible for people in this physical world to connect and attach themselves with the infinite G-d.

When G-d gave the Ten Commandments, and the infinite G-d revealed His wisdom from above, all the sick were cured of every illness. There is no place for illness weakness or any shortcomings when the infinite perfect G-d is discovered.

How can a puny human being ever connect with this great G-d so they as human beings become more spiritual and divine? Only by fulfilling the requests and wishes of G-d, we develop this bond and connection with Him.

Our sages tell us the word Sinai come from the word to hate. In order to be recipient of G-dliness and spirituality one must hate materialism and worldly pleasures. They say, “just like water and fire can never live together, so too, it is not possible for the love of G-d and the love of this world to dwell together.”

For somebody to truly and completely receive G-d in their life they must totally liberate themselves from the hold of this corporeal world which conceals and therefore challenges G-ds existence. They must evolve from any of the worldly limited and finite paradigms.  A great sage was once asked where is G-d?  He answered, “Wherever He is allowed to enter.”  The place must be one that is welcoming and hospitable to the awareness of  G-d.

The book of the Zohar says, “The strength of the body is the weakness of the soul, the weakness of the body is the strength of the soul.”  A person is commanded to have a healthy body, however the strength of the body, passion and zeal, enthusiasm and excitement for worldly and materialistic pursuits weaken the possibility for the spiritual and the soul.

 “I am G-d your G-d… you shall have no other G-d...” is the first and second commandment. The relationship between G-d and his People is likened to the relationship between a husband and wife. Just like the slightest distraction in a relationship will compromise the bond between a husband and wife the same is also true in the relationship between us and G-d.

When a person is focused on his body, materialistic pleasures, and everything is done to please and satisfy the body, the relationship with one’s soul, the G-d within, is ignored and seriously compromised. When however the ultimate goal is to satisfy and fulfill the spiritual goals by fulfilling G-ds commandments with the help of whatever physical a person is blessed with, then the world becomes a vehicle for the spiritual. Then, we have allowed G-d in, to our world.

G-d put us in this physical world not to ignore the beautiful blessings He so kindly granted us. We however have the G-dly given free will to use what is in this world to serve our hedonistic side which conceals G-dliness, or to use what is in this world purely to serve G-d. Then, we have become a dwelling place for the divine, within ourselves.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Secret to Wealth AND Happiness.

The prophet Jeremiah admonishes, “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might and let not the rich man glory in his wealth; but let him that glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows me for in these things I delight says the Lord.”

According to our sages, everything is determined up in heaven except for the choices a person makes between good and the opposite. Wisdom, might, wealth are gifts from G-d. There is no place for a person to glorify himself in those things that are granted to him, so they can support and help him accomplish in those areas where he really does have input and influence.  The only area in life a person can justifiably take personal credit and pride in, are those choices a person makes when he decides the righteous and good path over the alternative.

Ben Zoma declares however that certain types of wisdom, might and wealth may properly be prized and gloated over once they are integrated in the concept of “understanding and knowing me”.  And he says.

“Who is wealthy, and may justly acknowledge his wealth?  He who can bring himself to mentally and emotionally be happy with his lot.  “Happy shall you be in this world, and it shall be well with you in the world to come.”

G-d created a nature within humans that we quickly become habituated and adapted with our circumstances in life. We become comfortable with our families, our health, our environment and our condition in life. There’s an old saying. If G-d showed us the whole picture of anyone else’s life, all its’ pluses and minuses, the overwhelming majority of people would choose precisely where they presently are.

This is good because by becoming accustomed to what we have, the irony is, this is what creates the desire to explore and desire more.  To experience something fresh and novel.

On the other hand, once a person starts to intensely focus on more, many times this will cause people   to lose their appreciation and gratitude for all the good and all the blessings they already have been blessed with.

Ben Zoma teaches us to live in the now. When people become seriously driven and focused on the future, many times this has a tendency to put people under tremendous stress and in a state of worry and anxiousness.  Or, they may feel responsible for things that are not under their control. And to live in the past, many times this brings feelings of guilt and personal blame.

The proper balance is when we live and are focused mostly on the now, as the Rambam teaches, “a person should view every day as if it where his last day.”  We are grateful and appreciate the present, while aspiring for more in the future.

In is interesting that we start every day and our morning prayers begins with an expression of thanks and gratitude and only  a few minutes later we are asking for more!  But it’s from this foundation of thanks, that it is healthy to ask and seek more.

A person who is constantly aspiring and dreaming for more and forgetting the present will never be satisfied. When he finally gets what he wants, he is still hoping for more, and always feels lacking. With this mentality, a rich person with $200 who seeks to double his wealth is poorer than a poor person with this same mentality. While a poor person with a mentality of gratitude is wealthier than a person with more money.

Not being caught up in this cycle maintains inner peace and calm.   And on the contrary, a person at peace with himself is far more able to take advantage of opportunities which present themselves, and thus achieve true success in the world at large.