We are approaching the 11th of Nissan - March 31, 2015, Birthday of Rabbi MM Schneerson the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Schneerson dedicated his life to two primary objectives. The study and dissemination of Chassidus, and the bringing closer of the final days - Moshiach. As his student, I dedicate this essay in the hope that I can in some small way help in that effort.
Chassidus Chabad is an innovative and ground-breaking revelation of G-ds wisdom – Chochmas Hashem, in every area and in particular when it comes to understanding the psyche of the human being as a reflection of G-d – Tzelem Elokim. Chassidus, offers a deeper and broader appreciation of life, our reason here in this world, and an understanding on how our lives work. This knowledge automatically makes life more meaningful. Each and every life has an enormous impact and influence on the entire balance of the cosmos.
Chassidus is a life philosophy. A precise and detailed manual to create an extremely happy and satisfying life, when applied seriously.
There are many many areas of psychology, emotional well-being and practical conduct, the wisdom of Chassidus illuminates, and serves as a guide in our lives. Because this essay has the broadest reach in mind, and I will stay focused to this constraint and share with my readers on a very basic level, some practical benefits available through the teachings of Chassidus.
The wide spread problem of addictions, depression, anxieties, hopelessness, aimless existence, obsessive compulsive behaviors etc.
Addictions include any and every practice that becomes an obsession (obsessive) in someone’s life at the expense of other important responsibilities and duties, which then, a person finds difficult to separate from. Addicted could mean the pleasure of having a verbal power play over a spouse. Addicted could include the self-serving feeling of a high, when getting angry. (Addicted and obsessive for this purpose is viewed similarly.)
Why was the person drawn in to this behavior to begin with? Is it just a bad habit with a pleasurable pay off?? What brings a person to be addicted and how can one help himself become unhooked?
An addiction at its core is the desire to fill a deep inside yearning of the soul that feels an emptiness. A sense of lacking, a vacuum, an absence of personal satisfaction and fulfillment in one’s life. People lacking self-esteem and purpose. People lacking an appreciation for the greater purpose of life, are attracted and will turn to the superficiality and/or the immediate quick fix and satisfaction offered by, what turns into an addiction.
Addictions are expressions and outgrowths of a deeper sickness inside, called, the mindless Ruach Shtus (spirit of folly) of the yetzer hara (animal –evil inclination). One’s mind is hijacked, rendered useless and non-functioning, and in this arena, the emotional drive inside gets the person running like a rat on a treadmill, responding illogically, senselessly, to the incitements of a world that offers no depth, but only superficial stimuli and pleasure to quickly fill the emptiness inside.
G-d is inadvertently or intentionally left out of the equation of life while we are blinded by the neon lights of “the moment”. We become mere atoms of existence, and cheap immediate pleasure, drunkenness joy, seems like a solution to life’s discomforts and pains.
This blunder, leaves the inner essence as empty as always, feeds further, feelings of self-guilt, more sadness, anxiety and depression.
Terminal illness, and chronic pain, can certainly put one into a tailspin of hopelessness and despondency when a person is left with more questions than answers. Loneliness, and (what appears like) injustices of life all add to an agony, which hunts for relief.
The aim of world, the “world of concealment” “the world of lies” is to hide anything deeper, and present only, all that glitters. A seductive hurricane of immediate gratification at any expense, overwhelming the necessity for composed rational thought, and when not achieved, leaves one fallen flat on their face, unhappy, unfulfilled, and eventually depressed..
After Chassidus tells us what to expect when filled with this “spirit of folly”, Chassidus offers us tools and techniques as an antidote.
Moiach Shalit al Halev – the use of an innate natural ability for mind to control the emotions. Through…
Hisboinenus – regular meditative sessions on the principles of, Emunas & Yedias Hashem – Faith, awareness and knowledge of our Creator and the purpose He placed us here in this world. G-d who is infinite, and everywhere, is fully in the finite world of nature. This leads to, Moichin over hispaalus – rational logic, totally in control of irrational emotional outbursts.
With Chassidus mindfulness, one gains control. The person creates his/her own inner world of value and purpose. Your very own inner sanctuary, safe and nourishing. The power of this G-dly awareness, together with the satisfaction of purpose, having the “why’s” of life addressed, will channel the drive of the emotions, so the person is fully in control to steer those energies towards a deeper more meaningful, happy and healthier life. The superficial, shallow, and artificial “world”, losses its stronghold and charm.
In truth, this is a lifelong course better started when young as a preventative measure avoiding the emptiness, but potent as well, as a corrective measure in dealing with life issues after they have become problematic.
A CHASSIDIC STATE OF MIND is the product of a meditative cognitive formula and technique, for young and old, to train and mold, an ongoing daily effort of deep G-dly and spiritual awareness, expanding and deepening this faith and knowledge.
Life is a constant journey overcoming the very limited, skin deep, superficial, attraction of a dark and decadent mitzrayim - the tests of this deceiving and illusory world. “World” shoves before our eyes on a daily basis a very shallow, artificial, and therefore unhealthy choice to pursue. Every effort, pushing those attractions away, as difficult as it feels, for the deeper values and right purpose, expands and strengthens our healthy and blessed side of existence.
For complete and total freedom from the emptiness and servitude to the winds and gimmicks of society, one must begin to totally and completely direct ones focus, recognizing and moving relentlessly with the final deeper and more meaningful destination in mind.
(A few toes stuck (left) in the trap, means still being caught). It is not possible to be off drugs but still entertain the joys of having a high. A person cannot lose weight and still imagine and be stuck with the indulgence of eating unhealthy foods. The mindset must be totally trained and focused in the direction one intends to reach.
Chassidus offers corrective thinking, tools and techniques, to place the person/his mind into a healthy happier more powerful place. To self-identify ones strengths, and muster the courage to overcome fear (for good reason). Chassidus Chabad intellectually stimulates the person to see and draw from the endless infinite well of G-dly wisdom.
Everything has its purpose, for the good. Everyone and everything has the full attention of the infinite G-d at their side all the time. The tests of the yetzer hara – “spirit of Folly” and the worldly appearance of world, have a deeper truth. To connect one with the good, from the energies of the higher two letters of G-ds name, reached, only when piercing through and negating, the false concealment of “world.”
Chassidus helps a person with a chronic disease, or feelings of being at the end of ones rope, with a deep hope/ faith and intellectually ( which last longer and permeates deeper) satisfying comfort, so not only does one say they now have strength to cope, and have faith, but they can and will actually embrace and absorb this faith. There is always a very real and better, deeper reality to existence. Very far reaching, beyond the moment. Pain and difficulty are never in vain.
Chassidus allows a person to reframe negative experiences so the moment is always positive, and we are not victimized by situations. It is a G-dly, true tool of self-empowerment which allows our awareness and thoughts to take control of our emotions.
The powerful concepts discussed in Chassidus mines the gold of life, and let us hear the constant song in the air of the universe.
People take life and days for granted. They don’t truly see the value of it. Chassidus offers a shovel, that with our effort (nothing truly good is, free), we can, find purpose. This helps fight against depression and aimlessly going through life. Life is good and life pays off, when we understand the purpose, and the opportunities to reach even higher heights, as a result of personal challenges.
Where there would be logical reason for doubt and purposelessness, Chassidus offers dignity. We were created for a reason, each and every single one of us.
Everything we do, including everything we decide to think, is creating and reinforcing habits. Habits, WE choose to develop. We are trying to regulate our emotions of boredom, anger, sadness, anxiety etc.
We must be more consciously conscious of our level of faith and acceptance of the infinite merciful G-d in our lives at this moment. In the crassness of nature, lie the highest levels of purpose and goodness. We get into this habit, and this becomes our natural way of looking at life, and opportunities open up before our very own eyes.
This mindfulness must be practiced and fed regularly to develop the instincts and habit for the good, so the responses to triggers are positive. To avoid the trap of habitual, impulsive and instinctively negative responses we need daily praying and concentrations, like the one mentioned in the prayer books while donning the Teffilin every day of the week.
This makes us more mindful of our thinking, which we are fully in control of, as a replacement for reacting and following our emotions and falling for the quick fix and/or self-blame.
Hisboinenus- the deep meditative concentration, to make a deep lasting impression, to make permanent change, in order to stabilize the disorders and swings. Hisboinenus, allows one to become aware of their internal state, the emotions that drive one to bad places
Mindfulness of G-ds presence on the deepest levels. Chassidus explanation of Ain Oid Milvado – there is nothing else but the energy of G-dliness inside and all around each and every person. With these concepts and tools, one is granted the keys to their inner self, to address emotionally chaotic episodes and/or barren empty lives, because one discovers and realizes, that too is just a superficial test.
A very powerful meditation to begin and end every day with the following two prayers, in deep concentration.
I give thanks – gratitude
Before You – G-d almighty, who sees everything and is everywhere
A King who lives and is real – who didn’t have to, but in His Kindness and in his ever loving mercy, returns my soul and my life to me every morning, refreshed and renewed, therefore, great is my faith in Him, forever.
“Into His hand, I entrust my spirit, when I sleep and when I wake. And with my soul, my body too, the Lord is with me, therefore I shall not fear.” I am never, ever, alone.