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Go with the flow


It’s very fashionable to speak about the energy of the universe. Religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, or practices such as meditation and yoga glorify a certain mental state which lacks drive and attains personal and universal energy.

Of course, any truth can be traced back to our Torah, and the same is true here. Rebbe Nachman (Torah 52) says that the only way to attach ourselves to our deepest root-soul, and become etched in the universe, is via self-nullification (ביטול). What does that mean? Are we supposed to be ascetics and reject any pleasure the world has to offer? Of course not, our sages say that Heaven will hold us accountable for not partaking in the enjoyments our beautiful world has to offer. What it means is that we need to negate our lower self (the נפש), which is always craving to satiate itself, even at the expense of itself and others. It’s ok to enjoy this world, but when we interface with the world via the נפש, we aren’t aligned with the universe, because the self is so inflated.

How do we attain this ביטול? With hisbodedus (setting aside time to be alone and speak to Hashem in our mother tongue). It’s a bit ironic! By closeting ourselves from the world (ideally late at night and in an uninhabited place), we can actually connect most to the world. We need to stand, sit or walk alone with Hashem, asking in detail to be freed from each and every aspect of our lower self. He will respond by releasing us from the burden of those unquenchable desires which deny us the vision to see beyond ourselves and connect with the universe. It’s not so complicated. We just need to practice it. We’ll be shocked at first to see the results. Because once we can quiet that ego-state, we will start to hear our neshama (soul) talking. Then we can follow our personal truth and unify with the ultimate truth. Try it. Go with the flow!

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