There is a Kabalistic concept that the only reason we don’t manifest something into our lives is because our level of desire and certainty is not high enough – not in line with what we are looking to draw in.
So if having the required level of desire and certainty is what allows for us to channel abundance and blessing into our lives, how do we explain it when we have desire and certainty and feel as though we have created the vessel to receive, yet often times we don’t end up getting what we want?
Some people are born with tremendous challenges – debilitating deformities, genetic depression, terminally ill. What’s that about? Ok, so if they are born into this world with these challenges and we can accept that their souls needed to go through this lifetime with those challenges for some reason, how do we know if our lack of success, health, wealth is the same scenario? Maybe we were really wealthy and miserly in a prior lifetime and we were born into this life destined to be poor in order to repair a part of our eternal soul. If that’s the case, how will desire and certainty even help us? How do we know what we can and cannot change in our lives?
There is another concept which is connected to the idea of certainty which states that we need to prepare ourselves to “take it” and that by doing so we prepare ourselves to be able to seize the opportunities in our lives in a more certain and active way (i.e. don’t miss the boat). This makes sense as there are people who are stuck in this way, of not grabbing the opportunities which present themselves for a variety of reasons. Fear of success, lack of self worth, all forms of self sabotage. So for these people, we can understand how by increasing their desire and certainty, they can overcome their dispositions effecting positive change in being able to welcome in and “take” opportunities presented to them. But what about those who were destined to experience a particular lack in this lifetime? How do we know what our story is?
We see in many Chasidic teachings examples of pious people despising money, separating from physicality by fasting, and in some cases stating that monetary wealth and piety are very difficult to co-exist. But assuming we want success for the right reasons, what if we are destined to not have it? Will prayer, desire, certainty and the mind set of “taking it” help? And how would this work with a person born with no legs who practices desire and certainty for legs? Can this person utilize the law of attraction to channel the blessings of legs into their life?
Further, how can we explain great tragedy both personal and collective? If the Source has its own pre-determined plans for us, what’s the point of all of this?
Is just the knowledge that we as created beings are not capable of understanding our creator’s mind enough to satisfy this question? Is it just a dead end? How do we explain this and how do we take this knowledge and apply it into our lives, our prayers, our expectations?
Rebbe Nachamn of Breslov brings down in L”M #21 that all troubles, suffering and experience of lack in our lives, specifically in the areas of livelihood, finding a soul mate and having children and health, is only because of a lack of daas (experiential knowledge). And when dass is perfected, all deficiencies are filled. One can ask, if I attain true daas, will I then have more money, find my soul mate or be blessed with being able to have children? Will my deficiency become filled? Here lies a very important and deep lesson. The Torah and the teachings of the tzadikim are not to be understood solely in a literal and physical sense. We are eternal souls and these teachings are intended to enlighten us with wisdom meant to be utilized in the highest ways. Physical lack we experience is real. It hurts, and we are supposed to pray for relief and blessing to effect change in our life. When we are lacking a livelihood, in addition to working as intelligently and focused as we can, we pray to the source to channel blessing into our lives – the same holds true for finding a soul mate or having children. We are supposed to understand that this lack comes from above and to direct our pleading and supplications to the Source.
If the lack we experience in these areas is only because of a lack of daas, why then when we increase our daas do we not experience an actual physical change in these realities? Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. Increasing daas will not always effect physical changes in these areas. The “lack” we experience in these areas relates to the lack of understanding that we have in knowing that our difficulties are coming from a higher place, somehow out of ultimate goodness. Sometimes a lack in these areas is experienced as a result of our past actions, this lifetime or previous lifetimes. Increased daas may not effect a physical change in these areas, but it will effect a change in terms of our being able to believe and perceive that on a higher level having these challenges in our life does not have to be experienced as a lack. We still have to pray and plead with the Source for its assistance and blessing in our life, but it’s the prayers and pleading that our Source is looking for from us. We may not know why challenges happen to us, but we must understand that they exist and are experienced by us as lack, only because we have not yet acquired the amount of daas we need to neutralize the sting of the physical challenge.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to understand and even more so incorporate and experience, but I believe it’s the truth. It’s our yearning that the Source wants – the relationship that will bring us close to it, which is the ultimate joy. Sometimes it will answer our physical needs as well, but only the Source knows what’s really best for us. Our work is to yearn, plead and increase our experiential knowledge believing that every word is heard, and every word makes a tremendous difference.
Sometimes our challenges are what bring us closer to the Source, and without them we would feel that we have no need to connect to the Source. A life with no challenges would therefore not be a gift at all for us. It may seem easier during our lifetime, but we are working for much more. Looking back on our life, we will learn the reasons behind every test and challenge – but while we go through them, and we sure will go through them, our job is to pray and plead to the Source for its assistance and elevate our daas – to increase our faith and become closer with the source.