"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sincere inner conflict

When we think of sincerity and honesty, we often define them in absolute terms—either we mean it sincerely, or we are faking.

For instance, how is it possible to go from excitement for Hashem during prayer to excitement about worldly pleasures afterward? At first glance, this radical transition demonstrates that one’s excitement about G–dliness was fake, and to a certain extent there is truth to this.

However, we do not consist of a single persona with contradictory urges. Rather, there are two opposing sides within us, and an ongoing battle is being waged between them, with both sides struggling valiantly for total domination. When we consider this, the definition of inner truth and consistency becomes more complicated.

Our Animal Soul naturally yearns for the physical, while our Divine Soul naturally yearns for the spiritual.

During prayer, when our Divine Soul is aroused, we can and should reach an inner state in which we yearn to embrace the spiritual and reject the constraints of the physical. This yearning is totally sincere—sincere from the perspective of our Divine Soul.

Yet afterward, we can crave the physical, to the point that all the inspiration attained in prayer is almost completely forgotten (Tanya ch. 12). This is truthful from the perspective of the Animal Soul.

Tanya ch. 28, Sefer HaMa’amarim 5670, p. 147.

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