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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Following spiritual guidance

It’s not enough to visit a mentor for spiritual guidance and personal advice, and simply “get it off your chest.” For the consultation to be effective, one must (surprise!) actually follow the instructions given. Oddly, people commonly forget this. The explanation for this appears to be the worldly attitude (see here) that subconsciously people do not regard their spiritual problems as truly real and important. Thus, they do not feel that their spiritual faults deserve concrete effort and action in order to address. 

The Previous Rebbe explains:
There is a common problem with spiritual healing. People are prone to incorrectly treat healing the soul differently from healing the body:

If a doctor has prescribed a medicine, it must be administered. No patient will think that enlisting the services of an expert doctor and receiving a diagnosis and a prescription, and then ordering the medicine and laying it sitting on his desk is enough to cure him. On the contrary, then the patient’s condition will only worsen. Rather, everyone knows that in order to become healed one must actually take the medicine, and according to the frequency and dosage that the doctor prescribed.

This is the sensible approach. But oddly, in spiritual matters, many people do not think and conduct themselves in this way. Instead, they approach a person for advice and guidance, which they then receive, yet they then neglect to follow through, thinking that the very fact that they spoke to a spiritual guide is itself sufficient. Some people even feel truly bitter about their low spiritual state, and yet they still fail to follow the advice given them.

Adapted from Igros Kodesh Admur HaRayatz, Vol. 4, p. 29.

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