What’s in a Vow?
One of the highlights of the Zohar portion of Matot Masei is about the concept of ‘vows’. Rav Berg shares something so powerful about vows that it can change the way we do our spiritual work – change it for the better. Rav Berg asks the question, "What is the purpose or end goal of the spiritual work we engage in? What is all of this transformation, restriction, and hard work really about? What is the end goal?"
Someone might answer, “Immortality,” or, “the end of all pain.” Yes, all of those answers are true, but what does it mean for us? It means that when we say we want something – whether it’s money, health, knowledge, or anything else – it will immediately appear from someone or somewhere “This is immortality!” says Rav Berg. To achieve this elevated state, we must reach the highest level of consciousness and certainty – so that we can then manifest anything we want simply by saying so.
How do we reach the highest level of Certainty? It can only be achieved by breaking and overcoming our fears every day. The work of going against our fears, especially the fear of giving when it seems hard, is what builds your certainty about everything, and eventually to such a high level that any desire you ask for can manifest. How is this connected to the concept of vows? Rav Berg says that vows exist on the level of physicality, the 1% reality. "I will do this or I will do that," is a promise related only to our physical realm. This week’s portion is trying to tell us that we need to rise above the idea of physicality and accept that it is only the metaphysical that controls the 1% physical reality. It is only the consciousness of certainty that controls physicality. When we break our fears and achieve higher levels of certainty, our mouths become a channel – this channel will make only the vows it knows it is meant to keep, otherwise it will simply know to be silent. When we make vows we don’t keep, it is because our consciousness is not in the right place, according to Rav Berg. We need to rise above playing the game of life just in the physical world. We need to start playing life in the spiritual world of consciousness – and that starts with breaking our fears.
I once asked Rav Berg, “What is the one thing you can share about how to see miracles every day?” The Rav smiled and gave a simple response, "Everyday... just focus on breaking one fear."