Today, I’d like to talk about one of the most powerful spiritual concepts in the universe—a concept that forms the basis for all of our spiritual work on this path of Kabbalah. It is a concept that, when understood and employed in one’s consciousness, has the power to change the very reality that we experience. At the same time, however, it is a concept that we can forget and remember 100 times a day.
So what is this concept? It’s very simple:
You and I, all of us, are 100% responsible for everything we experience in our lives. Everything—the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly.
Most of us are familiar with this concept when it comes to taking responsibility for our easily remembered words and behavior. We are good at saying, “OK, I did x, y, or z and now I’m dealing with the effects of what I did.”
But the responsibility that I am talking about is more comprehensive than that. You see, none of us actually control our life from only the present time. This is because we come into our current bodies with a lot of karma from past lives. When we experience chaos, confusion, anger, hatred, or, in fact, any negativity today, it is because somewhere along our way, we disconnected from the Lightforce of the Creator and we are now experiencing the effect of it. We may not know when, why or what were the circumstances of the initial disconnection. The bottom line is that it happened and now we are back here to reconnect and thereby change what we experience. Indeed, everything is a chance for us to reconnect with the spark of the Creator inside of us. That is our job here on Earth.
Isaac Newton said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So what happens when we get angry and snap at people, or when we refuse to extend human dignity to the people around us, or when we don’t care about things that we should care for? What happens to that little ball of negative energy that we’ve generated? It doesn’t go away; it just sits someplace in the computer called our life. We don’t even feel it because it is the result of something we might have done inadvertently or without thinking; it’s not as if we consciously put it there. But 10 years later, something happens, and we find ourselves possibly standing in front of a judge, and he is really upset with us. And we wonder, “Why is he upset? I didn’t do anything.” We don’t see that the reason we are in our current situation is because of the data we input years before.
On Yom Kippur, we talk about the concept of atonement, which I like to say actually means “at-one-ment” with the Light of the Creator. But “at-one-ment” is not reserved for only one day of the year. Rather, it is a process we are meant to engage in on a daily basis, and it is one of the single most powerful tools for changing our reality.
Every time we experience a reaction that puts us at odds with the infinite Light of pure love and sharing within us, we are actually being presented with a moment to come back into “at-one-ment” with the Light of the Creator within us. The people and situations in our lives—in all our lifetimes, in fact—are simply agents to awaken those places within us that still need to be repaired, and as we do this work, the more blessings, love, and energy can flow through us.
The reason why fear, anger, hatred, or resentment show up within us when they do is because those moments—for reasons beyond our understanding—are the perfect time for us to take responsibility for them and free up some space on our hard drive.
The most important point of this process is that atonement is not about guilt. Enough with the purging already! Self-responsibility is about freeing ourselves, on a very deep level, of the karmic seeds we may have planted in this lifetime or in a past lifetime. Guilt and shame block us from truly doing this process. In fact, guilt and shame are disconnections from the Lightforce that we need to atone for as well!
All the tools we utilize at The Kabbalah Centre—the Zohar, the 72 Names, the Ana b’Koach, even the cosmic windows in time—are actually there to help us achieve this end. In fact, the Rav referred to the holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah as “wholidays” because they are cosmic windows in time when we can employ specific spiritual tools revealed by the kabbalists throughout the generations to help us return to our original wholeness, our oneness with the Creator.
Pesach is one of the most powerful of these wholidays, and for the next couple of weeks, we have the chance to go out of the box and embark on an adventure of sorts, an internal journey of letting go and reconnecting with the Light. This journey will require that we be strong and daring, yet curious and excited—open to discovering something new about ourselves or to reawakening a spark that we have perhaps lost along our spiritual way.
This process all begins Friday night/Saturday with the New Moon of Aries, so stay tuned and get ready to do some deep soul-cleaning!