Kabbalistic Concepts

Cutting Off the Sustenance of the Negative Side

In the portion Shoftim it says, “When you go to war with your enemy and you see horses and soldiers, and many legions more than you…do not be afraid of them…”  Regarding this, the great commentator Rashi explains that when it talks about going out to do battle and suddenly seeing that the armies arrayed against us are greater than us, what the Creator is really telling us is, “You, in your eyes, see so many enemies against you.  But, in My eyes, there are not many there.”  We think we have a lot of enemies against us, but really, there’s nothing there. It’s an important concept that also goes much deeper. When it says, “going out to battle,” it’s not talking about a physical battle; it’s talking about the battle that each one of us has with the Negative Side.  

We see, or at least experience with our physical senses, all of these enemies, all of this negativity, against us. But we should know that the only strength they have is from us; the strength they have is created through the negative actions that we have done. Therefore, it does not mean that they are greater than us, but that they are actually created from us.  Why? Because we view our eyes, our body, and our five senses as our own, not as the Creator’s. And that’s the consciousness which gives strength to the Negative Side.

If we, however, are able to truly push ourselves through this difficult work and remind ourselves constantly that these are not our eyes, ears, mouth, or body, because they are the Creator’s, then our enemies will have no strength, and we take away all of the force that the Negative Side has. With that consciousness we burn away and remove all negative forces from this world, because we have cut off their life.  This is a deep concept: the individual has looked at something he should not have looked at, done something he shouldn’t have done, or said something he should not have said, and has created negative energy - energy of speech, energy of seeing, energy of action. And since the Negative Side takes from our energy to stay alive, if we feed it with negativity, then we sustain it.

If we can, however, transform ourselves and come to this consciousness, reminding ourselves every day that this is not our body, but the Creator’s body, then we cut off the sustenance to the Negative Side. Because what sustains all the negative forces that we have created through our mouth, eyes, hands, and so forth, only remain sustained as long as we see them as ours. So, when we come to the consciousness that these are the Creator’s eyes, this is the Creator’s mouth, then it has no more strength. We have taken away their source of Light, their source of energy, and they die. Further, when we come to this consciousness, we can become like a guard, stopping any negativity from manifesting in our life.

We all know this concept on some level.  But, we need to be honest with ourselves: do we know as a spiritual concept that this is not our mouth, ears, or body, and yet are we still allowing ourselves to speak and act negatively? If so, it’s only because we view any part of our body as ours.  If we truly viewed our hand as the Creator’s hand, for example, then there would be nothing we could do with that hand except share and reveal Light in the world.  And the only way we have of truly coming to this consciousness is reminding ourselves hundreds of times a day that we have to do it.

The whole transformation that has to occur is from a consciousness of mine to a consciousness that is of the Creator. Only then do we draw the Light and sustenance from those things.  We may not be able to come to this completely, but we can begin to work to change how we see our body, eyes, ears, mouth, and hands. The only way to do that is to remind ourselves of it hundreds of times a day.  In doing so, we cut off the sustenance to the Negative Side and protect ourselves against negativity.

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