Addiction: The Road to Recovery
Addiction / Essays 2019
Addiction that has become very prevalent in our generation. An addict biggest fear is of relapse, or that he will not be able to move-on from his current situation. Perhaps this very fear is what leads to dig deeper into the problem rather than help crawl out. When we label someone as an addict, we say that he has no power over his action and he is lost his dignity to be able to choose, he lost the capacity of a human being to have a power of choice.
We do not engage with the current state of the person rather we try to impose an end-result upon him. This is true primarily for the addict himself, there is a tremendous amount of bad feelings and he doesn’t have the capacity to reframe the state of being an addict to be positive experience and consider it part of his own identity. However, because of there is a tremendous desire to disconnect from the current situation as a result he pushes the desired end–result even further away.
If one can fully embrace (both in mind and heart) the addiction and understand this is an ideal struggle for him and it will bring out the most refined self, which ultimately will lead to highest goal of humankind. Furthermore, the struggle itself is not medium for a separate end rather it is itself the end–goal. By overcoming each individual struggle, one realizes the highest potential. And, because the innermost part of one’s soul already reached this potential and therefore it is only a matter of revealing it to all of facets of his character. Hence, the sickness of the addiction is not what defines him entirely. Rather it becomes the ball park that allows the inner part of his soul to be revealed in its fullest glory.
With this thought process, the primary focus is shifted from the end–result to the process this allows for the desired result to arrive.
(‘כימי צאתך תשי”ב (מלוקט ד
Our world is conducted by two orders, Natural order and a miraculous one.
It is evident when Gd conducts a miracle, G-d reveals himself firsthand . The miracle is beyond the natural order and dominates it, and does not clothe itself within nature.
Within the natures owns rhythms, we see G-ds unlimited power. The sun has been shining for thousands of years and we don’t need to worry about it weakening. Every generation had the ability to bear children who inhabit the earth, this power will not weaken or stop at any stage. This is unnatural, yet its built into our very own nature. We experience G-d without having an other-worldly experience, as the miraculous splitting of the Red Sea or other miracles.
There is miracle that tip toes the natural order flawlessly and yet still is a miracle. This type of miracle has the benefits of a miracle and nature. It expresses how both orders are capabilities of HaShem– both expressing his greatness. This order of miracle stems from a place deep within HaShem, a place where “nature” and miracle” did not yet morph to become contradictory powers.
This is similar to when one has a desire that does not follow rationale, but it is rooted so deep within him it affects his ability to think objectively. When this person thinks hard to try to be objective, he will not be able to draw any other conclusion other than the desired result. This is not because he is blindsided: his mind remains perfectly logical, but his logic is no longer able to work of its own volition.
This is the state that we will like to bring the world to in the time of Moshiach. Nature’s course will be untouched, but the presence of G-d will be felt outright.
All this is reached through our service of G-d.
Now, our service of G-d is conflicted. We did not fully develop an appreciation of HaShem, as we did when we witnessed the Beit Hamikdash. Most of us, most of the time serve G-d with a sense of duty– accepting the yoke of heaven, as it’s called. If we were to follow the natural course alone, we would only follow our hearts’ desires and not serve HaShem. However, we do feel some sense of a higher power which infuses our service of G-d. This then is the miracle within the nature.
In the time of Moshiach there will not be another splitting of the Red Sea. There will not be an outlandish miracle. Complete natural order will reign and yet G-d’s presence will be palpable.
(‘ונחה עליו ה’ תשכ”ה (מלוקט ב
There are two forms a child can get upset at a parent.
1-The child can appreciate that the parent wants his good, but he is still very frustrated. As angry as the child is he will never be able to consider that his parents done something entirely inappropriate because the child does understand that they are right, just in his mind it is completely irrelevant, he feels very upset.
2-The child cannot separate his own sense of realty and the worlds reality. He has no means to try to understand his parents’ position. Therefore, he doesn’t understand what his parents wants, and he draws the conclusion that they are not acting raotional.
This is an example given to the very first stage to bring about our physical world. Gd created space of a complete void and all Godly revelation was removed.
Before the void Gd was as evident just our own self–conscience. One’s conscience doesn’t need to be concluded logically, neither do you need to see it. It is innate part of your existence it cannot be separated from the person. Furthermore, it is impossible to think of a person separate of his conscious.
This void dissipated the simple conscience of Gd and eventually allowed for it to be replaced with our own conscience.
From the void, the descent evolved further to create a vessel. A vessel means a complete separate entity that could contain something else within it.
The void, allowed for the possibility of seemingly another existence other than GD. The vessel brought it to fruition.
An example of a vessel is; an example (no pun intended). It is entirely different then concept. But it can contain within it the whole concept. With it a teacher can explain a student.
When one understands through an example, he grasps the concept fully. But obviously the preference would be that he would not need the example and let the concept shine fully. The example obscures the intensity of the concept. The void doesn’t serve as a tool to bring the godly light further rather he conceals it. The vessel downgrades the light itself.
GDs intention with the two categories of descent is to create the world. The purpose to create the world is for GD to be revealed there. This means the world serves a purpose to bring out a revelation of godliness. If so, we can conclude the revelation will be a greater revelation than beforehand, otherwise it is not called a revelation. The ‘greater revelation’ most be expressed by these “descents” that they are the novelties that brought about the world.
At the times of Moshiach creation itself will be intimately familiar with godliness. All the novelties the world brought about will be applied to godliness without retracting from its intensity.
The void, that introduced our conscience will not obscure the conscience–level–revelation of GD that was before hand. And it will only add that a human being and the physical world will appreciate this level of revelation too.
So too with the vessel, the vessel will enable godliness into the physical world but the vessel will not obscure its intensity. Therefore, it will add to the revelation and not negate it.
The godliness was restricted to the Beis Hamikdash or to the prophet or one’s mind–eyes. If one saw godliness it was unworldly, it was a phenomenon. When Moshiach will come, it will be a given, you see godliness as anything physical.
This our quadrium. Our current world seems to be an obstacle towards the revelation of Moshiach.
When one face adversaries in his service of GD and finds the grit to pull through and fulfill of what is demanded of him. His actions prove our world is not a true obstacle of godliness. It allows the inner intention of the creation to shine through in the very obstacle he overcame. This is the most effective service of Gd to bring about the unique revelation of the time of Moshiach. Hence, this our type of service.
The service of Gd that is considered ideal is not the one we most identify with or where we shares the most success at. Rather perhaps where we overcome the most obstacles. Hence who is completing this form of service in a more wholesome way then a recovering addict.
The role of a teacher is to communicate to the student. So too Moshiach will communicate to the people all level of godliness through the physical, Moshiach will allow our eyes to see levels of godliness in a natural fashion, and he will explain godliness for our mind to understand. It will be very profound because the physical eyes and our physical brain will not diminish the godly revelation whatsoever. This novelty is a direct result of the service of HaShem in the time of Galus.
We mentioned the power and fortitude for the service of GD is derived through Moshe Rabeinu. But we did not explain how and why do we need the strength from Moshe Rabeinu. How come we cannot rely on ourselves for the strength to pull through?
This maamer explains in great detail the level of Moshe Rabeinu and that every time one acts to serve GD in the face of adversaries, he reaches to the part of his soul that stems from Moshe Rabeinu.
(‘תפלה למשה תשכ”ט (מלוקט ה
Moshe Rabeinu is described as wealthy. This defines who Moshe Rabeinu is.
Wealth in this context has a few stages and we will go through them;
Abundance, this means that there is no measure to the level of effluence, it flows with an unprecedented plentifulness. (The novelty of being wealthy is less in the physical plane but in the spiritual aspect since this is strictly unique to Moshe).
Another factor of wealth is how it was acquired. (In physical plane it matters less because it is not evident what way it was acquired however in the spiritual plane it is integral to being wealthy). To be considered wealthy one needs to be a source of wealth rather than a receiver. If one doesn’t own the wealth and strictly receives it from another he is disconnected to the wealth, it is not part of his identity. If he owns the wealth, then he is wealthy and he becomes a source of wealth.
[The phrase says, ‘only one with knowledge can be considered to be wealthy’. Knowledges digests all the information, unites the person with the topic. The information moves from being just information to develop a feeling towards it. This entire process is of one owning the information and bringing himself to identify with it. Hence knowledge is the source of owning information, and therefore is considered wealth]
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In the next few chapters we explain wealth further by introducing three different stages (wealth being the last one). We will apply these three stages as well to three categories of godliness, and three different stages of service of GD.
There are three general stages; the destitute, the rich–became–not rich, and the wealthy.
The destitute; has no possessions. He is lacking for his most basic needs.
The rich–became–not rich; has all what he needs. But remains lacking to the point that one is obligated to give Tzedaka to him. He does not miss anything basic and yet he is lacking the luxurious life he was once able to afford. This luxurious life became a ‘need’ for him, and therefore since he is missing it one is obligated to provide for this ‘needs’This is not absolute need rather a subjective need, however its need nevertheless.
The wealthy; has an abundance. Abundance defined by very different form of thought–process. (This will be critical in the next chapters). One is accustomed to measure richness in how much he can afford. If one has many possessions, then he is wealthy and if he has many many possession he is uber–wealthy. However, true wealth is the antithesis of “how–much–you–can–afford” mentality. So perhaps we can suggest wealth is defined when “how–much–you–can–afford” becomes entirely irrelevant.
In short; the first two stages are one continuum they are both in need. If one satisfies all of his needs that doesn’t translate of being wealthy rather he is within the arena of the first two stages, the pursuit of providing for his needs. The third stage is a self–standing independent from the first two stages, here the pursuit is not to provide for needs rather it just a mere abundance.
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There are three stages in the revelation of GD corresponding the above three stages;
Godliness that makes the world alive. We interact with this level of godliness constantly, this is what gives life to everything. This provides the most basic need of being alive, we cannot live without this level of godliness.
This godliness is like the soul that gives life to the body. Without the soul the body is dead, when the soul integrates itself in the body it provides life.
Godliness that reveals GD. The entire purpose of this level of godliness is to be an expression of GD. This level is a lot more refined and therefore is an expression of GD. However, this level of godliness by extension does influence the world, in an indirect way this level of godliness will provide a sustenance towards the worlds. This tell us about the quality of this light, even though its whole identity is to be an expression of godliness nevertheless it came to have a remote relation to provide life to the world. Therefore, we can understand that as different as they are, they are both “cut from the same fabric”. And categorically it falls under the same umbrella as the godliness that gives the world life.
The example given of this level is ¨rest¨. Ones is rested only if he slept more than his basic need. When one is introduced to the concept of ´´rest´´ he can begin to yearn it. And yet there isn’t any need that he is fulfilling with being rested, it is a luxury and remains so, and yet he became accustomed to it to the point he is ´lacking´ it.
This applies to this level of godliness, it is too elevated to be life of a creation rather is like an additive that can become part of the worlds ‘identity’ but doesn’t provide an actual need.
This is exactly the state of RBNR, living a luxurious life is anything but a need, but it is obvious if one gets used to live luxuriously it is something very difficult to live without.
The godly light corresponding to ´wealth´. This means this godly light even by an extension is entirely different category (“cut from different fabric”) of even the most refined levels of of the previous level. Therefore, the revelation of this light will never be able to integrate to the existing identity of the creation. Similar to the definition of wealth, wealth is a completely different mindset and it cannot work together with any previous mindset. Any relation to the previous mindset negates to the very definition of wealth. So too this level of godliness is entirely a different quality,and will never integrate itself to world as it is.
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There is three different forms of service of GD that corresponds these level of godliness.
The first form of service of GD; this love of GD is by extension a love of oneself. Since GD is the source of all energy, he loves GD that brings him to exist, and provide all his energy.
Since he appreciates GD only as an offshoot because he loves himself, naturally he will only develop an affection towards those levels of GD that serves to create the world, and not beyond that.
The second form of service of GD; He serves GD with a complete love and loses his own personal interests and identity to this level of revelation.
In the previous level one took an existing ‘love’ and applied towards loving GD. This service of GD however, introduces an entirely new ‘love’. This revelation of GD is beyond the world, one becomes so involved with this level of godliness that he will want to lose anything that is barrier to this greater revelation of godliness. This love comes naturally to the godly soul, since it comes from this level and naturally one wants to return to its original state.
For a physical person to develop this love means to desire to not exist in the physical world. This form of nullification is self–destructive (on the physical plane) and naturally one cannot to do something self–destructive.
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The third form of service of GD: This service is an outcome of the revelation that only Moshe experiences. Therefore, it is strictly unique to Moshe.
Moshe attains the level of knowing G-d before any transition took place to bring about the world. Moshe’s identity is composed of how G-D is revealed as he is before any of the process to create the world even began.
This revelation does not suffer from the inhibition needed to apply the most sublime revelation to the most mundane; it never experienced the world as an existence on its own. Rather it feels how each stage is only an expression of G-D.
Therefore, only Moshe had the capacity to pray that the Jewish people should experience this revelation, too. They possess a G-dly soul that has a spark of Moshe. Hence deep in their identity, is this outlook as well. Hence, Moshe prayed to G-d that they too should realize this.
In the time of Galus, one cannot experience this part of the G-dly soul as Moshe does, however an outcome of this is accessible to all, even the simplest of the Jewish people.
When one appreciates G-d through prayer and due to this newly acquired appreciation, he comes to the conclusion that he must refine himself. And he acts upon and brings the conclusion of prayer to fruition.
This is a direct result of the revelation of G-d that is attributed to Moshe; firstly, because it was understood that GD is all encompassing and must affect all his being including the lowest areas of his character. Therefore, naturally his prayer resulted in a conclusion to refine himself. Secondly, when he left mindset of prayer and he is still capable to act upon the conclusion of the prayer and draw the strength to expresses how the mundane cannot be a barrier to GDs revelation.
Such a service is a result of Moshe, empowering the Yid to be able to follow through and not experience the world outside as separate existence. Rather to see it one long continuum, of all being an expression of GD.
This role of Moshe is not strictly related to the first Moshe Rabeinu rather the Zohar writes there is an extension of Moshe within every generation, and the Rebbe refers in this Maamer to the Previous Rebbe being in Moshe’s role in our generation.
This is the most critical outlook for an addict as he goes through the various stages of recovery, to recognizes that a core part of his identity is always wholesome, and the strength to extend this to the outer facets of his character is not for him to determine, because that is also within his capacity. The only prayer that is needed is the prayer that Moshe Rabeinu prays on his behalf that he should recognize this.