Alien Thoughts And Temptations
MyLife Essay Contest 2017
Alien thoughts are thoughts that come from the evil side of a person. They could be sinful thoughts; thoughts that could tempt a person to sin. They could also cause you to be depressed and sad because you cannot serve G-d properly with these thoughts in your mind. They could be thoughts of regret about sins that you may have done. These thoughts could make you feel depressed and sad about what you have done Many Chassidic works talk about how to avert or battle these thoughts. Temptations are thoughts that make you think about sinning and make you feel tempted to do so. These thoughts might be more worse because they may lead you to sin. So it is best to keep these thoughts out of your mind.
In Tanya Chapter 28, the Alter Rebbe says that if this happens during one’s divine service, the thoughts should be averted from one’s heart and mind. So to, if one gets disturbing thoughts during important work, it is best to avert these thoughts from one’s heart and mind. Righteous Jews do not get such sinful thoughts, like an expert at work who focuses totally on his work that nothing disturbs him. The proper way to avert disturbing or sinful thoughts is through joy and happiness, whether it is during one’s divine service or important work. One should really concentrate on the important stuff he is doing. By doing this, he takes over the bad side of himself, like a wrestler who has more passion wins the fight. It is like feeling passionately enough, the bad thought might get averted. The Alter Rebbe adds that if one finds if really hard to avert these thoughts, it is best to be humble before G-d. Being humble means that you realize that there is a power that is higher than you. It is like if you realize that there are things that are higher than you, you might start thinking about good things instead.
The previous chapter of Tanya; Chapter 27, the Alter Rebbe says that if that thoughts are about one’s sins, he should also be happy in order to avert them. It is like remembering your past sins, feeling bad that you did them, and figuring out how atone for them. Being happy about the fact that there are ways to correct them could be one of the best ways to avert these thought of regret. Being sad about your sins only keep these thoughts in your mind and make you feel even more distressed and depressed about them. It is like being distressed and depressed about your wrongdoings , but this chapter talks about these thoughts happening during mundane work, like if you are trying to have fun during breaks from important work. The metaphor the Alter Rebbe uses is pushing the evil thoughts away with both hands. In other words, using whatever you have to avert these evil thoughts. The Alter Rebbe also explains that when this happens the evil side is suppressed with every evil thought you avert from your mind. It is like you are becoming more good with every bad thought that you avert. He also says that one should not feel depressed or troubled in his heart about his sins. Someone who’s evil means that he shares the temptations of the evil, not that he is literally evil, Heaven forbid. This means that if you are evil, it is just because you have evil thoughts. The Alter Rebbe also compare two types of gratification before G-d to two type of delicacies. It is like finding two ways to turn bad into good. He also says that Sages would delay meal order to really concentrate on prayer, like the boss at work who waits until everyone is gone before going home to eat. If you dedicate yourself to what is important, you will forget about these disturbing thoughts.
In Tanya Chapter 26, the Alter Rebbe says that if one is worried about mundane matters, he should accept it with joy. He adds that the way to do this is to realize that it too can also be for good. This is because everything comes from G-d and all that G-d does is only for the good. Realizing this helps one battle mundane worries. It is being worried about your health and realizing that there is a way to cure the sickness that you have and that there are doctors to help get it done.
In the second part of the introduction to Tzava’at Harivash, the Baal Shem Tov says that sinful thoughts are also alien thoughts, which are thoughts that are not appropriate for the moment, whether it is sinful or not. This means that even if the thought is not tempting, it is still bad, like thinking about sins that other people did. He also says about three ways which are required to sublimate sinful thoughts. These three ways are “sweetening” the thought which follows “subduing” one’s self, and separating completely from evil. It is like first resisting something that is bad, turning it into good, and disconnecting it from evil completely.
In section 13-14 of Tzava’at Harivash, the Baal Shem Tov says that if one is tempted, he should say things connected to that temptation. This would be like reading books about a certain temptations that you would have. The example would reading the school handbook if you feel tempted to go against school rules. In section 9, the Baal Shem Tov says that if one has a inappropriate desire, he should remove it from his mind. It is like thinking about things that really should not be in your mind. This would include desires about doing something wrong, even minor sins. He also says that one should not get depressed and sad about getting such desires. Rather, he should be happy that he will be able to remove them later on. It is as though being happy that you will later have little or no alien thoughts in your mind. So if you get a bad desire, do not get sad about it. Rather, battle it with happiness. In section 51, the Baal Shem Tov says that if one studies Torah with joy, it diminishes alien thoughts. It’s like being really focused one the important things that you are doing causes you not to be distracted.
The Previous Rebbe said in a letter that not speaking idle talk and careful learning helps to avert sinful thoughts. It would be like being careful about what you say and be really involved in your learning. The Rebbe said in another letter that one should immerse himself in holy thoughts in order to expel bad thought like think about your learning. He said that one should focus on good thoughts. If it is difficult to do so, one should look at something that is printed, like a school book, to make easier to remove bad thoughts. He writes in another letter that one should remove his mind from these bad thought and focus on books of learning. It is like looking at positive books and focusing hard on your learning, whether it is in school or at home.
Alien thoughts are thoughts that come from the evil side of a person. They could be sinful thoughts; thoughts that could tempt a person to sin. They could also cause you to be depressed and sad because you cannot serve G-d properly with these thoughts in your mind. They could they could be thoughts of regret about sins that you may have done. They could make you feel depressed and sad about what you have done. Many Chassidic works talk about how to avert or battle these thoughts. Temptations are thoughts that make you think sinning and make feel tempted to do so. These thoughts might be more worse because they may lead you to sin. So it is best to keep these thoughts out of your mind.