Feeling close to Hashem or BEING close to Hashem

Which one is more important?

GYE Admin Sunday, 06 November 2016

Here is the confusion as I see it, be"H:

Am I saying that feeling close to Hashem is not the answer?!

Of course, being with Hashem is the answer. Not feeling close to Him, but being close to Him. And His main requirement seems to be self-honesty. Chasamo shel Hakodosh boruch Hu is Emess, Chaza"l tell us. It is His calling card.

Many are close to Him but feel practically nothing! Many feel it all...but are not really with Him, at all. In fact, if doing xyz made you always feel soooo close to Him before - and you were soon masturbating yourself again anyhow, then I'd suggest that your deveikus indicators are broken. Practically all ours are, too. You are in good company.

Do you know how often Christians say "So I gave it some thought, prayed on it a while, and I finally heard (or felt) G-d tell me this is the the right choice"? Very often...whether they are raging addicts or not. Well, I ask you, Zvi - did He? They are neviim, now? Hmmm..

In "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" (a fantastic read) Bill W. wrote about this and commented that many of us drunks are experts in religious sentiment, deep feelings and such, but "wallowed in emotionalism, mistaking it for true religious feeling." He wrote that "the quality of our faith was more important than the quantity." Interesting words. Few of us have a quiet faith that works. He did not mean that we were insincere. He meant that we were just sick.

The only way we really know we are 'off' is by whether we can thereafter live our lives well without having to resort to our drug or any other compulsive behavior that substitutes for it. It's no use trying to 'line up' what we think we believe with what Torah says we should believe to compare it and judge...for we have no clue what we really believe yet!

Sure we are all kedoshim and possess infinite being that our neshoma is a chelek Eloka mima'al! But here we are in Olam ha'asiyah. And in the end, the way we actually behave shows what we really believe on a functional level. And it is not pretty. We have work to do. Slow, patient work. We all want to be tzaddikim by plugging into our potential and letting all the distractions fall away. And that is so very important for general growth and stuff like that. But I have come to believe that for addicts that is just plain irrelevant (to starting and maintaining recovery). If we really take the actions we need to in order to stay clean at all costs, then we can be certain that our hearts are in the right place. But if we need to paint our problem in pretty spiritual terms in order to make it more respectable...well, then I fear we have chosen respectability (comfort) over truth. And the Truth about how we work right here and now is unbeatable.

And like I posted a few weeks ago, we have all had the experience of absolute religious clarity and alignment with Torah - right after we masturbated again. It all becomes so clear then...for a little while.

So for the true addict, the way I see it, there are two options for attaining and maintaining religious clarity:



masturbate a whole heck of a lot, so that you will spend a lot of time in that blissful/excruciating state where "it's all so clear to me!"

Life is really not that bad.