I’m working for a non-profit organization devoted to helping the homeless in my neighborhood. We’ve had incredible results over the past few years, but recently I have been discouraged by what I see as unfair practices within the organization. My boss recently appointed a family member to an important position that I feel is unfair. There are others equally qualified and it's totally unfair that they were passed up for these positions.
A few of us are getting ready to speak with the board of directors about firing this man. But I am not sure if this is the best thing to do.
What do you think is the spiritual thing to do?
What is your intention?
Are you really thinking about how this man or woman’s firing will benefit the men and women who are being fed by your organization?
We all have sound logical
minds, and we are given these minds and opinions for a reason. The Light wants
us to stick up for what’s right and to express our soul.
But at the same time, we always have to recognize our opinions are 1% percent based. And generally most of them create separation. Our opinions are tied to our selfish motives, unconscious as they may be, and we do not see the big picture
The Bible is made up of codes with meanings that we can apply to our life, now. There is a story in the bible that speaks to this truth.
This story takes place thousands of years ago, when the Israelites were wandering in the desert. Moses had just received God's instructions atop Mt. Sinai, and he was in the process of teaching it to the nation of Israel so that they could channel the Light of immortality for the entire world.
Moses had assigned the highest of positions to a member of his family. His own brother, Aaron, was made High Priest. Over time, this began to bother one of the tribal leaders, Korach. He was not only a wealthy, spiritual, and respected man, he was the head of the tribe of Levi, and therefore felt it was his right to be made High Priest of the nation. Moses beseeched the Light to provide an answer and in the end, Korach and the insurgents were swallowed up by the ground.
Like I said, it's a simple, straight-forward story. And that has been the way it's been told throughout history. A bad man tries to do a bad thing and it ends badly.
But, kabbalistically, it was anything but simple. The sages teach that when Korach came to argue with Moses he wasn't simply having an argument about ego, about who would have the more important job. There was a very important spiritual awakening that Korach was trying to bring about. So much so that when Korach came before Moses, the angels weren't sure whose side to be on. Imagine, even the angels didn’t know who was right!
Korach was a tremendous soul, the greatness of which we cannot even begin to fathom. And the reason why Korach allowed himself to awaken this argument with Moses was because he knew the truth of his own soul. Korach knew if his heart was awakening him to argue with Moses, it must be a true message to which he had to listen.
Even Rav Ashlag writes about the correctness of Korach’s argument. As he says, not only was Korach right, there was no logical answer to his charges.
What’s the lesson. If Korach was so right, why did he die in the end?
Korach was thinking only of himself and what he stood to gain.
When we come from the 'wrong' place - greed, selfishness, insecurity, hurt, anger - we are guaranteed to hurt others and ourselves.
Again, I am not promoting suppression, but merely a ruthless honesty as regards your intentions. And of course, there are corollary lessons here:
Why are you seeing this in the other person? What are they showing you about yourself? If the universe takes care of itself, why do you need to be the one to decide what is 'right' and 'wrong?'
At the end of the day, this is the biggest lesson from Korach, and one I pray you think about before doing anything: our opinions create separation. We can find all the right reasons and justifications as to why our opinions are right - just as Korach did.
But if they cause harm or separation...it's not worth it. It's just not worth it.
According to Kabbalah, each of us comes into this world with spiritual baggage from previous lifetimes. This baggage is made up of all the times we failed to resist our reactive behavior, which will need to be corrected at some time in the future.
This concept of correction is called tikun. It's where we need to do our spiritual work.
We can have tikun with money, health, or relationships. We know we have stumbled across our personal tikun when a situation feels uncomfortable! If we are intimidated by people, afraid to like something they don't like, or afraid to dislike something they do, that is our personal tikun—something that needs to be corrected.
If we find it difficult to
defend our work to our boss - and thus settle for less than we feel we deserve -
that too is part of our tikun. If we are unable to explain to our parents that
they are doing certain things that upset us, that's also our tikun.
This month, look for repetitive behavior. If you are constantly the victim of a situation, or if you are always the abuser, that's your correction. If you find yourself in the same relationship drama, no matter whom your partner may be, that too is tikun. And I'm sure you can fill in your own unique challenges.
Now, here is the kicker: we can't plan when we want to work on our tikun. It pops up when we least expect it. So, next time you find yourself in the middle of a sticky situation, and you're telling yourself, "not now, I can't deal with this right now," know that now is the perfect time to face and embrace it.
When we fail to resist a reactive behavior, it only becomes more difficult to correct the next time around. That particular reactive trait grows stronger. Our Opponent grows stronger. Our challenge will then appear over and over again, through various people in a variety of situations.
The more we work the steps of spirituality [restriction, sharing, love] the easier it will become to identify and correct a particular soft spot in our soul.
With this understanding, we can no longer view ourselves as victims. We simply cannot buy into the notion that life is just happening to us. We have shaped our life thus far. We are shaping it now, right this very second. And our future is entirely in our hands. Every decision we make influences how our life looks and feels in this new moment, and in all moments yet to come.
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