The Path to Success
One of the tools that we learn about from the Bible is the 72 Names of God: 72 three-letter combinations of Hebrew letters, with each combination carrying a specific energy that can help us in our lives. Kabbalists meditate with these Names to connect to the Divine essence within themselves and to help them change and uproot the inner aspects of themselves that are negative, limiting or selfish. These combinations of letters are spiritual tools that help us to change at the seed level—the level of consciousness.
Within the 72 Names, almost all the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are represented. Interestingly, there is only one letter missing: the letter Gimel. Why the Gimel? It’s because, according to the kabbalists, the Gimel represents ga’avah, which in English means “pride.”
Now, what is so bad about pride? I mean, we all have pride, right? Lots of us have pride in our gifts, in our country or city of residence, even in our local sports team. But this is not the kind of pride we are talking about here.
In this case, we are talking about the pride that overrides our awareness and appreciation of the Light of the Creator in our lives. The question we need to ask ourselves is: When we achieve something, when we get to a successful place, do we believe it was our own power that got us there? If we do, we have missed the mark. Why? Because the truth is we can do nothing without the help of the Light.
All of us do some kind of work in this world. We’ve all tried, we’ve all struggled, we’ve all had pain. We can all become successful in something. But in our path to success, we must recognize that we do not achieve success on our own and through our own power; we need the power of the Light.
All people have the potential of the Creator within. But the ones who will succeed in a real and lasting way are the ones who do something to share with others, while the results of those who act and do only for themselves can last only as long as the person does. That is why each day when we wake up, we need to make a decision: Are we here to be a Light for the world, or are we here only for ourselves?
It also says in this week’s Bible reading of Ekev that if the Israelites “kept the regulations,” God would bless the land. Sounds like dogma, right? But keeping the regulations doesn’t just refer to whether you follow all of the rules and laws perfectly but by rote.
The main point is to be aware all the time that there is a Lightforce—a power that transcends the physical world—and that it exists in each and every one of us. It’s not about worrying about what I feel, but worrying about what we feel. When we do this, we can get to the place where we have a sense of unity with our neighbor and thereby have the right to have the blessing of the Light in a lasting way in our lives and in the world.
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