The Enemy Within
Sometimes it breaks over us like a slow-moving wave, other times it strikes as suddenly as lightning. The cause may be hidden or all too obvious: someone says the wrong thing or says nothing at all. In an instant we’re red-faced, unable to speak, perhaps close to violence. Overcome, we not only forget who we are, but we literally become someone else.
It’s called anger, and this month we have the opportunity to transform the hold it has on our lives.
The Zohar says that there is not much worse than acting out in anger. When a person loses control and reacts angrily towards someone, “he tears and uproots his soul because of his anger and causes a foreign spirit to dwell within him.”
Chances are you will be tested often this month in the relationship and work areas of your life. When you appreciate the danger of becoming angry and take steps to work through it, you will find it easier to soften your judgments with mercy.
Thousands of years ago the kabbalists revealed the secret that anger is the spiritual cause of illness because it severs our connection to our source of life – the Light of the Creator.
The great kabbalist and original founder of The Kabbalah Centre in 1922, Rav Yehuda Ashlag, shed enormous light on the insidious nature of anger. He revealed that our anger is not us, but rather a negative entity that has insinuated itself into our consciousness which manifests as a voice telling us to react.
We must disassociate ourselves from this entity and realize that the person we are angry at is not our enemy – the negative entity within us is the enemy.
Rav Ashlag clearly teaches us that we need to use anger to our advantage. Yes, there is a positive side of anger, what the Zohar calls the Anger of the Sages. This type of anger comes from our soul, and it helps us to reclaim our power. The focus of this anger needs to be directed toward the negative voice in our minds telling us to hurt another with words or actions.
This month, when someone cuts us off on the highway or insults us with a remark, rather than reacting with fury, we can instead be furious with the voice in our minds that tells us this person is bad and deserves punishment. That’s the only way we can accomplish what we came to this world to do, and this is the greatest gift of this month.
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