Why Does It Feel Harder Than Ever To Be Spiritual?

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Why Does It Feel Harder Than Ever To Be Spiritual?

Karen Berg
June 18, 2023
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This article was previously published in 2020.

I have been told by many friends and students in the past few years that it is becoming increasingly difficult to invest in spirituality. The energetic atmosphere seems “heavier” than it did a decade or so ago. There is a curtain that veils the vast importance of something as simple as a morning meditation, or an evening prayer. We are living in an age of paradox, where this thing we call spirituality is both more necessary than ever before in history, and yet also more difficult. Why is it more necessary now than ever? And why is it so difficult?

Well, just look around. It doesn’t take more than glancing at a newspaper to see the chaos that surrounds us. Every day we hear about new disasters, are plagued by terror, and are grief-stricken over the loss of souls.

It seems logical that with all the negativity in the world today, we would feel an intense need for spirituality. However, at the same time, our efforts in both study and action have become more challenging.

People often ask: How are we to believe that in these times we can impact the world for the better? After all, there were much higher and more righteous souls who came before us. You mean to tell me that Moses and Rav Shimon were unable to bring redemption, but we’re going to do it?

The answer is: Only we can do it.

You see, one of the Kabbalah Centre’s core teachings is the idea that from the greatest darkness we can reveal the most Light. What exactly do I mean by this? Well, for example, the kabbalists teach that an elevated righteous soul like Moses could perform the biggest spiritual action in the world and it would not come close to revealing as much Light as if the most selfish of persons extended themselves to share with another.

We are living in a time when it is not easy to have certainty. Therefore, every second that we manage to have certainty reveals more goodness in the world than we can imagine.

We are living in a time when it is not easy to reach out and share with another, and so when we do share even just a smile with a stranger on the street, we are in fact creating an opening through which God’s abundance can pour into our lives.

The more difficult it is to study spirituality, to scan the Zohar, to be kind, to use positive words, to see the good in people, the more Light we can reveal by doing exactly that.

This week is the portion of Chukat, in which we find the burning of the red heifer which serves to cleanse us of our Desire to the Receive for the Self Alone: a desire more prevalent in our time than ever before. It is in the moments that we transform our Desire to Receive into a Desire to Share that we create Heaven on Earth. This week is special. It is a week that can help us not only remember to transform the Desire to Receive into a Desire to Share, but also to act upon it – to push ourselves to study a little more, to share more, and to act with more human dignity and kindness towards our fellow humans.

We are living in a generation where we have a greater opportunity than the great souls that came before us because it is in the depths of darkness that we can reveal the brightest of Light.

Never forget that.

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