SHALL I JUDGE?
About twenty five years ago, I had a temper tantrum in front of my teacher, Kabbalist Rav Berg. I was mad, I was angry, and it was all for a very good reason, although i don’t remember that very good reason at this moment. 🙂
Anyway, after my little performance, I suddenly realized that I lost it in front of the Rav. Now I was worried.
I had gotten so caught up in my zeal to prove my point and argue my position, I never stopped to realize i was out of control in front of the Rav.
The Rav looked at me with a gentle face, but very, very firm. I swallowed. I breathed in and then out.
Then the Rav said, ” You leave my friend Billy alone!”
I turned around thinking someone was standing behind me.
The Rav was talking to my ego, my Opponent, the “Satan” within me.
I felt like such a fool. I appreciated the gentleness of that moment, but the foolishness I felt was as bad as being blasted.
I never forgot that.
I realized that the Opponent sabotages all our relationships by hiding. We get mad at a friend or a teacher and if that person did do something nasty to us, we don’t see the Opponent pulling their strings. We blame the person. And when we are angry, we don’t see that it is THE SAME Opponent pulling our strings, making us angry and blinding us to his presence and his influence upon ourselves and the person we are fighting with. We are blind to the meaning of life, which is to OUT the Opponent.
THE MAGIC GLASSES AND TRUE VISION
Imagine if I had on a pair of magic glasses and when someone did me wrong. I would see that it was the Opponent whispering in their ear, pulling the strings and controlling them like a puppet master with a marionette puppet. And imagine those same glasses allowing me to see the essence of the person that I am arguing with, seeing their soul, seeing their true identity and consciousness. And imagine that I now saw that they were crying out to me for help, pleading for me NOT to believe the egocentric part of themselves that was aggravating, annoying and treating me so unkindly.
Would I judge?
If I saw truly that reality, I would lose my anger as fast as ice melting in a burning oven.
All of us in that situation would do anything to help and assist that person. And to love them, unconditionally. And if we knew that by NOT judging in that moment, we would also free our friend— and ourselves—from the control of the Opponent, all we would offer that person that we just hated a moment ago is mercy, compassion, and empathy.
That is unity. That is the kind of consciousness we need if we are to rid this world of all pain and suffering. That is the kind of vision we must strive to achieve. But it’s not easy. Here’s why:
Like all of us, I have been tested on this path. I lost everything that I had. Flat broke. Zero money. Literally. And I lost it after giving so much to the Centre. My time. My money. Like many of us have. And then the Rav stopped talking to me. And Karen stopped talking to me. And Yehuda and Michael stopped talking to me. I was alone, trying to figure out what the hell was happening.
But I could not forget the miracles that i saw and that I experienced. Miracles in the world with the Zohar and the Rav. Miracles in my personal life that were breathtaking. And when I finally had a chance to speak to the Rav during this very dark down time in my life, I talked to the Rav in the courtyard at the LA Centre and explained how hard all of this was on me, and how hard I was trying to stay positive, and I expressed all my doubts to the Rav, and I expressed all my feelings to the Rav, and I expressed all of my points to the Rav, and then the Rav looked at me and said, “What about your wife and kids! Why is this all about you?”
I was so freaking embarrassed. I was ashamed.
Indeed, I had made it all about me. All the things that happened to poor me. All the things that might happen to me in the future. It was all about ME ME ME.
I had zero regard for my wife and children and their situation because I was so consumed with my own issues and problems! And make no mistake, the problems were real! And I was right! I did everything the Centre taught and yet I was broke and alone and nothing was working. I was absolutely right—in that moment.
The Opponent always strikes hardest when we are right. Oh, is he clever! I had disconnected from the Light because I had made it all about myself! I was more concerned with being right instead of connecting to Light. Kabbalah 101. And I blew it. I blew it big time.
I was ready to quit and pack it in at that point. I was so freaking broke, and I had all the reasons and proofs and evidence that Kabbalah didn’t work after all! And now the family had stopped giving me praise and attention. And I had given hundreds of thousands of dollars by that point, but I could no longer put food on my own table. And now, no one was giving me energy and attention. It was all about money, I had told myself.
And worse, I was also being blamed for being in this horrible situation. You know the Kabbalah 101 teachings: Look within. Ask yourself why.
I wanted to punch someone in the nose.
It was too freaking difficult for me to look inside at that point. I mean, I could do it up to a certain degree when times were good and I could “play” Kabbalah. But now that I was broke, and alone, and being squeezed until my insides were popping out, and it all seemed so corrupt, and NOTHING but NOTHING was working, I had turned myself into a victim and I blamed the system, and everyone else—but me!
And then I got pneumonia that flattened me for 3 months, and 9 root canals, and a wicked ear infection that laid me out for two week, then Bell’s Palsy which paralyzed my face, and still no money. And then there were other things far too intense to go into right now. But the challenges, the cleansing, all the shit and chaos just kept on coming.
But then, it was so insanely bad, I finally began to see the order behind all the chaos.
And then I remembered the Rav saying “But what about your wife and children.”
I realized that it was my own selfishness, my own ego, my Opponent within, that was undergoing all the pain. I mean, how could I accept all the blessings, joy and miracles that I experienced at the beginning but discount the pain and hardship that this same was now imposing upon me? It’s either all wrong or it’s all right. You cannot be half pregnant.
“Leave my friend Billy alone!” the Rav said to me.
But I was the one now hanging onto my ego and I was the one that would not let the Opponent go!
This was tough love from the universe. The Rav was the channel for this tough love, and the Centre and its stunning teachings was the channel for this tough love and Light!
But they were NOT the cause of my problem regardless of what my ego was trying to tell me.
Thank God, I remembered all the stunning miracles and what the Rav had said to me and i decided right then and there, no matter how much more pain comes to me, I am not giving up. I weighed the blessings that I got against the trouble i was now experiencing.
It was no contest.
I could never pay back the blessings that I had gotten to that point.
I had to fight on for my wife and kids because how cruel, ugly and selfish it would be for me to pull my kids out of KCA, and Shabbat and this Kabbalah Centre path that opened up my heart, my mind, my soul like nothing i had ever tasted before. How could i forget that just because i was in the shit-house for the last few years! Just because my ego was bruised to the bone and I was miserable.
I am cutting out many more years of insane stories or the sake of time. What’s important is that I came out the other end of the cleansing process! I came out of the darkness and the difficult tests that we all must face! And I passed the one big test that determines if we go on, or walk away from the Light and happiness that we originally tasted!
Suddenly a whole new world of greater wisdom, deeper secrets and a deeper unbreakable relationship with the Rav and Karen emerged. Beyond words. And I truly, truly mean, beyond words. Wow. It’s a miracle that i made it out of the tunnel of darkness!
Now here’s the key point: I only saw and experienced the truth and deeper levels of miracles and change and blessings and secrets when I jumped into that red sea of death and darkness. Then the chaos split and I saw a truth that I never knew existed.
As Einstein said, we cannot solve our problems with the same consciousness that caused the problems in the first place. By taking on the pain of this Kabbalah Centre path and not giving up, a higher truth and reality appeared in my life. Wow. And i could not really tell anyone because you have to experience it for yourself. So i knew, just keep fixing myself so that i can contribute some candlelight to others.
For many years later, even today, I say to my wife and kids, “I don’t know how anyone else will past this test and stay the course when that big test comes…it’s too difficult!” I don’t know how i did it.
I mean even the Zohar says only 1 out of a 1000 makes it on this path!
But then I realized it’s not my business if others make it or not. The best way I can support others is to change myself ONLY and then the candle that shines in my being will illuminate them automatically. And, of course, we only get what we can handle so the tests that I had to go through won’t be the tests that others have to go through.
Three days before the Rav had the stroke, the Rav said to me at Third Meal on Shabbat, “Billy whatever you see, no matter what it is, have certainty NO MATTER WHAT! Billy, do you hear me? No matter what you see, no matter what it is, certainty NO MATTER WHAT! Are you listening to me? Do you hear what I am saying? No matter what you see, certainty no matter what!”
I was in that hospital room a few days later when the Rav was in the coma and the doctors said the Rav would be a vegetable because the whole brain was blown out. The only question for Karen, the doctors said, was to choose if the Rav goes on life support or Karen pulls the plug.
I watched in the middle of the night as i was doing my shift being with the Rav in the hospital room, the Rav doing tikun hanefesh with his hand, while in the coma! And then i watched the Rav doing Kabbalat Shabbat singing from the coma.
It was supernatural, a bible story, and totally out of this world.
One of the cardiologists took my dear friend and close student of the Rav and Karen, Dr. Artur Spokojny aside and said “who is that man? I saw his chart, he should not be singing, let alone alive!”
I saw so many other miracles it would rob you of your breath. Miracles and secrets with the Rav that are right out of the Zohar and the Baal Shem Tov stories. So having certainty during this time was not as difficult as it might have been for others. I saw too many extraordinary things.
THE RAV ELEVATES
After the Rav left this world, and we came home from Israel, my wife and kids had Shabbat lunch. I told them that they better have certainty now because the sh$#! is going to hit the fan. I told them we must remember what the Rav told me 9 years earlier before the stroke — Certainty No Matter what and unity with the Rav and Karen and Yehuda and Michael, no matter what. No matter what means just that. No Matter What!
That Monday I received a book on a 200 year old text written by a student of the Gaon of Vilna!
I was absolutely stunning to read and i cried as i read it.
This book—Kol HaTor— was never published during the Gaon’s lifetime or even centuries after. Only a fews years ago was this book made known publicly. Many wanted it kept hidden until the End of Days.
Without getting into details, the Gaon of Vilna said that the Messiah, son of Joseph will appear at the End of Days and his role at that time will be to unite Science and Kabbalah for the entire world.
Remarkably, the Rav told me personally (and the Rav told a lot of us privately and publicly) that the Rav was the channel for Joseph in our generation. The Rav never claimed to be the Messiah. But the Rav was the channel to bring Joseph’s energy into this world. How we interpret that is up to each and every one of us.
Anyway, if you read all of the Rav’s major books, they all reconcile science and Kabbalah in stunning fashion. There has never been a Kabbalist in human history that has ever united physics with the science of Kabbalah the way that the Rav did. Never.
We all took it for granted because the Rav lived among us and the Rav’s books were plentiful and so we were not able to judge these books through the lens of history.
But looking back now, this is exactly what the Rav was doing.
Second, the Gaon of Vilna says that this effort of uniting science and Kabbalah is the key to paving the way for the arrival of our Redemption and the final and actual appearance of the Messiah — meaning the end of death and the arrival of immortality!
However, the Gaon says if the students do not have the merit, then Messiah son of Joseph will be forced to leave this world before the redemption comes.
But make no mistake, the Gaon says, he will still be engaged in the final work from the Upper Worlds. And the people in this world will mourn his passing, they will mourn the fact that he has left us, but in truth, he is still working, even harder, in the Upper World.
The Gaon then says that after Messiah son of Joseph leaves, there will be a great disunity and schism between his closest disciples, and his students and followers.
This disunity and conflict will be real, from our perspective, but in truth, it is also designed to fool the dark side, to trick the negative forces of the Opponent, the force called Satan, because from the perspective of the Upper Worlds, we will be moving towards our final redemption and the final appearance of the Messiah. It’s a tactic to outsmart the dark forces that sabotage our lives and this work.
The Gaon says the Messiah’s students will think things are not moving quick enough, and that it looks like the work is slowing down and that we are not making any progress and that everything is falling apart. But in fact, there is tremendous progress being made and we must all keep working on ourselves to diminish the dark influence of our own egos and stay true to the original mission, as Messiah son of Joseph continues working in the Upper World.
Some people will panic. Some will lose their certainty. Some will flee. And some will stay the course and fight the good fight with great conviction and certainty.
The Gaon says that as things begin to look worse and worse, and it appears that our redemption is just a hopeless dream in our generation, the two opposing sides of the Messiah’s disciples will come together with great power and force and unity and utterly destroy the negative force called Satan.
When that dark side least expects it, this sudden unity of love and brotherhood will remove death and darkness from our midst. It will be a surprise attack; a surprise unification between the two sides that will cause the full Light of Redemption to shine in our world bringing peace to all humankind.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I thought back to to the time I was having my tantrum in front of the Rav, the Rav said, “You leave my friend Billy alone!”
I thought about the magic glasses where I see the Opponent manipulating my friend—or my enemy for that matter! I think about how those glasses allow me to see the true identify of the person I am mad at, that their soul loves me and is pleading with me to connect and not listen to the Opponent that is controlling their rational mind at this moment. And I see my own Opponent inside, who is making me upset, and stirring my own pain and sadness, anger and disappointment and it’s a breathtaking realization that we are all teammates, brothers and sisters, and there is only one enemy playing both sides against the middle!
There are no two sides. We are one. There is only one enemy. The opponent.
And there is a famous Zohar teaching that Kabbalists throughout history speak of. How the great tzaddiks take on the negativity of the world, take on an aspect of the Opponent in order to correct it for the sake of the world. And the additional meaning is that so do we. So do you. So do I. Each person on this path is a tzaddik inside, taking on certain negativity to eradicate it from the world. That is why we were brought to the Centre and this path. But we are afraid of our own negativity and we are afraid of looking within because the Opponent raises that fear inside of us but we don know it’s him. Or he blinds us. And we deny it, protecting him. Or we just don’t see it. And we blame others, often rightly so, but its a sucker’s bet. A losing proposition.
Because our negativity is our greatest blessing and opportunity. Because if we can rise above our doubts and hurt and pain, and realize our true essence, our soul, is our true self, and we admit and conquer our fear and the negative traits inside, we unleash the tzaddik within and the greatness that is our true identity. Our true self.
But he has us in a vice grip. And freedom from Egypt was really freedom from our inner opponent. Freedom was about wearing those magic glasses so that we can see the truth of the Opponent. That he is playing both sides. That our enemy is really a loving, beautiful soul and there is NOTHING else but that. And when we fall, or someone we know falls, its the Opponent.
And now, I hear the Rav saying to me again, and to all those people on Facebook with their shining, gentle, radiant souls, and their true kind hearts and compassionate spirits, who are now facing their own tests, “Leave my friends alone!”
All we need to do now is put on the magic glasses called “kabbalah consciousness”, use the power of this energy that is freedom from Egypt, which starts this Shabbat, and remember the miracles we all received, know that the real money play is killing the ego, not being right, finding the Opponent inside and see, truly see, the Opponent manipulating the people who hurt us! And see the Opponent manipulating and blinding us, and then just let go.
THE PASSING OF MARK LERNER A GREAT SOUL!
Our dear friend Mark Lerner passed a few hours ago, as i was writing this. May his soul elevate with mercy and love and Light with the Rav helping him along the way. We must realize that death and our Opponent is the only enemy. And we only have each other. And if we are on this path, or if we were on this path, we can still become the Light unto all nations by fighting the real fight inside.
There is no other fight.
When we fight or blame someone else, it’s him—the opponent—stirring the pot inside of us. We are not here to be right. We are here to unite and connect to Light and uniting means similarity of form, which means we work on ourselves, become accountable, no matter how difficult it is for us to believe that right now.
It’s easy to love and be united and look within when times are good. But when we do it when its hard, THAT changes the world and our darkness becomes Light in that one moment.
It’s time we told HIM–and not each other, because each other is all we got—to just LEAVE US ALONE!