The negative force inside of us, known as the Opponent or Adversary, is powerful. He is smart, cunning and crafty. He often sucker punches us by making us commit a small negative action, a tiny egocentric response and small selfish deed. He will not try to motivate us to commit a large-scale negative action. He’s too sly to be so obvious.
He works like this:
The Opponent waits patiently until a positive goal comes into our mind. He let’s us feel good about it. He doesn’t try to convince us that it’s a bad thing. He uses truth and then uses that truth to nail us.
For instance, we want to do something positive to enrich our life or someone else’s. Once the truth and benefit of that goal and objective is inside of us——as a good intention——the Opponent then slowly takes us apart with the power of tiny temptations.
He knows full well if he tries to strike all at once, we will recognize him. Or, even if we are blind to the Opponent, or we deny his existence with our clever skepticism, he knows we will realize that a dramatic selfish action will obviously undermine our good intentions.
And so, like a skilled surgeon, the Opponent slowly dissects us. He begins his surgery on our consciousness with precise incisions that cut directly into our certainty and conviction. After a few of these small, seemingly insignificant incisions undermine our commitment, he gradually weakens us, without us ever realizing what is actually happening.
And then, when we are at our most vulnerable, he strikes!
Like helpless suckers, we then throw it all away. And then we justify our actions, using the actual justifications that he implants in our minds.
This is why Kabbalist Rav Berg repeated a famous phrase over and over and over again.
What is the phrase?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In this simple but stunning video clip below, taken from the gangster film, Once Upon a Time in America, we will see how a young boy desperately seeks to win the heart of a girl he is crushing on. He finds out that her favorite treat in the world is a particular cupcake from her favorite bakery.
This clip is our lives.