Some people asked me about the debate and the coming election. I am reposting an article I wrote after the last election. Here it is:
I never talk about politics. Ever. Politics does not lie within the domain of Kabbalistic wisdom. But all of this Trump madness and rabid behavior in response to all things Trump provides a profound opportunity to share some world-changing, life-changing practical wisdom. What I will share applies not only to Trump but also to your co-workers, or boss, or employees, or friends, or partner in a marriage and everyone else in your life that triggers a reactive response from you. A reactive response includes anger, envy, resentment, judgement, intense disagreement, a difference of opinion that you just can’t let go of, and the like.
Are you ready? This is going to hurt. But you do not have to accept what I share. And it’s not my opinion, either. It’s the age old wisdom of the Kabbalists. But I can tell you that when I’ve had the courage to live this bit of wisdom at various points over the last 30 years, it worked. Miraculously.
Okay, here we go:
Without getting into the exact numbers, about half the country is passionately for Trump, while the other half is intensely against Trump. For the most part, there is no middle ground. So what is going on here and how can we relate this to our personal lives?
Why is Trump polarizing the world into two extreme sides?
Allow me to quote the Kabbalists, specifically the Kabbalist known as the Master of the Good Name (Baal Shem Tov in Hebrew). He lived about two and half centuries ago and he is a revered figure and the source of profound wisdom and life lessons.
This great Kabbalist said, and I paraphrase:
“Whatever you see wrong in others, WHATEVER IT IS, make no mistake—none whatsoever—that the negative trait and insolent behavior that you are witnessing is ALSO inside of you and THAT is why it angers you so much. Further, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that this other person will be able to change until you first begin to search deep within yourself and find that trait inside of you, however it may be disguised. And as you uproot that trait in yourself, and you begin to mend your ways, then the other person who angered you in the first place will change in equal measure.”
EACH MAN AND WOMAN A UNIVERSE UNTO THEMSELVES
All the Kabbalists throughout history, and of course the ancient Zohar, tell us that we must live our lives as if the entire world was created just for us. Do you know why? Because it’s true. This is not a nice metaphor or some noble, idealistic way to interpret life. No. There are an untold number of parallel universes running seamlessly at this very moment, and we are responsible and accountable for the one we find ourselves in. Each of us has come into this world to transform ourselves using this world as a mirror of our inner selves. This is not spirituality. This is life. This is reality. This is the way it is, whether we are ready to accept it or not—according to the ancient Zohar.
Do you know what this means? Sit down. Take a big breath. Let go of all anger. Here it is:
IT’S NOT ABOUT TRUMP—IT’S ABOUT YOU
Often, we are compelled to judge someone else—in this case Trump. Guess what? The people who have committed the same sort of negative behavior (in large or small measure) or spoken the same sort of negative words at some point, they are the ones who become the angriest and most judgmental when they see it in Trump. Period. If we start making excuses, it’s the negative force that Kabbalah calls the Opponent that is blinding us, no matter how correct or genuinely righteous our points of view and opinions are.
In other words, If Trump spoke rudely and crudely , it means I spoke the same way at some point in my life. Or someone close to me, like my own partner, spoke like that and I never dealt with it. Either way, I need to accept that and fix it, however it is manifesting in my own life. Oftentimes, just accepting this point is 90% of the karmic correction. Read that last point again. It’s deeply profound and significant.
It’s the same with those people who judge Hillary or Putin or Obama or Netanyahu or their boss, neighbor, business competitor or that irresponsible creep who just cut you off on the highway and laughed about it as you honked your horn at him or her.
They are all a mirror of ourselves. Of me. Period.
Trump is you.
Trump is me.
If something is gnawing at you, driving you nuts, it means the universe is holding up a mirror. Likewise, if the media attacks Trump, beyond the honest questioning of a President, it means that particular news anchor or pundit or reporter possesses the same negative trait that they see in Trump. If they lose their impartiality because of what they cannot stand in Trump or what he stands for, and this anger has compelled them to cross the line of journalistic integrity, they have the same troubling traits in their own character makeup.
And if they, or me, are absolutely blind to the bias, it means the trait is of an extreme nature.
Now follow closely: I have no right to call out a specific news reporter. Why? Because when I see a reporter or news anchor cross the line in their judgment towards Trump, only searching for and focusing on the bad in a situation, then it means I HAVE THAT SAME TRAIT IN ME. It means I am doing the exact same thing, in some way, somewhere in my own life. Now, if I can accept that easily, without pain, without huffing and puffing, without guilt or denial, and I actually feel good about this opportunity, chances are that trait is already under control. Either way, I still have to look for it and improve myself in all of my day-to-day relationships.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
A true “spiritual” person can find the good in everyone. This is why two people can hear two different tones and messages from a single Trump speech. My teacher, the esteemed Kabbalist Rav Berg, told me personally on many occasions: People truly hear what they NEED to hear from someone who is talking or sharing a message, because it’s for their own particular tikun (a karmic opportunity to make a correction). He said that two people will therefore hear two different things from the same person. The Rav said he was not referring to two different interpretations. No. Two people will hear two totally different words, sentences and tones necessary for their own karmic correction. Therefore, we have to become accountable for what we see and hear with our eyes and ears if we want to change the world.
The Kabbalists say we would never react to something if what we were seeing was not inside of us. We just wouldn’t. That’s why emotion-laced denial is a total giveaway. If someone is angrily defending a criticism, it means it’s true. A person who has genuinely repaired a character flaw will accept unjust criticism of that repaired flaw by saying in total earnest, “Okay, thank you for sharing that. I'll work on it.” It will not incite anger. Or guilt.
They will accept it easily. That’s the trick. That’s the secret of knowing what is inside a person. If they react, it means the criticism is true. If they can accept it easily and it does not bother them one iota, it’s fixed.
TO REACT OR NOT TO REACT: THAT IS THE QUESTION
In other words, if we are reacting, if we cannot let go and embrace an opposite view and find a neutral state of consciousness regarding a Donald Trump, if whatever we are seeing is wrong— truly wrong—and it’s making us freaking crazy, it means we have it. We own it. We possess it. If all kinds of wild, angry, intellectual counter-arguments start running off in your head, that is further proof. This is the view of the Kabbalists, not me. And do not believe it. Try it. See if living this way changes the world around you.
Now, suppose we are seeing the good in a person, and someone else beside us is perceiving the negativity from that same person or situation. Why do we see something positive while the other person only sees negative? It means the negativity of this situation is no longer in our own character and karmic destiny. It means we already corrected it. THIS is why two people can perceive two different messages and tones and modes of behavior from Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or the pundit on CNN or Fox News. Reread that last paragraph again. It’s powerful.
Please remember: it is so freaking easy to protest and blame someone else or some situation for what is wrong. It’s much harder to search inside when we see any type of ugliness in the world around us.
Does that mean we do nothing? We never take any action outside ourselves to improve a situation?
No. Of course not.
It means we look within first, find our negative character flaw first, and then we can work on the outside without anger, without judgment, without reactivity, to fix what is broken on the external level. Just know, that when we fix it on the outside, that was just an effect of what we have already fixed on the inside.
If you are unsure of any of these points, feel free to submit questions below and I will do my best to answer.
And please share this article. The madness has gone on long enough and the disunity only creates a space for the darkness and negative forces to enter.
The world is going off the rails because of the disunity, NOT because of who is right or wrong.
Better we are wrong and unified than right and dis-unified.
As Rav Berg taught me, the NAZIS were able to destroy so much good because they had unity. Unified evil will always defeat good if there is some measure of disunity on the side of good. The negative force in this world that was created to test us and give us free will, its sole mission is to divide and conquer. Its sole mission is to incite the human ego so that we absolutely do not recognize its existence in our own character.
It is our ego that creates conflict between the truth and itself. If we accept responsibility for what we see, if we resist the urge to judge and realize it’s all about me, then there is no more space left for the darkness to enter.
And the final point, when we see the negative in others, we strengthen it within them. So our judgments become self-fulfilling prophecies. If we see the good and we look for it, we strengthen that goodness within the person.
Think about that next time Trump is on the news.
Easy to write about, but hard to live by.