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43. The Matter of Truth and Faith

I heard

Truth is what one feels and sees in one’s eyes. This discernment is called “reward and punishment,” meaning that nothing can be gained without labor. It is like a person who sits in his home and does not want to do anything to provide for his sustenance. He says that since the Creator is good that doeth good, and provides for all, hence He will certainly send him his needs, while he himself is required to no action.

Of course, if this person behaves in this manner, he will certainly starve to death. Reason, too, necessitates it, so it appears to the eyes, and this is indeed the truth, meaning that he will die of starvation.

But at the same time one must believe above reason that one could obtain all one’s needs without any exertion and trouble, because of private Providence. In other words, the Creator does and will do every deed, and one does not help Him in anything, but the Creator does everything, and one cannot add or subtract.

Yet, how can these two things go hand in hand, since one contradicts the other? One discernment is called what one’s mind attains, meaning that without man’s help, meaning that without preceding labor and exertion, nothing will be attained. This is called “truth,” because the Creator wanted one to feel that way. This is why this path is called “the path of truth.”

Let it not perplex you that, if these two ways are in contradiction, how is it possible that this state is true? The answer is that the truth does not refer to the way and to the state. Rather, truth refers to the sensation that the Creator wanted one to feel like that; this is “truth.” It follows that the matter of truth can be said precisely about the Creator, meaning about His will, that He wants one to feel and see this way.

Yet, at the same time, one must believe that even though one does not feel and does not see with one’s mind’s eye that the Creator can help him obtain all the profits that can be gained without any exertion, it is only with respect to private Providence.

The reason that one cannot attain the matter of private Providence before one attains the matter of reward and punishment is that private Providence is an eternal thing, and one’s mind is not eternal. Hence, something eternal cannot clothe in something not eternal. Thus, once one has been awarded the discernment of reward and punishment, the reward and punishment become a Kli (Receptacle) where private Providence can clothe.

Now we can understand the verse, “O Lord, do save, O Lord, do succeed.” “Do save” refers to reward and punishment. One must pray that the Creator will provide one with labor and exertion by which one will have reward. At the same time one should pray for success, which is private Providence, meaning that one will be rewarded with all the profits in the world without any labor and exertion.

We also see this in corporeal possessions (discerned by their separation in places, meaning in two bodies, whereas in spiritual matters everything is examined on a single body but in two times). There are people who obtain their possessions specifically through great exertion, energy, and great wit, and at the same time we see the opposite, that people who are not so witty, who do not have that much energy, and do not make great efforts, succeed and become the greatest owners of property and possessions in the world.

The answer is that these corporeal things extend from their Upper Roots, meaning from reward and punishment and from private Providence. The only difference is that in spirituality it appears in one place, meaning in one subject, but one-by-one, meaning in one person but in two states. And in corporeality it is in one time, but in two subjects, meaning at one time and in two different people.

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