“One is where one’s thoughts are.”
Q: I read in an article written by Rabbi Baruch Ashlag that the only way to escape situations of spiritual decline and unawareness is to examine the current situation while still in a state of ascent, and understand that nothing is lower or more distanced from the Creator than one’s existence as a beast. In this state, we lack the ability to evaluate our situation under the dictatorship of worldly desires. What does it mean to inquire, to purposely decline to a lower degree?
A: One must never search for lower situations because “one is where one’s thoughts are.” The lower we decline, the more distanced we become from the Creator. Always try to feel the contact with the Creator and leave the rest to Him.
If, for the purpose of progress, we should be dropped low, then the Creator will create that situation, but man himself, wherever he is, should want only to remain close to Him.
Only the Other Side pushes man to agonize and torture himself from within. The reply to it should be prompt: always try to be happy, to reach adhesion, high spirits and enthusiasm in the search.
The thoughts and conditions that affect man, whether positively or negatively, are brought to him from Above. They are spiritual forces, which we call “angels.” With regard to spirituality, our bodies are considered dead.
Much like a vehicle, the body can only respond to spiritual forces. The angels can point the body (one’s desire to receive) in the “wrong” direction, away from the aim toward the Creator; they break our contact with the Creator by afflicting the body with dead-end thoughts, lack of purpose, emptiness or fatigue.
The holy Zohar writes that the angels that control us do not have souls and can be fooled. It is our goal and our responsibility to maintain contact with the Creator despite the disturbances; therefore, the angels that bring us “bad” thoughts can be fooled. Since the body understands only mechanical movements, start dancing, even by yourself (as Rabbi Baruch Ashlag used to do with tears in his eyes). You will see how easily the body comes out of its negative state.