life and death of a thought

Continuing on the topic of Foreign thoughts (מחשבות זרות): [For earlier references check here (training wheels of thought) and here. (unidentified flying thoughts) ]

The Notzer Hesed (Reb Yitzhak Isaac of Komarna) explains (Notzer Hesed 4:3) that each and every thought is a Complete Level. (קומה שלמה) This means that each thought that crosses one's mind consists of all the same limbs and sinews as a (spiritually complete) person does. (All 248 limbs and 365 sinews) Which means that such a thought is alive in a sense. When a thought comes to someone, and we push it out of our mind saying that it is baseless, meaningless and/or useless, we are 'killing' said thought.

At that very moment that thought came to us to be raised up in the service of HaShem and by pushing it aside we just denied it its rectification and destroyed it. Why did the thought come to us? Because we have some special connection with it, we had the ability to raise it up to the root of our soul in the service of God and make it whole.

If, instead of pushing it off, we recognise the Godliness within that thought, recognizing that no place is void of HaShem, then we have rejoined it to its creator, it has been rectified and made complete.

Wait, what about those pesky thoughts whose sole purpose (no pun intended) is to lead us astray? How do we know we won't be caught up by those?

Of course, the Notzer Hesed provides a litmus test: If the thought leads one immediately to feelings of smallness--a recognition of how little we are--then it is a thought that we should raise up and let live. If, on the other hand, the thought leads one immediately to nothing but feelings of haughtiness and an expansive ego, then the only way to redeem the thought is to kill it by pushing it out of our minds, destroying it utterly. [Following the general principle of: If someone comes to kill you, kill him first. הבא להרגך השכם להרגו]

[In general both these types of thoughts come in the midst of one's service of God either in prayer, Torah study, or in the middle of mitzwah observance, but they may come at any time at all of the night or day. They come when the confluence of your current state and their current state is conducive to you rectifying them.]


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