21st century brain

רצון מתחיל מכתר ונקלט במוחין, שם מתחיל הממוש. קודם הנקודה של חכמה, אז הגידול בבינה, ורק אחר כך מגיעה לביטוי במידות. ובסוף הרצון יוצא לפועל דרך מלכות. ככה ניתן לאיש ישראלי ללמד את מידותיו ושכליו ולאמנם לבטות את כל רצונו לשם שמים. כל עוד שלא הצליח לגמרי לשלוט על רצוניו, היצר הרע הינו גלגלי עזר שדועג לדברים הכי בסיסיים כדי לאפשר להתפתחות היצר טוב לטווח הערוך שזה מתרת כל איש ישראלי
There have been a number of psychological studies that look at how we make decisions first, and only afterwards try to rationalize them, sometimes with really pitiful attempts at rationalization.

According to the Kabbalistic view of the world, as seen most readily and easily through Hassidut, this finding is entirely expected.

In the flow of influence through the sefiroth, everything starts with an initial desire. The desire is then clothed in Hochmah, Wisdom, and only after that in Binah, Reason. In other words there are two entire categorical stages that every action goes through before Reason even enters the picture.

(I say categorical stages, because each stage breaks down into infinite substages.)

Basically, years and years ago we knew that it isn't just the uneducated or uncultured who make rash decisions. Rather, it was a false rationalist perspective that has influenced modern society to believe that Man operates from a rational, logical, frame of mind.

The catch is, as the Baal HaTanya explains, that mind was given the ability to rule over our desires, (this is part of why the desire is clothed in Wisdom and then Reason) and so it is within our capabilities to overcome any action, even reflexes. Provided, of course, that we have mastered ourselves.

This is the work of a Jew, to move from an automatic lifestyle to a conscious chosen lifestyle.

In this view it seems to me that the evil urge is not inherently evil, more "automatic" than evil. Basically the evil urge is "training wheels." Until you can control and direct your own life the yetzer hara (evil urge) keeps you moving in a more or less healthy direction. You provide for yourself, reproduce, etc. Once you have begun to master your own life, then you replace your automatic nature, with a new conscious nature.

This isn't new thinking, these are things that are taken for granted in all of the old thinking. We just lost track of them over time.

The difference here and now, as in most modern thought, is that what in reality needs to be earned, is taken for granted as a right, rather than a responsibility to achieve.

Just as children don't have rights, instead we have responsibilities to educate them. They were provided as an example under our nose that we may recognize we have a responsibility to educate ourselves as well, to earn what we would have as rights.

I believe all of this knowledge was lost to us as our teachers became younger and younger. Only the wisdom of people who have lived (and succeeded to live) full lives can really value basic necesities like a work ethic.

Being young myself, I can only quote Pirkei Avoth, (Rav Meir I believe) "you may find a new barrel bearing old wine, and an old barrel without even young wine in it."


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