Test Number Seven Can You Keep The Peace (With Me Breathing Down Your Neck)?
I like to stir the pot. That’s how I operate. When I am the chef, you can bet that the kitchen will get hot. If you leave me to call the shots, you know that I’ll be injecting my special recipe of jealousy, judgment, and envy. But I won’t stop there. I’m even more effective if I can cause you to sabotage and judge yourself in the same way! So, the test for you is to stop me before I start stirring up trouble.
If you think you are up to the challenge, you’ll definitely need some tools. Ever heard of a truth serum? When a person swallows it, he or she becomes powerless to hold back the truth. Your first tool is to seek this serum. If you want to oust me, you have to become a die-hard truth-seeker. Rav Ashlag—one of my toughest adversaries, I might add—was just such a man.
Rav Ashlag was a 20th century Kabbalist—someone who learned to recognize the illusions of the material world, and the truth beneath my ploys. Revealing the truth starts with asking questions, and that is precisely what Rav Ashlag did. For every one answer he received, he asked 15 more questions. The truth was paramount for him, as it should be for you.
But most people find it a lot easier to judge than to search for the truth. Passing judgment on others doesn’t seem nearly as scary as discovering what is really going on beneath the surface. But if your goal is a life of joy and fulfillment, the path starts with discovering the truth. This means being honest with others and yourself. It also means that you’ve got to learn to put a muzzle on me!
The next step requires a shift in consciousness, moving from self-interest to having the best intentions for others in your heart. When you intend the best for others, you are bringing Light into the lives of others.
Aaron, Moses’ brother, was a champ at this. As hard as I would work to undo people’s most cherished relationships, he would build bridges between the two souls in conflict. We’re talking about a man who would seek out troubled relationships in order to bring the two people together again. He was a schemer, but one like no other. He was the master of conflict resolution before the term was ever coined. This was a man who always knew the right way to turn darkness into Light.
HUSBAND AND WIFE
Let’s look at the sacred peace between a husband and a wife. Because this relationship is vital to the flow of Light in the universe, its peace should never be shattered by another. I might tempt you in any number of ways, but when you allow me to break the peace of your marriage, you are opening the floodgates to darkness in your life and in the lives of others.
God’s a pro at keeping the peace. Take, for instance, the time, in the Bible story, when the angels delivered the news to Sarah that she’d be having a child. She laughed out loud, commenting on her husband Abraham and how he was too old to give her a child. Ever the diplomat, God did not reveal this tidbit to Abraham when speaking with him later. God simply said that Sarah had made it clear that she wasn’t able have children. The Creator understood that Sarah’s comment might hurt Abraham’s feelings and cause a rift between husband and wife, so the Creator just edited it out.
GOING TO WAR FOR PEACE
The final step of your peace mission might sound like pure paradox, but, as we’ve seen, such is the nature of the universe. You need to be willing to go to war to achieve peace. Now, as much as I like to see hand-to-hand combat, I’m not talking about a physical war between soldiers—I’m talking about the war within. You must be willing to fight to the death against me, and every negative emotion I elicit. Consider a man who knows that his marriage is on the rocks. He must be willing to fight for his marriage, to bring every ounce of Light he can into the marriage, in order to save it. This is what I mean by being willing to go to war for peace.
So, the sooner you come to terms with the fact that this is indeed a battle to the death, the sooner I can exit stage right. Are you willing to go to war and confront all the demons that I bring to the table in order to find lasting, abiding peace—for yourself and for the rest of the world? Think long and hard about this answer, because your entire future hangs in the balance.