Measure For Measure
Pitching The Pitchfork
Pay close attention because the more quickly you catch on to this next idea, the less explaining I’ll have to do. There is a process—a system—for everything in the universe. One of the most important principles in this system is something I call Measure for Measure, and it goes something like this:
• To the extent that you judge others, you will be judged.
• To the extent that you love others, you will be loved.
• To the extent that you care, you will be cared for.
• To the extent that you hate, you will be hated.
• To the extent that you envy, you will be envied.
Catching on? There’s a one-to-one ratio—a direct correlation—between the thoughts and actions that you direct toward others and the thoughts and actions that are directed at you. You don’t have to be a mathematician to understand this Universal Law. But you do need to pay attention.
The way this principle works is not personal in any way. It is simply a spiritual law of our universe that is every bit as straightforward as the physical laws which govern space. Just as the law of gravity doesn’t take into account the personality of the individual who gets hit in the head by a coin dropped from the top of a skyscraper, neither does the principle of Measure for Measure vary by individual. It’s not about feelings or personalities; it’s about spiritual energy.
For every action, there is a directly proportional reaction. When you hurl a ball against a wall, it comes back to you with the exact same force. In the same way, the universe throws back to you, pound for pound, exactly that which you throw at it.
The system is perfect and impersonal, and it’s not limited to you and your actions. The balance of humankind is also determined by the Measure for Measure principle. Just like you, the world is always being tested. Just like you, it evolves and grows from its experiences and then is challenged again by something new. Just like you, humankind as a whole has selfish attributes it has come here to correct, attributes which must be turned into Light before the world’s consciousness can advance to the next level.
You don’t have to look hard to find examples of the world being pushed to its limits by the likes of me. The shattered state of the environment, the depressed global economy, unpredictable foreign relations, war-ravaged nations, widespread famine, and the AIDS crisis—I’ve been hard at work lately. Such large-scale negativity helps you completely forget about sharing and removing selfishness. Heck, it leaves you totally dumbstruck.
But it gets even better. Everything you allow me to do to you personally is magnified on a global scale. Every negative thought adds to the suffering of the world. My insidious nature can prove devastating if you let it.
But only if you let it: Underneath my dazzling shows of death and destruction lies the possibility for immeasurable Light to be revealed by the human spirit. Without my little tests, you would never discover your greatness. Coming face-to-face with a gut-wrenching challenge reveals a degree of strength inside of you that you didn’t even know you had. These tests, whether they are individual or global, help build you into the person you were meant to be. The tests you come up against help to expand your Vessel, thereby creating an opening for Light. In fact, every ounce of God-inspired potential you were granted upon your soul’s creation becomes activated when you pass one of my endless stream of tests.
If you were never tested, not only would you be stuck with a constant feeling of being unfulfilled, but there would be no mechanism for removing blockages from your past—for clearing away the garbage that you carry with you from one lifetime to the next. By passing tests, you change the course of your destiny.
That’s what happened to Rav Akiva’s daughter. Rav Akiva lived a long time ago and, being a kabbalist, was a real thorn in my side. He certainly was someone who understood the significance of my grueling tests.
RAV AKIVA’S DAUGHTER
On the day his daughter was born, astrologers informed Rav Akiva that his daughter would die on her wedding day. Knowing this, he prepared his daughter well. He taught her much of the same wisdom I am sharing with you in this book: The dangers of selfishness, the necessity of sharing, and the secret ways I operate. Needless to say, with an upbringing like that, this was a woman who was prepared to be tested.
On the evening of her wedding, she decided to take off the brooch which adorned her dress and stick it to the wall so she wouldn’t lose it. But unbeknownst to her, the pin of her brooch went through the thin wall and lodged in the eye of the serpent I had sent to kill her. It wasn’t until the next morning when she pulled the pin out of the wall that she found the dead snake. Despite the predictions to the contrary, Rav Akiva’s daughter had survived her wedding day—untouched by me or my agents.
As you can imagine, Rav Akiva was both elated and curious to know how his daughter had averted death. He asked his daughter if anything out of the ordinary had happened to her before her nuptials. His daughter explained that a poor man had come into the banquet hall in need of a meal, and she had given him food. What seemed like a simple gesture of sharing was in reality one of my most demanding tests. Why? Because, according to custom, the bride had fasted on the day leading up to her wedding night. So, choosing to share her first meal in 24 hours was no small thing! As it turned out, her decision to share changed the poor man’s destiny and her own. Had it not been for her father’s coaching, and the consciousness that inspired her to share, she would not have passed my test. She would have died, and the man would have gone hungry.
Absolutely everyone gets tested, and absolutely everyone is subject to the Measure for Measure principle. Rich or poor. Educated or unschooled. Good or evil. These qualifiers mean nothing in the realm of spiritual law. A smart man’s business crashes and he loses everything, while an illiterate man wins the lottery. Even the most righteous will get tested. In the eyes of the Creator, it all makes perfect sense.
HE WHO JUDGES
As much as I hate to admit it, there are people throughout history who had my number. The Creator sent them as a way to level the playing field. Rav Isaac Luria was one of my greatest adversaries. Why? Because Rav Isaac Luria understood the big picture, which means he understood me. Let me tell you a true story.
THE BAKER AND THE BEGGAR
There once was a baker who lived in a small town. One Friday afternoon, he decided that he wanted to do something special for the Creator to show his appreciation for the many blessings in his life. Obviously, this was not a thought inspired by me. In fact, this baker was a man of so much Light that it was next to impossible for me to influence him in any way.
The baker baked some of his best bread and took it with him to the temple. As he stood before the Ark, I heard him say, “God, please accept this sacrifice. I want to be closer to you.” Was this guy pure Light or what? He placed the bread inside the Ark and left.
Five minutes later, a beggar walked into the temple. He was so hungry that he went to the Ark and began to cry like a baby. I heard him pleading, “Please, God, help me.”
I had to stick around for this.
When he opened the Ark, he discovered the two loaves of bread left behind by the baker. Believing that they had been delivered straight from the Creator himself, the beggar was elated, to say the least. Not only did he have food to eat, but the Creator obviously deemed him worthy enough to receive the bread—or so he believed.
The next morning, I watched as the baker returned to the temple to see if God had accepted his gift. Indeed, the bread was gone, and the baker was beside himself with joy at having been of service to the Creator. What could I do? Absolutely nothing. I was powerless.
A week later, the baker brought more bread to the Ark, and the same thing happened. The beggar took the loaves without hesitation. This went on, week after week, year after year, until 14 years had passed.
For 14 years, I was unable to penetrate this Light. Then, one Friday afternoon, I encouraged the clergyman of the temple to fall into a deep sleep. He was awoken by the sound of someone opening a door. When he looked into the sanctuary, he saw the baker put the bread into the Ark and leave. A few minutes later, the beggar entered, took the loaves out of the Ark, and ran away.
After watching this scene, I saw my “in”—the clergyman! Talk about a man full of self-righteousness. So, I put thoughts of disgust into his head. Easy as pie. “I will fix this,” I encouraged him to think to himself.
The following day, the clergyman called the baker and the beggar into his office. Again, I took charge:
What do the two of you think you’re doing here? One of you puts the bread in, and the other one takes it out. The one fantasizes that he’s working with God, and the other is just a common thief. God is not involved in this transaction at all! You have no business coming to this sanctuary. Stay out!
At that very second, the great sage, Rav Isaac Luria, came in and saw me there. Talk about being caught red-handed! He saw my selfishness and ego with absolute clarity. This wise man turned to the clergyman and said, “Prepare yourself to die. The Angel of Death has you, and you are going to leave this world before the end of the day.”
Sure enough, I took that poor clergyman’s mortal life by sunset.
Here’s what the clergyman refused to see, and why he failed this important test: God was involved—intimately involved. It was no coincidence that for 14 years, the baker always arrived just before the beggar. Never once did they come in the wrong order, or at the wrong time.
How did this happen? The Creator was so happy with what he saw in this simple unconditional exchange between baker and beggar that the temple was filled with incredible Light—Light that I could not corrupt or compromise. For 14 years, this Light had kept the beggar alive, for that first day he came weeping to the Ark was the very day I had been planning to take him.
You see, the clergyman had to learn the lesson the hard way. Judgment only manifests when someone activates it by placing judgment on someone else. Had it not been for me and my influence, the clergyman would have seen the larger picture and chosen to share tolerance instead of judgment. But he didn’t pass the test.
The ways in which I will test you will push you far beyond your comfort zone. But you can handle it, especially if you’re paying close enough attention to what I’m telling you. And you can start preparing right now by imagining how my tests might appear in your life. If you tend to be envious, for example, your test will involve overcoming envy. If you have been judgmental, it’s a guarantee that someday you will be asked to forgo your judgment. And that quick wit that you pride yourself on? Know that at some point in the not-so-distant future, your test will be to hold your sharp tongue and offer unconditional acceptance instead.
Every test I send your way is perfectly designed for you. So, as much as you might prefer to dodge the consequences of your thoughtless actions, it’s impossible, spiritually speaking. You can’t wave a magic wand in the hope that your poor choices or their results will magically disappear. You get precisely what you give, for better and for worse.
One final note on this topic: The tests you take are constantly evolving along with you. A test that you took yesterday will not look like one you take today. Each test is in perfect alignment with the person you are today. Call it a spiritual curriculum that is custom-made for you. And it’s all free of charge.