(Sefer Meshivas Nefesh – elucidated)
There are fallen souls that need to be revived with all types of encouraging words which restore the soul. Words which can revive and restore these fallen souls come about through the sparking of the mind, which is an aspect of Tefillin which is merited to by breaking lustful thoughts.
Meshivas Nefesh 28, based on Likutei Moharan II 5
The Ways of Encouragement of the Tzaddikim
It seems to some people that the guidance and encouragement which the Rebbe teaches are good ideas which can help those who are involved in healing the soul, by providing thought patterns and ways in which a person can be successful, if he will only change the direction of his thoughts to a healthy way of thinking of hope and happiness. It would seem that the success of Hischazkus is through the means of brainwashing oneself with positive ideas and approaches, in order to remove any other thought which throws down morale and weakens the frame of mind.
But in truth, all the ways of Hischazkus which are mentioned in the teachings of Tzaddikim, are a divine flow from the source of Divine Mercy, which are drawn from the roots of the Torah in a wondrous way known only to the Tzaddikim. Therefore, true success in following these paths is dependent on the extent of closeness to them.
The Holiness of Tefillin Produced Specifically from Animal Skin
The refinement of the thought process comes about when a person understands that the same way the holy Tefillin are made out of animal skin, so too a person can achieve holy thoughts expressly through tests of prideful thoughts and lack of refinement in the area of Bris. The main rectification of the mind occurs when one takes his body which has fallen into a situation of “sealed flesh”, a metaphor for having fallen into “fleshiness” and sensuality, and transforms it into a “seal of holiness” –that the mind should spark with holy thoughts, an aspect of the Holiness of Tefillin.
When a person knows this fundamental idea, he doesn’t get confused or fall when he encounters a trial. Instead, he goes and screams out to Hashem from the depths of his heart that He should reveal to him how he can merit Emunah in his situation. Thus, he discovers guidance and paths through which to transform every thought to holy ones of closeness to Hashem.
The ability to enter into this Avodah comes about when one comes close to Tzaddikim which teach the true ways of thinking, of how to transform every trial and every fall into holy thoughts of closeness to Hashem. Every thought which enters the heart has a negative side which we must abhor and distance from ourselves, as well as a holy side. Through cleaving to Tzaddikim, we learn to understand how we can be close to Hashem in every place and situation,
The Sparking of the Mind
When one is involved in serving Hashem in such a fashion, discovering Emunah from within the depths of trials and failures, a person comes to what is referred to as a sparking of the mind.
The mind is like a lit candle, which needs fuel to burn, which is the moisture and oil of the body. To transform every thought of “sealed flesh” to a holy thought is to elevate the body to become fuel for the mind.
Now, every holy thought about Hashem, and all the knowledge of Hischazkus, to be close to Hashem always, do not remain in the category of just being ideas, but rather they become thoughts of Emunah and closeness to Hashem which have a real life force. His mind is lit up with wondrous sparks from these teachings of the Tzaddikim.
If he merits being diligent in this, he then merits to hold strong in Emunah even at low times, even when the Emunah doesn’t shine properly. The impression left over from the times when the mind sparks continues to shine for him even when his mind “sleeps”. This is an aspect of “a dream through an angel.” Just like by actual sleep, if someone’s mind was clear during the day, then his dreams are pure. So too, when a person works at elevating his mindset throughout his down times, he merits that even when he is in a spiritual “slumber” he will be able to hold strong in Emunah.
Words Which Restore the Soul
When a person toils to remain strong in Emunah, by searching by the Tzaddikim for the true ways of Emunah which have the ability to transform “animal skin” to holy thoughts, he comes up with words of encouragement which have the ability to restore a soul. He can then provide encouragement for friends who have fallen, to uplift them with his words. He can properly convey those words in a way than his friend will be able be uplifted by them and use them to go further and to progress from one level to another in serving Hashem.
A person is successful in having what he has learnt come alive with the ability to enter his friend’s heart when he himself actualizes it in a fashion in which he elevates fallen thoughts into holy thoughts.
Even the person who is hearing the words of encouragement should know this, and understand that even though he himself is right now on a level of “sealed flesh”, he must still take these words of the Tzaddikim which he is hearing and to enter with them into the seal of holiness, however much he can. With this he can rectify his mind and he will become able to withstand difficult situations with his Emunah in Hashem.
[This piece is based on Likutei Moharan II, 5, which is the longest discourse on Likutei Moharan, and the thread which connects the whole lesson is difficult to understand. What we have explained over here can be used as a short introduction to help understand the general idea of the lesson.]