Thursday, 19 July 2012

Looking for the Source

Here is a brief idea that I’ve shared before in another forum. It revolves around the issue of the evil inclination. Kabbalists believe that we each have an inclination for good and evil, they inform the choices that we make. In the films this is sometimes portrayed as a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other.
There is a story told of a king who wants to test his son. He instructs a prostitute to try to tempt him. She goes off to tempt the son. The prostitute tries every which way to tempt him as this is what the king wants. In her heart she knows that the king does not want her son to give in to temptation, but she has a job to do and she’ll do it to the best of her ability.
The son, recognizing that this is a test, reminds the prostitute for whom she works and returns home. The king is delighted and rewards both his son and the prostitute. The former for passing the test -the latter for succeeding in doing her best. Had the son failed the test, the prostitute would still have been rewarded. 
That in my opinion is one of a number of reasons why it is important to look for the source. Whether it is interacting with things external or internal, look for where it comes from and what lessons is there to be learned. If you only look at what is in front of you (something that requires actually a lot more time, concentration and skill than you might expect), then you may miss the larger picture.

From: F0036332-Woman_sleeping_in_bed-SPL.jpg
In closing, here’s another even shorter story.
An elderly Rabbi wakes up one cold winter morning. His yetzer hara [evil inclination] says to him: “Why not have a lie-in? Just this one time. Do you really have to start work so early?” To which the Rabbi replies to the yetzer hara : “If you’ve started work already by tempting me to sleep in late, surely I should also start work early!”