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Can People Change?

by Mrs. Shifra Hendrie


Library » Philosophy » Creation | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Most people never really change.

Sad, but true.

Some people never even try.

But those of us who do try often experience great frustration and disappointment as we encounter the same limitations over and over again.

Life can start to seem downright repetitive.

Creating Something From Nothing

Why is it that in most cases your life keeps looking like some variation of whatever we've experienced before?

The answer is: because we are creating something from something. We're attempting to create a new and different future based on the limitations of our past.

Imagine that you are a potter and you have a piece of clay. You can study your craft and make pots that are smoother, sturdier, or more beautiful than before. But when all is said and done, they're still just clay pots.

Who says you have to be a potter? And who says you can only make things out of clay?

G-d Creates Something From Nothing

There is a fundamental Kabbalistic principle of Creation known as yesh m'ayin--"something from nothing."

This principle explains that G-d is bringing the entire world, including me and you, into existence from absolute nothingness at every moment.

G-d didn't create this world once and withdraw back into Heaven, where He supervises from a distance and intervenes when appropriate. Rather, He is actively and intentionally speaking the world into existence from nothing in the present moment, again and again and again. In fact, if G-d would stop creating this world--with all of its myriad details--at any moment, the world and everything in it would disappear as if it had never been.

I must be good because G-d made me, and G-d doesn't make junk
Based on this, two things are clear:

The world has no existence outside of G-d. Everything we experience in life is part of G-d and His intention and purpose for Creation.

G-d desires the world--and you as an individual being--with an intense and personal desire. Everything you do has great meaning and significance to Him. That's why He keeps on creating you.

Remember the old commercial where a little kid said something like: "I must be good because G-d made me, and G-d doesn't make junk"?

Actually, the truth is much more powerful than that. G-d doesn't make anything or anyone without a profound purpose. He passionately desires you and just as passionately wants you to desire Him. And He is waiting--with bated breath--for you to embrace the Divine purpose for which you have been created. To make your life, your relationships and your circumstances a “dwelling place” for the Divine.

What Is Nothingness?

G-d creates from Nothing because Nothingness, ayin, actually means absolute, infinite possibility. No limitations. No restrictions. None at all.

When you don't need to be any particular something, you're free to be anything. Kabbalah calls this infinite potential "nothingness"--not because there's nothing there, but because there are absolutely no limitations that define or restrict this infinite possibility in any way.

You're Already Creating Something From Nothing

As a human being created in the image of G-d, you are also empowered to create something from nothing. And you do, all the time.

Unfortunately, most of the time what we create from nothing are the stories about what we can't do, aren't capable of, will never have--together with all the reasons why.

These stories are continuously being recreated from nothing in each of our lives. But unlike G-d, who creates consciously, we create this reality unconsciously. It's a sort of default programming. Yes, we may have reasons for what we believe are our limitations, but those reasons, while they may help to explain our past, do not have the power to limit our future. Unless we think they do, and act accordingly.


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G-d » Creation
Chassidism » Chassidic Concepts
Philosophy » Character

Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
(adj.) Pertaining to Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.