Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Emuna in Yeshiva (Is)
At some point I must have begun to feel the pressure. How would I ever get married? How would I ever have sex? I needed to make sure, that when the time came, it would be easy to get married. Mind you, I had no in cling of relationship or relating to another person, I just knew that if I learned well, and I behaved myself, I would get the prize of a good wife and hopefully good sex and that was my hope. I also realized that my problems in Emuna were definitely detrimental to my finding a wife. I had to tell the truth, the prospect of lying and hiding my doubts just didn't sit well with me. I had to eliminate them. I had a plan. I had heard that, the great saints who had refined their physical natures to high degrees, were able to feel god's presence in the most tangible way, just as a man can feel his neighbors hand. That's what I needed. I was sure, that if I could, clean my habits, refine my nature and curb my temptations, I could achieve an absolute sureness in the existence of god and belief in his torah. I got the idea that if I spend my entire day in study and prayer, that would make me as holy as I needed to be. I imagined that I needed to clean out the unclean lusting thoughts of my mind. If I did that , I would be ok. I needed to drown them out. I knew that if I filled my mind with just Torah, I would be OK. I imagined that if I continued to learn more and more, the Torah would fill my mind to such an extent that there could exist nothing else in there. Then I imagined that since the Torah and god are one, it would be impossible for me to be filled with Torah without being full of God. Once I would be filled with god, then all my problems would be solved. I would know his truth. That would be the end of doubt. I would be free. All I wanted was to be free of this constant torment. I just wanted to know that things would be OK. I wanted to know that I would never need to tell anyone of my doubts. I needed to know that no one would ever need to evaluate whether I was a valuable person or not. I definitely couldn't afford to have anyone think that I was an apicorus. Those consequences were way to scary to even allow their possibility to enter my mind. I needed to be safe. I needed to know god. Now, the beautiful thing was, that barely anyone could detect how crazy and scared I truly was. What could be wrong with searching for God? How could you point a finer at that? Can you think of any loftier aspiration? So there I went pursuing god. I must say the pain of pursuing god in this way was unbearable, but apparently I was able to bare if for quite a long time. I was always testing myself. I was always measuring the amount of God I felt that way. Am I able to feel his presence today? Am I sure that what I am feeling is his presence? How do I know? I tried to come up with philosophies to help me believe in God and that his presence is all around and that it made perfect sense that he wrote this book and that it made perfect sense that his spirit was imbued in every letter of the precious talmud which we spent the entire day learning. I tried so hard but I can't say I succeeded. I succeeded in pretending that I believed. Not only that, I convinced others of how important it was to have faith and why they should. I Knew now, that all would be ok. It felt like things could be OK. No of course I wasn't thinking of my doubts, I was thinking of the feeling of sureness that I pretended I had. I imagined that when I felt a feeling in my head it was God. Sometimes, I imagined that my stress was just the fear of God and it was good. The more stress I felt, the more convinced I felt that I was on the right track, after all, I feel it, it's got to be real, how could something so painful not be real?