Know Yourself

From his own inner tendencies,
a person must come to know what he content he must actualize [in the world].
And let him always be happy with his portion in life, and embrace it energetically.

And if he should sense that he has a disposition made up of a number of conflicting tendencies,
he must not pay attention to how, for most people, one tendency cancels out the other,
and conclude that this also applies to his case,
for then he will be destroying a huge portion of his selfhood with his own hands.
Instead, his reasoning should be
that since (containing opposing streams) is indeed the nature of his soul, it then follows
that he is capable of unifying within himself matters that for most people stay separate,
and that the fulfillment of his lot in life depends precisely on this:
uniting all his parts, and all his varied and opposing tendencies into harmonious wholeness.
And this [formula] applies [to everything in his life]:
to his practical labors and to his understanding of Torah and wisdom,
to his personal feelings and to the patterns of his character.

From the ultimate universal principle is that [a person’s] inner self-recognition is primary;
and later, external recognition- which is also needed –
will come from the environment and from the world as a whole.                                                                                           ——————————————————–

Todah rabah to Rachel Ebner, MSc. for the translation from her wonderful collection of Rav Kook teachings –  OneSong: The Torah of Tomorrow.

 

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