When we forget our personal soul,
when we distract our mind away from looking into the inner life of the unique self,
everything becomes blurry and uncertain.
And the primary turnaround
which immediately illuminates the dark places,
is that the person turn back towards his unique self, to the root of his own soul,
and instantly he will be returning to God, to the Soul of All Souls;
then he will stride higher and higher in holiness and purity.
And this [formula for penitence, first returning to the self,] applies [universally],
whether it be the case of an individual person, or an entire nation, or all of humanity,
or the process of repairing all of existence as a whole,
for its deterioration always stems from its own self-forgetting.
And if a soul wants to return to God,
but she is not reworking her own self to ingather all her own exiles,
lo, this is fraudulent repentance, by which she is taking God’s name in vain.
Therefore, it is only through the great truth of turning back to one’s [original, divinely-designed]
that the individual and the Nation, the world and all worlds-all existence in its entirety,
will return to its Creator, to shine with the light of aliveness.
And this is the secret of the Messiah’s light: the appearance of the world’s soul;
when it shines forth, the world will turn round to the source of all being
and Godlight will be revealed to it.
And it is from the wellspring of huge return
that a personal should draw forth the life of holiness that is true Teshuva.
Every person must know that they are called to serve according to their unique understanding and feeling, according to the prompting of their own soul. In that world which embraces endless other worlds, they will find the treasure of their own soul.
Let them not be confused by suggestions streaming to them from alien worlds, which they cannot properly comprehend. These worlds will find their perfection, in their own place, among those especially suited to establish and perfect them. But they must concentrate on their own inner worlds which are full of everything and embrace everything for them. A person must say “For my sake was the world created.” (Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5)
This humility will bring happiness to a person and bring them to a higher perfection which stands waiting for them. By stepping in this sure way of life, in the path of the righteous especially meant for them, they will fill themselves with the strength of life and spiritual joy. And the light of God will reveal itself to them. From their unique letter of the Torah will go forth their strength and light. (Notebook 4:6)
Todah rabah to Rachel Ebner, MSc. for the translation from her wonderful collection of Rav Kook teachings – OneSong: The Torah of Tomorrow.