Fire can Destroy; Fire can Build
August 8, 2019
Beis Moshiach in #1177, MyLife: Chassidus Applied

Each of us contains a powerful soul with fire in its belly. Fire is passion. Each of us will, at one point or another, encounter spiritual opportunities; passionate moments which will entice and light up our fires, craving transcendence – the need to get beyond the daily grind. Transcendence can take on many shapes: spirituality, music, travel, or family, to name a few.

The challenge is great. The choice is ours. How you act in these times – when the flames of your soul are ablaze – will define the destiny of your life. The search and need for transcendence, the craving and yearning for a spiritual high, is healthy and a necessary ingredient in the human journey. All man’s greatest achievements, his noblest acts, his deepest loves – draw from the soul’s passionate fire.

The Dangers of Fiery Passion

But just like it can be the source of our greatest strength, the fire of the soul, like any fire, can also consume and annihilate us. As with all powerful things, great care must be taken that the spiritual experience doesn’t “burn you up,” but is integrated in your life.

Just as we must actualize our passionate souls, we must also ensure that our passion does not cause us to expire in ecstasy and escape the universe, no matter how appealing that choice may be. Rather, we need to harness and channel the passion toward transforming our material world into a Divine home.

What determines whether the fire of the soul will be constructive or destructive?

The determining factor is your motivation and how you begin your spiritual journey: If it’s a self-indulgent experience, driven primarily by personal desire and interest, then you will not wish to turn back from your private ecstasy to the needs of others, and the fire will inevitably consume you. If, however, it is driven by the selfless dedication and all-out surrender to your Divine higher calling, then within this ecstasy, the desire ultimately to return and sanctify the world will always be implicit, and the fire will lift you and your world to exalted heights.

The passion that burns in the unfettered spirit can overcome any challenge. Yet, our success in harnessing these powerful flames is in direct proportion to our humility and selflessness in appreciating them. And carefully protecting and nurturing these flames.

Exercise:

Ask yourself these questions: Are my fires burning? What are they burning for? What will I do with these fires – benefit only myself, or think about others?

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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