I have my moments.

Sometimes I am genuinely inspired. I feel uplifted. I feel spiritual. I feel that I have what it takes. A Chassidic way of expressing this feeling is "a tefach hecher" - an inch above worldly matters.

More often than not, however, I feel earthly, materialistic and unrefined. Most of the time, I also act upon this feeling and say things that could be considered unrefined, or do things that are unspiritual.

I also have the ability to follow that unrefined action with a totally focused moment of spiritual uplifting. I can be gossiping, and a couple seconds later I can be engrossed in prayer.

So I ask myself: Am I a hypocrite? Who is the real me? How can a mouth that just uttered angry words to a fellow switch over to read G‑d's praises?

This refutes a common error. When a foreign thought occurs to some people during prayer, they mistakenly conclude that their prayer is worthless, for if one prayed properly and correctly, no foreign thoughts would arise in his mind. They would be correct if there would be but one soul within a person, the same soul that prays being also the one that thinks and ponders on the foreign thoughts. But in fact there are two souls, each waging war against the other in the person's mind. - Rabbi Shneur Zalman Of Liadi, Tanya chapter 28

In other words, defining ourselves by the type of thoughts we think is a grave mistake. Our "self" will never be clearly defined, as long as the battle is raging. We can't call one part of ourselves the winner just because he scored a home run. Until the game is over, there are two talented teams who are fighting for the prize.

In our body we have two souls who are trying to win control over our thoughts, speech and actions. There is always a team that is ahead, and one that is catching up; but there is never a winner. Until we exhale our last breath, we are still in the game.

So now I know that I am not being an hypocrite. It's just about winning the next hand, one hand at a time. I hope you know who I'm vouching for...