How can a person who has been overloaded and disillusioned by earthly experience, and who feels "separated" from his/her native truth, return to it? They say that all great artists produce their work somewhat unconsciously. I believe that this has something to do with thinking from the soul rather than with the brain, as if the soul had its own intellect, which is infinitely smarter than the earthly intellect. How can one stop thinking with his intellect and start thinking with his soul again, as he did when he was a child? How?


You ask a very compelling question. How to access that inner core of G‑dliness and bring it to the forefront of consciousness.

There are two directions of experience: from the inside emanating outward, and from the outside moving inward. For example: a woman gives birth to a child, and immediately is overwhelmed with maternal instinct. This is core to her being; this has little to do with any intellectual process; this is an instinct that propels every fiber in her being to love and protect.

Another woman goes through the process of acquiring a child – a process of legalities almost as lengthy, if not lengthier than pregnancy – and finally the papers are signed, and she is officially and legally the mother of a child. From whence, then, comes the maternal love; the instinct to protect?

This time it works from the outside inward. She knows, intellectually, that she is now the mother. Therefore, she behaves in a maternal fashion. She feeds and protects the child. She caresses and strokes the child. She fondles and bathes and nurtures the child... all the behaviors of love and caring. And then she finds that she has accessed within the deepest recesses of her heart a core of maternal love.

The same is true of our Jewish experience. Deeply ingrained is our G‑dly knowledge. Either we are compelled to live our life in accord with that "soul" knowledge, or, knowing this, we behave in accord with it. Each and every mitzvah is such a behavior. And ultimately we find that the behaviors in and of themselves enable us to access that core.

I hope this has been helpful.

Bronya Shaffer for