balance–some thoughts and a meditation (reb yonah klem)

Some Thoughts Generated About Personal and Spiritual Growth Using the Model of the Sephirot

Paraphrasing R. Arthur Green:  The inner structure of our psychic life is the hidden structure of the universe; it is because of this that we can come to know God by the path of inner contemplation and true self- knowledge.

From Yonah Klem:  Balance may be considered as the “Perfect Center between polarities.  We continually strive for it, achieve it for a short time and lose it.  It is in the striving that we learn the most about ourselves.  Tiferet is may represent the balance between polarities, Gevurah and Chesed.


Shame                         Grandiosity

Gratitude                          Modesty


Shame is the extreme of self-judgment.  It is submissive and defeated.  (Guilt, on the other hand, is the proper feeling when one does something that violates a person or community’s ethics or morals.  Guilt can be rectified by acknowledging the wrong, making some kind of restitution or amends, and asking for forgiveness – in short, teshuvah.)  Shame can never be rectified because it is based on the belief that one’s essence is irredeemably and unforgivably flawed, even if one’s behavior is flawless.  Shame is the belief that one’s negative self-judgment is more accurate than God’s, hence its grandiosity.

Grandiosity is the extreme of self-certainty and over-confidence.

Shame and grandiosity are the flip sides of pride, which is never balanced.

The antidote to shame is gratitude.

The antidote to grandiosity is modesty.

These lead to humility, which can grow and become an increasingly stable place of balance.  Yesod (the sefirah of foundation), between Netzach and Hod, may be the more stable balance between our self-confidence and perfectionism, and our sense of acceptance and gratitude.

Personal Growth Through the Sefirot

judgment/discernment                               compassion/lovingkindness

GEVURAH                                                        CHESED

(shame/depression)                                           (grandiosity/narcissism)

short-lived balance


surrender/acceptance                                    determination/confidence

HOD                                                            NETZACH

(submission/defeat)                           (grandiosity/zealotry/entitlement)

balance based on gratitude, modesty foundation of humility


so, what do you think?

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