Ladder

I’m going to talk again about the soul, because it’s an endless topic. But this time I’m going to focus on a different angle, the interpersonal angle. Meaning, how can I bring out the soul in other people, and what kind of tools can I give for people to bring out their own souls and also help others? This is the interpersonal vantage point of Soul-ing.

I’ll start by talking about people who are blocked-up in some way. First, I’ll start with a tool I learned from the Baal Shem Tov called, Bzuyah, which comes from a verse in Proverbs. It says, “The wisdom of this poor, disadvantaged person is put down, it’s devalued.”

But the Baal Shem Tov turns it around as he often does with this type of verse, and translates it, “The wisdom of the disadvantaged and put-down person is Bzuyah,” which means, “in this you find G-d.” This means you have to pay attention to the person who is really hurting because they understand when they see G-d in their personal, unique situation, the one they are in right now, that’s their unique gift to the world, to find G-d even in their disadvantaged situation.

This is one way to convey to a disadvantage person that they have a special “take,” or a direct access to G-d that nobody else has. Another way to open up a soul perspective to another person with difficult circumstances comes from the teachings of Rabbi Nachman. It involves developing a hyper focus on only the good inside that person, and pretty soon all the negativity will disappear, leaving only good.

Another soul tool for a blocked-up person is to understand that many, many people – this is almost like a creation principle – have to hit rock bottom in order to find there’s nowhere to go but upwards. Many people have made huge turnarounds in their lives because of that, and by connecting to a soul of such a person and pointing out that G-d loves them you can offer help at a time when they don’t think G-d loves them, whether or not they are aware of it.

To the extent they know that G-d DOES love them, because they are a soul and that G-d loves them, then they can completely turn their lives around. That’s one level of interpersonal souling.

Another level is to connect a person to their calling in life, to their mission in life. You can do that by having a person listen to their own inner voice, their own soul voice. They’ve been there and done that in almost every situation in their lives. You need to go down deep into your soul and listen to your own wise counsel. That’s one way to open up their soul.

Another way is to look at the events of their life and to figure out, based on those events, what it is that G-d is directing them to do.

Another way is to reduce your whole being to a short phrase, or one word if possible. It should describe who you uniquely are in this lifetime. The more you cling on to that core part of yourself, the more you’re connecting to your soul and the more you’ll break through walls at all times.

And the next category in interpersonal Soul-ing is, as opposed to a win-win connection with another person, realize you may very well have a root soul family relationship with that person. And even if you’re not, you can act as if you are in that type of relationship. Instead of thinking win-win with any significant person in your life, your soul relationship can be a bliss-bliss situation instead. His or her success is good for you, and vice versa. That’s a bliss-bliss relationship.

Another interpersonal relationship is to step out of yourself and step into them, into the other person’s perspective. See them from their vantage point, not from your own. That’s really a soulful way of relating to another person because you’re going into their soul and the way they see things.

Another way is to understand that the whole reason you and that person are together right now is because you have something of that person inside of yourself. So, when you check down inside of yourself to determine what that person is saying, and you really understand it and relate it to your own life, to the YOU inside of that person, you see it in an entirely different way.

That’s the interpersonal category, and the last one here is seeing that person literally as a soul that transcends and goes far beyond their body. To relate to that person, and to help that person relate to others, to all people as souls… to the extent that you do that, you’re relationships with them will become infinitized, ‘way beyond what you are holding onto right now. The possibilities are endless because the soul is an incredible being. You’re looking at someone not as a body, but as a soul, whose power expands, and whose history and future and transcendence and above-nature-ness transcends our limited way of thinking. It’s a whole different way of looking at a person and seeing them as that kind of a soul.

And when you look at them that way you’re seeing them as someone who’s ultimately going to be perfected. When you see them in their perfected state or on the way to be perfected right now you can know they are on the path of that perfection. They have a whole history, previous lifetimes bringing them to the circumstances in their life right now. And therefore, you can have a huge amount of compassion for that person who is going through what they are going through because of their own, personal rectification process. You can understand them instead of judging them in a bad way.

And you can also see they are ultimately a person who’s every word and thought and feeling and movement and action and decision and way of relating to others is eternal, it’s infinite, and it goes on forever. So, take their words seriously and take who they are seriously. See only the goodness because the soul in its pure form is the essence of what purity is all about. The soul, we say, what G-d gave us, so we need to see it in its purity.

Hopefully, these perspectives on how you see yourself and others, as well as how other people do the same, in a soul kind of a way will lift up the whole way we relate to other people with compassion and dignity and respect.