Paradise Living

A note to the reader:
The nature of this work is research orientated and is thus open to improvement, all suggestions are welcomed with open arms. The author invites the reader to become involved in this text to the extent that he will send feedback that will add to and further this initiative.

Paradise Living *

Introduction *

Y - That’s only part of it — But an important part. The theme I’d like to discuss is called "Paradise Living"... With Hashem’s help, if I can open up the true potential of living in a Paradise fashion I will have the ‘master key’ to living a life of maximal value and unity. It is also the number one thing that everyone is ultimately looking for!!! Paradise living definitions *

Chapter 1: Focusing on the Here and Now *

Chapter 2: Integrating the Inner Child or Lower Soul level *

Chapter 3: Paradise Living Portraits *

Chapter 4: A summary with other exercises and future possibilities *



The purpose of this interview is to create the possibility for a new way to live our lives, in a state of mind called Paradise. What is being presented is a formula, some illustrations, explanations and practical exercises to do just that.




(Interviewer): Shalom Yitzchak — I haven’t interviewed you for ages. Where have you been?

(Yitzchak): I’ve been trying to gather in all my resources into some kind of central unified project!!!


My personal experience leading up to this interview

I- Did you say resources or Race Horses?! I didn’t hear you clearly!! [Reader notes are in square brackets: See a previous research packet called Racehorses which describes an approach to successful living — for a person who naturally tries many projects or "Racehorses" simultaneously]

Y — LOL — (Laughing out loud) … I said resources, but I guess Racehorses would better describe it- it’s just that most people don’t know what Racehorses is — so I adjusted myself to maximise communication with all different types of people.

I — I really appreciate your trying to effectively communicate in a universal way — that makes my interviewing task of making you sound understandable that much easier - Anyway — what do you mean by unifying your resources or Racehorses… What happened — did they all become scattered and run away — Ha Ha Ha…

Y — That’s exactly what happened in attempting to accomplish so many things at once. Not that I can’t be multi-dimensional. It’s just that I want every project and effort to be unified under some type of central umbrella, mega-project or mission.

I — Why are you so concerned to ‘unify’!

Y — I don’t know, I guess there’s something deep inside my personality that drives me to know that everything I’m doing is of ultimate maximal value. Knowing that whatever I’m doing is all part of some unified super effort satisfies my drive.

I — That’s very insightful — but let me ask you — can’t you satisfy that drive of yours by simply being totally present with whatever you’re doing? What I mean is, wouldn’t being totally focused, with all of your human faculties on whatever comes up in life, provide ultimate value to whatever you’re doing?

Y- Wow! What a great question — and the truth is that this type of ‘being here and now’ in total focus does in fact partially satisfy this drive of mine — All-be-it in a different way than some unified mega-project— but never mind — I’d like to pick up on your cue and discuss that point because I have a deep intuition that focusing on the here and now is one of the things I need to achieve most, in order to gather my scattered resources into some kind of unified vision.


I — Ok, fine — So tell me — is that the main theme of this interview — focusing on the present moment?!

Y - That’s only part of it — But an important part. The theme I’d like to discuss is called "Paradise Living"... With Hashem’s help, if I can open up the true potential of living in a Paradise fashion I will have the ‘master key’ to living a life of maximal value and unity. It is also the number one thing that everyone is ultimately looking for!!! Paradise living definitions

I — Hmm… "Paradise Living" — It sounds like some kind of vacation resort for the super wealthy.

Y — Just between the two of us, I call it "Paradising", but like I said earlier — I want to communicate in a universally understood type of way — and "Paradising" might sound too far out or weird for some people.

The two elements of Paradise Living

I - I follow you, Mr. "Conservative" … so Please tell us what in the world is Paradising … Excuse me — Paradise Living - all about?!

Y — I’ll make it very simple — Paradise Living consists of two essential elements: 1) is to be constantly connected to Hashem, and; 2) is to take pure pleasure in everything that you do.

I - O.K. Let’s get to work! I’d like to ask some questions to get to the bottom of your "very simple" recipe — which I can’t see as being simple at all, at least on first glance.

The Enquiries

Y - Fair enough — That’s what you and I are here for. To clarify, you probably want to ask me how one can be constantly connected to Hashem right?!

I — Right !!

Y - And you probably want to know why this constant closeness I referred to as "Paradise" right?!

I - Right!!

Y - And then you’re going to want to ask me how in the world can you experience pure pleasure in everything you do — Right?!

I - Right!!

Y - And then you’re probably going to want to know how a pure pleasure taker can avoid being some type of degenerate selfish hedonist, who will ultimately wind up destroying himself and all those within his sphere of influence — Right?!

I - Right!!

Y - Great — Now, do you have any other questions that you’d like to ask before I get started in my explanations?

I — Yeah, Just one more question: If you know all the questions that I want to ask you before I ask them so what do you need me for… you can probably do a better job interviewing yourself.

Y- You’ve got a point there, but on the other hand I suppose you could come up with some type of angle or question that I’ve never considered before…but again, like I said you’ve got a point worth thinking about.

I - Don’t think too hard O.K My friend… You know with times being tough in the world of making a living and all…


The first element: Constantly being connected
(The first enquiry)

Y - Don’t concern yourself with all that — I’m sure you’ll do a great interviewing job — Now let’s get on with it — "Paradise Living"…

To deal with our first question: How can you be constantly connected to Hashem — Let me start off by saying that this is something that’s not in the realm of the chosen few — outstanding saints of the generations — rather it is the lot of every single Jew. This is the whole point of the six constant mitzvoth which we are all commanded to keep at every living moment of the day. Very briefly, they consist of:

  1. Knowing with complete trust that there is a G-d
  2. Not believing in any other power but in Him.
  3. Knowing that G-d is one
  4. Loving G-d
  5. Fearing G-d
  6. Not going after the desires of your heart and mind

I — Of course — These are listed on the first page of the Mishna Brura, and I suppose that if we would all be more serious about our obligation to be constantly connected to Hashem, it would be obvious to us all what you’re talking about — but can you tell me why you call this ‘Paradise’.


Why the term "Paradise" (The second enquiry)

Y - I’ll tell you very simply — When the first man (Adam Harishon) was still in Paradise — otherwise referred to as the Garden of Eden — what was the essence of his experience there?!

I - Before the Sin, he was in a constant state of Hashem connection right?!

Y - Right!! And the sin’s effect was to plunge him all mankind outside of this constant connection and outside of Paradise for all of human history until the time of Mashiach.

I - And you, my friend — would like to bring Mankind back to Paradise Right?!

Y - Right!! Wouldn’t you? And let me point out - that is exactly what all of mankind is busy doing right now. Either consciously or unconsciously by being driven towards this constantly by Hashem. In short — We’re all working to get back to the Garden — To the place, consciousness or mindset of man before the sin.

I - O.K, so if you work on these Constant Mitzvot you could greatly advance yourself and mankind in their historic legacy of getting back to this pristine Paradise state. I get that — but who says you are living in Paradise here and now? Isn’t life still full of non-Paradise elements such as our evil inclination, outer and inner turmoil to just name a few? Besides all that I thought the Garden of Eden’s Paradise is only a post-life or a reality that is related to the future, rather than here and now?

Is Paradise possible now or only in the future?
Two Torah sources

Y - Now I know why I asked you to be the interviewer! Your question is so good that I think it will serve as the pivotal point of this whole interview. You’re right - On first glance Paradise Living seems to be a thing of the future and not of the present. Without going into too much of a long-winded explanation, I’d like to point out a few things which I think the rest of our interview will only serve to elaborate on. There are two very powerful Torah sources that discuss this point — namely — the Ramchal’s work "Derech Hashem" — (The way of Hashem). The first section, 2nd chapter, 3rd paragraph, which points out the following formula:

[Not quoted literally] The source of all perfection, well-being and everything good in a persons life is within reach when he’s connected somehow to Hashem — and the opposite: i.e. all that’s lacking and negative is when he is not connected.

I- Sounds like a Paradise here and now formula right?!

Y- Right!! And if you want to say that Paradise is not possible NOW, but only in the future — I refer you to a second Torah source — An article called "Taamv Urv Ki Tov" (‘Taste it & see that Torah Living is good’). The first volume of a series of books is called Netivot Shalom — (The paths of Shalom), and is based on the lessons of the former Rebbe of Slonim (Z’’tzl). Where he shows that despite the fact that the true Paradise — Garden of Eden experience is reserved for the ultimate future and for our post-life, nevertheless that Paradise state on some type of level is available here and now!! [Although the subject of constant Hashem connection deserves at least a composition of its own, let it suffice in this interview what we’ve said: Please refer to various practical internalisations of this idea later in the portrait chapter such as Hashkacha and expressing thanks]

I — Sounds great — And I’ll look up your sources and study them — but can you address yourself to my other questions about the ‘Evil Urge’, the inner & outer suffering and Turmoil blocking our way from being in this state of Paradise now.

The 2nd Element: Pleasure (The other two inquiries)

Y - Of course that’s the other main point, and that’s what the rest of our Paradise Living interview is coming to deal with. The ‘pleasure aspect’ — Which if properly understood and properly lived, will serve to answer the question of how we can live in Paradise NOW despite the ‘Evil Urge’, trials and tribulations. And above all, by enlisting our new powerfully developed sense of pleasure together with our constant G-d connection —We have an ultimate one — two - knockout punch, guaranteeing true Paradise Living.


I - I think that many readers and I myself would be happy to jump on board the Paradise Express train. If you could only show us that the pleasure that you are referring to is a valid soul elevating type pleasure as opposed to the opposite ‘Chas Vachalilah’ and also if you could show us how to put it all together.

Y- With great pleasure I will attempt (Be’ezrat H’) to show you how to jump on board the Paradise Express, in a valid soul elevating type of way.

I - Could you give us a sort of overview of how you plan to accomplish that in this Interview!!


An overview of this entire Paradise Living composition

Y- Sure!

  1. I’d like to discuss the concept of focusing on the ‘here and now’.
  2. I’d like to open up the idea of raising or doing "Kiruv" to the lower parts of our personality.
  3. I’d like to show various areas of life that we can apply Paradise Living to.
  4. I’d like to talk about practical tools and applications to actualise our lives towards true Paradise Living.

I - Great I am ready when you are.


Chapter 1: Focusing on the Here and Now


Basic Definition and the great challenge involved – Escaping the past and future to go to the present

I — I suppose I need to begin with a basic question such as asking you what is this concept of focusing on the ‘here and now’?

Y - The direct and simple explanation is simply to focus and concentrate on anything & everything that I am immediately occupied with.

I - This sounds very straightforward and obvious!! Why discuss the obvious?!

Y - First of all — What seems to you to be obvious is not obvious at all. I can’t begin to describe the amount of unease, tension and worry that’s rampant on any normal day inside our inner thoughts or consciousness. These thoughts take one out of this state of focusing on the ‘here and now’. This is based on long-term observations I’ve noticed with student’s friends and even myself!

I - That rings true — And I suppose a worried tense uneasy person has a very hard time directing his focus on anything.

Y — Exactly!!! That person’s mental faculties are simply not available for processing the glory of the present moment, because they are processing what are usually useless pieces of information that they have no control over.. Our Chasidic masters who spoke at length about this realm of thought stated that you are where your thoughts are — And this worried person is not ‘here and now’ — He’s off in the future somewhere — even though on some level he’s forced to cope and function at least minimally with what ever is at hand — But this minimum is strained and certainly not anywhere near the Paradise Mindset we’re referring to!!

I — I think your point is well taken. So much of the time — we worry about what will be, making it virtually impossible to focus on the moment.

Y — The other side of the coin is just as rampant, i.e. Being trapped in the past, feeling guilt or regret or bitterness over what had already happened (‘Water under the bridge’).


Past and future thoughts are constructive in their proper time and place

I - Amazing!! We’re so trapped! We’re so out of focus. But tell me something, when a person suffers either because of what was, or may be in the future, either because of worry bitterness or guilt — aren’t these feelings useful to this person? Aren’t they sort of heaven sent for this person to somehow straighten out something crooked in himself or someone else or in some type of situation?!

Y- Great Question my friend and the best reply I can offer at this point is — True enough, thank G-d — our inner discomfort alarm lights are beckoning us to fix up what’s wrong — However — There’s a time and place for everything - and we have the power of ‘free will’ to choose to set a time to deal with each problem in it’s proper time with full ‘Here and Now’ concentration — And until then to concentrate fully with whats at Hand!!

I - Your reply sounds totally logical on an intellectual level, however we are creatures of emotion and other human faculties. We can’t just neatly place things in their proper scheduled slots in every instance.

Y - You’re right again!! And my reply to that challenging idea is "Avoda". Avoda means hard spiritual work — i.e.… Training ourselves our emotions, our willpower, our mind or thought to be disciplined and to be present totally.

There is no Paradise living out of the here and now

I — O.K. — I think that I understand the concept much clearer now, would it be correct to say that the reason that being focused on the ‘now’ is so specially important to Paradise Living is because, without focus, one is simply plugged into neither the pleasure nor interfacing with Hashem at any given moment.

Y - Excellent, I couldn’t have put it better myself — and may I add that this being present with Hashem and Pleasure is absolutely vital —The bottom line is that all of life is actually only now or present tense - and so if you miss being ‘here and now’, you not only miss Paradise — YOU MISS OUT ON LIVING!!

I - This is really a fascinating subject — I know that you’d like to get on with other aspects of Paradise Living but could you just sort of briefly describe for us this ‘being here & now’ aspect and a few of it’s life applications.

Being ‘Here, Now’ as an antidote to pain and suffering. Y- When a person is really and truly present with what ever comes his way, then he is in what the world commonly refers to as a meditative state — He’s openly absorbing life as it is without any distractive thoughts removing him from this absorption. In this state he gains access to be able to transcend all negativity and pain. The reality is that the bulk of pain is experienced through that which we project or think will be, causing more pain and more disability. Beyond that even the physical pain — if faced head on with total presence it loses its effect. I personally know of mediators of high levels and (lhavdil to distinguish between one and the other) past generation Torah scholar giants who have successfully undergone major operations focused either directly on the pain or deeply on a Torah subject, and they requested to undergo these operations without any anaesthesia or pain killers, and reported feeling no pain!! The Chasidic Masters say that if you experience Hashem as being the source of ones pain or sorrow or as they put it, if you experience Hashem in the pain — the pain disappears — Now that’s what I call true Paradising.
Being here and now with future focused growth and challenge

I - As remarkable as all this is I’m still bothered by something! I think what’s bothering me in this whole area of being here now is that it just doesn’t address the idea of human change, growth and perfection — which is a major focus of Judaism and Spirituality in general and it seems to me that this is in the realm of the future focus and not the present focus!!

Y — Again — A fantastic question - You’re really shining today — keep it up. I’d like you to know that I engage myself for part of my time as a councillor — what I call a Ratzon (Primal Desire) Councillor — A very future directed activity — in fact, all of the success of my clients realising their desired ambitions is to be able to clearly desire and focus on their future ambition as if it where already realised!! But the secret of their success is to be totally entrenched in the present.

I — UH… I’m sorry — you lost me.

Y - What I mean to say by ‘Entrenched in the present or in the ‘here & now’," I’ll explain in two ways:

  1. The first way is simple. When you are engaged in strategising your future or in analysing your past — Be totally concentrated and focused in doing that — so in essence what you are doing is being ‘here and now’ even in the past and future introspection — and then when you finish — choose to jump back into living in the ‘here and now’ visa vie the present.
  2. The 2nd way to be entrenched in the ‘here & now’ and be totally concerned with your growth is a profound principle I learned from the teachings of the late— The Saba of Nevordik — R. Yosef Yuziel Hurwitz (Z’’tzl), one of our Torah mussar giants. He said the essence of human transformation is to simply jump RIGHT NOW into being a transformed person. If you don’t do it now you never will. So here we see how to use the ‘here & now’ to access ones future. Like our sages say in Pirkey Avot — "If not now when?!"

I — I’m sorry to belabour the point — but I think that there is much of a difference between a future or productivity type of personality, as opposed to a ‘here & now’ person who’s thoroughly enjoying the ride. It’s very hard for me to relate to how the future orientated personality can possibly combine both realities in a quality way.

The Rato- vshon dance

Y — I really do appreciate your deep concern to get clarity here!! I think the bottom line is that to combine the best of both worlds — One has to learn how to do a dance — The "Ratzo Vshov Dance" — That means the dance of pushing forward and then retreating. One Pushes forward when there’s something missing in one’s life or in the world that needs fixing — This involves ones taking control; planning; following through; anticipating troubles; takeing council and analysing etc. And once a person is on a so called ‘automatic pilot’, meaning they’re running on a schedule within a plan — then Retreat — Enjoy the ride as you put it… BE HERE NOW. If one sees that Hashem is either testing them or telling them to make different plans — then — they can make a call to temporarily leave the

‘Enjoying the ride mode’ and go back into ‘take control of the mind mode’ or a new variation of your Ratzo Vshov dance... I hope I’m coming across clearly.

I — I’ve never been much of a dancer — but I think things are getting clearer. Tell me — are you doing research in this area — It’s just that you sound like you’re really up on the subject.

Personal Research

Y - For the last while I’ve been checking out the possibility of really living by Paradise in all situations. I’ve been checking it out on a less intense level for years but recently I’ve been exploring many aspects of it such as — living with an acute awareness of Divine Providence in my life. I’ve been researching various exercises that help one master being in Paradise now, in many different areas of life, including when things are going really bad. I have been observing certain famous people who I’ve encountered as being living embodiments of Paradise, and learning how we can raise up our lower levels of soul to be in agreement with higher soul level Paradise.

Chapter 2: Integrating the Inner Child or Lower Soul level

I - I’m interested in all of it, but I think the next logical step should be a discussion of elevating the lower parts or lower level pleasures — I think it’s the missing link in my mind.

Putting everything into perspective

Y - I’ll tell you, the way I see it, the ultimate step or insight into understanding how to dance the dance of ‘being here & now’, while integrating essential past and future elements is knowing how to live with Divine Providence, according to how it was originally brought down by our great Chasidic Masters. However, since our goal in this interview is to walk away with a working understanding of how to live a ‘Life of Paradise", it’s best that we leave Divine Providence for later, or with full treatment for another research report. There we can place it in its proper perspective [Look out for the subject of Divine Providence in context of Paradise Living Portraits later on in this interview]. With that said, I agree with you that we now should touch upon the subject of elevating our lower selves — because this subject is essential for integrating the pleasure element into our Paradise Living formula!! Besides it’s the next logical step in learning to be here and now in a quality Paradise way.

The almost impossible challenge of harmonizing Upper and Lower selves

I — Why not just jump directly into ‘Pleasure Here and Now’ — You know… just take pleasure in everything that comes your way. Why do you need to convince your Lower Self or Inner Child or whatever to be in harmony with the rest of your psyche?

Y - I’ll tell you why — Unlike the previous section where we discussed the power of being totally here & now with whatever comes your way and how to be as direct as possible. This realm is different simply because we humans are built in a way that makes connecting to simple spiritual realities extremely challenging. The one hand our higher selves or souls and on the other hand our lower selves or bodies. The reality is that the Upper and Lower souls are by definition opposing forces, that’s a fact of life!! I’ll be happy to bring you Torah sources to verify that.

I - O.K fine, but first I want to ask: If they’re Different creatures, our Upper and Lower Souls, perhaps the proper question to be asked is exactly in the opposite direction to my last one. How can you possibly expect 2 opposite parts of yourself to ever harmonise together or be on the same team?

Y — I agree with you that the challenge is one that seems ‘almost’ impossible, but nevertheless essential for the sake of a true Paradise Personality. To the extent that we can unleash this inner pleasure seeker inside of ourselves in a kosher way, is the extent to which we’ve created a fully-fledged ‘Paradise Person’!!


I - It sounds like you’re driven to really break through in this area.

Y - I and some of my closest friends and students have been exploring this area in different ways for years…Am I driven?! Let me put it to you like this: Do you remember what Rabbi Akiva answered his students upon being killed by the Romans, whilst he was in a state of ecstasy? His students asked, "Until here Rabbi?!". I.e. you have ecstasy even in this situation?!

I — He told them that all his life he was preparing and anticipating the time he would be able to fulfil our sages dictum of ‘Loving Hashem’ — "Bechol Nafshecha" with ones very life - and now that is real — He’s real with it.

Y - Exactly — So to distinguish between a virtual nobody like myself and a spiritual giant like Rebbe Akiva, nevertheless I see myself driven by another related dictum of our sages — namely to ‘Love Hashem’ — With all of ones heart — I.e.… with our Lower Soul or evil inclination as well as our Upper Soul in short — Paradise Living!!!

I - Are you certain that this is a ‘Kosher’ approach to deal with your Lower Soul/Evil inclination. Who says pleasure is so important?! Perhaps discipline and a firm hand against this Lower Soul should take the upper hand?!

Y — You just asked a mouthful of questions. I ask for your indulgence and patience to allow me to reply with a possible Torah-sourced approach.

I - Please carry on, I’m with you.

A few basic understandings needed for this unique approach

Y - O.K. What I’ll attempt to get across to you is a usable approach — and what will require a few basic understandings:

  1. First of all, we need to understand what is the essence of pleasure or ‘Taanug’ according to Jewish thought?!
  2. Next — What is this Lower Self that we’ve been discussing?!
  3. What is the idea of elevating or bringing back this Lower Self (An idea very akin to ‘Kiruv Rechokim’ - bringing CLOSER those who are far from Judaism.)
  4. Why bring it closer as opposed to relentlessly stamping it out?!
  5. How does this whole process affect being in a Paradise State?!

I - So I suppose that you’ll answer in order — so what is Jewish Pleasure or ‘Taanug’.

Jewish Pleasure

Y — Our Kabbalistic and Chasidic masters answer that basically there are 10 Sefirot or divinely based ‘character traits’ if you will, which are found in every aspect of life — including human personality, universal physics principles as well as Divine Providence Traits and much more. Anyway - the highest Sefira called Keter, which basically represents the function of the ‘inner motivator and director’. The other Sefirot — are defined by three character traits: The highest one is Emunah or Faith, after that there is Pleasure and after that there is Will (Ratzon). So you see the one of the highest of divine traits which functions as one’s underlying motivator is PLEASURE!!


I - So Pleasure is a pretty central theme in the creation of the world, not to mention a primary trait?! Not only is it one of the main inner motivators and directors of the personality — but also its Keter — The Crown, is the most important in the discovery of a Person’s traits!!

Y - Sure!! And we don’t have to discover that only in the mystical writings, we can see the prominent place of pleasure brought out in the infamous Mussar classic — ‘Mesilat Yesharim’ ( Or ‘The Path of the Just’, by Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto). The opening line lays out man’s purpose in this world as ultimately taking pleasure in his Divine Connection. And on this point the former Admoror Rebbe of Slonim states that the time to do this is now, in this world, in this lifetime and not only in the world to come!! [Here also the subject of pleasure in all its applications and internationalisation deserves more in depth treatment than can be brought in the context of this paper. Let what has been said and what will be brought later on in this chapter on Portraits and exercises be sufficient for now, specifically the examples of taking pleasure in people, life in general and Hashem. Also related to this topic is the ‘24 hour Paradise Now’ tool towards the end]

I — Wait a minute, if a pleasure is such a profound, sublime and G-dly trait — so why do we see the opposite connotation so often associated with pleasure, such as lusts for forbidden sexual pleasures or for many other very lowly desires in the realm of downright decadence?! In fact I’ve heard the very themes that you’re proudly displaying such as Paradise and Ecstasy — associated with sex, drugs and who knows what else. And I’ll tell you more than that, it seems to me that a good part of the whole educational process of our youth and probably ourselves for that matter is concerned with redirecting one away from indulging in Pleasures!!

Y - Boy — When you get started you really lay it on thick!! Just Joking — your question is exactly in place. What you are hitting on is exactly what I wanted to get into next, that being a description of the reality of the Lower Self, the second question we asked!!

Definition of the Lower Self

I - The "Sefer HaTanya", which is a masterful classic Torah work on mysticism, describes at length the Lower Soul by the name (Nefesh Bhaimi) Animal Soul. This soul dwells in the entire body although its headquarters so to speak are in the left side of the Heart — the ventricle that is filled with blood. He explains the Torah’s connection of the word ‘Nefesh’ or Soul to blood and to desires as it says, " For the blood is the Nefesh — (Deut 12/23)". The character traits associated with this animal soul are: All Lusts and physical desires; Pride and Anger; Greed, boastful tendencies and other similar passions This ‘Animal Soul’ expresses itself in the realm of our thoughts, our speech and our action. Directly opposed to this is the divine soul (Nefesh Eloki) residing in the brain and in the right side of the heart spreading itself out to all areas of the body that relate to human activity in thought, speech and action. It is the source of man’s fervent love and understanding of the Creator. It’s true that there are other worthy descriptions of these two aspects of the Human Nefesh such as Body versus Soul, or the Evil Urge versus the Good Urge etc… But this Animal Versus Divine soul definition will serve our purposes even better, as we’ll soon see with Hashem’s help.

[A word of caution is in order at this point, one must distinguish between Lower Soul characteristics that are capable of being channelled such as playfulness and creativity, as opposed to the Yaitzer Hara (Evil Inclination) whose sole purpose is to prevent us from doing Hashem’s will. This is not channel able and must be avoided. In the middle of these two extremes lies our self-paralysing blocks which require healing as opposed to channelling.]


I — All right I understand that there is within our human psyche a dichotomy between ‘Higher and Lower pleasure drives. This begins to clarify to me what I asked about ‘Lower Pleasures’ and their dangers etc… But what I still need to clarify is the possibility you see of elevating the Lower Self.

Y - Yes of course, that’s the third question we asked. The Baal Tanya goes on to describe how the ‘backdrop’, world or realm that this Animal Soul dwells in is called "Klipat Noga"- a part of spiritual reality, which is sort of Neutral. I mean neither in an absolute reality of holiness nor or its opposite. It’s a sort of bridge between those worlds from which the Holy Realm draws into itself all types of spiritual elements that have fallen and are on their way up, growing or liberating themselves from the clutches of the unholy realms.

I - I’ve got to hand it to you — you’re trying your best to bring down to a universal audience a very sublime Kabbalistic Idea in as short and clear a way as possible. I’ll give you a break. Let’s say that what I understand about the Animal Soul is that it serves as a bridge to raise up fallen spiritual elements.

Y — You expressed it very well! Just one correction, it’s not a forgone conclusion that this bridge raises up the fallen spirituality. If a person doesn’t conduct himself in the right way, he’ll do the opposite, ‘G-D’ forbid, pulling down his already pure and liberated spiritual energy into the realm of the unholy!!

I — Let’s get back to your questions — how does one elevate our Lower Soul desires and how does this ‘Bridge’ idea fit in?


Elevating our Lower Self

Y - Let me illustrate with an analogy applied to the phenomenon of bringing back or more accurately bringing closer, Jews who are far away from Judaism back to Judaism — In short we’ll refer to it as "Kiruv" (Bringing Close). There are a number of different approaches one could use. Basically one could turn up the flame and present Judaism in all of its glory and splendour, thereby dazzling our ‘Baal Teshuva’ (new returnee) so much that he’s virtually swept off his feet by it and returns!! The opposite approach would be to convince the Baal Teshuva by showing him the bankruptcy of his present path… A middle approach is one that was coined by my friend "The path of the gentle educator". This means simply taking the Baal Teshuva by the hand within his own environment and leading him step by step back to his Jewish roots.

I — You’ve pointed out three direct approaches: 1)"High Flame"; 2) "bankruptcy" and 3) "The Gentle Educator" — So what is the comparison in terms of Higher — Lower soul?

Y — Great! The "High Flame" approach is probably the most prevalent approach of the Chasidic literature. The idea is to overwhelm the Lower Desires thoroughly, by helping him to feel an overflowing of love of Hashem through knowledge acquisition of Hashem and his Torah - this of course is expressed on all levels — Thought, speech and Action. An alternative approach advocated by many masters of the " Mussar" tradition which is to thoroughly expose the faults of buying into or subscribing to ‘Lower Soul Drives’ and thereby often bringing oneself to hate it. The last approach, the Gentle Educator to the best of my knowledge seems to be limited to councillors and therapist types but not used so much as a mainstream approach.


I - Is that good or bad?

The reason why we want to bring the Lower Soul closer as opposed to stamping it out

Y - I’ve watched all of them being used in my experience both in "Kiruv" and in Paradise Living exploration… — I think the best response and openness on the part of the Lower Soul of the Baal Teshuva is to a Gentle Educator

I - Why do you think that is so?!

Y - I think it has a lot to do with the times and the nature of the generation we live in. We people are not only weaker then previous generations but also more broken. There’s hardly a Baal Teshuva I know that’s not blocked up in some way — whether it be from broken homes, being abused, or many other types of causes resulting in a type of personality that is unsure of himself, of his image and usually blocked up emotionally. And I find a very similar phenomenon in terms of Lower Soul integration, what I mean is that a well-rounded emotionally healthy person is a very rare thing to find now a days, not to mention a Paradise Person.

I — So in the case of a broken or blocked up person you suggest the Gentle Educator approach?!

Y - This fellow is cut off from himself, if you know what I mean. His higher self is saying YES-YES-YES and his Lower Self is saying (Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously) NO — NO — NO - or maybe the opposite. He’s paralysed and is functioning at a very low level. He’s frustrated and he’s certainly not even close to the ideal of Paradise Living that we are discussing.


Lower Soul integration and being in a Paradise State

I - And do you think he possibly could get to this by leading him by the hand step by step?

Y - Dazzling him with an abundance of light or darkness generally is not effective— his Lower Self may be suffocated or overwhelmed by this approach, but it certainly won’t be cooperative. You need to talk to it like you’d talk to a child. Telling him about Hashem. Telling him about how much fun it is and how nurturing it will be for him and so on…

I - And do you tell him about Paradise?

Y - If you approach him properly, he’ll love the idea of Paradise — What kid wouldn’t?!

I - I believe an illustration or a simulation of a real life situation is in order — you know, to get you idea across properly.


Simulated Win-Win discussion between the Higher and Lower Soul in Shabbat morning prayers

Y — O.K fine — That sounds like fun — let’s take the following scenario: A person is very intent on tapping into shabbos morning prayers with a feeling of infinite pleasure, transcendence and love of Hashem, in short Paradise or Paradising his Tefillot. As he’s about to begin, lo and behold he’s attacked by an onslaught of contrary thoughts coming from, you’ve guessed it… His Lower Self. The thoughts range from boredom to tiredness and restlessness, not to mention downright negativity based on lack of self-esteem, jealousy and confusion!! Our poor fellow is not only swamped by the chaos of these inner nagging voices but also really wants to pray in an uplifting manner and he can’t — so what does he do?! He doesn’t start shaking, screaming, crying or despairing! Rather, he stops everything — of course in a way that doesn’t violate the basic "Halachot" or framework of the prayer service, and he begins an inner dialogue that goes something like this:

"Higher Self": "Good Shabbos to you my Lower Self — I know that you’re there and I want you to know that I love and accept you as you are, I respect you and what you want to do for me. How can we possibly join together in all sorts of areas of life and really have a great time — Real Paradise!!!

"Lower Self": "I’ll grant you this much — At least you’re talking with me and not treating me like some kind of wild beast. Nevertheless — I don’t get it, what’s so great about praying? Why can’t we do something more fun and exciting? Besides that, every time we start praying I feel like I’m out of it — those are not my real feelings or praises — when I read what’s written in the text I immediately lose concentration and start thinking about all of my problems!!!"

"Higher Self": "Fair enough — You’ve presented two very genuine objections about having more fun and with being ‘real’ with Hashem. First I want to thank you for directly and openly talking with me. I know that deep down you want the best thing for both of us. Please permit me to answer regarding fun — I also like running and laughing and playing and stuff like that and you know that… I’ll make you a deal - a real win-win situation. Cooperate with me now in this Shabbos prayer — But in way of real superior fun — Then I’ll join with you afterwards for a wonderful hour of fun and games."

"Lower Self": " O.K But on condition that this Davening is ‘real superior fun’ like you say!!"

"Higher Self": " Great — Now just listen to me; when we play games or joke around we have the pleasure for that period of time but we didn’t really energise ourselves to carry the joy into the rest of the day. But when you and I have a great time meditating, dancing and singing about Hashem’s greatness, how much he really loves and nurtures me and how he loves it when I do this and other activities he wants me to do — then we receive this unbelievably powerful energy! It makes me want to do and more and more and it’s such a high. I’ll tell you a great adventure game we could play while were doing all this — its like Hide and Seek. What I mean is that normally Hashem Hides himself and I can’t feel him or understand him or communicate with him. My game is to find where he is hiding at any one point in time. It’s not only a great and fun challenge but believe it or not it’s the purpose of creation!! And besides that, that’s exactly the way to have fun in all of your Judaism. You win, your elders will really respect you for it and best of all Hashem gets great pleasure from it.

"Lower Self": "So far so good — But what about that other point I brought up. About me not being real with all the prayers and praises?!"

"Higher Self": "Don’t you see — If you really were real with all the prayers and learning and everything else!!

"Lower Self": "Got it - O.K What are you waiting for, let’s start the prayers!!"

I — I really enjoyed that and I think there’s a lot to what you’re doing. I think they call that channelling or something like that. It reminds me of this famous Rosh Yeshiva who has this idea called ‘the 5 Levels of Pleasure’. He concedes that pleasure is the greatest way to go… but that there are increasingly real or significant levels of pleasure. The point is when we know this, so why not learn to go for the greater and greater pleasures — e.g. Experiencing true love of Hashem! Anyway I have a question — your dialogue seems to me to be a bit on the simple side, and too idealistic — aren’t the real life Lower Soul battles more complex than that.

Y - Point well taken!!! Like any other spiritual tool, only practice makes prefect, one is constantly bothered with blinding obstacles and confusion on this path. After all look what we’re dealing with — perhaps the most primal battle that there is, the inner battle for wholeness and peace of mind. Besides all this, more often than not the Lower Self is not so cooperative. He’s Blocked!! It takes a series of super committed efforts just to expose him… not to mention convince him. I have a friend who spends months and years trying to connect and awaken these blocked parts. You should see him when he unleashes and liberates these blocked parts. He goes wild!! He becomes almost a new empowered person. It takes a while for him to balance himself again — But he does!!!

I — This whole discussion is amazing. It sounds a bit dangerous. In the same way that anybody who is exploring a new frontier flirts with danger. Do you think it’s worth the risks?

Y - My intuition is that this unifying of the Upper and Lower Soul is the ultimate key to living a complete Paradise Life Style. The truth is that a key ingredient is that we ask for Hashem’s help, patience and safeguards according to the Torah and Da’at Torah in our research, and with that we’ll make it through!!

[Note: At another opportune time I would like to teach a tool called Radical Acceptance Body Integration (RABI) to help reach this level]

Chapter 3: Paradise Living Portraits

I — I really would like to pursue the discussion of bridging our Lower Soul and all of its inner powers together with our Higher Soul levels, but I believe that we need to keep the interaction lively here and therefore I want to ask you to give over some real-life illustrations or portraits of people who are living demonstrations of Paradise Living. But first I wonder if you can give us some type of general recipe or formula for "Paradising"!!

The I.D.F Paradising formula

Y- I believe the best and most concise way to express it would be like this:

Paradising is an inner state of supreme pleasure and divine connectedness accessed by being in a ‘here and now’ focus, with the total integration of my lower and higher self!!!

I — Is it not possible to shorten that even more so that we can use it in all situations?!

Y — Pleasure filled Integrated ‘Dvaikus’ Focus (Divine Connectedness) — or the IDF for short. And I am not referring to the Israeli Defence force, even though this spiritual IDF may be a Jews true protection in all situations.

I — Not bad — O.K if we where to do a survey of IDF portraits, what type of people would you like to bring?

Paradising in three major areas

Y — I think that once we have our IDF formula then there is virtually no area of life that can’t be examined and measured by its IDF Paradise Factor. However since we are clearly limited by time, let’s take a reasonably quick look at three different areas of life, namely: Mans connection to Hashem, to himself and to his fellow man.

I — Great!! Which specific areas would you like to bring in the first category between Man and Hashem?

Y - Let’s look at the performance of the very central Mitzvot of learning Torah, Prayer and the being in the realm of Hashem, living with Hashem’s Hashgacha Pratit or Divine providence!!


Torah learning and Paradising
Rav B.

I — I suppose Torah learning is the best place to start as our sages say; "Torah learning outweighs them all" (Meaning all other Mitzvot).

Y - Correct!! I would like to begin with Rav B... Rav B is a true living embodiment of I.D.F. He has totally integrated Lower Self-pleasure and motivational psyche into his learning experience. That type of concentrated focus while in a constant state of Dvaikus or divine connectedness is hard to find in our entire generation in my personal estimation!!!

I - Could you bring some illustrations of Rav B’s Torah Paradise

Y — That’s not a problem! I’ve known him well for a long time and I see in him what others aren’t privileged to see. His approach to Torah learning is that it’s a ‘cure all’ for every and any situation — whether he is learning about counselling others; seeking spiritual rectification (or "Kapara"); learning to boost his learning capability a couple times over, or to gain clarity in the realm of physical ailments. He’s a living example of what our sages say — "Whenever something ails you physically, simply sink yourself into Torah and you’ll be healed". I’ve seen him so sick that he couldn’t even talk, and he would refuse to stop learning until he literally passed out in an exhausted sleep!!! Purim is a time when the real truth of a person comes out, through fulfilling the mitzvah of getting drunk to the point that one can’t tell the difference between cursed Haman and blessed Mordechai. I witnessed him crying out a drunken true confession to his teenage yeshiva students filling his living room, that all he really wants out of life is undisturbed learning — not leadership, not its titles… nothing else!!! He even said that he’d be willing to give up his portion in this world and the future world for it. Not a small sacrifice for anyone to make especially one on his spiritual level. He told me it’s worth it to compose a Torah based book even if no one would read it, just for the sake of one’s own learning. This is afforded by learning in order to be able to give over the Torah through writing as opposed to simple learning!!

I - So far you’ve described Rav B’s attitude towards learning, what can you tell us about his actual learning experience?!

Y - He goes effortlessly into a deeper reality, even more than most seasoned Torah learners are accustomed to. On the one hand he’s meditative — I mean he’ll stop everything and go into a very deep examination of one sentence!! Does it make sense? How does it fit into the context? What are the author’s surface and deeper connotations? And what’s the question? Why this question? And why that question? What would I answer if I were asked the question? Why did the author answer it up the way he did? Etc etc… On the other hand he’ll all of a sudden pull out of his deep Torah meditative state and with lightning speed he’ll sweep across vast quantities of Torah filled pages with awesome comprehension. Often he would stop in the middle of one of these "sweeps" and casually blurt our 5 or 6 alternative commentaries of his own on any giving line, and then of course he’ll go back over it again and again and again, and then apologise (Because he is such a humble person) for going over it just one more time. I have seen him literally prepare what’s considered to be one of the most difficult chapters in one of the most difficult Torah works around a few dozen times, all in order to be able to begin a one on one ’chavrusa’ or learning partnership in the text, with a certain late commentator who was a brilliant giant scholar of a previous generation — Arguing with the commentary point by point!


I - I can see he’s devoted but was he…. umm, You know… in Paradise?!

Y — What a question?! Do children like being in a candy store?! Does an Eskimo ever see snow?! He’s on fire!! He’s grooving!! He’s Flying!! I walk out of his presence and the whole world looks different, clearer, happier — there’s nothing at that point that I want to do except learn!!!

I - Thank you, I really appreciate your enthusiasm. I think that the Paradise concept is finally starting to sink in. Please carry on!

Y - I’m happy to carry on! I just want to get across an important point first which has a bearing on all the rest of the portraits or partial portraits I’d like to describe.

I — I’m ‘all ears’ like they say.

Paradise: Cafeteria style

Y - With a few notable exceptions such as Rav B and others — We live in a generation that is sort of ‘piece meal’. I mean it’s really hard to find all or even most of what’s called "Shlaimut" or spiritual wholeness in all realms embodied in one person — Rather it’s spread out — ’piecemeal’ — this person’s MR.PARADISE in this area is someone else’s in a different area — This is how it is with groups and Ideas until you get to the point that if you want to find "Shlaimut", you have to approach life, people and ideas like a diner in a cafeteria or a shopper in a supermarket. I know many friends who would vehemently disagree with me claiming that their way, their Rebbe, their group has got it all - but what can I say, this is my humble opinion after searching for years.

I - I understand your point. Please tell us how this has a bearing on presenting Paradise Personalities.

Y - The answer is obvious! If you want to see Paradise personified — you’ve got to shop around a lot and take a little bit here and there. One person will get it in prayer; another guy in talking and the next guy in encouraging people etc. etc… Therefore I’d like to take this opportunity to present to you different flashes of Paradise personified in different areas.

I - Carry on!

Paradise Prayer

Y - O.K For example I know of a certain very shy inconspicuous man who has displayed real Tefilla Paradise for years. He stands ALL NIGHT LONG — every night of the year praying to Hashem in the corner of his midnight Yeshiva. I know another person who sits down every morning for two or three hours in his room with a Talis and Tefillin on his head meditating and crying to Hashem from the depths of his soul — going to inner spiritual depths that most people don’t even dream or know about. I know of another person who when he gets through with his prayers — he takes his Talis (Prayer Shawl) and his outer garment and he literally wrings it out from all the sweat accumulated in a prayer session. He would embarrass most seasoned professional athletes. I’ve Personally witnessed an entire group of grown men who participate regularly in a ‘crying to group to Hashem.’ — all reporting that this type of high voltage experience overflowed in to their lives to the point that some of them found themselves crying to Hashem all day long in any number of non-Prayer type situations. In short, bits and pieces of prayer Paradise spilling over for any one who’s interested in incorporating it into his own life — It just involves keeping ones eyes open and learning how to do it.

I — Our eyes are open — Tell us about the other area you spoke about — walking with Divine Providence?!


The Chasidic Devine Providence Principle

Y - O.K, I’ll describe a few things that come to mind, but the primary one is a basic understanding of what the "Formula" is, for going with Divine Providence according to our earliest Chasidic masters. Basically the idea is that, to the extent that I believe in or am real with the fact that Hashem is guiding me every single minute of the day. (Either directly or indirectly… in a similar way to when we mistakenly overhear other peoples conversations… but he even hears our thoughts that we have) — All this is part of the Divine Directive, working toward my personal perfection. To the extent that I can be real with this, to that very extent, I empower Hashem to be real with me. And to the extent that I am not real with it, I probably would consider all that is happening to me, to be a result of chance or at least something that is not necessarily ‘directed at me’ — To this extent will I not be able to connect to Hashem’s reality and conversely not be able to synchronize my personal rectification with all that comes my way!

I — What an awesome idea — All you do is switch on your spiritual antennas and Hashem synchronizes you with life!! I certainly see how a person who goes on this path in a serious way would be totally plugged into reality, pleasure and Hashem. I could picture the Lower Self being turned on too!!

Y — Not only that, but I’ll tell you something very amazing! I’ve had a bit of experience in counselling all types of Baal Tshuvas — (I.e. Returnees to Judaism) and have noticed that the ones who where very deep into drugs, specifically the mind altering types, found this Hashgacha Prati the best formula for walking through life. Not only did they see it as a great replacement for getting high, but much more than that, they realised that all of the drug induced highs were only a very poor replacement for this. The source of it all — the real thing!! In short — A great all-round Lower-Higher focus Paradise experience.


Real Life Stories

I — Very interesting! Could you share with us some real life stories in this realm.

Y - Sure!! The first thing that comes to mind is Reb Ooshers’s holy Jewish woman!!

I — Sound like a good title for a children’s storybook, or a song… in fact that name rings a bell somewhere!!


Rav Oosher’s Holy Jewish Women

Y - Rav Oosher is an elderly Tzadik (Saintly man) living in Jerusalem who’s home has been an oasis for a long long time, mostly for woman who at some point in life have fallen into very deep trials, depressions or dire straits of one type or another. Rav Oosher basically transforms these ladies out of their misery into living life in a transformed, lit up way! They live with an incredible uplifting focus on their wonderful fortune and on their amazing divine providence. Many of them have gone on to become some of the most powerful speakers, councillors and transmitters of Providential Paradise to anyone coming anywhere close to them.

I — Isn’t there a lady who goes around the country speaking to large groups of ladies about being in this state of mind?


Rabanit Kooke

Y — Sure, Rabbanit Kooke — To the best of my knowledge her Paradise mindset origins come from Rav Oosher. But yeah… we certainly can’t do justice to a discussion of Paradise Living resulting from being plugged into providence without mentioning Rabbinit Kooke. Everything about her screams Paradise! She has an amazing style of speaking… She speaks to stadiums filled with people, and is completely unaware of what she will speak about until it starts coming out… totally in the ‘here and now’!! The way she talks about doing Mitzvot, says a chapter of King David’s Tehilim (Psalms) or talks to Hashem right there in front of everyone… that is real powerful Paradise. And I know from first hand reports that her doing so is not just a show, whether she is at home or on the road, she is ALWAYS plugged in!!!

I — Are there any other bits and pieces of providential Paradise stories that you can share with us?!



The Paradise experience of Tzadikim

Y — I’ve heard of a number of very big Tzadikim (or Saints), who found all of the answers or ‘directives’ to questions and problems posed to them right there in the very Torah subject that they where engaged in at the time. And this was not a casual occurrence. Rather they where so attached to Hashem through their studies at all times that they never had to stop learning. When there where lines of people waiting to receive their council on a daily basis, the answers to peoples dilemmas where found in the very text he was learning, no matter what text it was.

I — That’s also amazing. I definitely understand their Dvaikus and their focus… what about their pleasure? How do you know that this experience wasn’t one of pain or indifference?!

Y — I want to tell you something about a Tzadik or anyone that is truly constantly connected to Hashem... By definition this person sees the world as being a place of divine love, nurturing and goodness. His mindset is, that all that happens is for the good. Everyone including myself, who’s come into contact with a true Tzadik all report that they can’t help but feeling happy and purified while being in their presence and afterwards.

I — And how about you — have you experienced that type of Paradise coming from Hashem’s guiding of your life.

Mikve Paradise  
People Paradising

Y — I have my ups and downs like most people but I’m actively working on it. When I go to the Mikve (The Jewish ritual waters of purification) and I jump in with all of my troubles and every possible negativity I can recall that’s either consciously or subconsciously bothering me and dunk in the waters with the thought that these negative experiences are really the most positive experiences that could possibly happen to me right now, because it is part of my divine sent perfection process. I try to imagine what is specifically the loving — perfection ingredient that I’m receiving…. And with that I dunk into the water. Slowly but surely enough, with five to ten daily dunks, I find that it transforms your ability to accept all that Hashem sends your way with a greater and greater degree of Paradise!!!

I — I appreciate your practical guidance and I hope you’ll give over more as we go on, but first can you tell me about some other types of Paradise people or experiences you know… just some highlights.



Noticing Paradising everywhere

Y — Well… Now as we are discussing it I remember a friend of mine who has internalised in an amazing way what he considers to be one of the most important educational lessons he ever received… and that is to take pleasure in people.

I — Do you mean people — Paradising?! That sounds like a great idea — especially now days when all you hear about is quite to the contrary!

Y — Yeah!! That’s very true!! And it’s such a pleasure watching my friend really, really grooving on whomever he’s devoting his attention to!!


I — If only it would catch on among great numbers of people…

Y — I’ll tell you — Paradising is everywhere. It’s found everywhere. It is all about being committed to keeping your eyes and ears open and pealed for it, shortly you begin to truly detect it all over the place, in other and yourself as well!!

I — Can you give a few examples?

Mother and Father Paradising

Y — Yes, for example when I wait for a certain bus about 3 times a week, I notice a certain young mother waiting with her 3 boys for the same bus. She is so incredibly entranced with her boys and their every word and move, that she’s totally oblivious to their surroundings… she’s Mother Paradising!!

I — How about Father Paradising?

Y — I think that as parents, we all get a taste of it and strive for it consistently. When we are in that space we really consider ourselves richer than billionaires, with these wonderful children that we are gifted with. I do happen to know somebody who really ‘takes the trophy home’ when it comes to this. He hasn’t had an easy life and his children for him are beyond the ordinary realm of being precious and priceless… For him they are actually his ticket to ecstatic living. You should see how he talks to and about them — such longing… I think you said it correctly — If only it would catch on!!!

Moving right along from Hashem issues Paradising and interpersonal Paradising to Personal Paradising

I — Let’s keep with your original order that you set out for us earlier. We’ve dealt with our Hashem- Paradise relationship and we’ve dealt with interpersonal Paradising, now we’ve arrived at the realm of a man’s personal Paradising experiences involving mainly himself!!

Y — I think this realm perhaps has more opportunities and practical examples than in other areas, even though the dividing line between personal, divine and interpersonal becomes very blurred. Perhaps many of the examples I could offer you, you could place in either one of the categories.

I — I won’t hold you accountable… Could you relate to us what you recall and what we will do is try to discuss them at the relevant opportunity, where we will categorise them as well, either in this interview or at another time.

Y — O.K That makes things easier. I’ll just sort of express the ideas that come to mind spontaneously… The first Idea is related to what we are doing right this minute… we are expressing ourselves. Whether in speaking or in writing there is a world of difference for someone who does it in a state of Paradise.

Paradise Writing

I — So how do you do Paradise writing for example?

Y — Just to review, Paradising = I D F:

Integrating my Lower Soul pleasures

Dvaikus — or divine Connection

Focusing oneself totally on the HERE and NOW.

So what I do is I prepare an outline or listing of the ideas that I want to discuss, which frees me up to do spontaneous I.D.F Paradising — I stay within the general outline and I let my pen go wherever Hashem wants it to go — It is really a wonderful experience.

I — wait a minute. I think I am hearing something very profound in your description. Are you saying that once you have your general outline or framework you prepaired, you can actually let go and ‘groove’ as you say…on what ever you’re expressing.

Hashem is expressing through you

Y — I believe I’m saying that and so much more. You see the letting go Paradise part of this experience is not only pleasurable and focused in the most extreme way, but also it’s an expression of perhaps the most powerful Divine Connection (Divaikus) you can possibly get to. It’s almost as if you’re not the one writing, teaching, signing or what ever else you are doing. You’ll excuse the fumbling for the proper words — but it’s as if Hashem is doing the writing and creating right through you! All you have to do is just get out of the way.

I — You’ll excuse me for my thick headedness, but what do you mean by getting yourself out of the way and letting Hashem do things through you!!!

Y — I agree with what you said, that we’re on to something profound. Perhaps we’re onto the essence of the Paradising Experience. I think the best way to clear it all up is by illustration. Hopefully with a few examples, you’ll know exactly what I have in mind.

I — Carry on by all means!

The Paradise Author

Y - As long as we’re talking about writing, let me share with you a comment I heard from one of my former study partners, who happens to be one of the most successful and prolific writers and speakers in the current Israeli Baal Teshuva (New returnees to Judaism) circuit. When I first met him he was well into his third year of working on his first book — and after 2 or 3 years he was producing dozens of books in lightning fast fashion. It was awesome to see and he seemed to be in an ecstatic fiery state when he was writing. He also always seemed to be writing. I asked him what snapped? What opened up for him with such awesome prolific writing! He is a very straight and conservative person, which made his reply all the more amazing!! He simply said, " It’s not me doing the writing — It’s Hashem who’s writing through me". He went on to explain that since each of his works is influencing thousands of young people to come back to their Jewish roots, all he has to do is show up with pen in hand and move the pen on the paper… and before you know it a new book is complete… and another… and another!

I - I suppose that his means of getting out of the way to let Hashem write through him was sort of a mental state that he locked into or something like that — Is that correct?

The Paradise stock broker meditation

Y - It’s even more directly getting out of the way than that… Listen to another example and you’ll catch on: One time recently — in fact the only time in the last 20 or 30 years that I was back in the States in Manhattan — I found myself in the office of a very wealthy and proficient stock broker. Without going into any details — we were very soon involved in a deep meditation where I directed him to picture all of his creative finesse and genius, cunning and power, in being the boss. He’s the one man who was making all the correct super-fast decisions causing his whole firm to become wealthy!! I then told him, "Get out of the way!" — I mean picture yourself in a position where, despite the fact that you think it is you who is responsible for all of this success… it’s NOT!! It’s only because Hashem has given you these talents and powers and is giving them to you RIGHT NOW!! Therefore I told him to meditate next, that he was doing nothing-just sort of functioning on ‘automatic’. Meanwhile, Hashem is infinitely empowering us to do all we are capable of doing and even more!!!


I — So how did he react — Was he in a state of Paradise?!

Y — I’ll say — He actually hugged me and told me that as a result of this meditation he is a transformed man with infinite powers of stock broking skills to tap… But beyond that he said that he was also a transformed Jew. He felt that he had opened up to the wonderful awareness that Judaism isn’t only a prayer or learning session in the morning and one at night, while during the day one must be a ruthless shark in a G-dless world — NO!!! He told me now he knows how to bring G-d into his stockroom during every hour of his working day!!

I — I’m getting the picture — Please carry on with your examples and hopefully the idea will sink in more and more!!


Public speaking Paradise

Y — While we’re talking about my New York trip, I’ll relate another Paradise experience I had, only this one is in the realm of speaking. Like I mentioned earlier, this was the first time I left Israel for the states. Not only that but I think it was the first time I had done public speaking. There I was in my friend’s car with five minutes left to go before ‘show time’ — with many ticket-holding customers to see yours truly in action. I was stuck with a sudden nightmarish thought that I’d freeze!! I’d lose my breath, my memory and what ever else and freeze!! I sent up what was one of my life’s most intense prayers asking for emergency immediate divine intervention. Specifically I asked Hashem to send me a Paradise Speaking experience. I wanted to be in a state of overwhelming pleasure while speaking.

I — I’m on the edge of my chair - What happened?

Y — Thank G-d — You guessed it, Paradise!! I loved every minute of it and so did they. My host was also a bit nervous, being the one that was responsible for the success or failure of the talk. He told me that he was in a state of disbelief of how well it went. At that point something snapped for me as well…. From then on every public appearance I made was in true Paradise Fashion.

I — And how did you get out of the way?

Y — I suppose that in this case the way I did it was to invest 100% belief in the fact that it’s totally out of my hands — I am helpless and I’m completely dependent on Hashem’s Emergency Aid!!

Paradise Teaching

I — Perhaps you could share with us a more common phenomenon like Paradise Teaching

Y — Oh Yeah — Paradise Teaching… There was one specific time, I had set up a slot with a learning partner at 4am one Shabbat morning. Together my partner and I were preparing for an afternoon class that I gave over. This is how I went about preparing for a Paradise teaching experience: I would walk up a very large hill towards my 4am session with the following meditative idea: I would visualise in the greatest detail, all of my creative talents in providing new ideas and new pathways in teaching and learning, and I would then surrender my personal talents and innovations as being not mine but purely divine sent. I would then visualise myself in the upcoming learning session as being infinitely empowered to innovate in genius and novel ideas in my learning… not me, but rather Hashem — doing it through me!!


I — That sounds like perhaps a great way to do anything in life, as you mentioned before. What next?! What was the rest of your Paradise teaching experience like?!

Y — After this empowering experience, we would proceed to do an exercise we called ‘Associated Thinking’. We would take our theme for the day and figure out in a spontaneous free-form-fashion all associated ideas in relation to this theme. We would then examine all associated ideas until we could define and access the essential idea. These two processes of association and accessing the essence are extremely pleasurable and useful… this process can be done with any subject in the world. Finally we would then concentrate on directly preparing for our afternoon class presentation, by demonstrating in rough proofs, analogies and applications the essential idea of our theme. This entire preparatory session experience especially with the initial infinite empowering step was amazingly transcendent and plugged in. Well the obvious way to put it is that it was a real Paradise experience.

I — You certainly have expressed nicely the stage of preparing for a teaching session, but what about the teaching session itself?

Y — Oh yes of course, that’s the best part! When I would come armed with all of this preparatory information into the teaching itself, the experience would always be almost literally out of this world. It was so much an expression of me letting go and of letting Hashem teach through me that I became just as much of a student as the rest of the students. I never really knew what type of novel ideas would come out of my mouth and I always would end up very pleasantly surprised.

I — If I understand you properly, this preparing and then spontaneous letting go type of expression could apply in any actively? Such as even what we’re doing now… creative interviewing.

Y — Absolutely — All you have to do is to add the ingredients of ‘I.D.F.’ — integrated Dvaikus focus and Whalaaah — Instant Paradise.


Paradising in a depressed or paralyzed state of mind

I — That sounds really great, but I’ve got a point that still doesn’t sit right with me in this whole Paradise lifestyle that you’re trying to get across. That is that all of it is fine for the person who is relatively not troubled about life in all of its multi-various reality, but what about what seems to be the great majority of people who rarely experience a day of true peace of mind and are spending virtually all of their energies just trying to keep sane and to keep themselves from sinking even deeper into the mud of life’s constant nagging problems from within and without?!

Y — Your question is an excellent one… One of your best so far… it absolutely demands proper treatment, but first I would like to qualify one thing. What I’m attempting to get across is a new possible approach to living — and that is to do it in a Paradise way. I think that is applicable for every person on almost any given day of his life. At least in one or a few neutral activities. Now… having said that, would you like to deal with your challenge — Paradise Living even while in a very troubled, affected, depressed or ‘paralysed’ state of mind!!

I — You mean to imply that Paradise Living is possible even for what seems to be a very non- Paradise situation?

Y — I’m not only implying that it’s possible, but with Hashem’s help I’d like to actually suggest a number of different ways to make it very real.

I — Sound like just the think that the doctor ordered. Would you like me to throw out a few possible scenarios of troubled people and then you in your new role of Dr. Paradise would prescribe a cure for your patients?

Y — I think that to get this point across, we should speak very generally first by listing all the various seemingly anti-Paradise situations and then another corresponding list of cures. We can leave the one on one problem and solutions to Dr Paradise’s private practice!!

I — I would never dear of interfering with your private practice doctor… So perhaps you can define for us the general Idea.

The troubled one loses the "Extras"

Y — Thank you for your cooperation. Basically I believe that the main idea that encompasses all of those who are troubled, is something that was brought by the former Rebbe of Slonim (Z’’l) — In the first volume of his amazing Torah based series called "Ntivot Shalom". He says that one who is ‘troubled’ functions in a very minimal fashion… meaning that all the normal "Extras" that a person carries around with him are absent from the troubled person. All he really has going for him are those personality traits or personal powers that he acquired to serve him as part and parcel of his personality. There are ‘personality powers’ that he hasn’t acquired, yet when he is not troubled, these non-acquired powers are accessible to him as well. These are the ‘Extras’ that he looses on becoming troubled.

I — That sounds like a very fascinating insight into human nature. Perhaps you can illustrate further!!

Y — Certainly — Let’s take a few examples such as a person who experiences some type of loss in his life such as a big cut monetarily in his area of livelihood. Because of his crisis, his mind is occupied twice as much with all the angles of the different decision and approaches he must make and therefore to the extent of his preoccupation he’s less able to be integrated, present and transcendent with all that comes his way in life.

I — Is this what you mean that he’s functioning in a minimal fashion with out all of the extras?

Y — Partially, but I haven’t finished? There is the ‘Emotional Factor’, the ‘Spiritual Factor’, the ‘Willpower Factor and a number of others involved in this story…

I — Excuse me — Could you please fill the rest of us in!

Y — Yes yes, I am getting there… Patience please! You see… My good friend is an explorer type like myself and is fond of say, "We human beings are multidimensional creatures. WE don’t only cope in our lives with intellectual intelligence, there are other intelligences involved as well… such as what I began talking about: Emotional intelligent, spiritual willpower and other intelligences. When a person is very troubled, all of these different faculties sort of go automatically into a paralysis, shock or minimally functional state. I think that if we thought about it we could come up with parallels in the human body and even more Mega-Ways such as societal paralysis, worldwide paralysis and other examples.

I — So that’s what you meant by saying that the troubled one who is functioning minimally loses all of his "Extras".


Y — That’s correct… It’s all systems down. This includes all of us from time to time because we all experience a loss whether it is financially, in terms of a loss of social status or esteem we receive from people. This is particularly applicable with people who are closest to us. Sometimes the loss can be in a more ‘real’ form, like the loss of a friend, a job or a business…

I — You need not go into greater detail — The idea of loss is clear, what is not clear is how any of us when we find ourselves in these paralysis states can possibly even remotely consider being in a state of Paradise?!

Y- O.K. If you bear with me and give me your full attention I think you’ll understand. By way of quick review our Paradise State is I.D.F (Integrated Lower Soul; Dvaikus; Focus), at first with a framework and then a transcendent letting go — So why not take this troubled minimal functioning paralysed person and plug him into his Paradise State as well… Not based on where a healthy person would be holding, but based on where this person is at in his paralysis.

I — Please Elaborate Dr. Paradise or should I say Prof. Paradise?

Y — Don’t you see? Instead of this poor fellow torturing himself because he’s not functioning like a healthy person — which is his suffering or sufferings, because not only is he focusing too much on his issues, but he is also beating himself up consistently because he is not like the people who are healthy in their perspective of the world. So with that in mind why not be accepting of the person exactly where he is wallowing in his basement or his paralysed state… Let him be!!! Not only am I talking about the incredible healing that can result by accepting him as he is, but I’m saying that one should let him feel as if he’s REALLY in Paradise now! He should know that according to his Divine Providence, his reality has been determined in such a way, that the best possible place for him to be in, is exactly where he is right now… The truth is that any other scenario is only second best!!! What ever his needs are and what ever the rectification is that he needs to do, let him do it with a full heart and with full Paradise Focus.

I - Can you tell us how?!


Radical acceptance as opposed to romantic notions

Y — The first step is acceptance of my situation exactly the way it is, and not according to some romantic notion of what it’s supposed to be like. My long-time research partner just wrote one of his very unique research papers exactly on this point, called "Romantic Notions". He points out that all of us have suffered intensely and caused others around us to suffer, because of these bizarre notions of what we, our close relations and even Hashem are supposed to be like. The source of the suffering is our belief of what we ‘think’ all of them should be living up to as opposed to what they are, and through this we make others around us and ourselves miserable.

I — Is it wrong to expect of ourselves and other to be better than they are?!

Y — Absolutely not — To the contrary, we should always strive for improvement. The whole trick is to know at which point in the healing process to begin actively improving. What I mean to say is that unless we profoundly and openly accept where we are at now, in all of our lowliness and helplessness, we can’t start healing ourselves. Rather we detach this unwanted part of ourselves or we fall into horrible paralysing depression about it, not seeing ourselves and others for what we are. We jump to solutions without applying them to the problem. If a person doesn’t see and accept the problem as it is, all solutions are like Band-Aids and Aspirins… not having the capacity to access the core healing, but just providing a mask, for a limited period of time, until we are forced to face the core issue again.

I — In that case may I ask… So how then can he acquire this acceptance, and this healing/ Paradise state acceptance that you seem to be highlighting?

Radical Acceptance of ones helplessness with a crying group

Y — Now you’re on my wavelength… O.K. Fine, One answer is to feel oneself as being helpless, powerless and in pain before one solutionises. I’ve found that I can connect with this best in one of two ways. One of them is the subject of another whole research project that my friends and I have been writing about and actively practicing for the last year and a half. We call it a ‘Crying Group’. We set a stop clock for about 45 minutes and grab a darkened corner of the room and begin to cry or scream or whatever else one wants to do in order to heal his soul or connect to oneself and to Hashem. My experience of this exercise has been to create an awareness or consciousness in my life of all the areas in which I’m helpless… And to accept them and develop and awareness that it is here that the REAL AUTHENTIC me exists. I put into perspective that these helpless areas of my life is where lies my true personal life quest and challenge or "Tikkun" (Rectification)… Then, only then do I begin solutionising! Naturally the first solution is to bring Hashem into the picture as the one who loves, nurtures and helps me out of this and any other situations, as his 100% track record has shown 1000’s of times in the past. That’s the real beginning of healing. By the way the other tool I use is the "Mikve" tool that I elaborated on earlier, which for me adds the Paradise element of realising that this situation is the best possible one I could be in for my TRUE healing and perfection as part of my Divine Perfection process!!

I — I’m getting the picture and I can tell you that it sounds very liberating, so let’s go on to the next step. There we are feeling ourselves in all of our naked helplessness and we feel Hashem is nurturing up and taking the burden off of our shoulders… What next?

Y — The truth of the matter is that if one connects up with Hashem in a powerful enough way, one doesn’t need anything else! What happens is that most people are not real enough with their release to Hashem or with their conception of Hashem, and as a result one needs extra — ‘Human Help’. This can take many different forms. Since our subject is ‘Paradise’ I’m not going to elaborate on these solutions here… let’s just say that the general direction is to take oneself or one’s friend gently by the hand and begin to project where he would like to ultimately be, and then take the necessary steps to get there.

I — That sounds like a unique type of counselling…

Y — It is! I call it Ratzon counselling and it’s perhaps my most successful and practical research tool. I’ve used it consistently over the last couple years to help bring people to the projected desired goals, with Hashem’s help.

I — Is there Paradise involved in the process!!


Actualizing ones Desire Paradise

Y — There’s only as much Paradise involved as one consciously works on or awakens in oneself. But the very fact that one is doing what he really wants to be doing is in itself an aspect of Paradise. Especially in our troubled person who is truly in touch with and accepting of himself. His desired goal is to be much more plugged into a ‘True Paradise’ type of awareness. He is closer to fulfilling all of the Paradise elements we’ve mentioned so far. I.D.F transcendence — He’s integrated his lower troubled self. He’s enacted the Hashem Dvaikus element. He’s opened up to how he truly is now and thus he’s focused on projecting himself in such a way that he will become or achieve what he TRULY wants to be. At that point he can transcend all of his paralysing inner self-sabotaging tendencies and scripts that he keeps telling himself… What is left is for him to sit back and enjoy the ride as he watches Hashem guiding him towards actualising his true desire!!

I — That sounds very very encouraging and I think basically what we have left to accomplish in this interview is to summarise the main topics briefly and maybe give over a few practical exercises in every area. I feel that will enable everyone to walk away with a feeling that he truly is taking something home with him.

Y — Thank you again for your guidance… I strongly agree… lets begin with the summary!!

Chapter 4: A summary with other exercises and future possibilities

I — I suppose the best way to do this summary is to focus on summary statements with a few chosen exercises.

I.D.F transcendence formula

Y — Good, lets begin!! The formula for Paradising in any and every situation is I . D . F… Which is:

  1. ‘I’ Transcendence through integrating my lower and higher self maximally into all that I’m doing.
  2. ‘D’ — Dvaikus, based on the realisation that with the awareness of Hashem I have well-being and without I don’t. It is basically the activity of constantly connecting with Hashem in all situations.
  3. ‘F’ — Focus I do whatever it is that I do in life with total presence. I’m in the ‘here and now’ with all that comes my way.
  4. Transcending: Once I prepare the ‘vessels’ or groundwork for myself for my intended area of activity, I let go!! I let the music play through me, so to speak!! I let Hashem into my creative process…basically through what I am doing.

I — Any other good exercises for being totally focused?

Y — Of course… Besides what we mentioned a few times in this interview about developing a sense of Divine Providence always guiding one into the best possible reality in his or her life… and also opening up to what we mentioned regarding the Mikve dunking exercise. There is another exercise that I would like to mention briefly as well… Follow the following meditation:

24 - Hour Paradise Exercise

Step 1: In your minds eye, picture your next 24 hours, exactly as you interpret them, with all of their ups and downs etc…

Step 2: Envisage filling up your "Paradise gas tank" with a sense of well being that we learned in the "Mikve" exercise we learnt above… as well as another ingredient; Go back and recall all the situations you were in, where you needed Divine help over the previous 24 hour period, and then recall how Hashem helped you out in one way or another in most of the situations - With this knowledge of Hashem’s perfect track record of how he got you past the bumps and fixes of the past 24 hours, gain clarity of how he is going to get you through the next 24 hours positively and with ease…. So at this point envisage filling up your ‘Paradise gas tank’ with a solid and positive sense of Divine Nurturing.

Step 3: Go back to visualising your next 24 hours in detail, but this time with your personal ‘Paradise gas tank’ filled with Paradise, just being able to "Zap Away" the upcoming obstacles of your next day.


In summation, these preliminary exercises should provide enough of a sense of divine based security, for you to let go and be totally present with the day that is ahead of you!!


I — Wonderful — Onwards with the issue of integration of Upper and Lower Souls!!


Lower and Upper Soul Win-Win unity and related exercises

Y — In summing it up - We discussed the possibility of integrating my Lower into the entirety of my life. We said that usually the Lower Soul is an antagonist to say the least… specifically to anything worthwhile that we want to accomplish or become. Our ‘will’ in this context consists of our Upper Soul considerations. So we discussed the possibility of giving the Lower Soul a fair chance… Listening to it and making a peace pact with it, out of a position of love and respect. Ultimately we are looking to create the best win-win deal, where not only the Upper and Lower interests are getting what they want, but they’re working together in such a way that they are able to accomplish together much more than when they’re working separately!! The ultimate fulfilment of our Jewish challenge to serve Hashem "with all our heart"…. This means with both the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ hearts both united.

I — Any exercises?

Y — I don’t recall mentioning any exercises earlier, so I’ll mention a few now:

  1. Write a letter to Hashem expressing your Lower Soul’s trials and tribulations in integrating with my higher soul, and writ back what I think Hashem would answer… keeping the correspondence going.
  2. Go into a core state, and ask yourself what would I want even more than what I’ve got now. Keep asking and getting more basic until you are in the most primal state possible… but with a very cooperative Lower Soul.
  3. Make a win-win deal between your Upper and Lower Souls. Here the two sides negotiate a written contract until they’re fully satisfied. After that be very careful to guard the integrity of the contract by sticking to it.
  4. Use creative expressions including music, writing and having fun as part of the opportunity of expressing the lower part of yourself, in a non-dangerous or ‘Assur’ (Forbidden) way. Use these creative expressions for higher soul considerations such as prayer, Dvaikus, interpersonal righteousness, Mitzvot etc…

I — I know that you could probably go on and on, but I feel that we should be wrapping our message up to complete this interview. I believe that the entire topic of Paradising in life’s various situations speaks for itself and therefore I’ll ask you to just end off with a work about future possibilities and challenges.

Y — Let’s just say what we began with…

Restating this interviews purpose and future possibilities

The purpose of this interview is to create the possibility for a new way to live our lives, in a state of mind called Paradise. What’s being presented is a formula, some illustrations, explanations and practical exercises to do just that.


I see the challenge as being met successfully if anyone including myself is inspired to live in Paradise. The more people there are doing it and the more inspiration, the greater the success. Let it be Hashem’s will that this will help anyone to really make a break through in the quality of your life, in actualising yourself and in bringing all of us back into the Garden of Eden, which we fell from close to 6000 years ago.

I’ve already started the writing of a newsletter called the Paradise Principle Report, with special columns including Dr. Paradise — Instructing people with how to heal and actualise themselves with Paradise type methods. But the REAL future possibility depends on the reader’s response to this challenge of living their lives in Paradise.

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