A group of professionals were trying a VR experience.
Before donning their headsets, they were told that they would see a view from a high building and feel as though they were standing at the edge of a rooftop.
In reality, they were standing in a room on firm ground.
Their challenge would be to take one step, which would then simulate the feeling of plunging hundreds of feet downwards.
They all agreed to the challenge, but once wearing the headsets, they could not bring themselves to take that step.
The knowledge they had could not override the body's instinct.
Our world presents a reality that covers the truth, our eyes see only the most superficial level.
We see bodies, chaos, separation and limitations where there are really souls, divine order, unity and unlimited potential.
Few are privy to this worldview; the Tzadik-a righteous person and the fetus.
The Talmud tells us about the experience of the fetus in the womb; "A lamp is lit for the unborn child above its head, and with it the child peers and sees from one end of the world to the other. . . .
There are no days in which a person experiences more bliss than during the days in the mother’s womb . . . while there, the child is taught the entire Torah . . .
but as soon as he emerges, an angel strikes him on the mouth, causing the child to forget the entire Torah . . ."
Once the baby is born, it spends a few months between heaven and earth and then learns the harsh reality, I am not one with my mother and creation, I am a separate entity.
This is the first primal lie, the source of so much pain. For in truth, only our bodies are separate.
Our souls are all interconnected, pulsing with the same G-dly energy that keeps all of creation in existence, down to the stones on the ground.
Understanding this is far easier than living it.
In our day to day lives, we are challenged to see beyond the (VR) reality before our eyes and find a deeper truth.
This starts with an awareness of and connection with our souls as our true selves.
The biggest tool for this is studying Torah and doing Mitzvot.
We also have the tool of our breath which is closely connected with our souls since "He breathed into him (Adam) an enlivening soul" and this is how we receive ours at birth.
Waking up and acknowledging our souls with the "Modeh Ani" prayer shifts the paradigm and sets us up for a day that is soul centered.
Little by little we can change our way of seeing what is around us.