The Duties of the Heart
Gate Five: "Dedicating Our Actions to God"
To now we've been treated to a lavish dose of the truth of G-d's presence
in the world which we're very grateful for. But what's one to do after
that? After all, half the "fun" of searching for the meaning of life is
finding it, and most of the burden and challenge of having found it is
living with it!
So we'll now discuss the things Ibn Pakudah suggests we do with what we
have, one at a time.
The first category of things to do, which is offered here in this gate, is
dedicating everything we do to G-d. When you do that, Ibn Pakudah explains,
you enjoy certain advantages. "You purge your mind and heart of the
confusions that plague them", for example, and you "liberate them of the
need to embellish, ... to be hypocritical, and to flatter others". As these
are advantages that all of us would like to enjoy, it seems we're going
to be treated to a lot of wisdom in this gate, and we will.
The first task, though, is to determine just what "dedicating our actions
to G-d" means. Then we'll need to learn how to do that, how to determine
which of our actions to dedicate to Him, we'd need insight into what
keeps us back from dedicating our actions to Him and how to avoid such
things, and finally -- how to use our minds to achieve spiritual excellence.
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