The Path of the Just
Chapter 26 (Part 2)
Here’s why holiness would have to be a gift to you, rather than something
you work towards and can be expected to achieve: simply because "it's
impossible for a human being to place himself in this state which -- because
he’s in truth physical, and flesh and blood -- is so difficult for him",
After all, think about what it took to become righteous, which the earlier
chapters of this work touched on (which few of us so very flesh-and-blood
individuals would have become, though we'd improved here and there in the
process), and to then become pious which most of the other chapters focused
on (and that very, very few become). And extrapolate out from there to what
it would take for us to become holy!
For holiness is identified with the transcendent, angelic and other-worldly;
and those who achieve it are driven by Heaven-based determinations and
incentives rather than worldly ones.
Given that, Ramchal continues, “all you can do is make the effort of seeking
the true knowledge (you’d need to have to attain holiness), and try to
constantly give thought to the sanctification of your actions”, and nothing
more. For “ultimately, G-d alone can direct you in this … and can have His
holiness dwell upon you”; indeed, “only then can you succeed”.
Then Ramchal adds this very telling element: “and only then will you be able
to constantly attach yourself to G-d”. His point here is that attaching
oneself to G-d constantly -- dwelling on Him, consciously living in His
presence, directing all of your thoughts, hopes, and intentions to Him alone
-- is also an element of holiness, and is also only possible with G-d’s own
Make that effort selflessly, earnestly, and deeply, he concludes, and “G-d
will help you and see to it that you get what your native being (i.e., your
humanity) would (otherwise) detain from you”.