Ask The Rabbi

Ask The Rabbi


What is rectified Self awareness according to the Jewish Psychology approach?

The Rav Name:

Academic research in the field of Chasidism and chasidic psychology have devoted extensive discussion to the problematic nature of yeshut – autonomous self-consciousness or egocentrism – as opposed to the consciousness of bitul, defined here as egolessness (rather than “self-annihilation”). In the yeshut consciousness, a person tends to focus solely upon himself as the center of existence. A person feels himself to be “something; an autonomous entity” (Tanya, chap. 19), disconnected from the power that gives him existence. This is, however, a limited mode of consciousness, and results in an improper and inauthentic way of functioning in the world. The bitul consciousness, however, reframes a person as a vessel of revelation for that which transcends him. According to Chabad Chasidism, the goal of spiritual and psychological development is the revelation of the hidden potential of the soul. Therefore, the consciousness of bitul allows for the actualization of an individual’s positive, inner resources. Accordingly, the primary measure of psychological health, according to Chabad Chasidism, is the individual’s position on the axis between yeshut and bitul.