Unclogging the Throat

November 11, 2011 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
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I have been coming to your Thursday morning series on ‘forgiveness’. The lessons you teach about letting go of resentment, acceptance and freeing yourself are all wonderful. But even though I fully understand these ideas I still cannot find it in my heart to change my feelings towards some of those people that have wronged me. This is extremely frustrating. Any suggestions?


Rabbi Michoel Gourarie photo: Henry Benjamin

Like many of us, you suffer from a condition called “narrowness of the throat”. The Kabbalah teaches that the physical design of the human body reflects the spiritual and psychological makeup of the soul. We possess two powerful forces that govern the human experience – intellect and emotion. Intellect and cognition live in the brain while emotions and feelings are expressed in the heart.

Each of these forces is different and important. The intellectual mind is cold and aloof, with objectivity and maturity. The heart on the other hand is subjective and involved, infusing life experience with passion, excitement, determination and ambition.

Here is the problem. In order to implement a lesson or a value it needs to travel from the detached mind to the involved heart, with a transformation from a theoretical idea to real feeling. But because intellect and emotion are so different, the transition is often unsuccessful. As it travels from the head to the heart it gets stuck in the “narrowness of the throat”. This is a common condition.

Learning a lesson once, even if it is well understood, won’t do the trick. The concept will just remain theoretical and detached from the reality of life experience. To break through the blockage of the throat the idea needs to become much more forceful. This is achieved by constant review, repetition and deep reflection on its relevance. Eventually, after revisiting the concepts from different perspectives and with deeper understanding, we build an attachment to these lessons and values, giving them enough force to break through and unclog the pathway to the heart.

So keep coming, keep reviewing and reflecting and eventually some of what you learn will trickle though to the heart and become part of real life.


One Response to “Unclogging the Throat”
  1. Fiona says:


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