Self-Recognition according to the approach of the “4 Elements” is a way to enter into the pnimiyus (inner dimension) of the soul. But it is not the only way to enter into pnimiyus. One can enter into pnimius by firstly learning Torah with exertion and effort, through mesirus nefesh [lit. “giving up oneself”]; and, secondly by learning the inner dimension of Torah. If a person merits to learn the inner dimension of Torah also with exertion, effort, and self-sacrifice, they are praiseworthy and their lot is praiseworthy because everything is included in it. (For this, one can be aided by learning the series of “Getting To Know Your Torah” (דע את תורתך), and especially by learning the subsection of this series which is called “Devotion To Torah Learning” (דע את תורתך – מסירת נפש). However, even if a person is taking any of the these [last two] approaches, he should still set aside some time for personal self-recognition of his soul. What’s more, the path of self-recognition itself is considered to be a form of learning the inner dimension of Torah.
In-depth study of The Four Elements consists of two sections:
Understanding The Essence Your Middos
The “Understanding The Essence of Your Middos” ארבעת היסודות | מהות הכוחות is a series of 104 classes offer an in-depth, intellectual study about The Four Elements contained in the teachings of the Torah Sages for anyone who wishes to learn about The Four Elements in greater detail.
In-depth practice using The Four Elements consists of three sections:
A series which explains how to begin getting in touch with your soul, step after step, with practical exercises. This series divides into two parts of 62 classes in total: Self-Recognition (14 classes), the basis of this series, which is applicable to anyone on any level, and Root Movements Of The Soul (48 classes), a more advanced area of study of the four elements which is designed only for those who have studied the rest of the series.
Fixing Your Elements
A series of 141 classes which focuses on balancing the negative, unfixed parts of one’s personal soul.
- Fixing Your Earth
- Fixing Your Sadness & Laziness (19 classes)
- Fixing Your Earth [Sadness] (16 classes)
- Fixing Your Earth [Laziness] (16 classes)
- Fixing Your Focus (17 classes)
- Fixing Your Water Desire (20 classes)
- Fixing Your Wind Speech (16 classes)
- Fixing Your Fire
- Fixing Your Fire [Conceit] (16 classes)
- Fixing Your Fire [Anger] (16 classes)
- Fixing Your Fire [Honor](currently 13 classes)
Utilizing The Power of the Soul
Four different options to practically navigate these series
Begin with Self-Recognition (all 62 classes). Afterwards, you may continue to Utilizing The Power Of The Soul (i.e. Joy From The 4 Elements). Then you may end with Fixing Your Elements, which focuses on balancing the negative, unfixed parts of one’s personal soul. This path can work for you if you are mainly interested in grasping the general approach of the four elements, and also if you are prepared to do inner work that is gradual and step by step, which a lot of patience.
Alternatively, you may begin with the series of Self-Recognition (of the basic 14 classes), and afterwards you may continue your work by focusing on the abilities in you that require further development or balancing. (And if you want to continue, you may advance to the series of Root Movements Of The Soul of 48 additional classes.) This path can work for you if you are very interested in attaining a high degree of self-awareness, and if you want to develop an emotionally healthy lifestyle.
Alternatively, you may begin your work by focusing on the abilities that require further development or balancing. Afterwards, you can advance to the series of Self-Recognition (of 14 classes). (If you wish to continue from here, you can advance to the series of Root Movements Of The Soul. This path can work for you if you are mainly interested in knowing yourself but you feel that there are some parts of you that are imbalanced and holding you back from progressing.
Alternatively, you may put all of your focus your work on the abilities in your personal soul which you need to balance. This path can for work for you if you are mainly interested in self-improvement but you feel that there are parts of you which are imbalanced and preventing you from living an emotionally healthy kind of life.
In order to disseminate these teachings, The Four Elements Institute was founded under the sole guidance of the Rav, Shlit”a. The institute follows the world view and sole direction of the author of the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh series Its activities will include publications in hebrew & english, seminars, training programs and a therapy center. The activities of the Institute are explained in greater detail in the introductory publication entitled, “The Necessity to Study & Know the Soul” הצורך בלימוד והכרת הנפש in hebrew, and in english. An abridged english adaptation of the first three audio classes is available here for download.
NEW! Sources of the Four Elements
The human psyche consists of layers upon layers. Entering the layers of the soul through a course of self-awareness and empowerment of the soul is the key to life itself.
We must worship the Blessed Creator and keep His mitzvos, build for ourselves a path of life based on simcha, and put our powers into action. We must also look inward, and be in “oneness” – with ourselves, with others, and with our Creator.
The way to do that is with self-awareness and the practical work of empowering the mind in a structured, and consistent manner. This is the main direction of this book – practical guidance for self-awareness and soul empowerment.
In addition, this book is the basic explanation of the complete system of the “Four Elements” path. The purpose is to allow a person to connect with himself where he is, and from there move forward in building the right way of life for him – for all that is implied.
This book is the first and most basic of the Four Elements Series.
It is a practical summary of the doctrine of life that is explained in the books and lessons of the series of sefarim entitled, בלבבי משכן אבנה