In the previous perspective we glimpsed that the joining of souls is purposeful. We will now begin examining overviews for the future of their relationship.

A beautiful allegory from the Rebbe Maharash contains the following scenario.

An enslaved man is forced to carry a backpack to the top of a mountain. He learns that the backpack is to be laden with heavy stones and he must reach the summit.

The day is hot and the climb long and difficult. The mountain is steep and the stones underfoot are sharp and unstable. Step by strained step the man climbs, the pack like lead on his back, the straps cutting into his sweating flesh.

We can suppose his emotional state: resentment, anger at the load, hatred for his oppressors. In addition, and draining his resolve, is the doubt of being able to complete the climb.

The man toils his way to the half way point of his ascent. There, he is told the contents of the bag are to be his. He opens the backpack. His heart leaps to his mouth and his hands tremble as he views hundreds and hundreds of gemstones! The bag is full of priceless diamonds now ablaze flashing in the sun.

Can you imagine the change in the man’s disposition?

He races to close the backpack now eager to resume the climb. Ignored now are the incline of the mountain and the unstable sharpness of the stones.

Resentment is replaced by gratitude; anger with joy; doubt with determination to succeed.

What has changed? Not the heat of the day; not the steepness of the climb; not the sharpness of the stones underfoot; most importantly, not the weight of the bag.

The change is in the perceived value of the stones and the attitude of the man.

Previously the load was perceived as negative and therefore caused him misery. Now the same weighted load is perceived as precious and he is overjoyed.

His mood has somersaulted from unhappiness to joy, from despair to triumph because of his internal perspective.

We will refer to this allegory often as we travel together.

For the moment the reader is asked to notice and be aware of two critical factors in the change in disposition of the man.

The first appears external to him (the fact that the stones are diamonds and not mere stones).

The second is internal (his attitude change).

Confusion about the external and the internal not only destroys happiness but simply prevents it. We will learn together the Chassidic life skill of viewing these two separate factors as being in reality one. In doing so ultimately we can all learn to discover that every bag is in fact full of diamonds. In fairness however, first we need some vocabulary of ideas together as the following chapters will show.