Concealment within Concealment
Sometimes G-d’s presence seems completely hidden from us.
Rebbe Nachman called this “first-degree concealment.” Even though I might be in a place where I feel distant from G-d and cannot find Him, I still know that what I’m experiencing is a concealment of His presence.
But there’s also “second-degree concealment,” where it’s possible to lose sight of anything being hidden.
In the first state, I can feel pained by my distance from G-d because even if I feel far I still know that He’s there.
In the second, I no longer feel far at all, because the concealment itself is hidden from me.
The sages spoke about this as, “If someone repeats a sin, it starts to seem as though it’s permitted to him.” The state of concealment itself becomes hidden.
Even if I’m in a place right now that feels so far from You,
please help me from falling into the second degree of concealment.
It seems sometimes like that state might be easier, might be less painful
than to live as I do, knowing that You’re there but I still feel far.
But then I remember that if I forget that You’re hidden,
I’m in danger of stopping searching for You.
(Based on Likutey Moharan I:56)