Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot U Masbirot,” Item 11: …On the other end, when we regard the order of existence and sustenance in the modes of existence of the whole of reality, large and small, we find confused orders, as if an army is fleeing the campaign sick, beaten, and afflicted by the Creator. Their whole life is as death, having no sustenance unless by tormenting first, risking their lives for their bread.
Question: What is the meaning of “sick, beaten, and afflicted by the Creator?”
Answer: On the one hand, we see that nature has prepared and arranged everything for us, all the laws that govern the life of the created beings. But on the other hand, everyone devours each other and everyone benefits from the troubles of others. Each animal thinks only about how to devour another to fill itself, for its entire life, it spends its time looking for food.
A person worries about food even more than other animals. Prehistoric man lived like the animals and ate whatever he could find. He had no way of keeping food and preserving it and therefore had to look for food and collect roots and fruit. This was his daily worry. He had no spare time to do anything else but that. Man lived like an animal and was constantly busy looking for food.
Then man learned to domesticate animals, and so he began to cultivate domestic animals like cows, dogs, chickens, and so forth. He developed agriculture and didn’t need to hunt for food anymore since he had a farm with animals living by his side. There was no need to look for plants to eat since he could harvest his crops in his field. People ceased to wander from place to place and began to settle on their lands.
But this didn’t make their lives easier. It seemed that they could live in peace, but wars and disputes over territory broke out and people began to enslave other people. Life became worse than a dog’s life. On the one hand, everything seemed to be ready on nature’s part, but the management of the still, vegetative, animate, and especially man seemed to be very confused.
Why is there no peace among all parts of nature, and why can’t the prophecy, “And a wolf shall live with a lamb, … and a small child shall lead them” be fulfilled? Instead, everyone devours everyone else. We don’t understand why nature is this way. We have gotten used to this kind of life, but it is wrong. Why is life so? This is where people begin to doubt godliness. Everyone thinks that he can manage the world better than the Creator because he sees the great disorder in nature.
However, we must change ourselves and then we will see that nature and the Creator’s attitude toward us is correct. We must only connect to the upper force, and it will fix us and make us equal to it, which means that it will make us human beings.
The moment we change, we will perceive a different world. This will be a world that is totally good. Suddenly the wolf will dwell with the lamb and will lick it as its own cub. The little child will come to play with them. Everyone will help one another. Then, I will see that life always has been that way, and only I saw that everything was the opposite because my perception of reality was corrupted. I looked at the world through glasses that were totally shattered and therefore thought that the world also was shattered. Now, I have been given new lenses and I see that the world is wonderful, round, beautiful, and pure. It seemed totally shattered before because of my perception of reality.
Therefore, our goal is to correct ourselves to such an extent that we will see the whole upper providence as good and benevolent—the only force that operates in reality, the attribute of love and bestowal.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/23/14