A question I received: Although Baal HaSulam writes that a spiritual person leaves for himself only what he needs to survive and gives the rest to society, for some reason you don’t advise anyone to act this way. Don’t you agree with Baal HaSulam? Or are you afraid that this will scare people off? For instance, even though I myself am in need of money, I’m still scared of this!
My Answer: All our actions must correspond to Nature’s law. Should that be the case, we would feel ourselves as Nature’s integral parts – in the World of Infinity, that is, in the state of eternity and perfection, just like Nature (the Creator) itself.
Kabbalah – the science of the whole of Nature – helps us reach this state not through blows and suffering, but through conscious development. It tells us that Nature’s inclusive law is of bestowal and love. This is the modus operandi of all parts of Nature – still, vegetative and animate. They receive only what they need in order to sustain their existence. And they fulfill this condition instinctively, by laws implanted in their behavior. That’s why an animal can only perceive its own needs.
Man, on the other hand, was created as a single whole, which was later divided into separate parts. Hence, we naturally perceive others of our kind, and because we were all connected in our root, one can get imbued with others’ desires, joys and pains. So in addition to one’s natural desires, he is created in a way that enables him to receive additional desires from those around him.
If one absorbs desires from society (wealth, fame-power, knowledge) and turns them for the benefit of society, then one uses them correctly, so as to connect with others. However, if one uses them to fulfill oneself in excess of one’s natural desires, then one distances oneself from connecting to others and from carrying out the general law of Nature. This type of behavior is called “egoistic,” and makes one feel his disparity to Nature and its law as suffering. In other words, he’s causing himself pain!
But even if one understands that one should be realizing the “social desires” one absorbs for society’s benefit, he is unable to do so. This is because one was created to absorb society’s desires not for one’s own satisfaction, but in order to attain the Creator, through this act of bestowal. Other than that, there would be no reason to create him as a single Adam (man) and then break him apart.
So the reward for this work is the attainment of the Creator’s level. In other words, only by revealing the Creator does man get the ability to bestow and to love. And this is possible only by realizing one’s love toward one’s friend within a group – a society that gives these desires to the person, and by becoming corrected by the Light, which comes from the corrected state as one studies Kabbalah. When one studies the corrected world, the Light of correction shines upon him from that state.
Therefore, there’s no use in simply trying to give away everything that’s in excess of your necessities. That’s impossible. And even if you were to act this way, you would not be correcting yourself.
In order to correct oneself, one need only give away one tenth of one’s earnings, corresponding to Malchut (a part of the soul), which is impossible to correct otherwise. All the rest is corrected by the Light. And under no circumstances should one try to fool oneself, because we’re dealing with Nature’s law, of which it is written “no more and no less.”