A question I received: You wrote: “Someday I will tell you about how the Creator humiliates a Kabbalist in the eyes of society and his students. This is done to make sure that he won’t be proud, grow close to the incorrect environment, so people won’t bother him, and so on.” In this case, I don’t understand: What criteria can one use to assess whether one is working correctly or not? After all, when you act correctly, you receive beatings to make sure that you won’t be proud, and when you act incorrectly you receive beatings for acting incorrectly. Either way, you’re being beaten! Moreover, you’re told that if you take the path of Torah, you’ll then avoid blows. Also, what concerns me even more than always getting beatings, is: How can one understand what the Creator desires and what He doesn’t?
My Answer: In principle, all actions we make are incorrect, or in other words, they are egoistically driven. The difference is whether or not our actions are aimed at the goal of creation. If you’re moving correctly, you’ll then receive a descent into egoism in order to understand what is controlling you and how to get rid of it, similar to the Egyptian exile and the bitterness in Pharaoh’s heart.
Since one studying Kabbalah is under the influence of the teacher, books, and group, he then assesses his descents in comparison to movement toward the goal. In such a way, he understands that the sensations of descent and pain are signs of his deviation from the path toward the goal, in order to make him aim more accurately. After all, if he will deviate without being corrected to aim closer to the goal, then the more he will progress, the (exponentially) greater inaccuracy he will accumulate and the more he will deviate from the goal, to the point that he will stop understanding what Kabbalah is explaining. Thus, spiritual progress is impossible without beatings.
You also, however, get beaten in your ordinary, “non-spiritual” life. The difference with these beatings is that they don’t lead you anywhere, and you don’t know why they’re happening and where they’re coming from! A Kabbalist, on the other hand, doesn’t receive blows – he receives greater sharpness on the spiritual path. Nevertheless, people who come to Kabbalah are only those who already understand that there is no other way, and they are willing to face the difficulties to reach creation’s goal.
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