A question I received: I have been taking part in the lessons offered by Bnei Baruch. It seems to me that I’m a worse person than when I started studying. What am I doing wrong? I believe that I understand the importance of the group, but I don’t feel love for the group per say. Instead I feel this deep and ever widening divide. I’m judgmental and cynical, in my personal life I’m depressed, angry and irritable, and there is no logical rationale for it, but nonetheless I feel all of these emotions strongly. It’s like my mind or one part of me is on one track yet the feeling part of me (which drives me) is on another track headed in the opposite direction, coupled with a love/hate relationship with Kabbalah and the studies. Add to this the fact that I’m confused…
In the lessons we are made to understand that the material we study refers solely to spiritual states, but what is the goal ‘practically’ speaking? What kind of person am I supposed to be?
My Answer: All of us experience states like this, when we assess whether the spiritual growth offered by Kabbalah is correct or even necessary. Right now all of humanity is entering a period of reassessing its values, and this is why it is experiencing a crisis in all areas of life – education, politics, society, family, science, ecology, nature, and so on.
In addition, we are assessing our corporeal existence and the need to add spirituality to it (the revelation of the Upper World and the Creator) in our uncorrected egoistic desires (heart) and thoughts (mind). Your egoism will still go through many “disappointments” on the path of spiritual development, because egoism does not feel any fulfillment on this path, but just the opposite. To develop spiritually, one must eradicate one’s egoism. That is to say, one should not eradicate one’s desires and thoughts, but only their use “for one’s own sake,” changing it to “for the sake of others.”
So how can one advance away from egoism without having egoism’s support on the spiritual path? Egoism is against spirituality, and this is why egoism, our nature, is described as “Help against you,” because eventually it annuls itself. This happens because when you egoistically study Kabbalah in a group, attempting to create a connection with each other, then you attract the Upper Light, which corrects egoism. So the disappointments and descents are just egoism’s perception of the lack of egoistic fulfillment. Your future fulfillment will not come from reception, but from bestowal, from fulfilling others. It will come from the feeling of love and the realization that everyone is connected into one whole.
Hence, the only thing that will bring you to the goal – the eternal goal of creation, is persistent study, participation in the group, and dissemination, in spite of your egoism – “As an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load.” All the Shamati articles speak about this, so always keep reading them. And remember – this path can only be surmounted by those who walk it!
Laitman.com Post: When In Doubt, Disseminate
Kabbalah Today Article: “Quotes of Great Kabbalists”
Chapter from Book Basic Concepts in Kabbalah: “From the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”
Baal HaSulam Article: “Peace in the World”
Baal HaSulam Letter: “The Labor Is the Most Important”
Chapter from the Audio Book “Attaining the Worlds Beyond”: Eradicating Egoism