A question I received: Free will does not exist in this world, but only environmental pressures. The only free choice that exists is which group of people one wishes to associate with. One must recognize oneself as a wretched egoist – and not only as an egoist, but as the worst of the worst ilk that has ever walked this glorious planet. One cannot get to appreciate the extent of one’s abhorrent nature without the help of Ohr Makif (the Surrounding Light), which descends on us during the study of Kabbalah. When one perceives oneself as this grotesque creature, this results in prayer, and one is then granted by the mercy of the Creator freedom from one’s evil inclinations, and becomes one with the Creator.
Now for my question: Given the fact that free will does not exist, how can an individual rationally see oneself as the worst? Yes, one may come to recognize that one is at odds with the Creator, but how and why is it necessary to come to realize that one is the worst of the worst of the worst? Would it not suffice to just see oneself as an egoist, like the other egoists? Why the worst? And how can one believe that of oneself when one is aware that free will does not exist?
My Answer: Only a new, spiritual environment will give you the confidence and forces to demand the Light of Correction. Then, in this Light you will discover that you are the only evil egoist who is harming everyone. However, rather than making you depressed, this realization will give you a push to demand the Light of Correction from the Creator.
On the other hand, if the environment will not give you the force to do this and the importance of the goal, then upon discovering your egoistic qualities as evil, you will fall into depression and despair.
Laitman.com Post: What Is a True Prayer?
Laitman.com Post: The Only Books That Can Correct Egoism In Our Generation Are Baal HaSulam’s
Laitman.com Post: The Greatest Power Comes from Yielding to Others
Article – “The Freedom of Will”
Attaining the Worlds Beyond: Chapter 21 – “Correcting Egoism”