A question I received: I don’t understand the views of this world according to Kabbalah. You say that Kabbalah is against asceticism, and you also said that a Kabbalist has the biggest ego and wants to swallow the entire world. But in the Talmud it says, “The way of the Torah is to eat bread with salt, drink water from a cup, sleep on the ground, lead a life of hardship and labour at learning Torah.”
I also read this quote in Attaining the Worlds Beyond: “When a person, by means of his studies, reaches the level at which he wants nothing but spiritual elevation and at which he accepts only the bare necessities of life in order to sustain his physical existence, not for pleasure’s sake, this is the first step of his ascent to the spiritual world“ (Talmud, Psachim).
So, I’m confused by all of this. How are we supposed to behave in this world? Can you give me a precise answer?
My Answer: Before falling from the spiritual level 2,000 years ago, people could sustain themselves on the spiritual level (in love and bestowal) through restrictions and studying Kabbalah (the authentic, inner Torah). This way they were able to oppose the egoism that constantly increased inside them.
However, after the people fell from the spiritual level of “love for thy neighbor” into “unfounded hatred,” the sages of the Talmud made a special correction (addition) in the Upper Governance, as Baal HaSulam writes in item 11 of the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot“.
Since then, only the “Light of the Torah” (Ohr Makif) can bring about a correction. This Light descends on a person who has gone through the proper preparation (in the group), during the study of Kabbalah with the right intention. It is written: “I created egoism and I created the Torah for its correction, because its Light returns one to the Source (to bestowal).”
Hence, only the correct kind of study will evoke the Light, which will make all the corrections and changes. So organize your studies – and relax!
Laitman.com Post: How Do We Connect Our Points in the Heart?
Laitman.com Post: The Surrounding Light Influences Us Only When We Evoke It
“Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Items 39-44
Lesson on Shamati #69: “First Will Be the Correction of the World”
Lesson on Baal HaSulam Article: “Preface to the Book of Zohar”
Shamati #6: “What Is Support in the Torah, in the Work”