A question I received: As one who struggles with being an egoistic altruist, I’d like to know what advice you can give us when we wear ourselves down to the point where we are no good to anyone? My mother used to say, “If you don’t look after yourself; you can’t look after anyone else.” I haven’t yet been able to discern some kind of “magical line” that tells me to stop looking after others and look after myself.
My Answer: You won’t be able to change without the Upper Light, but will always apply your egoism in different ways that appear altruistic, but are really egoistic underneath. Only the Upper Light which created egoism can correct it. We draw the Upper Light upon us through our studies. We have to approve of the way it will change us ahead of time, because right now we are unable to imagine our new, altruistic form.
Therefore, you should only study and “take less care” of others, until you understand how to do it correctly. Some people are unable to study; they can only “act.” They should follow the advice of Kabbalists on how to help others. Otherwise, the help turns into harm for the giver and the receiver.
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