Breaking The Vicious Cycle Of Life And Death
The first stage on the spiritual path is recognition of evil and its purpose, which is to lead me to the understanding of my entire nature. The program which draws the picture of reality for me by giving me the sensation of this world and my part in it, is called ego, or the desire to receive pleasure only for myself.
It locks me inside, engulfs me and draws all of my attention, making me think only of myself. I act according to that program, unable to even imagine that there is another option, another reality. What can possibly be done to change this perception and behavior?
Our nature itself leads us to recognition of its evil, leaving us no chance to escape it. It has power over us, locks us inside and constantly coerces.
This is the worst kind of slavery, when a person reveals that he is a prisoner of his own nature and can only obey its orders. He knows in advance that he has no choice but to obey, even though each order he follows, will further harm him.
Kabbalists have a parable, where the angel of death comes to a person and extends a sword with a drop of poison on its tip. A man obediently opens his mouth, knowing that by taking it he will die, yet he licks it. He has no other choice.
It is a great inner drama. All of man’s work is in realization of his exile and bondage. When a man is completely in despair, the point in the heart awakens inside him and begins to shine for him, showing him that there’s another world and a blessed shore on which to land.
He can’t continue to sit inside a shell forever! He has the ability to hatch and climb out as a worm that comes out of bitter radish and suddenly sees the sun and breathes the clean air.
A person can then hear that there is a method that allows escape from the servitude and terrible life where the pointless cycle repeats itself: birth is succeeded by death. He discovers that there’s a means to break that vicious cycle and rise.
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