The Environment Decides What’s Important To Me
A question I received: How can you aspire for the spiritual, something you’ve never experienced?
My Answer: The spiritual Reshimot (reminiscences) surface inside of us, and they are the only reason we aspire for anything at all. Let’s say that I tell you that I’ve eaten an exceptionally delicious dish in Mexico.
How can I stir your desire and entice you enough for you to spend a thousand dollars to fly to Mexico and then another thousand dollars for the meal? It must stir your desire enough for you to forget your work and your family and to do everything you can just to taste that same taste. I can fill your ears with that message and broadcast it through the radio and TV. Everyone you know would ask you, “Come on, haven’t you tasted it yet?” It would spark envy and pride in you that would force you to follow suit.
That’s the purpose of the group. If a person has only a small desire for spiritual development and revelation of the Creator, he plants himself in the right environment. The environment in turn inflates the desire he feels in his point in the heart, enough to evoke the Upper Light, the Ohr Makif that opens the Upper World to him.
Such is our nature. We can’t say “no” to the influence of the environment. Baal HaSulam writes: “I don’t dress the way I want to, I don’t eat what I want, the society decides everything for me.” Therefore, success in the spiritual path is determined by the environment, which is the books, the group and the teacher.
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