Question: Every time I try to focus on the lesson, I discover that I am distracted by countless irrelevant thoughts. What should I do?
Answer: Everything comes from the Creator and is called the “awakening from Above” (Itaruta de-Leila). If the Upper Force instills bad thoughts in you along with the good ones, it is similar to a flood that carries a lot of filth in it. When you attempt to filter the water, the debris rises to the surface. However, it is necessary for you to filter out the “filth” and realize what you are carrying. Therefore, drawing Light that Reforms brings out the sensation of “filth,” showing you how much you still need to correct.
A Kabbalah beginner does not understand the reason behind it all and gets confused; he yearns for the good but experiences terrible states. He does not yet have the inner power to conquer them, nor does he comprehend what is happening. Why then should he undergo such conditions? It is necessary because “no one is as wise as the experienced.” Through continuous study, a person will feel that all such states are necessary.
It can be the other way around, that a person does not experience “filth,” non-spiritual desires and thoughts. This is a sign of the inability to draw the Light that Reforms, which discerns the uncorrected desires that one needs to acknowledge as “bad” and in need of correction. One must ask for their correction, not their annihilation.
Hence, when we read Kabbalistic texts and feel bad, it is a sign that we are on the right track, and that the Torah serves us as the “potion of life” because it reveals our inner ailments that we need to correct. If, on the other hand, we felt good, confident, proud, and superior, it would be a sign that the Torah serves as the “potion of death,” allowing us to slumber in our egoism and feel more and more satisfied.
Thus, we should rejoice that during our studies, our inner “sinners” become disclosed. This means that the Torah is showing us and correcting our evil; indeed, as it is written: “I created the evil inclination and granted the Torah to correct it.” This is how a person can verify whether he is moving in the right direction toward awareness of his evil egoism within.
The longer we study, the more aware we become that evil resides within us, and our priority is to correct it. With regard to the rest of the world, we should pray for its awakening and basically justify it (“Ladun Kol Echad Le Kav Zhut”).
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, The Zohar