I use the word "Stimulator" to call the system that we must now build because it comes from the Greek word “Stimulus,” meaning a sharp, pointed stick used to poke donkeys in order to keep them moving. Our “donkey” (“Hamor” in Hebrew) is our egoistic desire (“Homer”) which only understands the language of a “stick.” Yet, instead of driving this “donkey” by painful poking, we want to awaken the human being in us who looks ahead and yearns for the future on his own. We need a stimulus, but a positive one. We need to be driven by “lovesickness,” the desire to attain this state. This should be the only force driving us ahead, instead of corporeal pain pushing us from behind.
We have to invoke just one kind of suffering inside us, the question, “Why haven’t I attained unity with the Creator yet? Why am I not in awe of Him?” The first stage in returning to the Creator is “repentance from fear,” which occurs when I put forth efforts to cultivate an inner sensation of awe regarding the spiritual goal, the Creator, and bestowal, instead of running ahead because I fear painful blows that come after me. That is how I change my motivation or Stimulus.
If I run ahead motivated by the strikes (fears about things in this world or punishment in the world to come) then I am not returning to the Creator. In fact, this is how humanity has advanced naturally for thousands of years, but it isn’t spiritual evolution. It is the evolution of desire where we replace an unpleasant state of existence with a new, hopefully better one.
Yet, returning to the Creator is described as “Tshuva (return of) Hey to Vav,” which means that I invoke my own inner fear of not having the quality of bestowal and love. But what can I do if in actuality I am not concerned about this and feel no fear? Where can I get it? The answer is only from the environment!
If the environment paints a picture for me that makes me realize how horrible my condition is and, at the same time, that there is something incredibly wonderful awaiting me, then I will strive toward it. This is the correct, spiritual stimulus that enables us to advance. This way of advancing is correct because it is voluntary, and we therefore make this entire process an “awakening from below.”
However, if I don’t arrange an environment that instills this yearning for advancement in me making me run because I fear that I haven’t attained this goal yet and terrible misfortunes are following me because of it, I will never move into the next moment! In fact, I won’t move one bit.
That is why we need a “stimulator” and a positive one!