Answer: We even see this happening with small children. How many times do you have to punish a child until he starts to understand something? And even then, is this a result of the punishment, or did he simply grow up and become smarter? Maybe the punishments were not beneficial at all? This is indeed a question: What causes us to change our actions?
In reality, we do not change by being punished. Overall, there is no such thing as reward and punishment as we understand it. We never learn under the influence of fate’s misfortunes. We simply grow until we outgrow our Reshimo. Then new ones emerge in us and the surrounding environment changes, and we change under its influence as well. We only change from the confrontation of two parameters: our inner informational data (Reshimot) and the surrounding society. As they interact with one another, they determine our state.
We have to bring our Reshimot to balance with the environment. This is all we aspire to. It is the basic law of the universe: similarity, balance, equilibrium. Everything in nature automatically aspires to this. That is why as soon as an imbalance emerges inside us with the surroundings, then consciously or not (depending on a person’s development) we immediately put all our energy toward trying to bring ourselves to balance.
For example, when you enter a certain society or a certain group of people, you always adjust yourself because you desire to be similar. That is how things are built; it is the law of equivalence, the initial law that the Creator put at the head of everything. Having created a nature opposite to Him, the will to enjoy, He desires for it to gradually reach equivalence with Him, the will to bestow. That’s because growth creates a mind inside the desire, and then the creation gains awareness, sensations, and reveals the Creator, becoming equal and identical to Him.
A person differs from any inanimate creation by the emergence of a mind that consciously directs creation toward similarity to the Creator. Therefore, our entire freedom of will lies in constantly creating a surrounding environment for ourselves that will “pull us up” to the Creator. That means we have to take care of the environment so it would be a level higher than we are. In that case we will want to become similar to it, and thus we will keep advancing toward the Creator. By envisioning the group as higher, greater, and more ideal than ourselves, we advance forward.
Therefore, everything depends on creating the right environment because it will enable us to automatically pull ourselves forward. Therein lies the entire law of growth.
From the lesson in Moscow on 1/17/11, Shamati