Question: Why can’t a person adhere to the Upper One and see in Him the reason for all that happens and thereby advance?
Answer: This is called “being too smart for your own good.” There is a “block” in our head that greatly hinders our advancement, preventing us from doing anything. Everyone is certain that he understands and can accomplish everything with his mind. Man is not able to cancel his corporeal reason, his “I.”
The law of growth and ascending from degree to degree necessitates cancelling the previous degree so as to acquire the next one. Even plants develop from seeds the exact same way. Any cell that transitions from one state to another undergoes the same changes. The only difference is that we need to make these changes intentionally, consciously, with our own demand!
In nature it happens automatically, instinctively. This is how an embryo grows in the womb, as does any child. If I want to acquire a profession and learn something, I know that I need to cancel my mind before the instructor. I want him to tell me and show me what to do, and I repeat after him.
I do what he does again and again until I grasp the principle, the inner foundation. Having done the action myself enough times, I now understand why it works this way and not another. As long as my egoistic desire supports this, I have no problem cancelling my reason in order to learn.
But here the egoistic desire is against such a cancellation, which is why I cannot learn anything! I hold my ground like a stubborn donkey (“Hamor” [donkey] is similar to the word “Homer” [matter]), refusing to move, even under threat of death!
And the threat is far from empty! We conclude our lives without having achieved attainment. And truly, the smarter a person, the more problematic this is for them.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/3/2011, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”