A person comes to Kabbalah after awakening to the need to learn the concealed upper force, the purpose and the reason for his existence, and the meaning of his life. As he goes through stages in his spiritual development, a person reaches a critical point and begins to think about the ways to attain the spiritual world. Previously he used to think that spirituality could be attained with what he has, meaning the five senses, the mind, and the regular perception of reality.
But at a certain stage, one begins to feel that the spiritual world cannot be revealed this way and that to do it, he needs to change himself. That’s when he remembers a famous saying: “I created the evil inclination and the Torah for its correction, because the Light contained in it returns one to the Source.”
Every person envisions the spiritual world in his own way. The wisdom of Kabbalah defines it as the property of love and bestowal where a person comes out of his egoistic properties and begins to reveal the higher reality in the properties of bestowal that are opposite to his.
Kabbalists explain that it is necessary for us to develop the property of bestowal, that is, to perform the correction of the heart (desire). This means that if right now our desire works to receive, we need to change it so as to perceive the desires of others like our own. The entire method consists of correcting our ego, which desires to consume everything, through developing a sense above it, which means to come out of our desire.
By the time I came to study Kabbalah, I already had over twenty years of education. I was a scientist and an entrepreneur, whereas all of the Kabbalists who I happened to study with were simple people. I remember having a conversation with Rabash when he told me that he began his employment as a blacksmith assistant, then was a shoemaker, and at the end of his career he worked at a tax collector’s office. Yet, I was convinced that I would be able to attain more with my mind. It took me time to understand that Kabbalah is a science of feelings and that we need to correct our heart.
The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that the mind awakens in us only to the extent of the heart employing it. The heart wishes to know what it is feeling and why, where feelings come from, and how they can be changed. And then the heart employs the mind.
It is a known fact that our mind works better when we are facing problems and misery. The need that arises develops the mind. Thus, the function of the system called “mind” is to help us fulfill our desire.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a science of developing the feeling of love. In other words, I need to attain an ability to connect with everyone else’s desires or needs and accept them as my own. My concern for the needs of another as my own is called my love for him. This bears no relation to receiving fulfillment or pleasure from someone else, but on the contrary, my pleasure will come from fulfilling others.
People who start studying Kabbalah acquire new feelings in the heart which enable them to gradually begin to understand that in reality there is infinite fulfillment and pleasure from being able to come out of one’s own self and fulfilling others. This gives a person an incessant and unlimited opportunity which suddenly reveals a new perception of reality, a new horizon to him.
This is because a person who comes out of himself and begins to feel the needs of others instead of his own ceases perceiving himself, and gradually comes to a state when he no longer needs to take care of himself. When we find the property of bestowal, we receive the fulfillment there and acquire the upper world through it, becoming like the Creator.
From my lecture in “Kabbalah L’Am” Hall on 12/21/10