Kabbalists advise us not to philosophize (since our mind is egoistic and can only halt us), but rather to make more practical efforts. Clearly, my thoughts and desires will only keep me in my egoism, but with my actions I can bestow. And it’s all right that I may be giving because I intend to receive something for myself because otherwise, I wouldn’t give anything whatsoever.
But if I perform the actions recommended to me by Kabbalists, there is a spiritual element in it already. At this point, it’s not only about my personal benefit, but it may give me some spiritual result that I cannot think of directly. It works in such a roundabout way.
In other words, we advance indirectly. And with every action we perform, we build wonderful cities for our egoism, which turn into poor cities for Israel (“Yashar Kel,” those who aspire “straight to the Creator.”)
And herein hides one more additional obstacle. If I worked for Pharaoh by building cities for him but at the same time could see that parallel to that, as a “byproduct” of my egoistic work, I am gaining the properties of bestowal, faith, love, unity, and adhesion, then it would be great and clear! I would know that hoping for an egoistic reward, I will gradually acquire the desires of bestowal.
But that’s not how it works. Not only do I not gain desires of bestowal, but I also realize that I lose twice! In my ego, I see that I have earned great cities; I didn’t want them but I had no choice in it. But for Israel that is within me I lost twice as much: Instead of having advanced, I received destitute cities.
If next to the beautiful cities for Pharaoh there would also rise beautiful cities for Israel, if a successful spiritual “business” would bloom there, it would be fine. But there is nothing! I see that my ego, my Pharaoh, has won, whereas my striving for the Creator has lost and only removed me further from Him.
And then I get confused and start worrying: What is this path after all?! What will bring me closer to bestowal? And herein lies the stumbling block that can halt a person on his path since from this point on, a person must move toward the plea, a personal outcry to the Creator. He will realize that on his own, he can’t fight with Pharaoh and lead himself out of the bondage of slavery and that there has to be a third force.
Until now, he didn’t feel the need for the Creator and hence, he used to forget about Him. He thought that it was some kind of accompanying, additional force that gets revealed in the very end of the path. He didn’t see it as something necessary. Also looking at Moses’ story, we notice that it is the Creator who tells him: “Let’s go to Pharaoh”; the Creator Himself appears before Moses as a burning bush.
This means man still faces great obstacles that prevent him from getting connected with the Creator and appeal to Him in order to work together, as partners, against Pharaoh.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/2011, Shamati No. 86