Question: Even though our world is an imaginary reality, Kabbalists treat it very seriously. Why is that?
Answer: It’s because we grow and act while being inside of it. Even though this reality is definitely imaginary, you have to take it seriously and arrange things in it as if it really exists.
Imagine that you joined a group of children and are playing with them as seriously as possible, making the game real the way they do. The little ones are running around, trying to put something together and arguing over toys, but to them—this is life. And you participate in their life, helping them put its parts together so they would grow quickly and correctly in this “sand-box.”
This requires a serious attitude. It takes great efforts to raise a child in this world, and a person must treat himself in exactly the same way. This is how he should treat the spiritual child that is growing inside of him. You cannot make any compromises in this regard: I take care of myself, my family, children, and parents, and all the material needs. And even though all of this is obviously an illusion, that doesn’t matter.
The pictures of the material world are depicted in my brain by the egoistic desire and I cannot correct that desire because it is on the still level. Even the great Kabbalist Rabbi Shimon had to eat, drink, make a living, and take care of his students. Do you really think they were floating up in the clouds, not worrying about their families and about putting bread on the table?
This world is part of my growth, “including toothaches,” as Rabash used to say. The only difference is that I must aspire upwards over and over again, toward bestowal, toward the spiritual world. Kabbalists have a different problem: How to remain serious inside of this children’s sand-box. And they are obligated to do that. That is why they have such a responsible attitude to upbringing and other areas in the material world. A person has to provide for all of his vital needs.
Corporeality disappears from our sensations only at the end of correction when there is no more need for this game of the imagination.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/11, Writings of Rabash