It’s Better To Be Diligent Than Smart

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does the greatest advancement happen precisely while reading The Book of Zohar, without understanding anything, just by keeping intention?

Answer: The study of Kabbalah does not require any special mental abilities because it is not learned with the mind. On the contrary, people who consider themselves smart, who are good at studying, who grasp things quickly and have a keen mind, usually do not advance very well in Kabbalah. That’s because the mind and the sensation of their mental abilities stops them, carrying them away to the path of the rational study of this science instead of attaining it by being loyal to the group. This is a problem.

I would say that it’s precisely the regular, “average” people who are more successful in spiritual advancement. The brilliant smart-alecs who come to study the science of Kabbalah usually stumble right away. I see that its as if they jump head-first into the deep sea, and “resurface” from there many years later, once the water washes off all of their pride, feeling of superiority, and power.

Let us hope that we belong to those who are successful in attainment rather than those who have a brilliant mind.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/11/11, The Zohar

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One Comment

  1. Rav,

    What would you recommend for those who find themselves as such by nature, though do feel a point in the heart? Surely we see many Kabbalists — at least in our perception — who were great scholars: Rabbi Akiva and Rashbi himself; certainly Rambam, Ramban, and Ramchal? If it were as by analogy from the Talmudic Aggada concerning Bas Cesaer and the changing of the clay and wood wine barrels to ones of gold and silver, and “were they not handsome, their wisdom would be greater,” at least do they not at least have some strong measure of wisdom?

    Cannot the same freewill that permits choice of environment permit obtaining from the Light the discipline of aligning passivity of mind in becoming a “fetus” with the group. Yet use the gift of this-worldy mental agility regarding work in the factory — particular in methods of reaching precisely those who do not yet have a point-in-the-heart and are only impressed with an “inside reason” rather than an above reason approach? [If not too many “ten letter” words are used… 🙂 ]

    Is this not, in a relative sense, what is done by the teachers in Bnei Baruch’s educational division? The children’s internality is just as ancient — yet regarding approach from this world, the adults teach them.

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