We live in the first generation of people who wake up to discover the meaning of life and to understand why they live. In the previous generations, we used to live like animals. We had only egoism, the desire to enjoy, that constantly pushed us forward, and through it we tried to fill ourselves in an endless race from one pleasure to another. However, we were never satisfied because pleasure is opposite to one’s desire to receive, like the two poles in an electric circuit that are opposite to each other.
As soon as the Light touches the vessel desiring to enter it, annihilation, a “short circuit” immediately occurs, and they nullify each other. Every time we want to enjoy something, it is enough to just touch the pleasure, and it disappears. We sense the taste of food, but it goes away. We see something beautiful, but the charm dissipates. Positive feelings do not remain with us, and we are not able to accumulate or add them to our “piggy bank” from day to day.
In the end, we see that our generation is in despair. People have nothing to fill themselves with; they do not feel flavor or pleasure. They use drugs to escape and they calm themselves with medications and antidepressants. Why?
Our egoistic desire that was growing throughout history has stopped its development. For thousands of years, it was gaining strength, and it seemed to us that we would continue to find greater pleasures in new desires. The feeling of pleasure is the feeling of life. But today, our desire to receive has become completely satiated, and we have fallen into despair from helplessness, not seeing any possibility to move somewhere else.
This is a special time, a special condition, and that is why Baal HaSulam writes that he is glad to be born in the era when it is possible to divulge the wisdom of Kabbalah. Why is this possible? “Kabbalah” means reception in Hebrew. It teaches us how to attain wisdom, to become filled with infinite pleasure, not feeling the pleasure disappear and our dying as all pleasures vanish. The wisdom of Kabbalah leads us to endless pleasure which means eternal life.
Moreover, Kabbalah brings us to a degree where we become the masters of our lives. Along with the over-satiated desire to receive, the “point in the heart” (•) is revealed in a person, which is an additional property, the desire to bestow.
The plus and the minus, the desire to bestow and the desire for pleasures exist in the same person, and he acquires the freedom of choice. Now he has two forces, and by developing them one against the other, he begins to control them, that is, to control himself. He decides which path to take and what measure of desire to use.
Thus, he is evolving in three lines: He makes the middle line from the right and left lines. In fact, this middle line is called a “human” (Adam) because he did it; he formed his inner essence, and as a result, it belongs to him. Before that, in all our reincarnations we developed similarly to animals, pushed by our egoistic desire, and received more pleasures according to its orders.
Today, we cannot control our desires yet because we only have a small point in the heart. We get together and study the wisdom of Kabbalah which explains how to develop this point so that we’ll have two big desires. Then, we will no longer be governed from Above by the force of egoism; instead, we will hold two forces in our hands and will be able to rise above this life.
From Lesson 1, Convention in Spain, 6/3/2011