Comment: As a rule, prophets talk about two options of development: hard and easy….
Answer: Suppose your son is lazy and stubborn. He is smart but has no desire to realize his potential properly. What would you like to see him as in the future?
Comment: A famous soccer player.
Answer: I see. It is the modern dream of a father.
Well, you take him to a soccer school, but he is lazy and does not want to work. He is required to have a daily regimen, exercise regularly, and sleep well at night without any parties. The life of athletes is a hard life indeed; it follows a strict schedule. People sacrifice their best years to become professionals. In this case, the body becomes a machine that is pushed to work at full capacity.
So, your son does not want to practice. What can you do? But you are sure that soccer in particular is his future. Then, you take a belt. Here, the question arises: Whether beating can make him a soccer player? Does this move him in the right direction?
Comment: No, this simply hurts him.
Answer: It means that the belt does not help. But after this “educational work” your son makes a calculation: What should he do? He suffers both from the beating and the training. Where is suffering greater, and where is it lesser? His egoistic desire compares the outcomes, and he decides: If his father makes him suffer more than the coach does, he goes to soccer practice.
On the soccer team, he meets other boys and gradually acquires a taste for the game. If he does not, you continue to punish him until he fulfills your program.
We see from this example that suffering simply takes one closer to realization. How can we manage without it? We are lazy and stubborn, each of us. It is not just about physical activity; we are obstinate in the mind and heart, in perception and sensitivity. Every second, we shrug aside important things, take a smoke break, sleep with our eyes open.
How can we use every moment of our life for spiritual training? To do that, we constantly have to ignite ourselves with our friends’ burning desire. Otherwise, the Creator will inflict blows upon you, and you will come out of your daze because of fear or pain, one or the other. However, you must realize the entire program because without it, you will lack desires.
Consequently, you face only one opportunity: to fulfill the desire of the Creator. You will do it in any case, but you have two options, two paths, leading to this realization. You cannot escape training and awakening; however, you can take the long path of suffering, during which you sleep (although not like a baby). Or, you can take the short path, where you are given a chance to realize yourself quickly by receiving additional desire, additional awakening from the environment. They stir your enthusiasm, and you run to your practice.
It does not matter which way you come to the practice: This is your choice.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/31/2011, “The Peace”