Question: If we have to rise above our egoism, then the more we strengthen it, the more difficult it is to rise above it. Thus paradoxically, the flourishing of culture deprives us of the opportunity to overcome our ego, doesn’t it?
Answer: Yes, it is true. But why do we develop in the egoistic form and, and what’s more, exponentially so? This is for us to see inside our ego how much it ultimately destroys us, and yet we are able overcome it.
We have no other matter besides our desire! Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of reception” (“Kabbalah” in Hebrew means “reception”). This wisdom explains how to realize one’s desire rather than destroy it. From our egoistic matter, we are building the form of a human (Adam), “similar” (Domeh) to the upper one, the Creator.
Thus, on one hand, the ego has to grow up to the point when we become disappointed in our real egoistic form which always wants to grab for itself. Then, I will begin to use my ego in its inverse form and each time turn it into bestowal. To the extent I can do this, I will acquire forces for my soul.
Today we have reached a certain “ceiling,” “satiation,” meaning the maximum possible egoism in receiving for ourselves until we consume the last fruit of the Earth. This will lead us to the realization of our evil. Either in a good way or bad, we will understand that we must act in the opposite manner and use our egoism for bestowal.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011