The Benefit Of Spiritual Shame

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” Baal HaSulam presents his famous parable about the guest and the Host, the example that reflects a person’s relationship with the Creator. The Host greets His guest as His closest friend and, driven solely by the power of His love, wants to give him everything without any intention of receiving anything in return.

He gets pleasure from serving the guest, is happy about it, and expects no compensation because the law of love obliges Him to act in this way. On the contrary, if the guest refuses to receive, this will upset the Host very much because He has a great desire to fill the guest, His friend, completely with all the abundance.

If the guest feels some discomfort, this feeling does not come directly from the Host but surfaces involuntarily as he used to be empty and now somebody gave him fulfillment. And within this fulfillment, there is something shameful, undeserved; there is the lack of his own participation and effort, which raises a feeling of shame in the guest.

In this sense of shame, the guest discovers what he is missing. He thinks: “The Host gives, and I receive. As a receiver, I feel ashamed, but there is no shame in the giver. This is the difference between the giver and the receiver! He is not ashamed because He gives, but I am not capable of this action of bestowal. If I could give as He does, I would not feel shame; moreover, I would be honored!

The Host does not feel any honor in His bestowal to me because bestowal is natural for Him; He loves according to His nature. And thus, He is not proud that He gives; on the contrary, thus He fulfills His desire.

If I give, it will bring me honor instead of shame. That is why the shame that I am feeling now is useful; it will help me feel the opposite state: honor and self-respect in addition to the high position of the giver.”

The receiver obtains all this understanding as a result of shame: Why and how he should perform the necessary steps in order to not only extinguish shame, but also to reach the level of the giver. Here, it is not merely to achieve bestowal—one has to come to love! Let this shame rise hatred in me, which I will transform into love, and then I will actually attain the state of the Creator.

All the love that He has naturally will become a great acquisition for me that I myself attained and earned. And that is why now I begin to love and appreciate this shame! It is through it, through the depth of this shame that I am starting to feel hatred, and from this hatred, I come to love.

The creature comes to this conclusion as a result of a series of internal clarifications.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/27/2011, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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