Answer: The economy is a reflection of our interconnections. The science of Kabbalah essentially explains the economy to us, or how we provide for one another. When taking care of others, I make a calculation: How much do I have to receive from them in order to bestow to them?
This is exactly what Baal HaSulam writes in the Writings of the Last Generation and “The Nation”: how to set up the right interconnections, what fair distribution should be like, what balanced consumption is, and how to receive only the necessities and put all the rest of your efforts only toward helping others.
This is the economy. Granted, we haven’t yet learned to describe it using formulas such as this, which will be clear to modern economists. We ourselves still lack the clear understanding and sensation of the nearest, smallest levels which we will ascend as we make the transition from the current, capitalistic economy to the economy of balance.
We understand that spiritual “fuel” is necessary for this because in the material sense every person will receive the necessities according to his nature and no one will have any excesses. Then what will motivate people? After all, the egoistic desire does not disappear; it only grows, especially in the spiritual world where it is billions of times stronger. That is why there, we receive the upper Light, and not just the “crumbs” that we get here.
Thus, our problem is the transitional period when we go from using others for our own sake to using ourselves for the sake of others. How can I consume the minimum and enjoy by bestowing? For that I need the upper Light to turn my nature “inside out.” How can I want this, how can I ask for this ahead of time, avoiding the suffering?
Obviously, suffering will make us be willing to do anything. But I have to independently imagine the picture of bestowal so the current state will seem worse than death to me. The future has to shine so bright that I will desperately want to escape the present. There, up ahead, a life so wonderful is waiting for me that the current existence loses all meaning. It only bothers me and I have to put an end to it.
How can we depict this picture? On one hand, it holds great suffering, but on the other hand, it is the suffering of love, longing for something great. In our world people often give up their entire lives in order to attain the picture they have painted for themselves. A person can spend his entire life working as a plumber or electrician. Then why are people running after something else? It’s in order to receive a supplement, although on the animate level they don’t need it at all. This is not just an unforgettable vacation anymore, but a sum in your bank account, which gives you pleasure in and of itself.
Thus, we are not yet able to explain the transition from suffering to longing. We do not have a feel for the real economic measures that will be used parallel to society’s upbringing. This is what we will have to do in the future.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/18/11, “Peace in the World”