Question: How can I check myself in order to be sure that I am moving in accordance with the instructions of the original sources, and not submitting to my own egoism?
Answer: For this purpose, there is the month of Elul, the last month of the year. The world was created five days before the creation of man, and the day on which man was created is called the first day of the new year. Those previous five days represent the five levels before the level of human, the five phases. And you need to check your world, meaning your environment.
After all, you live and perceive yourself relative to your environment, you check yourself in relation to it. You live together, you and your environment. So, before you are are “born” as human, check the environment that will be surrounding you. Accordingly, you will be able to see what kind of person you will be.
What environment do you choose? In other words, what do you want from your life, the entire world, the group, and the books, and what do you hear from your teacher? Check how you relate to all of this and what you want to achieve.
This is not easy. A person is faced with a very difficult calculation here. The opinion of the outer society exerts a great influence on us, forcing us to keep asking: “Where am I, and where is everyone else? There are millions, billions of them, while I am only one person.” It is not easy to remain on the path if this is a personal path, and not a commonly accepted path among the masses.
You need to keep clear of confusion here. According to which criteria do you check this path? It is not evaluated according to the standards of regular people. And you don’t need to believe anyone, everything can be checked and analyzed. So perform this analysis and build your own relationship toward the environment, the teacher, the books, and the Creator. This is what is called the “repentance” of the month of Elul.
These are very delicate clarifications, and they become ever more delicate over time. It is as if they are hung up in emptiness, not supported by solid ground, but by faith above reason. This is because having checked everything in your ego, you need to separate completely from it and build your spiritual relationship above it.
Without egoism, without checking inside of it, you cannot check yourself. That is why you have to be grateful for all of the egoistic thoughts and desires such as jealousy, hate, lust, ambition, and arrogance relative to the world, enemies and friends, criticism of friends, the teacher, and the Creator. Everything can be checked, and based on this foundation, your new level can be built, which is called a new beginning.
After you check your entire world and your current condition, you will begin to see, above all of this, the image of the goal toward which you are aiming. After you have admitted to all of the possible transgressions of your egoism (the words of repentance from the prayer of Rosh Hashanah) and checked and understood your true essence, then you can imagine what its opposite means. Otherwise, there is no way.
That is why the Creator created the evil inclination and in addition, the Torah, the means for its correction because the Light that Reforms is contained in it. However, if you do not have the evil inclination, if you have not discovered and seen your egoism, you do not need any correction. If you do not intend to be corrected, the Torah is not for you.
First of all, you need to feel that there is nothing worse than you, that you want to swallow everyone else, prevail above them, you are jealous of everyone, and hate everyone. Do you see yourself as the worst person in the world? Can you justify your bad relationship to someone after you have thoroughly checked it?
If you see that every sinner is truly revealed inside of you, and you have no choice remaining, then you arrive at the repentance prayer of Rosh Hashanah. You exalt the quality of bestowal, love of the other, meaning the Creator, and you want it to start ruling inside of you.
“I created the evil inclination” means the repentance of the month of Elul, the five days before the beginning of the new year, the time period that it took to create man. During these days, the world of man is being created, his terrible world. He is the one who sees it as terrible, instead of seeing the world full of Light and goodness where only the Creator rules, only love and bestowal.
However, thanks to this, one arrives at the beginning of the new year, the new level. He has the Torah, the means for correction, the Light that Reforms. Now, he knows how to use the force contained in nature, how to extract it for the sake of his correction, and with the help of this upper force, to return to the good. For me, the upper force is the higher quality of bestowal, as compared to my egoistic forces.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/2011, Writings of Rabash