The Alternative To Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Peace in the World“: Four properties are provided for that purpose: mercy, truth, justice, and peace. Those attributes have been used by all world reformers thus far. It is more correct to say that it is with those four attributes that human development has advanced thus far…

It is only by these four attributes that we manage ourselves in order to bring ourselves to the end of correction. So how do we discern them? Many can speak about mercy, truth, justice, and peace for hours, but can we agree on what these attributes are?

It isn’t simple, but Baal HaSulam, knowing the spiritual nature, wrote that this is what we have to clarify in order to manage ourselves and the world. We don’t know what a corrected world is. We are all corrupt and so it seems to us that any egoistic improvement is already correction. However, for Baal HaSulam, the corrected world is a world in which all the possible deficiencies are totally filled. How is that possible? We will have to find that out.

First, we have to understand that we will never be able to fill ourselves egotistically, but only in bestowal because while there is no restriction on bestowal, there is on reception. So how can we desire to receive in such a way that receiving itself will make us understand that it is worthwhile to bestow?

We can develop in this direction by blows: Every time that I want to receive something, I receive more and more blows, until I finally come to the conclusion that it is better not to want to receive egoistically. Then I begin to hate my desire to receive, and I don’t know what to do with it anymore. “So, perhaps I will enjoy bestowal?”

And so different flaws bring me to a point where I ask for the desire to bestow, for the power to bestow, the power to connect to others. This is the road of suffering and asceticism about which it says: “Eat bread with water sparingly and sleep on the ground.” In the past people used accept this and thus advance to bestowal.

It is the same today, if people don’t accept the wisdom of Kabbalah and the explanation about the development of the world, they too will advance in the same way. They will want more and more, but will get less and less, and as a result of suffering, people will begin to feel that it is worthwhile to be together, to bestow upon each other, to connect, to restrict our ego, and even to totally erase it.

We see that in wartime, when the troubles descend upon everyone, people begin to connect. Even animals are not afraid of one another when there is a fire in a forest or an earthquake, and they all escape the danger together. The common problem unites them because the fear of death is greater than the fear of hunger. Clearly, they don’t become “righteous,” but the desire to satisfy their hunger is pushed aside by a greater desire to survive.

We are the same. Of course, we can advance towards correction by suffering. It will compel us to aspire to bestow and to destroy our ego, the source of all the evil in our world. But this is a long and painful way.

This is why we were given an alternative—the way of the Torah. Why? Why do we need this other way? It is because we don’t reach free will by suffering. We only run away from it, like animals. Out of despair, we are even ready to bestow, but it is only because we feel bad when we receive. We don’t choose bestowal by our own free will, but as a result of our suffering as we have no choice. This is the degree of a beast, not man.

In order to bring us to the human level, we need two forces: the force of bestowal and the force of reception, with free will lying between the two. This is the path of people who have the point in the heart.

People who don’t have the point in the heart will also have free will: They can choose to follow those who can lead them forward.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/4/2011, “Peace in the World”

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