Question: Studies show that a person learns more when he gets incentives and rewards and not punishments. So why do we feel that the Creator educates us by punishments?
Answer: An undisciplined child doesn’t want to make any efforts or to receive rewards. He prefers to be idle despite the threats and punishments.
I, for example, was very stubborn as a child. I didn’t want to study what was taught in school. I didn’t find it interesting. So I received many punishments, but still refused to dedicate time and effort to something that I didn’t like. I read and learned a lot, but only things that interested me and not what was taught in school. Despite the punishments, I didn’t give up because the freedom to do what I wanted was more important. So I paid a double price: I didn’t get a reward and I was punished.
We too are in the same situation. First, we have to give up our ordinary life. Well, this isn’t such a big problem because today’s world is preparing us for that. Second, we have to give up our egoism, our “self,” the familiar reward: self-fulfilment. Our reward should be the opposite, the opportunity to fill others, and this is much worse than the school curriculum.
In the meantime, I don’t feel any punishments for not bestowing upon others, and of course, don’t see any reward in giving everything to others. So who would agree to such a thing?
Why did people come here from all over the world? Why did they give up their holidays and their convenience? Why did they spend so much time and money? A person is given an initial urge to connect, and then he has to respond to that call and not to miss it, to work with this initial desire.
Imagine how much money, time, and effort our friends have invested in order to fly here. Now they have to examine the situation in the following way: “Everything that I did until now wasn’t really done by me because there is none else besides Him. The Creator brought me here and has transported me thousands of kilometers. And now after I have received the urge from Above, I have to worry about how to add myself to Him.”
The more efforts a person makes in order to come here, the more important it is for him to add himself because otherwise he will not bring his “self” into it. It means that the Creator has taken him “by the ear,” put him on a plane, and brought him to the convention.
The upper governance is everywhere, so where is the “self?” It is the same “self” that has to reveal the Creator and to participate in His actions. It isn’t easy to add myself to them, but it is here that I have the chance. Thereby I reach the Absolute Good. After all, the Creator has brought me to this special action, and now I, on my part, have to become special as well.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/28/2011, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”