Question: Baal HaSulam says in the article “Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings” that the main thing is to start and not to leave in the middle. What does that mean?
Answer: You can be off track in the corporeal world too if you consider customs as commandments. A person simply gets used to performing certain actions instead of revealing the internal commandments by himself, as the correction of his attributes.
When a person corrects himself, he is dealing with the Creator, and he wants to draw the Light, to become like Him, and to approach adhesion with Him. But if the commandments become “physical actions” that a person is used to, he doesn’t follow the spiritual path, but simply learns to perform certain rituals accepted in his environment.
We don’t say that this is wrong, but we do say that it doesn’t correct the soul. This is not that reason for which we exist in the world. It is only an external condition that may make the true internal correction easier. In the perfect state, internality and externality should support each other. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t actually happen.
One shouldn’t stop along the spiritual path. When a person begins to correct himself, he discovers how stupid he is. This breaks his heart and he cannot continue. He discovers that he isn’t the hero who corrects himself and gains from it like he thought he was.
A similar plan can work in ordinary life because a person works egotistically on something external. Here, on the contrary, he has to use something external in order to work on his egotism. This work is completely opposite to, unusual for him. We are not used to the idea that we have to change in our root, our essence. Now it isn’t that I am working on something, but rather that something is working on me. Besides, I don’t have to wait passively, like a patient during a medical treatment, but rather must ask all the time: “Change me! Change me!”
How can we fulfill this? If I could feel and understand more, that would be different. But how can I demand something that I don’t even want? How can I ask for something that is contrary to my nature? “Let me love others, let me connect to them,” it is like asking for the worst troubles. Naturally I want to use the world in my favor, yet I have to ask the Creator to change the program in me: “Change my heart and mind, it doesn’t matter what I was before, just make me care for others.”
At the same time, a burst of altruistic feelings that a person may be able to hold on to for a moment after being disappointed by everything else isn’t enough here. No, one cry won’t help. You have to constantly support it and keep this new, paradoxical desire clean all the time.
This effort seems impossible. This is why it says: “A thousand enter a room, but only one exits to the Light.” All the others also do great work correcting themselves in some way, but the circumstances are different, and it isn’t their turn now.
So the problem is that the commandment to love others is contrary to our nature.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/2011, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”