The Environment Is Stronger Than My Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)” (an abbreviated version): The newborn is in a state of complete self-reception without a hint of bestowal.

This was done on purpose so that by self-correction a person will learn to move from the incorrect actions to good deeds. This is how he becomes aware of the gap between the vessels and the Lights, between his state and the Creator’s, and between parts of creation. This is how he sees creation to its full depth.

With the revelation of the spiritual world, we gradually begin to discover how the air becomes “thick,” and the forces, relationships, and actions filled with the details of perception from the higher level, higher dimension, begin to show through it. We don’t feel them now, we don’t grasp them, but we are actually in them. In order to reveal the actions of the upper forces upon us, we have to make great efforts.

If a person wants to know his nature, it is revealed to him as the evil inclination. But if a person isn’t ready to correct himself yet, he doesn’t see his evil nature. Out of billions of people only a few millions can say that their nature is evil. All the others don’t understand what we are talking about: “Yes, of course, we should be kind to each other,” and that’s all.

Therefore, many will not agree with Baal HaSulam who says that that self-love is imprinted in us from the moment we are born. This is why people who observe the Torah and commandments the popular way have complaints to Kabbalists. They don’t feel that they sin at all. They don’t see that all their actions are for their own good. On the contrary, their actions lack any self-criticism or recognition of evil.

We must not awaken this evil. Until a person reaches it on his own as he develops, he should stay at the the still, vegetative, or animate level. The internal shattering reveals the human level, and then he begins to correct himself.

So if we merit the birth of the human within us, then signs of self-love appear from the moment of birth. It turns out that we do everything for ourselves alone and are ready to do everything at the expense of others.

Thereby man distances from the Creator, meaning from the power that controls the world with bestowal. The more he grows, the more he receives from his environment portions of “bestowal upon others”… That is, a person receives a feeling of the importance of bestowal. Although it is contrary to his nature, the environment can influence him. The structure of the spiritual world gives the group, the environment, great powers, even greater than one’s natural strength. At first we were connected as one vessel and the Light dominated us from Above. Therefore, when I discover the separation here below, but I don’t want to connect with others even a little, the environment can show me how it respects the connections and thinks highly of bestowal so I also want the same thing.

The environment influences me more strongly than my egoism. It will win. It can oblige me not to eat, not to drink, to behave in a certain way, and to wear certain clothes. If I could look at myself from the side, I would think: “What an idiot! What is he doing?” But a person simply carries out society’s orders and for him it isn’t nonsense, but very important and respectable things.

Ultimately, a person does everything only because society obliges him to. He even does the essential things in the acceptable way. No one has anything inside but society’s influence.

… he receives from his environment portions of “bestowal upon others” … for reward in this world and in the next world. In the first stage it will already give a person the power to advance.

The environment educates a person and teaches him the accepted norms and ideas. It is enough for an environment to use them, for them to become the truth for a person. After the right treatment, he is ready to obey unquestionably the principles it decided upon. If society wishes, it can do whatever it wants with each of us, and even send us to death. The connections which empower it belong to a higher spiritual level.

As one grows, he will be told how to come to the altruistic intention so as to bring contentment to his Maker. An environment is also needed for that. A person will not want that by himself. You can read endless numbers of books and articles and know all the wisdom of Kabbalah in depth, but without the influence of the environment nothing will change in a person. Nice words? Please, but there won’t be any real internal change behind them.

It’s necessary to work in a group, make efforts, study, build the intention while studying, and participate in common activities, and then a person attracts upon himself the Light. In other words, instead of the bad life, instead of the evil inclination, he receives the good inclination and moves from evil to good.

Then he loses all remnants of self-love and performs all his actions only to bestow, so even the necessity that he receives flows in the direction of bestowal…

This intention permeates one’s entire life.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/8/2011, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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