We know from the wisdom of Kabbalah that all the best things in our personal lives—be it our current egoism or something higher that we strive to, all the goodness in the desire to enjoy or the desire to please, whether in this world or the upper World—is only achieved through unity.
Today we discover this in fairly difficult and unpleasant forms: We encounter problems and become submerged in the crisis. All this is designed to show us that we must unite, since we simply do not have another choice. Nature is pressuring us without leaving us a free space to maneuver.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is offering us its help in these conditions. It says: “I will help you attain unity. You yourselves see that there are no other options. This is the only way to fix your lives.”
Assume we do not want this, but how else can we acquire happiness? We are drawn by eternity, perfection, fulfillment both in this and the future world; we want to rise above life and death. If we were to make a list of how we envision consummate welfare, it would not be big—ten points at most. Overall, I would refer to pleasure, regardless of whether it is in the heart or the mind. And the only way to achieve it is by uniting.
So, today when we are discovering this out of hopelessness, Kabbalah comes to the rescue. It is not proposing to somehow go around this fixed condition, it does not promise protection; it does not take us to the spiritual world through the backdoor. This simply is impossible because this refers to a law of Nature.
Yet, Kabbalah helps realize it the good way. Yes, this condition is unpleasant, uncomfortable, bitter to taste, but bitterness can be turned into sweetness, and discomfort can be overcome through mutual efforts, music, a common flow of joyous feelings, festive ceremonies, and entertainment programs.
There is difficult work before us; we must go through an inner transformation. It is similar to the way an ill person agrees to surgery knowing that he will have a better life after it.
And the wisdom of Kabbalah helps us go through this surgery, which will cardinally change us. Our way of thought, our perception and understanding of the world, our perception of reality, all our actions, all our goals, mind and sense mechanisms – all these things must transform. We must uninstall the old program and install a new one.
Kabbalah explains that your basic qualities do not change. Your inherent qualities and acquired skills will remain as they were. You only change the program, according to which you achieve different goals in life. And then you suddenly see that all of them can be realized.
Today you are disappointed and helpless because of the wrong program. You need to update it, and you will achieve all the best things you now want.
And gradually, man takes steps along this path. Moreover, changes are not caused by the natural pressure of suffering from Above through which Nature always reveals problems and faults to us, forcing us to run. When we feel like we are held in a grip, we naturally direct ourselves towards the next state.
As Baal HaSulam says, we are unable to remain in the current state when it becomes unbearable, and then we cross into the next state having no other choice. This new state does not appeal to us; otherwise, we would have chosen it to begin with. According to our nature, we hover around as long as we can manage, and we only agree to the change when we reach our threshold of endurance.
And even then the situation is not the most pleasant—it is as if we needed to move somewhere, leave our home with all our possessions, reach the new place, and assimilate there…. These changes pose a lot of discomfort. But suffering increases so much that it forces us to make this “move.” This is how we advance through the stages of human development.
On the other hand, Kabbalah opens new horizons, shows us how good our lives will be there, ahead. After all, Nature’s objective is not to push us with blows, but it creates conditions for us to develop on our own towards goodness.
And then instead of pressure from behind, we feel drawn forward. This really helps: Before our train would be shaken by the jerks of the engine attached in the back, but now another engines pulls it in the front.
Kabbalah says that in the 21st century, our development is realized through unity. This has never happened before, before everyone developed individually, but now the time has come to unite, to become included in one another, for everyone to acquire a common vessel within. Then everyone will grow on the same level as everyone else, as it is written: “The private and the whole are equal.” Everyone will feel similar to Infinity, the upper force, perceiving and embracing the whole reality in himself.
Man must acquire a second force to realize this—the force of bestowal, unity, and mutual inclusion with others. And this is why he is brought to a group, a state of his first union, even if this union is external, it is a union with people like him who aspire towards the same goal.
As we read The Zohar, we aspire towards this force, which attracts us, and we make efforts to unite between us. We help this force; we participate in the process—and advance towards the goal instead of moving towards it under pressure of the initial force of suffering. We turn to the path of Light from the path of suffering.
The Zohar describes the things the Light does to us, and this is why when we think about unity and aspire towards the Light, the reading turns into an inner, spiritual effort. It is just like a child tries hard during a game, and an adult goes all out to achieve success. Here we are trying to implement a certain action—but this action is not physical, it is internal. And once we realize it, we feel the result—and the result is also internal.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/30/11, The Zohar