Question: It is said that before rising onto the highest level, Rabbi Shimon fell into the state of “Shimon from the market.” What “market” is this?
Answer: “Shimon from the market” lives like a Rothschild. He has everything he wishes in this world: power, money, honor, longevity, and so forth…it is just a dream. However, he feels that he is at the lowest level at that point.
Indeed, the market seller wishes to become a Rothschild, and this is exactly the state that Rabbi Shimon fell into. It is an ascent for you while, for him, it is a descent.
We are talking about a qualitative evaluation here. Rabbi Shimon had water and the carob tree, while Shimon from the market had a table overflowing with food. So, what is he suffering from? Why does he feel so low?
He is suffering from a loss of spiritual consciousness. He has everything except what is most important. Shimon from the market provided for himself for the rest of his life, yet he does not feel happy.
The point here is that Rabbi Shimon understands the abyss that lies between him and Shimon from the market, and he does not agree to it. He is feeling even more hurt by the fact that he feels this way himself.
Shimon from the market is always full. He sells his goods and in the evening he returns home satisfied, having everything he needs in life. The wife, the kids, and everything else are in order. Everyone is healthy. There is no shortage of anything.
However, when Rabbi Shimon falls into such a state, he feels that he has nothing behind all of this abundance. He cannot stand this life. Each moment of it is hell. For him, this is not life.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/30/11, “The Peace”