Baal Hasulam, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”: The philosophy of morality called “ethics,” which is based on an empirical knowledge, through examination of the practical reason, whose essence is but a summation of the visible damages that result from the nucleons of egoism.
…Once they have germinated, after they reveal in us. This approach is based on personal experience: Only after many punishments, the stubborn child begins to think about the reason for the punishments. In the same way, we first experience unpleasant feelings from different actions and only then begin to reach some conclusions. This is the path of suffering: I suffer until it forces me to change my ways.
It all depends on my egoism, which calculates benefits versus costs. For example, I sit in an uncomfortable position and still don’t want to move in order to change it. I suffer, but not enough to change my position. How long will I stay in this position? Until the suffering grows to such an extent that it will be worthwhile to make an effort to sit differently.
We always calculate things this way, and our body deals with it just fine: We can leave our present situation only if we feel suffering which make us feel that it is better to invest energy and to move to another position in which there will be no suffering.
So my calculations depend on comparing the level of suffering, the pleasure, and the efforts it takes to change. I calculate whether the expected pleasure is greater than the present suffering and the efforts I have to make.
It is a very simple formula: And thus, I can make the transition from state to state, from bad to good, because it is worth it..
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/1/11, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”