It could be that a person works only because he gets pleasure from it. Suppose I come to the convention because it is a happy event for me and I enjoy meeting friends, connecting with people, the music and the dancing. I enjoy feeling the connection, the songs the lessons, everything
The question is: If all this didn’t bring me pleasure, would I still come? If I suffered from it, would I be there or not? To what extent?
Is it important for me to be with the friends although I suffer? Or do I stay because there is nowhere to run to or because I am ashamed in front of others, but inside I curse it all? Or could it be that I just arrived in order to enjoy such pleasant company?
Could it be that I feel that it brings me closer to the Creator and that I will be able to reach revelation and to attain eternity, wholeness, and something above this world in the future and so I make such efforts?
Am I ready to suffer in order to attain the spiritual world, even without feeling that it brings me pleasure? Am I ready to give up the corporeal world for the spiritual one? There are many calculations here.
If a person comes to the convention and gets pleasure: This is also good. But he should clearly understand that he is enjoying. Spirituality is measured by the ability to separate one’s self from the pleasure, to restrict one’s self, and to exit the boundaries of the egoistic interests.
So there is a condition: First I need to receive great pleasure from the connection with others, to love them, and to enjoy the action itself. But I sacrifice all this pleasure and I am ready not to receive it.
Suppose I have a great descent and don’t get any pleasure from the meeting, and I even suffer. I hate the group and the friends; I hate the connection, the songs, the dances—everything around me. But I am still impressed and I still have the same attitude, with the same fuel, and take part in everything, only because by that I please the Creator or the friends.
Now we are looking forward to the Arava convention. But can we measure our advancement so that everyone will come without any personal calculations, but will only have one general account regarding everyone.
This means that I shouldn’t care about how I feel: whether I feel good or bad, or that it is important for me that I feel good or bad in order to rise above this feeling.
It is important to expect some desirable result from this convention: that we will come out together, attain together, discover together! Or perhaps I don’t think about everyone, but only about myself, and I connect with the others reluctantly, so that they will help me attain the goal.
It could be that I may sacrifice this whole future for the friends, so that they will discover it and not I, so that I won’t even know about it and won’t feel it so that I will not be proud.
It could also be that I am doing it for the Creator, but doing it so that He won’t know that it is I who brought Him pleasure, and I too don’t want to know.
So the question is: How can we separate ourselves from any personal interest so that we won’t know about it and will have nothing but the ability to exert, without any additional reward or fuel, and the only reward will be the exertion itself?
If we can come close to such a demand, it will be meaningful to go to the desert.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/12, Shamati #108