Question: How can we explain the influence of a Kabbalistic book on a person to the general population?
Answer: As I study a book on psychology, I begin to reveal different phenomena in myself. I talk to others in the group of people who want to change who are using the group therapy method. We work on ourselves, I uncover my reactions, I get to know my own character, and I compare it to others.
Suppose we are scientists who gathered in a group. Within it, each studies its own nature about the natures of others. A book helps us: It was written by an intelligent person who gives necessary explanations. Thanks to that, I no longer view myself from within, but try, to whatever extent possible, to look from the side, from an objective position, in order to understand who I am, what I am, what for and why… . What is this creature that is me? Of course, in our world there is no true objectivity, no real separation from oneself, but an approach does exist, and through its means we come to all kinds of results.
Freud, who was one of the founders of this approach, acted very logically. However, material society can only design experiments based on the details extracted from life, from the matter that appears before our eyes. If we grasp something from it on an empirical, experimental basis, then that’s what we can use without crossing the boundaries of a rational approach based exclusively on experimental data.
How is this different from the wisdom of Kabbalah? In it, I work exactly like psychologists do, without knowing or prejudging anything in advance. Desiring to know and study myself, I come to a group like to a School of Psychology. I have teachers and textbooks, and they speak to me about myself, explaining what it is that I am. Only their explanations penetrate further inward and touch upon the deepest layers of my being.
It turns out that there, on the inside, there are two forces: reception and bestowal, though not like the ones in our world, but fundamental ones, which govern me and all of nature. Kabbalah speaks about perception of reality, but again, penetrating deeper than psychology. I learn how I am connected to everyone else; I begin to understand to what extent the picture that I’m seeing is true. It turns out that when I address someone, I address that image which is depicted inside of me.
All these aren’t fantasies but real, material facts. I only need to check how I perceive reality, what in that perception depends on my properties, and which of those properties I am able to change.
And here they explain to me that there is a property called “reception” and I’m currently in it and it defines my entire psychology of the perception of reality. I look at everything through just one prism: “How can I enjoy what I’m seeing?” The egoistic desire inside me wants only one thing: to receive pleasure. And this is why the images that appear inside of me are dictated by my egoistic desire: Each time I am gauging the extent of pleasure or, conversely, of hatred and rejection. Should I bring a given detail closer or push it away? This is how I evaluate everything, and the contours of everything that I am seeing appear in this mirror. They seemingly appear in front of me, but in reality, they are within me, inside my receiving desire.
In this manner, I begin to understand how I am perceiving reality and how I can rise above the current perception, replacing it with a true one. “Your next degree,” Kabbalists tell me, “is a transition from a receiving view of the world toward a bestowing one.” I’ll simply acquire a new tool that will help me discover where I actually am.
And then, when I discover a second reality, two possibilities will appear before me: to perceive either through reception again or through bestowal. It’s impossible to make do with just one of these forms; I need to completely master both of them. By attaining reality in bestowal, I attain it in reception. It is written “The Creator made one against the other”; I ascend in two lines and they both grow in me equally until I acquire knowledge of the system, the method, the formula, which would allow me to use them in a form that is excellent for my desire. In other words, I fill both the receiving and giving desires within me in an optimal, best possible way. The formula is always based on a limiting value, such is its necessary condition: “You will receive nothing other than the maximum.”
This is what we study in the wisdom of Kabbalah, and we study it in a group, that is, in a laboratory that includes chemistry, physics, biology, zoology, and other components. On the whole, we explore the foundations of universal Nature, which, ultimately, is a receiving desire and a giving desire, and also intentions to receive and to bestow.
This is why I became so happy when I discovered it back then. In science, everyone is occupied with his narrow segment of the field—but then what? While here, the very foundations of Nature lay before us. First, we’ll reveal reality for ourselves and grasp the fact that everything is inside and there’s nothing outside. All of reality unfolds internally within its borders, and we reveal all of it completely.
We do not know what comes after that, but the approach remains entirely scientific. There are no contradictions here; on the contrary, the Kabbalistic method is so universal and all encompassing, so fundamental that it supplies us with ease and simplicity in everything.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/12, Writings of Rabash