Question: When people start to treat everything according to the principle of “There is none else besides Him,” it’s as if they stop functioning in life; they lose jobs, family problems arise, and the material foundation crumbles. Ultimately, this really interferes with their spiritual advancement. We know that there’s also another perspective: “If I am not for myself, then who is for me?” How can I discern “There is none else besides Him,” when I have to find the second perspective within and approach life according to “If I am not for myself, then who is for me?”
Answer: We shouldn’t throw these phrases around since in principle, they also speak about other degrees. Usually these phrases pertain to spiritual development, and not only the corporeal. What can be done in order to correctly aim a person at the goal so that he won’t err on life’s path? It’s difficult. I’ll give you an example of just how difficult it is.
I also quit my job. I had a wonderful clinic with twelve doctors, a large staff, technology, and so on. In those times, you can say that the turnover of this clinic was in the millions. I simply gave it away, gave it away! I didn’t even sell or liquidate it, but gave it away in order to get rid of the management duties, without getting even a cent afterward. I could not continue working. This is why I understand people like that.
The best thing is when you work at a simple job. My teacher Rabash said the same thing. He was always being offered promotions at work; they wanted to make him a team leader and then a department manager. “Under no circumstances! I want to be a simple worker.” “But this way you can earn five or ten times more!” “I don’t want that.”
Until the very last day of work, until his retirement, he remained a simple clerk. He worked in the income tax offices, filled out forms and papers, understood these mechanics perfectly, and didn’t want to climb higher. He would say that this allowed him to think about his spiritual work while he filled out papers on autopilot. And before that he worked in construction and wherever else as a simple laborer.
In other words, when a person has a creative job, when at work he must bring something into being, then it is difficult for him. But if he does mechanical work that doesn’t require creativity like in a machine shop or a garage, then he can continue working and I don’t see anything shameful in that. He is required to work. A person is required to be married, have children, family, and a job. Through this he exists within the framework of our world, and on that basis can develop further.
The group needs to support him in that and help. But again, he needs to work in order to provide a normal life for his family, and not for the sake of excess. But this he does have to do. How can we help with this? Within the group there needs to be such an atmosphere that obliges you to look after your friends so that they won’t fall and neglect their jobs. And if someone’s husband is having some kind of problems, the wives have to inform the group about it.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/24/12, Lesson 3