Question: Although you warned us that we cannot be late to a workshop, we still had latecomers. Did we do the right thing by taking pity on them and accepting them into the common circle instead of making a separate circle for the latecomers?
Answer: It’s baffling how people can allow themselves to be late for a clarification of this kind! It’s the same case as when the Ari invited his students to go to Jerusalem and perform the final correction, but no one came at the appointed hour. I don’t understand how a person can be late to a gathering devoted to spiritual work.
Everything depends only on the preparation, on concentration, on the desire for it to happen. We need to start thinking about it for several hours before the workshop. Nothing will happen without preparation, we need to prepare the desire.
In everyday life, the feeling of hunger and other needs rise up on their own thanks to hormones and natural processes in the body. But when it comes to the spiritual, I myself need to arrange my desire through the environment. There is no desire in me for anything spiritual that would arise on its own like the need for food, sex, money, power, and knowledge do.
I was given only a single point in the heart so that I could develop my spiritual hunger from it. And everything else besides that point needs to come from the environment. Before the workshop, I need to arrange such an environment that it would influence me and I would arrive with an already prepared desire. Otherwise I will miss all the opportunities, as though I’m suddenly invited to a festive meal bursting with food, but I didn’t know and had just eaten a full meal. I look at all this abundance and don’t know what to do with it.
Preparation is essential. Thus, people who come late and burst into a group from a different world, from their job, or from a store; they cause harm. They cannot penetrate the common circle right away, at best only towards the end of the workshop are they able to somehow grasp the common feeling, and they interfere with others for sure.
Therefore, you shouldn’t welcome them with open arms right away, but verify what has happened: Is it truly the most important event in their life? I would not allow latecomers to enter. It’s necessary to take care in advance about not being late since we’re talking about the salvation of the soul. After all, haven’t you come in order to build the place where a soul is received?
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/21/12, “Talk About the Seminar”