Question: Kabbalists attribute envy to the qualities that help a person exit this world and enter the spiritual world. Indeed, why should I envy others? After all, everyone is special and everyone is following his own path. Why should the uniqueness of another make me jealous and empower me on my way?
Answer: I evoke the envy, lust, and desire for respect in me on purpose. It isn’t about just any ordinary person who envies the success of others or who is after respect. In this world we envy all kinds of nonsense and really want frivolous things. I, on the contrary, take only what is necessary for living and disregard all the rest. When I have all the basic necessities, I build myself for the spiritual work and in this framework I use tools like envy.
Otherwise, I will have nothing with which to advance. Envy, lust, and respect are the three egoistic approaches, and what can I work on without them inside of me? It’s these three qualities that take me out of this world; it’s like exiting the worlds of BYA into the world of Atzilut.
So if I want to work spiritually, I look at the work of others and annul myself before them. Then I see them as the greatest in our generation: They have advanced far ahead, they have attained the end of correction, and I envy them. If I don’t envy, I am powerless and can’t move. I receive all the powers to advance from my ego. The right advancement with the right intention, which means the form that is dressed in matter is brought to me by the Light while the matter itself by which I ascend is my own ego.
Question: But how can I guard the right intention from the envy?
Answer: It’s according to the envy, the lust, and the desire for respect that the intention is built. You turn the envy to envy for the Creator, the desire for respect to respect for the Creator, the lust for an urge to adhere to Him. Otherwise, what do you correct? What do you build, an airy castle in the clouds?
Question: But still, when I envy, its fire consumes me.
Answer: No, you allow yourself to evoke the envy, the lust, and the desire for respect only after the restriction, when it isn’t for you anymore, but in order to understand, to determine the “work space.” Everything must be under control; otherwise, you mustn’t even start.
In short, try it. Don’t be afraid to fall into envy. Start working on it. You’re lucky if you envy the friends; it’s good. After all, we have no other force to advance. If I lived alone without an environment, I would be like an animal. On the other hand, if the society spurs me and stimulates me by constantly showing me that the friends have what I lack, it helps me advance in life. I just need a special environment that provides me with good examples, which I envy.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/12/12, “Peace in the World”