If we stayed at the still, vegetative, or animate level of nature, we would follow all the laws of nature instinctively. But there are desires on a higher level within us and in them we don’t feel an obligation to act in a certain way. Things become unclear.
This is felt especially in our times. Throughout history men in society rose according to the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature; we developed gradually, in stages, not thinking about who or what we are, or where we’re headed. We were pushed forward by different urges and they all brought us to one simple clarification: How do we make the most of the current state? In other words a person keeps the laws of nature in a more or less organized way relative to animals because of conditions that are much more complicated. Accordingly, there are wise men who know how to take advantage of these conditions for the benefit of their ego and others have to “settle for less.”
But today we are losing the ability to advance this way. I would like to advance as I used to, to choose what’s best for me, but these attempts never succeed. It’s as if another element has appeared in my perspective which is concealed for the time being, as if someone who is invisible constantly puts sticks in my wheels. I want to fix the financial system, the economy, education, the family, but nothing works out. I’m very logical, I have scientific data, I have experts and advisors, but I can’t arrive at anything. So, what’s going on?
A new dominion is revealed here, a new law that has been unknown until now. We have to learn it, but it’s obscure and incomprehensible. What’s more, that which is gradually being revealed about this law is something that we don’t want to accept. We want to carry on like before and to succeed in everything that we do, and instead we have to agree to a condition that will turn our egoistic nature around. The condition is that we are connected and that if we make a decision it has to be in everyone’s favor. Here we stop, not knowing what to do, throwing our hands up in despair.
This is the state we are in today, like slaves in Egypt who “have a new king,” we feel that there is a new dominion. Previously the ego helped us advance in spite of obstacles; we conquered nature and space, we took care of ourselves in different ways and suddenly we despair of everything. It has been several years now that we don’t find the old goals attractive anymore. Why? Because our instincts tell us: There will be no compensation for our egoistic desire here.
It’s as if I am going to make a million dollars now, but there is man with a gun in my way. “You are going to make a million,” he tells me. “But you will leave yourself only a thousand and bring all the rest of the money to me.”
I have to make an effort worth a million dollars and I only receive a small part “to cover expenses.” But my desire doesn’t provide me with enough fuel for this work. So what can we do?
It’s either fear that will force me to do it or I need to see that the man with the gun is my best friend, my dearest friend, my closest friend. Then I’ll be ready to receive only a thousand dollars to cover my basic needs and I will gladly leave him all the rest. What’s more, I will thank him, since without his gun I would have continued to take for myself. Thus I reach something new and am happy to give you what I have made, since by that I get closer to you and to the new goals that are revealed to me.
How much does a person have to go through until he reaches the recognition of this state…?
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/22/12, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot