The most unusual thing in the wisdom of Kabbalah occurs when a beginner hears the message about “love, unity, and mutual inclusion” that are totally contrary to our natural desires. In the beginning, Kabbalah appears to us as a conventional, hard science: “I want to understand the system, study phenomena behind the façade of nature, comprehend the upper force and the principles of Its work, learn the laws of universe, and find the hidden causes of history…” In other words, a person tends to study concrete formulas, and then he discovers that it is all about love.
Is there anybody who seriously addresses this subject? Hollywood? Serious people are sitting in Wall Street, whereas love is the domain for odd fellows and “Bohemians…”
It takes a lot of time to start understanding the message of love. It takes years to have this information “go under the skin” and reach one’s heart. Our egoism is not willing to accept things like love, nor does it allow the message that only through unity we reveal a new reality and that only due to love we rise to our highest state, become more kind-hearted and reveal new worlds. Our material experience doesn’t provide any examples of the above, nor does it prove these statements in any way.
Some people are more prone to accept these ideas; to others, this message is really hard to apprehend. It depends on the readiness of our souls and on the “depth” of the desire (Aviut). It also requires persistence, diligence, and a sense of utter necessity to achieve this state. If both factors, a strong rejection and an overwhelming attraction, force us to stay on our path no matter what, then, even before we reach love, we still discover that everything depends on our qualities. The upper Light influences us and triggers various impressions in us; thus, we begin realizing that our internal changes either shut or open the image of the upper world to us.
Something “clicks” inside us and we begin seeing much more and having keener sensations than ever before. We keep penetrating into the structure of reality; we acquire a clearer and wider understanding of it… Everything depends on our heart. It is the place where we sense and distinguish between everybody and everything that are within the field of our vision and sensations.
Then, the “door” shuts, as if a black cloud descends on our feelings and intellect, and now again, we stop understanding and feeling anything, as if we are walking in a dream and can hardly cope with our responsibilities. Time passes, the door opens again, and then, it shuts again. So gradually we begin realizing that everything depends on the level of openness or closure of our mind and senses.
And then we penetrate deeper into the core of the mechanism that closes and opens the doors. After we go through all these states many times, we realize that the “door” leads us not just somewhere outside us, but to others. When we feel extremely close to them, our eyes and ears open and we advance. When we are farther from them, everything shuts down.
This is the way the Light impacts us, thus gradually forming the connection between our feelings and mind and by building our attitude to our friends, adding more mutual care, deepening sensations and openness to each other, making us familiar with the upper world and the upper state. At this phase, a person realizes that this world is not somewhere in the clouds, nor it is behind the horizon, but rather concretely in our sensations: The more we open ourselves to others, the higher we rise.
Gradually, we approach the “edges” and start distinguishing the details of our desire to receive. We separate it into steps and levels; in view of that, we build the desires next to the mind.
It takes time. We have to include ourselves into the group as much as only we can; literally “throw ourselves” into the group as into the sea; “lose” ourselves in it, dissolve into our friends. Due to this kind of “self-annihilation,” one “soaks” in others and realizes that “it’s not important what we get from this connection and mutual-inclusion. Everything that comes from our friends is the territory of the Creator. Everything that is in me is the territory of the evil inclination, the “angel of death.”
When one realizes this much, the requirement “to love one’s friends” emerges. One feels that he needs them and strives to relate to them as if they were very close to him, as a mother who permanently internally embraces her children in order to protect them from harm.
From this point on, it gets much easier to advance, since one has already built one’s path correctly: One already knows that everything is inside him, inside his sensations, in his attitude to his friends and neighbors who in fact are the parts of his own soul. He understands that instead of seeing externality in the shape of inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature, he has to observe “external” details that are produced by his mind and senses as something that belong to him, but at the same time is separated from him by the “cloud” and “dust” that cover one’s perception of the world. It means that one has to return a clear picture even though there is a confusion created by the evil inclination; he tends to merge with the correct picture of the world and become one unified feeling and intellect.
This is the essence of our work. If we manage to do it, we gradually will ascend the ladder of the worlds. To the degree of our ability to return our “external” parts, we sense them as being filled with the upper Light.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/16/13, “Love of Friends