Baal HaSulam, Letter 47: Therefore, turn away from all the fictitious dealings, and pay attention to think and to come up with the right inventions to connect your hearts as one heart… and start connecting lovingly to the right extent, and then you will find a taste in it.
Question: What are “fictitious dealings”?
Answer: Fictitious dealings are all sorts of efforts that are not aimed at attaining the spiritual goal. This includes any effort that is above the effort to provide the body with the basic necessities and dedicating everything else to attaining the goal.
Any effort that is even a little bit off this track is fictitious, which means that it only seems to you that you will gain from it, but in fact, it immediately pushes you to the path of “in its time,” the path of suffering.
But this goal may not be directed towards the Creator (!), and I don’t know the right direction, and it seems that this goal is real. If I invest my powers in it, then, in return, I receive sufferings that push me from behind instead of a gain. These are called “fictitious dealings.”
It seems that I profit from them and that I yearn for the real goal. Even material profit: physical profit, money, respect, knowledge, all these eventually lead me, after many efforts along the way, to a void, to sufferings.
This fictitious goal, the fictitious dealings, can be very complex and complicated. It may take 30 to 40 years for me to finally realize that the goal was fictitious. It isn’t just one business and may very well be many dealings. Everything that you do beyond the basic necessities of the body belongs to these fictitious dealings.
Dealing with the basic necessities is a must, since you have no choice. All your attention, 100% of it, must be focused in one direction—on the Creator. Then, to the extent that you have to exert yourself for your family, it is already a necessity because all your thought will be focused on the Creator.
It is not clear that this goal is fictitious. It is a big question for you. Even if you are aware of it rationally, you disagree with it emotionally. Then you find yourself in an inner struggle, not knowing what to do. You make different concessions, forgive different minor weaknesses, thinking, “Well, never mind, I was a bit distracted.” Fictitious dealings appear in many different manners.
So, how can we clarify which dealings are fictitious? Everything that does not relate to the group, to the teacher, to the study, to dissemination, to the inclination to unity with the Creator—are all fictitious dealings! If you focus all your efforts on the goal, then the family worries are also included in it. Then you discover that the Creator has arranged all these things for you in the most perfect way, but only if your family doesn’t object to your path and allows you to study.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/4/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam