Answer: Yes, it also depends on your envy. It says, “Envy, lust and honor take a person out of this world.”
We may ask ourselves what is so good about these attributes, what can be worse and more reprehensible than losing your human form? A person who is envious can harm others and enjoys stepping on others and destroying them.
In short, we are talking about negative attributes, but they are actually the ones that take a person out of this world into the upper world. After all, they show me the real ego.
How else can I establish my connections with others if I don’t feel envy, lust, and a desire for respect? If I don’t have such attributes, I don’t need anything; I can live somewhere in the suburbs and sometimes go out shopping or doing different errands to provide my basic necessities and come back home.
But suddenly, in this peacefulness, I discover that I envy others; I want to attain the same things that they have and even more in order to seem higher than them. Then I move to live in the city and start a “career”…
It is impossible to advance without revealing my own bad attributes. We should only understand that they are “help against.” We shouldn’t block them but rather let them come out, as Baal HaSulam says, “I am happy with the revelation of the evil.”
Question: How can we combine feeling envious of the friends and requesting not for me but for them?
Answer: The envy of the friends is a great catalyst for my advancement, but advancement towards what? Towards bestowal. I don’t mean to reach greater achievements than them on the corporeal level; I want to succeed on the spiritual level. In spirituality, success depends on how much I annul my “self.” When I want to advance, I organize everything that I have received from the friends by envy, lust, and the desire for respect, and then I begin to understand that spiritual advancement is actually transcending myself.
Thus I receive a desire to ascend from the friends, but I don’t interpret it correctly: to ascend means to rise above myself, and to be incorporated with them. Thus the group is “help against”; it evokes a negative awakening in me, which I turn to positive in order to eventually return to the connection with the friends.
Here I have a problem again, the desire grows again, and I repeat the whole process…
Question: How can I aim the envy, the lust, and the desire for honor in the right direction? After all, it is very easy to justify myself in pursuing the right goal and finally fall into the darkness and distortion along the way. How can I build the internal boundaries that direct me, in addition to the teacher, the group, and the books?
Answer: You have to annul yourself before the friends. As a result of the annulment, you evoke the envy, the lust, and the desire for respect inside you; you open your eyes and begin to examine things and don’t just let them go on.
Otherwise, you find yourself in corporeal envy, lust, and desire for respect; you want to be different, to rise above the friends. But the group is built in such a way that it won’t let you fall into this. You will change in any case since the atmosphere here is special and people are dealing with inner search, and so your attitude towards the friends gradually takes on a more correct form. So even new friends here receive the right direction and aspire for the truth and not for the usual profit for themselves.
Question: But each of the friends was given the optimal conditions to advance, so what is there to envy?
Answer: I want to include them inside me. In each of them there is something special since otherwise he wouldn’t be here. So I want the same thing, this means that I want to be Adam, a human being.
The optimal conditions are not reason to relax, but rather a reason to bring the good out of everything, from all the states and the friends.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/10/13, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”