Answer: Certainly. The group of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons knew. The people of Israel carried out great spiritual work throughout all of these generations beginning from Abraham when they left Babylon and entered Egypt.
Today it’s not only the people of Israel, but rather the entire world also, that are beginning to discover that they are in Egypt.
But this is does not mean that the world is going backward. It makes no difference what happened before, for in the Torah there is no concept of “before” or “after.” Today the world comprehends that it’s found under the yoke of the ego, which is destroying us, leading to an abyss and destruction. The entire world already feels this. The “seven years of plenty” have ended, during which the ego played in our favor.
We wanted to prosper in a consumer society, and we constantly increased the rate of growth. From year to year we celebrated success, but today everything is finished. The descent has begun; everything is vanishing. Even though the leaders and the bankers try with all their might to hold on to the past, from day to day the condition becomes more severe. People understand that the problem is in the person.
Further progress in the desire to acquire and to be successful has become impossible because the desire itself has changed. Fashion has become repulsive to us; we have become tired of annoying advertising that calls upon us to buy unnecessary things. Durable goods, such as refrigerators, air conditioners and televisions, break down quickly because manufacturers benefit from our buying new products, allowing them to profit at our expense. Through this we are drawn into an endless cycle of work, and so we work 10 to 15 hours per day.
Gradually it’s becoming clear that this approach to life is unacceptable. Our ego is destroying us and when we understand this, we will feel that we are in Egypt, in the service of the ego. But this is not yet everything. The feeling that the ego is destroying me and doesn’t let me live is not enough. I need to think about how to rise above it and to organize my life in a different form, not in reception, but in bestowal and in connection to other people. Since this connection is being revealed today throughout the world, I must be included in it, otherwise I will be found in conflict with natural development.
Through connection with other people in the world and becoming a unified integral system, I become included in it and begin to exist within it harmoniously. Otherwise, I will be lost and will endure all kinds of blows.
But how can I leave the ego and connect well with people? Through my desire for this, I begin to feel how much it stops me, pulls me backwards. And here the struggle between me and my ego begins. I become like Moses, my ego becomes like Pharaoh, and we begin to struggle over the outcome.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalists Write: The Night of Passover Seder” 3/4/13