A person has to create a “safety net” around him so that he won’t break when the workload is heavy, when his sensitivity is sharpened and he is shown all the evil within him. Advancement is measured by how fast a person wakes up and feels happy for having received the “hardening of the heart,” as Baal HaSulam says: “I am happy with the revelation of the wicked.”
A person begins to work with the wicked, with all the interruptions: his lack of desire, the thought about how hard and useless the work is; he is critical of the friends and the teacher and has complaints about his life. The world around him may be in ruin and people may feel depressed, but when he looks at them, they seem to be successful. He is shown a distorted picture, and people on the street seem full of vitality and wisdom.
All this is a theater and a lie, and a person definitely needs a safety net that will make him feel secure and strengthen him to keep on moving forward. There are two conditions for that: The first condition is the group that focuses a person on the Creator. The second condition is to immediately turn to the Creator in order to receive the force of bestowal that allows him to be above the force of receiving that the Creator will evoke in him the next time. This is how a person advances.
Therefore, Rabash says that the Light helps “only those who want to leave the domination of evil,” which means those who exert themselves. I can’t hope that the Light will correct everything by itself and that nothing depends on me, that there is no point in taking steps in the direction of the friends. The Light will not influence me if I don’t first do everything that is in my power.
I am only capable of the simplest thing: to take care of the friends, to connect to them, to hug them, and to do something for them, even with the wrong intention. In response to these false intentions and these lies, the Creator gives me the hardening of the heart: I begin to feel terrible heaviness and reluctance to do it; I don’t see any sense in it. This means that the Creator reveals the evil in me, and it seems that I am getting worse each time and getting further and further away from the goal.
And the truth is that it makes sense that in everything one exerts himself one advances to a certain extent, but he doesn’t go backward. (From Rabash’s article “What is that Before the Egyptian Minister Fell, Their Outcry wasn’t Answered in the Work”). That’s the way things seem to me now since I accuse and judge everything in the world by my corruptions.
And the excuse is that one doesn’t go backward, but rather advances towards the truth, which means that I don’t approach the false goal, as I see it in my egoistic desire, but rather the truth, and then I see to what extent the evil can operate in them. To the extent that the evil is revealed in a person, he can return to the right place with the help of the group in order to turn to the Creator.
Without a group a person has no chance of remembering that he has to turn to the Creator. He will forget it and will miss the chance that he was given from Above. He will not be able to use the awakening he was given and will simply fall and drown in the evil within him. So we need an environment that raises a person to the good state and shows him in which directions he should act in order to come out of the descent.
The group operates like a mother who supports a child who is learning to walk, and he only needs to make a step forward, thus he takes one step after another until he acknowledges the total evil within him, and then the Creator helps him. Then we see that the Creator hears a person’s prayer the whole time, and that it is the Creator who has put the person through both the good states and the bad states.
… and so we need to be very strong and not to escape, but rather believe that the Creator hears every prayer. A person has to try to hold himself in every situation in the direction of the Creator and to make sure he has the necessary support. The courage is not in fighting my laziness, my bad feelings, the despair, the fatigue, or the helplessness; all my efforts should be focused on arranging the right support for myself, which means getting ready.
Thus a person “secures himself” and puts himself, in advance, in a position that doesn’t depend on him. It’s as if he buys an insurance policy. I don’t know what will happen in a moment and I want to make sure that the moment I grow weak and will not be able to control myself, then someone else who is powerful will take care of me. He will undoubtedly help me and do everything that is right for my sake.
I make myself such an insurance policy in advance: through the study, my commitment to the group, and my participation in duties. I organize everything so that when I fall, I will not be completely detached and will not get lost. This is the only way we can advance.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/27/13