Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”: Rabbi Akiva depicts two kinds of people: the first are the “open store” type, which regard this world as an open store without a shopkeeper. He says about them, “The book is open and the hand writes.” Meaning, although they do not see that there is an account, all their actions are nonetheless written in the book, as explained above. This is done by the law of development imprinted in Creation against humanity’s will, where the deeds of the wicked themselves necessarily instigate the good deeds, as we have shown above.
The second type of people is called “those who want to borrow.” They take the shopkeeper into consideration, and when they take something from the store, they only take it as a loan. They promise to pay the shopkeeper the desired price, meaning to attain the goal by it. And he says about them, “All who wish to borrow may come and borrow.”
Question: How can a person check what type he is?
Answer: According to his intention, according to what he wants to get from the study.
First, if I am like the guest who wants to thank the host, I have to imagine the next state. I stand before the “store” or in front of the “table with the refreshments” which is actually the group. In other words, the “table” is the means by which I can receive the presents from the host and also give Him presents. The group is like the table that is set and prepared for me by the host, so that I will taste from what He has prepared for me and thus bestow upon Him. Therefore it says: “everything is prepared for the meal.”
Question: So what is the calculation that I make here?
Answer: There are two options:
- I approach the table without even asking who has set it and I begin to taste the refreshments and fill myself.
- I approach the table but first I ask who the host is and only then take something.
This is how people differ in their attitude towards the refreshments on the table, or even in their attitude towards the host. But still they take everything for themselves. There are those who enjoy the refreshments that the host has prepared for them. For them it isn’t just refreshments but refreshments that were served by the upper force, by the Creator: “How nice of Him to have prepared this whole world for us and also the next world, Heaven…” This is how people use all of creation.
For them the Creator is a source of pleasure that they can enjoy. They want the Creator to protect them and to benefit them. The creation was given to us by the Creator in order to help us resemble Him, yet people see it as a means to enjoy.
This brings up some difficult questions of course: “Why does the Creator send us such sufferings? Perhaps we are guilty of something? Or perhaps the troubles don’t come from Him? Could there be someone else? Perhaps it is just by chance?…”
But there are also other people, and if I belong to them I stand before the table and admit that “there is none else besides Him” and that everything is meant only so that I will try to resemble Him by using my own powers. Then I relate to everything in a perfect manner. I understand that everything depends on me alone and that the troubles are revealed because by that I see that I am not corrected. But if I correct myself everything will be fine.
Question: But how can I know that I have to pay for the merchandise in the “store?”
Answer: If I am already attracted to what is beyond the “store,” if I have the point in the heart, I come to a group, to friends, to a teacher, and the books that tell me everything. It’s because I have a point of truth in which I can understand that there are no coincidences. The starting point of honesty has been revealed in me and I cannot put up with a world that is so “dirty” and lowly. I cannot put up with it internally…
But there are many in whom the seed of honesty has been planted and they still put up with the daily routine as a result of their upbringing, their experience in life and different obligations, and as a result they sink into the swamp they are unable to come out of…. Others who take this world for granted feel that everything is just fine and they only need to find their place under the sun.
We are looking for people who have the point of honesty and who cannot put up with the way that the world is currently. Those who yearn for spirituality belong to this type. Although they lead their lives like everyone else, they are in a constant inner conflict, unable to accept what is going on.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/13, “The Peace”