Answer: We all know that the exile begins from the seven years of satiety and there are the seven years of lack that end in the darkness in Egypt, in terrible plaques. Who receives these blows? It’s my body, my “Pharaoh.” This is called bankruptcy when, while in my last ten Sefirot in the last ten plagues, I feel total despair which totally detaches me from my desire to receive.
Then I am ready to come out of Egypt, to escape from there. This is bankruptcy, since when I came to Egypt there was food and life there and it was good, you could find everything you wanted there! At first Egypt was like the land of Israel to the sons of Joseph, the land of milk and honey; Joseph was the ruler of Egypt and all the Egyptians worked for the Jews, for the children of Israel.
I am in a state in which the ego provides me with different pleasures; I am glad that I have found the wisdom of Kabbalah, meaning that I have found a means to receive the upper pleasure and to succeed in life. Before I had nothing and now I hope to receive everything in this world and all the upper worlds and to conquer everything. This is what a person who comes here to study feels; it’s as if he has found a great treasure that can fill all his desires to receive. It isn’t by chance that it is called the wisdom of Kabbalah (the wisdom of “reception” in Hebrew).
But when I gradually advance and participate in the collective work, I feel as if the seven years of lack and bankruptcy have begun. Where is the promised pleasure? Where is the attainment, the understanding, the feelings, the control? There is nothing! A person deteriorates more and more. So we see that “a thousand enter a room to learn and only one comes out,” the one who can bear it all.
The others flee since there are other pleasures on the outside. But now we see that there is nothing on the outside either, so everyone will eventually return. We are ready and glad to receive everyone. It’s clear that a person flees since the seven years of famine have begun. After all, he doesn’t understand that he has to receive the new world in new vessels, and if he hasn’t prepared these vessels, then what can he feel?
The seven years of famine come to an end in final bankruptcy, in the ten plagues of Egypt, when I don’t see that I succeed in anything. I despair because of the powerlessness I feel in all the ten forms of my relationships with the world: in education, in health, in security, in economics, in finance, in the desires for food, sex, and family.
There is nothing I can revive my soul with; all the sources of pleasure have dried up. Then I come to the conclusion that I have to flee from my egoistic desire and to leave the system that forces me to think only about how to fill myself. After all, there is no way anything can enter my mouth according to this method, I need to find a new method.
Then I escape from Egypt, cross the Red Sea, which is inner feelings, my understanding, and my consciousness. I escape from my ego, draw away from it; I am scared and in the dark, but I already understand that there is nothing I can do in Egypt anymore…then help comes from above and takes me out of there, but I am prepared for it.
Then, from the phase of Mt. Sinai onward, I begin to take on another form. This is the path we have to go through now with the whole world. Everything we have done before was just the preparation, meaning the correction of a small part of the desire: GE, Israel. Now we have to do the same thing with the whole world.
The whole world will have to go through and is already going through the same state that Israel experienced with the exile in Egypt. The whole world gradually goes down to Egypt. The seven fat years of prosperity of the American dream when everyone thought that all humanity will develop, conquer space, and cross every border are over. Now we are gradually folding all our programs and don’t want anything anymore. This is called the “seven years of famine.”
The ten plagues of Egypt that will hit the world are approaching and we already see the beginning of an ecological disaster. Then there will be problems with oil and gas supply and with viruses and plagues if we don’t succeed in softening these attacks. The blows will come no matter what, but we can soften them by approaching them ourselves. If we operate knowingly, consciously, we can indeed soften them.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/02/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam