Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”: The truth is that the root of this whole disorder within us is no more than the above-mentioned attribute of singularity, which exists within each of us, whether more or less.
And although we have clarified that it comes from a sublime reason, that this attribute extends to us directly from the Creator, who is single in the world and the Root of all creations, still, out of the sensation of singularity, when it sits within our narrow egoism, it affects ruin and destruction until it became the source of all the ruins that were and will be in the world.
Nobody will make any progress until we realize the degree of our singularity that was given to us by nature. Everyone has to fully see their egoism in its authentic form. Meaning that on this material plane, in this world (the way we perceive it) before anything else, we should understand the basics and realize the magnitude of our desire to act solely for our own sake.
Eventually, we will figure out that we are the only ones who we ever take into account and that we never hesitate when it comes to “overlooking” others; we always do whatever we want with others if it brings us even a tiny drop of delight. When we analyze our calculations, we see that we don’t care about anything else but ourselves, and that a minimal particle of our pleasure is equal in our eyes to world-wide afflictions. Let this realm vanish, burn or continue suffering forever!
Unless we discover this condition internally, we won’t “get acquainted” with ourselves. Actually, it’s a realization of the attribute of singularity, meaning the realization of the evil inclination.
It’s extremely hard to reveal this within ourselves. Even if we admit our wickedness, we still don’t agree with it internally. An evil inclination does not allow us to go through the process of self-scrutiny, nor does it let us visualize or sense our nature, our exquisite egoism, our “I-ness,” that obscures the entire picture of the world from us, nor does it leave any space for anything else. It’s like others just don’t exist; we are simply unable to take them into consideration. They are out of our range of perception. This kind of awareness is an essential step on our way to correction.
Question: Why does our egoism conceal the truth from us?
Answer: It’s a natural defense. Our egoism doesn’t want us to suffer. If we saw the entire degree of wickedness we have, we would strive to rid ourselves of it. That’s why our egoism hides the truth from us: It slightly shows some the edge of the cover and then re-covers it. It’s organized this way to make us sink deeper and deeper until we hit the very bottom, maximum realization. At that time we are ready for the Light’s help.
Until then, we are not “equipped” for that; we just would resist our desire to self-correct, we’d run away at the very last moment. If our egoism didn’t protect us from negative sensations that we experience because of our awareness of our egoistic essence, we wouldn’t be able to continue our work.
This explains why a cognitive process happens in “jolts.” A moment ago we were astounded by our wickedness, but the curtain falls and once again we catch ourselves having vile thoughts about others: “I wish him to be dead! Why do I need him at all? He is in my way…” And yet again we are shocked by our malevolence, but then once more we forget about it. Generally, every attribute is paired with its opposite. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to penetrate to the very depth.
In any case, if we don’t aspire to the good, we will never recognize our malevolence. It’s a universal rule that works at all states that we go through. We seek benevolence and bestowal; we want to stay with our friends; we pursue our great goal without hesitation, without looking around, without “beating around the bush.” However, instead of benevolence, we discover loneliness, obliteration, and chaos.
It is said: “Do what you can.” It means that one should be a “good boy” and aspire to the goal stubbornly and steadily. On this path, one learns lots of things and becomes smarter, but the main thing is to continue advancing and acting.
Question: Can we prepare ourselves for a revelation of evil beforehand, so that we can immediately correct it?
Answer: No, we never should prepare ourselves for evil. A person who worked in a circus once told me that acrobats have a very important rule: before they performance begins, they check where they might fall. They know ahead of time where they will land if they fall and what position they will keep while falling.
In spirituality, there is an analogue to this training. However, we work not for the sake of falling. We should always aspire forward. Yes, we have to prepare the “rear guard,” but our eyes should see the goal ahead. We don’t intend to retreat.