Answer: My development is determined according to how much I am conscious of my dependence on the other, on the friends, on the teacher, on the learning, on the entire world, and on the Creator. On one hand, these means open me; on the other hand, I discover my implementation in them.
If everyday I feel more of a need for a group, for support, for the Creator, for the Light that Reforms, if I feel more dependent upon them, if I am weak, powerless, at a loss without them, this indicates I am advancing.
The spiritual path differs from the physical world in which, on the contrary, we judge advancement according to independence and a lack of dependence upon others. When a person develops spiritually, he feels more clearly how much he requires and depends on everyone.
I cannot be without the desires of the lower levels and without the help of the higher levels. So who am I? I am the one who builds the right relationship, expanding the connection with the general public and with the spiritual levels by way of the group. Without these two components I am nothing.
After all, I come to the group with my personal desire, and therefore, I am egoistic. This is enough for a start, yet a year goes by and what’s next? If I continue my path with my personal needs, then I will only get one thing: the exercise of the ego. Therefore I need to go out to the external society, to the general public, to the greater world, and attach the desires of the people to myself in order to bring good to them.
I want to bestow to them, even though in the meantime, it is egoistically. I am cloaked in someone’s need and this need brings me to a group; with it, I turn to the Creator, and only through this appeal do I get an answer. Now I am directed towards bestowal at least in some way, and this is thanks to my going out.
And conversely, if I don’t go out and am enclosed within a group, then I am working only with my personal egoistic desires, with no chance of success.
This is the reason that it is so important for us to “go out to the public.” The Kabbalists of previous generations could not do this because the appropriate conditions had not yet been created in the world. This was very painful for them, like it is for a mother who is incapable of nursing her infant.
Today, however, all the necessary conditions have been created and we must penetrate into the desires of the people in order to join with them to connect in a group. And then by means of this connection, we can raise their desires to the Creator.
Even though the needs of others don’t matter to my ego, in spite of it all, I want to help them, and I reach a group that is connected with this intention to bestow and together we raise our requests to the higher power, to a higher level. We need three levels here:
- the world,
- we, as a means for correction,
- the Creator.
It is written about this: “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.” This must be the intention that precedes action.
This intention may come from either the Creator or the creature. On the levels of the still, vegetative, and animate, it comes from the Creator and everything is found to be under His control. Yet we want that the intentions will come from us; we want to rise to the level of the “speaking.” Since this is called Adam (man), this is what forms and builds the intention. The intention itself is essentially the Adam in us.
So I form the intention, on the basis of those desires that I received from the “people,” from the people to whom I turned to for their correction (1). The Creator inserts these desires into them after sending them certain troubles. When I discover this (2), I take these troubles upon myself, and, in fact, here the aspiration for bestowal is already found. Now I have a desire that is equipped with a Masach (screen) and intention.
Even though, in the meantime, this is not true and is egoistic, yet together with this, the system gets its future spiritual form. This is because through my turning to people, I at least emulate bestowal and work with their desires and not mine.
I could never hold on to a screen and the Returning Light with my particular desires. This is because if I lack something, I remember the Creator only so that He will satisfy my needs. Yet now, when I am equipped with the desires of the other that don’t belong to my ego, I am truly ready to think about the Creator.
Thus, the foundations of the spiritual vessels (Kelim), desires, are laid in an egoistic appeal to the people with which I can to turn to the Creator with the request: “Help them!” This action teaches and brings me to a kind of spiritual image, and therefore in response, the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) or the Light that Reforms arrives.
To do this, I connect with the group and we raise the “prayer of the many” to the Creator. Yes, it is still egoistic and entirely false because we are not yet corrected, but even in such an uncorrected request there is a grain of spiritual truth. Its nucleus is already correct.
After that, Surrounding Light arrives from the Creator by way of the group, but it doesn’t reach me directly. It is left in the group and this helps us to connect until our additional connection includes the outer circle within it and awakens the discovery of the Inner Light (Ohr Pinimi).
And after that, we receive the Light that Reforms, and with its help we are truly concerned about the others and their desires, and they are connected to us more and more as if they are ours, and they oblige us to be concerned about them more than about our personal needs.
Anyway, we are always working with the desire of the other. And therefore dissemination establishes the right arrangement for the entire process, shaping us as necessary. Without this we have no chance to succeed.
From the 4th Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam “Exile and Redemption”