Rav Kook, “The Purpose of Israel and Its Specificity”: The love of others is the most clarified feeling, and it is based on sensory perception. Indeed we should follow it and a person should prepare himself for this cause so as to be part of the life of others, and in this lies the whole point of individual morality.
Love of others is the rule that includes all of a person’s actions. In other words, he shouldn’t do anything if it doesn’t stem from the eruption and expansion of love. Otherwise, this action is not compatible with the Creator’s plan, and eventually it will lead to negative results. This is exactly how our initiatives are examined: If they are aimed at love of others, then it will work, and if not, then it will not work.
But how can we explain this to people? If they hear about it, they will say that they don’t need our preaching. They only want to live and enjoy life.
Still, we have to look for ways to reach their hearts, not in order to give them love, but in order to reach the love of the Creator. I will learn to love the Creator only if I learn to love the created beings first. I use the whole world only for the sake of the ultimate goal, which is love of the Creator.
What kind of love to the created beings is it if I just use them? Still, that’s the way it is. I really love them since only thanks to them do I reach the love of the Creator. The means becomes as important for me as the goal.
The great ego implies that I should rise above it since then I will attain something that is much bigger. It turns out that if we become greater egoists, we understand how to use our ego in a new more efficient way, and we don’t enjoy in it but above it. Then I will be like the Creator.
It is according to this healthy approach, without any illusions that I intend to use all of creation, including the Creator, since I will not continue to advance if I don’t reach the level of Pharaoh. I have to feel and to experience everything, but together with the right clarification, without vague illusions. I advance accurately without diverting from the goal.
It says: “A judge only has what his eye can see.” I approach every roadblock with the package of my attributes and I usually don’t have to get rid of it. I have nothing but the ego, and it evokes me to join the group, to annul before the friends, to be incorporated in them, to advance towards the Creator and to turn to the public. All these steps stem from my ego. Suddenly I understand that from now on I have to use it differently, not from the inside but above it.
How can we attain this? How can you benefit from the ego? We can do so with the help of the Surrounding Light. It will influence me and will give me a chance to rise above the ego. I don’t want it to limit me, since I already understand that I cannot perceive much in it. It only offers this world only, but I want more than that…
When I look at myself now, I see an animal that enjoys food, sex, family, comfort, tranquility, money, respect and knowledge. But above the animal level, I ask myself if I should rise a bit more. Then I receive a method that enables me to rise. Thus the greater ego evokes me more than all the other previous desires, and I advance above them.
This is the only way to grow without neutralizing my ego but by using it wisely. The whole course of development is aimed at turning us into greater egoists, but wise and not primitive ones. Other people are ready to settle for little. Give a person a million dollars in order to solve all his problems and he will feel satisfied and well off. But I don’t settle for that; I have to control the worlds. I am Pharaoh who declares “Who is the Lord that I should listen to Him? No, I will rule in His place!” This is the ego I will discover in me if I don’t stop on the way.
But this truth is revealed only to people who have the point in the heart, who have a spiritual potential; “This secret is revealed to them bit by bit.”
Question: How can I avoid making mistakes and not sink into the ego over my head? How can I know that I am on the right course?
Answer: If you are connected to us then you advance correctly. You can be sure only if you are in the right environment and want to be there; there is no other way.
The problem is not in feeling weak and lacking the understanding, but when a person adds other methods. A person is not a hindrance to himself, but if he begins to catch external “viruses,” he will not succeed.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/27/13, Writings of Rav Kook