Each of us discovers that he exists in a very special state, which we call this world and which we divide into us and everything that is external to us. I feel and understand myself and what is around me to some extent. The development of my understanding and feeling is called my life. I feel that I am changing and that everything around me changes; the whole world is changing.
Then I discover that my perception of the world depends only on me, and that it is created in my feeling and understanding. When I begin to examine the factors that determine my perception more deeply, I discover that everything begins from the egoistic desire to receive pleasure. This means that I perceive the inner and external reality and assess it only with regard to my own benefit, whether it’s good for me or not.
I cannot perceive reality objectively, in its true form, but only relative to myself. If something doesn’t concern me directly, I don’t feel it at all. I even perceive that the world is sometimes big and wide and sometimes narrow and stuffy, as if I totally change my mind.
This changes according to what interests me, and so I see one thing and don’t pay attention to something else. I am like a cat that only sees the mouse in the room, but pays no attention to the beauty of the room and the pictures that are on the walls. If a person enters the room he immediately pays attention to the pictures and doesn’t see the mouse. Each one sees the world according to his desire. The world doesn’t exist by itself. It’s depicted in my desire.
When I become aware of the limitations of my perception that filters everything only with regard to me, I begin to want to see something outside this limited picture. I feel as if I am in prison, as if I have been locked in a dungeon, inside a grave, unable to come out.
I begin to feel claustrophobic, fearing closed places that suffocate me and pressure me on all sides. I have to know and feel more! Here I begin to feel that the desire to receive that takes everything for itself doesn’t let me see the real world, but only what interests the egoistic desire that I have at the moment.
I perceive all of reality only through my ego. Although reality may be huge and practically infinite, I cannot see it. This leaves me restless and totally poisons my life. I begin to call my state, the domination of my desire to receive, slavery and exile. Because it forces me to see only what interests the narrow primitive desire, I look at everything with regard to its benefit or what is harmful to it and don’t see anything that is beyond its boundaries. I begin to look for a way to develop it, and so I reach the wisdom of Kabbalah.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/24/13