Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”: …I once interpreted the saying of our sages, “He whose Torah is his trade.” The measure of his faith is apparent in his practice of Torah because the letters of the word, Umanuto (his trade), are the same (in Hebrew) as the letters of the word, Emunato (his faith).
It is like a person who trusts his friend and lends him money. He may trust him with a pound, and if he asks for two pounds he will refuse to lend him. He might also trust him with one hundred pounds, but not more. Also, he might trust him enough to lend him half his properties, but not all his properties. Finally, he may trust him with all his properties without a hint of fear. This last faith is considered “whole faith,” and the previous forms are considered “incomplete faith.” Rather it is partial faith, whether more or less.
In the above passage, money is used only as an example. In fact, it talks about our readiness to refuse everything we have for the sake of our friends. This is what Baal HaSulam calls whole faith.
Question: What does it mean to refuse everything I have?
Answer: It’s a matter of sensation. For the sake of your friend you are ready to give up the most precious thing, an opportunity to exit to spirituality. If you’re not ready for that, you’re not working for the Creator’s sake. In such a case, you don’t have faith, and subsequently, you are detached from spirituality.
Question: Why is it called faith?
Answer: In this context, faith means bestowal, the power of self-annulling, self-renunciation. However, you should not even try to follow this condition by yourself. The power of bestowal will descend to you with the help of the Reforming Light under the condition that you ask for It. For that, you should apply efforts and be a part of the group. Then, due to jealousy, passions, and ambitions, you’ll see that your friends have already attained the higher states and that you want to be like them. If not, then affliction will push you in this direction anyway and you will still sense the desire to transition from receiving to bestowing.
All over the world, we observe waves of crisis that “summarize” a current developmental spin. What exactly did it bring to us? On one hand, the lives of innumerable amount of people became much better. No longer are they as poor as those who used to have nothing at all but their lives.
For quite a long time people believed in capitalism. In other words, they trusted that their egoistic motivation would let them achieve success. Really, why shouldn’t they improve their living? Of course, on their way to success, they needed to stay within rigid frames of law, inside concrete legal boundaries, rather than making an atmosphere of overall permissiveness and bloodshed. Each one has the freedom to do whatever they want! Do you want to indulge in industrial production, trade, banking, technologies, etc.? Go for it and achieve. As a result of this attitude, people started to chase success and applied tremendous exertions on this path.
On the other hand, they obtained financial freedom, became more educated, accumulated personal properties, started to travel all over the world, and got used to overall abundance. At this point, they became very vulnerable to the blows of destiny as opposed to when they used to be poor.
It explains why “seven years of famine” only happen after “seven years of abundance.” At some point in time, the Jews had a great life under the governance of a generous Egyptian king who provided them with the best possible conditions in life. The Pharaoh used to be a “president,” whereas Yosef (Joseph) used to be his “prime minister” who enjoyed unlimited powers. Not a bad word could be said about either of them. This is how the Creator “exalted” the entire people so that it “gained weight” and became “obese.” Then, the Creator started to take the “fat of abundance” away from the Jewish people, so that they could experience new tendencies on their own “skin.”
Lowering of income and a loss of capital are two dissimilar things. It feels different when we fail to earn an additional one thousand dollars, than if we lose only one hundred dollars that was already in our pocket. This unfortunate one hundred makes us even sorrier than if we failed to earn an extra thousand, since it was already ours. For a whole month we relive the loss of that one hundred dollars, whereas the loss of the potential one thousand does not leave such a bitter taste in us at all.
That’s why nowadays humanity is elevated to a very high material level. At this time, the “fatty deposit” is being taken away from us, layer by layer, until the “meat” is revealed, meaning until the entire bodily tissue is “stripped off” the bone. This is called “seven years of famine,” which will end in “ten Egyptian plagues” during which “Egyptians” will continue “hating and despising the Jews.” In other words, our opposition with our own egoism becomes intolerable to us, and we don’t know what to do with it any longer. At the same time, we know that it is our ego that doesn’t allow us to breathe.
Today, we have everything: banking structures, developed industry, healthcare systems, and good education…anything we want! However, these mechanisms act against us. Doctors and pharmacists are interested in keeping people unhealthy so they can feed us with questionable, or most of the time, useless medications. Industry and trade have turned into deceit and “money sucking instruments.” To make a long story short, all man-made systems that we used to rely on turned out to be rotten.
It happened only some 60-70 years ago. We thought we were approaching the “bright future” in which everybody would have a house, a job, would enjoy good health, go on vacations, and have a decent pension plan. Instead, when we reached a certain level, our egoistic desires started to descend and buried our hopes. The middle class is gradually disappearing, and everything is returning to previous circles: elites on the top and billions of starving people at the bottom. This is what seven years of famine look like.
How can it possibly be so? Where is the logic? Elites should be afraid that this scenario will cause huge turmoil and riots. The poor will ask questions and it will be impossible to stop them. Moreover, the upper class won’t be able to stop draining their people of everything they have; they won’t leave anything to them, and it will lead them to complete poverty. Egoism will not allow the upper class to change their behavior because this is the program that is rooted in them.
On one’s way to wealth, as well as during one’s downfalls into poverty, one measures and evaluates one’s losses. People who were at the top and then fell will think hard about what really happened to them. While they think about their lives, they will suddenly see: “Our egoism has devoured us. Our own nature is our hater. It doesn’t allow us to live well. If we don’t correct our nature, we’ll be totally lost.”
Even the elite and the “Croesus” who will survive and win capital battles will feel this way. Let’s say, only a hundred winners will get out of the inferno of the fights for survival. They will “bend” others. There won’t be any transitional connecting links that feed intermediary layers of society. Future governing mechanisms will transition to a virtual space. In the end, every person will ask a major question: “What do I do now?” They will see that their egoism destroys boundaries, goes crazy, and does what it wants. Our nature will never allow us to obtain balance.
It’s so obvious! Isn’t that enough to distribute some part of our proceeds to the poor and support their livelihood? However, even the biggest charitable assistance disappears without any trace, as in Africa. It doesn’t matter how much we dispense to those in need; there is nothing ever left and it’s never enough. Their needs only continue to grow.
This is the point at which people will start screaming about the evil that will be revealed in them, when they understand that they cannot cope with their egoism. It’s as if a snake crawled inside each of us and now eats us from within, as a cancerous tumor that cannot be treated.
This is a scenario of how the external world will develop. We have no right to sit and wait for it to happen. We have to finally notify people about the methodology of correction, and it has to be done immediately.
We are making every effort to do it. We accelerate time and develop together with the Creator, with the group, with the example of what we have to eventually achieve. We know beforehand what our development will bring us: unity, the aspiration to help each other learn how to love our neighbors as ourselves, equal distribution that is based on integral education. We set up this ideal and constantly aspire to it.
Thus, besides the problems that push us from behind, we have one more power that pulls us forward. Even though the blows in the future will be quite strong, we have an additional hauling power that attracts us forward. We do have knowledge, aspire to our mission, and pursue our goal. We study the picture that is in front of us and it starts literally flourishing and accelerating time.
One way or another, everybody will eventually realize that egoism is evil and it will kill us. It will become so obvious that all we’ll have to do is dig our own graves for ourselves. After all, we cannot go against nature unless we use the methodology of correction that is created particularly for this reason.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/2/13, Writings of Rabash