Question: The Creator said to Abraham: “Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” Why does the exile have to be accompanied by afflictions?
Answer: This is the period of the exile by definition. You know that you are about to go through very bad experiences.
First you go through the seven years of satiety, which is the positive phase of the development of the ego. You feel good as you establish a flourishing democratic society in which everything glitters and sparkles…
Then the seven years of satiety are over. Do you wish to continue this “dream flight” endlessly? But suddenly something changes and you don’t have any idea why. We can see this especially among young people: There was a generation of “flower children,” hippies., then people lost interest in having children and getting married. Many settle for drugs instead of grand projects. No one is interested in flying to the moon. Space and the stars are not as attractive as they were before; what do we care about them?
Humanity has suddenly lost its future. Why? What is the reason for that? We know where this stems from: People have fulfilled the end of their ego. It has dried up.
So today we seem to be going backward. The same ego that we developed has begun to consume us now: Today’s food only causes us harm, social services don’t function as they should, the healthcare system only wants to make a profit and doesn’t care about your health, governments only exploit the citizens. The ecology is an excellent example of our carelessness: We don’t care what will be left for our children and grandchildren. What is more, many people don’t have children at all. If this goes on most people will have no children in the next generation.
Thus the ego consumes itself during the seven years of famine. “Want” in this case is the recognition of evil, the same ego that we have developed during the seven years of satiety. Although things can get even worse and there could be world wars and other disasters, it is still possible to come to a conclusion and hasten the exodus from Egypt. It all depends on us.
But it is impossible to manage without the feeling of sorrow here, without the exile. Exile means the lack of the Creator’s presence in me, in us. We can feel that only when we are dispersed, separated, divided, and shattered. Then in the final phase of the exile, we want to connect since in the connection we can find the new, inner, upper force.
Who can do that? Only a small group of people.
This is the time we are living in now. We can hasten our development and turn away from the path of deadly afflictions, which means that the path of “I shall hasten it” exists. But how? Through integral education and the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah, since this is the reason it was given. Otherwise we could keep on developing along the path of suffering. The wisdom of Kabbalah was given to us so that we will advance by the path of “I shall hasten it,” and not by the path of “in its time,” in order to summon the Light that Reforms and not to wait for the troubles and blows.
But I’ll say it again, the sufferings still have to be felt, all of them. The question is when will we be smart enough to transform the corporeal sufferings into pangs of love? When will we want to love, to bestow, to connect? This depends on our dissemination, on your attention, and your sensitivity.
Question: It turns out that no matter what efforts we make, the troubles and the blows will be even stronger.
Answer: No. The blows will be more qualitative. We will perceive them in our understanding and our feeling. They will be sweetened blows if you are connected to the center of the group.
Then you will receive these blows but in the Light of Hassadim, which means that they will not be blows and troubles. The point is that you will have to receive a medicine, but its bitterness will be concealed by a sweet coating.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/06/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam