Baal HaSulam, Shamati #26, “One’s Future Depends and is Tied to Gratitude for the Past”: It is written, “The Lord is high and the low will see,” that only the low can see the greatness. The letters Yakar (precious) are the letters Yakir (will know). It means that one knows the greatness of a thing to the extent that it is precious to one.
One is impressed according to the importance of the thing. The impression brings one to a sensation in the heart, and according to the measure of one’s recognition of the importance, to that extent joy is born in him.
Our basis is opposite from the Creator. There are two desires: a desire to receive and a desire to bestow, which are opposite to one another because one stems from something from something and the other stems from something from nothing. So the more humble a person is, the more he acknowledges the Creator’s greatness.
It is very easy to see what the desire to receive appreciates. We are ready to bow before an important person, to admire an important phenomenon, only if our ego feels that they are important. A person spends his whole life searching for the feeling of stability, confidence, support…
However, if something is external to the desire to receive, it isn’t felt as an important factor that can bring desired pleasure or as a threat to what one already has; if it is not in contact with the desire to receive, then I need to create the awareness of its importance, a new awareness. How do I do that?
The condition, “The Lord is high and the low will see,” tells us that we must change.
After all, at least we have a desire to receive. So when we work persistently in order to identify its lowliness, we will be able to identify the greatness of the force of love and bestowal to the same extent. We see that one stems from the other, according to the principle of “the advantage of the Light from the darkness.”
We can do that only in the relations between the friends. The relations with the external world are not suitable for that because there are other standards there. In the group a person can make efforts in order to annul himself in a simple way, as much as he can, even without the right intention.
Then he sees that he isn’t any better than the others. On the contrary, it turns out that he is even worse than them in his attributes. The Light that Reforms influences him through the group and although a person doesn’t understand, he sees that the friends are more successful, have greater strength in annulling themselves, and more force for participating in the lessons, in connection, and in adhesion for the goal. At the same time, he sees that he can also do it. This is where the feeling of importance stems from, since it turns out that the Creator relates to him personally.
Thus, time after time, only when he measures himself in relation to the friends, can a person understand that on the one hand he is low and on the other hand he is worthy of something that he doesn’t deserve at all. He sees that all the other people are detached from the upper force, while he was rewarded with a special attitude from Him. This evokes the development of the vessels in him. He becomes more responsible for what he has received and feels that he is already responsible for others. It’s because he didn’t receive it thanks to his efforts or his personal achievements. No, the Creator has invited him to perform this special work and from now on he is responsible for the correction of the world.
This is how everyone should see himself because the correction of the world depends on him. No one else can correct what he will correct.
So a person feels that he is low and at the same time he understands that he has received a very important mission. The Creator, of course, only expects a person to be able to fulfill the mission and He is ready to help him in any way possible. A person needs only to prepare a prayer so that the Creator will complete what he has started (“The Lord will complete it for me”).
Thus he advances. When a person looks at the past, he understands that the Creator has prepared the whole way for him. He cannot do anything by himself, or expect anything in advance, since he doesn’t know how to advance. On the contrary, everything was prepared for him in advance from above.
Then a person feels gratitude for being in a group, for the fact that he has support from above, for the guidance that he has received up until now. It’s on this basis that he can be sure that if he advances and each time recognizes the lowliness of his nature, then he will feel the “Lord’s greatness” instead and that will fill him. Instead of empty pride “he elevated his heart in the ways of the Creator,” and thus advances.
This is why Baal HaSulam says that “one’s future depends and is tied to gratitude for the past” for his nature, of the progress he has made and of his current state. He sees that he hasn’t chosen his nature, his fate, and that he hasn’t planned his path, and didn’t design himself the way he is. Everything actually comes from Above, and so if he continues to advance he will subdue his ego and from that point onwards there will be a wonderful path to the future spread before him.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/6/13, Shamati #26 “One’s Future Depends and Is Tied to Gratitude for the Past”