Rabash, “Letter 29”: And the idea is that work that is usually done with trees is also done with a person in order to train him. Things are brought that are required for working with the tree, and from that, we learn about working with a person. First of all, there is manure.
The work of the person on himself begins from this. After he makes a choice and is going in the right direction by deciding that he will ascend and be involved with his soul, he serves the soul and not the body. We don’t abandon the body. We require it, but only to the degree that it helps with the work on the soul.
We fertilize, we bring manure to them. Likewise the person must bring manure into himself, meaning garbage, the despicable qualities in a person. But the person doesn’t need to bring manure from outside as he would with the tree; rather, he must bring in the manure from the hidden to the revealed; this means within his emotion, so that he will feel the degree of the contemptibility of his despicable qualities. Otherwise he is not prepared to correct his deeds.
We should not be afraid of all that “garbage” that floats up to us from within. We are talking about a person who does good deeds, who always is yearning for the good, meaning, for bestowal and connection. However, it is precisely through this that he awakens and brings up all of the garbage that is hidden inside of him that he must clarify and correct. This is the first stage of the inner work.
We don’t need to be afraid that within everyone a sack of stinking garbage is discovered. As long as you haven’t discovered it, it doesn’t stink. However, you must discover it in order to carry out your first spiritual work, which is “fertilization.” All respect is due to those people who, in spite of all the stench that they discover in their egoistic characteristics, continue to strengthen the understanding within them that this comes from the Creator. The Creator arranges this so that they always can make the right choice and advance onward.
The tree lives thanks to this manure only, so fertilize! It is amazing how, through the right use of the right garbage recognized by a person as fertilizer for growth, he is elevated through faith above reason, helping him to advance. This is not simple work, but very respected. The sorting of our internal garbage and its correct use makes it possible for us to rise to a higher and higher level all the time.
The higher we rise, the more vile garbage and filth we discover within us, and on the highest levels, such characteristics begin to be revealed in a person which shock him, “Is all this really found within me?” Yes, in every person are hidden the most disgusting characteristics, and only our connection can save us. Only the connection with the friends directs a person correctly. We hope that we will succeed in raising all of our inner garbage to holiness!
We must understand that Mount Sinai is a mountain of garbage, and it is precisely upon this that we must go. There, at the peak, above all of our garbage, exists our encounter with the Creator, really in the middle of the central garbage dump. The main thing is not to be afraid of this garbage and not to hide it, rather to see that it is possible to correct it with the help of the friends. It is impossible to do anything in spirituality alone, not even a single step. However, thanks to the friends, you will transform this stench into a pleasant fragrance.
Everything depends only on the direction. If the direction is egoistic, then we smell a terrible stench, and if it is in order to bestow, then this smell suddenly becomes fragrant incense.
From a Talk during the Meal 1/17/14