Conquerors Of Spiritual Summits

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Israelis love adventure. Many of them travel to the ends of the earth to hike along the “extreme” trails. They love the call of nature, whether chilling rafting or even trekking in the Annapurna Circuit, not the most dangerous tourist trails, which suddenly became a tragedy as recently reported in the news.

In general people try to subdue nature, to reach its summits figuratively and literally, which can even cost them their lives. Where does this desire come from?

Answer: There are truly those who are very attracted to the challenges of nature. For example, someone really feels that he must cross the ocean on a frail raft or sail around the world.

The awareness and conquest of nature gives a person a sensation of inner satisfaction. Despite the difficult obstacles on the way, nature doesn’t exhaust us mentally, but on the contrary, it fulfills, renews, heals, and revives us. After all, we are physically its children, and only in our development on a human level do we move away from it and want to be above it.

Regarding journeys and adventures, I suppose that no nation can compare to Israelis in the number of tourists going on extreme expeditions, in “escapes from civilization” or in the timeless penetration into places where one can test oneself through nature. You can run into Israelis at all ends of the earth, and sometimes it is difficult for people to believe that our [Israel’s] population totals only six million.

This impulse is the result of the nation being very small but with very developed desire. We want to know and to feel more. Yet in principle, people are satisfied with a trip to Paris or London, and yet it is a deeply rooted desire. We want to know about the world we live in, and through it, the higher reality, the force that manages the world.

This drive is rooted in us, since in the past we touched the universal force. We built a connection with it and the entire system of creation. And now, this memory called a Reshimo (reminiscence) of the wisdom of Kabbalah, is latent in us and awakens us to aspire to that connection.

So looking at the modern adventures of Israelis responding to the call of nature, I see this as a transitional stage that will ultimately awaken us to a recognition of nature, not only in breadth but also in depth.

With the passage of time, people will understand that there is nothing special about these tours; they are pretty empty, devoid of content. Instead of becoming familiar with waterfalls and exotic shops—although this has its charm—one can become familiar with the mighty global system of nature that rests upon a higher, divine harmony.

To become familiar with this system, to be integrated within it, is truly a wonderful pleasure. The development of humanity leads to this, and we hope that there isn’t much more to do until then.

So in searching for new paths, people will turn to a new guide: the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Question: In other words, it is possible to replace the challenges associated with physical dangers with something else?

Answer: Yes, this is in spiritual challenges, journeys of the soul and elevations to spiritual peaks. This is an incredible adventure, yet it requires more courage and heroism than climbing in the Himalayas. Because when a climber ascends Mount Everest, he in fact satisfies his ego, going hand in hand with his inner egoistic drive. here he has to struggle with himself in his ascent to the spiritual peak.

This spectacular summit opens before him an infinite world and an endless life. It reveals areas of nature that are not found in our dimension. However, in order to get there, a person must change his foundation, work against his ego, leaving the mountain of his nature below him by hating it.

Mountain climbers also rise above themselves, experiencing a type of hatred towards the mountain they are climbing and want to conquer. This partially reminds one of spiritual ascent in which I must conquer the mountain of my ego, hate it, yet not so much that it will be nullified. Instead it will be possible to rise above it. For me, this is the greatest challenge.

It is hoped that people will understand what wonderful treks await them, what dazzling peaks assure them of adventure, so that they cannot be compared to what mother Earth can offer.

Indeed, I have not conquered 8,000 meter high mountains, but during my life I have seen just about all the wonders of the world. I can say that the adventure that we experience when we conquer the mountains within us is much more wonderful than that.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/21/14

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