What is required in order to discover the good? Why does someone who is born into great abundance not appreciate it? You tell children: “See how much you have! How much I have given to you! When I was a child I didn’t have this.” Yet they wave you off and don’t want to hear this.
They cannot appreciate your goodness since they have nothing with which to compare it. So they don’t understand what kind of gratitude you require from them. They want to go to the movies, they can go; they want a computer, they get it; a new mobile phone, to go on vacation, whatever they want. They have everything, and so they also have no desire for anything.
You tell them that when you were their age, you built a car for yourself from a shoebox and played with this car for two years, and they laugh at you. They are right, because everything is measured according to desire.
They feel themselves on a particular level of satiation and will not move from it in any direction. First one must descend to minus infinity to be able to feel plus infinity afterward.
About this it was said in “Leviticus” 26:10: When I break for you the staff of bread, and ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread by weight, and you will eat, yet not be satisfied, meaning that nothing in the world changes except our consciousness. Even now you are found in Olam Ein Sof (the world of infinity), yet instead of that you feel this world because you don’t have the Kelim to perceive Ein Sof.
On one side there is a sack of gold coins, and on the other side there is a mountain of diamonds. In front of you is a table set with a bounty of delicacies, yet you are dying of starvation and suffer from the stench.
Everything depends upon your perceptive Kli. You are in Olam Ein Sof, which never changes. Everything depends only on desire, and desire is built above an abyss that is constantly revealed to a greater degree.
Therefore, it is difficult for our children to feel a reason for living, specifically because they have everything. Baal HaSulam tells a parable about a king who put his son in a basement for 20 years and caused him mental anguish by showing him how everyone else was successful. Others are sitting in a bar or watching the World Cup, whereas you are sitting in a dark cellar full of mice, cursing your father.
This continued until the son discovered that his father was acting from the goodness of his heart and with great love. His father was suffering himself because he had given his son grief. Whereas if you give your children everything that they want from the goodness of your heart, this means that you hate them.
Question: Does it follow that I must intentionally hurt a child in order to educate him?
Answer: You limit him because you want things to be good for him, and you are willing to suffer in order to do this. You do this for his sake so that it will benefit him in the future. It will not be good for him now, as his ego desires, but will benefit him throughout his life.
Or, you want to feel good from the thought of how much you have given him. You think to yourself: “I couldn’t afford any of this in my childhood, so my son should enjoy it.” Is this what you call love?
Tomorrow you will have to give him many times more because otherwise he will not feel that he is alive. You must build a “basement” with great wisdom and put your beloved son in there, and you will suffer many times more than he will. In this manner, you will be preparing him for a good life.
So we have a method by which it is possible to advance towards fulfillment, towards goodness, not by feeling bad, but by being aware of it. This is a very special patent. It is necessary only to understand the principle and that is enough. Then there will no longer be a need to suffer. We are not ready to go through the way of difficult suffering.
The Creator made a special system in which it is enough for us to be aware of the evil that exists in contrast to the good, in order to accept it as a tool and sense fulfillment through it. After all, we are not ready to descend to minus infinity.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/12/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam