Answer: We are made of two parts: the animate level and the human level. Therefore it is said, “the Lord will save man and the beast.” Everything depends on the extent to which you identify either with the animal or with the man.
The man in me yearns to open his eyes to the spiritual world, to understand why he lives, to see the way ahead, and to understand all of reality. The animal is attracted to the armchair and the TV in order to feel good and comfortable. It turns from side to side and doesn’t want anything.
This means that I have a choice: either this world or spirituality. We swing between these two states, and that’s the way it will be until the end of correction. We will receive increasingly greater temptations to enjoy egoistically and a greater hardening of the heart. We can be given a hardening of the heart even in our current state so that we will not be able to move even one millimeter.
If you feel good in this state, then there is nothing to talk about. If you don’t feel a need to advance spiritually, you need to develop in this world in order to discover its worthlessness.
Question: Does developing mean to receive blows?
Answer: There is a phase in a person’s development in which he receives blows, but he is still unable to understand why and where they come from. He is not developed enough yet. He has to receive a certain number of blows to try to escape from them in different directions until he begins to understand why this happens.
Before that he only wanted to hide from the blows and now he already has a question and wants to know why he receives blows. Clarifying the reason is already an upper level. He doesn’t simply want to erase what is bad on the current level, but he yearns to know where it comes from and why. He has already grown.
Then he ascends to the next level and finds out why the blows arrive. He begins to explore their source, why our life is the way it is and what are the laws according to which the system that punishes him is built. He wants to know all that.
Then he ascends even higher and wants to know not only how the upper system works but also the goal that it operates for, which means whether there is any plan. After all, he sees that the system operates systematically.
We constantly advance by blows, yet I don’t pay attention to the blow itself but to why I receive it and to its source. Eventually I rise above the blows and want to discover the reason for them. The blows force me to value their reason and then I begin to detach myself from my feelings and leave the animal to suffer. It is good that it suffers since there is no other way I can advance. I want to identify and to connect with the reasons for the blows, which means with the cause of reasons.
This is why I accept my advancement gladly. But I will not advance unless I receive enough qualitative blows on every level according to my questions, according to my appreciation of the blow. If I receive a blow but it is unimportant for me and what is important is who I received it from and for what reason, this is a totally different situation. The Creator has brought me all this way so that I will discover that He is the one who gives me these blows.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/31/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam