Question: A person should feel the darkness of Egypt as an intolerable state so that he would want to exit it. What should he do so as not to simply escape the unpleasant feeling but to accept the domination of the Creator?
Answer: According to our nature we are not able to remain in an unpleasant state, unless we have no choice: if someone pressures me and holds me. I want to run away but can’t, so I remain in the unpleasant condition. This can be physical when someone holds me to give me an injection, for example, like we do with babies. Or society can put pressure on me, and then having no choice I do what is required of me. That is, I am in a condition that I suffer, but I am being pressured and cannot escape.
By nature I run away from anything that I don’t like. This is the desire to enjoy. If I feel even “one gram” of discomfort, I want to get away from it. However, there are different compelling circumstances, problems, and calculations that force me to continue to suffer, having no choice not because I wish to, but because of the pressure that is put on me. This pressure is called exile; I am under pressure and remain in that state and suffer.
You are asking is the opposite: How can I feel greater suffering so I could feel I am in the Egyptian darkness, in such great evil, so I will want to exit it? Then it seems to be no problem if I put myself into a state of suffering.
But I can’t bring myself to such a state of suffering; it must be justified somehow: by public pressure or a cause that illuminates from afar, like a gift or reward. If I am a desire to receive, I cannot cause myself harm unless I will receive a reward that exceeds the pressure I experience or the efforts I make in return. How can I bring myself to feel the exile in Egypt?
First, I bring myself to the exile in Egypt in different ways that are not related to spirituality. This means that I don’t inflict pain upon myself or live a hard life. I cannot do that. Egypt must be a very special state for me in which I suffer because I cannot connect with the other shattered parts of the one soul because Pharaoh dominates us. This state pressures me and there is nothing I can do. I cannot get rid of its presence in the connection between us despite all my efforts. This is called Egypt when I am ready to give anything to kill Pharaoh, to get him out of my system, or to rise above him.
There are many inner discernments here: inside him, outside him, why does it say “Let my people go,” why is it impossible to be free in Egypt, how do we come out of Egypt, and why do we take the vessels with us and only Pharaoh remains in Egypt? Indeed, nothing remains in Egypt except Pharaoh. Everything else is taken out of Egypt. These desires die there or are taken out.
All these definitions have nothing to do with earthly sufferings, but are about one thing only, the connection between us, in order to discover the Creator in it and thus delight Him. After all, the Creator wants us to discover Him. Therefore, we must work continuously on this point in the group and feel that the only thing we lack is connection. If you simply want to exit your ego (and perhaps this is indeed what you want), it is only because it brings you many troubles. Then, you try to switch the small ego to a bigger, more sophisticated ego, but you still want to work for Pharaoh.
Working outside Pharaoh is possible only if you yearn for connection in order to discover the Creator’s attribute and thus delight Him when you take on His form and wish to resemble Him. You must examine this point carefully.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/13/14, The Zohar