Question: In his article “The Last Generation,” Baal HaSulam tries to lead a person through the process of thinking about what we are living for, why things are the way they are, and why the whole human system is reaching a dead end.
He says: “I take all that so close to my heart that I cannot restrain myself anymore, and I have reached the decision to discover the way of our predetermined future correction from my perspective and from what I have found in these books. I will go out to people and I will blow the Shofar.”
On the one hand, he appears to us as a dispassionate scientist exploring the nature of things, but on the other hand, he appears as a man full of love for mankind.
Answer: I wouldn’t call a Kabbalist a levelheaded scientist. He does express himself in the dry scientific language of physics that is very similar to the language of programming, but what is concealed under this language? Feelings!
Therefore, although he tells us how the Reshimot (reminiscences) rise in us, how we gradually begin to mutually cooperate with the upper level, and how the force descends from there to the lower level, his heart and his desires are behind all these mechanical actions because he feels all that on himself.
A Kabbalist is not a physicist nor a chemist who looks at a certain instrument he has invented, confirms and records the physical or chemical processes that take place in the still matter, the vegetative (biology) or the animate (zoology). A Kabbalist is not a person who studies what goes on in a living organism like a vet or a doctor, but the intrinsic properties, the internal processes taking place in our desires and our thoughts. He studies the mutual connection, the mutual cooperation, and the mutual influence of the thought on the desire and of the desire on the thought. The heart is the desire and the mind is the thoughts.
What is more, he doesn’t study it in the conventional frameworks of our world where we see certain outcomes and try to influence them. A Kabbalist studies everything on himself! He is his own lab! He is driven by the attainment of the world, “I attain the world through me,” and it isn’t an unproven axiom like scientists in our world use. For a Kabbalist it is a field of discovery, and he immediately begins to understand the world he is observing, he sees it inside himself.
If I read the newspaper or watch a movie on the computer screen, for example, it doesn’t mean that the paper is posted on a newsstand or that the movie is projected in a cinema somewhere. I see it on my own computer and not beyond its boundaries.
Its the same with a Kabbalist. Whatever he feels he feels on himself, so he cannot express his feelings of self-rejection in a dry manner. At the same time he expresses himself in a very dry language. It is because the wisdom of Kabbalah is the only wisdom that compares our feelings with the very rigid and precise laws and responses of nature that invoke the feelings, responses, and the discovery of consciousness in us.
We are part of nature that is made of vectors of different forces that cooperate mutually, including our feelings and our thoughts. But it is impossible to study them on the earthly level because these thoughts and feelings are above us! A Kabbalist, through spiritual methodology, rises to the level where the interaction of these forces and the birth of the desire, feelings, and our thoughts, man’s inner world, take place, and it is from this level that he begins to influence them.
He studies on himself by which mutual cooperation he can invoke his responses, and why certain responses are specifically the way they are—whether they can be identical to the mutual cooperation of others, in what way people differ from one another, and although they are different, what can they aspire for despite the differences. A Kabbalist studies how nature influences us and what it leads us to, why it manages us the way it does, and how we will perceive the influence of nature if we change by ourselves, whether it changes at all or whether it influences us in the same way all the time, and whether we can change and perceive its influence differently.
This means that a Kabbalist enters such a lab where he is his own subject.
Comment: Many scientists have engaged in such studies: doctors, physicist who studied radiation on themselves.
Answer: No. it isn’t the same thing because they studied physical laws of the world of the still, vegetative, and animate nature on themselves, while here we speak about the laws of the upper world. The ultimate goal of such research is very simple: to understand what we exist for. After all, there are many galaxies around us and no one knows what is in them, while I want to discover and to know what I live for, who I was before I came into this world, and who I will be when I leave it; do I have to feel myself as living in a body that is totally connected to it in every possible way or can I somehow detach myself from it? It is going to die soon and I may transcend to another state, etc.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is a wisdom that allows a person to start answering questions about the meaning of his life. Animals don’t ask such questions. Those in whom such thoughts, desires, and yearnings are invoked are called human. Such people already ask human questions and the wisdom of Kabbalah provides the answers to them.
From KabTV’s “About Our Life” 5/18/15