Question: What is so bad about everyone yearning to get the greatest pleasure, and why are there so many problems and so much suffering in our world?
Answer: The problem is that each of us receives pleasure at the expense of someone else. By enjoying myself, I take pleasure away from others. I steal from them. I limit them somehow. This is what arouses war between people. Besides this, we were created with an evil, egoistic nature, and we want more pleasure specifically from having more than others. Enjoyment at the expense of others is a much greater pleasure. It is enough to see how we behave on the highway, cutting each other off and not giving each other the right of way. Is there really anyone for whom another minute would determine his life? Not at all, we simply get pleasure from moving ahead of everyone. This is our evil inclination. There is nothing bad about yearning to enjoy oneself. It is typical of any animal. However, a person specifically wants to have pleasure at the expense of others, rising above them and trampling them, and this is what is destroying our society. So the world has come to such a crisis.
Question: But there are many people who sacrifice themselves for the good of society.
Answer: They also are acting from their desire to enjoy. In fact, no one thinks about others. They themselves simply don’t understand the true motivation of their actions. If we were to take away the pleasure that humane people get from helping others, they couldn’t even make the smallest movement. If a mother were suddenly to stop feeling pleasure from her baby, he would die of starvation.
All matter works only according to this single principle. However, there is more matter, which is called “spiritual,” that is not felt by us and that acts according to another principle, bestowal, not reception. Spirituality is based upon this, giving pleasure and not receiving pleasure. This is antimatter, an upside-down world.
The spiritual world exists, and even ordinary science is discovering some borderline phenomena, but we are not ready to catch them with the help of our instruments. However, a person can attain a feeling of the upper world, of antimatter, and it is specifically with this that the wisdom of Kabbalah is involved.
Through special exercises, we can transform our matter into new matter, a desire to bestow, instead of a desire to receive. Then, we can enjoy bestowal, instead of reception.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM 11/29/15