Question: The goals of the wisdom of Kabbalah and psychology are different. The goal of the wisdom of Kabbalah is to discover the Creator, and the goal of psychology is to get along better in our world. But the means are very similar. Both of them use work in a group, the influence of the environment, etc. What is unique in the wisdom of Kabbalah that is not found in psychology?
Answer: Group psychology is the study of how to connect people into a single collective. This is needed everywhere: institutions, schools, governments, and even the family. But they deal with connection on the level of normal psychology.
First, Kabbalistic psychology requires that there will be no more than ten people in a group.
Second, it is desirable for groups to be arranged according to gender, either men or women.
Third, the connection is achieved not through typical group psychology but through the upper Light. Unity like this happens on a completely different level: not on a psychological level, but rather on a spiritual level.
The difference is that on a psychological level, the connection is based on the benefit one receives from connecting with other people, since such a connection can help a person with regard to relaxation, security, sustenance, health, a better family life, a better atmosphere at work, in school etc. It can make a big difference in a person’s life and reduce his suffering.
On the other hand, Kabbalistic psychology is based on a different method: the attraction of the upper Light. We don’t try to connect with each other; rather, we call the upper Light onto ourselves, which connects us above our egoism into altruistic relationships with each other.
For example, I don’t connect with you in order to create our own small business. Instead, with the help of the upper Light—a unique spiritual energy that exists all around us—we build a common unity above us. We summon it through certain activities so that this energy, called Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light, which is invisible and not felt by us), acts upon us and connects us above our egoism. Then, our connection becomes altruistic and spiritual; within it we begin to feel the upper world and the Creator.
Question: What kind of feeling does a person experience when he calls the upper Light onto himself?
Answer: As it is said: “We live without feeling the ground beneath us…” You dwell within your friends; you adhere to them. Your egoistic salvation exists within them, but when this is realized, you are no longer an egoist. Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah and psychology differ not only in the goal, but also in the means of achieving it. We don’t take anything from this world.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/3/17