Before entering the spiritual world, a person goes through a very difficult stage that is called “seven years of famine,” the hardening of the heart. He sees that he is drowning in his egoism, he is incapable of getting out of it, and he will never be able to get out of it. And this is the truth because the desire to enjoy is our only nature.
This period is dangerous because it could seem to a person that it is fine to remain in his egoistic desires and not worth fighting with them. Why suffer in vain trying to get rid of it if nothing will come out of it anyway? Egoism depicts to a person that he does not have any hope for salvation.
This is really the case: there is no hope to receive any fulfillment in our desire to enjoy. And a person does not yet have a desire to bestow. Therefore, he runs away to religion or to all sorts of “spiritual practices” in order not to feel that his nature is against him. The main thing is not to feel that you are facing Pharaoh. Therefore, he runs away from Egypt.
As it is written: “A thousand enter the room and one comes out to the Light”—this is how we are sifted through an Egyptian sieve. “And only the heroes among them, whose patience endured, defeated the guards and opened the gate.” We need to understand that this is a prolonged and bitter period, called the exile. It requires connection, endurance, and mutual support, otherwise a person cannot survive it. The closest way out that people leave this path is religion, which allows going within reason instead of in faith above reason.
Therefore, it is necessary to create a strong environment, an atmosphere of mutual support and guarantee in order to help each other build a Kli (vessel) for the future revelation.1
Before the exodus from Egypt, a person enters a dark period when he finds himself deeper and deeper in his egoism, every day having less and less strength to fight against it. The desire to enjoy sends him all sorts of extraneous thoughts, desires, and actions, increasingly distant from spirituality. It seems to a person that instead of advancing, he goes backward.
And then, he is tempted to turn to religion, which promises a reward for every action taken right on the spot, as if he alone is sufficient for the correction. This is certainly attractive, and a person leaves.
Rabash writes that specifically such people who have been engaged in Kabbalah for a long time have made good progress, and then left without entering the spiritual world, risk becoming the greatest opponents of Kabbalah and even enemies. After all, on one hand, they seem to understand what it speaks about, and on the other hand, they do not attain it.2
There is no other force acting in reality except the Creator. The only thing that He allows the created being is to realize what is happening to him and what the upper force is doing with him. The created being must apply all possible efforts toward this point of awareness. But in fact, in the past, now, and in the future, at all times, at all levels, only the Creator has acted, acts, and will act.
And we have been appointed to reveal His work. By this we do not influence the work itself, but we want to appreciate it and attain the entire greatness of the Creator.3
It is written: “I and not a messenger.” That is, the Creator Himself takes us out of Egypt. This means that we are in direct contact with the Creator, with the upper force, without any intermediaries. “Intermediary” means that in my demand I do not yet feel myself directly before the Creator and do not connect all my hopes for salvation only with Him.4
We need to make enormous efforts now so that everyone will scrutinize his own condition and will feel that this is the Egyptian exile. The sign of the closeness of the exodus from Egypt is a feeling of utter hopelessness in absolutely everything, from all sides. In this state of despair, the Creator reveals Himself and saves us.
However, we need to scrutinize this state together—this must be our common decision. One cannot exit Egypt alone, but only thanks to a serious awareness in the general Kli.5
Egoism assures a person that the path should not be as difficult and uncompromising as the wisdom of Kabbalah suggests. Why torment yourself fighting with your egoism? There are many psychological methods that allow you to calm down and get along with your desire to enjoy.
Clearly, this is very attractive. Therefore, from the moment the wisdom of Kabbalah emerged, throughout history, many different methodologies developed in parallel with it. And when the wisdom of Kabbalah went into concealment, this served as the reason for the emergence of the three world religions.
Religion sweetens a person’s life. It lets people perform external actions instead of internal ones, and promises a reward for them in this world and in the next world. It is clear that egoism is looking for a compensation for itself.
However, it is specifically organized from above so that there are other systems, in addition to Kabbalah, that help to find out what egoism is in relation to the force of bestowal, the force of the Creator. Therefore, all the religions and methodologies are needed and nothing can be destroyed. Our task is only to continue clarifying the desire of the upper one.6
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/28/18, Writing of Rabash: “The Difference between Mercy and Truth and Untrue Mercy”
1 Minute 8:28-11:47
2 Minute 13:00
3 Minute 44:40
4 Minute 48:30
5 Minute 52:10
6 Minute 55:30