Choice is the most important thing in our life. We constantly choose, weigh, and compare one thing with another either consciously or subconsciously, changing our approach, our system of evaluation, views, and priorities. Our entire life is the choice of the best option according to some criteria determined by what is more important to us now. We are constantly checking what we have to lose as a result of our choice and how much we will gain because of it.
It is possible that the solution we chose is not very pleasant, but it is so important that we must go for it. All our life we work like the most complex computer that processes a lot of data in order to make the correct calculation. Of course, each of us would like to make the right choice that allows us to confidently determine the best situation that wins by all the indicators and avoid the worst situations without any shadow of a doubt, not choosing one at the expense of the other and regretting the missed opportunities.
Only faith allows making such a choice, the feeling of the force of bestowal and love, which is something beyond our will to receive. The problem, however, is that we do not feel this force of bestowal, so how can we acquire such faith called “the staff”? Even if we acquire it, at the next degree, the faith already crosses into the egoistic sphere and becomes “the serpent.”
I must overcome this growing egoism and then I will come to faith again, already at a new degree. Each time the force of holiness crosses over into the egoism and so I rise all the time as if walking on two legs, right and left. The left line grows only if I have raised the right one correctly.
We should always lean on the “staff” and not on the “serpent,” that is, on faith, on something that seems low and unimportant to our egoism, and lift it upward. This is the entire work of a person: the staff constantly falls and we must lift it. If this were not happening, we would not be able to advance and get closer to the Creator. Every time I lift the staff, the faith, I take another little step forward.
As soon as I leave this staff, it immediately falls and turns into a serpent. It is help from above that the staff falls; otherwise, I would not be able to advance. If I lean on my knowledge, that is, make an egoistic choice, then I do not have any difficulty.
The staff is what directs me to the Creator. If I hold it up, as the most important thing, then step by step I get closer to the quality of bestowal, degree by degree. The environment is the staff if it is more important to me than myself. Then through the environment, I rise toward the Creator. Therefore, this degree is called Moses because it pulls (Moshech) the people.1
The light is only revealed if there is a barrier before it. It would seem that outer space should be the brightest because nothing obscures the light there. However, precisely because there is no barrier for the light, it cannot be seen. The cosmos is absolutely black. However, if we put a screen before the rays of the Sun, then you will see that there is light.
All we are missing is the screen! Light cannot shine if there are no barriers on its path. Therefore, if we want the light to be revealed in us, we should make a screen for it. One person cannot become a screen for the light. However, if we unite in the ten, above our egoism, despite the fact that each of us is full of pride and does not want connection with others, we raise the importance of connection and even higher than that, the importance of the Creator whom we want to reveal.
We want to feel the Creator inside of our internal unity as real as we feel each other now. Together, we make such a sandwich: our will to receive is at the bottom and unity, the screen, our readiness to connect despite our egoism, is on the top. Then the upper light is revealed on this screen and becomes visible to us.
One person cannot build such a screen out of his personal egoism; this is possible only by connecting with the friends.2
To help a friend means raising the importance of spirituality, the importance of connection, giving him the “staff.” Nobody can do it by himself. If one can do it by oneself, it is not real spiritual work but only preparation for it.
Every time this work becomes more and more difficult; after all, now I trip over the “staff” that I lifted the time before. The left line rises higher and higher at the expense of the right one, at the expense of my past successes. I must start everything anew as if in a new place, in a new country, in a new language, with a new understanding and new perception. This is a new degree! Every day a person is as if born again.
It is impossible to do this alone. It is a huge mistake to think that by shutting myself inside, in my personal inner work, it is possible to do deeper, more intimate clarifications. This is nonsense! It takes many years for a person to understand that in this way he is just spinning in the same place, like a puppy chasing his tail.
Only by incorporating each time in the group, even if it consists of beginners, we will be rising to increasingly elevated states. Even if the friends are below you, by incorporating in them, you ascend to the next degree. It is only possible to lift the “staff” with the help of friends, all together. Friends, I need you! Help me!3
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/17/19, Baal HaSulam, Shamati 59, “Concerning the Rod and the Serpent”
1 Minute 0:15
2 Minute 24:10
3 Minute 42:00