Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What does it mean to seek spirituality?“
It starts by wanting something more or different to what everyday life offers. In the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is called the emergence of the desire for spirituality called the “point in the heart.” When this desire emerges, we feel a need to get answers to the question about the meaning of life.
How do we come to such a desire?
It comes after developing over several lifetimes, where we were first like animals, with desires solely for food, family, sex and shelter, and we then developed through desires for money, honor, control and knowledge.
In our first stage of development, we had desires only for food, family, sex and shelter. We still have such desires even if we are completely isolated from society. Our next stages of development—desires for money, honor, control and knowledge—are characterized by desires that emerge in relation to society.
Afterward, the desire for knowledge appears. Sciences blossomed as we set out to discover where everything came from, and to discover our roots. Such a desire for knowledge, however, still only resides within the framework of our world.
Only in the next stage of our desire’s development do we wish to know our real source, essence and purpose: the meaning of life. We then start becoming troubled by questions about our origin, our future, and who and what we really are.
We are egoists by nature. Common to all of our desires is that they are self-centered and want fulfillment. They pressure us and literally control our every move. The ego’s limit in our world is the desire to become filled with knowledge about something above us.
Suffering is at the core of our desires. We shift from one type of desire to another under the influence of suffering. If we are in a balanced state, then we feel at peace. When a new desire surfaces, we then feel as if we lack something and want to experience or receive something new, so we start trying to fulfill our desire’s demands… and this process repeats throughout our lives. In short, we always move toward fulfillment, and move away from pain.
We live our lives trying to fulfill our countless desires. After several lifetimes, we come to a state when one desire is all that is left: the desire to attain our source, the meaning of life.
When this final desire appears, everything else seems to lose its meaning. We then become depressed, feeling emotionally and spiritually empty, as if nothing can bring happiness.
The feeling of life as pointless and inauthentic is an expression of a new desire that is starting to surface in our era, the desire for spirituality. It is a desire that essentially asks about life’s meaning and purpose—”What is the meaning of life?”—even if we do not verbalize it as such. It makes us seek through various teachings in order to find some kind of meaning and answers.
The wisdom of Kabbalah was made specifically in order to fulfill this desire. It is an empiric method that leads to the discovery of the meaning of life—the attainment of the higher reality—and is open for study by anyone who wants to delve into it.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.