Question: The Midrash Tanhuma says that: the country of Israel is at the center of the world, Jerusalem is at the center of the country of Israel, the Temple is at the center of Jerusalem, the Sanctuary is at the center of the Temple, the Ark is at the center of the Sanctuary, and the Cornerstone is in front of the Sanctuary upon which rests the whole world rests rests upon.
What are these qualities?
Answer: The cornerstone (Even Hashtiya, from the word “mushtat – founded”) is the quality of the world, primordial egoism, which is horrifying and totally uncorrectable into love, bestowal, or connection with anyone.
Gradually, it becomes explicit and life-forming. That means it is the basis of the whole world, it is the egoism from which all matter was formed. And everything rests on it.
In fact, all these qualities that we are talking about: the Land of Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple, the Sanctuary, the Ark, and the Cornerstone are the most egoistic qualities at their root. The most egoistic!
But when you correct them, you begin to raise them from the ashes, restore them, and make them holy. All egoism and everything that was bad in them turns into its opposite, into good.
Thus, an inverse form is created, as if turned inside out from a state of absolute egoism into a state of pure altruism.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/22/22