Existing Against the Desires of the Body
“You are coerced to be born, coerced to live, and coerced to die.” This is the way it happens in our world. But all that happens in our world is the result of the events that take place in the spiritual worlds. There is, however, no direct analogy or likeness between the two realms.
Thus, we are coerced (against the desires of the body) to be born (born spiritually, receive your first spiritual sensations), implying the start of our separation from our own “self,” a separation which the body never agrees to voluntarily. Having received from Above the spiritual organs of action and perception (Kelim), we then begin to lead a spiritual existence and to understand our new world.
But even in this state, we go against the body’s desire to partake of spiritual pleasures, and so, “you are coerced to live.” Finally, “you are coerced to die” implies that we perceive being forced to take part in our mundane everyday life as a spiritual death.
From the Path of Suffering to the Path of Kabbalah
In every generation, Kabbalists, through their efforts and books on Kabbalah, create better conditions for attaining the ultimate goal—coming closer to the Creator. Prior to the great Baal Shem-Tov, only a handful could reach that goal. After him, as a result of his work, even simply prominent scholars of Kabbalah could reach the ultimate goal as well.
Furthermore, as a result of the work of Baal HaSulam, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag in this world, today each person desiring to grasp the goal of creation can do so. The path of Kabbalah and the path of suffering differ in that an individual travels on the path of suffering only until realizing that it is both faster and easier to take the path of Kabbalah.
The path of Kabbalah consists of the process by which we remember the suffering that we have already undergone and that may befall us again. Thus, there is no need to relive the same suffering, because the recollection of it is sufficient to realize and to choose the right path of action.
Finding our Deficiencies in Others
Wisdom lies in analyzing all that happens, and in realizing that the source of all our suffering is egoism.
As a result, we need to act in such a way as to avoid entering the path of suffering from egoism. Having voluntarily rejected the use of egoism, we must then accept the ways of Kabbalah.
Kabbalists feel that the entire world was created solely for their use, in order to aid them in reaching their goals. All the desires that Kabbalists receive from those around them only help them advance, because they immediately reject the idea of using them for personal benefit.
When one sees the negative in others, it is because the person is not yet free from deficiencies, and as a result, realizes the need for personal improvement. In this light, the entire world is created to serve the ascent of human beings, because it allows them to observe their own deficiencies.
Appreciation for the Creator’s Gift
Only by feeling the depths of our own spiritual decline, along with the sense of the infinite distance from that which is ardently desired, can we grasp the miracle rendered by the Creator when He elevates us from this world to Himself, into the spiritual world.
What an immense present the Creator has given us! Only from the depths of our own condition can we fully appreciate such a gift and respond with true love and a desire for unity.
It is impossible for us to obtain any kind of knowledge without making the effort to obtain it. This, in turn, gives rise to two consequences: realizing the necessity of knowledge, which will be proportional to the efforts made to acquire it, and understanding that the onus is on us to acquire that knowledge.
We Receive Exactly What We Ask For
Thus, an effort brings forth two requisite conditions in a person: a desire in our hearts and the thoughts, or mental readiness, to grasp and comprehend the new. For this reason, we are called on to put forth an effort; in fact, it is essential.
It is only this act that truly depends on us, for knowledge itself is granted from Above, and we have no influence over its emergence. Notably, in the realm of acquiring spiritual knowledge and perception, we receive from Above only that for which we ask and for which we are prepared internally. But when we ask the Creator to grant something, are we not using our desires, our own egos?
Can such requests be answered by our spiritual elevation by the Creator? Moreover, how can we ask for something that we have never experienced?
If we ask to be rid of our egos, the source of all suffering, or ask for spiritual qualities, even without knowing what they are prior to receiving them, the Creator will award us the gift we desire.