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Article "Peace in the World" - Talk 7

Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
December 23, 2005
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

We are continuing to study the article, Peace in the World by Baal HaSulam, from the book Pri Hacham(Fruit of Wisdom), Articles, page 74, section:In Practical Life the FourAttributes Contradict One Another. You can also find it on the site: Peace in the World.

We have already discussed that we have the attribute of truth which is the real attribute that controls the entire reality. It is the attribute of the Creator, the Upper Force, total bestowal, and within that a total understanding of everything that there is in Creation. Only through my bestowal, when I "exit" myself and begin to discern all of the reality outside of me without any consideration, self interest, or concern that this reality will affect me, which makes me weight this and that, examine, measure and investigate, only then I can certainly understand and know the truth.

That is why truth is called the attribute of the Creator: limitless bestowal. Bestowal helps us to see the truth, not because in bestowal in itself there is truth, but that truth is with respect to our falsehood. In order to see the truth we have to transcend our egoistic nature. As individuals we are unable to do it in everyday life, (that's what he means by our practical life) and therefore we invent other attributes. Of course, they are certainly lame but they somehow help us. These attributes help us to build the reality that we are in and to be in connection (or falsely so: Sheker meansfalsehood) but in contact, in any case, between each other, and in connection with how our society somehow operates.

This way from Above, we get these three attributes. As we use them, we gradually come to see the falsehood about them, and through them we will need the attribute of peace. In the meantime we have to show ourselves that in practical life these four attributes contradict one another.

In Practical Life the Four Attributes contradict one another.

As if the above practical difficulties, which disturb us helpless people on our way, are not enough, we have in addition, a further mix-up and great battle of the psychological predispositions, meaning the attributes themselves within each and everyone of us individually, and in contradiction from one person to another. For the above four attributes, mercy, truth, justice, and peace, which were divided in the nature of people, whether by development or by upbringing, they in and of themselves stand in contradiction to one another.

A human being is comprised of two parts essentially: one part including those same Reshimot, inclinations, character and the so-called genes that are in us at birth, from previous lives, from the root of our soul. That is everything that we experienced, we brought down from our root in Adam ha Rishon (the First Man),each of us. Let’s say we went through a number of life cycles, and in the root we had some original attributes but afterwards, throughout our incarnations, with each incarnation, we added Reshimot besides our genes. Let’s use the terms we use in Kabbalah.

In addition to that inner discernment, there’s the outer discernment, which is the influence of society. The society is parents, kindergarten, school, army, press, society, television. Everything there is: it is all society.

drawing No. 1

I receive the inner things that develop the inner Reshimot (reminiscences), evolving according to society. Society can only develop what I have inside me, not anything else: the Reshimot are already inside. I cannot develop my inner Reshimot more than what society enables me to.

Therefore, there is reciprocal work here between what I have inside— Reshimot (reminiscences), genes, and between the influences of society. What I have inside is from what I completed in some earlier incarnation, a previous life and then that ended. Then again a birth, and everything that we had then, they all become the inner Reshimo: the genes that I received at the root of my soul, per se, as well as the impressions I received from the influence of society.

We progress from stage 1-0 (birth) stage 2-0 (death) and go to the stage 1-1. Again, we have the environment, which exerts its influence on us. Once more I cannot be detached from society. I can only develop myself through society and never more than what the society is and so forth until I reach the situation where I have a Reshimo 1-2 for life number 3 (see Drawing No. 2).

drawing No. 2

Every time we go through life, all of the Reshimot—the impressions, the influences of society, in whatever we were or were not—all of that is included comes to me as the original Reshimo. Just look at how important it is which societies we were in and what we did, how we evolved. But for the time being, this is not under my control. Whatever happened, happened the way it should have. We should say that each and every moment. So let us say now that this is the way I am developing.

Say, I just was born and have a Reshimo. If I now arrive at choosing the society, which I did or did not have before—I do not know, so now I have a Reshimo and the environment. This is what I have at my disposal: Reshimo is the first element, and society is the second one. Let us say that in my being alive, Reshimo was m times (1-m), and society— n times (2-n). Now that’s what I have at my disposal.

drawing No. 3

Let us read again from the beginning.

As if the above practical difficulties, which disturb us helpless people on our way, are not enough, we have in addition, a further mix-up and great battle of the psychological predispositions, meaning the attributes themselves within each and everyone of us individually, and in contradiction from one person to another. For the above four attributes, mercy, truth, justice, and peace, which were divided in the nature of people, whether by development or by upbringing, they in and of themselves stand in contradiction to one another. And if we take for example the attribute of mercy in an abstract form, we find its government to contradict all other attributes, meaning that by the laws of the rule of mercy there is no place for the appearance of the other attributes in our world.

Why? Because mercy does not demand anything from the other and it says you have to give to other people and that’s it. As if it completely neutralizes every calculation. And then is it okay? Is it bestowal? Yes. But can we live and survive in the world with that? If we are all corrected, and everyone relates to one another completely according to the attribute of mercy then it would be correct. But then it would not be anymore the attribute of mercy. It would be mercy that comes on top of all the corrections in a person, on top of all the will to receive in a person.

Question: It follows that if a person is in the state of mercy and feels what is described in this paragraph, he would not want to go on. If he is within these laws, then he does not want to continue.

That is why we are not in this attribute in our world, in the mercy Baal HaSulam talks about. Mercy for us, you know, is to somehow try to avoid ruining the world. What do parents do sometimes with their children? They give without any calculations, and by that they ruin their child because then he does not know where he has to grow: to what extent, in what discernments; hedoes not know any discernments. Take everything. He won’t grow. What will give him impressions of good, bad, near, far, anything?

All of our discernments in our Kelim (vessels)are whether we feel good or bad when we grow. If the child is not allowed to feel anything bad in any way, absolutely nothing, he’ll remain a fool like a clod.

So look for example at the British upbringing. I was there and it was interesting for me to see how they are very tough with their kids. They pay 12 or 15,000 pounds a year for tuition—these are very wealthy people—to put their kids under this special upbringing.

The upbringing is a room, say like here, without any heating. The tables and the benches are made of wood from maybe 500 years ago. They eat from plates that you wouldn’t eat from, with cracks and what not. In the morning, they take a cold shower. They all have to do it, and that’s in England; it is not that pleasant in wintertime. They study. They get a good wearing-down. These are kids from wealthy and special families. Because they see that if a child is not brought up strictly, he is then not connected to life; he is not fit for life. They don’t have a choice.

That’s why the attribute of mercy is the most destructive: it does not let a person evolve. We see here something like blind love in our life.

What is the attribute of mercy? Our sages defined it as (Pirkey Avot, Chapter 5): “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours, this says the righteous man.” And if all the people in the world were to behave that way, it would cancel all the glory of the attribute of truth and judgment, because if each and everyone would be naturally willing to give everything he has to his fellow man and take nothing of another for himself, then the whole interest in lying to one another would disappear.

Why? Because it is not according to measurements or attributes, not according to states. By that we completely eradicate the person as a personality: who he is, what he is, what situation he is in, what degree. Just look at how our mind is working incorrectly with respect to these attributes. What seems to us as good is the worst, biggest element. It is written in the Torah that he, who does not punish his son, hates his son. What did your parents do with you? They loved you, right?

And there would be no room to speak of the attribute of truth whatsoever, because true and false are relative – and if there were no falsehood in the world, there would be no concept of truth. Needless to say that the other attributes that are there only to strengthen the attribute of truth because of its weakness, would also be cancelled.

Truth is defined in the words: “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours." That contradicts the attribute of mercy and cannot altogether tolerate it because in truth, it is unjust to labor and strain for another, because besides causing his friend to fail, he accustoms him to exploit his fellow man. Thus, truth dictates that every person treasures his own assets for a time of need so he will not have to be a burden on his fellow man.

drawing No. 4

You see how this can be said differently: "what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours:" this is correct. Why not? I receive everything that the Creator created. Why did He make you this way and me that way? You deserve according to the way He created you and designed your traits. He designed you in such a way that this is what you gain and that’s what you deserve. How can I interfere with what the Upper Force builds?

Each and everyone certainly must work with his own nature and whatever he receives eventually is his and he is forbidden to give it to another. It’s forbidden because by that he breaks the rules of the world. If he does the opposite: what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is yours in everything, he causes even greater harm to the other. By that he ruins the other. He stops the other from developing, from self-expression and from reaching the place he should be.

Of course, Baal HaSulam’s being brief and there is a lot more to add here, but just to understand these attributes basically, we do not have to go into philosophy or as he puts it into psychology because this is a topic requiring a lot of research. But for the time being, where needed, we shall enter some of the niches.

Question: It's not clear what the attribute of truth is. Where does it stem from?

The attribute of truth stems from the rules of real nature according to which we have to behave. That’s how we have to behave. We have the attribute of judgment and we have the attribute of truth. Behave accordingly. What does it mean that you will ruin it through your mercy? Where is mercy from? Is it from your not wanting to suffer? So, because you are an egoist and do not want to suffer, you now start, not only with respect to yourself, but with respect to the whole world changing the right order and, the right distribution.

Question (cont.): If "what’s mine is mine then what’s yours is mine too." If I want to receive, I want to receive everything I can receive. If I want to give, I want to give everything. What does it mean? What is mercy? What’s mine is mine, what yours is yours?

"What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours" isn’t about property actually: as much as about what a person attains, assesses, and enjoys according to his Kelim. I can’t enjoy what you acquire. I enjoy only in my own Kelim, which I acquire, as we are talking about the absolute spiritual attribute of truth.

How can it be that if I developed a liking for some special fruit that, on the contrary, previously I did not have any desire for, that you would enjoy it if I brought it to you? You cannot enjoy it because I developed it with my effort, through regular use, with my understanding. Over a very long process, I developed within myself the Kelim to differentiate, to discern, the sensors, the Kelim in my mind to feel things, to register them there. So now I receive, a second time, a third time, then I remember, and I compare it with what I remember, with what I have and so from that I enjoy.

You can give me the best thing for the first time, and if it’s completely different and doesn’t remind me of anything, then I don’t see it as good. I don't discern. I need to learn a whole lot in order to have an impression of it and then with respect to this impression I feel something and then I consider it as good. Therefore the attribute of truth tells us: "what’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine."

It can’t be opposite or any other way. When I want to devour what you have that’s already in our world, in the framework of our world. It is the attribute of truth. But the real attribute of truth in Ein Sof (Infinity) says that every Kli deserves what it needs. Abundance is in complete rest, that’s why it is called abundance. It applies to you in every place—whatever you want. You just have to want it.

Question: Doesn't this bother the one who teaches the small one, with whom he will share? Second, does it not contradict" Love thy neighbor as thyself?"

Baal HaSulam told us to begin with these four attributes that contradict one another, "In a practical life those four attributes contradict one another." So you want to tell me that BaalHaSulam is right. Okay, he is right.

But we have no choice. Our trouble is that we do not have a choice, because we are not in the attribute of truth. We don’t see and don’t feel the real picture. We are obligated to use all these four attributes. We don’t have any possibility of avoiding the use of even one of them. We don’t. We don’t have a choice. So we end up being lame on all our four legs.

Moreover, every person has relatives or heirs that should, according to the attribute of truth, inherit before others, because so nature dictates that he who gives his property to others (other than his relatives and natural heirs) lies to his relatives and natural heirs by not leaving them anything.

In that too, there is a lot to addand discuss: why, how. Relatives, what does that mean? Why do I owe them? Only according to accepted norms in my environment. Why can't I give to some national fund or elsewhere? In fact, the Torah says that your relatives come first, and describes the order of priority as to who is a close and a more distant relative. This is clear. This order that’s imposed on us in advance naturally and artificially, you might say, well it is actually natural in the entire society or culture, and comes to us from the attribute of truth.

And peace also contradicts justice, because in order to make peace in society there have to be conditions that, as they are and by their content, promise the nimble and the smart, who invest their energy and wisdom, to become rich, and those who are negligent and naïve, to be poor. Hence, he who is more energetic takes his own part and the part of his negligent friend and enjoys a better life, until there is not enough left for the negligent and naive to merely supply for their necessary livelihood, and therefore they remain completely bare in many ways.

It means that if we allow our society to evolve only according to the quickness, the industriousness, the shrewdness, and the excellence of people, then it will be divided very, very sharply between people who succeed and people who fail. It will be divided in such a way that some will be with all the best there is and won't leave anything for the others, except for just a piece of bread to just survive, adding more to those who succeed. This will be if you go according to performance without any mercy and without any compassion.

But, because we want the attribute of peace, so the ego of successful ones start corrupting the truth and start sharing with the unsuccessful ones, who, by birth are a little lazy and not too bright, and relaxed by nature. That’s why the unsuccessful are like that. But if you start taking away the things they need, then there is no other alternative and they will jump at you. The worker who works hard won't have a choice but to share with the common worker. And by doing that, they ruin society: they give those who don’t deserve it more than they actually deserve.

You see now in New York the strike they have there? See what their union is doing. What do they demand? They say: "We deserve it." Why do you deserve? If you had fought correctly according to your quickness, bravery, and everything in your life, then you would attain what you deserve. Now you are asking for something you do not deserve. That’s how it is. So through mercy and peace we ruin the real picture of the world in our life.

If you go out to the street and say that, they will say that you are heartless, ruthless, and inhuman etc. etc. Who are you? What are you? You will not be able to explain to them that this mercy brings ruin. So what should we do? We can’t do without it nor with it.

It is certainly unjust to punish the negligent and the naive so harshly for no evil, for what is their sin and what is the crime of those wretched people, if providence did not give them quickness and brains that they should be punished with such harsh torments that are indeed harsher than death? Therefore there is no justice in the conditions of peace. Peace contradicts justice.

This means that the Creator is to be blamed for everything, right? Whatever you may say: who created this whole thing? Who designed it? Who leads it all? The Upper Force, as he says. Why is it the fault of those wretched people if Upper Providence did not give them more than it gave them? That’s why they suffer.

And justice contradicts peace, because if we order the division of property justly, meaning give to the negligent and naive a substantial part that the nimble and theenergetic have, then the powerful and those who are endowed with initiative will certainly not rest until they overthrow the leadership that enslaves the great ones, the energetic ones and exploits them in favor of the weak. Therefore there is no hope for the peace of society for justice contradicts peace.

We are in these four attributes, four measures, where everyone has a positive and a negative side and that is how we relate to them in society. If you speak to a strong person, he responds: "why should I give to the weak? Ahh, the weak coming at me in large numbers?" The strong, the smart and the nimble are few and the weak are many. So the weak unite. They come with arms, with sticks, whatever, to the successful. Then the successful say: "yes, correct, I have to share.” As if it’s right.

Now, they have no choice: they now want 'peace.' So they are seemingly acting as if with the attribute of mercy and charity, thereby they ruin the failures even more because they are beginning to give them compensation, fulfillment: without which they are afraid they will be harmed. With it they calm them down and prevent them from developing.

We see that with the immigrants in France. They are given social security. They do not have to work. They do not have to do anything. What are they going to do for the whole day? So that’s what they do. The second generation is really completely distorted there. They don’t understand anything else, this generation. They say: "I deserve what I deserve every month. Work? What do you mean? Work? I get social security, for the rest of my life." That is how people are destroyed. They cannot progress.

Who will benefit in the final analysis in life? Those, who don’t have anything or out of frustration, and lack, can evolve. Especially countries that have great treasures, a lot of raw materials in their soil like oil, etc. they ruin themselves when they use those treasures, these raw materials because they get it for free: it’s all free. I stick a hose in the ground, take oil up and sell it just out of the ground. It’s as if I am selling air. That ruins the one who sells. After a generation or two you begin to feel it.

The British really have a special education. And also it is written in the Torah: “A father must never show his child that he has any assets." A child has to grow like others in society and even less. Otherwise you ruin him, you stop his evolution. You prevent him from developing. Why? He only sits and waits to have his father’s property and that’s it. I will just have to pay the lawyer whatever is due to him and the rest is mine. So, he will wait for it and won’t progress.

Question: Why did Baal HaSulam hope that Israel would be a socialistic state?

Not just socialistic. Soon we’ll publish the book on society The Future Generation. It is not just socialistic, but a communist state which he expected to develop: not Marxist communism, which he criticizes, nor the utopian communism nor all the Kibbutzim, which he criticized back in the thirties. It tells of the story between Baal HaSulam and Ben Gurion and of his 'science' that we have to turn into altruistic communism, not like the one in Russia.

We don't understand the socialism of Baal HaSulam. We do not feel what it is. We don’t know what he meant by his communism with the definition of socialism. We have to study it. We perceive his words with the connotation of our own understanding but certainly he was, you might say, a communist, a socialist per se. Why? Because of the relationship between man and his fellow man, even without the connection of the Creator. But don’t worry about the Creator here. He will get into the picture.

The relationship between man and his fellow man should be as communism describes it: they should be like brothers to one another; everyone should have equal division: to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability. That’s the attribute of truth: each according to his ability however he was born, whatever condition he is in, whatever upbringing he received.

Considering everything about a person, his Reshimot and theinfluence of the environment on him, we say that’s the person, not what depends on him. You come to him and say I know who you are, what you are and how much you can do, and only according to that we will demand from you. What could be better? I am also not ashamed and I am able to do that. That’s what communism demands: the attribute of truth. Of course, Baal HaSulam is in favor of it.

A commune isn’t a bad word, although it is a concept that is generally despised. A commune means that we are all as one man with one heart, as components in one system where each cares for the well-being of the whole system. Each must do what the system demands, meaning the general purpose of the whole system and from that he gets his life, a complete and wholesome livelihood. Only this way: just like our body exists, just like the still, vegetative and animate exists. So man in the speaking degree must consciously and willingly build the same reciprocal system like cells in a body. Of course, this should be in accordance with the attribute of truth and according to the calculations of each one according to his ability, and according to his needs.

In such an integrated system, each person does not need to do more than what is needed to exist. Each according to his ability and commitment to others must give, according to nature, to the others. So, what will he have? He will have the general life of the whole system, which is called Creator, Emanator. That’s what each and everyone attains.

drawing No. 5

When I receive the minimum from society and I give the maximum to society, then it's as if the system is closed. That’s incorrect, because I receive the minimum sustenance in order to give it that maximum. But besides, I already receive it from the general system. Then, along with the minimum that I need for sustenance, I receive the thought of Creation—the general force of the Creator. That’s what I get. That is called life, real life, not existence. This is not just my mere existence but life. That’s the degree that I rise to by acquiring this system.

drawing No. 6

Consider any cell in a body. It receives what it needs: orders and the materials, and the rest it does for the body by constantly emitting into the body things that the body needs from it. And because of that it lives as a part of the body; it belongs to the body. If any cell is harmed, the whole body feels it and provides the materials and everything in order to take care of it, to help it. If you take that cell and put it on its own, you will see that it is egoistic: it wants to survive. If it is not connected to the body, to the system, it immediately becomes egoistic.

Our problem is that we are detached from the environment. There’s a shield here called my ego, that prevents me from feeling the environment. I don’t feel that I belong to the system. That’s the problem. What do I have? I have, it seems, a great sustenance: I eat, I drink, I take from society everything.

But I do not take the minimum that I need but instead I receive things that are beyond what I need, and that is how I become a cancer, that makes me cancerous.

drawing No. 7

I eat up the environment, so to say: I don't deserve what I receive. That’s called eating of the environment. Each and every one of us functions this way. Therefore, also externally, look what is happening with diseases; just look how common these sicknesses become. People think that’s because of radioactivity, radiation or something. It’s all nonsense! These are all results. The emission of radiation is also the result of our functioning this way.

Question: How can you explain that a child gets cancer?

What is a child, if he came after so many incarnations? What kind of child is he? He is not a child. Don’t look at the age of a person. It’s the result of previously acquired data.

Question: Socialism and communism failed in Russia because it was without a picture of the Creator. On the other hand, you are saying that we don’t need a picture of the Creator. Can't we create communism and then the Creator will appear?

Had socialists and communists in Russia or in Israel acted correctly, then certainly there wouldn’t be any problem to discover the Upper Force in their actions. They didn’t work correctly. We will talk about it. You can’t come to a person and say: "The Creator compels you, this Force compels you, He said so, thus do it." and so on.

You can’t come to a person and say that my faith in the Upper Force now compels me to create communism. It is impossible. Who would agree with you? On the contrary, you have to approach a person and explain in realistic terms. That’s what the wisdom of Kabbalahsays: you have to show realistically that all our systems in this world are altruistic systems, both within the body and in the whole system of nature, except for man, who is the only destructive element, the cancerous element, in the whole system. You can explain that regardless of the Upper Force or of the Creator. Just so people understand and see that it is worth their while.

In the book, the same The Future Generation, soon to be published, Baal HaSulam says that we even have to pay; to hire advertising companies, people who know how to influence, convince the public. We have to take agents and pay them (not because the will burns from within them) to go and explain to the whole world, in a professional way with appropriate words, how the attribute of bestowal is good for them, is worth their while, because we come from Lo Lishma to Lishma.

I am not saying this is the full explanation. There are many questions here. But if you start by approaching a person with the Creator in your hand, that’s a mistake. You should only approach him according to his level. It is not that we are today in an incorrect situation. The actual situation is that we are completely detached from spirituality. That is why we have to turn to him in that same way.

That’s the best strategy for correction because he is not a religious fanatic, and he is not moving towards spirituality because he is subjugated before the Great One. Both of these things are bad.

It’s not good for the creature to discover the Creator. It does not leave the creatures freedom of choice. Orthodox upbringing too is not good for the creatures. It stops the creatures from free development with freedom of choice. It turns out that it is the ordinary person, the non believer, the simple person off the street, a person who has his difficulties and does not understand the world or what his function should be in it, "without a point in the heart," who will hear us.

Question: If for the individual this is not a simple process: he comes and he is repulsed but again he arrives and investigates, then the collective has to have a great power here to succeed in it, in going through this process.

No, on the contrary; the collective is a collection of individuals. If these individuals combine between themselves, they suddenly discover the huge force, the tremendous power that they have. That power, when it combines, is not just multiplied by the number of people in society, in the collective. I am now gathered in the society with twenty more people, so now I am connected to those twenty. I have my own force, plus twenty other forces. But each of these twenty other forces, is also connected to twenty. So we get twenty each: twenty times twenty, that’s four hundred. We start connecting to each other: I connect to all those twenty.

Now I turn to society with the twenty times stronger force that I have which is already me and everyone has this twenty times more power that we all have, so it’s four hundred times four hundred. Just look at the progression that we have here. Each degree to come is so much greater than the previous one. There are several formulae here, mathematical and logarithmic formulae.

Question: We said that each receives the minimum, but each has his own minimum of what he needs. How will you prevent envy?

Guys, when we reach this problem, we’ll work it out. It is written. I am telling you Baal HaSulam writes about it only in note form. He did not publish them as an article. He writes it quite clearly in his notes. We just need to understand it. Still there are actually things that bring up many questions. I can’t say that I understand clearly to the fullest depth and where is that depth? I have questions that actually are still open.

But I see, according to how we advance, that as we advance, we see five yards ahead of us; then we advance those five yards and think, "what's next, how to advance further?" and then see another five yards ahead. It’s like you would use a flashlight to light your way. Therefore, there are questions—you can’t help it. But as we advance, you will see that they become clearer and you’ll understand, by what you experience, how to move on very clearly.

Question: Another question, concerning mercy. How is it expressed? Instead of giving a person a fish you gave him a rod. How does that fit with the definition of mercy? You give a person the Kli to learn, the tools to learn. How does that fit in with the four attributes?

You are talking about our work?

Question (cont.): Instead of giving to a person I’ll teach him that he has to learn in order to receive.

I don’t understand you. You are now in the world of Ein Sof. You come to me as a sick person and tell me that you don’t feel Ein Sof. Then I give you the Kelim and tell you that you need to correct something within yourself. You have to use a screwdriver, you have to weld this here or do that. Correct the system and you will feel you’re in Ein Sof.

How can I do that from the outside? You have to do it on your own. What is the present that I bring you? I bring you just the method as to how to correct yourself. You are in Ein Sof already. I can’t bring you any other gifts because besides that everything is already present: you are in it all the time.

But you have a broken machine, that doesn’t see where it is. It is completely inside the treasure vault, but it can’t feel it. How can I give you anything besides the method, besides the instructions how to correct yourself? That’s what the wisdom of Kabbalah does.

Question: If a person is rich or more respected than other people in the society, does it mean that his desire for money or honor is greater than the one who does not have money or is not respected?

Whoever wants to reach something directly then once he has reached it, (he seemingly reaches it) whatever he reaches then a double desire is built. As it says, "man dies with only half of what he wanted in his hands." That’s because he seemingly gets the Light, and the Light that enters the Kli and can’t enter it. Then the Kli is empty and the Light that seemingly comes and didn’t enter leaves him with a double want—both from the Light and the Kli.

Those who chase—it doesn’t matter what—remain empty, because the Kelim, our vessels of reception were never intended from the beginning to receive and to be filled— ever. Because if the pleasure had even entered the desire, it would neutralize the desire and then you wouldn’t feel any pleasure.

You see the whole world is this way. There is abundance in the world. Tell, me, what’s missing? Once people would live from what we now throw away, as well as enjoy and what not. You go to a store and you don’t know what to buy and there is money to buy. Nobody is really hungry, compared to previous generations. But we are hungrier and sadder than they were.

Take some simple folk: they’re happy and everything is fine. Take a more developed person: he is more frustrated. Add knowledge, you add pain. Of course, we can fill ourselves only through the method of Kabbalah. How to receive? That’s what we have to learn. With what wisdom, how, in what manner are we meant to receive? We are meant to receive, but we have to have the method. It’s not in a direct way, as we may think it should be. Here we don’t have a choice.

Question: So how come not everyone dies rich? I get what I wanted, I get the double desire that I run to attain, then—another double desire. So how come we’re not all dying rich?

People come; each and everyone realizes himself to whatever extent he can, according to his internal and external conditions. You have Reshimot and the influence of the environment: culture, education, school, etc and the pressure of society upon your inner attributes to the extent that you are proud, love physical pleasures, and to what extent you want to be in control etc.

And then with all the inner and external attributes, you will end up realizing yourself to the maximum, I would say in any case, to the optimum. You see how much, in each thing, and to what extent, it is worth your while. You don’t go for all of your desires—you calculate. Here’s some money; here’s some honor; here’s some of this, here’s some of that. In the final analysis, we work according to our desires.

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