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Fake Freedom

Kabbalists relate to our inability to sense the Creator as “concealment of the Creator’s face.” This concealment creates an illusion of freedom to choose between our world and the Creator’s (spiritual) world. If we could see the Creator, if we could really sense the benefits of altruism, we would undoubtedly prefer His world to ours.

His world is a world of giving and of pleasure, but because we do not see the Creator, we do not follow His rules. Instead, we constantly break them. In fact, even if we did know the Creator’s rules but could not see the pain we bring ourselves by breaking them, we would probably still break them. Why? Because of our belief that life is much more enjoyable as an egoist.

Baruch Ashlag, Yehuda Ashlag’s son and a great Kabbalist in his own right, wrote down in a notebook words he’d heard from his father. The notebook was later published under the title, Shamati(I Heard). In one of his notes, he wrote that if we were created by an Upper Force, why don’t we feel this Force? Why is It hidden? If we knew what It wanted of us, we wouldn’t be making mistakes and we wouldn’t be tormented by punishment.

How simple and joyous would life have been if the Creator had been revealed! We wouldn’t doubt His existence and we could recognize His guidance over us and over the whole world. We would know the reason for our creation, see His reactions to our actions, communicate with Him, and ask for His counsel before every act. How beautiful and simple life would be!

Ashlag ends his thoughts with the inevitable conclusion: Our one aspiration in life should be to reveal the Creator.

In Chapter Six, we said that the whole of Nature obeys only one law: The Law of Pleasure and Pain. In other words, everything we do, think, and plan is designed to either increase our pleasure or decrease our pain. We have no freedom in that. But because we are unaware that we are governed by these forces, we think we are free.

However, to be truly free we must first be liberated from the reins of the pleasure-and-pain law. And because our egos dictate what is pleasurable and what is painful, we find that to be free, we must first be freed from our egos.

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