Q: I study Kabbalah and I feel that my whole life is changing: my thoughts, my feelings, my relationships with people, but it all seems strange. You read, and you suddenly begin to understand everything as something uniform. You realize that the Creator created this world so that it would come back to Him. The more the state is exalted, the more you feel your own corruption. Am I studying correctly?
A: Right now, you are going through some of the least pleasant situations:
You’re drifting from one mood to the next, from high spirits to depression. This way your vessel expands, acquiring the contradictory emotions that are now becoming a part of it. You seemingly acquire the edges of your vessel. Later on, you’ll be able to feel different things in it. When these feelings are in you, they’ll be a part of you; they’ll be yours.
You are also being shown how little you can be yourself, how controlled you are by your moods, how dependent you are on the smallest change in your disposition. This is you and this is your world.
You realize that you are easily controlled from Above, that you’re not independent, that you’re at the hands of an Upper Power that you can’t quite feel.
Out of these situations you’ll begin to reevaluate your previous life, your views, yourself.
These states can last many months. In the end, you’ll stop seeing them as good or bad and relate them to your own personal feelings. Instead, you will begin to evaluate them as closer or farther from Him. That will be the measurement by which you’ll determine whether a situation is good or bad.
You’ll stop responding to how pleasurable your sensations are, and your feelings about them will “die.” You’ll stop relating to these situations as pleasurable or painful and you’ll be able to define them objectively. Then, you will already be nearing the barrier. About the rest, we’ll talk later on…
Keep in mind that you must try to learn a lot, and must study when you are in ascent; you must try not to lose the contact between yourself and the Creator. The minute you move from thinking about the Creator to thinking about yourself, the minute you start to think that you like it here in this situation, instead of thinking about how that situation is near the Creator, which makes it good, is when you’ll begin to fall.
But it will take time before you discover that you’ve fallen, perhaps days. All sins happen during ascents, when you fall from above. When you are in descent, there is nothing one can demand of you because you are weak and detached from spirituality. You are like an animal—depressed and simply enduring life. The habit of systematic study, of participating in a study group, helps accelerate your exit from the fall.