Q: You once wrote that man couldn’t assess his own mental state. You said that to diagnose it correctly, he should exit his current situation, change it and only then be able to see what kind of mood he was in.
I think there are two problems here: The first is that in his new situation, he will have to go back to the past, meaning he cannot live in the present. The second is that if he cannot evaluate his situation, he is in fact captivated in that situation, a slave to his own state.
A: It is obvious that man cannot objectively diagnose the current spiritual state he is in, because he always diagnoses it out from whatever desire currently affects him. So how does one evaluate one’s mental state?
We cannot evaluate our own situations correctly, but at the same time we cannot believe other people because they, too, are controlled by their desires.
Q: Practically speaking, man should see what he must do at any given moment. But sometimes he doesn’t know how to react to what happens to him. Should he remain passive and wait for a situation to go away, or should he try to react, to mend at all costs?
A: Only the Creator knows and only He can give the answer. We must turn to Him with this request and demand an answer. In Kabbalah it is called going “above reason,” meaning above our knowledge and understanding.
Every step we make, if it is genuine, should make us rise to the next degree. But the thoughts and desires in the next degree are not just opposite to the ones in the current degree; they are completely different!
Q: But still, how do you attain the next spiritual state?
A: This is what happens during the search for an answer from the Creator: there is a certain act in the spiritual world, whereby the lower part of the Upper Partzuf (spiritual entity) descends to the upper part of the lower Partzuf. The Higher Partzuf is called “Creator,” and the lower Partzuf is called “Creature,” man’s current degree.
In other words, man should try to feel with all his might that part of the Upper Partzuf, which is in him, and hold on to it. He should ignore all other thoughts, or go against his thoughts and desires and accept those of the Upper One. Then, the Superior Degree raises man to its level.
From that, we learn that our entire inner content, our thoughts and desires are given to us in order for us to rise upward through them.