There is No Coercion in Spirituality
Interview with Journalist Sharon Atia
July 18, 2005
What is the life of a Kabbalist? First of all, for him it is an
ordinary life. Why is it ordinary? Because there is a law in Kabbalah
that states “There is no coercion in spirituality.” Everything
happens only according to what action one feels is correct. From
outside, it is impossible to impose anything upon a person. So you
may find a thousand and one books filled with advice, various laws
and customs, all of which has absolutely nothing to do with the truth.
Kabbalah says nothing about how a Kabbalist should behave.
A Kabbalist simply acts the way he does. His only concern is to
attract upon himself the Upper Light, the Upper energy. This is a
Light that Reforms, that is, it changes a person, his nature. And
when one changes internally then accordingly, his behavior becomes
different as well.
No one can tell a Kabbalist how to behave in advance. A Kabbalist is
occupied with attracting upon himself a Light that Reforms. Later,
naturally, without any coercion or orders directed at him, a Kabbalist
becomes better by himself.
In essence, this is what Kabbalists teach others. Any other manner
of behavior that restrains a person, without correcting him or her
is false. For when one is ready, he does not reject or ‘run away’
from it. We see how ineffective this is in our world, as opposed to
a Kabbalistic education.
A Kabbalistic education is not based on suppression or habit that
becomes a second nature. The Kabbalistic method helps to change the
very essence of a person; one is transformed from an egoist into an
altruist, from a receiver into a giver. It is in this manner that one
becomes like the Creator: Good and Doeth good for the righteous and
for the wicked. One loves the creatures for now this is his nature.
Therefore, in spreading the science of Kabbalah, we simply introduce
people to it. People are not obligated in any way nor do we engage in
propaganda. Everything is based solely on what one desires.
Question: Can someone who does not study Kabbalah be a
Kabbalist? I mean someone who does study it a few hours a day. He
is simply a nice person.
No. There is no such thing as a naturally good person. Absolutely all
of us consist of the same material with its essence being the desire
for enjoyment. We all are egoists. And it is impossible that someone
is "good" and he or she does not need to correct his or her nature.
This is first. Secondly, is possible to change one's nature without
studying the science of Kabbalah? Clearly, it is impossible.
By studying I mean that a person directs his thought, will, and effort
towards a certain Goal, the essence of which Kabbalah explains to him
beforehand. A person focuses on this Goal much like a person who aims
to achieve something in this world. One literally evokes from this
future state the power that pulls him there. This power is called a
Light that Reforms.
To the extent to which one tries to achieve this Goal, and desires
to see his corrected state, the Upper Force "radiates" the light
from there onto him and draws him closer. For this, in essence, one
does not need to study. Any person, after seeing a film on Kabbalah,
listening to a talk, or being around people who talk about Kabbalah
can advance this way.
In general, one can be in a society where he is attracted to the
ideals of Kabbalah, such as the correction of oneself, the possibility
of reaching eternity and perfection, and the "opening of eyes" that
allows one to sense the Upper reality. As a person reflects upon
this, he comes closer to such a state.
Not all the world will study the science of Kabbalah, drawing closer
to the Purpose of creation with its help. Everybody must reach this
Goal, however, literally just a few study Kabbalah. They aspire to
understand, realize, and investigate nature. The rest do not; they
will be a part of this movement in various forms.
Question: Each according to the root of his or her soul?
Each according to the root of his or her soul and in accordance with
the principle that there is no coercion in the spiritual.
Question: Do you believe that a group of Kabbalists should
become the leaders of a certain commune? And even isolate themselves,
live in some special neighborhoods?
I do not think that this can be implemented, and I do not believe this
is right. I do not think that any form of isolation and estrangement
from the society, nation, state, and the entire world is good.
Kabbalists must work, exert effort in the circulation of the science
of Kabbalah, and through this invoke the correction of the entire
world and the attainment of the desired Goal. And this is why we are
not talking about escaping the world in order to make one's life
better. On the contrary: we work hard in this world explaining to
mankind the science of Kabbalah and the essence of its methodology.
And indeed, this method serves as a remedy against all of our
It should also be explained that today we are slaves of our egoism,
our desire to enjoy. However, we also can become slaves of altruism,
the desire to bestow, and we will not be able to "run away" from it.
Bestowal can be one's nature too. The Creator sees no difference
between one and the other. However, a person has the possibility
to choose another form of existence in bestowal, in freedom.
Then, neither egoism nor altruism are imposed upon him. Rather, he
is free and governs the forces of reception and bestowal himself,
rules over the world instead of the Creator.
Question: In essence, you claim that not everyone has to wake
at three in the morning in order to study Kabbalah?
In the article "The Last Generation" Baal HaSulam writes that only
a small group of people selected by the entire society will study
the science of Kabbalah, the Higher teaching. Besides them, all the
rest of the people will continue their regular business, work, etc.
As it is in our days: how many people really study the teaching about
Question: So it follows that society's support of the people
who study will lead to the correction of the society itself?
Yes. For today it is enough that 99.99% of humankind enjoys the fruit
of labor of scientists and various inventors who discover things.
All the rest are simply doing their job.
The same applies to the science of Kabbalah, the same pyramid. A
minority exists at its peak, and it must engage in research and in
"high" matters. And the rest do not want this at the beginning; they
have no need for it.
This is why if people are given a possibility to do what they want,
everything will fall into place by itself, in accordance with a
natural pyramid in which we all differ from each other. For all of
us are only a certain qualitative pyramid of the desire within the
Question: Does it not contradict with what is said that
every person has to be interested in the science of Kabbalah?
This is correct. Let all be interested and allocate time for this,
but for each to his measure. There are people who devote their time
for working in some factory or the fields. But this does not mean
anything. It helps them to buy a TV and enjoy
contemporary life, although they are engaged in production as did
people 5000 years ago.
Meaning, there is a measure of quantitative and qualitative
participation in the common work of a person, and the degree of his
willful participation depends on the structure of his soul. Once
again: the law is that there is no coercion in spirituality. This
is an "iron" law because the science of Kabbalah is, exclusively,
the revelation of the natural program instilled in nature. This is
why as far as man is concerned, there cannot be any coercion or
compulsion: one person dictating to the other. Everything has to
come from within each person.
We only reveal what is laid in nature. Thus, on one hand, there can
be no coercion. And from the other hand, how will everything fall
into places? This will happen naturally.
Question: So, in essence, we are already in this state.
There is a group of Kabbalists—Bnei Baruch—who study around the
No. The problem is that in addition to this group, the entire world
has to realize this Goal and correlate with it somehow, each at
certain level of agreement with it.
Question: Can this manifest as for instance, in giving
Including financial support; it does not matter in what way. It is
true, even today there are people whose agreement with this is
expressed only in this form. All of this is described in Baal
HaSulam's article "The Last Generation."
Question: Can you give some numbers?
Question: How many Kabbalists should be engaged in the
No, the number of Kabbalists is not important. What is important is
that all the rest of the people acknowledge and accept this Goal.
You asked me how involved they have to be in this. Maybe one can
simply agree with this in general, without studying it and being
part of it. But a person must acknowledge and consent.
This is why there should be a general correction of the entire world.
Each person, all of humanity must accept this; it is not only a
certain group of people that has to study.
Question: So you claim that Kabbalah has to be an accepted
Kabbalah has to be an idea shared by the entire world. It must become
the goal of each human being and the entirety of humankind. It is
necessary that the Creator – this Upper force that we are approaching,
clinging to, merging with, that we belong to, and acquire its
properties—became the Goal for all of us. This has to be known and
clear to everybody.
Question: Basically, you assert that Kabbalists are scientists,
who have remedy for all of humanity. The rest of the society has
to support them from outside and not necessarily be an active
element in this process…
There is no such word as "must." To the extent one desires it he
becomes a participant. But to what extent does a person participate
in this, after this is known to all? A person becomes part of this
to the degree to which he reveals this desire within himself.
Question: So they should be supported, a least externally,
based on our desire? You said that the society must develop a desire
You know, there is no such word as "must." We are talking about
something else. I explain to the entire world what the science of
Kabbalah is, and they understand it. Then everyone, according to
the root of his or her soul yearns for it, realizes it, aspires to
it, and exists in it. For this is how a person realizes his soul!
He molds his soul according to the Upper Force and fills it with
the eternal life.
Question: First of all, everybody has to know about it?
There is no other problem except for all to know about it. This is
exclusively a problem of education. That is, if each would reveal
what his or her life is, what is in store for him, the reason for
his misfortunes and how to avoid it, and come to Good.
Question: It follows that it can happen that a person will
study Kabbalah according to his desire for 24 h a day, while the
other will listen about it just a bit on a radio and this will be
enough for his or her correction?
Yes, correct. One person, according to his nature, will want to be
in it day and night, while the other will say: "This is wonderful.
I completely agree with this." And this is enough for him.
Question: does this mean that a person who simply listens
to a lesson and supports this idea…
He already has a relation to it.
Question: So a person already reaches this adhesion that we
are talking about now?
No. Once again, a person has to clearly know what he wants to
achieve. And this acquired knowledge will compel him, in a form
that won't be forced upon him from outside, to act in this world in
a way that is sufficient to merge with the Upper Force.
Question: Does someone who studies Kabbalah have a certain
A Kabbalist must work; live a normal earthly life knowing why he is
doing all of this—in order to reach a certain Goal.
Question: Can a non-Jew become a Kabbalist?
All people will come to correction and acquire altruistic properties
of love for the neighbor. By this, they naturally will become
Kabbalists. Who is a Kabbalist? A Kabbalist is he who changed his
nature and becomes similar to the Creator.
Question: Should there be a certain confirmation from above
that a person became like this or a person confirms this himself
No, this is not required. When a person becomes equivalent to the
Creator in his inner state, by correcting himself, then by committing
the act of correction he becomes a Kabbalist.