It’s Not Easy Admitting You’re An Egoist
Why is it so difficult to admit that I am egoist and
to find the evil within me?
Because a person is a living being, he possesses a
protective force. He has to protect himself, his life, his nature, and his "I"
similar to how the peel (Klipa) protects an apple as long as it grows.
If there is a defect in the peel, then the apple rots without ever reaching the
state of ripeness. Therefore, the peel must always be there to protect it.
The ego is Klipa and must be
protected as long as the desire within it grows. When the desire contained
within becomes full, then the Klipa can be removed and the
desire (the fruit contained within) used. Therefore, as long as we grow, our
egoism constantly protects us by not allowing us to realize the evil because
that evil is still insufficient. If there were no Klipa, we would
cry and scream to the Creator like a small child who cries and calls out to his
mother over every little occurrence that happens to him.
Our ego locks us up from within, making us a "stony
heart" and preventing us from asking the Creator for correction. A person says,
"I am a man and I won't ask You for anything. Moreover, You will do whatever I
want." Thus, we oppose the Creator and wage a power struggle with Him. This is
why Pharaoh said, "Who is the Creator that I should listen to His voice?" We
want the Creator to do everything that we desire. We don't turn to Him with a
request, but with a demand.
Indeed, the demand has to be present, but it has to
come from the full, ripe ego, the "evil inclination." Reaching this takes time
because it's very difficult for a person to come to accept the fact that he is
an egoist. Nevertheless, eventually, under the Light's influence, one reaches
the breaking point, a state called "the gate of tears" where a person feels
that he has nothing.
At that point, a person is ready for anything. He says
to the Creator, "Do what you will. I don't care if I don't receive anything. I
don't care if I have nothing. Just let me stop being who I am! Take away
everything, but please take me out of this state! I cannot stand it any longer
because I am opposite to bestowal." This is the internal crisis point that has
to become revealed in a person.
The Upper Court Asks Just One Question
What should I do if out of an entire hour of
reading The Zohar I could only spend a few seconds thinking about the
Surrounding Light that brings me correction?
This is not good. There's a legend about a person who
dies and goes to the upper court of judgment. There he is asked, "Did you
engage in Torah and await salvation?" You won't be asked anything else there
but this. The Torah refers to the Light that Reforms. So did you desire this or
not? After all, this was the only reason you were sent to this world. This is
the only thing that counts out of your entire life.
You may be studying Kabbalah and have a burning
desire, but that is not your own accomplishment. It was given to you by the
Creator. He brought you to the Kabbalistic group and gave you the means. But
what happened afterward? What did you yourself do within the system that
influenced you? Did you desire salvation, correction? This is what you will
have to answer.
After we have just completed reading The
Zohar today, are you able to say that you were inside what was being
read? It's too late to think about this during the study itself because
everything depends on the preparation. You have to come to the lesson prepared,
burning with desire and demand, as if you are coming to a doctor and asking
him, "Doctor, give me some kind of medicine! Otherwise it's all over for me,
that's how bad I feel!" When you come to the lesson with this mindset, you
await salvation during the study. But if you initially came there without a
demand to receive medicine because you don't feel your evil, your egoism, and
your inability to unite with the friends, and if you aren't looking for love
for your neighbor, then you won't remember about it during the study either.
You have to reveal these deficiencies, your evil
inclination, even before you open The Zohar because when you open
up The Zohar it will already be too late to change anything.
Our entire work takes place during the preparation. Everything depends on it
The pain must already be felt inside you in order for
you to desire to soothe it with The Zohar, instead of trying to
artificially remember that at this time you are "supposed to" ask for a
connection with your neighbor. You can't deceive the Creator. He reads what is
in your heart and sees such a deep inner desire that you don't even suspect it is
there. Meanwhile, He considers: Should He give you an answer to this desire or
not? If it assists your spiritual advancement and creates the middle line
within you, then the Light helps you. But if not, then the Light pushes you
forward from the opposite side through suffering until you finally connect
everything together correctly and receive the true answer.