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August 11, 2022

The Only Way to Successfully Overcome Egotism

The Only Way to Successfully Overcome Egotism

Corporeal Distractions Conceal the Spiritual Reality

Our entire reality has been especially created in order to distract us from perceiving the spiritual worlds. A thousand thoughts constantly distract us from our aim, and the more we try to concentrate, the greater the obstacles we experience.

The only remedy against all these obstacles is the Creator. This is His purpose in creating them—so we will turn to the Creator in search of the path for personal salvation.

Just as we attempt to distract young children with fairy tales while feeding them, so the Creator, in order to lead us to the good, is forced to embed the altruistic truth into egoistic causes, so that we will want to experience the spiritual. Then, once having experienced it, we ourselves will want to partake of this spiritual food.

 

From the Teacher and Fellow Students to the Creator

The entire path of our rectification is constructed on the principle of uniting with the Creator, of connection with spiritual objects, so as to acquire from them their spiritual qualities. Only while in contact with the spiritual are we able to partake from it.

For this reason, it is very important to have a teacher and fellow classmates in pursuit of the same goal: even in daily contact, unnoticeable for oneself, and therefore without being impeded by the body, one can acquire spiritual desires. Notably, the more one strives to be with those who have elevated spiritual goals, the greater the chance that one will be influenced by their thoughts and desires.

Since a real effort is considered to be the one that is done against the desires of the body, it is easier to make the effort if there is a set example, and many are doing it, even if it seems unnatural. (The majority determines consciousness; where everyone is naked, as in a sauna or in a “primitive” society, it takes no effort to shed one’s clothing.)

But a group of friends and a teacher are only helpful tools. In the process of spiritual ascent, the Creator will still make certain that a person will be forced to turn for help only to Him.

 

The Spiritual Ascent from Below to Above

Why is there both a written Torah, the written form of spiritual laws—like the Bible—and an oral one? The answer is simple: the written form gives us the descriptions of spiritual processes that are carried out from above to below. It relays only this process, though it employs the language of the narrative, of historical chronicles and of legal documents, the language of prophecy and of Kabbalistic learning.

But the main purpose for the giving of the spiritual laws is for the spiritual ascent of a person from below to above, to the Creator Himself, and this is an individual path for each person, a path determined by the qualities and particularities of the individual soul.

Thus, each person comprehends the ascent along the levels of the spiritual realms in one’s own way. The revelation of the spiritual laws from below to above to the individual is called the “oral Torah,” because there is neither need nor possibility to give a single version of it to every person. Each one should grasp it individually by praying to the Creator (orally).

 

Acquiring the Strength to Overcome Egoism

All the efforts expended by us in studying and working on self-improvement are needed only so that we will realize our helplessness, and turn to the Creator for help. But we cannot evaluate our own actions, and call out to the Creator for help, until we feel a need for that help.

The more we study and work on ourselves, the greater our grievances against the Creator.

Even though, ultimately, help emanates from the Creator, we will not receive it without praying for it. Thus, the one who wishes to progress forward should exert one’s efforts in all possible actions, while the one who sits and waits is described as a “fool, who sits with arms folded and gnaws at himself.”

An “effort” is defined as anything that the individual does against the desires of the body, irrespective of what action it is. For example, if an individual sleeps in spite of the desires of the body, this is an effort. But the main problem lies in the fact that an individual always anticipates a reward for efforts made. To overcome egoism, one must strive to make an effort without being compensated for it.

One should, therefore, ask the Creator for strength to do so, because the body cannot work without a reward. But just as a master who loves his craft thinks only of his craft while working, and not the reward, so one who loves the Creator desires strength to suppress egoism. In this way, one would be closer to the Creator because the Creator wishes it, and not because, as a result of the closeness, the person will receive unbounded pleasure.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondThe Only Way to Successfully Overcome Egotism” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.

  

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