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July 24, 2024

Archive for August 20, 2009

Who Are You A Slave To?

From Today’s Daily Lesson:


Question: Martin from Czechoslovakia is writing, “I don’t understand why someone would want to reach such a state. Why would I want to nullify myself before someone I don’t know, and who sends me suffering?” He adds another sentence, “If I’m a thief, then at least I can be proud of that, but who wants to be a slave?”

Answer by Rav Michael Laitman, PhD: I agree with him. I have no problem in saying that he’s right. “A person’s pride will humiliate him.” The matter is in defining what is it to be a “slave,” what is it to be a “man,” what is it to be a “woman,” what is it to be a “thief,” etc. It’s a matter of definition.

“Slave” means knowing that the will to receive now controls me. That it controls, and not that I’m the landlord. I firstly differentiate myself from my ego, and see that this ego controls me. I want to see like this or like that, and my nature comes and makes of me whatever it wants. I see how this occurs in humanity: We want to try, to be in something different, but we’re incapable. Our nature conquers us and makes of us everything.

So I’m a slave to my nature, right? A slave. So he can already stop thinking that he’s a man, and that he’s free. He’s not free, but he’s blind to that. He doesn’t see how he’s completely addicted to his nature, and that he’s a beast carrying out commands. That’s one thing.

The other thing is that if he were to know that this slavery he’s currently in ruins him and eats away at him, then that would end his life without any compensation. If he’d look at it properly, then he’d understand that there might be another state, that it’s possible to exit it. It doesn’t matter what state he’d enter into, but the main thing is that he’d exit his current state. Why wouldn’t it matter what state he’d enter into? We hate the state of bestowal a lot, but I need to hate my current state more than the state of bestowal, so how do I do it?

So he’s right. I don’t know who the second landlord is. I only have the opportunity to sell myself to this second one, and thus I’d disconnect from the first. So I need to choose between them – that’s my choice. If by doing so, I don’t feel myself as turning into a slave of the second essence, of bestowal, then it’s not a decision.

Decision – I’m free in that I can choose between the two. Suddenly one identifies oneself within a very small range, a decision of whom to belong to, and thus begins his work. It’s a very internal, psychological thing that a person goes through, and he begins understanding that he’s sold to one or to the other. He begins building himself in that. There are many things here. That’s already the middle line.

Taken from today’s daily lesson, on Baal HaSulam’s 18th Igeret (Letter) from 1926.

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