Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
We live within laws of nature, which develop us according to a certain plan in order to reach a destination where we will harmoniously connect with each other and discover the positive force of love, giving and connection that dwells in nature.
Toward that happy ending, nature created us in an opposite quality to its own—as egoists, while nature and its laws operate altruistically—in order for us to develop a realization of our egoistic nature as flawed, and come to want an inversion to a new altruistic nature, which accords with nature’s laws.
We thus have a period in our development when we grow through our egoistic desires, enjoying materialistically for our own personal pleasure, and another period when we start feeling increasing emptiness in our constant pursuit for self-benefit. The latter feeling characterizes our current era.
Today, we experience our egoistic desires reaching a threshold where they can no longer be satisfied like they used to. We developed through desires for food, sex, family, money, honor, control and knowledge, and today we feel increasingly short-lived fulfillments at these levels. As a result, we bear witness to rising depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety, drug abuse and suicide, i.e., all kinds of phenomena that stem from our desires feeling emptier, that we cannot be meaningfully satisfied by the smorgasbord of available pleasures.
We are thus at a crossroad between our outdated egoistic mode of enjoying ourselves, the need to grow out of our egoistic attitude to life and to acquire a new altruistic mode of relating to each other, which is congruent with nature’s laws.
At this crossroad, we still find many people who cling onto an approach of “I have my job. I don’t steal. I pay my taxes. I’m a good citizen. And yes, I enjoy life. I travel overseas with my family, I visit Disneyland, go to all kinds of restaurants, and so on. What’s bad about that?”
We see, however, that it is still insufficient. Moreover, there is a mind, plan and laws of nature that operate beyond our egoistic minds’ reach, and according to that higher plan, we need to grow up, to learn how it works, and how we can apply its laws to our own attitudes and connections.
Our egoism, however, rejects the higher plan and laws. In this respect, we are like small children who reach a certain age where they have to leave behind their pacifier or various toys, and they want to hold onto them at any cost, crying and crying if they are taken away.
Therefore, we do not want to recognize and understand these new laws. Why? It is because in our egoistic modus operandi, we fail to see how we can enjoy life according to an altruistic paradigm, i.e., where we switch our primary attitude of self-benefit to benefiting others.
There is no problem with enjoying the many pleasures of life, like eating well, making money, traveling and going to good restaurants, and so on and so forth. It is just that while we immerse ourselves in those corporeal pleasures, we are not advancing in accordance with the higher plan that was prepared for us, i.e., to the true meaning and purpose of our lives. We fail to develop our emotion and intellect to a whole other level that nature’s laws lay out: the sensation of an eternal and perfect reality where pleasure flows abundantly, unbounded by the constraints of our narrow egoistic perceptions, and where we all experience completely harmony and bliss.
There is thus nothing wrong with enjoying the many pleasures of life. But we need to acknowledge the existence of a plan that is higher than us, and that we are in a certain stage of development where we will have to grow out of our current narrow egoistic worldviews and start feeling a new eternal and perfect reality with the positive altruistic force of nature enlivening our connections.