At the outset, it is worthwhile clarifying that what people commonly think of as righteous—as people who give of themselves for the betterment of others, e.g. people who give money, clothes, and food to the needy—such people are not actually righteous.
Why? It is because such people have a natural desire to do good deeds, and instinctively following one’s desires is not a quality of a righteous person.
A righteous person is one who hosts two counter-forces, positive and negative, and who exercises their free choice to raise the positive force and action against their own natural desire.
The negative force is our egoistic desire, which makes us want to benefit ourselves without any concern for anyone else.
The positive force lets us receive what we need for our sustenance, and give the surplus we receive to benefit others, despite the negative force that tells us to take everything for ourselves. A righteous person is one who hosts these two forces, and who elevates the positive force over the negative one.
When we give of ourselves to others against our innate desire to receive for ourselves, we bring correction to our desire: from receiving for ourselves to giving unto others. Our soul, our collective desires, then become filled with a divine light.
If we receive what we need for our sustenance, and give the rest for the benefit of others, then we become great righteous people. Even more so, we become balanced with nature. Holding the right balance in life and with nature means that we leave for ourselves what we need in order to live normal lives, and contribute our surplus to society. It does not mean living merely on bare bodily necessities. We can be healthy and wealthy, and give a lot to others.
We are talking about an inclination in our hearts, and the more this inclination sorts itself out—from evil to good—in our hearts, the more we will see its positive materialization throughout the world.
Based on the video “What Are the Qualities of a Righteous Person?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
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