A student asked me how I realized that I wanted to stay with my teacher, RABASH, and become his disciple. There is a very clear answer to this question, which the sages of the Talmud articulated thousands of years ago: “One does not learn except from the place where one’s heart desires” (Avoda Zarah 19a). Or, in three words: Follow your heart.
I spent many years looking for the teacher who would answer my deepest questions: Where does life come from? What is life for? What is the meaning of life?
I studied bio-cybernetics because I thought I would find the answer in that specific science. I knew that I would not find it in physics or in any other science, so I picked bio-cybernetics because it explains how organic systems work, how organisms are built. I had hoped that I could learn through science about life’s program, the essence of life.
I was disillusioned. I came out with a few formulas about the operations of systems, and zero answers about the makeup of life and, mostly, where it is aiming. All my years of scientific learning taught me that each organism sustains itself and strives to secure its existence, and that is it. There was nothing there about why bodies should sustain themselves. Anything that could not be measured was not there; it was irrelevant to science, but that is exactly the essence of life, and that was what I wanted to know.
Therefore, once I graduated from university, I worked for some time as a scientist, but I was already looking elsewhere. I dabbled in various philosophies, though nothing mystical or esoteric, but closer to science, following my own nature, which insists on solid proof.
Clearly, when I found the wisdom of Kabbalah, I was overjoyed. Finally, I had found a teaching that explained everything clearly, methodically, and rationally! I had found a wisdom where faith does not mean blind belief in the words of another flesh-and-blood person, but the force of bestowal that one must acquire in order to know what it is.
Kabbalah taught me that unless I attained what was written in the books, I didn’t understand anything and didn’t have anything but empty words. I liked the fact that there are no compromises; you either grasp it to the fullest or you grasp none of it and you leave as empty-handed as you came into it.
To me, that was the key: the truth in it. I found in it what I had been looking for. I came ready, knowing what I wanted to find, and only when I saw that I was getting what I wanted, I decided to stay.
This is the key principle in searching for a teacher: Know what you want. If you know what you want, you will recognize it when you see it, and then you will know that you are in the right place for you. This is true for Kabbalah as it is true for anything else we might want.
Over time, wants may change and what seems right today may not seem right tomorrow. This does not mean that you made the wrong choice; it means that you’ve changed, and this is a good sign—a sign of life and growth.
The important point is that you must stay alert, always examine what it is you want, and search for it relentlessly. Remember, “One does not learn except from the place where one’s heart desires.”
To know more about my experiences with my teacher, read my latest publication, Always with Me.