Our inborn human nature is a desire to receive for personal benefit alone. It is written, “The inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). By nature, we wish to grab, steal and kill for our own benefit, and if we do not reveal such extreme forms of our nature, at the very least, our thoughts are always aimed in the direction of self-benefit.
The question then becomes how much can we change from this nature?
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we learn that only through special exercises can we change ourselves. How does it work? If we are in a society, implement advice and adhere to conditions that kabbalists give us in that society, we then gradually and meticulously change over an extended period of time.
The essence of this transformation is that we start appreciating giving, which is the other side of nature to our inborn receptive one.
Nature consists of two forces: receiving and giving. We are born and raised in a nature of reception. This nature functions like an engine that constantly runs by calculating what is most beneficial for ourselves at every given moment from all possible options. It makes us constantly desire the best for ourselves, to move toward pleasure and move away from pain.
The flip side of our nature is giving. We have no idea what giving is. We know how to give in order to receive, and thus giving within our current nature is always done with the calculation that we will receive more than what we give. That is not the giving that is on nature’s other side.
Giving on the other side of nature means giving without anything in return, just like how we now wish to receive without giving anything in return.
If we add this ability to ourselves, then we would be able to see reality for what it truly is. We would then be able to view reality as forces of giving that exist between us and pass from one person to another, and in multiple directions all at once—filling the space between us like an ocean of light. In other words, we would attain a clear perception and sensation of the eternal and perfect spiritual reality.
Based on the video “What Is the Essence of Spiritual Transformation?” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
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