Rising Above the Ego to a New Level of Consciousness
Questions Answered by Kabbalist Michael Laitman on his Weekly Live TV Show, “Ask the Kabbalist”
Q: After reading one of your books, I realized that all my actions are directed by the inner formula of “the will to receive”: getting maximum benefit with minimal effort. Yet, I still wonder: Do I have any say in what happens to me? Can I influence anything in my life?
A: Your realization is completely correct: “The will to receive” is, indeed, a very powerful force that exists within us and motivates everything we do. And from this perspective, it does seem as if we are helpless, like puppets pulled by strings.
However, we do have the ability to rise above this level of existence: The trick is to learn how to use “the will to receive” or the ego correctly. This means using it in order to attain the spiritual goal. By so doing, we don’t try to eliminate the ego, but instead learn how to use it correctly, without harming ourselves or others.
Studying Kabbalah helps us rise above the ego’s formula and take matters into our own hands. This is done by developing a higher level of consciousness, called “intention.” On that level, we are not focused on “what am I doing?” but rather “why am I doing?” We begin exploring a completely new realm, hidden from the five senses and broader than the ego’s field of view, called “the spiritual world.” Here, we can freely determine the nature of our actions and learn how to use the ego’s force to our advantage.
Q: I also understood that we are completely governed by inborn qualities and the values we receive from society. In other words, we are like robots following a program. Are you now saying that the “intention” allows us to run the program rather than follow it?
A: Exactly. Without the intention, we act according to predetermined qualities that we did not choose, and we constantly respond to external influences that we cannot control. We behave much like robots that react to incoming data according to their programs, with every response predictable.
However, having an intention gives us a completely new point of view. It allows us to observe ourselves from a place that is free from the program’s control. Kabbalists call this place a “point in the heart,” and explain that it’s the beginning of our connection with the Upper Force that governs us—the Creator.
Q: So how do I know if I have that “point in the heart”?
A: Everyone has it, but in some of us, it is still buried deep under other desires, dormant. You know that your point in the heart has awakened, or surfaced, when you start having questions like: “What am I living for?” “What is the reason for everything that happens?” and “Where does it all end?”
These questions come from the point in the heart and are answered from a higher level of existence, where we are connected with the source of life. And as was already mentioned, “the point in the heart” is our initial connection with the Source of life, the Creator. That is why it raises questions about the source and purpose of everything.
Kabbalah is a method that’s intended specifically to help us answer the questions that come from “the point in the heart.” Once you start using this method, you gradually expand this inner point into a higher level of consciousness, connecting to the Creator more and more. In the process, a completely new picture of reality opens up before you.