Imagine a man sitting alone in a dark room. He does not know how he got there. He cannot see anything around him. He thinks he is so unlucky, and that his situation could not be any worse. Now imagine he finds a flashlight and turns it on. Slowly, he scans the room and sees that he is surrounded by treasure. There are diamonds and gold. There are books, too. And a huge assortment of food – anything he could possibly want, really! He starts to realize that he has so much more than he originally thought. He just couldn’t see it. The room has not changed in any way, but his perception of the room has.
Like the man in the dark room, we sometimes feel our reality is difficult and negative. Yet, as Rav Ashlag explains in his writings on the Ten Luminous Emanations, the Light of the Creator is around us always, even if we can’t see it. Just because we can’t feel it sometimes, it does not mean it isn’t there. The Light is unchanging, and so it is our perception of the Light that must change.
We often talk about the process our souls need to go through in order to earn the Light of the Creator. We talk about transforming our selfish Desire to Receive for the Self Alone into a Desire to Receive for the Sake of Sharing. But it is important to note that the Creator does not wish to give us any more or less Light based on our level of Desire. He does not see us as good or bad, positive or negative. The Creator wants to send us blessings regardless of who we are or what we have done, and those blessings are around us always. The spiritual work, and the process of transformation that we go through, is to allow us to pick up the flashlight and see the blessings.
One of the core principles of Kabbalah is that we are meant to become like the Creator – unified in thought and action. If we understand that the Creator does not judge us and only wants to share with us endlessly, then this is a valuable lesson for how we should live our lives. In order to become like the Creator, we must think and act like He does. This means we should be concerned with how we can share with those around us more, and how we can judge them less. The ultimate goal is to get to a place where we no longer see the bad in other people at all!
There is a story in the Torah about the twin brothers, Jacob and Esau. Esau is born first, and therefore is the legal heir to his family’s inheritance, but he has no interest in spiritual things. Because Esau is not a holy man, he willingly sells his inheritance to Jacob. Yet, Esau is their father, Isaac’s, favorite son. How could it be, that a soul as spiritually elevated as Isaac, doesn’t see that his son is concerned only with matters of the physical world, and is not a spiritual person? Isaac does not see negativity in Esau, not because he is blind, but because Isaac’s soul is so elevated that he only sees good in him. Esau has his own process that he must go through, just like we all do, but it is not for Isaac to judge his son, only to love him.
How do we get to this level where we no longer see the negativity in other people? It takes hard work. There is no “one way” that people have to live. People connect to the Light in different ways, and everyone has their own unique challenges to face. The more that we practice loving instead of judging, the more we align our thoughts with the Creator. Whenever we put in the effort to see good in someone else and not to see bad, we can connect to the Endless Light.
The Creator does not see negativity in us and loves us endlessly, just like Isaac loved Esau. That is the powerful example that we must strive to emulate with each other. This is the tool that shines a light in the darkness to reveal the blessings that surround us always.