Why not have it ALL ?!
by Robert Kashani
Once upon a time a rich man happens to see a poor man across the street, sleeping in a cardboard box, accompanied with his wife and three children. His heart goes out for him, and he decides to go completely out of his nature. The rich man retrieves his most prized possession - an antique, blue diamond - worth millions of dollars. With a cheerful countenance, and a smile across his face he gently wakes up the poor man, and places the priceless gem in his hand.
The poor man sits up, looks at the rock, and then throws it back at the rich man. "I don't want this diamond. I'm hungry. I want pizza!"
The rich man tries to reason with his poor friend. He informs him of the jewel's true value, and he directs him towards places where he could sell the diamond.
The rock gets thrown on the floor again. "I want pizza! I want pizza! And I want it now!"
The rich man tries again. He kindly explains to the pauper that he could easily sell the diamond and buy enough pizza that would last him his entire life. The rock gets thrown across the street, "Now! Now! I want pizza now! The rich man gives up. He walks into Luigee's pizzeria down the block, orders ten pies, and delivers it to the poor man.
Is the poor man truly happy?
Maybe for the moment. He received pleasure from the pizza, but he didn't receive it ALL. Without a doubt he received a moment of satisfaction. He received something, but he didn't receive EVERYTHING.
In life, even the most spiritual of us settles for just the pizza. Just a house, just a lot of money, just a healthy body. Even in our spiritual quest we become satiated with that pizza. We experiment with spirituality, incorporate a spiritual concept in our lives, and it works! But then, for whatever reason, we become satiated, and we stop climbing, we stop searching. We become satiated with the pizza, which tastes very good, but it was a trick, because we have forgotten about the diamond.
The spiritual teaching of Kabbalah teaches that the goal of life is to receive it ALL - nothing more and nothing less. It's interesting that the definition of "Kabbalah" means "Receiving." In fact, this is the Creator's greatest wish.
You see, our Creator is an endless source of energy - the energy of fulfillment, the energy of happiness, the energy of pleasure, and the freedom of all types of chaos. The Kabbalists teach us that the Creator is begging us not to be satiated with just the pizza. Have the pizza, eat it and benefit from it, but keep your eye on the diamond. Grasp it, and place it next to your heart. When you possess this diamond - when you possess this Wisdom - you are now empowered to purchase to your heart's content.
But your desire to receive can not be for the self alone. True joy is never achieved through selfishness. Maybe only for the moment, maybe only pizza pies. But in order to receive endlessly, we have to constantly bring the Creator into our lives.
Kabbalah teaches us that our Creator, who is only sharing, is like a magnet towards any consciousness of sharing that is present in this physical world. Therefore, when our desires our occupied with doing more for others than what we did yesterday, the Creator then becomes like that magnet towards us, and rushes in to fulfill our voids. The secret recipe for receiving it ALL dwells in this concept of sharing - thoughts of sharing, actions of sharing, sharing with people we know, sharing with people we don't know. And above all is the ultimate sharing - sharing with our Creator, as exemplified in the following kabbalistic tale.
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Once upon a time there was a rich man whose greatest joy in life came from imparting his vast wealth unto those that were less fortunate than him. It was the highlight of his life. He loved to share his money with others, since it would fulfill him with an indescribable joy.
One day he spots a poor man across the street. So he runs over to him, takes a hundred dollar bill from his wallet and hands it to the pauper.
Now our poor man is a true kabbalist. He has learned that you will never receive true happiness if your desires are for the self alone. Therefore, although he is in dire need for the money, he kindly denies the gesture. The rich man is now a little hurt. Remember, he loves to share, and it gives him immense pleasure. But he can't share if there is no one that wants to receive his benefit. Therefore, he tries again. He insists, and makes his offer a second time.
The poor man has learned in Kabbalah that truly receiving it ALL is only accomplished when the practitioner works with the consciousness of only sharing. He recalls learning that truly receiving it all can NEVER be accomplished when our consciousness is focused solely on the self alone. If he were to take the money, he is not sharing anything with anybody. This is coupled with the fact that he would benefit only himself. Therefore, once again he refuses the offer.
Now this ping-pong interaction goes back and forth a few more times until the rich man starts tearing, and then crying, and then sobbing. He's on his hands and knees pleading to the poor man, "Please, please. I'm begging you - Please take my money."
The poor man replies, "Fine - If it means so much to you, I will share with you by receiving this money."
Our Creator is akin to the rich man in this story. His only desire to share endless beneficence with all of his creatures in the here and now. But there is only one problem - He needs a receiver, and He needs it badly. Because you can't be sharing if there is nobody receiving from you.
If we were only to realize how great and intense is our Creator's desire to impart unto us ALL the desirables of life, and then more, we would then melt before him, and open our clenched fists. Our desires would solely be focused on sharing with our Creator, which is only accomplished by receiving the totality of his Light.
Learning to master the art of Receiving is the yoke of the Kabbalah. There is no coercion in spirituality, but I encourage all of you to give it a try.
Robert Kashani has been studying the Kabbalah for the past thirteen years, and may br contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Kabbalah Learning Centre @ 1-800-KABBALAH or @ www.kabbalah.com
from the March 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine