This episode is dedicated to all the people who write to me to kvetch about everything that’s wrong in the world and who’s doing it and just how bad it really is that even the rabbis and the teachers and the kabbalists fall into the pits along with everyone else. In other words, the whole world is full of dirt.

So I tell them: Imagine, after 120 years down here—may the Infinite Light grant you long and luminous years—you walk through those mahogany doors into the supernal court, and they ask you, “Nu? So what did you get done down there?”

And you answer, “Oh, did I find dirt! Lots of dirt! Let me tell you about it: . . .”

Know what they’re going to answer you? ’Zactly as I did: “We sent you to a gold mine, and all you can come up with is dirt?!”

In fact, the great kabbalist, Rabbi Chaim Vital, writes that his teacher—none other than the Ari, Rabbi Isaac Luria—taught that this world is the lowest of all worlds, the final repository of all the mud from the higher worlds, almost all of it dark, thick shells, with only a tiny bit of the good stuff mixed in. But that good stuff! Whoa! Nothing comparable to it! Not in any of those angel-worlds above, and not even in any place higher!

And the real neat thing is: Once you fight with the mud, to grab away the sparks of goodness it holds, the mud itself begins to shine. It shines a transcendent light, a light so intense even the highest world cannot contain it.

Hey, what are we sitting around talking for? There’s gold in them thar mud piles!