(1) Chapter 2 - Some major activities that are the main governance: Further for a person to resemble his Creator from the secret of the trait of the Crown (Keter), he must [do] some major activities - which are the main governance.
(2) The first: The trait of humility - which includes everything - because it is dependent on the Crown. As behold, It is a trait over all of the Traits, but it does not raise itself and become proud above [the others]. Indeed, It goes down and always looks downwards. And that is from two reasons: The one is that It is embarrassed to look at Its Cause, rather Its Emanator always looks down upon It to benefit It; and It looks down to the lower ones. So [too,] must a person be embarrassed from staring upwards, to be proud. Rather, he must always stare downwards, to diminish himself all that he can. And behold, this trait is generally dependent upon the head of a man. As a man only shows his pride with the lifting of his head upwards, whereas the poor person lowers his head downwards. And behold, there is none as tolerant and humble as our God with the trait of the Crown, such that He is the epitome of mercy. And there is no defect nor iniquity nor judgement nor any other trait that intervenes in front of Him, that prevents [Him] from surveying, flowing and bestowing good constantly. So must a person [be], that no cause in the world prevent him from bestowing good; and that no iniquity or improper act of people intervene in front of him in order to impede him from bestowing good from those that need his good at any time and at any instant. And [just] like He sits and nourishes 'from the antelope's horns to the lice's eggs,' and does not disgrace any creature - as if He were to disgrace the creatures because of their smallness, they would not exist in the world even for an instant - but [He] rather supervises and gives His mercies upon them all; so must a man be, to bestow good to all and not to have any creature disgraced in front of him. Rather, even the puniest of the puny creatures [should] be very important in his eyes, and he [should] put his mind to it; and bestow good to all that need his good. And this trait is dependent on the Crown, in the secret of the Head as a whole.
(3) The second: That his thought resemble the thought of the Crown. [Just] as that Wisdom (Chochmah) does not ever cease to think good thoughts and evil does not intervene - as It is complete mercy, and there is no judgment there, nor any hardness at all - so [should] a man's thought be always free from anything ugly. And [just] as It is the secret of the Wisdom of the primordial Torah and It is never lacking the secret of the Torah; so must he not divert himself to any diversion from the thought of Torah and [from] thinking about the greatness of God and His good actions, bestowing good, and similar to this.
(4) The principle of the thing is that no foreign or idle thing should intervene in his thought. And this was the virtue of Rabbi Shimon (bar Yochai) and his colleagues - and behold in the Zohar in Parshat Vayakhel, how much Rabbi Shimon chastised Rabbi Yose when he diverted his thought a little.
(5) The third: That there not be any hardness in his forehead at all, but it rather resemble the Forehead of will, that wills everything. Even if he finds people angering [him], he [should] appease them and quiet them with his good will. As so is the will of the Forehead - always willing, appeasing the severities (gevurot) and refining them. So [too, should] he appease the powerful ones (geeborim) that intensify their anger; and he [should] lead them with good will and engulf [them] with great wisdom to quiet the anger - so that it not pass the limit and be destructive, God forbid. And he [should] use the model of the Higher Will, which is drawn from the wondrous Wisdom of the Forehead of the Ancient One (Aatika), and appeases all from there.
(6) And he [should] draw [on this] to always be agreeable towards the creatures; as if his traits are hard with people from a [particular] angle, they will not be appeased by him. And this is the explanation of the mishnah (Avot 3:10), "Anyone from whom the spirit of creations find pleasure, from him the spirit of the Omnipresent finds pleasure."
(7) The fourth: That his ears are always inclined to hear the good. Indeed, a useless or disgraceful report [should] not enter them at all. In the way that no yelling of judgement nor defect of evil speech enters the Highest Listening, so [should] he only listen to goodnesses and beneficial things. And he [should] not listen to the other things that intensify anger at all. And [just] like the snake, his speech and his expression do not enter Above, so [too,] must no disgraceful thing enter to him. And that is [the meaning of, "You shall not raise a false report" (Exodus 23:1) - all the more so, [should] the other disgraceful things not enter his ear at all. And it [should] only listen to good things.
(8) The fifth: His eyes [should] not gaze at any disgraceful thing at all. Indeed, they [should] always be open to survey and have mercy upon all the despondent, according to his ability. And when he sees the distress of a poor person, he [should] not shut his eyes at all. Rather, he [should] contemplate about him in his mind - according to his ability - and arouse mercy upon him in front of the Heavens and in front of the creatures. And he [should] distance himself from all observation of evil, in the way that the Highest Eye is open and gazes immediately at the good.
(9) The sixth: That there [should] never be burning fury (literally, fury of the nose) from his nostril at all. Rather, that there always be life, good will and patience (literally, duration of nose) in his nose. And he [should] always want to fulfill the will [of others], to satisfy every request and to sustain every downtrodden one; and always extract forgiveness of iniquity and (stopping) [passing over] of transgression from his [breath]. And he [should] not get angry with one who sins against him, but rather always be appeased and desire kindness, to create a pleasantness of spirit for all.
(10) The seventh: His face [should] always be shining and he [should] receive every person with a pleasant countenance. As so it is stated about the Highest Crown, "There is life in the light of the face of the King" (Proverbs 16:15); and no redness (harshness) or judgement enters there at all. So [should] the light of his face not be changed; anyone who gazes at him will only find joy and a pleasant countenance. And no cause [should] disrupt him from this at all.
(11) The eighth: His mouth [should] only bring out good; and the crafting of his statements be Torah and the causation of good will. And he [should] not bring out a disgraceful thing, a curse or the fury of anger from his mouth at all. And he [should] be similar to that Highest Mouth that never closes at all, and never prevents the good. And therefore, he must not be silent from speaking good about everything, and to always bring out goodness and blessing from this mouth.
(12) Behold, these are eight good traits; and they are all under the masthead of humility. As they are above in the Crown, in the Highest Limbs. And at the time that a person wants to approach the Above, to resemble Him - to open his sources to those below - he must attain perfection in these two chapters.
(1) When he must practice the traits of the Crown: Indeed, we know that it is impossible to always practice these traits, as there are other traits in which a person must attain perfection - and those are the lower severities (gevurot), as we will elucidate. However, there are specific days that the severities are not active and people do not need them, as the Crown rules over them [then]; and times that the Crown is [wholly] required. Then one must use all of these traits that we mentioned.
(2) Yet [with] the other traits - even if they are a need of the service at their [appropriate] times - [the times just mentioned are] not the time to use them, as the light of the Crown [would] nullify them; and hence he should not use those hard traits. For example, he [should] not use these traits on Shabbat - when the world is refined with the secret of delight, and [so] we do not judge [cases] on Shabbat. Then he [should] use all of the these traits [of the Crown] - to open the Highest Sources. As if he focuses his concentration on the lights of the Crown in his prayers but he acts the opposite with his actions, how will he open the Source of the Crown? And behold, he actually pushes It off with his actions. And behold the things are an a fortiori argument (kal vechomer): If the Crown does not dwell in the Highest Sefirot (divine emanations) that intensify holy judgments and holy anger, is it not even more so that the Crown and Its light will not dwell upon a person who is intensifying external anger - even if it is for the sake of the Heavens? And even more so, since he comes to challenge the Highest Traits. And They [will] say, "How brazen-faced is that one - the light of the Crown is not revealed in Us because of Our holy and pure judgement, and he seeks to reveal It [while] he is full of anger and disgraceful external actions?"
(3) Therefore, on holidays and Shabbat and Yom Kippur and at the time of prayer and the times of Torah involvement - that are [all] not times of severities, but rather times of the revelation of the Highest Will - a person must arrange his characteristics around all of these traits. And he can use the remaining traits for the service of God at the other times - but not the disgraceful one of them, as there is no time that it controls a person that it is not bad for him. And when he uses these traits [of the Crown], he can be prepared and sure that he will open the Highest Sources. Hence every man must gradually accustom himself to these traits. And the central one that he [should] grasp - which is the key to everything - is humility; as it is the head of all of them. It is the first aspect of the Crown, and all are included under it.
(4) And behold, the essence of humility is that he not find any value at all in himself, but rather think of himself as nothing. And the matter is like the statement (Exodus 16:7), "and what are we, that you complain about us" - until he is in his eyes, the lowliest of all the creatures and very disgraceful and disgusting. And when he constantly toils to reach this trait, all the other traits will be dragged after it. As behold, the first trait that is in the Crown is that It makes Itself appear like nothing in front of Its Emanator. Likewise, [should] a person make himself [to be an] actual nothing; and he [should] think of his disappearance, as much better than his existence. And with this, he will be in front of his detractors as if the [truth] is with them and he is [actually] disgraceful and to be blamed. And this will be a catalyst for the acquisition of the good traits.
(1) Suggestions to accustom oneself to humility: And I have found a remedy for a person to gradually accustom himself to these things. It is possible that, through them, he will heal himself from the sickness of pride and enter the gates of humility. And it is a bandage made of three drugs.
(2) The first: That he accustoms himself to flee as much as he can from honor. As if he accustoms himself to having people honor him, he will become habituated from them towards the side of pride. And nature will make him want this always, and he can only be healed with difficulty.
(3) The second: That he accustom his thought to see his disgrace and say, "If it is that people do not know of my inferiority, what is that to me? And do I, myself, not recognize that I am disgraceful with such and such" - whether it is with the lack of knowledge, the weakness of ability or the disgrace of food and the feces that come out from it, and similar to this - until he be disgraced in his eyes and disgusting.
(4) The third: That he constantly think about his iniquities and desire purification, upbraiding and afflictions. And he [should] say, "What are the best afflictions in the world, which will not disturb me from the service of God?" There is nothing more beloved in all of them than that they should curse him, and disgrace him and condemn him. As behold, they do not prevent him from his strength and vitality with sicknesses; and they do not prevent his eating and his clothing; and they do prevent his life and the life of his children with death. If so, he [should] truly want them and say, "What is it for me to fast and mortify myself with sackcloth and lashes - that weaken my strength from the service of God - that I should take them with my hand? It is better for me to mortify myself with the disgrace of people and their cursing me; and my strength will not depart and I will not be weakened." And with this, when insults come upon him, he will rejoice about them; and just the opposite, he will desire them. And he [should] make a bandage for his heart from these three drugs and train himself with it all of his days.
(1) Additional suggestions to accustom oneself to humility: And I have found a very good potion, but the potion does not help as much as the bandage mentioned above. And it is that he accustom himself to two things.
(2) The first: It is to completely honor all of the creatures. Since he recognizes the virtue of the Creator that created man with wisdom - and the wisdom of the Creator is likewise in all of the creatures - and he, himself, sees that they are very, very honored; as the Creator of all, the virtuous Wise One, dealt with them in their creation. And if he disgraces them, God forbid, he touches on the honor of their Creator. And behold, this is similar to a wise smith - he made a vessel with great wisdom and he showed his creation to people. And one of them began to denounce it and to disgrace it. How much anger will come to that wise one - since they are disgracing his wisdom, in that they are disgracing the work of his hands. And so, too, will it be bad in the eyes of the Holy One, blessed be He, if they disgrace any creation of His creations. And this is [the meaning of] that which is written (Psalms 104:24), "How many are Your creations, Lord" - it does not state, "great," but rather, "many (rabu)," an expression [like], "the important one (rav) of the house" (Esther 1:8), [meaning] they are very important - "You made all of them with wisdom": And since Your wisdom has been involved with them, Your works become important and great. And [so,] it is fitting for a person to contemplate wisdom in them, not disgrace.
(3) The second: He [should] accustom himself to internalize the love of people into his heart - and even the evildoers - as if they were his brothers, and even more than this; until he fixes the love of all people into his heart. And he [should] even love the evildoers in his heart and say, "Who will give that they all be righteous penitents, and all be great ones and desirable to the Omnipresent," like the statement of the trusted friend of all of Israel. He stated (Numbers 11:29), "and who will give that all of the people of the Lord be prophets, etc?" And with what (how) will he love [them]? When he mentions in his thought the good [qualities] that they have and covers their blemish, and he not gaze at their scabs but rather at the good traits that they have. And he [should] say in his heart, "If this disgusting poor man was a man of much money, how happy I would be with his friendship - as I am with the friendship of x. And behold, if they would dress this one with nice clothes like x, behold there is no difference between them. If so, why [should] he lack honor in my eyes? And behold, in the eyes of God, he is more important than I - as he is stricken and downtrodden with poverty and afflictions, and [so] cleaned of iniquity. And why would I hate one that the Holy One, blessed be He, loves?" And through this, his heart will turn to the side of the good and accustom himself to think about all the good traits that we mentioned.