"Others Admitted It Was Lost"
A Yid commenting on The State of Chassidus Today:
I strongly disagree with Rabbi Tal Zwecker concerning Breslov. I don't like in general the term Chagas as well, as a description of any Chasidus except Chabad. It is totally misleading. Chasidus is much more diverse and multifaceted than this. How would you classify Koretz, Bershad? And what about Linitz and Monistrich? And how would you classify the Zhitomir school of Chasidus (Talmidim of Reb Zeev Volf miZhitomir zy"o)?. Their sforim are amazing with their brilliant depth and intensity, I can write more about them another time maybe. And what about talmidim of Kedushas Levi? Look for example at "Toldoys Aharon" from Reb Aharon miZhitomir zy"o (he was a talmid of Kedushas Levy). His seyfer is fire! And its depth is apparent right away, as well as his strong adherence to the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov (about dveykus, hisboydedus and much more). Those Chasidic groups doesn't exist any more (this may be the reflection of the problem discussed below), but they remind me of Breslov much more than what you call "Galitzianer", and Hungarish. The Satmar Rebbe ztz”l himself noted, that Breslov Chasidus even today is like it was in time of the Baal Shem Tov! I personally think that Hungarish Chasidus turned to be the most distanced from Baal Shem Tov intention, which was confirmed by the Satmar Rebbe himself (in his famous statement). But he wasn't the first to make such a statement. It was made much earlier by Tzanzer Rov. Also see further about such statement in Breslov. To be honest - Galitzianer and Hungarish aren't totally the same, but in this context they are pretty close. Galitzianer Chasidus has few outstanding exceptions though - Dinov, Bluzhev, Munkatch for example. Zhiditchov and Komarno you already mentioned.
"When is the Master coming?" And he replied: "When your teachings will be disseminated and revealed in the world, and your wellsprings will spread to the outside..." (Keser Shem Tov 1:1).
Why is the end of this phrase skipped so often in quotations? The end is not less important! The end is - "and they will be able to make aliyos like you" (i.e. chasidim will be able to make aliyas haneshomo like Baal Shem Tov did). Aren't you amazed about this statement? How far are we from this do you think?
Now about Kabolo, Chasidus and Breslov. First of all:
1. Serious Breslover chasidim hold the learning of Kabolo as high imoprtance (and for understanding Chasidus as well).
2. Serious Breslover chasidim learn ALL sforim of talmidey Baal Shem Tov and talmidey hoMaggid (and their talmidim) in addition to Brelover sforim.
Now, instead of dividing chasidus in Galitzianer/non Galitzianer etc, lets return to this:
This question was debated by none other than the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel zatzal, and the Satmar Rav, Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum zatzal. They disagreed on whether or not we could even really know the path of the Baal Shem Tov today or has it been lost?
As I said, this phenomenon was noticed much earlier. In the forth generation after the Baal Shem Tov (i.e. the next after talmidey hoMaggid) this strange process started to get strong. Rebbe zy”o says in Chayey Moharan (not a literal exact quote, but meaning is the same): "The light of Baal Shem Tov left. But we have to leave talmidim, who would have the light and who will transfer it to their talmidim and so on"). Rebbe himself commented on this phenomenon already in his time! And said that he wants to keep his light for further generations. That what Lubavitcher Rebe meant as I understand about Chabad as well. He held, that Chabad preserved the light as well, while others admitted that it was lost (except Breslov and notably Izhbitz/Radzin). This is a spiritual phenomenon, and not just a social or cultural shift to chitzoynius in Hungarisher Chasidus. This phenomenon is apparent in a strange thing, that sforim until that fourth generations are full with what can be called Baal Shem Tov's Chasidus. After that it rapidly dissapeares from the focus, except few rare exceptions. Even in Chabad in time of the Rashab this crisis was apparent and he writes about it. In even later period, tzadikim (but very few) are almost screaming about this crisis (look in Pyasetchner sforim).
So I think the difference here is not Chabad/Chagas/Galitzianer etc. It is a qualitatively difference. Before this spiritual decline happened, chasidim with all their differences (different talimdim of Baal Shem Tov, different talmidim of the Maggid, and next generation) had much in common with regards to the pnimius of Chasidus. After that – rapid decline happened. Breslovers believe that Rebbe left his light to counteract this decline. And what about others? I've heared a shiur from Reb Motl Zilber (Stuchiner Rov, one of the biggest teachers of Chasidus and Kabolo in America) about “Derech Baal Shem Tov”. He said their straightforward – the light of the Baal Shem Tov has left. But as known kdusho doesn't go away without leaving a reshimo (look in Ramak for example). The reshimo of the light of Baal Shem Tov is still tremendously great and we have to work with it!
Now I understand his words better. For those who aren't Breslovers (Chabad also believes that they preserved this light, as well as did Izhbitz and Radzin) there is no other way, rather to work with this reshimo, but to really work and not to fall into complete chitzoynius of things. First when I saw about it in Chayey Moharan (that the light of the Baal Shem Tov left somehow) I found it very hard to understand. How is it? But after I've seen and heared more about it I understood it better, even though it is very unpleasant to know.