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First Talk: Perceiving the Desires

How can a person perceive the desire? In order for a person to know what he wants he must first try it, since by doing so it leaves a pleasurable perception or taste inside of him. The pleasure was sensed and now it’s gone, at which point the person aspires towards it. This is what the real Kli must consist of. Meaning, the light has filled it in the past, and the Kli has tasted the entire force of the sensation of pleasure from the light’s presence. Then the light disappeared and now the Kli passionately longs to feel the taste of the light once again.

Now we will look at the way in which the soul is constructed and the reason why we need to work with it. The soul is the only thing created. Through its five filters, the soul receives the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile sensations inside of itself. The support behind these five sense organs is similar to a computer program. It translates that which is located outside into a language that we can understand, namely: pleasure and pain. We perceive whether something is good or bad in the most central point of our soul.

If the computer is running on a natural program then its program is designed to satisfy the egoistic intake of good and bad. However, if it is running on the altruistic program then the notions of good and bad are not evaluated relative to itself; rather they are evaluated relative to what is outside of it, and this is the light or the Creator.

Now we see that there are two programming possibilities for the soul’s evaluations and choices: a) egoistically, for its own sake, or b) altruistically, for the sake of the Creator. After all, besides the Creator and the creation, or the light/pleasure and the desire/vessel, nothing else exists in the universe.

In the natural process, a person is born with the egoistic program. Therefore, on the “backboard” of our consciousness or brain, a reverse image is imprinted or projected egoistically. This image is called “our world”.

We do not perceive anything other than the light. However, if the light goes through the egoistic processing, then it manifests in us as “our world”. Our egoistic desire performs its processing, adding obstacles by selecting everything good and discarding everything bad. This is the organism’s self-preservation program, and if we did not have it then our picture of the world would be a totally different one. Without it, the picture would become imprinted on the front side of the soul and it would show a person everything that exists on the outside in an objective way, rather than what is on the inside, subjectively and with a benefit for itself. That which is on the outside is called “the light” or “the Creator”.

In order to reprogram the computer from the egoistic to the altruistic program, there exists the Science of Kabbalah, which helps us to receive the external image that exists genuinely, without the egoistic coating. We will be able to feel the genuine universe that is outside of us. This state is called “unification with the light”, when there are no obstacles between the soul and the light.

This is slightly reminiscent of what people feel when they are in the state of clinical death and they have become partially separated from the egoistic body (or the animal organism). They see the light ahead of them and they aspire towards it, but they are unable to reach the light because they have not yet ridden themselves of the spiritual egoism. Since a person can only rid himself of it together with the animal egoism of the body, thus all of the work takes place over the course of one life or several lives in the egoistic body.

We can rid ourselves of spiritual egoism very easily if we know what obstacles egoism adds to our internal computer. All information enters through five filters, called the “five parts of Malchut”, or “five parts of egoism’s governance”. These five channels process all information from outside, converting it to information that suits egoism by separating what is good for the egoism from what is bad. All signals pass through a specific width of filters (Aviut), which is different in every person.

The more reincarnations our soul goes through, the bigger its Aviut becomes. Meaning, the person becomes coarser, more goal-oriented, and more ready for correction. On the other hand, those who are less egoistically developed do not need very much, as they are satisfied by little. Hence, a big egoist is ready for correction because he feels a greater necessity to fill himself with the light.

How does the need to correct the computer program arise? It arises due to the Aviut’s development in a person to it maximum size. This happens over many reincarnations or lives in our world. Not only man’s life but animals, plants, and inanimate nature as well. All of nature, except man, ascends together with him and depends on man’s state.

Once a person’s Aviut has developed to its maximum size, it causes a maximum difference between the light and the image he perceives. This results in an inner switch turning on, giving a person the feeling that he can no longer fulfill himself with anything now or in the future.

When this signal takes place, a person stops looking for something inside of himself or on the “backboard” of his soul, and instead he aspires to perceive the outside. He turns to various philosophies and methodologies, until he finally comes to Kabbalah. This is specifically where he is able to find what he has been looking-for for so long.

Kabbalah is the methodology that changes those filters. It does not remove them, but only rebuilds or retunes them from the egoistic intention to receive pleasures into the altruistic intention to give pleasure. More precisely, the altruistic intention is to receive pleasure for the sake of bestowal, since everything is relative to the Creator. Meaning, we have nothing to give to Him except to receive pleasure for His sake.

This way, the same filters can be used to receive, but only for the sake of the light or the Creator. Then, the information entering from the outside will not be distorted in any way. Rather, it will appear to us in just the way it exists in reality, or on the outside. When this happens, the entire program of creation comes to an end, since the program now allows us to exist without any obstacles for our “ego”. That is, to exist, perceive and live in the genuine universe. All the pleasures of our world, which humanity has perceived and will perceive in the future, are only a 1/600,000th piece of the pleasure contained in the smallest possible light (Nefesh).

Even a single corrected soul, fully receiving the entire light without limit, is located in front of all of the souls. It observes everything until the information or pleasure enters into all of the other souls.

The Aviut is placed in a person at his soul’s first descent or incarnation into this world. However, Kabbalah is able to develop it dozens of percent, shortening his number of lives or descents into this world. That is, it is able to accelerate the process of a person’s ripening for the assimilation of the spiritual realm.

Human suffering is the external expression of what is missing. Suffering does not disappear, but Kabbalah replaces the animal suffering with the spiritual. This is the suffering due to the lack of the spiritual perception. This qualitative change in suffering leads to the rebuilding of the internal Kli or the rebuilding of the soul. Corresponding to the aspiration, the perception of the light develops. The result: what naturally would have occurred to us over the course of several generations, now occurs in several years.

You may ask: “why is it sometimes impossible to ask and formulate a question?” It happens because a person does not feel what we are talking about inside him. If it has not become revealed in him yet then he does not respond to what he is hearing.

The structure of the soul is the following: The light that emanates from the Creator creates the desire to take pleasure in it. This desire is called Malchut. Before Malchut, the light passes through nine stages as it changes, until it finally becomes suitable to create Malchut. The nine stages the light goes through are called Keter, Chochma, Bina, Chesed, Gvura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod and Yesod. Then it builds the final stage, which is called Malchut. The six stages from Hesed until Yesod are called Zeir Anpin.

In total there are ten Sefirot, that is: nine levels of the light plus one Malchut, which is the desire to receive. Malchut is the soul or the real creation, which feels that it wants to receive and to take pleasure in the light. Malchut begins to receive the light and, along with the light, it receives the light’s properties. Even in our world, we know that any influence on us creates our own reflection inside of us. The same thing happens in Malchut when it receives the light from the nine upper Sefirot.

We see that a single egoistic structure, Malchut, has acquired nine more additional altruistic attributes of the light in itself, by receiving the light from the nine Sefirot of the light. The external information of the light does not become distorted as it passes through the nine altruistic attributes of Malchut, since there are no egoistic barriers. This light only becomes slightly smaller. It decreases in order for the soul to become optimally filled by it and also to prevent it from becoming overfilled, which would cause suffering as well.

However, there is one more part in Malchut that has received altruistic attributes from the light and has become equivalent to it in its desire to bestow, which is not the tenth part. Further, there is one more additional part in Malchut that is completely unable to perceive the light’s attribute, and therefore cannot change. This part is called “Lev ha Even” or “the stone heart (see the drawing).

Our work consists in leaving this part of Malchut behind, which is called our “I”; to stop working with it because it will always remain egoistic, until the end of correction and the arrival of the Mashiach. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a restriction (Tzimtzum Alef) on this part of Malchut; That is, not to use it in any way.

Malchut, or the tenth Sefira, is that part of Malchut that received the light’s attributes and was able to feel the attributes of the light that had filled it. Therefore, it is able to change – it has to gradually transform and to begin to act in the same way as the light. In order to effectively drive the light’s attributes into the Malchut, the action called “Shvira” is performed, meaning the breaking or the blow. As a consequence of this action, the attributes of the first nine Sefirot penetrate into Malchut.

But it is insufficient only to understand that the light’s attributes and those of Malchut are opposite to each other. The Malchut has to act the same way as the light does; it needs to become equivalent to the nine Sefirot. However, how can it do this if the light does not enter inside of it at all? To achieve this goal, the breaking (Shvirat) of the Kelim takes place, or the breaking of the desires. This is done by way of the “blow of the light”, which goes through all nine Sefirot and enters Malchut. Now, Malchut is mixed and intertwined with all of the other nine Sefirot. This is called “Shvirat ha Kelim” or the sinful downfall.

After the Shvirat Kelim took place, four kinds of desires were formed. These are: a) the purely altruistic desires that were present in the first nine Sefirot, b) the altruistic desires that have become mixed with the egoistic desires, c) the egoistic desires that have become mixed with the altruistic, and d) the purely egoistic desires. This way, two kinds of desires, the purely altruistic and the purely egoistic, having fallen during the Shvirat Kelim and having mixed with each other, have now turned into two more kinds of mixed desires.

Only now does it finally become possible to create a soul in which Malchut is corrected in the same way as the first nine Sefirot are. This is because any egoistic desire now contains a spark of altruism. With this, a special kind of a force is needed, namely the force of correction. This force causes each altruistic spark to become the prevailing part of the desire, capable of correcting the whole egoistic desire.

How does this happen? We take the corresponding book on Kabbalah, written by a Kabbalist who has already corrected himself in correspondence with the light. When a person reads this kind of a book, what takes place is the transmission of the instructions about how to build the inner Kli inside of oneself, in correspondence with the light. By reading the lines in the book, even without understanding what we have read, we nevertheless attract the surrounding light to ourselves, which gradually cleanses and corrects our desires.

Studying under the clear direction of a teacher-Kabbalist, while in a group of people who want to reach the goal of creation or equivalence to the Creator, is bound to be effective!

Studying Kabbalah also explains the order in which the parts of our soul will become corrected, if we direct our desire correspondingly to the corrected desires of the Kabbalist who wrote the book.

As a person corrects himself, he gradually begins to feel that his desires are broken. He learns to differentiate them, sort them out according to the quality and quantity, combine them in a specific order, and gather them. This path is a long one, but it is special and interesting. A person begins to elucidate new attributes in himself, perceiving that he is the creation and becoming aware of his connection to the Creator and to the other parts of the universe. What takes place is the understanding of how our whole external system is constructed and how the upper governance works.

The Creator’s goal for us is to first begin having control over ourselves and then over the whole world, therefore replacing the Creator. In our world we chase after particular manifestations of the light, such as the pleasure we get from knowledge, power, sex, food and children.

When the light comes and fills us completely and boundlessly, it is immediately perceived as complete perfection and pleasure. There are no desires left in a person. The process of becoming filled by the light is gradual, and it is called “Sulam” or ‘ladder’. Baal HaSulam wrote about this, and it is called so in honor of the system of spiritual ascent which he worked out called “Sulam” in his commentaries “Sulam” on the book of “Zohar”.

The Creator created one collective soul called Adam, which broke into 600,000 parts, each of which consists of four desires. A person’s task consists in correcting not only himself, but also his part in the collective soul. Each soul must correct its relation to all of the 600,000 souls, for this is how it corrects itself; since every other soul, in turn, consists of 600,000 parts, and the nine first Sefirot enter into each one of them.

The souls are able to become corrected only through the bodies, and the bodies become corrected in the group by way of various mechanical actions, directed at the achievement of a single goal. There are two such mechanical actions: a) studying, and b) doing common work for the sake of the soul’s spiritual correction.

A person does not have the ability to correct his desires, since the light created them. It is only necessary to change the direction in which these desires act, or, to what end does he want to fulfill these desires. If I temporarily do not fulfill one of my desires, then it will come back to me later in a more distorted form.

We need to work on how to correctly use this desire. We cannot starve or torture ourselves, or run away from something. What needs to be corrected is the intention with which we use our desires. If we do this, then we will see that all of our desires are necessary for us in order to reach our goal. This is why they say that the person who is more egoistic has big desires. Another thing said is that since the fall of the Temple, only Kabbalists still have a taste for the earthly pleasures.

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