You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Books / Каббалистические книги черной серии / Spiritual Search / Eighteen Talks With the Beginners / Eighth Talk: Acquiring a Screen

Eighth Talk: Acquiring a Screen

We begin with the state connected to the pleasures of this world, such as money, social status and family. That is, everything relating to the animal level and a small amount related to the human level. In this state it is impossible to sin or perform a commandment. We can only do so in the spiritual. If a person is ready to restrict the use of these desires or more precisely, ready to direct one's use of the desires for the sake of the spiritual, then we acquires the ability to enter the first level of the spiritual world. The light on this level is much greater than that of our world.

A person asks for a screen in order to withstand the animal pleasure and to receive it only for the sake of the Creator. When we receive the screen, we correct at the first level and proceed to the second. There we are given an even greater desire to receive and an equally greater light. By acquiring the Masach with a greater anti-egoistic force, a person also corrects the second level and ascends higher.

Let us consider the line corresponding to our world as “zero”. In this case the first increase of the desire to receive on the first spiritual level will be equivalent to “-1” and this corresponds to ascent. The distance between “-1” and “+1” is equivalent to the size or height of the Partzuf. Next, we receive the egoism “-2”. In order to overcome it we need the Masach “+2”. This is how ascent to the second level takes place. And so forth. The higher one ascends, the lower the fall in order to ascend even higher.

Malchut of the world of Infinity received light “for the sake of the Creator” in the world of Nekudim, and subsequently broke. The breaking of Kelim occurred, causing the intermixing of all the egoistic and altruistic Kelim. Sparks of the Creator’s altruistic attributes fell into each egoistic desire, and this enables the desire to become corrected attaching it to the spiritual.

The greater one's predestination is and the higher Kelim of the soul located within a person are, the greater descents and ascents are predestined for one. Therefore, we can never judge another by their actions, since we can never know what corrections they are undergoing at the time.

IImagine the earth as the egoistic level. We are located on it, with the sky above from which the light descends. If the light does not fall on us then we are unable to tear away from earth. Such are our attributes. However, if the light shines on us then, figuratively speaking, we tear away from earth towards the light. The light’s strength is equal to the height of the elevation or the height of a person’s soaring over the earth, meaning over our egoistic desire “to receive”. As soon as the light ceases to shine on us, we immediately fall down to earth as if we had never ascended. We do not possess any positive forces in order to ascend. It is only the Creator’s light which elevates us.

The higher the spiritual world is located the greater the distance between fall and ascent. In the world of Atzilut, the fall can nearly reach the level of our world. The great Kabbalist Rabbi Shimon, who was on the penultimate spiritual level, suddenly felt himself to be “the simple Shimon from the market”. That is, all of his knowledge, corrected attributes and attainment suddenly disappeared and he became equivalent to a simple and primitive fool. This is how the book of Zohar describes his state.

This happens to all of us, even when beginning our spiritual ascent. How can we return from a fall? We can plug into the group even without having the slightest desire, by performing actions automatically. Sometimes it is impossible to open a book and read, and at times the only way out may be to sleep, that is, to disconnect ourselves from everything and to let time do its work…

The most detrimental situation can occur when one is in the highest point of spirituality and begins to selfishly take pleasure in the good feeling of being there; safe, balanced, clear, pleasant, and eternal. It is precisely at this moment, and for this reason, one falls. During this state it is very important to continually realize it has been given to us in order to keep our thought and intention “for the sake of the Creator”. However, it is impossible to stay with it. The reason for this is that in order to advance further it is necessary to fall. Besides falling, there is no other way to acquire additional desires to receive which allow us to ascend once again.

The Partzuf is our inner moral state in relation to others, and is our level of development. It is impossible to attain the light without first acquiring the desire for it. It is also impossible to apprehend the good without the bad. For example, one can ascend for 15 units and then fall on the 16th, because the person has seen their true attributes in their worst form. By ascending we become illuminated by a great light and can see ourselves in comparison to the best attributes of the higher level.

All previous levels continue to live in us. A person is able to see the bad when on a high spiritual level. The greater the light that shines on a person the worse one sees their self in relation to the light. This rule applies until we arrive at the final level, or full correction.

Rabbi Baruch Ashlag writes in the letter to his friends and students (“Shamati. Igrot”, 2; the italics are the translated text):

According to the ARI and the Commentary to TES, it is said that during Shefirat HaKelim (breaking of the vessels) in the world of Nekudim, Melech Daat that existed at the level of Keter had fallen first out of all other Malachim. It is so because that which was initially coarser but had reached the highest level of correction by acquiring Masach, is regarded as the worst and thus falls lower than other Malachim at the moment of the breaking of vessels and loss of Masach.

This can be explained in the following way: people who are following the path of the Creator have a double desire to receive: they desire the material as well as the spiritual. Therefore, people who were close to Baal HaSulam possessed a Masach on their Aviut while they were close to him. However, now that he is no longer beside them because he has died, they no longer need to create a Masach. Their entire work consists in appearing to be “holy men” or “righteous men”. They are left with Aviut without Masach and they have lost everything they possessed before. The more a person enters the spiritual the more he should beware of these kinds of people and stay away from them. I wrote this in a concise way, because I do not want my thoughts to linger on them. It is known that a person is located in the place where his thoughts are.

In order to understand the aforesaid better I will provide a small example. It is known that there exists an intermediate state between any two levels. This intermediate state includes that which is common for both of the levels. For example, the middle state between the still and vegetative states is corals. Between the vegetative and animal levels there exists the so-called "Kelev Sade”. These are animals whose belly buttons are connected to the earth and feed from it. Between the animal and human levels there is the ape. What is the middle state between truth and falseness? What is the state that consists of both of these notions together?

Before I explain this I will add one more rule: it is easier to see a bigger thing than a smaller one. Therefore, the less falseness there is, the more difficult it is to see the truth. That is, to see the extent to which a person is mistaken when it seems to him that he is following the right path. There is a piece of truth in this, because a person does not yet see the entire falseness in order to see the truth in spite of it or because of it.

If you ask anyone on the street who has no connection to Kabbalah, they will tell you that they do nothing bad and are no different from anyone else. According to the minimal realization of evil one possesses, a person thinks that the path being followed is correct. However, when falsehood accumulates in us, then if desired, it is possible to acquire the opportunity to see our true state. When we see the complete falsehood, we understand that we have been following the wrong path entirely. It is then that we are able to ascend to the path of truth. When we come to realize that our current state is no longer endurable and that it is unbearable, we arrive at the final point of tolerating this evil. This is when we ask the Creator for help.

This point, meaning the point of truth that shows a person that he is following the path of falseness, is the middle or the connecting link between truth and falseness. It marks the end of the falseness, meaning that from this moment on a person begins the path of truth.

Now we will be able to understand what Baal HaSulam said: that before we arrive at “Lishma” (for the sake of the Creator) it is first necessary for “Lo Lishma” (for your own sake) to become as great as possible, and only then we can go on to “Lishma”. According to the above, we can say that “Lo Lishma” is the falseness and “Lishma” is the truth. When the falseness is still small, meaning that there are still very few good deeds, this means that “Lo Lishma” is still small and it does not allow a person to see the truth. In this state, it seems to a person that he is following the correct path of “Lishma”.

However, when a person studies the Torah and commandments day and night, he is already able to see the truth due to the fact that his entire falseness has collected into one great lie and it helps him understand the extent to which his path is false. In this case the person begins to correct his actions, knowing that all of his previous actions were “Lo Lishma”. This is precisely what the middle point is. It is the starting point for the passage to the truth, that is, to “Lishma”. And it was only yesterday that the person still considered his previous path to be directed towards “Lishma”. This is how a person’s state and his path become changed, in the case that a person’s egoism as well as his evaluation of it, increase.

The Creator is performing work on us in every circumstance we are in, regardless of a bad or good state. We do not have power to make decisions and do not decide anything. We can only organize the path of development, not change it. If we look at this path through the eyes of an egoist then we will be afraid. If, however, we see our egoism from the outside, realizing it as an evil that needs to be annihilated, then we will immediately want to remove it and replace it with altruism.

Back to top
Site location tree