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Tenth Talk: Realization of Evil

It is not sufficient for you to love the Creator and to desire to attain union with Him. You must also hate the evil within yourself and hate your own nature, which is the desire for self-gratification a person is unable to rid himself of. This realization of evil occurs when a person observes the state he is in, sees the entire evil that is in him, constantly suffers from it, understands how much he is losing, and sees that he is unable to get rid of it on his own.

At the same time, a person cannot accept the position he is in. He perceives all the losses that evil causes him and at the same time he sees the truth, or the fact that, on his own, he is unable to find forces inside himself that will allow him to get rid of the evil. The reason for this is that this attribute was introduced from the Creator’s side, by way of the forces of nature.

In order to exit out of our world into the spiritual world, a person needs to fulfill several conditions with regard to his perceptions. Firstly, a person has to feel that the state he is in is unbearable and unendurable. A person is able to do this when, even slightly, he feels what the spiritual is; when he feels that it is opposite to his own nature and that everything in the spiritual is good, that it is perpetual pleasure, peace, perfection and eternity. In addition, he must feel that it is the force pulling him towards itself.

On the other hand, here in this world there exists a second force. This force pushes you away from the state that is becoming more and more unbearable and hateful to you. When these two forces reach their maximum (meaning the attracting spiritual force and the repelling force of a person’s current state) and simultaneously the person understands his total inadequacy and impossibility of getting rid of his evil on his own; when all three of these conditions are fulfilled, an inner explosion takes place in a person, and the Creator saves him.

It is within a person’s power to hate his evil. In this case the Creator will liberate him from the evil. The Creator safeguards the souls, and His safeguarding consists of the fact that He saves them from the hands of evil. If a person has even the most fragile connection with the Creator, then he is already fortunate.

All the spiritual states that a person goes through do not disappear. Rather, they continue to exist on their own. It is always possible to come back to them, to correct them as much as possible, and to utilize them for further advancement.

Since the Creator is the Bestowing One, the creatures must try to desire the same thing and vice-versa, because the Creator hates to be the receiving one. He is originally perfect and does not need anything. Thus, the creatures must also hate reception for their own selves. They must hate evil with a goal-oriented hate because everything negative comes from it. The only way to correct evil and to fall under the governance of the Creator’s holiness is with the help of hate.

If a person experiences the state of feeling unsatisfied, indifferent, and perceiving something bad, this means that he already relates to the next level, but he has not yet corrected it. Any state begins with darkness. The 24-hour day begins with the evening. We begin with Kelim or desires to receive and then we correct them and receive the light into them. Therefore, with every new perception of “bad”, a person should be happy about the fact that the next phase will be the reception of the light. Advancement never takes place without this. The only thing that allows a person to arrive at the middle line is his presence in two opposite states.

In the book “Pri Chacham”, Baal HaSulam defines this movement as “Neshama” (breathing). How does breathing take place? At first the lungs prepare by becoming empty. Then a portion of air is breathed into them. Everywhere and in everything, there must first be a lack of something, and then the fulfillment of this lack.

There is not a single creature in the world that does not contain the Divine spark. The still, vegetative, and animal states do not experience a change of moods. Every person has to come to union with the Creator. This long path began many thousands of years ago and all souls continue this path during their many incarnations, according to the predetermined thought of creation. Within this giant computer of creation, nothing takes place without a cause preceding it. Everything is interconnected with everything else by invisible threads. All of this is a huge living organism, and the tiniest change in any of its parts causes everything to change.

Everyone must come to the final goal of creation, or the final correction. Together with the person, the animal, vegetative and still states will also arrive at that state. There exists a time for every person, as well as a condition and a place where he has to be. It is precisely by being in that place and without understanding why he is located there; by taking various steps and performing various actions, that each person comes closer to the goal of creation in his own natural way. Why do some people come to Kabbalah? This is very simple. Because they have already gone through enough life experiences and suffering in order to understand and to ask the question: who am I, and what am I living for?

These kinds of questions do not come from a normal life. No one asks why he feels good, thinking that he deserves this. However, when a person suffers, he does not understand why this is his lot in life, and he constantly asks about this. What we need is not for suffering to push us from behind, but rather to try to pull ourselves forward towards the Creator.

There is no difference between suffering of our world and spiritual suffering. These are all methods by which the Creator governs us. If a person is able to transfer his bodily suffering to the spiritual, he corrects part of his Kelim (vessels) and that part of him becomes equivalent to the Creator. This way a person accelerates his path. However, if he is not able to do this, then he advances (with regard to correction) by the natural path and speed.

An illness afflicting any Kabbalist makes him suffer physically. But since the body is unable to enter the spiritual, only a person’s inner perception becomes spiritual and undergoes correction, and this awakens the person. In the meantime, the body continues to suffer. When a person constantly ascends with his soul, his body becomes lower and lower.

Where is the correlation? It does not exist. The body cannot be spiritual at all. The spiritual is the soul’s inner elevation and it does not relate to the external part or the biological body. It has to die and be buried in the ground. Its correction consists in that. However, the person receives a new body in the same way as he changes into a new shirt.

A soul such as that of Rabbi Shimon, Ari, and Ashlag has already become corrected, and it descends into this world in order to correct it. It suffers because it absorbs the suffering of the whole world, but it no longer needs to descend for its own sake. The souls merge, get included into each other, in order to help the others.

We have to accept bodily suffering as a call towards the spiritual and a connection to the Creator. If a person listens to this call, then his suffering goes through correction and decreases. A person who enters the spiritual sees everything the Creator allows him to see. However, a Kabbalist wants to see that which will help him advance. Everything else is not important to him. Otherwise it is not the spiritual. He perceives every new state as a trampoline for further elevation. Therefore, for every level he is on, he takes the most positive and necessary thing for him to go on to the next level.

The “Introduction to TES” speaks of four levels: Malchut, Zeir Anpin, Bina and Hochma. These are levels of attaining the Creator (Keter). When a person achieves the Creator, He shows a person everything that was done to him over the course of the entire “history” of his soul’s descent into this world. A person sees how the Creator treated him during each phase, how the light disappeared, and what suffering a person endured, and he receives the answer about why this took place.

Only then a person is able to see that the Creator has always treated him well and without any calculation. The person had previously perceived this as bad due to his uncorrected organs of perception, which caused him to perceive the Creator’s kind treatment in a negative way. Everything a person now sees evokes a feeling of love for the Creator in him. Therefore, he must apprehend everything that has happened to him with his already corrected Kelim.

During the next and final phase, the Creator shows a person His relation towards all souls over the course of all generations and descents into our world. Here a person sees how well the Creator has acted and continues to act towards all His creatures. The result of this kind of apprehension is eternal and infinite love for the Creator. The only thing a person is unable to see is the way in which each person will come to the Creator. That is, whether each person will do it in his own (natural) way or with the help of the Creator; as well as when he will do so.

The correct quantity and quality of desire has already been placed into a person from the beginning. A person needs only to gain the ability to use it with the correct intentions. Either I use all of my desires in order to fulfill myself and derive the most pleasure with minimum efforts, or I want to please only the Creator with the maximum pleasure that I receive.

A person himself is unable to change his intention. Only the Creator Himself can do this. If during the use of all my desires, my intention “for myself” elicits hate for egoism in me, this means that I have already come to the realization of evil within myself. The Creator replies to this state by changing my intention into “for the sake of the Creator”.

This passage from “Lo Lishma” to “Lishma” signifies the crossing of the barrier (Machsom) between our world and the spiritual. This state is called “birth, “acquisition of a screen”, or “crossing of Yam Suf” that separates Egypt from Eretz Israel. There is only one source for acquiring the spiritual – the Creator.

Entrance into the spiritual only changes the intention. The desire to receive does not decrease, but it increases even more on each spiritual level. However, did we not say before that everything is already created and there is nothing new? This is true! Simply, before my entrance to the spiritual I was shown an insignificant piece of my desires. Now, on each spiritual level, the desires become revealed to me more and more. Each time, new and more egoistic desires appear before me, to the degree I am able to correct my intention on them.

If a person feels evil in himself, he should be proud of this. After all, this means that he has already come to deserve the evil to become revealed to him.

When a person is in a good state, he must prepare himself for the following bad state. During a bad state, the important thing is the intention or the person’s inner perception. It must be connected to the end goal of what is happening, to the final result or to the one who has given him this state and the purpose for which he was given this state. We have to know that egoism is equal to the Creator in size, and it is opposite to Him. On each level, egoism becomes more and more aggressive.

You cannot speak with other people about the states in your heart. This is forbidden, because the person you are talking to is also in an analogous state and he cannot help you. You will add your faulty state into him. You can talk to Rav or the teacher, but it is even better to talk to the Creator.

In order to enter the spiritual, you must exercise control over all your thoughts in this world, and realize their evil and the impossibility of entering the spiritual because of it. You must suffer through the opposition of your essence to the Creator’s essence, and hate this with the full volume of hate. Then the spiritual will become revealed.

The realization of evil is not simply a bad mood due to the absence of something during a given moment. To realize evil means to perceive the Creator and, next to Him, the entire opposition of your nature, of your 100% egoism in comparison to the Creator’s 100% bestowal; to perceive the entirety of how unbearable this state is, as well as the desire to correct it.

From the Machsom on, during the ascent along the spiritual levels, a person already perceives the Creator. On every level a person must correct his relation towards Him, or his intention. There, you work on realizing the evil or Klipot in comparison to the light, as well as correcting “Kelim de Kabbalah” into “Kelim de Ashpaa”.

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