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Fifteenth Talk: Our Desire to Receive is Equal to the Creator's Altruism

The desire to receive is essentially the desire of creation to delight corresponding to the abundance and pleasure emanating from the Creator. We feel this desire to delight and the Creator wishes our enjoyment. To simply feel the desire to delight cannot be named “creation”, rather it is referred to as nature, Elokim. Accordingly, if we act following commands of our nature, then we are similar to an animal, without possessing a spark of the soul, which the Creator imparts in us from above.

When can it be said that we are a creation, purposefully made by the Creator, and not a stone, an animal or a bird? If we intend on learning how to use this desire to receive above our desire to delight. And for this, we must accomplish the task independent of the Creator.

Our desires to drink, eat, and sleep, to have a spouse and children are natural, and are instilled by the Creator; we cannot escape nor control these desires. But if above our desire to receive, we build our intent on correct use of it, then the degree and depth of this intent depends only on the individual, and is referred to as creation. We have to find the correct method for using our natural desires. Our nature is given to us from the Creator, and we can only affect its use. Kabbalah’s term “a point in the heart” means man’s attitude toward his nature, which is everything given by the Creator that must be used as a corrected desire The heart itself is man's desires and urges for pleasures only.

Everything besides the Creator is called creation, conditioned by the limits of nature. According to its desire to delight, creation is divided into four parts: inanimate, vegetative, animated and human. Of these four, only the human can utilize nature, using special intent that we ourselves develop. And this is called “the point in the heart”.

The question “Who am I?” arises in all of us. But when this question is unyielding and without avail, then it applies to the Creator: “Who is He?” because the Creator is inside every person and serves as a source of the human “I”. That is why, no matter how many times we ask ourselves “Who am I?” - the question is addressed to the Creator. The "I" of a human being is the result; being all of our desires, motions, everything we do, are made by the Creator. We are not able to grasp it. Every thought, everything we speak, including all that we say about the Creator and ourselves, are in fact actions of the Creator. Now we may ask, ‘where is “I”?’ Truly there is no such notion as “I”. Everything is a result of nature, created by the Creator. The Creator clothes a human being and, in fact, performs all actions. It turns out, the question, “Who am I?” can exist only outside of the Creator. And this is precisely what makes us different from the Creator: Our will to be similar to Him- to reach the Creator’s level.

The first stage is called "embryo", Aviut de Shoresh. At this stage, we completely annul ourselves and dissolve in the Creator. At each step from here, creation must raise itself to the level of Creator, overcoming its difference from the Creator independently.

By the means of intent, we build the Creator inside of ourselves, feeling our “I” simultaneously, which is in fact, the Creator. By comprehending the Creator, becoming equal to Him, we actually come to know our own “I”.

The Creator wants creation to remain independent. Creation, so to speak, achieves the level of “twice the Creator”: the first time ‘He’, and the second time, creation acting like ‘Him’.

Creation’s desire to receive is absolutely equal to the Creator’s altruism: bestowal for the sake of bestowal. The desire to receive is not nullified or lost; creation remains independent, using all its desires that it wants to return to the Creator. In this sense, the Creator and the creation are similar to each other. The goal for creation, while remaining unique, is to achieve the true perfection. The Creator could not have made an imperfect creation; He made creation similar to Him. How do we recognize this achievement? He created a creation and provided for it an opportunity to achieve His level.

This is called perfection. What emerges is a clear feeling that there is nothing else besides the Creator and creation. Creation suddenly reveals for itself that it does not exist without the Creator, as the Creator cannot be called Creator without creation. In our world for example, a mother is named a mother only if she has a child.

We can enter the spiritual only if we have the desire for it. But how can we feel the desire without knowing what it is? Let’s assume that someone pushes us a bit, peaking our interest sufficiently enough to awaken this desire. Nonetheless, we know nothing and if we understood and somehow wanted it, things would be simple. However, the spiritual is deliberately concealed for us. This is so because entering the spiritual using our will to receive would make it impossible to change our desire. To enter the spiritual, we must crave it, and to crave means to know, to try, to feel - ah, how good it is! Then, when we are deprived spiritually, we develop a hunger for it. There is a rule: the propagation of light and its subsequent disappearance make the vessel suitable for use. How can we achieve it? We must appeal to the Creator with a special request-prayer, to reveal the spiritual only for the desire to bestow, and not for self-enjoyment. The desire must then be used correctly with the help of a Teacher and a group. Hence to begin with, we have to crave spirituality.

A man does not have an ability to choose spirituality. Such ability comes from the Creator. The time is approaching where an increasing number of souls are ready for the spiritual. We act according to our desire. Before we began studying Kabbalah we were guided from above, and when we open a book the Creator starts moving away from us, in a sense. It can be compared with a toddler who is taught how to walk by his mother. She supports him at first, and then steps back little by little, as the child moves towards her. In a similar way we move towards the spiritual, acquiring increasingly greater independence.

There are things we can work with, and others that we cannot. If something hurts us, we cannot say it doesn’t hurt. We start from our own sensations. No philosophy can assist here, since it is the border of our “I”. It is impossible to fulfill our desires according to groundless philosophy. Our actions should correspond with the place we are. For when we attain spirituality our sensations will be different with the discovery that our internal sensations result from the acts of the Creator. Here fundamentally, a person and the Creator are the same; there is no contradiction between them, both wanting the same thing, even cause and effect non-existent. They both reveal equally, and this is called the unity of the degree.

We have to act in life based on who we are. On the one hand, we read wonderful articles, where the Creator and His name are one. However, our spiritual work must take into account the level at which we exist. For instance, it is impossible to set up our group's life at the level of degree called "the final correction". We are incapable of living according to its laws. That is why limits must be kept strictly in line with the place we exist. It is forbidden to confuse the desired with the real if we want to ensure our group life facilitates spiritual progress. Otherwise, we risk destroying both the group and ourselves. We have no choice. Life compels each of us to undergo individual correction in order to prevent a downfall of the entire group.

Unless the limits are changed, it happens to many groups. There are groups here and there, one can go and investigate them - we are not holding anyone. Each of us must have information to make a choice. There can be five students remaining, but they will know that this is their place. A person does not feel how much he and the entire group are affected by a downfall. If we choose the path of suffering, we are up for a few more reincarnations. We have to elicit in ourselves the feeling of this necessity, which will bring us to the inevitability of inner improvement. If Baal HaSulam, for instance, had some money in the evening, he would give it away so that he could get up in the morning absolutely poor. Even at this immense level, additional need helped him to advance. We don’t understand how this works at the high degrees.

At our level, we should at least establish limits that would lie heavy on us and obligate us to advance spiritually. It is not the first time that we demolish our current life and build a new one over again. Each new degree involves the demolition of an old degree and building the new one. This continues until the last breath. We ourselves are a judge for our own condition. An opportunity to have a view from the side does not exist.

Nothing disappears in the spiritual. For example, when we go down a staircase in our world, does it disappear? If the staircase is still there, it means that it doesn't disappear; if it is gone, then it follows that it disappeared. And what happens in the spiritual? When in reality it disappears, but at the same time it remains (even if not in the momentary sensation), it is a principle that nothing disappears in the spiritual. Each passing state remains and accumulates till the end of correction. But in reality we either exist at the highest or lowest level; we don’t feel the other states and cannot even imagine them. Beastly inclination in a person has to know that its salvation comes from above, and then one advances.

The Ari gives a typical example. One day he instructed his disciples that if today they "rose" to Jerusalem, it would lead to the coming of the Messiah. One disciple’s wife held him back, another had a sick child, and the other disciple had torn his shoes. Hence nothing came out of this - Messiah did not come. This could happen with us, and then another group will have to carry this out.

"Introduction to the Book of Zohar", Item 11:

"And the worlds concatenated onto the reality of this corporeal world, meaning to a place where there is a body and a soul and a time of corruption and a time of correction. For the body, which is the will to receive for himself, is extended from its root in the thought of creation, through the system of the impure worlds… remains under the authority of that system for the first thirteen years, which is the time of corruption.

And by observing Torah and precepts from thirteen years of age and on, in order to bestow contentment to his Maker, he begins to purify his will to receive, and slowly turns it in order to bestow, through which he extends a holy soul from its root in the thought of creation. And it passes through the system of holy worlds and dresses in the body. And that is the time of correction.

And so he accumulates degrees of holiness from the thought of creation in the Infinite, until they aid him in turning his will to receive for himself to be reception in order to bestow contentment to his Maker, and not for himself in any way. And by that, one acquires equivalence of form with his Maker, because reception in order to bestow is regarded as pure bestowal.

As it is said, that with an important man she gives and he says - by that you are sanctified. Because reception that is in order to delight the giver is deemed absolute bestowal and giving. By that one buys complete adhesion with Him, for the spiritual adhesion is no more than equivalence of form…and by that a man becomes worthy of receiving the delight and pleasure and the gentleness within the thought of creation."

We have a will to receive that gradually descends from above down, increasing its desire to receive more and more. It distances itself from the Creator, passing through the system of impure worlds and acquires a final property – "the desire to receive". This state is called "our world". A person, who starts advancing from the system of impure forces, acquires the intention for the sake of bestowal. With its help, he begins correcting his desire to receive and reaches the age of Bar Mitzva.

The light comes to him from above and fills him according to the degree of his correction. This means that the soul, the light of correction, clothes the body, the will to receive. Soul, light passes the system of pure worlds. If, receiving, a person gives pleasure to the Creator, this is called bestowal. Gmara tells us that if a respected person gets married, he is not obliged to present a bride with a ring. If he agrees to receive from her, he is as if giving her, because she respects him.

Such reception is the same as pure bestowal. If we do it in relation to the Creator (receives from Him with the intention to bestow in order to bring Him delight) this is called the equivalence of form. At first, we perform the restriction, asserting that we want to receive nothing for our own sake. But, if the Creator wants this and it brings the Creator pleasure, then he is ready to receive fulfillment.

The lack, which is made by the Creator, and the delight, which He gives, serves only as the condition, above which the system of interaction between the person and the Creator is built.

We are ready to receive from the Creator only when we are convinced that by receiving, we bring Him pleasure. First, we have to know the Creator, to sense Him, so that we can later establish a connection with Him. It makes a big difference whether a person receives for his own sake or for the sake of the Creator, bringing Him pleasure. Such a connection is a Divine gift.

"Introduction to the Book of Zohar", Item 12:

"Thus we have clearly explained the correction of the will to receive that is imprinted in the souls by the thought of creation. For He has prepared for them two systems of worlds, one against the other, through which the souls pass and divide into two aspects, body and soul, and dress one in the other.

And through Torah and precepts they finally turn the will to receive to be as the will to bestow, and then they can receive all the pleasures in the thought of creation. And along with it they acquire a solid adhesion with Him because through the work in Torah and precepts they have attained sameness of form with their Maker, which is deemed the end of correction.

And then, since there is no longer a need for the evil Other Side, it shall be eliminated from the earth and death shall cease forever. And all the labor that was given to the world over the past six thousand years, and to each person for the duration of his seventy years of life, is only in order to bring them to the end of correction, to the above-mentioned sameness of form.

The issue of the formation and extension of the system of the shells and impurity from His Holiness is also thoroughly clear now, that it had to be in order to extend by it the creation of the bodies, which would then correct it through Torah and precepts. And if our bodies, with their corrupted will to receive, would not have been extended through the impure system, we would never have been able to correct it, for one cannot correct that which is not in him."

Two things emanate from the Creator: body and soul, or Kli and the light. And the light helps the body to acquire the soul, to become giver, that is, to correct the will to receive into bestowal, until the corrected will to receive is filled with the light. All states that one undergoes passing through 6000 rungs, at every single moment, corrects a person, bringing him closer towards the end of correction. In this way we attain the total and eternal delight and adhesion with the Creator. Without equivalence of form with the Creator, we can receive delight only at the inanimate level, not at the vegetative, animated, or human levels of existence. The system of impure forces is necessary to augment the will to receive, so that later it can be filled with the light using the intention on this magnitude of desire.

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