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Shamati Nr 4 The Reason for the Difficulty of Annulling Oneself for the Creator


Why do we need all of this? Why is it necessary? We need this because in order to receive, to absorb everything that comes from the Creator we have to annul ourselves for Him. To annul oneself for Him means to use our initial egoistic desire only as supporting grounds above which we could build our spiritual Kli (vessel), and receive all the Upper light in it.

We can accomplish this by annulling our egoism. Why in this particular way? It is because egoism in its original form, as grand as it may be, is not suitable for receiving pleasure. As soon as pleasure enters the place of these desires, the desires immediately fade under the influence of pleasure. The desires are filled and thus we no longer perceive them as a deficiency, no longer feel any hunger for them, and consequently, no longer feel any pleasure. That is why egoism, in its direct form, is not fit for sensing pleasure. One first needs to perform Tzimtzum Aleph (the First Restriction) and start receiving pleasure and information (it is the same) in a completely new form. Here pleasure refers to fulfillment, filling one with everything that exists outside of human being.

To annul oneself for the Creator means that if one works with his egoistic desires on feeling pleasure for the Creator’s sake and therefore receives from Him, then all this pleasure passes through him and returns to the Creator. Since this closed cycle is infinite and continually growing, it creates in a person a sensation of infinite, endless, and an even more exalted, increasing state of life. Without it, no matter how hard one tries to fulfill himself in the egoistical state, one only keeps destroying and pressuring himself.

Baal HaSulam provides a very vivid example. A person gets himself into a state in which he is no longer able to be filled with Light, and hence, his egoism, called the angel of Death, brings him a drop of poison on the tip of a knife. A person has no choice: he craves pleasure and cannot avoid it, so even though he understands that it is impossible to receive pleasure in this manner, he nevertheless opens his mouth. The drop of poison falls in, and he dies. In this example Baal Sulam tells us how egoism destroys itself and is our gravedigger.

Hence, the transition from egoism to Tzimtzum Aleph by building the Kli for the new desire above our egoism. This amounts to creating an endless, swinging loop - a complete and constant circulation of the information of pleasure between us and the Creator. In this state one feels that the Creator wants to fill me and thus one receives in order to please Him; one feels pleasure from receiving and wants to receive more pleasure from Him so as to please Him even more. Thus we say that a person rises to higher degrees and enters the state in which he perceives the endless, continually enlarging life that is beyond any downfalls. In other words, it is beyond any negative sensations and beyond death which is the interrupted reception of information, fulfillment and so on.

So what is the reason for the difficulty of annulling oneself for the Creator where the Creator refers only to the source of infinite fulfillment? Baal HaSulam says “Although this is seemingly obvious to us, what is there in this? Well, we see, and that’s real, it’s rational. We even understand all this, that in our world this really doesn’t work. No matter how much we run after fulfillment, nevertheless, it immediately disappears; we have to run again after another and so on. In other words, an endless chase. What prevents us from realizing all this within ourselves?

Baal HaSulam says that this difficulty is actually tremendous. How does this difficulty of realizing such an obvious and needed system for interaction with the Creator manifest?

We must know the reason for the heaviness felt when one wishes to work in annulling one’s “self” before the Creator [annulling oneself for the Creator means to stop using one’s egoism, which is one’s personal gravedigger], and to not care for his own interest. That is, to not use one’s egoism for oneself.

You see, these words appear confusing to us, it seems as though we refuse fulfillment. For the science of Kabbalah is a method for reception of complete, absolute fulfillment so as to not worry about oneself. This difficulty is in that “…One comes to a state [when he is still in egoism], as if the entire world stands still…”

Everyone works, studies, lives, leads a normal life, and has a realistic attitude towards life, that is, they are just normal people. They have egoistic reasons for behaving, earning, and feeling pleasure. In other words, contrasting himself with other people, one sees that he is somewhat unreal, weightless, floating, and somehow not solid in his actions. One thinks of the spiritual, the need to annul oneself, to do something with oneself…

In other words, there is this clear psychological difficulty in crossing from this state into another. There’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes it’s even embarrassing to be this way, be so absent from this life, share these out-of-this-world ideas. It is not manly, not serious to treat life differently than the laws of human existence seem to dictate to us. This is how one feels.

“…as if the entire world stands still and he alone is now seemingly absent from this world; and leaves his family and friends…” In other words, it seems that he abandons everybody around him. He does not participate with them in regular life, consumption, securing, or communication. “…for the sake of annulling before the Creator."

Basically, such an idea is far from being perceived as real and needed. In general, where is a definite proof that this is necessary and required, and that it bears some sort of reality? This is what a person feels. Truly, you see it for yourself: because we exist in such circumstances, only a few make progress.

And so, Baal HaSulam says that, “…there is but a simple reason for this,..” What does ‘simple’ mean? The reason is really extremely simple. So what is it? It is the “lack of faith.” What does ‘faith’ mean? In other words:

“It means that one does not see to whom one nullifies, meaning he does not feel the existence of the Creator. This causes him the heaviness.

If we saw this system: one performs a Tzimtzum, creates a new Kli, and connects it to the Upper source from which all fulfillment, pleasure, all of our dreams, all that we desire come upon us. If we clearly saw where we exist… In his regular life a person tries and tries and tries to somehow fill himself, yet he can’t. Above, there is an even Higher source, and if one connects to it, he’ll be able to fill himself. And then, everything will be fine and good for him and for the people around him, and so on. In such case, we would accurately cancel our current method of fulfillment and connect to the higher one. No problem. Seeing this in reality no one would object to it. But since we do not see or feel that by disconnecting from ourselves we can connect to the authentic and true Source, an objective, a serious difficulty emerges in us.

How do we overcome this difficulty? Baal HaSulam says that in Kabbalah this difficulty is called absence of faith, that is, absence of the Creator’s perception. Faith is called perception of the Creator, although it stands in contrast to our previous notions, when we believed that faith is something… that we simply believe, without seeing or feeling. There is something out there and we believe in it. We don't know why, for what purpose and for the sake of what. Someone told us something, we read something, or this is how we were brought up, but for us this is a fact. And although our senses register absolutely no sensation of that, we accept it as perceivable. This is called faith. And so, Baal HaSulam says that in Kabbalah this does not exist. Kabbalah is a precise, real science that allows only for that which is perceived, what reaches our senses. And that is why presence of the Creator’s perception in a person is called faith. If obvious perception of the Creator is absent in a person, we say that this person lacks faith. We should simply get used to this definition so as to not get confused later. Baal HaSulam continues.

“However, when one begins to feel the existence of the Creator, one’s soul immediately yearns to be annulled and connected to the root.

Meaning, if one exists with his Kli here, down below and tries to constantly fill himself with this world and is not able to, but by connecting to another source, to the Creator or the Upper world (which is the same), he finds that, yes, he is able to fill himself, then this is not a problem.

Because of this Baal HaSulam says,

“However, when one begins to feel the existence of the Creator [if we felt Him, we would certainly had no difficulties], one’s soul immediately yearns to be annulled and connected to the root, to be contained in it like a candle in a torch, without any mind and reason. However, this comes to one naturally, as a candle is annulled before a torch.

How to solve this situation? We cannot escape it. We feel only this world and ourselves, nothing more. We cannot come out of this state. How can we really overcome this psychological barrier, that is how can we stop chasing everything that surrounds us in this world and connect to the Source that can fulfill us? How can we not connect to the false source of pleasure that, we know, can never fill us yet we continue until we die, as from the drop of poison? There is no other solution to this situation except for perceiving the Creator. As soon as we perceive Him, this world, naturally, disappears from our field of vision. We focus on the Creator as, indeed, the source of everything: knowledge, pleasure, fulfillment, confidence, Governance. Then, through this, we obtain faith. Baal HaSulam writes on.

“It turns out that one’s primary work is only to come to the sensation of the existence of the Creator, meaning to feel the existence of the Creator, that “the whole earth is full of His glory.””

Meaning, the world is called my Kli, my desires, which can be filled by the external source. Everything we sense inside of ourselves is called my Kli. When we feel that there is a source called the Creator (no matter how), which fills us, who can fill us, provide us with all the information instead of information surrounding me that does not fill us anyway, then, naturally, we stop paying attention to this world and connect to that source. This occurs naturally, egoistically, without asking. We do not need to decide anything; we do not have to turn ourselves inside out. This occurs in an absolutely natural manner. It is similar when in our world the minute we see something… This is easy to see in small children. A child sees something, but the minute he notices something a bit bigger, he immediately turns to it. So do we: we twitch and move from smaller fulfillment to a greater one. This happens all the time.

“It turns out that one’s primary work is only to come to the sensation of the existence of the Creator, meaning to feel the existence of the Creator, that “the whole earth is full [that is, I am filled, my Kli is filled] of His glory.” Meaning, His fulfillment. This will be one’s entire work, meaning all the vigor that he places in the work will be in order to reach that and not for any other things.

Hence, my goal should be to feel the Creator. Then we will have answers to all the questions. Then we will know who fills us, what we are filled with, what it gives to us. We will compare Him with what we have in this world today, that is, perform a comparison in our real sensations. And since He is the source a billion times greater than this Ner Dakik, “small candle”, the micro pleasures we receive today, naturally, we will simply be consumed by this, directed, focused only on Him.

“One should not be misled into having to acquire anything, but there is only one thing a person needs, namely faith in the Creator. He should not think of anything and the only reward that he wants for his work should be to acquire faith in the Creator.”

Meaning, all of my efforts, whatever we may be doing at the moment - studying, reading, living, suffering, loving, or laboring (no matter what), inhaling eating, sleeping, - everything that we do from now on has to aimed only towards one goal: to perceive the Source from which comes all of my fulfillment. Before any action, before any instant that we want to experience consciously, being aware and sensing that we are going through it, we have clearly establish that we are experiencing this moment in order to see the Source. From it, comes life, fulfillment, information, and entire governance of all that surrounds us.

If one can live most of the moments of life in this manner so that his reward is perceiving, revealing the Creator, then upon completion of a certain amount of such efforts, such moments, the Creator reveals Himself to a person. In other words, achieving this is the main reward that one wants to receive for his work. “He should not think of anything and the only reward that he wants for his work should be to acquire faith in the Creator.” What does faith in the Creator mean? Baal HaSulam returns once again and reminds us of feeling, “That the Creator fills all existence.” But what does all existence mean? It means us, all that’s inside of us. The goal looks completely realistic. We see that the goal is not mystical. We do not need anything for this. We just have to switch over to the understanding and sensing the Source that fills us.

We have already talked about the way it is done. How can we live through these moments (biggest possible amount of them), pursuing the reward in the form of the revelation of the Creator? To accomplish this, the group has to supply us (while we do not perceive the greatness of the Creator) with the greatness of the Creator. In other words, the group now has to praise everything that we expect to receive or perceive (when we perceive the Creator). It has to present this in such a way, that we would really feel that we have the strength to focus on the Creator, always think of Him, think of how badly we need this, how much this will fill us, how it will answer all the questions about our own existence and, moreover, about daily life, about everything that happens with us and the entire world. In other words, it will answer any question that can possibly emerge in us. Furthermore, we will have other, deeper questions than today’s scanty worries of how to make a living, relax a little, to feed oneself and so on. A global emptiness will emerge in me, which we will be able to fill with Him.

And so, we can aspire to perceive the Creator instead of perceiving this world only if we receive an impression from the group, from those surrounding me, that they supposedly perceive this already. Meaning, the group has to play with us. It has to advertise the Creator to us, try to sell Him to us “here, that is what He can do for you”, which is so called greatness of the Creator. Moreover, it is not important how we talked with each other, how much of this greatness we sense in our friends and those who surround me. We may not feel it at all, it does not matter. If they tell us about it, this is what helps us to progress.

“We must know [Baal HaSulam continues], that there is no difference between a great illumination and a small one that a person attains.

Meaning, we are not talking about what we attain, that is, what is the Creator in His absolute value. He has no absolute value. Everything is measured by our Kli, our desire, and our yearning. The light never changes. The light is the desire of the Creator to please creation, and this desire is constant, biggest possible, unchanging.

In other words, everything depends solely on our desires. That is why as soon as we develop even the slightest relation to the Creator, a desire to perceive Him, this small desire will be exactly what will tell us who He is. As we develop a greater desire to perceive Him, naturally, He will become greater in our eyes. Meaning, the truth is that the Creator appears to us the way we want Him to appear. The light i s simple, endless, non-resolvable into components, and invariable. It surrounds us in endless quality and quantity, as though we exist in the ocean of this light inside the Creator. This is how we exist in it. The Malchut of the World of Infinity, its black dot exists being completely filled by the endless light, the light of Infinity. That is why we can influence the Creator, reveal Him, get fulfilled by Him, the light only to the extent that we aspire, yearn, and open ourselves for this fulfillment. In other words, all the limits are within us. That is why Baal HaSulam tells.

“We must know that there is no difference between a great illumination [whether the light that fills me will come to me from afar or close, will be great and small] and a small one that a person attains.

The light does not change, for it is the Creator’s desire to please creation, and this desire (this light surrounds creation) is constant, greatest possible, and invariable. All changes occur in our perception, and they are the result of change in desires, in Kelim that receive the Upper light. Hence, if a person is able to increase his desire (in other words, aspire towards the Creator more), to the same extent he increases the amount of the light that has entered him, by his desires. Meaning, by increasing the desires, one increases the sensations. Increasing Kelim means desiring the Creator more and more, craving Him, yearning to perceive and to bestow to Him.

Everything depends only on our attitude towards the Creator: how strong, serious it will be, how deeply we will be penetrated by His greatness, importance, power, and His oneness, receiving this from the group. It depends on how much the group will drum this into our heads so that we become focused just on Him. As soon as we develop even a slightest yearning for the Creator greater than our striving for all these small pleasures of our world, we perform Tzimtzum Aleph on this entire world. What does that mean wedo? We do not have to do it forcefully. As soon as we see a greater goal in front of us, a greater source of fulfillment than our life, then, naturally, we no longer treat this life as the source. This means that we perform Tzimtzum Aleph and begin to work for the Creator. That is why Baal HaSulam says that,

“Yet, the question is with what can one magnify one’s vessels? Meaning, the greater is our Kli, desire, the greater the sensation in it. The answer is, in the extent to which he praises and gives thanks to the Creator…”

In other words, the more faith one has in the Creator, the more one feels Him, or, if this is not a feeling, then, at least, the greatness of the Creator that the group presents to him, as advertising, although he does not feel it yet.

“The answer is, in the extent to which he praises and gives thanks to the Creator for having brought one close to Him, feel Him a little and think of the importance of the thing (that is, any tiny movement towards the Creator or thought of him), meaning that he was granted some contact with the Creator.”

And now, catch yourselves at, on one hand, wanting to come into contact with Him, and on the other hand, at immediately facing an obstacle that distracts you, that tries to erase this yearning so that it seems that you can do nothing to overcome this obstacle. This is the balance that exists in you.

At first one is given a yearning for the Creator, and then, opposite this yearning, one is immediately presented with an obstacle. Hence, these two forces: on one hand, it would be nice if I thought of Him, and on the other hand, somehow this does not look that important or serious, or justified. In our world there is no real basis for this. This is something… everything is somewhat shaky.

All these obstacles generate in us freedom of will, they give us these two constant lines: on one hand I allegedly strive for Him, and on the other hand, I’m not that sure if I should put forward all of my effort in this. What will happen to the second part? What about these obstacles? They prevent me from doing this. This freedom of will is given to us so that we could solve this problem with the help of the group; so that we could annul our egoism, bowing our heads before the group, and receive the missing vector, one more element – the aspiration towards the Creator – from the group.

We will not make it without this, jumping back and forth from aspiration towards the Creator back our earthly problems all the time. And we will have one thought against another, constantly; it will happen constantly. Or, we, as children, will close our eyes to the problems, and will occupy ourselves with something seemingly spiritual. This is not serious, this is not spiritual, and this is not really progress. Progress has to be built on a definite confrontation between obstacles and yearning towards the Creator, and on solving of this problem, this conflict with the help of the group. It has to give us additional strength to strive towards the Creator so that we are so sure that we can feel and see Him, perceive Him for real, and hence we carry on, and nothing can stop us now, no arguments, none of those would be real things. This becomes real to us.

This is called faith. As if we feel the Creator at the present moment, and afterwards from here we will start perceiving (for real). Baal HaSulam says,

“Yet, the question is with what can one magnify one’s vessels? The answer is, in the extent to which he praises and gives thanks to the Creator for having brought one close to Him, feel Him a little and think of the importance of the thing, meaning that he was granted some contact with the Creator.

In other words, note the dependency: on one hand, we cannot feel Him more because we do not have the Kelim, meaning that we are not able to perceive Him, feel Him. Presently, our Kli is closed to begin with. It needs to be opened. On the other hand, how can we move towards Him unless we can open, unless we sense? That is why it is necessary to praise and honor the Creator beforehand. Why would we? Based on what, how should we praise and honor Him? How can we open the Kli even before perceiving? Open for what, for what Source? And the bigger his Kelim (vessels) become, the greater sensation of pleasure, eternity he feels in them. In other words, this problem is solved only with the help of surrounding group.

“As is the measure of the importance that one pictures for oneself, so the measure of the luminescence grows for him. One must know that he will never come to know the true measure of the importance of the connection between man and the Creator because one cannot assess its true value.

Meaning, an impression of the greatness of the Creator that one receives from the group has to constantly supply him an on-going, continuous hunt for the Creator, continuous aspiration towards the connection with Him. If one does not receive this aspiration, all of his efforts do not yield any real (direct) results. The Creator will not reveal Himself to him; he will not perceive the spiritual and will always dangle between his small yearning for the spiritual and his uncertainty against it.

"One must know that he will never come to know the true measure of the importance of the connection between man and the Creator because one cannot assess its true value. Instead, as much as one appreciates it, so he [already] attains its merit and importance. In other words, this already speaks of complete correction. There is a power in that since by that one can be permanently imparted this luminescence.

Meaning, he will acquire true faith, perception of the Creator which will correct him, drive him into a closed circle of communication with the Creator, called receiving for the sake of bestowal, and then the entire light of the Infinity will pass through him. He will be transparent for this light; he will exist within an ocean of light, bonded with it and completely equivalent to it.

Question: Is there a remedy against conceit?

All of our qualities have been created because they are necessary for attaining the Goal. Hence, we should not think at all about correcting ourselves. The corrections happen automatically, are performed by the Upper light. Nowhere in Kabbalah will you ever find (in any book we might study) that the correction is made directly by the person himself. Well, how can pull yourself by your hair out of the inferior qualities? We are unable to do it ourselves. We do not have such power.

The correction of Malchut is made owing to Bina, owing to the properties of the Creator. Until we possess these properties, how can we better ourselves? There is no way to do it! Therefore, the only thing we should do is to perform all possible actions that cause the Upper light to come to us, to evoke an artificial aspiration towards the Creator under the influence of the surrounding society, group, to direct ourselves artificially towards the Creator.

The Creator gives us the initial yearning for Him. With it, we have to come to the group with and demand that the group gives us its own aspiration towards the Creator. Suppose, we are now among a hundred of people; these hundred people should give us a sensation of greatness of the Creator that is at least hundred times bigger than our own (even though we do not sense it, we can absorb the idea), bigger than the one He gave us. It means that we earned aspiration towards Him by lowering ourselves before the group, bowing our head, by being ready to do anything for the group, to serve them, only to get from them in exchange the greatness of the Creator.

We have to buy from the group the greatness of the Creator, to pay the group for it. To pay by our efforts, by contributing to the group in any way possible: servicing, connection with friends, help – it does not matter by what, to annul ourselves before the group.

Consequently, we have to sacrifice our egoism to buy the greatness of the Creator. By buying that, we rush towards Him, we open myself for Him, and while exerting certain efforts, accumulating the greatness, accumulating my efforts, we reach such a magnitude, such a quality of aspiration towards Him, that we start sensing Him, we pass the threshold, the border of efforts (in Hebrew it is called Se’ah – share), i.e. we pass some critical mass of efforts. It is individual for each person. And then the Creator reveals Himself to me. We acquire the true faith, the strength to act in the name of the Creator, for Him. And we are with Him in a closed cycle of information circulation, or pleasure, call it whatever you like.

Hence, there is no remedy for conceit, it is an obstacle that is objective and it should be in us. If someone’s initial qualities are conceit, pride, lust for power – all these qualities are needed, they are good, under no circumstances should they be exterminated. We should not attempt to cure them, i.e. get rid of them. You should cope with all of them, to bow your head before the group, to pay any price so that they would give you the sensation, the inspiration from the greatness of the Creator.

The nervous system, yes, it can be soothed, healed, and strengthened, this is really so. I remember when I came to Rav I, first of all, had severe stomach ulcers and he said, “Well, this is a problem because Kabbalah requires a lot of nerves, and you may not have them.” “Well” I said, “can it really be that a person's state is such that he cannot progress because of that?” He said, “No, he can, but he also has to receive medical treatment.” What does it mean to receive treatment? The progress itself, does it not heal? It may heal, of course, but one may also receive treatment, for this is an acquired thing, not in-born. If someone has such in-born qualities as conceit, pride, love of power, - all of these qualities are needed and useful, and they should not be disposed in any way. It is forbidden to treat them, that is, erase them out of oneself. Deal with them in order to bend your head before the group, give them anything in exchange for receiving from them a sensation, an impression of the greatness of the Creator.

Question: Why do you always speak of certain discontinuity in attaining the degrees? I want to aspire towards the infinite, not that it would be that linear, but nevertheless continuous.

I speak of discontinuity of attainment, because as soon as you attain the Infinity and it will fill you completely, that will be it. The next instant you will feel that it is not infinity; it slowly narrows down, restricts itself. However, this is not like in our world when everything disappears and you feel hunger again, - on the basis of this infinity that becomes restricted, there forms a new, wider Kli. And so each time around, - it grows even wider and wider.

You will discover that your infinity is just another degree, with even greater infinity emerging in front of you, and so it goes each time. Infinity is what we, at the given moment, cannot receive into ourselves. But the minute we received it inside and sensed for an instant "Ah, that is all!”, we immediately start restricting this “all”. In other words, the next Reshimo emerges following the chain of Reshimot that exist within us, and hence the next step… In other words, each successive step, until we fully absorb it into myself, appears to us as the Infinity.

Question: Does the beginning of direct perception of the Creator and crossing the Machsom occur simultaneously?

This is the same.

Question: But still, affecting certain parts of the brain, resonance frequency, and such. Is it possible to eliminate such negative qualities like hot temper.

It is possible to get rid of them, to use techniques that could help us to become calmer and more balanced. They do not liquidate your qualities, they only smooth their manifestations. These qualities remain inside of us. Therefore, it is not forbidden to have treatments; moreover, they are even encouraged. However, they should not be based on repressing the nervous system, but rather on balancing it.

Question: If after a prolonged period of study no questions come to my mind, in other words, everything is clear, everything makes sense, is this a sign that I’m doing something wrong, that I do not progress spiritually.

Often, studies, learning give us certain fulfillment; we understand everything that goes on. If we study, trying to comprehend the material in mind, through reason, to make sense of it, it sometimes happens that we grasp it very well. We understand that light goes there, desire - here, Reshimot… In short, on the surface, everything is going fine. That is it, what else do you need? Somewhere, somehow, the system is working, theoretically, everything is clear.

But when we apply this picture on ourselves, - where is this in me, these Reshimot, what is ascent, what changes occur in me, what does displacement mean, and so on, then the effect may be completely opposite – an absolute lack of understanding of the material. Sometimes, the opposite occurs: we look at the book, at the board, and understand nothing until we insert ourselves into this thing. Only discovering within ourselves that all of this speaks of us, inside of us, do we start to understand that is really taking place inside all of this. In other words, it depends on the state one is in.

Question: We say that the purpose of creation is to equalize Kli and the Creator, a human being and Creator, in qualities. Today, you clearly showed us that no matter how seemingly equal the Kli is to the Creator, the Creator still creates the Kli’s future desire to delight in Him, and hence the discrepancy. I feel a contradiction…

The purpose of creation is to completely equalize human being and the Creator, to make a human being equal to the Creator. We do not understand why this equality is practically impossible. We will explain what is happening. Is it really impossible for a human being to reach the level of the Creator? Between you and me, we already exist in that state. We simply do not feel that we do. We exist in the World of Infinity.

Remember the letter on page 63 from “Pri Hacham” (lit. Fruit of the Wise)? What does Baal HaSulam say there? Baal HaSulam says that we exist in the World of Infinity. This is a collective Kli called the soul. Every one of us exists in it. Later, we descend to the level called "this world". Then, from the state of "our world" we have to ascend back into our state, following the path by which we descended. What does ascend and descend mean? We no longer feel this state of ours and the distance of, say, 620 steps, separates us from it. Returning back to that state, we feel ourselves in the World of Infinity 620 times bigger, greater. This is what Baal HaSulam talks of in the letter “Pri Hacham”, on page 63.

In essence, what does this mean? We exist in the same state. We did not go anywhere from it. It is simply concealed from us by 620 restrictions, and now, we have to annul these restrictions and reveal it. Nothing else. What does it mean – one can or cannot? With a stick towards happiness, suffering will compel you to overcome these degrees anyway. Don’t worry, the Creator knows how to act upon you… It is we who do not know what to do with ourselves. He does.

Question: But still, why does a beginner feel that a collective of people studying Kabbalah think highly of themselves?

We give importance to knowledge. Knowledge. We read that, we studied, we understood, - we respect that. In the spiritual, this holds no weight. In the spiritual, only the equality of the qualities is acquisition, only it is the spiritual level. That is why if a person who understands completely nothing, who can grasp nothing, annuls himself before the group, he begins to perceive the Creator. In Kabbalah there is absolutely no need to be smart, or to aspire to accumulate knowledge.

What am I trying to say? We have to value each other according to our aspirations at a given moment. Today, at this moment he is higher. Yesterday he was in some kind of depression, however now he’s higher, - so connect to him! Try to take something from him. If he is in a downfall, help him! You too will ascend from this. In other words, we need to relate to each other paying no attention to the accumulated knowledge or experience. We need to devise a technology of relating to the group only through the Creator. I feel and relate to you, you, you, only through the Creator, as to an object connected to the Creator with which I can ascend. Meanwhile, knowledge is completely unimportant.

There are special, ancient Kabbalistic prayers in which a person asks the Creator to help him forget what he’s learned. Can you imagine? You studied for 10-15 years, you understood, you know, all of this lives within you, all of it! You can work with this inside of yourself, you understand everything. And suddenly you realize that it’s better for you to forget it all. A person feels that knowledge distracts him from the true demand. What should the true demand be aimed at? Not towards them, but towards combining with the Creator. That’s why there are those among us who work a lot in circulation, on giving to the group, on organizing groups, and is much more preferable than sitting and pulling “worms” out of books.

Question: Where should we apply efforts ascending to each successive step?

Every time you feel that you are a zero, you start from scratch. It seems as though previous steps have never existed. They are needed only for a new Reshimot to enter you now, while you need to find strength to realize this Reshimo. It can be received from above, but the request has to come from you.

Question: What is intention?

We have a desire to feel pleasure. We have nothing else. Intention defines the way this desire is used. This depends on us. In other words, desire will be realized one way or the other. It is up to us whether it is realized for our own sake or for the sake of the Creator. This is called intention. That is, there can be only two types of intentions: either for me, or for the Creator. A third option does not exist. Intention is that which we want from the realization of our desire.

Question: Still, there is something fanatic in this burning desire to cross the Machsom.

If the desire was such, we would of course cross it. In the letter on P. 70 Baal HaSulam writes that a person crosses the Machsom when he becomes insane over the connection with the Creator, like a young man blinded with love for a young woman. You know what the first love is, - such an insanity. By this we are shown an example of in our world how one could feel envisioning the Creator and the connection with him this way, and burn like a young man who desires a woman. Nothing is more important for him than this. He is mad about it. When such an aspiration towards the Creator emerges in a person, he crosses the Machsom. Good luck for all of you in this.

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