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Comparative Analysis of Kabbalah and Philosophy

Why do we have to engage in the comparative analysis of Kabbalah and something else? Kabbalah includes practically all our knowledge about the entire universe. It embraces all levels from the macro force that governs and creates everything, conceives and leads everything towards one purpose called the Creator; to its smallest manifestations with regard to creation. This includes the nature of creation (all that occurs with it under the influence of the indivisible Upper Force), and creation's reactions.

There is nothing that lies beyond the scope of Kabbalah. It addresses everything except the Atzmuto, the part of the Upper realm that remains inscrutable to us. This is because we apprehend everything inside our Kli (desire) created by this Upper Force. With what can we compare such a science? With nothing, yet it is still necessary to make a comparative analysis of Kabbalah and philosophy. Why?

Philosophy claims to deal with the most general knowledge of humankind. The ancient Kabbalistic sources assert that philosophy appeared as a result of the misinterpreted lessons that Kabbalists gave to the nations of the world (Abraham, in particular, sent seventy of his disciples to the East). This is quite natural because Kabbalistic knowledge cannot be perceived differently in the egoistical, uncorrected properties.

We see how the philosophers of ancient times (starting with Aristotle and Plato), Middle Ages and modern periods have built philosophy upon their personal speculative guess-work (one thinks this and another thinks that). There is a rule in philosophy according to which everyone has the right to his personal viewpoint.

Every thought that emerges in a person is a result of his nature and impressions, and therefore it has the right to exist. This is certainly correct; it has the right to exist. It already exist, so what is the use talking about this right? However, we should examine what claims such a thought can lay?

There is a fundamental difference between Kabbalah and philosophy because the latter studies what the person attains inside his egoistical Kelim: desires, abilities, capacities without transcending the limits of our world or receiving the sixth additional sense called the soul, the screen.

For someone who never understood, felt, knew, or heard about the opportunity to transcend him or herself and enter into the outer universe where one can feel something that is beyond the bounds of this world philosophy really represents the science that allows all sorts of reasoning.

In this case, it undoubtedly constitutes humankind's universal knowledge. Therefore, throughout the history of humankind philosophers have represented its most progressive group.

However, those who know what Kabbalah is, what it reveals to man and what opportunities it provides, understand that philosophy is nothing but a figment of our imagination. Most importantly, its knowledge is utterly inadequate and unreliable because it is not empirically corroborated.

It is based on pure speculations because philosophy is engaged in reasoning about knowledge, actions, and properties that are beyond the precisely determined sphere that can be empirically researched. This science's reasoning is a set of abstract notions of which everyone can have his own opinion.

When Kabbalists begin penetrating and apprehending the Upper World, the philosophers' theoretical, abstract suppositions existing only in their minds and fantasies, turn into practical research. For Kabbalists, who can rise above our mind and research, analyze, assess, and compare thoughts, these philosophical categories become the elements of their praxis.

What is defined as assumptions in philosophy is considered empirical material in Kabbalah. This is what makes Kabbalah and philosophy so different and contrary to one another.

Kabbalists resent philosophy although today Kabbalah is regarded as its part. Why do they dislike it? The reason for this lies in the fact that all philosophical conclusions are based on purely theoretical suppositions that are unsupported practically.

If such baseless, erroneous, and unfounded conclusions (although they might be logical and beautifully formulated) are accepted for action and realization, they often lead to results that make the entire humanity suffer and cost the lives of millions of people.

We have lived through these periods of socialism and communism. Everything appeared so wonderful in theory, but nothing came of it in practice because it was detached from the egoistical human nature, which was in no way wished to realize these beautiful philosophical theories.

Kabbalah holds philosophy in contempt because it is based on absolutely unreal and empirically uncorroborated suppositions.

Definition of Spirituality

Philosophy believes that the spiritual generated the material and the soul created the body. This statement is problematic because the connection between the spiritual and the material becomes essential. On the other hand, it is said that the spiritual has nothing to do with the material, which means that there is no way the spiritual can have any contact with the material and somehow set it in motion.

So the spiritual exists. Spirituality can be characterized by some philosophical definition, perhaps by more than one.

Kabbalah defines the spiritual as an altruistic property that is completely unconnected with our egoistical desires, thoughts, and actions. The only difference between the spiritual and material lies in the direction of the result of the action -for one's self or for others.

This result is absolutely clear, precise, and final when I know exactly (not in my present investigations, but in the spiritual, altruistic research) that I will not receive any benefit from my action, thought, calculation or desire. Such an action is called spiritual. That is to say, Kabbalah defines the spiritual as complete isolation from any benefit for self.

A person in the street can say, "I act this way every day, all the time. When do I think about myself?" The question concerns how one can actually verify this definition.

While being in our world, until we have crossed the Machsom, we are unable to do that because we all are captives of our egoistical nature. Whatever may seem to us, we are trapped inside it anyway. When can we know that we have already transcended this nature? We will know about it when we do it, and not before. Perhaps, we have already transcended our nature and our reasoning is altruistic? There is no answer to this question because while being in only one nature it is impossible to compare it with another. Hence, it is pointless to talk to the person who exists only inside egoism and it is impossible to explain to him what he can or cannot compare.

Sometimes it seems to us that our actions are absolutely altruistic. Nothing can be done about it. A person comes to me and says, "I am already in Gmar Tikkun, in the world of Infinity. I am completely corrected. Yesterday I ascended 20 levels and today descended a couple of levels." That is what seems to him and all I can do is say, "Yes, yes. Everything is going to be all right soon" (and it really will).

While being only in egoistical nature, one cannot rationally analyze, research, measure, and compare it. To be able analyze something, one must possess two contrasting properties: those of Malchut and Bina.

Now we exist only in the property of Malchut. Provided we develop the property of Bina (the point in the heart), it begins to defy, oppose, counteract Malchut. Between these two naturally, correctly, and independently existing categories of Malchut and Bina, we can begin analyzing our own properties. What properties? Those that exist between Malchut and Bina.

While being at some level between Malchut and Bina, I possess some properties of Malchut that are similar to Bina and a certain number of Malchut's properties which I restricted (made Tzimtzum) and which are not yet similar to Bina. I begin analyzing them and determine my true spiritual level.

However, this is possible only after I enter into the spiritual realm, acquire the property of Bina, restrict Malchut, and suppress all of its actions (desires) with Tzimtzum. Only then can I start determining my spiritual level.

Philosophy lacks this instrument. Only Kabbalists (i.e., people who have passed on to the next spiritual state) have it at their disposal. Therefore, philosophy can only be engaged in speculations, one of which maintains that the spiritual generates the material. It seems to everyone that the spiritual constitutes some Upper forces that gradually materialize.

Baal HaSulam says that nothing would have been wrong, but in that case, an obvious assumption comes to mind that the spiritual and the material are in contact. In reality, there is no contact between them because these are two cardinally opposite properties: for one's self and for the Creator. They are contrary in their vectors and cannot be connected in any way. The force of Tzimtzum (restriction) completely separates them.

To cross the Machsom means to break away from the past and begin thinking and acting according to a totally different program, move in a completely different direction. The style of thinking, assumptions, decisions, and results change completely. They exclude the possibility of any egoistical solutions, thoughts, maneuvering between egoistical and altruistic solutions and ideas, modifying and comparing them. Such a state does not exist. Either the person enters the spiritual world or he does not. He exists either in one program or in the other, which are separated by an unfathomable abyss.

In accordance with philosophical assumption the material dresses the spiritual, puts on the material garb. This signifies a contact between them, some smooth transition from one to the other, when the spiritual governs the material from within it. Contrary to that, Kabbalah asserts that the spiritual does not control the material! Moreover, there is nothing spiritual in the material.

This is the principal erroneous philosophical supposition as a result of which further discrepancy between philosophy and Kabbalah grows increasingly.

Question: How does that agree with the root-and-branch law?

This is a great question. On the one hand, we say that the material is in no way connected with the spiritual. On the other hand, we assert that there exists the law of root and branch (Anaf ve Shoresh). This law maintains that there are forces above that naturally form their consequences below, that every root is linked to its branch and controls it, is clothed and realized in it. As we learn, this apparently happens to enable the branch (the consequence in our world) to rise to its root and merge with it at the end of its correction.

This is what we need to find out. Evidently, such correct and disconcerting questions will eventually help us at least to take the hint at what the spiritual really is in spite of the fact that we cannot feel it.

Besides, like any other science, Kabbalah states that one can discuss only what one can feel and research. Therefore even defining the spiritual means distinguishing and separating the spiritual from the material, and to do that one first must perceive and attain the spiritual. To that end one already needs the science of Kabbalah because it allows to begin perceiving the Upper World.

Baal HaSulam asks how the person who does not understand, feel or see the spiritual, who receives no clear impression about it can define something that he never perceived. Kabbalists perceive the spiritual. Having corrected themselves in similarity to this property, they start receiving, defining, feeling, measuring, and researching. Thus, they define the perceived and call it spirituality.

How can philosophers, who do not feel it and merely draw it in their imagination, define something they cannot perceive? This is absolutely unscientific or, at least, not serious. Hence, without the science of Kabbalah we will be unable not only to define the spiritual, but also to reason about it in any way. A definition ensues from the depth of attainment as a conclusion, as concentration of enormous amounts of facts and information.

Essence of the Upper Force (Creator)

Another difference between Kabbalah and philosophy lies in the fact that the wisdom of Kabbalah does not engage in studying the essence of the Upper Force (Creator), something that we call Atzmuto (He by Himself) beyond its connection with us. With regard to us the Upper Force is referred to as the Creator because it creates us, the universe in and around us, rules over it, sustains it, and leads it to a definite goal.

I am called a father with regard to my child; I am a friend to another person, a colleague to my co-workers, a man or a citizen to other members of society, and so on. Similarly, with regard to us the Upper Force is called the Creator; only with regard to us. We do not know His other categories, attributes, hence we call Him Atzmuto, the imperceptible Creator unrelated to us.

The wisdom of Kabbalah neither engages in studying the Upper Force (that does not relate to us), nor tries to prove its laws, because it defines itself as an experimental science, and does not speak of what is outside the scope of its attainment. It does not even negate attainment, since defining the non-existent is no less valuable than defining the existent.

I cannot even say that I do not attain something. If I say so, it means that I know what I failed to attain and have a certain opinion about it. I know what exactly I do not attain; I analyze, define, and distinguish one thing from another.

If this essence were too distant (completely beyond our perception), it would be impossible even to discern its missing elements.

Kabbalah does not characterize (positively or negatively) the Upper Force without the reference to the person who attains it. Defining something that is absent in it also testifies to a certain extent of the object's realization. We can only analyze, sense, and measure something that enters into us, something that we can understand, receive, absorb. We speak only about the reaction of the Kli to the Light that fills it. The Light in itself is inapprehensible.

All of our measuring devices are based on the principle of resistance and comparison. For instance, an amperemeter measures not the power of electric current, but the force of resistance from the elements of its construction to the influence of the electric current. By measuring the reaction of electromagnets and an amperemeter's springs, we present it as the properties of electric current. The perception of our senses and the devices we use are based on the same principle.

We do not know what the Light that fills the Kli is. We perceive only our reactions to it, and according to its action within us we call it warm, pleasant, providing life, giving confidence, etc., or vice versa. We give definitions not to its qualities, but to our own reactions and perceptions. Philosophy makes no distinction between the perceived (hence conceivable) and the unperceived (hence inconceivable). It judges the Creator directly, not knowing that without attaining His properties inside the Kelim (the way Kabbalists do it), all definitions will certainly be false.

Therefore, the basic principle of the science of Kabbalah is, "The unattainable can have no name", where a name implies a beginning of some sort of attainment. When you define something, give somebody a name, it means that you apprehend one of his properties, his attitude toward you. The same goes for Kabbalah. The Upper Light that is attained inside the soul's vessel, the sensation of the Upper Force (the Creator) and its actions are described in the wisdom of Kabbalah in the minutest and precise details of an analysis and experiment no less accurately than in the study of the material.

The Kabbalistic attainments are as obvious as those in the material world. They can be measured, repeated, passed on to others, and reproduced. Kabbalah is a purely experimental, practical science. Its knowledge includes only what has been verified empirically.

At the same time, philosophy does not even make it its aim to conduct any experiments. This purely theoretical science cannot be verified experimentally. Therefore, its application in practice is fraught with very grave consequences, as we have observed in Russia during the last 70 years.

The Spiritual is a Force without a Body

Kabbalah defines "the spiritual" as something totally unconnected with time, space and matter. It constitutes a force not vested in a body, a force without a body.

This is the kabbalistic definition of the spiritual. The spiritual is a force in its pure form. This is the most correct definition to the truth we can possibly imagine. It is simply a force.

The spiritual is a force in itself. It is neither the results of it nor its influence (because in this case it will refer to the matter which it affects).

This can be expressed differently. The spiritual is not a force, but all that we can say about the spiritual constitutes forces per se. Try to think of forces that are not vested in matter, bring no visible result, and are not manifested in anything that we can imagine.

Spiritual Vessel is called a Force

When we speak about a spiritual force, we do not mean the spiritual Light in itself. The Light is outside the Kli (organ of perception and attainment); hence it is inapprehensible. This Light emanates from the Creator and equals His essence.

That is to say, we can neither comprehend nor attain it so as to give it a name and definition. Therefore, the term "Light" is merely a metaphor and cannot be regarded as authentic. The definition of "a force not vested in a body" implies a "spiritual vessel." The Lights described in Kabbalah speak not about their essence, but express the reactions of the Kli, its impression of the encounter with the Light.

An altruistic, spiritual desire is a force, and the reaction of this force to something that influences it is called Light. According to this definition, the Light originates in the Kli. Consequently, we measure not the Light, but the corrected properties of the Kli (while calling them Light).

Let us assume that the vessel has corrected itself by 20%. In this corrected part, it feels its new state that appeared as a result of the correction. This new sensation in the corrected desire we call the Light. The sensation in the uncorrected desire is called darkness. Whether something fills them or not completely eludes our perception. In reality, the matter concerns only the perception of the vessel - whether it is filled with the corrected or uncorrected sensations. Imagine how subjective our explanation of what occurs with the vessel is?

For example, by attaching electrodes to a human brain and sending various signals to it one can stimulate all kinds of hallucinations in the person. It will seem to him that he is flying, swimming, or watching some extraordinary phenomenon. If you ask him, he will assure you: "Of course I see it all!" Yet, the experimenter knows exactly that the person is merely subjected to the influence of electric impulses.

So, can we actually differentiate reality from illusion? No, we cannot! Man finds it hard to believe. Perhaps even now we are steeped in slumber, and it just seems to us that we are sitting and studying Kabbalah at our usual lesson. Perhaps, we have never attended any lessons at all. Maybe it is just a long sleep, or it only seems to last so long? We have nothing with which to compare this state because we lack the opposite quality, property as a reference point.

Therefore, Kabbalah conceals nothing and calls a spade a spade. It always precisely defines our state. It states that we feel only what we feel, and only what is inside us. We will never be able to determine how correct or false, subjective or objective our sensations really are.

This is the true, genuine scientific basis for reasoning about our essence and sensations. By deviating from it, one can easily take various unfounded philosophical theories for truth.

There is nothing in man but his properties and the impressions they leave. This principle is expressed in Kabbalah by the following formula: "Anyone who criticizes something does it in accordance with his uncorrected properties, and anyone who justifies something does it in accordance with his corrected properties." We see the same in our world; one can feel, understand, and attain only what he has already absorbed, felt, accepted, and grasped. Everything is based solely upon the inner properties of the observing recipient.

Subjectivity and relativity are all-embracing because they come from the initial property of the Kli. When the Light created the Kli and imparted to it its properties, it started reacting to the Light in accordance with two parameters: its own will to receive pleasure and the desire to become similar to the Light. The Kli was created to be egoistical, to feel the Light as pleasure. It can feel either enjoyment or the lack of it. However, the Kli does not feel the Light itself because the Light created it so that it could feel it as pleasure. Therefore, we have no idea what Light is; all we know is that it gives us pleasure. Now imagine how limited we are.

Question: The Light created the Kli and controls it. Is there any connection between them?

In the spiritual world, the connection between the Light and the Kli is very clear and tangible. Yet, as Kabbalah asserts, there is no connection between the two worlds, between the altruistic and egoistic governance and matter.

We need to clarify the exact meaning of "no connection." This means that there is no direct control. Another question arises: do we speak about the up-down or down-up connection? The fact that being below I do not influence the Upper World by my egoistical properties is easy for us to understand. Indeed, how can I possibly affect the altruistic world egoistically? However, the upper level may influence me or somehow be connected with me. All of this is the subject of Kabbalah studies.

Vessel and Light

The Light, i.e., the vessel's impression can be attained. The Light is the Kli's impression of something that ostensibly fills it. Sometimes I suddenly feel that I am filled with something, that I almost burst. Am I really going to burst as if my inner atmospheric pressure was raised a few levels. No, this is the sensation of my desire, which I call Light.

In fact, this filling is merely a sensation of desire. Kabbalists gave this sensation the name "Light." Such an attainment is called "matter and form", since the impression is a "form" and a force constitutes "matter". However, the sensation of love that fills the vessel is defined as a "form without matter."

The attainment of Light (vessel's impression) is referred to as a "combination of matter and form" because impression is a form and force is matter. However, the sensation of love that emerges inside the vessel is defined as "form without matter."

The form cast in matter is the Light, pleasure perceived in matter. The form without matter is the sensation of love: He bestows upon me and I understand that He loves me because I love Him.

If we abstract love from a gift, as though it had never been dressed in the particular gift and merely constitutes an abstract name (the Creator's love), then it is defined as a form without matter. This is so because I felt the Creator's delight.

Let us examine how far we abstract ourselves from the material reality in this definition. I (will to receive) feel the impression called pleasure, as if an electric charge was sent to me through an attached electrode and I enjoy it. By the delight I feel I consequently conclude that He who gives me this sensation loves me. What does this love mean? This means that regardless of my matter and the sensation of delight that He stimulates in it, the Creator loves me.

Now imagine how detached this is from me already? This is a form without matter. "He loves me; hence, He creates me and stimulates in me the sensation of delight." This is an unfounded assumption, which is defined as a form without matter.

While feeling the Creator's attitude, the delight He bestows, I begin advancing toward the similarity of properties with Him. I wish to give Him what He gives me; therefore, I feel (within me!) what He presumably feels and become similar to Him.

Consequently, if He bestows only goodness upon me, and I try to give Him the same, I will be able to understand His motives, thoughts, and feelings. I will then be able to say, 'Yes, He probably loves me. He certainly loves me because I feel the same for Him, thanks to my bestowal upon Him'." "Mi Ma'asecha Yikarnucha" - from the similarity of my actions to those of the Creator, I begin to understand Him.

The same exists in our world as well. I wish to understand another person, but it is not simple at all. His qualities, mentality, and psychology are very different from mine. I should start acting the way he does, and then the mechanical actions will help me to understand his way of thinking, the motivations behind his actions. I will begin to understand him.

Compare a childless person with someone who has children and takes care of them. Until you have what he has, until you are in his shoes, you will not understand the worries, problems, and thoughts of a father. In order to realize someone else's motives, one has to become like him, act like him.

How can one attain the Creator or something beyond oneself? Kabbalah has developed a method of attainment of the Creator. It is based on the equivalence of form. As much as I understand it, I act in the same way the Creator acts with respect to me. I need not fantasize or philosophize about the Creator's influence; I rely only on what I reveal within myself. By revealing how the Creator affects me and trying to reciprocate, I begin to understand Him. Why? This happens because I become similar to the image that the Creator creates in me.

I cannot attain Atzmuto, the Creator Himself; all I can attain is His attitude toward me.

In Kabbalah, this action is called an "acquisition of form". This is concrete research because the spirit of this love remains in our attainment as the Light's essence, a notion that is totally abstract from the gift.

Why is it abstract? I begin to act the way the Creator acts with regard to me. I aspire to stimulate in the Creator the same feeling as He stimulates in me. Thus, we establish such contact when the question of who gives to whom becomes irrelevant. The matter does not concern the essence of the gift, but rather what reaction is stimulated in one another by means of this Light felt as pleasure.

Each of us wishes to say, "I love you, and the delight you give me is just a necessary condition for getting this message across." The sensation of love we reveal in each other is called an attainment of form. We rise above our own matter and what we feel in it, while realizing that both matter and its filling are but an essential transmitter of our attitude to each other, of our love.

Thus, we have come to form. This form is based on the real action that includes practical experience, measurements, repeatability, reproduction, etc., which is completely absent in philosophy. In this way, the transition from matter to a form of matter takes place, and further on to a form without matter, to love, i.e., the result of what matter feels.

Matter and Form in Kabbalah

Although this love is the result of a gift, it is incomparably more important than the gift itself. The gift is just a means, a symbol, and a hint, all intended to express love because it rather depends on the greatness of the giver than on the gift's value.

If I am important to you, I can tell you a couple of words even without giving you anything. A gift is even more meaningful because I leave you something tangible; give you something for keepsake. Yet the importance of giving is determined not by what I give you, but rather by the fact that you receive it from me and not from somebody else. That is to say, the gift's value depends on the importance of the giver. The less attention is paid to the gift's value and the more importance is attached to the attitude to the giver, the closer one gets to the spiritual.

The greatness of the giver is incomparably more important than the gift itself. Love and attention impart infinite value and importance to this state. Therefore, love becomes so completely abstracted from matter (Light and gift) that only the attainment of love remains, whereas the gift loses all significance. It becomes suppressed by the message about the Creator's love.

Consequently, this part is referred to as "a form in the science of Kabbalah" and it is the most important one.

Question: How can I reveal His attitude to me?

We discover the Creator's attitude to us by His influence. When the person enters the spiritual world, he begins to feel how the Creator directly affects him. We define the result of this influence as the sensation of love.

Question: In our world a person is said to be able to know how his parents love him only when he himself becomes a parent. How can we know the Creator's feelings without creating anything?

In order to understand the attitude of your parents to you, you must undoubtedly become a parent yourself. A question arises here: "Do I have to become a Creator to attain the Creator's attitude to me?" I certainly have to become a Creator.

He creates a desire and fills it to communicate to this desire, or creation the sensation of love. The creation (man) has to perform the same action concerning the Creator, to find a desire in Him. How come it exists in the Creator? This is because He wished to create me to fill me with delight. This means that He has a desire to which I can appeal.

He wished to give me pleasure, so I can play with this desire as a child plays with the love of its parents. A child is often called the head of the family because by manipulating its parents' love it really becomes the dominating force, the most important family member.

In a similar way, one can manipulate the Creator's love. If He loves me, then He needs me. Consequently, I can appeal to this property of His and work on it: "Do you love me and want me to receive pleasure? I will enjoy You only if You enjoy me. I can enjoy only if I become like You, if you make me similar to Yourself."

I can play with His desire, His love for me because His primary, initial property of love - "Tov ve Metiv" the Kind and Loving One - forced Him to create me. So by treating this innate property of His correctly, I can do whatever I wish with myself and with Him. Whatever I wish! I have His principal property, His essence, His love for me in my hands. He cannot escape it; I can compel Him to do what I want. This situation is described by the sentence: "Nitzchu Li Banai" ("My sons defeated Me"). By appealing to this property, I can compel Him to change and correct me, make me like Himself; and that is what we should do.

Question: Well, let us assume that I can get on with Him, but what about all the other created beings?

I can be on good terms with the Creator because He loves me, but what should I do with the rest of creation? The Creator ostensibly created other creatures around me so that they would influence me. He did it to help me realize, in spite of all obstacles, that it is the Creator that influences me this way because He wishes to lead me from my present egoistical nature to the good result.

The more I correct my egoism, the better I will see that only the Creator fills the entire universe. There is none else beside Him and I should deal only with Him. By treating all with love, I will see that I address the Creator, while everything that surrounds me is a consequence of the fragmentary, uncorrected state of my Kli. To the extent of correcting myself, I see that the whole world around me merges into one single force, one desire called the Creator.

Everything that surrounds me is created only for me to unite all these elements into one will (Creator). Nothing else exists.

Only to the extent of my imperfection and inability to tie all the opposites together, I interpret reality as independently existing, unrelated to the Creator, seemingly having a will, programs, and desires of its own. I ascribe to people, states, societies their own powers; regard them as existing objectively, freely, and separately.

How can bodies independently decide what to do and how to exist? How can one possibly assume such a thing? Who or what exists? Why do we ascribe such properties to the protein-based matter? It is because we are in this state. By correcting our properties, we will feel and see that only the Creator acts within us. Naturally, we will also see it in others and will stop thinking that someone acts independently.

A very subtle factor of the attitude toward man exists here. One may relate to a person as if he acts independently: bring him to task, make demands, etc., or think that the Creator wants something from me. Everyone can tell you: "Go to the Creator and argue with Him." We should understand our situation. Still, clarification of the Creator's uniqueness is our most important inner effort.

Question: It is difficult to appeal to Him.

All this difficulty and confusion appears in us because we cannot yet precisely distinguish between the corrected and uncorrected sensations and properties. This creates inner muddle and I do not know to whom I should appeal: myself, my friend, the Creator? This is quite natural.

This will not pass until you cross over to the other side. You will then understand both of these states (worlds) and be able to define them within you. It is impossible to explain this to you now. So everything we say today is either to reassure or to confuse you even more. Both are necessary.

However, today you will not be able to understand what we talk about. However hard I may try to get these ideas across to you, I put into them much more profound definitions and information than you actually hear.

Question: What I received from Him I process within me to bestow upon Him subsequently. Will He understand me and the sensation of love which I return to Him after the processing? Will it not be cardinally different from what I received from Him?

All our moves are based on our sensations. We act in the spiritual world in accordance with what we feel exactly the way we act in this world. We have no other measuring or computing devices and means except our sensations, properties, and thoughts. In the spiritual world, they are perfectly balanced and can show us their practical results, causes and effects. Hence, in contrast to our world, there is nothing concealed or unattained in the spiritual. Man either attains everything or he does not; it is like zero vs. one.

Assumptions, hints, and semi-tones exist only in our world. Every level in the spiritual world consists of five parts filled with five Lights. No more and no less. You may ask, "And how about the states of Katnut and Gadlut?" The Katnut (small state) does exist, but even in the Katnut there are five parts, although they are filled with the Light of Hassadim. They too can be measured, repeated, and passed on. The spiritual attainment is the true inner attainment of the Kli.

The Worlds Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya

We have spoken about the existence of

This love is divided into four levels that are similar to the degrees of human love. When at first a gift is received, the person is not yet ready to love the giver, especially if the giver's status is much higher than that of the receiver.

If he is equal to me, I understand him. He is like me. He wants to please me, and I want to please him. We are similar and understand each other quickly and easily.

However, if he is incredibly great, say as the Creator relative to creation (in general, we cannot even imagine this difference), then receiving His gift, I will have trouble determining what He is, who He is, and what He wants from me. If the giver is disproportionately greater than me, I can neither accept nor appreciate His gift. This already creates a problem.

However, as the number of gifts steadily grows, the receiver feels that even a very important giver can be perceived as an equal and thus genuinely loved.

So what is the problem? Although the Creator conceals Himself, He is incomparably greater than creation. If He manifests Himself as the Giver of delight, He always constitutes the higher level with regard to the lower one. This gap is perceived as a yawning chasm between you: One gives, the other receives. The Creator is perfect and eternal while you are in an absolutely opposite state.

How can one accept the gift and realize it without being completely suppressed and immobilized by it? This is quite simple. Creation is unable to do anything by itself - the Creator has to approach it. Yet, how can He approach creation if He will be superior to creation anyway? The difference between two levels in the spiritual is always infinite; it is a gap. The difference between levels 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the Aviut is tremendous. It is similar to the difference between the animate and vegetative levels in our world, although much greater.

This chasm gradually disappears due to a great number of gifts that the Creator very frequently gives. When He keeps sending you His gifts all the time (although He is so great and you are so insignificant), He grows increasingly smaller in your eyes until He seemingly becomes as ordinary as you.

This is achieved due to the number of gifts (what a ruse!), so that you begin to grow equal to Him and feel love. Otherwise, the Creator's greatness will suppress it and you will not be able to feel it because love can only be felt between equals.

Love is not felt between someone big and someone small: it is suppressed by greatness, benefits, and various forms of dependence. Love is felt between those who are equal and free, when no other relationship exists between them. Only love for each other connects them, hence they have to be equal.

In order to become equal (although the nature of the Creator and the creation cannot allow it), the Creator increases the number of gifts. However, as the number of constantly received gifts increases, one feels that it is possible to perceive even someone important as equal and really love him. Indeed, the law of love states that lovers should feel equality between them.

Equality means the absence of any distinction, benefit, suppression, or power. Love is manifested only if we are completely independent of one another.

In accordance with that, four degrees of love can be defined. Love exists from the very beginning, but there are four degrees in it:

1. Presenting the gift is called the world of Assiya. While beginning to feel the Creator, the person feels the pleasure that He bestow.

2. Increasing the number of gifts is called the world of Yetzira. Later on we will analyze why the worlds of Yetzira and Assiya are perceived this way. We will see the property of the world of Yetzira, why one feels the number and frequency of received gifts. We will understand what this frequency and gift means. Now we just need to understand the principle.

3. Revelation of love's essence is called the world of Beria. Here the study of form in the science of Kabbalah begins because at this stage love was separated from the gift (the world of Beria is already the property of Bina). The Light leaves the world of Yetzira (because there are Lights of Hassadim and Hochma in Yetzira while only the Light of Hassadim fills the world of Beria). Therefore, love remains unanswered, filled only with Hassadim, bestowal, without gifts.

4. The Light and love are simultaneously felt in the world of Atzilut. After love tried and finally separated form from matter, after all the Kelim de Hashpa'a (vessels of bestowal) were tested in the state of darkness (without the Light of Hochma), the person can ascend to the level of Atzilut, where form returns and dresses into matter, meaning that Light and love are felt as one. This signifies the reception of the Light in the egoistical desires with the intention for the sake of the Creator. This is called "Lekabel al menat lehashpia" - to receive for the Creator's sake.

Question: It is said that abstract form is incomprehensible.

We have not yet reached that level. At the beginning we said that there existed matter, form, form cast in matter, and essence.

A form cast in matter is like a table made of wood (form is a table and matter is wood). A form without matter is an abstract notion. What is a table? It is an object on which a person can write or put a frying-pan. This is what we call a table. There is nothing abstract in nature. We perceive things as abstract only because we have seen them clothed in form once.

Is this the same definition as the one we formulated before, where matter is desire, form is a gift, fulfillment in this matter, and a form without matter is love that appears as a result of my sensations? No, it is not because here we speak not about the gift abstract from matter, about pleasure abstract from desire (as an abstract form), but rather about the feeling of love that appears as a result of this.

In other words, we speak about something that emerges above the previous state, not in the abstraction of one from the other.

Question: Is my understanding correct that only in the world of Beria can creation be similar to the Creator?

In the world of Beria creation begins to grow similar to the Creator in its properties. In the world of Atzilut it becomes similar to Him by its actions.

Source of the Soul

We perceive the spiritual as a force separated from a body, and therefore having no material image. It is a separate property and has no contact with the material world. However, if so, how can the spiritual generate the material and set it in motion?

Our first usual questions are: "Is there contact between them or not? If not, how can one control the material from the spiritual? Maybe there is contact, but it is one-sided and can hardly be considered contact, dressing of one into the other. Is so, then what is this dressing considered to be?"

Force is Matter

A force per se is real matter no lees that the rest of matter of the real world. Although this matter has no form (our speculative image) that can be perceived by human senses, this in no way diminishes its value.

We have said that the spiritual is a force, and now we say that force is matter too. Does it mean that the spiritual is matter too?

Let us for example take oxygen which is a part of most materials existing in the world. If we take a bottle filled with pure oxygen (when it doe not interact with any other material), it looks empty. Oxygen cannot be detected because it is in a gaseous state. It cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, or touched. Hydrogen behaves in the same way. Neither of these gases manifests with regard to us.

Yet, if these two substances (oxygen and hydrogen) are combined in a certain way, they form water, a liquid substance that is good for drinking, has taste and weight.

If we add this water to quicklime, it will be immediately absorbed and will turn into a solid substance similar to lime itself. Thus, the absolutely imperceptible chemical elements oxygen and hydrogen turn into a solid substance that we can perceive in its final form.

The same may be said about the forces that act in nature. Usually they are not regarded as matter, because it is impossible to perceive them in our senses. On the other hand, we see that the reality (e.g., solid and liquid substances tangibly perceived in our world) may be transformed (if heated) into gas, which in turn (if sufficiently cooled) may return to a solid state.

From this it becomes clear that all perceived pictures come from the imperceptible and immaterial bases.

We can always rise to the most subtle state of any substance and say that it is such and such at that level and then it descended back to its solidity, coarseness and took this form in our perception. So what is the difference between the state when this substance, matter, property was at its highest level, as an imperceptible gas and its present lowest, coarsest state? Is there any difference at all? No, practically not.

From this it follows that all the perceived pictures originate from the basics that are impossible to feel, say, in a gaseous state and may not be called materials. Therefore, all the familiar pictures imprinted in our consciousness with the help of which we define materials do not permanently exist, but change their form under the influence of such external factors as, for example, temperature. By heating and cooling a body, we can observe what occurs to it on both the imperceptible and perceptible levels.

So the essence of matter is in the force contained in it. However, with regards to us, the forces do not manifest by themselves as chemical elements. Their essence will be revealed in the future, in the same way as chemical elements were discovered only during the last centuries.

What does Baal HaSulam wish to say? Soon, with the help of Kabbalah and other sciences we will see that matter in itself does not exist. Scientists in all fields of science already come to this conclusion in their research. They have understood long ago that matter exists only with regard to us because its form is determined by our perception. Yet the truth is that matter does not exist at all.

Any type of matter can be turned into a solid, liquid, and gaseous state. Furthermore, it can be transformed into plasma or into a state that completely disappears from the perception of our sense organs.

Everything depends only on how we influence it, on how much we try to transfer it beyond the borders of our perceptibility. For all that, nothing happens with matter, it merely passes from one state to another, but never disappears. We can heat any substance and then cool it again, condense and produce liquid from gases or vice versa (according to the law of Gay-Lussac, temperature and pressure determine the state of a substance at a fixed volume).

Baal HaSulam explains that everything changes only in regard to our sense organs, to our perception. In reality, there exist only forces that are either imperceptible to our senses, or manifest in the forms that we can pick: plasmic, gaseous, liquid, or solid.

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