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Artiсle "Influence of the Creator" - Lesson of July 15, 2004

Lesson on Baal HaSulam's Kabbalistic Methaphor "Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before"
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD
The Creator’s Direct and Indirect Influence

The Creator's direct influence is called "His face" and the Creator's indirect influence is called "His reverse side."

"Thou embrace me from the front and from behind" - says a metaphor, that is, by concealment (from behind) or revelation (from the front) of the Upper Force to man.

The Creator reveals Himself to man in this way because all that we attain is based on comparison, on contrast between darkness and light. We cannot attain light or darkness separately; only from the transition from one to the other. Hence, man asks the question about his "I" when two opposing forces or properties (his and the Creator's) appear within him and the creator starts working with them.

Unless a person wants to acquire the Creator's property and prefers to remain in his own, he is not considered independent because he exists within his animate nature.

Existence in our world is not regarded as life. Life is a process when man independently transforms himself in similarity to the Creator. Only then can he operate with two properties and does not remain confined within his natural qualities.

With His direct and indirect influence the Creator constantly urges us to become independent. In other words, He wants us to possess both our innate properties (will to enjoy) and His (will to bestow) so that we will be able to govern the universe with their help.

The Creator influences man from the front and from behind with the purpose of leading him to the preordained goal because "He reigns and rules over all" and returns everything to its source.

That is to say, both when He is concealed and when He reveals Himself, everything that happens in our thoughts, desires, and reactions is completely determined by Him.

Everything exists in order to return to the Creator, merge with Him, for "there is nothing that is free from Him." This means that nothing exists outside of His power; everything that descends to a person is pre-ordained. The difference in man's sensations ("from behind" or "from the front") lies in the way the Creator's universal power is manifested.

Either a person reveals in the present that it manifests in all of his desires, properties, intentions, and actions, or he intends to reveal this in the future.

A person who deserves to combine this world with the spiritual world reveals the Upper governing force in the present and discovers that reality is just an external shell that conceals the Supreme Power that rules over the entire creation, over every decision, thought, and action. However, if it is not revealed to man at present; then it will manifest in the future in the form of a rider (Creator) and a horse (creation). Meanwhile, it seems to the creation that it controls the Creator and that it can compel Him to change.

That is to say, when I pray, beg, implore or demand something from the Creator, I am sure that I do all that. In fact, I do not. The Creator predetermined it all within me and I aspire to Him. So where am I in this picture? I am not there. I am completely pre-programmed and the Creator stimulates all of my movements. I automatically cry and beg Him to help me because that is my natural reaction. He helps me and manipulates me so that I finally reveal and grasp the complete picture of the universe.

All of these processes within the created will to receive pleasure occur gradually. All the cause-and-effect connections that are destined to bring the will to receive to its ultimate form (the will to bestow or the will to enjoy for the Creator's sake) are predetermined.

How does the creation participate in this process? Does it exist at all? That is what we have to find out.

But although it seemingly appears that the horse leads the rider, the truth is that the horse is provoked to any movement, only by the sensation of the bridle and headstall of the rider. And the person who reveals the power of the Upper force in this form calls such revelation the concealment of the Creator's face.

When a person begins to feel that nothing can affect him but the Creator, such feeling is called the revelation of concealment. In other words, he understands that the Creator conceals Himself from him.

One who has not yet come to dedicate all his movements to the Creator alone is similar to the horse that does not obey the reins and bridle of the rider, but appears to do the opposite. Such a connection between man and the Creator is called "the reverse side."

It seems to a person that certain thoughts, actions, and decisions of his come not from the Creator, but from himself. That is to say, a person still believes in his independence and freedom of will, thought, action, and decision and cannot yet accept the Creator's uniqueness and universality. The state, in which a person feels in his Kelim that something depends on him, but at the same time understands that this isn't so, is called the Creator's concealment.

However, you should not think that you are drawing away from the Upper force, for "that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all. For he that is banished be not an outcast from him and the entire universe will return to its root."

Therefore, although it seems that the horse leads the rider by his despicable desire, the truth is not so. It is the rider who leads the horse to his destination.

Meanwhile, however, man isn't aware that the Creator governs him. Therefore, whether he reveals it or not depends on the degree of concealment. There are various degrees of concealment (double and simple), each consisting of their sub-levels. So the truth is that the rider controls the horse. However, it is not apparent in the present, but only in the future. At the moment this future state is concealed. In other words, concealment is the reception of information from the future state of revelation. Hence, there is also contact at this stage, but it is back to back, meaning that neither the Creator nor the creation wants it. And those who follow the Upper force's will, discover its power in the present, and connect with it face to face through the will of the Creator, for that is precisely His desire.

A person who fulfills the Upper force's will (i.e., disregards the absence of obvious contact, annuls himself before the Creator, and tries to attach to Him the desires that are concealed now) reveals its power at present, connects with it face to face, of both the Creator's and creation's free will. Such connection is the Creator's desire.

The person who reveals the true Governance in the present is joyful and knows no grief, enjoys abundance and feels no need, acts of his free will and not under compulsion. All of man's aspirations are received by the Upper Governance and everything flows towards its root.

However, if the Creator rules over everything, then what is the meaning of our aspirations? Perhaps, I aspire to Him because he spurs me? Perhaps, when I think about something, I should do nothing and just wait until he gives me a push?

Or should I aspire to Him by myself even if my desire and decision are not really mine? How am I supposed to make a decision (to move or not), if I am so confused at the moment?

After all, it does not matter that this will be the Creator's decision and action. When I finally make up my mind to advance (in spite of the illusiveness of such freedom), why is it any better than just sit and wait?

The Baal HaSulam says that if a person makes his own effort, his sensations change: "He who reveals the true Governance at present is joyful and knows no grief."

When I make my own earnest attempt to reveal the Creator (even though it only seems to be my decision because He programmed it all within me), this false but allegedly possible effort fills me with joy.

This elation in my advancement towards the Creator is similar to what a child feels when it does something "independently". In fact, there is nothing independent in such actions, but this movement brings it delight and joy. The child perceives it as its life, action; and that is precisely the joy, which the Creator wants to bestow upon us. Yet, everything is moving towards its root anyway. If so, a question arises: "Which path is more preferable?" The one that is based on the mutual desire, for it is said: "And He saw that the Light is good."

Thus, although all of our decisions, desires, and actions are pre-programmed at every stage, the path, on which man makes his seemingly independent effort in his aspiration for the Creator, is most desirable. He then sees that "the Light is good," meaning that he receives an additional sensation of his personal participation.

This sensation does not disappear even after the Creator completely reveals Himself to him. Man feels his participation in this process although in reality it is no more than illusion. We cannot understand this contradiction now. Psalm 139 explains it beautifully:

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted [with] all my ways.

For [there is] not a word in my tongue, [but], lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

[Such] knowledge [is] too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot [attain] unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].

If I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness shineth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light [are] both alike [to thee]...


Question: By revealing the Upper Governance, a person sees that everything is pre-ordained and that he is being controlled. How can he retain this feeling of freedom?

I cannot tell you now what a person feels when he discovers that everything come from the Creator. Yet, this is exactly what makes him free. It is a paradox! When do I actually have freedom of action? This happens when I know that I have no influence over the Creator, that neither of us will derive any benefit, that He knows nothing about me, and that I do not know whether I did something for Him. I completely detach my "self" from the result of my action, and from what He and I know. Only if I rise above it, will my action be considered free, independent, and detached from my egoistical desire.

Something similar occurs in this case too. If I know that I am not free in my desires, decisions, and actions; that absolutely all comes from the Creator, that I live within the illusion of my independence, accept this illusion as true and act with the knowledge that this action is not mine, then such an action is detached from my egoism and is really my own.

Question: It is said in the article: "...there is also contact at this stage, but it is back to back, meaning that neither the creation nor the Creator wants it." How can anything happen "against the Creator's will"?

The contact "Achor be Achor" (back to back) is called so "against the will of the Creator and the creation," meaning this is not their true wish - the Creator does not want to be concealed and the creation does not want to remain within its egoism. Their mutual desire is to be similar to one another (in complete bestowal).

In the state of concealment both of them are on the "reverse side" (opposite to the ultimate desirable state). These two states are predetermined and interdependent: the Creator cannot reveal Himself unless the creation transforms its egoism into altruism, and vice versa, the creation's concealment compels the Creator to conceal His true desires.

Question: How should we interpret the statement that "we have freedom of will in choosing our environment?" Everything is predetermined, pre-programmed, isn't it? So, is there some freedom of will after all?

How did you come here - by chance? Not really, it was because you were searching. Who gave the desire to search? Clearly, nothing happens by pure accident - neither our decisions nor actions.

You had a choice where to go and you chose between this and that. In our life we define uncertainty as freedom.

From the point of view of Kabbalah, this is called the lack of information and knowledge because if I knew what expects me in this or that case and consider my options, I would act like an animal without any doubt or freedom. Animals have no such choice - to go here or there. Everything is always precisely determined for them - all of their egoistical desires clearly see pleasures, fulfillments before them, so their choice is simple. The same goes for a child.

When a person grows up, he finds himself in the stage of concealment. He is in doubt of what is best for him and begins choosing. Yet, it always comes down to the same question: "Where can I fill myself more?" We do not know where, but this is the lack of information, not freedom of will. Freedom of will starts when you know where to go - this or that way. The Creator does everything for you and neither your thoughts nor actions are free because you act in accordance with your animate nature. The Creator who completely controls your egoistical desire is within you. Hence, in our world we are marionettes.

We stop being marionettes when we start acting in defiance of our desire. The Creator is sitting inside me and determines everything. I am absolutely sure of that, but notwithstanding the fact, I act independently. I do that by imitating Him.

You may ask here: "Is the Creator present in my independent actions?" Yes He is, but I do not feel his presence. When I reveal Him in my action, which I perform in defiance of the knowledge that He is within me and He does all, in reality I reveal my unity with Him.

Question: When I decide to do something one way or another, should I act in defiance of my knowledge?

There is a commandment that states: every decision or action must come from the aspiration to achieve greater unity with the Creator.

Question: Is there any concealed information or purpose that the creation has to reveal when it finds out that all of its desires come from the Creator?

The purpose of creation is to feel what the Creator feels. To that end we rise above our nature that is created, completely predetermined and controlled by the Creator. He is leading it to its ultimate state and none of our actions in this process are considered independent.

Our participation starts at the level above our nature, above the screen, above our desire to receive pleasure, where we build our decision in the Rosh (head) of the Partzuf (i.e., when we rise above our natural desire).

Our desires are created and completely determined by the Creator. All the laws created by the Light are in these desires. We have to rise and create our "I" above them. The Rosh is a symbol of all that happens in our intention. Afterwards, the same already manifests in matter. The Rosh is a calculation that man (creation) makes. The creation and the Creator merge within the body of the Partzuf. This is the Creator's universal thought that created the body of the Partzuf. Man realizes this thought in the Rosh so that his body will be similar to the body of the Partzuf.

In other words, the Creator created the Guf (body) of the Partzuf(Ratzon Lekabel - the will to receive) and man creates the Rosh (head) of the Partzuf. When they unite in the Guf, in Ohr Pnimi (inner Light), which spreads in all ten Sefirot of the body, the Creator and the creation merge.

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