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The Wisdom of Kabbalah, Lecture 4

TV Series "Revealing the Upper World"
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

Lecture Video / Audio

We have learnt and talked about the fact that the whole substance of creation is a will to receive, and Baal HaSulam writes about it in the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, that on the whole, there is Light and there is a vessel (Kli). The Light comes first and creates the will to receive as a vessel for it, and then the will to receive is developed by the Light.

The will to receive is a desire for pleasure. And he says:

Both of these notions, [I’m reading from the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, at the beginning]: are inevitably included in the Thought of Creation.

Meaning that there is nothing in the Thought of Creation, except for these two; the relationship between Lights and vessels. The Thought of Creation, where both of these notions originate.

Drawing No. 1

However, they are two separate notions, as mentioned above, for while the abundance descends directly from the Creator, [meaning, abundance, the Kli (the vessel)], the desire to receive it, is the root, the source of all created beings, [out of which all created beings emerge, and within which all creations are included].

Meaning, the desire to receive is something essentially new, meaning existence from absence, [something that never existed before].

In other words, there is His Essence (Atzmuto), some Higher Power from which the abundance descends, what we refer to as Light, and this Light engenders a creature—all of the creatures collectively as one created being; "something essentially new, meaning, existence from absence."

What does it mean, "existence from absence”? It means it never existed before, but rather, that when the Thought was formed, the creature appeared.

It turns out that thedesire to receive— [“desire to receive,” the desire for pleasure] is the essence of creation, from beginning to end.

What does it mean "from beginning to end?" It means that later on, this initial creature evolves up to a certain degree where here is the beginning and there is the end. And it subsequently, evolves back again from the end to the beginning, traversing various phases we might talk about later today].

Andall of the various created beings and their events,

Meaning that this creature subsequently divides into many parts that are spread according to the various degrees of their relation to His Essence. Everything measures relative to His Essence, or more precisely, relative to the abundance, which is our standard; our scale].

Drawing No. 2

The abundance, or Light, is a Giver of abundance; Its nature is purely to bestow, absolute bestowal, to impart one hundred per cent. What does it mean, one hundred per cent? It means that It has no thought, nor will or intention, other than bestowing.

The creature, on the other hand, becomes initially corrupted. He suddenly feels in many of his parts, that he wishes to receive, whereas receiving is contrary to bestowing (to the Giver); and the more he feels the contrast between himself and the Giver, based on his level of recognition, the more he is considered to be declining.

What does it mean that he is declining? It’s just like an individual that all of a sudden feels himself an egoist, a delinquent and a wrongdoer. The degree, to which he feels he had done bad things, is the degree according to which he feels his decline and his lowliness.

Drawing No. 3

In other words, there are no places here in spirituality, only a ladder of values, which we measure relative to the hundred per cent bestowal that comes from the Light. And when the created being becomes capable of reaching the ultimate, deepest and truest degree of self awareness, he feels himself a one hundred per cent recipient; he feels his own nature relative to the nature of the Creator.

The created being is incapable of feeling himself or understanding himself right at the moment of his creation by the Light. This is rather a gradual process during which the influence of the Light causes him to realize how contrary he is. This whole process is referred to as the creature’s decline in awareness; his distancing in perception from the Light.

This is why there is no distance or time in spirituality, but there are rather other parameters, other criterions. The creature determines his position, whether he is close to the Light or far from It, based on his perception of who he is in relation to the Light.

In other words, there is a primary law in the reality of the creature and his relation to the Giver, the Creator, the Upper Light, called the law of equivalence of form. This law states that the creature determines his position relative to spirituality, to the Creator, based on the degree (the percentage) to which he discovers his similarity or dissimilarity to It. And that is, in effect, the only determining factor of his location in the Spiritual World.

The Spiritual World is our inner world, in which we begin to recognize who we are in relation to the Creator, to the abundance, to the Upper Light; and one which we are currently lacking. Only when the abundance, the Upper Light, begins to be revealed and we become capable of measuring ourselves against It,it is said that we have entered the Spiritual World, where we can evaluate ourselves relative to the Giver. This is what is referred to as the Spiritual World.

All the worlds are found within us, and we determine who we are, based on our ability to judge ourselves more accurately in relation to the Light that is revealed. In other words, it is impossible to say ”the created being” without revealing the Creator in relation to him, as this comparison is what causes the creature to recognize that he was created by someone. By measuring himself relative to an unchanging “someone,” though he himself keeps changing, he can always determine where he is situated relative to that unchanging thing.

The reason for this is that the substance of the created being goes through all kinds of changes. What kinds of changes? The substance itself doesn’t really change. Meaning, the will to receive, the desire for pleasure that was created by the Upper Light, does not change. But his recognition, of who he is in relation to the Upper Light, does change. And according to that, he feels himself distant to a higher or lesser degree, from the Upper Light.

In other words, these worlds are some sort of self recognition of the creature, of where he is situated. Is the creature really situated where he imagines himself to be, relative to the Upper Light, based on his own attributes? It is in fact, determined by the creature. How His Essence, the Creator, sees us compared with how we see ourselves, we will discuss later on.

It is sufficient to say that He sees us all corrected and existent in the best possible situation, except that we have to go through this whole process of self recognition, called the recognition of evil. After this recognition, we must go through a process called “correction” of the evil recognized, whereby we want to turn that evil into good, at the end of which we become just like the Giver.

Drawing No. 4

So this whole process is an internal one that occurs within the Kli, as a sensation of the Kli, above his will to receive; whereas the will to receive itself is unchanging in essence and it just determines his grandeur, his spirituality or corporeality, relative to the Upper Light.

Which is why he says the following:

It turns out that the desire to receive is the essence of creation, from beginning to end… such that all of the various created beings and their events.

“Their events” means: their relationships, their interactions and all the processes they will be going through from situation to situation, where the creature will see himself better or worse in relation to the Light. In other words, this is how he will be judging himself.

Once more, this whole process, this entire path that the creature traverses, is not as if he is really going through something or that something within him really changes, except for his own recognition with regard to his substance].

Moreover, all events that happen to [the substance of creation] and their conducts that have already been revealed and the ones that are still to be revealed, are merely different ‘proportions’ and changes in values of the desire to receive;

Proportions and changes in values, means that the created being assigns values to his own will to receive. His will to receive doesn’t actually change, but rather his own evaluation of the will to receive, does.]

Everything that fills the created beings and satisfies their desire to receive, [meaning, the will itself and that, which is impressed in it,] comes directly from the Creator, existence out of something."

Everything within the creature, except his own evaluations, is a will to receive satiated with the unchanging abundance, “ and has nothing to do with the newly created being existence from absence”, [neither innovated nor renewed].

The Creator created the will and filled it with Light. This state is called Ein Sof (Infinity) and it is the only state that truly exists in reality.

Drawing No. 5

And the concealments (ha Olamot in Hebrew), meaning the Olamot (the worlds), are done on part of the creature to conceal his own state and the state of the Creator.

So this whole process where the creature supposedly distances himself, then returns to that same state, knowing it better or knowing it less, is for the sole purpose of determining his own true worth relative to the Creator.

As it is not at all something new and it descends directly from His Essence, existence from existence.

This entire condition is just like His Essence: permanent and present. This is why, in the Wisdom of Kabbalah, we distinguish three different states. The first state, where we exist in Ein Sof (lit. Infinity), having been created by the Creator as a vessel, which the Creator satiated infinitely and in abundance, to the same degree of strength, capacity and volume that He had created the will to receive in all its forms as well as everything there is, though it is unimportant for us at the moment, “what” or ”how much” it is.

The Creator satiated the vessel completely and fulfilled it with the Light, such that the will to receive was now totally abounding with its intended Light in every one of its desires and everything there is, without end, which is why it is called Ein Sof (Infinity), boundless.

We are not talking about measures, as in a hundred kilos or fifty liters; there is no significance to “how much” it is, for in spirituality we do not talk about that, as there aren’t any dimensions, such as grams and kilograms, because there are no distances. There are only qualities. So if we say that the will was created a hundred per cent and fulfilled a hundred per cent, this means that the will was completely satiated in every one of its desires, events, and manners, such that from the will’s perspective, there isn’t and there can never be, any lacking nor any kind of feeling that it hasn’t been fulfilled; and this is called the state of Ein Sof (Infinity).

Drawing No. 6

And from this state of Ein Sof, called Matzav Aleph (State 1), the creature nevertheless arrives at a state we call Matzav Bet, (State 2). This condition is the worst, and we refer to it as this world. I’m writing here “us,” referring to how we perceive ourselves.

State 2, in truth, consists of not only us, but of the whole decline from top to bottom, meaning, the materialization of substance to its final degree, this world, and of the subsequent phases of correction of this substance, until it attains Matzav Gimel, (State 3); whereas State 3 is exactly like State 1. We reach the same state of Ein Sof. We return to the exact same state.

What then, is the difference between them? The difference between them is that here, in Ein Sof, we were engendered, created by His Essence without any knowledge or will, to begin with. We had no prior desire nor did we choose that. It was basically a reality mandated by His Essence. This is also the reason, why His Essence cannot be attained and only that which he designed exists before us.

And when after our evolution—our descent into this world, followed by thousands of years and numerous incarnations in this world—we begin our ascent upward, we do so by ourselves, by realizing our own free will, returning to Ein Sof.

In other words, the human being begins from his point zero, which is a state contrary to the state of Ein Sof (drawn here); and it is just like we’ve been discussing, that nowadays we are feeling some sort of an impulse, an emptiness in our situation, that is driving us into something more advanced, something higher and more superior.

And from this point zero state, we begin our spiritual ascent, where we begin constructing, supposedly by ourselves, the World of Ein Sof, from the Lights and the vessels that are coming to us from Above. And then our path from Above, portrays a very interesting image: The human being, feels an “I” that receives Light from above, meaning the understanding of what it means to be the Giver; what the Upper One signifies, or what we call AHP de Elyon, the revelation of the Upper One; and on the other hand, new desires are revealed within him—“a will to receive,”

Drawing No. 7

and the human being then performs here, the correct composition, called Neshama, a soul. Why is it called “a soul”? because he is unable to correct anymore of his Kli, his vessel, than the level of Neshama (the soul).

Drawing No. 8

Our vessel is comprised of five degrees of Aviut (Coarseness), five degrees of the desire to receive called Shoresh (Root), Aleph (1), Bet (2), Gimel (3), Dalet (4); and of Lights called: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama that are revealed in the Kli accordingly.

There are two parts in the Kli that remain empty, as we are unable to correct them; these parts are called Klipot (shells) or Lev ha Even (The Heart of Stone). The maximal Light that is revealed in our Kli is the Light of Neshama, which is why our entire inner Kli is called Neshama (a soul in Hebrew). But in truth, this is just an indication that we are all uncorrected and that we are unable to correct ourselves beyond that level.

The human being constructs his Kli, his soul, by receiving from Above, both Light and desire; and by progressively receiving more Light and more desire, he constructs an increasingly larger and larger Kli, until he reaches the state of Ein Sof.

This correction, this construction and correction that he performs on his soul is called the work in three lines. Why is it called “three lines”?

Drawing No. 9

It is because there is one line that is the Light, the abundance where the bestowal attribute is found, and from the other side comes the Kli, the uncorrected desire to receive; and when he corrects the Kli and the Light jointly such that the Kli becomes equal to the Light, to the degree that the Kli becomes a giver like the Light, it is said that he has corrected it as much as he was able to; which is, like we mentioned before, not more than a specific degree called Neshama.

Thus he ascends, meaning he progressively draws nearer to the World of Ein Sof (Infinity), receiving more and more Lights and more and more vessels repeatedly, and thus the individual constructs, creates in fact, his soul, by himself.

How does he perform this construction? The method by which he assembles both of these parts together is called “choice”, and the attainment of equilibrium between the Light and the vessel (that which he attains when the Light and the vessel are in equivalence) is called Life (Chaim), which is why it is written: “And you shall choose life”; because he repeatedly chooses a state in which his vessel is more corrected and more equivalent to the Light.

And how is the correction and choice realized? By means of the Light that reforms. In other words, there is a special Light here that illuminates him and demonstrates to him what vessels of bestowal are, and what the attribute of bestowal is; and thus the individual keeps growing, coming alive in his own soul, in this life, in this vessel (Kli).

And so aside from his body, the individual then feels his vitality inside this vessel that has evolved in him literally from scratch, from zero; and since his vessel is now larger than his body, he identifies with this vessel to such a degree that his body can later separate from him—what is referred to as death, to cease to exist—and the individual wouldn’t even feel that, as he would already be dwelling in the soul, and so this whole process that he went through in the lowest level, the bodily level, would not be felt like any kind of tragedy to him.

On the contrary, he then immerses in the Upper World’s consciousness, the Upper World

being the part that is felt within the soul. He thus keeps expanding his vessel and the Light within the vessel, a process referred to as, “ascending the steps of the worlds from world to world,” until he reaches Ein Sof (Infinity).

This path is comprised of five worlds altogether, each of which is comprised of twenty-five Partzufim. Partzufim are the parts of which the worlds are comprised, the total of which equal a hundred and twenty-five Sefirot, or steps. And this is the path that every single one of us must traverse, having no other option, from this world to the World of Ein Sof.

And this is how we progress from State 1 to State 3, via State 2: we agree with what the Creator has created before us, then construct that state ourselves and identify with it. There is no lessening of us relative to the Creator, as He designed the World of Ein Sof, and we designed the state of Ein Sof; He created it with His own free will, existence from absence, and we designed it with our own free will, existence from absence, except that our existence from absence, our something out of nothing, begins from below, from the state of total lack of comprehension, total lack of awareness, and basically, a total lack of beginning. This is, in effect, what we are facing right now; the opportunity that is being revealed to us.

Question: What happens with the individual after his death? In other words, is there a matter of a soul?

First of all, the human being does not die; it is just his body that dies. So what is the question? The body dies and our five senses stop functioning and transmitting impressions to us and our physical brain also stops functioning and transmitting impressions to us from the five senses. So what of that?

In our last talk we said that we have five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—and all of these senses connect to the brain. Next to the brain, we have memory and habits and everything we have received from our environment and our previous incarnations. As a result, this brain provides me with the image of the world—here at the back of the head; an image which I believe to be right before me.

So we say that in addition to all that, the individual develops a totally separate system, comprised of five senses that are degrees of the will to receive.

Drawing No. 10

They called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut—degrees of coarseness from which he receives impressions, provided that they are behind a Screen. And on that Screen that is placed over the total sum of his impressions, he sees the image of the Spiritual World, but only if he has a Screen.

In the corporeal system—this is the corporeal system and this is the spiritual one—the image of the world is revealed to him naturally; his body functions on its own and there is nothing for him to do except to add things to his memory. And so his mind becomes more and more capable of processing delicate matters, he understands the connections better and the image of the world becomes progressively clearer as a result. Just like the difference in the ways a baby, an adult or an older person view the world.

It is the same way here, except that here(in the spiritual system), it does not depend on the physical experience that simply develops over the years, but it rather depends on the actual Screen, where the individual basically determines the relationship between his vessels and the Upper Light.

Nevertheless, this image too, is an internal image, not an external one. Everything exists on the interior, inside the person’s vessels. And on the exterior, of both the corporeal and the spiritual, there is nothing but Atzmuto (His Essence).

Now, what happens with that part that we once used to feel and is now dead? What does it mean, “dead”? It means that it is no longer active in us.

Drawing No. 11

Do we suffer from it? Yes, we miss it. Why? Because if we don’t dwell in that bodily part, we don’t get to be in the zero level, the level of choice, and then there cannot be any choice. That can only happen when, with every one of my discernments I dwell in my body, and spirituality is something new and unknown to me.

I could already be in spirituality, in some level, say, having corrected forty per cent of my vessel, and I would still be baffled with regard to the forty-one per cent as I do not know what it is, it is always contrary to my nature and I’m constantly confused.

So how do I go on living if I do not yet exist in the level of the forty-one per cent, yet the forty per cent level has now been concealed from me, for the purpose of allowing me to acquire the next step? I remain here, in my body.

Drawing No. 12

I’m drawing it here but take note that this isn’t spirituality—so I exist here in my body, and that is precisely what allows me to have a free choice with regard to the spiritual discernments. It is like, in each moment I am born anew, like a baby, discovering the new spirituality.

This is why the choice and the examinations can only occur while in the body. We have reincarnated many times in order to reach ”the point in the heart” and why will have to keep on reincarnating until we realize our choice of attaining the end of correction from “the point in the heart.”

We will now move onto an article written by my teacher entitled, “To which level does a person have to reach in order that he should not need to be reincarnated a second time?”

To which level does a person have to reach in order that he should not need to be reincarnated a second time?

Question: What is the degree one should reach, from which one does not have to be reincarnated a second time?

It is interesting right? I don’t know if we want it or not, but at least it’s relevant to us…

It is written in the book Shaar Hagilgulim (Gate of Reincarnations) that, “All the children of Israel must be reincarnated until they become complete with their entire NRNHY. However, most people don’t have all the five parts called NRNHY, but only Nefesh, which comes from Assiya.

This means that each person must only correct one’s own part and the root of one’s own soul, nothing more. For that person, that completes the correction.

In other words, each one corrects himself. The fact that on our path we are also required to integrate with the rest of the souls, reach altruism and engage in all kinds of bonding activities among us, is for the sole purpose of ultimately correcting ourselves.

The thing is that we must know that all the souls come from the soul of Adam ha Rishon. After the sin of the tree of knowledge, Adam’s soul broke into 600,000 souls. This means that the single Light that Adam ha Rishon had in the Garden of Eden, which The Zohar calls, Zihara Ilaa (Upper Light), now fragmented into many parts.

In the book Panim Masbirot Baal HaSulam writes, “After the good mixed with the bad (meaning after the sin), there established a great structure of Klipot (shells) with the power to cling to Kedusha (sanctity). In order to beware of them, the Light of the seven days of creation was divided into very small particles, which are too small for the Klipot to suck from.

It can be compared to a king who wished to deliver a great sum of money to his son who lived across the sea. Alas, all the people in the king’s domain were conniving thieves, and the king could not find a loyal emissary. What did he do? He divided the money to pennies and sent them with a great number of emissaries. Thus, they did not find the pleasure of theft worth dishonoring the kingship.

In this manner of an order of times in many souls, the illumination of the days enabled the scrutiny of all the holy sparks that were robbed by the Klipot by the sin of the tree of knowledge.

We said that there is the World of Ein Sof, which is a large vessel with a great Light inside; but we have to determine our attitude toward this situation, such that we choose this particular situation and no other, in order for the Light and the vessel to be united as one.

In order to achieve that, we gradually advance and come closer to that state, that higher state of one hundred and twenty-five degrees of bestowal. It is otherwise impossible to tolerate, all at once. It is only through a slow and gradual process of recognition and of coming progressively closer, called Ascending the Steps, that this can be realized.

And until one ascends all of the one hundred and twenty-five steps from our world, the beginning, to Ein Sof, traversing the one hundred and twenty-five steps, utilizing his own free will, he will be forced to continue reincarnating. And this is what Rabash means.

The levels of ascension that he is talking about, where we slowly receive Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida, are the degrees of ascension through the five worlds; and ascending through each of the five worlds, means that we receive the Lights of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida; five Lights altogether.

Drawing No. 13

And when our soul is satiated with all of these five Lights, it is said that we have reached Ein Sof (Infinity), the unlimited fulfillment.

A great number of souls,” means that the Light is divided into many inner Lights, and the meaning of “many days” is a division into many outer Lights.

What does that mean? There is this World of Ein Sof where there is one single vessel filled with a great single Light. In order for us to be able to attain equivalence between the Light and the vessel, starting from below, it divides into many steps and multiple parts called souls or lives, and into small Lights, thereby allowing the Kli (the vessel) to reunite to himself more and more parts that are initially scattered throughout our world.

Drawing No. 14

In our world, it seems to us that we are all separated from each other and that there is no connection between us. In total we are six hundred thousand souls, though there are more divisions later, into the amount of people that arrive in every generation.

Although we seem to be totally disconnected from one another, with every step one takes when one starts ascending, one becomes progressively aware that the amount of souls keeps diminishing, while more souls begin to merge, just like two drops of water melding together. He thus sees the vessel growing progressively as a result of the unification of the souls. And the Light that fills that vessel becomes correspondingly larger. That is really, the whole secret to the process of Ascending the Steps.

What does it mean that one rises from step to step? It means that one becomes more altruistic (giving), that one feels himself closer to the rest of the souls, and that he unites with more souls, thereby enlarging his vessel and incrementing the Light within the vessel. And that is what is called ascension; the state in which the Kli is larger and the Light within it is greater is called ascension relative to the prior state; because there is nothing more than qualitative discernments.

In spirituality, there are no distances where I could move from this spot to another that is a hundred meters from me, and remain the same. If I move from place to place, I remain no longer the same.

Drawing No. 15

We have used our world’s example of an electric charge in an electric field whose location is always determined by the forces that act upon it, and by its being in a state of equilibrium with those forces.

Now what does it mean that it “moves” to another location? Try to move a piece of iron that is under a magnet to a different location; you have to put in a lot of effort, lots of strength, just so you can move it from one spot to another. Why? Because it is in a state of equilibrium and all of nature is drawn to a state of harmony and equivalence of form with the environment. So we need an increase in power in order to alter its state. And those additional forces notwithstanding, you would still have to use force to keep it in its new location, or else it would revert back to its prior balanced state.

Drawing No. 16

It is the same thing here, with us. The Spiritual World is a world of sheer forces, unclothed of any physical objects or bodies. So when we are in the Spiritual World and we say that a person has changed and moved from one state to another, from one place to the next, it means that he himself has changed. So if he was in the state of forty per cent and is now in the state of forty-one per cent, it means that he himself has changed, reaching a newer and closer balanced state, relative to Ein Sof (Infinity).

From pennies come pounds, becoming the great Light that caused the sin of Adam ha Rishon,

This means that Adam ha Rishon is that large Kli (vessel) that was divided into six hundred thousand parts, and that these parts are now being united by us with our desire and awareness. And by uniting with each other, a greater Light comes form Above and fulfills them. This is what is meant by “a state closer to Ein Sof,”—a corrected state.

and then will the end of correction come.

Where the entire Kli (vessel) of souls, will be reunited in Adam ha Rishon, and satiated with all the Lights that are intended for them.

This leads to the conclusion that every one is born with but a small part of the soul of Adam ha Rishon. When one corrects that part, there is no longer a need to continue the reincarnations. That is why one can only correct that which belongs to one’s own share.

It is written about it in the Tree of Life that, “There is not a day that is like another day, or moment that is like another moment, and there is not a person who is like another person. The Helbona (part of the sacred incense) will correct what the Levona (another part of the sacred incense) will not. Each must correct one’s own part.”

And thus every person receives new opportunities, every single moment of his life, which is the reason for our existence in bodily and corporeal time, in distances and movement, where our world keeps changing. I drew the person to indicate that whilst in body, one is given the choice of the zero per cent at his level zero.

Drawing No. 17

At that level, one starts having choices and receiving opportunities for advancement, every single moment of his life. If one starts paying attention to what is being revealed to him with the purpose of getting him to feel his soul and to delve into it, he will then be able to perceive all the Upper Worlds, inside his soul. This whole process is referred to as Ascending the Levels of the Spiritual Worlds.

These opportunities come to us just like he says, There is not a moment that is like another moment , and every single moment we are faced with new situations, all of which encourage the individual to correct himself, until from pennies come pounds ."

In other words, everything depends on our attention alone. There is no neglect on the part of the Creator, such as letting life come and go and just letting time go by in a “let’s wait and live, and we shall see” kind of way. Quite the contrary, the individual is given opportunities every second of his life.

And what can we do, if all we really want is to progress and to become more successful? We make use of the association and of the books in order to become more sensitive to catching those instances, to grasping those moments; and realize them correctly every second by adjoining them to the spiritual process.

However, we must know that every person has a choice, for one is not born righteous. Our sages said, “Rabbi Hanina Bar Papa said: ‘The angel that is appointed on conception, its name is Lila (night). It takes a drop and brings it before the Creator and says: ‘This drop, what shall become of it? Will it be a hero or a weakling, a wise or a fool, a rich or a poor?’ But it does not ask, ‘Will it be righteous or wicked?’

This means that one is not born righteous, for he did not ask, “Will it be righteous or wicked?” This is given to our choice, each person according to his labor in Torah and Mitzvot. In this manner one comes to cleanse one’s heart and correct what one must according to the root of his soul, and by that, one reaches wholeness.”

This means that all the attributes one is born with, be them his excellence in something, his being wiser or more foolish, quick, cunning or honest, whatever he was born with; all these natural characteristics he was born with, have nothing to do with his spiritual development.

Everything one is given from Above is provided in a precise calculated manner consisting of all his natural attributes, the environment where he would be raised, his parents, previous lifetimes and past life experiences. Everything that exists in the individual and his surroundings gets him to the point from which he becomes free to choose.

There is but one thing that is subject to free choice and that is, to be righteous or wicked. Baal HaSulam writes about that in the article The Freedom and he also explains to us about it in “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot.”

What does it mean, to be righteous or wicked? It means, to find ways of justifying the Creator’s Providence in our current situation, such that we would feel ourselves as if we already existed in Ein Sof. This way, we are progressing in the same direction. And how can we do that? By utilizing the Light, that Upper Light that reforms us and provides us with the opportunity to correct our situation and to elevate it to a grander state that is closer to the Light.

This is why he says: But it does not ask, ”Will it be righteous or wicked? ”; because it is the only thing that is subject to choice in a person; one’s choice to justify his situation, such that no matter how bad it seemed to him, he would nonetheless feel as ifhe were existing in the state of Ein Sof.

What is the meaning of as if? From the Creator’s perspective—the Upper Light, the Upper Force—we are, in effect, in the state of Ein Sof. It is just the human being that has descended in his perception and awareness, as we have seen in the previous drawing, but in reality, the abundance of the Upper Light is already in us just like in the state of Ein Sof.

What does he say next?

…each person according to his or her labor in Torah and Mitzvot.

What are Torah and Mitzvot? They are those acts that correct the soul.

What does he write next? according to his or her labor in Torah and Mitzvot."

What does he accomplish by that?

In this manner one comes to cleanse one’s heart and correct what one must according tothe root of his soul, and by that, one reaches wholeness.

“Correcting his heart” means that he unites in himself the rest of the souls, becoming an unlimited vessel (Kli) all the way to Ein Sof (Infinity), where all six hundred thousand souls are united in him as one; referred to as attaining the Mitzva of “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” through which we reunite in that soul called Adam ha Rishon. This whole process is done by the Upper Light, through the acts called Torah and Mitzvot. We have already talked about the meaning of Torah; it is the Light that comes to us.

Drawing No. 18

And Mitzvot, are the corrections of all those desires that exist in each and every Kli (vessel). There are 613 desires in every Kli (vessel), each of which requires a correction. By utilizing the universal Light, called Torah , one corrects these desires so that they would resemble the Light and cause the Kli to be similar, equal to the Light; and by correcting all the 613 desires within the soul, one reaches the state of Ein Sof, (Infinity) the state of Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction).

This is actually the state that, when reached, one ceases to reincarnate; and if one does not attain it, one keeps reentering incarnations, meaning, entering our corporeality where we exist in a body, as it is only from within the body that we get to the zero state from which we are ready to begin the spiritual process and complete it. Our body and our world are like our being at the threshold of a race; we haven’t quite started it yet, but we are already at its starting point, our basis and foundation.

And even while ascending the steps, say from forty to forty-one per cent (as we have drawn earlier), one must nevertheless have his feet planted on the ground, meaning in our world, to allow one to have free will in every act of his; to be totally disconnected from spirituality, looking at every spiritual situation from without, free to desire it or not, perceive it independently or not. And all of this is specifically enabled by the body and the reality of this world.

Question: The breaking and division into so many parts—“pennies” as he calls them—and the multiplicity of times and souls; how does that promote my correction?

Take a look here and you will decide. We have here a single large Kli, called Adam ha Rishon, meaning a desire to receive, a desire for pleasure; and we also have a great Light, a great pleasure that fulfills it.

Drawing No. 19

Now you wish for the pleasure to last eternally, but this is only possible if the desire resembles the Light, the pleasure; if there is equivalence of form between them. Otherwise, as we mentioned before, I begin eating, and the pleasure is gone, as the abundance, the Light, the pleasure, extinguishes the desire due to their oppositeness in nature to one another.

Drawing No. 20

In order to avoid that and ensure that the incoming pleasure does not eliminate the desire, it is necessary for the desire to have the exact same intention as the pleasure.

If someone is giving me something and I reciprocate, both of us can be gratified and we can experience a perpetual growth of this state.

Drawing No. 21

In other words, the flow of pleasure between us will be interminable in pleasure in addition to the love that augments the pleasure increasingly as it is not limited by the Kli, but by the value one places on the Giver, on the loved one.

Drawing No. 22

This is why “Love thy neighbor as thyself is a great rule in the Torah.” It is a rule by which the Lights remain in the vessels and the soul does not become devoid of its fulfillment.

And in order to achieve that correction, given that we are incapable of performing it all at once, we must divide this Kli, called Adam ha Rishon, into numerous parts and have each part go through countless situations until it is willing to reunite with all of the parts, with the rest of the souls, in the form of “Love thy neighbor as thyself is a great rule in the Torah,” at which time the entire Light of the Torah, called this “great rule,” will expand and fulfill all the souls collectively.

And this is the process that all of humankind is about to begin, one way or another. If we reveal the Wisdom of Kabbalah to them, it will be pleasant, and if not, God forbid, it will be very unpleasant, but, we will have to reach the final state.

With that we will conclude our lesson for today and next time we will talk more about the soul of Adam ha Rishon, its uniqueness, and how it actually achieves its correction, and we will be able to observe how all these situations are inevitable results of the relationship between the Lights and the vessels.

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