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Article "The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose" - Lesson 4

July 28, 2005

Religion is Not for the Good of the People, But for the Good of the Worker

The Science of Kabbalah is called “religion” and it is the means to achieve creation’s correction. This is precisely what Kabbalists mean when they use the word “religion.” In general all words such as commandments, Torah, religion, righteous man, sinner and so on have completely different definitions in Kabbalah than what is understood in regular use. It has been written: “The opinion of the Torah is opposite to the opinion of the masses.” First of all we must learn to define these words correctly, and only then we will understand the message a Kabbalist wants to give us.

The entire problem of incorrect understanding of the Science of Kabbalah, and the fact that over thousands of years many people have tried to understand it and failed, consists in the fact that they have incorrectly defined the words in Kabbalistic texts. The words in these texts have an altogether different meaning compared to what we are accustomed to understanding in all other cases of their use.

Thus, the words “religion” and “Torah” mean Kabbalah or the means for correction. This “religion” has been given to us not merely for “the creature’s good,” in order to derive pleasure from it. Rather, it was given to us only “for the use of the worker” or a person who uses it correctly in order to achieve a goal.

Religion is Not for the Good of the People, But for the Good of the Worker

This means that we have absolutely no chance of changing our destiny for the better in any aspect by shouting, praying and using various other pleas. The means, called Torah and Mitzvot, were given to us in order for us to become corrected. To the degree a person corrects himself, he acquires the Creator’s unchanging attitude in the correct form of “He is good and He does good”; a person really perceives himself to be in the world of the Creator, Who is “good and Who does good.”

Only in this way, meaning by changing himself, a person is able to change his destiny and his life. He cannot do it by merely pleading with the Creator. The Creator does not change. Even now he governs creation as one Who is good and does good for both the bad and the good people.

“Many are mistaken and compare our holy Torah with ethics.“

What is the system of Musar, or morality? This system constantly guards a person and keeps him in fear, obligating him to perform various actions seemingly against his will, and in an external form out of fear, rather than in order to correct himself and his desire.

“In an external form” means “outside” of my desire. That is, I do not want, do not feel and do not understand that this is necessary. However, I was told, brought up this way or forced to do this, and therefore I do it. Obviously, in this case, these actions are merely external actions for me. If it were not for the upbringing that became my second nature, if this was not my habit (as a consequence of which I already feel bad if I fail to do something), or if I cease to be afraid, then I would run away from this and no longer do anything.

That is, this is not the inner correction of the same desires that comprise the entire material of creation, the very material or intention “for myself” that a person must correct, the 613 desires of his soul.

A person’s soul consists of 613 (TARIAG) desires. These desires are subdivided into five levels of Aviut. At first a person corrects the level of Aviut Shoresh, then Aleph, Bet, Gimel and Dalet. This is what we must correct.

Drawing 1

How do we correct these desires? We do not correct the desires themselves. Originally every desire within us is used to receive self gratification, and we must establish an intention “for bestowal” over these desires, or the intention to please the Upper.

Drawing 2

The desires will remain the same desires as before, but the way they are utilized will change. We have talked about this many times before: I do something in order to do good for the Upper by using any one of my desires. If I do this, I become equal to Him, I am the same as the Upper and I achieve eternal and perfect life. However, this occurs only on the condition that I achieve His level.

This means that I must correct my desire. This does not mean to carry out some physical actions and to consider this correction, but rather to correct the desires within your heart. This is precisely what the Upper demands me to do: to correct my heart. In addition, it is impossible to correct the heart by using morality (the teaching of the Musar). Rather, one can do this only with the help of the Light that returns to the Source.

Drawing 3

Therefore Baal HaSulam wrote that “Many people mistakenly compare our holy Torah with the system of morals.” What is “our holy Torah”? The Light that comes from above and corrects a person is called Torah. Why is the Torah called holy? Holy refers to Bina, the Bestower, and it also means detached. A person who is detached from the desire for self gratification and from the matter of this world, is a bestower. Therefore “the holy Torah” is the name for the force that gives me the ability to bestow, that corrects me to the level of holiness or Bina.

“But that has come to them because they have never tasted religion in their lives.

That is, these people have not fully felt altruistic and egoistic attributes. Even as they exist in egoistic attributes, they do not think that they exist within egoism. Rather, they think that everything is fine with them or they even consider themselves to be righteous men.

“I call upon them: ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’”

This is exactly what we have to do: achieve the state when we perceive and see the Creator, meaning to completely know Him.

“It is that both ethics and religion aim at one thing — to raise man above the filth of the narrow self love and bring him to the summit of the love for others. But still they are distant, one from the other, as the distance between the Thought of the Creator from the thought of man.”

Why? Because people are able to demand this. Man must achieve love for the creation, he must love all the creatures. Therefore people think that if they force him to do this, he will gradually understand that this is good; they want to convince him that this is what is necessary for him and others to feel good.

The whole world agrees that if everyone loves everyone else, then the world will become peaceful and tranquil and everyone will be happy. So what is missing? The only thing that remains is to raise the motto “love your neighbor as yourself” to such a high level that everyone will agree to accept is as the main principle. Then why is this not enough?

“For religion extends from the Thought of the Creator and ethics comes from thoughts of flesh and blood, and from the experiences of their lives.”

In other words, this is a kind of psychology. In our world we see that loving each other is worthwhile and by doing it we are able to avoid disasters. What else can we do? “Friends, we are all egoists, so let’s limit ourselves out of fear of self annihilation, fear of all the disasters our egoism brings to us, and let’s elevate ourselves to the level of love.”

In essence these are thoughts of “flesh and blood,” or man’s thoughts. Humanity agrees with this. This is also discussed in the UN, which has commissions to work on the issue of “love for the neighbor.” Why does this not work? First of all, the Creator places obstacles before us and does not allow us to love each other on the level of this world in order to satisfy our egoism.

Secondly, it is a mistake to suppose that we can achieve love for the neighbor according to our own decision, based on our understanding, and with this goal in mind. It is because this kind of love for the neighbor, generated by the aspiration to do good for one’s own self, does not elevate a person to the level of love. It elevates him only to the level of necessity, when I will treat you good in order for me to feel good myself. As soon as I discover that I will also feel good without love for you, I will immediately leave this entire love behind. That is, I do not change my nature. I merely behave good externally toward my neighbor.

“Therefore, the difference between them is obvious, both in practical aspects and in the final aim.

For the recognition of good and evil that develops in us through ethics as we use it, is relative to the success of the society.”

Why do we want to achieve love for the neighbor? All nations speak in favor of this and no one objects. Ask modern fascists and they will also say that of course they are in favor of love. Why does everyone want this? Because this will be good for the world. In essence, this is the greatest egoism and we arrive at this decision when we have no way out.

This has no connection to the attribute of bestowal and real love. Love is when I use another person’s desire as if it were my own. I use my desire only in order to serve another person.

That is, first of all I must exit out of my desires, receive the correction of Hafetz Hesed (one who wishes for mercy) on all my desires, and then also acquire another person’s empty Kelim that will become my own Kelim. I will work within them in order to bestow to them. This is called love. I must completely replace myself with someone else.

Imagine that you exist with all your desires and suddenly you decide to love another person. What does it mean, to love another person? This means you erase everything contained in your body; your thoughts and desires, and all your passions and plans. You clothe into someone else and clarify only what he wants. You add all your body’s abilities to him.

There is not a single thought, desire or plan that is directed at you. According to the Torah this is called “love for the neighbor.” If a person ascends to this level, this is called the passage into spirituality. That is, we are talking about changing one’s nature rather than external behavior that is demanded of a person by ethics, or the system of Musar.

This kind of correction in our material can be performed only by the very Light that created this material.

Our material was created by the Upper Light. It created our material, the desire to feel pleasure. In Kabbalah we study that the Light created a desire. Then this Light clothed into the desire and gave this desire one additional perception — the perception of the Giver.

Drawing 4

Here is an example that illustrates this. I am a guest at someone’s house. He gives me delicious food and I feel that the food influences me in two ways. On one hand I perceive the delicious food itself and the fact that I enjoy the taste, that I feel happy and pleased. On the other hand, I feel the host’s presence next to the food.

That is, I also perceive the Creator or the Light. I perceive the pleasure that extends from Him as well as Himself. The appearance of the Creator ruins my appetite, it ruins my reception, and I begin to push this pleasure away. We can compare this to the example with the host, when I say to him that I do not want the delicious food. The appearance of the Creator influences the Kli in such a way that it turns the Kli from a receiver into a bestower, or a Kli that returns and is altruistic.

This means that only the appearance of the Creator before me is able to change my egoistic nature, rather than ethics and the system of Musar, with their prohibitions and moral teachings. That which comes from people cannot correct me. Only when the Creator appears from above, when the Light becomes revealed as a bestower, He will obligate me to become a bestower. This is precisely the correction we need, rather than merely nice behavior on the outside. We can see the degree to which it is impossible for a person to remain in this sort of behavior.

“With religion, however, the recognition of good and evil that develops in us as we use it is relative to God alone.”

He must become revealed in order to correct me. I already need a connection with Him.

“That is to say, from a change of form from the Maker, to equivalence of form with Him, which is called adhesion.”

Just look at how much we have to change: we begin from the state when we have absolutely opposite properties, when the Light is bestowing and the Kli is the desire to receive pleasure, and they are opposite to each other. However, if the Creator appears then I am already connected to Him with a relationship, and within my desire to receive pleasure I transform into one who desires to give back to Him. That is, I ascend from the level of the desire to receive pleasure to the level of bestowal. I become equivalent to the Creator and attain the same level of existence as He, meaning eternity, perfection and infinity.

“And they are also completely distant from one another regarding the purpose.”

Ethics, or the system of Musar, and the Science of Kabbalah or Torah, are completely different from beginning to end.

“For the purpose of ethics is the wellbeing of society as far as examination of practical intelligence is concerned, which is taken from the events of life. But in the end, that purpose does not promise its follower any elation above the boundaries of nature.”

Regular upbringing does not demand a person to rise above his nature; he needs only to be good. In our human society we do not even dream about changing our nature, changing human nature. Humanity does not think about this at all and does not understand that this possibility exists. Even people who seem to study religion and Torah do not plan to change human nature using the system of Musar. They want to use this means only to make man good externally, for him to carry out the commandments and behave well, relative to those around him, in the external form. Obviously here we are not talking about correcting a person’s heart, changing his very essence.

“…which is therefore still subject to criticism, for who can prove to an individual the extent of his benefit in such a way, that he will be compelled to belittle his own self, to a certain degree, in favor of the wellbeing of society?

The religious goal, however, promises the wellbeing of the individual who follows it.“

“Religious goal” refers to the goal achieved by way of religion, or the Science of Kabbalah. This goal connects a person to the Surrounding Light, as we study. Let us read this part of ”Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot.”

Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot, Item 155.

“Therefore we must ask: why then, did the Kabbalists obligate each person to study the Wisdom of Kabbalah? Indeed there is a great thing in it, worthy of being publicized: There is a wonderful, invaluable remedy to those who engage in the Wisdom of Kabbalah.”

So firstly, this is a wonderful means, rather than what a person understands. If he studies the Science of Kabbalah, this happens to him. And what is it that happens to him?

Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.

That is, a certain Light shines onto a person who studies the Science of Kabbalah.

“This means that every person from Israel is guaranteed to finally attain all the wonderful attainments that the Creator has calculated in the Thought of Creation to delight every creature.”

Every person has his own point in the goal of creation and he must ultimately attain this point, whether he does it in a good or bad way. This point is already guaranteed to everyone and it exists.

“One who has not been awarded in this life will be granted in the next life etc. Finally, one will be awarded completing the thought that He preliminary planned for him.”

This does not mean only one additional reincarnation. Baal HaSulam writes: “in the second life etc.,” meaning that a person may reincarnate even twenty times. The number of reincarnations depends on how much a person strives to finish everything needed faster and reach the goal. Then he will no longer need to reincarnate.

“While one has not attained perfection [meaning while he has not reached the goal of becoming equivalent to the Creator, the force of bestowal], these Lights that are destined to reach him are considered Surrounding Lights.”

At the end of his path a person will receive a Light that will fill his soul, and he will feel that he exists in eternity, infinity and absolute perfection. Right now this same Light shines onto his current state from the future state (which has already been prepared for him) because this person aspires to attain it. The Light shines on him to the degree he aspires toward it.

“That means that they stand ready [the same Lights that will ultimately fulfill him], and wait for one to purify one’s vessels of reception [for him to become a giver, for every Kli to work for the sake of bestowal. This is what is called “purification.”] At that time these Lights will cloth the able vessels...” according to the vessels’ readiness.

How does a person advance toward this? He ascends along 125 levels of purification. There are five levels of our desire: Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel and Dalet. Correspondingly to these levels there exist five worlds: Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon, and on the outside is the World of Ein Sof (Infinity).

Drawing 5

This way a person gradually ascends and enters the World of Ein Sof (Infinity) as he corrects himself. The same Lights that boundlessly fill him in Ein Sof already shine for him in the place where he is currently located. These Lights shine for him to the degree he desires to attain a high state.

Therefore we need a group and the correct books, in order to increase the desire. To the degree a person aspires for spirituality, a Light shines on him and performs a miracle with him: it brings him to a spiritual state.

Question: If a person does not yet have the ready Kelim, then how does he perceive the future Lights?

He perceives them in the point in the heart. Right now desires of this world become revealed in us. Within these desires one more point is becoming revealed, which is the beginning of the spiritual Kli. This point pulls a person upward to his root. The root is located in Ein Sof (Infinity), in the state of Gmar Tikkun (lit. End of Correction).

Drawing 6

If a person increases this point within himself, using his efforts to constantly add additional desire and aspiration to it, then correspondingly with this addition (not correspondingly with the point itself, but precisely correspondingly with the addition he makes to it, which is the most important thing) the Light comes from the root.

This Light is located at the root, but it shines downwards in the form of Surrounding Light because it does not have any place to enter, since it is merely a point for now. If a person expands this point into a small Kli then the Light will enter inside of the Kli to the degree the Kli is able to contain it. The rest will remain in the form of Surrounding Light. However, there will already be Inner Light as well as the Surrounding Light (see pic. 6).

This way a person gradually ascends, broadening his Kli more and more. The Inner Light increases while the Surrounding Light decreases. This takes place until the entire Light that stood before him finally enters him as Inner Light.

How does a person expand his point in the heart? He does this by attaching other souls to it. As he begins to tune into other souls and love his neighbor as himself, he attaches other people’s desires within himself and his Kli expands because of this. That is, he acquires an increasingly greater degree of bestowal. Therefore, according to the law of equivalence of form, the Light fills him more and more.

Question: What practical actions should I perform in order to increase my point in the heart? Do I need to think about or concentrate on something special?

We will talk about this later. This does not fully relate to the topic we are discussing today. Here a person needs to work with books properly and carry out Kabbalists’ advice with precision. This is described best in the writings of Rabash, who talks about what a person must do on every level. The writings of Rabash contain a person’s entire inner work.

“Hence, even when one does not have the vessels [meaning when he has only the point in the heart], when one engages in this wisdom [by reading Kabbalistic books], mentioning the names of the Lights and the vessels related to one’s soul…”

There is no doubt that we are in the World of Ein Sof (Infinity) and we attain the root of our soul through all the Upper Worlds. Therefore everything we read in Kabbalistic books, written in Kabbalistic language, in essence, this narrates about us, about all levels and states we will have to go through. In other words, I have a relation to all the states I read about. What takes place when a person reads about them? “…they immediately shine upon him to a certain measure.”

To the degree I aspire to be in these states, to perceive and understand them, I attract the Surrounding Light to myself.

“However, they shine for him without clothing the interior of his soul [meaning I do not yet have a Kli inside of which the Light would be able to enter] for lack of the vessels able to receive them. Despite that, the illumination one receives time after time during the engagement [in the form of the Surrounding Light that is around me and in this form it purifies me of my egoism] draws upon one grace from above, imparting one with abundance of sanctity and purity, which brings one much closer to reaching perfection.”

What does it mean “draws upon one grace from above”? A person begins to perceive the attractiveness of the attribute of bestowal, the attribute of Bina, or the Creator. He begins to value this attribute as the highest and most perfect compared to his nature, and desires to become attached to it. This is called “to attach Malchut” or one’s own egoistic attributes — the desire to receive, to Bina, or the Upper.

When he gradually receives this perception and yearning as a result of the Upper Light’s influence on him, he thus attracts a greater and greater influence of the Upper Light on himself. These Lights that come to a person cause a person to advance, helping him to achieve his perfection faster.

This is what the difference in means consists of: do we read books on morality or on Kabbalah (or as Baal HaSulam calls it, “religion”).

Let us return to reading the article “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose.”

“The religious goal, however, promises the wellbeing of the individual who follows it. As we have already shown, that when man is converted to loving others, he is in direct adhesion, which is equivalence of form with the Maker…”

If I exist only within the point and, on account of love for my neighbor, I attach several other points to myself, by doing this I already expand my Kli. It already becomes a voluminous vessel that contains a certain amount of space within it.

Why does a space appear in it? It is because I begin to demand the ability to give to my neighbor. New Kelim emerge in me: I relate to another person, my neighbor, and I want to give to him. That is, Light can already pass through me to others.

It turns out that love for the neighbor, attaching Kelim to myself, existing in attributes of bestowal, revealing the Creator as Lights within Kelim, having equivalence of attributes with Him, existing in bestowal, and attaining the goal (according to which I must be on the level of bestowal just like the Creator) — all of this is the same thing.

There is not a single action here that can serve as a cause for a consequence that comes from it, and so on along a chain, one after the other. All these actions become revealed as one thing; about this it has been said: “Israel, Torah and the Creator is one single whole” — “He (Yu), Light (Hayu) and His actions (Garmui) are one.” We reveal everything within one Kli, within the Kli of our neighbor through our relationship to him.

“…along with it man passes from his narrow world, full of pain and impediments...”

This is how a person always feels within his Kelim that are separated from the Creator and opposite to Him. Since the Light is unable to illuminate within them, he neutralizes his desire. There exists a prohibition for Light to illuminate inside of the desire. The Creator and creation are opposite to each other, and the Creator is located seemingly far away from the creation.

Creation feels that rather than goodness, misfortunes and suffering come to it instead from the Creator. This is how the whole world feels. This misfortune and suffering constantly multiplies more and more. We develop and at every moment we become greater egoists. Therefore we perceive darkness and suffering to be more developed and greater. From this state of opposition to the Creator, we must come to equivalence of form with Him.

“…to an eternal world of bestowal to the Lord and to the people.”

In essence bestowal to the Creator and bestowal to the creatures is the same thing. If a person exists out of his body relative to his neighbor, then to him it does not matter who he will bestow to. He does not feel any difference between the two relative to his egoism.

If I have to leave myself, then in my feelings, I no longer differentiate who is in front of me, the Creator or the creatures. This does not matter to egoism; it is “someone else,” I do not feel him and I do not care about him for now. As soon as I really exist outside of myself, I will reveal that the neighbor, whether it is souls or the Creator, that this is all the same thing. There is nothing else. Why?

We are all located within one closed Kli and we perceive ourselves within this Kli. It seems to us that we perceive this world that influences us, but in reality there is no world that influences us. The Upper Light is located above. It does not change, only the Reshimot within me change. As much as I change these Reshimot, I feel my equivalence to the Upper Light. That is, I never feel anything else located outside of me.

Drawing 7

If I do not correct myself, I feel my opposition to the Upper Light and then I perceive suffering. If I correct myself relative to the Light, then I perceive myself in equivalence with the Upper Light. Therefore I feel good. Ultimately I always feel only my own inner attributes.

Therefore the teaching of ethics and morals, which calls on me to behave sweetly externally, and the teaching of Kabbalah, “religion” or Torah (about which it is written: “The Creator said: I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice,” meaning to correct my desires) are completely opposite to each other. I will never be able to achieve equivalence of attributes with the Creator by means of morals and ethics. I need to attract the Light in order to do this.

The Light can be attracted only by studying the Science of Kabbalah. In addition, not when a person studies in order to know about what is written in it, but rather, when he desires to achieve the corrected state.

That is, I always perceive the degree of my correction relative to the Creator.

“You will also find a significant difference regarding the support. Because following the ethics is supported by the favor of people...”

We see that every person wants to appear as being kind, prominent, knowledgeable and a disciple of a sage. This is not a bad thing, we do not scorn this, but it does not bring a person to the goal. This is good for upbringing and it is good for this to be present in society. Baal HaSulam says that even in the last generation we will need to give out medals and various symbols of honor to those who excel, in order to awaken priorities in society and give it a value system. However, we should not think that we can correct a person’s inner essence this way. This is done only in order to attract a person and bring him closer to the Source.

“…which is like a rent that finally pays off. And when man grows accustomed to this work, he cannot ascend in degrees of ethics, for he is now used to this work, that is well rewarded by society.”

The problem is the following: if this was done only in order to bring a person closer, then it would be good. However, people buy a person this way and he begins to work only in order to be considered prominent, to be famous or to marry his children more profitably. That is, to receive society’s approval rather than to become exalted in the eyes of the Creator. His external correction is more important to him than his internal correction, which no one sees, understands or feels.

This is the entire difference between the two. Unfortunately, people who come to follow the system of Musar always continue to remain in it. In this case, instead of their inner correction, they are concerned only with the external.

“But by observing Torah and Mitzvot in order to please his Maker, without any reward, he climbs the rungs of ethics, precisely to the extent that he pursues it, since there is no payment on his path. And each penny is added and they accumulate to a great account. And finally he acquires a second nature, which is bestowal to others without any self gratification, except for the bare necessities of his life.“

This means a person intends only to give pleasure to the Creator with his work, without expecting to receive any reward in return. That is, he wants to perform a restriction on himself and achieve love for the neighbor at any price without turning around to look at his own self; since by doing this he becomes equivalent to the Creator.

Three components are present in this: I, the environment and the Creator. These three components must come together on every stage, in every state and on every level I go through. The neighbor, the Creator and myself must unify. Baal HaSulam describes this in the epistle on page 63 in the book Pri Hacham (The Fruits of Wisdom). He writes that “Israel, Torah and the Creator are one whole.” Otherwise, a person does not follow the correct path in the direction of the goal.

A person has the correct intention if at every moment he wants to acquire the attribute of bestowal, to exit out of himself slightly more and more and to become equivalent to the Creator this way; to give Him pleasure, become the same as He and relate to his neighbor with love just as the Creator relates to him. That is, all of this must unite into one image where no difference exists between these three parameters: me, the neighbor and the Creator. All of this must converge in one point and if a person constantly advances this way, this means that he advances correctly.

By doing this he attains the level of morality (Musar). Sometimes Baal HaSulam also calls “morality” — advancement towards the goal, but this is already a higher, divine moral or the inner corrections of the heart.

“Now he is found to really have been freed from the incarcerations of creation. For when one detests self reception and his soul wants no more of the petite physical pleasures and respect, he finds himself roaming freely in the Lord’s world. And he is certain that no damage and misfortune will ever occur, since all the damages come to a man through the self reception that is imprinted in him.”

A person rises above his egoism and of course as a result he becomes equal to the Creator and acquires equivalence of form with the Creator, or the same attributes. Obviously, he begins to feels these inner attributes of bestowal within him, or in other words, he feels the Creator, which is the same thing, and he perceives himself in perfection and eternity. It is clear that he had perceived all previous misfortunes only due to his own attributes’ lack of concordance with the Creator’s attributes, or due to his opposition to Him.

There is no other opportunity. There are no prayers, pleas, shouts, useless expectations or searches for some kind of other means that can help us to reach a good state. We will feel good only to the degree we become equivalent to the Creator. On the other hand, to the degree we are opposite to him, we will feel bad. The change must take place in us, not in the Creator! He always relates to us as a giver, as “One Who is good and Who does good.”

If a person addresses the Creator and demands of Him: “Change your relation toward me! Do something good for me!”, this means that he thinks right now the Creator is doing something bad for him. This is what he says to the Creator in essence. But that is not the truth. After all, the Creator does not change, it is said: “He is good and He does good for both good and bad people,” “I do not change my name.” Kabbalah says that the “Upper Light is at absolute rest” and constantly shines on everyone.

The Creator is the force of bestowal that does not change. We are located within the field of this force and every person feels the degree of his correction or his defect. Therefore “to pray to the Creator” means to ask Him to correct my nature. If I do not address Him with the plea to correct my nature, this is not called a prayer.

If I address Him, asking Him to change, it turns out that I blame Him for the fact that right now He brings evil on me. After all, “There is none else beside Him.” In this case, from where can everything occurring come if not from Him? Are there any other forces in the world? If I think that some sort of other forces exist besides the Creator, I already “worship idols.”

Therefore after all these clarifications, a person must understand that correction is only within himself, his material. His material was created by the Upper Light, the force of the Creator, and a person can ask Him only for this correction.

Basically, when does a person ask for correction? He does it while studying the Science of Kabbalah. Light then descends and shines on a person from the corrected state, which is already prepared for him in order to exist in the future. From that future state, the Light shines on a person in his current state and attracts him to the corrected state. This is called “Light that returns to the Source.”

This is because the Source is above, in the place where I will receive my good state, and this Light returns me there. Light that returns one to the Source is called the Light of Torah. A person has nothing to get angry and complain about after he finds out about what is written: “I created the evil inclination and I created the Torah to correct it,” and “Leave Me but preserve My Torah, since the Light it contains returns one to the Source.” Everything is described with complete clarity.

“Thus we have thoroughly shown that the purpose of religion is only for the individual who delves in it...”

That is, we are not talking about a person who has not begun to study the Science of Kabbalah, who does not open Kabbalistic books that allow him to attract the Light. We see the results from studying the real Science of Kabbalah according to the correct methodology and what happens when, unfortunately, people study other methodologies, even though they may use the same books while doing this.

“Thus we have thoroughly shown that the purpose of religion is only for the individual who delves in it, and not at all for the use and benefit of common people, although all his actions revolve around the benefit of people and are measured by these acts. But that is but a passage to the sublime goal, which is equality with the Maker. And now we can comprehend that the purpose of religion is collected while living in this world.

And examine closely in The Giving of the Torah, the matter of the purpose of the whole and the purpose of the individual.”

We do not understand or feel all of this in this world, as Baal HaSulam writes in the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot” in the fourth paragraph:

“Now you can see the true meaning of their words. It is indeed true that the Creator Himself puts one’s hand on the good fate by giving him a life of pleasure and contentment within the corporeal life that is devoid of content, filled with torment and pain.”

That is, a person suddenly feels that there exists some place where he can become saved from all suffering. In this way, the Creator turns a person toward the correct direction.

“One necessarily departs and escapes them when he sees a tranquil place, even if it seemingly appears amidst the cracks. He flees there from this life, which is harder than death. Indeed, is there a greater placement of one’s hand by Him than this?”

In this way, the Creator brings a person to the group, to the screen of a television where people talk about Kabbalah, to the Internet, to a book, or to any place where a person who has ripened can receive further advancement toward the goal, to the degree of his readiness.

“One’s choice refers only to the strengthening. This is because there is certainly a great effort and exertion here before one purifies one’s body [meaning acquires the desire to give instead of the desire to receive pleasure] to be able to observe Torah and Mitzvot correctly...

What does it mean, “correctly,” and what does Torah and Mitzvot mean? A person must realize “correctly” all his 613 (TARIAG) desires, whose aggregate is called “the soul,” meaning he must correct his soul. How should he correct it? In order to act “…not for himself but to bring contentment to his Maker…”

Drawing 8

If I do this, then I not only do good for the Creator by giving to Him within all my desires and being devoted to Him with all my heart. In addition, the most important thing is that by doing this I become equivalent to Him. When I become equivalent to Him, I am in the same state as He, which means eternity, perfection and infinity, in all senses of these words.

Therefore the Creator sends us suffering in order to advance us and bring us closer to a good state.

“Only in this manner is one endowed with a life of happiness and pleasantness that come with observing the Torah.”

Question: How do desires on different levels of Aviut differ? Are these different desires?

On every level of Aviut there are the same 613 desires, only each time they become revealed with increasingly greater Aviut (lit. Coarseness), they become revealed more aggressively and demanding. However, the same desires are present there as it is impossible for something to be missing in a person. It is just as the same forces and organs are present in the human sperm, in the fetus, in a newborn baby, in a child and in an adult — only they are present in potential or they act practically. They may be great or small, but nevertheless they are present. The difference is only whether the force has become revealed or not.

Drawing 9

The same thing is true for the ascent along spiritual levels. There are 125 levels: 5 x 5 x 5. There are five levels of Aviut: Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel and Dalet, which correspond to five worlds: Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. In each world there are five Partzufim, and each Partzuf contains five Sefirot. In total there are 125 levels. On every level there are the same 613 desires, but each time they become revealed with increasingly greater strength. “Every person who is greater than his friend has a greater egoistic desire.” An increasingly greater “heaviness of the heart” occurs, but at the same time, more strength and understanding emerges about what to do with it.

Difficulties are given to a person according to his level of development, in the same way we do this when teaching children. By overcoming these difficulties, a person ascends and begins to understand and feel more. In this way he reveals his Spiritual World more and more, makes himself equivalent to it, and with regard to his body, he ceases to feel it. He lives in this world, but the physiological body does not pose any problem for him. This occurs to such a degree that, even as he becomes free of his body, he continues to live in the Spjiritual World and the Spiritual Reality is everything for him.

Question: Why does a person have to exit out of himself in order to love his neighbor? Why can he not love him to the same degree, to love himself and his neighbor?

(Laughing) Of course, many people would agree with you. In reality this is a fair question. We return to love, beginning to use ourselves for our neighbor, but this is already called “revival of the dead” in our desires.

In our path, at first we restrict ourselves and merely exit out of ourselves to the neighbor. We connect with the neighbor as if we restrict ourselves, as if we do not exist on our own. When we are already able to do this, we then return to ourselves and this is called “revival of the dead.” We then bring our 613 desires to life and begin to work with them.

It turns out that I use all my desires and all desires of my neighbor, and there is no division here into halves, as when I have some and my neighbor has some. Rather, everything is 100% inside of me and everything is 100% inside of him.

In other words, I do not remove myself from this entire picture. That would be incorrect. Spirituality is the full use of everything that was created by the Creator. Therefore isolation, taking on prohibitions, self torment and even maintaining a diet that is not necessary for you: this is all forbidden. “A person who has taken an oath to leave the pleasures of this world must bring additional spoils.” This is because a person cannot do this for nothing. He may keep the dietary restrictions only when it is established that there must be a restriction, but he cannot do it without a good reason.

Maintain the restriction within yourself. Perform inner restrictions under the influence of the Upper Light. However, if you maintain external restrictions, you will only increase your pride by doing this.

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