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Freedom of Will

Based on the article of Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) "The Freedom"

We are almost finished reading the article entitled "Freedom of Will" by Baal HaSulam. His articles should be studied gradually, like all material on Kabbalah. The text should be reread several times. Every time we attain a new level, we begin to see more in the text and to grasp the material more. There may be only a small amount of material, but the depth of its meaning depends only on the person. When a person reveals a broader world for himself, he then discovers that a single article contains the whole universe, including all of the actions that are going on inside of him and all of the means necessary for him to attain ultimate comprehension and perception. Almost every spiritual text contains all of those things, because each spiritual Partzuf and each spiritual detail contain the ten Sefirot. If we immerse ourselves into these ten Sefirot, then we will reveal the whole world, even the world of Infinity.

When we study a spiritual text, we sometimes advance to the level and state when we feel that we cannot advance any more, and then we leave the given material. This state means that we have to work with ourselves, in order to discover and reveal greater Kelim and greater possibilities inside of ourselves. Then we will be able to receive a greater spiritual perception. A person can achieve this by making a specific effort, which then enables him to advance further. Then, when we reread the same material, we will see a much greater depth and breadth of the universe in it.

Now we shall continue to study the article called, "Freedom of Will". We are in the section entitled, "Patrimony of the fathers".

"Patrimony of the fathers" is the result of our previous states. Today we are realizing these states on a completely different level.

Ancestral Heritage

"All the details that this will to receive includes, which we have defined as the "bed", or the First Factor, whose meaning includes all the tendencies and customs, inherited from his ancestors, that we picture as a long chain, consisting of thousands of people who once were alive, and they stand one on top of the other, that each of them is an essential drop of his ancestors. And that drop, that each of us receives, brings with it the spiritual possessions of his ancestors, into his "medulla oblongata" (the elongatedbrain), also called subconscious. Thus the individual before us takes, in his subconscious, all the thousands of spiritual inheritances from all the individuals represented in that chain, which are his ancestors."

A person of today's generation carries the common genetic fund, which has been accumulated by previous generations. This regards our animal body, and our animal traits and properties.

However, if we are talking about the internal features, that is, the spiritual part of us, which is eternal and thus interests us more than the earthly, temporary and perishable part; in this case we must speak about our previous circulations. This part concerns us personally, rather than our parents and grandfathers. It concerns the previous circulations of a person's soul, rather than his father's soul that, in its turn, had its own circulations, or his grandfather and his circulations. However, with regard to the spiritual, we must speak personally about ourselves.

I have parents who gave me my animal body, which I inhabit right now. I also have spiritual parents, which is my previous spiritual state that birthed my current spiritual state. In other words, the soul has one parent and the body has another one.

Our earthly parents pass our earthly traits on to us, and these traits are also not accidental. The spiritual properties, on the other hand, depend on our spiritual parents, our past spiritual state, or the realization of a previous circulation or a previous life.

For this reason, if we do not complete our task in this life, then we will have to continue it the next time. Naturally, everything we will have to begin with next time, or the potential with which we will enter the world and the reserve of attributes with which we will continue our existence; all of this will be determined by our current state and or current efforts.

"Thus, just as the faces of each and every person differ, so do their opinions. There are no two people on earth whose opinions are identical..." Do not try to find people with similar opinions. Instead, opinions should be completely different. After all, this is what gives us the common, rich and large Kli.

(Why do opinions differ?) "...because each and every person has a great and sublime possession, which he inherits from his ancestors, which others do not even have a shred of.

Therefore, all those possessions are deemed the individual's property, and society is cautioned to preserve its flavor and spirit, and prevent the environment from blurring it, and preserve the integrity of the inheritance of each individual." Otherwise, the individuality of every person will be diminished so much, that the person will simply disappear. Instead of the person, there will remain a, so-called, "body without a spirit".

"Then, the contradiction and difference between them will remain forever, so as to secure the criticism and progress of the wisdom for all eternity, which is humanity's advantage and its true eternal desires."

We must never be afraid of contradictions and clashes of opinions. Rather, the more we cultivate the willingness to have contradictions and clashes of opinions in our society (specifically in the human realm), the more we will mutually enrich ourselves.

This is due to the fact that each one of us has our own individuality; and as a result of collisions, contradictions and mutual exchanges we become only richer from each other. Ultimately, each person must include everyone else within himself. This way, the potential of every person will become equal to that of all mankind. This is what happens to us as we attain the full correction.

"And after we have come to a certain amount of recognition in man's selfness (right now we are only slightly aware of the extent of egoism's peculiarity to man) which we have determined as a force and a "will to receive", being the essential point of the bare being, we have also made very clear, with all its boundaries, the measurement of the original possession of each body." Then we will clearly see our real "I", or the thing that has absolutely no relation to anyone other than our "self". Everything besides this "I" is not a part of a person's individuality and is mutually interchangeable.

This "I" is "...which we have defined as "ancestral heritage"." (or the consequence of all of our previous states). ".And the meaning of it is that all the power of the tendencies and the attributes that have come into his "bed" through inheritance, which is the first substance of every man, that is the preliminary drop of semen of his forefathers." This is specifically a person's "I".

Baal HaSulam gives the familiar example of a person's birth from his parents. We can also discover the same thing in animals. For example, if we were to find my dog's parents, then we would generally know the dog's traits, character, and so on. Veterinarians know this, and they can see that a person has the same feelings, instincts and their manifestations as animals; only in some areas they are more developed and in other areas they are less developed.Either way, individuality is passed on specifically from previous states or from parents, whether they are bodily or spiritual.

Let's remember this as we turn to the next section. Then, we will understand why Baal HaSulam is collecting these data for us and where he is leading us.

Two Aspects: A) Potential Force B) Actual Force

Our realization always contains two states, which follow one after the other. The first state is the "force". This is the mind, the generalization, the decision, or the working out of a plan of action. The second state is the "action" itself.

"...To begin with, we must understand that this selfness, we have defined as the "will to receive", although it is the very essence of man, it cannot exist in reality even for a second."

Why? If egoism is a person's very essence, why does it not have the right to exist?

"For that is what we call a Potential Force, meaning before it has become actual, it only exists in our thought, meaning that only the thought can define it."

This is the reason why egoism, all by itself, is a purely philosophical category. It is something internal in us that pushes us to perform practical actions. This spiritual category called "egoism" is manifested in actions. It is unnoticeable when it is all by itself. Only its realization can be observed.

"But in fact, there cannot be any real force in the world that is dormant and inactive. The force only exists in the world when it is revealed in action."

We do not see the forces themselves, for example, the forces of nature such as gravity, electricity, magnetism, and radiation; we do not see any of them. We only see their manifestations or influences. The "force" itself is like a thought or a desire. If it is not realized then we can only speak about it abstractly.

"By the same token, you cannot say about an infant that it has great strength, when it cannot lift even the lightest weight." All of a baby's future merits and achievements are already laid in him potentially, but for now he cannot even turn around or do anything independently. "...but you can say that you see in that infant that when it grows up, it will have great strength.

However, we do say that that strength we find in man when he is grown up was present in his organs and his body even when he was an infant, but the strength had been concealed, and was not apparent."

There is a "force" or a thought, which is concealed from us. We cannot touch it; it is realized only in "action". This "force" is also not present in the "action"; only the consequences of the action are present. The force by itself, or in its pure form, remains concealed in the action as well. The same thingis true for "thought" and "desire": the only thing that is visible to us is their realization.

"It is true that in our minds we could determine (the future strength) so, because the mind asserts so. However, in the infant's actual body, there certainly isn't any strength, since no strength is revealed in its actions.

And so it is with appetite - it will not appear in the reality of a man's body, when the organs cannot eat, meaning when he is satiated."

There are forces or categories that do not exist, rather, they are concealed. Later, they begin to manifest out of their concealment, through action. However, even when a person is full, the force of appetite is still inside of him, except it is concealed in the body. Later, when the food is absorbed, or when the cause-and-effect chain is unraveled, the appetite returns and becomes manifested and realized from the force to the action.

"However, such a sentence, of determining a potential force, that has not yet been revealed, belongs to the process of educated thought. But it does not exist in reality, because when satiated, we feel certain that the force of appetite is gone and if you search for it, you will find it nowhere.

It turns out that we cannot display a potential force as a subject that exists on its own, but only as a predicate. That is to say, when an action takes place in reality, at that time the force is revealed within the action.

And although by way of deduction, we necessarily find here two things - a subject and a predicate, that is a potential force and an actual force, that the appetite is the subject and imagined picture of the dish - which is the predicate and the action. In reality, however, they come as one. The force becomes an action, but appears to us as an "object" or "process". And it will never occur that a person will feel an appetite without picturing the dish he wants to eat, in a way that these are two halves of the same thing. The force of the appetite must be dressed in that picture. We call that action "desire", meaning the force of appetite revealed in the action of the imagination."

When there is no manifestation, realization, or action of a force, then we cannot talk about the force itself. In this case, we cannot touch it, it is nowhere and in nothing; it can emerge only theoretically. Where are the prerequisites for it, if it simply does not exist?

And vice-versa, whenever there is an action, we are compelled to say that the force that exists in it determines this action from the inside. That is, whenever there is an action, then there is also a force. If the force is not manifested in action then it is impossible to talk about it; in this case, it is an abstraction that is completely concealed from us.

If right now, while reading the text, it is difficult to understand it, grasp it and immerse into Baal HaSulam's explanations, - this does not matter. The only thing that is important is our desire to continue on, to follow the development of his thought and to follow his lead. This action already gives us an opportunity to attach ourselves to his mind, his thought and to what he wants to give to us. This is already sufficient to correctly orient the surrounding light on us, and this is the light that cleanses us.

It is not as important to understand Kabbalistic books as it is necessary to perceive the author with the soul and with kindness, and to follow him. Then, you will gradually be washed by the inner light that exists on his level. This light will be the surrounding light for you. You will be washed by it until you become more pure in your spiritual properties, and you will then begin to personally perceive a little of what the author perceives, and increasingly more with time.

That is, by following the author's thought and by wishing to adapt it for ourselves, we thus pull ourselves up to his level. That is why you should exert yourself more in feeling than in thinking. You should wish that everything you are reading and hearing will simply turn out to be inside of you. Desire to live in this, instead of simply absorbing and accumulating it in your brain cells. Wish for all the concepts, the entire wisdom and all of these forces to become your nature, in order that you will think and understand the same way and perform actions based on that. Enter this picture yourselves, and do not just look at it from afar speculatively.

"And so it is with our topic - the general will to receive, which is the very essence of man. It reveals and exists only through dressing in the shapes of objects that are likely to be received. For then it exists as the subject, and in no other way. We call that action Life, meaning the Livelihood of Man." Not the force itself, because it is absolutely abstract, but the action; because that is an apparent manifestation of the force. That is, the force of appetite is revealed in the action of the imagination.

"...which means that the force of the Will to Receive dresses and acts within the desired objects." I perceive my desire to receive only relative to a form, property or object that I can imagine. My desire apparently emerges in action only when I imagine the thing that I want to receive. Only then it becomes realized in an object.

"...We call that action Life, meaning the Livelihood of Man." This is egoism, which pushes us and gives us the opportunity to do, think and decide in this world. This manifestation in action is what we call "life".

"...which means that the force of the Will to Receive (this is an abstract desire) dresses and acts within the desired objects." Only then this force is revealed in action, along with its strength and emotional content. "And that measurement of revelation is the measurement of its life." The less a person realizes himself, the less degree of life he has.

In conjunction with this, we divide all of nature into the parts called: still, vegetative, animal, and human. Inside man, we also find the still, vegetative, animal, and human desires, in conjunction with his possibility of realization. A person's possibility of realization is manifested in the realization itself, and not simply in some forces that are supposedly inside the person.

Now that we have examined the process of the outer realization of a person's forces, the importance of not suppressing a person and directing him only toward the correct purpose of realization becomes clear. This is due to the fact that all other attempts and all other actions are doomed for complete failure. What does "failure" mean? This means that, ultimately, any other actions will not give a person any eternal, valuable and perfect way out. All of a person's other efforts will remain incomplete, and they will continue to re-clothe from generation to generation and from circulation to circulation.

Now imagine how much each of our upbringings can, ideally, be perfect. In a way that will make any one of our thoughts and calculating actions, and then their realization, absolutely 100% effective. The degree of this effectiveness is called the degree of life.

When a person realizes what determines the effectiveness of every one of his actions, and begins to correctly realize that law, then the size of the realization of his forces is the altitude of his spiritual level. This continues until he reaches 100% realization. This is the last level and it is called "the final correction". It is when a person maximally correctly realizes all the rudiments and forces that are under his control.

This is why we can see that those people who are moving towards the goal and are entering the spiritual are not able to make even the smallest unnecessary action. Inside of themselves, they begin to calculate the losses of energy resulting from any amount of work, words and actions: from everything. They become so economical and so naturally lazy inside of themselves to do any useless and fruitless actions, that they completely cannot tolerate when they are made to act irrationally (according to their level).

Two Creations: A) Man B) A Living Soul

"From the above we can clearly understand the verse: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living (Chayah) soul (Nefesh)" (Genesis 2, 7). For here we find two creations: A) Man byhimself, B) The living soul by itself."("Breathed the soul of life into his nostrils", that is, brought something into him that made this whole construction come to life).

"And the verse says that when man was first created, as dust of the ground, that is a collection of particles in which resides the essence of man, meaning his "will to receive". That will to receive is present, as we've clarified, in every particle of reality, of which emanated the four types:.", all of the desires to receive created by the Creator are divided into four types: "...still, vegetative, animated and speaking (human). In that aspect man has no edge over any other part of creation, as the verse says: "dust of the ground"." With regard to our primordial egoistic desires, we absolutely do not differ from the other levels of creation, or "G-d created man from dust of the ground".

"But we have seen that this force, called the Will to Receive, cannot exist without dressing and acting in a desired object." As we have already said, there can be no desire all by itself; rather, it must be realized in the desired objects. " action called Life. And according to that we find that before man has arrived at the human forms of reception of pleasure."- the still, vegetative, animal, and the so-called "two-legged primate " - "...he is deemed a lifeless, dead person. That is because his will to receive has no place in which to dress and expose its actions, which are the manifestations of life." (In other words, there are many billions of dead people or dead souls among us).

"And it says: "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life", which is the general form of reception that is suitable for man. The words "breath of in Hebrew take the meaning of 'value'" (in Hebrew the word for soul - is "Neshama", and for breathing - "Neshima"), that is, "passed" the earth (or desire).

"...a soul." brings movement or life into the body. The size of the soul determines the value of a person's life ".which is the sum total of the forms that are worthy of reception into his Will to Receive..." Specifically the size of the soul determines the qualitative level that a person is on.

"...Then, that force, the will to receive, which was wrapped in his particles." that are primordially present in man ".has found a place to dress in a shape and act, meaning in those forms of reception that he attained from the Lord, and that action is called Life, as we've said."

Here, Baal HaSulam wants to say that we are all born with wonderful properties, and we have everything inside of us except one thing: the object on which we can realize our forces and properties. Until this object becomes apparently present in us, all of our properties and forces will remain dead; they are not real life. And we can see how they die together with the body from generation to generation, and the person yet does not create that which is called "life".

"Life" is the name of the creation of the Kli, which contains the Upper light. This kind of Kli is eternal. As soon as a person creates this Kli in himself he begins to equalize himself with a new desire called the "soul", which is inside of all of his other desires. The soul is characterized by two parameters, which have no connection with corporeal. They are: "perfection" and "eternity".

By equalizing himself with the soul, or by having this Kli inside of himself, a person immediately distances himself from his previous desires and his previous life that, he is now able to see, is equivalent to dust. And then, existing in this "new desire", he perceives perfection and eternity. All other life now takes place beneath him. That is why he perceives death and birth of the biological body as nothing more than some additional and completely insignificant changes in his spiritual life; because he completely equalizes himself with it.

Today, this is happening with us in exactly the opposite way. Our regular life, with its earthly concerns such as work, society, family and responsibilities with regard to those things; this is the main thing for us today. And somewhere, just a little bit, there exists something which is sort-of our hobby, something we are studying or in some way are partial to; that is, the spiritual. And then, the opposite happens: we begin to increase this spiritual realm inside of ourselves and we begin to live in it. In this case, everything else, or the earthly things, exists only out of necessity. That is, only as something that accompanies the spiritual part of us and something that supports us while we live in the spiritual.

And consequently, when a person's "I" passes from one existence into another and the person equalizes himself with the spiritual instead of the material, then everything that happens to the body naturally becomes absolutely secondary. Even to the point that death is no longer a special event.

"And the verse..." "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" "...ends: "and man became a living soul". That is to say that since the will to receive has begun to act by the measures of those forms of reception." like the soul or Bina - " had instantly been revealed in it and it "became a living soul". However, prior to the attainment of those forms of reception, although the force of the Will to Receive had been imprinted in him, it is still regarded a lifeless body, because there is no place for the action to come to be."

Specifically when this "force" manifests in us, or when it "acts" (meaning the soul's Kli forms and becomes filled by the light) only then we can say that there exists a spiritual force that now has become realized in us. Without this realization, the given "force" does not exist in relation to us, and we do not have the right to say whether it even exists at all, because we can talk about anything only with regard to ourselves.

"And as we've seen above, although the essence of man is only the Will to Receive, it is still taken as half of a whole, because it must be dressed in a reality that comes its way. For that reason, the will to receive and the image of its possession are actually one and the same, for otherwise it would not have the right to exist even for a moment.

Therefore, when the machine of the body is at its peak, that is until his middle-age, his "ego" stands upright in all the height that's been imprinted in him at birth. Because of that he feels in himself a large amount of the will to receive, meaning he wants to attain wealth and honor and anything that comes his way. That is because of the perfection of man's "ego", which attracts shapes of structures and concepts that it dresses in and sustains itself through them.

But, when half his life (the animal life) is through, begin the days of the descent, which by definition are his dying days." Usually, after approximately 40 years of life, a person begins to die. In principle, he has already died because there is no life inside of him and he continues to exist by inertia, or by sort-of "eating" whatever he has accumulated.

"That is because a person does not die in an instant, just as he was brought to life in an instant. Rather his candle, being his "ego", withers and dies bit by bit, and along with it die the images and the possessions that he wants to receive."

He begins to get old. We can see how all of this happens in our world. We have to be afraid lest the same happens with our spiritual development; that it will become habitual and we will just automatically continue our daily existence in the group and in lessons. If there is no realized movement forward, if it exists only on the level ofplans for the future, then this is nothing. In this case, consider yourself spiritually dead.

Baal HaSulam gives an example from this world: after the lesson, people of 45, and there are younger ones as well, already "die" and exist only by the force of inertia. Why? - Because the "ego" fades away. As soon as the "ego" is not moving forward and is not increasing, but is beginning to decrease instead, you can immediately consider the person dead. However, this is a gradual process. The same thing happens to us when, over the course of approximately 20 years, we have to develop in order to become adults, or independent people. Our death occurs the same way: it does not happen immediately, rather, it takes place over the course of the following 20 years.

In principle, however, the 20 years in the beginning of life and the 20 years in the end, are absolutely unproductive and are not considered to be life by themselves. Life is only the name of the period in a person's existence when he gradually increases his egoism. This increase can be determined only through action, and never by a force or some plans that have not been realized.

That is why he says that "...his candle, being his "ego", withers and dies bit by bit, and along with it die the images and the possessions that he wants to receive."

Check how many dead people there are amongst us, and how many living. Only those who were able to grow into spiritual desires out of the egoistic ones, and continue to further increase their desires, are alive. They may be 80 years old, but they are still alive because they are always directed forward and their desires are always being realized. A person fades because he begins to refuse many things in this life.

"For now he begins to let go of many of the possessions he had dreamed of in his youth (he already agrees with the fact that he will never have them), and he lets go of his greatest possessions, according to his progressing years, until in his old days, when the shadow of death shedsover him, a person finds himself in 'times of no appeal'. That is because his will to receive, which is his "ego" withers and dies..." That is, he exists without any desire at all; there exists a body by itself, and there isno desire left in it.

The only thing that remains of him is only a small and unnoticeable spark that is still clothed into something and still supports the person's animal life.This is why there is no desire or hope of receiving anything during these days; because the body is gradually fading.

Now we have proved that the desire to receive, together with the image of the object it desires, comprise a unified whole. It is when I have an object of desire and also the desire, which is concretized and expressed specifically in realization. Another way to say this is that there is a person and his action, or a force and its realization. Only then we can talk about the force's action.

"And their revelation is equal, their stature is equal and so is the length of their days. However, there is a significant distinction here, in the form of yielding at the time of the decline of life. For that yielding (the reason why a person refuses life and dies) is not a result of satiation (as a person who is full refuses food) but of despair." This is when we no longer become fulfilled by anything in life, and our desires fade down. That is why in old age we feel more comfortable, we no longer tear forward like the young, and whatever we have is enough for us. And so, little by little we agree.

"That is to say that when the "ego" begins to die, during the time of decline, he feels his own weakness and approaching death. Therefore he lets go and gives up on the dreams and hopes of his youth.

Observe carefully the yielding due to satiation, which causes no grief." Let's suppose that I have a desire and the possibility of satisfying it, but I refuse it for other reasons. Then regrets about the absence of fulfillment emerge within me because I preferred to refuse it. I did this because I have something else, something higher, "...cannot be called "partial death"."

If we perform a Tzimtzum on ourselves and continue on to our spiritual life, refusing regular fulfillment, then we consequently acquire eternal and perfect life. This is completely different from gradually sliding down into death.

"...but as an operator who is done operating.." and receives a reward for it that is much more attractive than the work itself. ".Indeed the relinquishment caused by despair." or due to the impossibility of fulfilling and achieving the things that everyone in our world desires, ".is full of pain and sorrow, and therefore can be called "partial death"."

Freedom from the Angel of Death

"And now, after all that we have learned, we find a way to understand the words of our sages in their true meaning when they said." (the article starts with epigraph) "..."Carved (Harut) on the stones" Do not pronounce it "carved" (Hharut), but rather "freedom" (Herut), for they've been freed from the angel of death."

The stones (tablets) of the testament signify the Ten Commandments, which correspond to the ten Sefirot of correction. With their help, you become liberated from the angel of death. Why? Because. "...after they had taken it." (the means of correction, or the Upper light), "...upon themselves to terminate any private property.", the refusal of receiving for your own sake and, instead, to receive only in order to achieve unification with the Upper force; "...which is the last degree of adhesion."

"And I have already brought you to realize that the essence of man, meaning his selfness, defined in the will to receive, is only half, and cannot exist but through its dressing in some image of an asset or a hope for an asset. For only then our matter is complete, and can be called the Essence of Man.

It turns out, that the person, when he attained complete adhesion."

He completely neutralizes the egoism within himself and begins to realize it only in order to become equal to the Creator through the action of bestowal. And when he acquires this property, he then enters the same life and existence as the Creator.

Consequently, a person first exits out of the part of the universe in which he was trying to fulfill his egoism. (In this part of the universe, the death of the egoism means the death of the person.) He then enters into another part of the universe, in which his egoism gradually develops bigger and bigger. In conjunction with this, the person perceives his existence to be eternal and uninterrupted, and therefore he achieves perfection.

"...Therefore certainly they have become free from the angel of death, for death is necessarily an aspect of absence and negation of the existence." (And it is possible only when you want to fulfill yourself, and at the same time you perceive the impossibility of doing so).

However, if you pass into the state when you can constantly fulfill someone, then there is no Tzimtzum Alef on it and there is no restriction on it at all. If your life depends on fulfilling someone else (and to fulfill someone else is always possible), then you immediately receive an uninterruptedly increasing Kli, one that perceives itself to be constantly alive, developing and existing.

That is why the liberation from the "angel of death" and the acquisition of the "angel of life" are achieved by correcting our egoism, which is better known as the acquisition of the ten fundamental properties of the Creator, i.e., the ten Sefirot (or nine on Malhut). That is why the Ten Commandments that are "carved on the tablets of the testament" give us freedom. This is called Herut - "freedom", instead of Harut - "carving on a stone".

You have to take this stone, or the Lev a-Even, and carve these Ten Commandments on it, or on the Lev a-Even (which is your egoistic desire). Then you will acquire freedom from the angel of death, from the Lev a-Even or the stone heart, and thus you will acquire eternal life.

This concludes Baal HaSulam's article, "Freedom of Will".

In this article, he clearly showed how man really acquires freedom from the "angel of death" and enters into an absolutely whole, perfect and eternal existence. He showed what currently awaits for a person in this life. Even when the body is completely arbitrarily dying, being reborn, dying again, being reborn again. Nevertheless, by identifying himself with the soul, a person tears away from the "angel of death" and merges with the "angel of life", or with the Creator.

There is only egoism and the "Creator", or the "angel of death" and the "angel of life". A person enters into the realm of the Creator and begins to live there, starting at a very small level called Tabbur. As a Tabbur, a person exists in the form of a fetus. After that, he exists in small states, and after that in high ones.

In order to understand how a person tears away from the "angel of death" and comes to the "angel of life", we will sketch a table showing a person's ascent on the levels of the worlds, until his arrival at the level of the acquisition of eternal life. In principle, however, all the levels on this table are already the levels of the acquisition of life.

Thus, those people who today are beginning to study and perform actions in their egoism that accelerate the advancement towards the Creator, are already conceiving completely new desires in their egoism. Their egoism is beginning to develop in the direction of the spiritual, and therefore we can already talk about the acquisition of a new life. "Life" is the name of an increasingly greater realization of egoistic desires. However, the realization in the spiritual world is the realization of altruistic desires. You and I are already moving towards this.

However, first we are in the world of Assiya. It is said of the world of Assiya: "...the world of Assiya is mostly evil. Even the little bit of good contained in it is also completely mixed with evil and is unrecognizable" [this is subsequent quotes are from "Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot, by Baal HaSulam]. This sentence tells us about the form, or the inner meaning, of the world of Assiya.

What does this mean: "is mostly evil"? This refers to the first level of the world of Assiya. This level is called "suffering", or the "single concealment". The second level of the world of Assiya is: "...the good is also mixed with the bad and the good is completely indiscernible." These two properties form the first level.

So, "single concealment" is suffering, and even greater suffering is "double concealment". Why is it greater? It is because here, we already perceive that, obviously, some good exists. In the first state, we simply say that everything is evil, but we cannot define it with regard to anything. In the following state, some good already becomes perceived, although it is still invisible and is not manifested apparently. The good exists inside of the evil, and it adds a greater disappointment for us, together with an even greater desire to renounce the state we are currently in. Here, we find ourselves in an even greater concealment and suffering.

The more a person studies Kabbalah, the further he travels along the path from the world of Assiya until the world of Yetzira, and the more he perceives himself to be in concealment, confusion, unknowing, disbelief and feebleness. This happens specifically because inside of a person's evil, which exists from the beginning, there is also a small addition of the perception of good, which is the subconscious perception or a glow of Upper properties. However, a person does not yet perceive them, and instead he feels his state to be more aggravated.

The next state is "the World of Yetzira." It is called "half good and half evil". Having gone through all of the perceptions of the world of Assiya in the first and second stages, a person then enters the perceptions of the world of Yetzira. What happens in this case? What happens is called the "first discernment of the revelation of face, which is" also called "the first form of love" (of course, not in the same sense that we are used to hearing these words in our world). This "first form of love" is called "conditional". Here, a person's closeness with the Creator is defined as "repentance from fear", and the person himself is called "half guilty half pure"; in conjunction with this, a person is called "intermediate".

This is the condition for being in the world of Yetzira. After a person goes through all of the levels of the world of Assiya, makes a specific number of efforts and passes the Machsom; he then finally enters into the revelation called "the world of Yetzira".

Here, what's called "the liberation from the 'angel of death" takes place. The person is already on a specific level of love for the Creator, although it is still "conditional" or "repentance from fear". He "still blames" the Creator, but at the same time, he also justifies and approves Him. That is why, here, a person is called "he who justifies incompletely (or incomplete righteous man)". In the world of Assiya he was called a sinner, but in the world of Yetzira he justifies (becomes a righteous man), although he is still not perfect. He becomes: "intermediate".

Many various kinds of definitions can be added here, but I am trying to limit myself, to avoid overloading you. However, these definitions are necessary. And I ask that each one of you has them in front of you whenever we study and use various concepts and names; and I ask that you know where, how and why all of this happens.

Going on; after a person has done everything that he could with his 620 properties, he then goes on to the next state, or the next world (any state is defined as "world"), which is called: "the world of Beria".

In contrast to the world of Assiya, the totally opposite situation exists in the world of Beria. In the world of Assiya, the main thing is evil and there is a small amount of good that is invisible; whereas in the world of Beria, "mostly good and only its minority is bad, and that minor bad is indiscernible." These are the properties of a person who has reached this level. Further on, the person continues to form with correspondence to the levels that exist in the world of Beria.

Thus, "mostly good" is called the second form of love. In the world of Yetzira there was the first love, but it was still conditional. However, "that minor bad is indiscernible" is already the name of the "third form of love" or "unconditional love". In the world of Yetzira a person justifies the Creator only halfway, but in the world of Beria"one has also sentenced himself to a scale of merit, but he has not yet sentenced the entire world."

What does "on has sentenced himself to a scale of merit" mean? This means that a person has completely corrected his desires and, in them, he perceives that the Creator acts towards him with absolute good in every possible state, that is, the previous, current and the future states.

Here, a person has reached the full correction, although it is his personal one - "Gmar Tikkun Prati", or the personal Gmar Tikkun (Final Correction). After he has done all of this, he then enters into the final state, which is called the world of Atzilut.

Let's review: in the world of Assiya, the main thing is evil and there is a small amount of good. In the world of Yetzira, there is half good and half evil. In Beria, the main thing is good and there is a small amount of evil. And here, in the world is exclusively "there is no evil whatsoever." How can you possibly perceive that there is good, if you completely do not perceive evil? After all, everything is perceived in comparison; that is why I pointed out that there is no evil.

The "fourth form of love" emerges within a person as a consequence of this attainment. In the world of Beria, this love was only partially independent, because the person justified the Creator only with regard to himself. However, here, in the world of Atzilut, it is "love is eternal, complete", and it brings "absolute revelation of the face."

What is the difference between the levels of the world Beria and the world of Atzilut? In the world of Beria, a person only has his own personal Kli, and inside of it he attains all of the Creator's treatment and all of His strength during the course of all time segments: from the past, to the present and future. That is why he justifies the Creator. His love is "independent", because the person knows that the Creator treats him with unchanging and absolute love, independently of the person. However, all of this attainment happens with regard to himself. In the world of Atzilut, however, a person achieves a completely different state, one that is above himself. Besides his own personal Kli (Beria), in which "my soul" comes to be known, a person also achieves the collective Kli, or Adam, in the world of Atzilut.

Here, a person already relates to this collective Kli, during any time and in every state. Ultimately, he perceives the Creator's action all by itself, as well as how the Creator's action from above happens with regard to all creatures. Consequently, a person fully attains the Creator's plans and all of His actions, with regard to the whole universe. Only as a consequence of this, a person is called "one who completely justifies (complete righteous man)", becomes included into the full volume of existence and achieves the state of "perfect, unconditional and eternal love".

Picture 1

This path is the person's movement with the purpose of tearing away from the "angel of death" or evil. Let's briefly review. First, there is the passage from "evil" to "good inside of the evil, and the good is invisible". In this state, an even greater concealment is perceived.

Then there is the passage of the Machsom, or entrance into the state "some good and a small amount of evil"; and then into the state, "half good and half evil". In this state, a person already begins to have balance, and he is called "the middle one", because "partly evil and partly good" influence him in such a way, that on one hand he already has love, but on the other hand, he has fear. He becomes closer to the Creator out of fear and, at the same time, out of love. Although this love is still "conditional", it is already in "revelation".

That is why it turns out that he partly justifies the Creator and partly blames Him. In conjunction with this, a person is called, "the middle one". In the world of Yetzira, the condition called "reward and punishment" is in effect. If the person makes some kind of a mistake or does something wrong, then the Creator punishes him. Consequently, he is capable of justifying the Creator for a "reward", and is not capable of justifying Him for a "punishment".

In our world, we think: "if the punishment is fair, then how can we not justify the Creator for it?" However, egoism is not capable of doing this. It does not matter that according to some of our categories it is fair. Egoism is like a small child, because we find only pure egoism in it, without any other attachments or philosophies. There is nothing you can do about this. When a child feels bad, he blames, and he does not care what may be happening and whether you are correct or incorrect; it simply does not matter. The only thing that is important for him is whether he is being fulfilled or not. If there are some actions that do not fulfill him, then this means that those actions are bad, and the person who does not fulfill him is also bad.

Each time we advance, we go through all of the actions in all of the elements of the soul. Since the soul of each of us consists of 620 desires, we must therefore perform analyses of perceptions under the influence of the light in all of these 620 desires. It depends on the levels whether this light is "surrounding" or "internal".

After a person has performed these actions on himself in the conditions of relative revelation, and after he has fully gone through all of these states, he then reaches the stage when practically the only thing that exists is "love". We know that, at first, the love was "conditional" (Beria), and then it became "unconditional" (Atzilut).

Here, a person really begins to enter into the properties of Bina. Beria is Bina, or the place where the difference between these two properties becomes apparent. The passage is called the Haze of Bina. These kinds of passages exist in each world, because each world is built according to the same principle. Correspondingly, the passage that happens in the worlds Yetzira and Assiya is realized on the level of Haze.

In the world of Atzilut this happens differently. There, the ascent happens in the GAR de Atzilut. These are called ascents into the 8th, 9th and 10th thousands of years. At this time, a person undergoes irreversible phenomenon and enters the state of "full and absolute closeness with the Creator"; not into equivalence with Him, but directly into His thoughts. He enters what we call "the absolute Secret of the universe". This is, in part, everything that I wanted to tell you.

I wish all the best to all of you. Until the next meeting.

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