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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

50. Two States

I heard on Sivan 20

There are two states to the world. In the first state the world is called “pain,” and in the second state it is called “Holy Shechina (Divinity).” It is so because before one is endowed with correcting one’s deeds to be in order to bestow, one feels the world only in the form of pains and torments.

However, afterwards one is rewarded with seeing that the Holy Shechina is clothed in the entire world, and then the Creator is considered to be filling the world. Then the world is called “Holy Shechina,” which receives from the Creator. This is called “the unification of the Creator and Divinity.” As the Creator gives, so the world is now occupied solely in bestowal.

It is like a sad tune. Some players know how to perform the suffering about which the tune is composed, because all melodies are like a spoken language where the tune interprets the words that one wants to say out loud. If the tune evokes crying in the listeners to the extent that each and everyone cries because of the suffering that the melody expresses, it is then called “a tune,” and everyone loves to hear it.

However, how can people enjoy suffering? Since the tune does not point to present suffering, but to the past, meaning torments that have already past, were sweetened, and received their fill, for that reason people like to hear them. It indicates to the sweetening of the judgments, that the pains one had were sweetened. This is why these sufferings are sweet to hear, and then the world is called “Holy Divinity.”

The important thing that one should know and feel is that there is a leader to the city, as our sages said, “Abraham the Patriarch said, ‘There is no city without a leader.’” One must not think that everything that happens in the world is incidental and that the Sitra Achra causes one to sin and say that everything is incidental.

This is the meaning of Hammat (vessel of) Keri (semen). There is a Hammat filled with Keri. The Keri brings one to think that everything is Bemikreh (incidental). (Even when the Sitra Achra brings one such thoughts as to say that everything is incidental, without guidance, this is also not by chance, but the Creator wanted it this way.)

However, one must believe in reward and punishment, and that there is a judgment and there is a judge, and everything is conducted by Providence of reward and punishment. This is because sometimes when some desire and awakening for the work of God comes to a person, and he thinks that it comes to him by chance, he should know that here, too, he made an effort that preceded the hearing. He prayed to be helped from Above to be able to perform an act with intent, and this is called raising MAN.

Yet, one has already forgotten about that and did not consider it doing, since one did not receive an instantaneous answer to the prayer, so as to say, “for You hear the prayer of every mouth.” Still, one should believe that the order from Above is that the response for the prayer may come several days and months after one prays.

One should not think that it is by chance that one has received this present awakening. Sometimes one says, “Now that I feel that I do not lack anything and I have no concerns, my mind is clear and sound now, and for that reason I can focus my mind and desire on the work of God.”

It follows that one can say that his entire engagement in the work of God is, “his power and the might of his hand hath gotten him that wealth.” Thus, when one can engage and attain spiritual needs, one should believe that this is the answer to the prayer. What one has prayed for before, that prayer has now been answered.

Also, sometimes when reading some book, and the Creator opens one’s eyes and he feels some awakening, then too one’s regular conduct is to relate it to chance. However, it is all guided.

Although one knows that the whole Torah is the names of the Creator, how can one say that through the book one is reading came some kind of sublime sensation? One must know that one often reads the book and knows that the whole Torah is the names of the Creator, but nevertheless receives no luminescence and sensation. Instead, everything is dry and the knowledge that one knows does not help him at all.

Hence, when one studies in a certain book and hangs his hope in Him, one’s study should be on the basis of faith, that one believes in Providence and that the Creator will open his eyes. At that time one becomes needy of the Creator and thus has contact with the Creator. By that one can attain adhesion with Him.

There are two forces that contradict each other, an Upper Force and a Lower Force. The Upper Force is, as it is written, “Every one that is called by My Name, and whom I have created for My glory.” This means that the whole world was created only for the glory of the Creator. The Lower Force is the will to receive that argues that everything was created for it, both corporeal and spiritual things, all is for self-love.

The will to receive argues that it deserves this world and the next world. Of course, the Creator is the winner, but this is called “the path of pain.” It is called “a long way.” But there is a short way, called “the path of Torah.” It should be everyone’s intention—to shorten time.

This is called “I will hasten it.” Otherwise it will be “in its time,” as our sages said, “rewarded—I will hasten it; not rewarded—in its time,” “that I place upon you a king such as Haman, and he will force you to reform.”

The Torah begins from Beresheet (In the beginning), etc. “Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness,” etc., and ends, “in the sight of all Israel.”

In the beginning we see that the land is “unformed and void, and darkness,” but then when they correct themselves to bestow, then they are rewarded with “and God said, let there be light etc.” until the Light appears “in the sight of all Israel.”

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