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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 1.2 – Between Creator and Creature

The question “Who am I?” exists in everyone. But when that question can no longer be put aside, then it relates to the Creator: “Who is He?” This is because the Creator is inside us, the Source of the human “self.” Hence, no matter how many times we ask ourselves “Who am I?” the question still relates to the Creator. The “self” is a consequence. Our desires, everything we do is, in fact, created by the Creator.

The notion that everything we say and think, even when we speak of the Creator and ourselves, is the work of the Creator, is virtually impossible for us to perceive.

So where then is the “self?” There is no “self.” The "self" is the work of nature, created by the Creator. The "self" clothes us, yet everything we do is actually His doing. The question, "Who am I?" can only exists outside the Creator. We are different from the Creator only in wanting to resemble Him and to attain His degree.

The will to receive is essentially the desire of the creature to enjoy, corresponding to the abundance and pleasure that come from the Creator. We feel that will to receive and the Creator wants us to enjoy it. If one works according to nature's guidance, one is like a beast that hasn't even a spark of a Godly soul.

Only if our will to receive is clothed with an intention that monitors its use and corrects it, can we regard ourselves as creatures enlivened intentionally by the Creator, and not just another rock, animal or bird. But that depends on us.

Our desires to drink, eat, sleep, marry, and have children are natural and come from the Creator. We can’t escape or altogether change them. However, we can construct an aim over the will to receive and build a correct way to use that desire. The extent and depth of this aim depend solely on us. That is what we call, "Creation." We must search for the right way to use our natures, our desires.

Nature comes from the Creator, and our job is to know how to use it. The "point in the heart" is the way we relate to our nature as given to us by the Creator, as well as our gave us and to our ability to use it correctly. The heart itself consists of our desires, our yearning for pleasure.

Anything that is not the Creator is regarded as "the creature," limited by nature and divided by four degrees of desire: still, vegetative, animate and speaking (man). Man is the only degree that can use nature with a special, self-created aim. It is called the “point in the heart.”

The first phase is the “fetus,” the root coarseness: when one nullifies oneself completely, melts, so to speak, in the Creator. After that, the creature must gradually rise to the degree of the Creator and overcome that differences that exists between the Creator and the creature.

Using the aim, we seemingly build the Creator within us, but all along we feel our “self,” because our “self” is really the Creator. By attaining the Creator and equalizing in form with Him, we attain our own unique “self.”

The Creator wants a Creation that can retain its independence even when it feels the Creator, seemingly producing a "dual Creator" - the first being the Creator Himself, and the second, Creation, operating precisely like the Creator.

The creature’s will to receive is completely identical to the Creator’s Will to bestow, also named “bestowal in order to bestow.” The will to receive does not vanish, or becomes lost, and the creature retains its independence by using the desires that it wants to return to the Creator. That is where they are equal. The creature’s purpose is to attain complete wholeness while retaining its nature. The Creator couldn't have created an incomplete creature. He had to create a creature equal to Him. And the way to do it was by creating a creature and giving it the possibility to attain the degree of the Creator by itself.

That is the meaning of "perfection." When that is attained, there is a clear sensation that there is nothing other than the Creator and the creature. The creature discovers that it doesn’t exist without the Creator, but the Creator cannot be called a Creator if there isn’t a creature, just as a woman cannot be called a mother if she doesn’t have a child.

It is only possible to attain spirituality when there is a desire for it. But where do I find it if one doesn't even know what it is?

Let’s say that we are pushed a little to awaken in us an interest in spirituality, but in the end, the truth is that we still know nothing. If we knew what it was, and still wanted it, at least to a certain extent, things would have been easier.

But spirituality is purposely hidden from us. If we were to enter spirituality with our current will to receive, we would never be able to change it. In order to enter spirituality, we must want it. But wanting means knowing, trying, feeling how good it is. There is a law that states that, “The expansion of the Light, and its departure, make the vessel fit for its task.”

In order to attain spirituality one must turn to the Creator with a special prayer to discover spirituality, but not for self-gain, but for the will to bestow. After that, that desire to discover spirituality must be used correctly through the group and the teacher.

Thus, there must first be a great desire for spirituality. It is not given as a choice, but extends from the Creator. There will come a time when more and more souls will be ready for spirituality. Man always follows his desire. Before the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah, one is led from Above, and when one opens a book, the Creator seemingly steps away from the student, like an parent teaching an infant to walk. At first, the mother holds her baby, but she slowly backs off when the child begins stumbling towards her. We approach spirituality in much the same way, gaining more and more independence.

There are things we can and cannot work with. I can’t say that something doesn’t hurt me when it does. I rely on my feelings, and no philosophy will help me in this case. This is the limit of my “self.” It is impossible to realize my desires if I only rely on my feelings without any concrete basis.

When one attains spirituality, it is a different feeling altogether. We discover that our inner feelings arise from the actions of the Creator. We learn that man and the Creator are one and the same thing. There is no contradiction between them; they want the same thing, and there isn't even a cause and consequence. This is called the "unity of the degree."

Yet we must act as we actually feel. On the one hand, we read inspiring essays that say, "He is One and His name is One," but we still have to act according to our current levels of spirituality.

There is nothing missing in spirituality. For example, when an experience is over, it still remains, although it is no longer present in my current feeling. I cannot imagine any other situation, let alone feel it. Our beastly nature should know that redemption can only come from Above. Then we can advance.

We have a will to receive. That will come from Above and is constantly increasing, growing farther from the Creator through the impure worlds, and acquiring its final shape of egoism. That state is called "our world."

One begins one's advancement within the impure system and acquires the aim to bestow. With this aim, one begins to correct the will to receive until reaching one's Bar Mitzvah age (thirteen years old, a certain spiritual degree).

The Light comes from Above, depending on the correction of one's desires, and fills the creature. This means that the soul – the Light of Correction – clothes the body (the will to receive). The soul, or Light, passes through the holy worlds, and this is the time of correction. If we render pleasure to the Creator in the act of reception, it is called bestowal. The Talmud states that if a respectable man marries, he doesn’t have to give a ring to his bride. On the contrary, his willingness to marry her is sufficient because she respects him.

Such reception is tantamount to pure bestowal. If man works in this way toward the Creator when receiving from Him, with the aim of bringing contentment to the Creator, it called “equivalence of form.”

At first, one restricts oneself, saying, “I don’t want to receive anything for myself, unless the Creator wants it and it pleases Him.” Only under that condition is man willing to receive pleasure. The desire that the Creator created and the pleasure that He gives serve as a condition upon which the relationship with the Creator is based. Man agrees to receive from the Creator only if he is certain that he will please the Creator by receiving from Him.

However, in order to do that we must first meet the Creator, feel Him, and build a connection with Him. There is an inconceivable difference between receiving for self-gratification and receiving to bestow to the Creator. Such a contact is a gift of God.

Two things come from the Creator: body and soul, or Light and vessel. The Light helps the body receive the soul, becomes the giver, and turns the will to receive into bestowal until the will to receive is filled with Light. The situations we go through over the 6,000 degrees move us at any given moment toward the end of correction. At the end of correction, we will attain eternal and perfect pleasure and unity with the Creator.

Without attaining equivalence of attributes with the Creator, we will only be able to experience pleasures of the “still” degree, but not of the “vegetative, animate and speaking” degrees. An impure system is necessary for increasing the will to receive, so that afterwards, using the aim to bestow, it will be filled with Light exactly according to its intensity.

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