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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 1.5 – Kabbalah As A Means of Attaining Spirituality

Kabbalah revolves around the spiritual worlds. Therefore, the student attracts spiritual Lights during the study. Studying other parts of the Torah also awakens a certain spiritual illumination, but the intensity of the Light during the study of Kabbalah is much stronger than when studying other writings.

However, we must make sure that we are studying in the right path of instruction, otherwise the opposite result may be achieved: the more we study, the more we will feel righteous instead of feeling our own evil (which is the desired result). Feeling our own evil would make it easier for us: just imagine studying for several months, each month feeling that you are becoming meaner and meaner. Can you really call that sensation pleasant?

Not at all! However, this is the truth! If you keep feeling better about yourself, then you are learning a lie, a pleasant one, but still a lie. On that basis society can be divided to two opposing groups: “Homeowners” and “Torah Owners.”

Homeowners are those who study Torah and are content with the study. They feel that they accumulate merit for the world to come. This world already smiles at them and they are confident that they will be happy in the next life.

The Torah Owners however, are people who wish to do something with themselves. These two groups are in complete opposition to one another, although their outward appearance is the same. They consist of an entirely different spiritual filling, just as two computers can appear identical but use two different operating systems.

All religions relay on one’s efforts for reception of reward in this world and the next. A Kabbalist however, can only be a person who ascribes no significance to reward but strives to find Truth. Granted, there are very few such people, but the numbers increase significantly with each passing generation. There are cases where one comes to a certain point in his quest for truth and then gradually leaves. The reason for that will be explained in further detail in the study of reincarnation.

All the worlds (this world included) are inner states inside us. We will find them nowhere outside us. In other words, it is not us who are inside the worlds, but the worlds are inside us. Outside us there is only the Creator, the Upper Light.

People in our world are convinced that they are inside some kind of existence, a reality that was created before we came inside it. But this is an illusion. There is nothing outside us but the Light of the Creator. That Light affects our senses in such a way that we feel it as solid, liquid or gas, as vegetative or as animate. Everything we can imagine and can see around us is built inside our own senses, making us feel as though everything exists outside us. But the truth is that there is nothing outside, only the Creator.

This world is the lowest point that a Kabbalist attains. It is the total opposite of the Creator and is termed, "the exile in Egypt.” The natural power that works on us in that state, the power of our egoistic nature, doesn’t allow us to advance anywhere except to care for ourselves. This is called "the state of Pharaoh".

Our egoism doesn’t let us feel the sublime and perfect state. It is the egoism, man’s inner and vicious force called "Pharaoh" that the Torah speaks of at length, whereas the force that makes one exit that state is called "Moses". Pharaoh, Moses and everything that is written about the exodus describe spiritual states and emotions.

Our current state is the lowest possible. It is a state of absolute slumber and even unconsciousness. We have no sensation whatsoever of who or where we are. It is even a lower state than “this world,” since defining our state as "this world" implies that we are already aware that there is another world. It is so low that we cannot feel any spirituality.

The Torah is not a historic epic, though there is a correlation between the text and human history. But this is only because the construction of the worlds is based on the same principle: everything that happens in one spiritual world is reflected in its adjacent lower world, down to our own.

Everything that humankind will have to go through during its ascent in the worlds must be felt by each and every individual in each of the worlds, especially our own. The ascent in our world is done in our current state and with our egoistic substance of this world.

There is a law for the spiritual nature that states that, “Every spiritual root must touch a corporeal branch.” This means that every spiritual origin, spiritual force, must hang down and build its final corporeal manifestation in our world.

For instance, there is a negative force in the world of Atzilut named Pharaoh and a positive one named Moses. These forces must materialize at least once in our world. In principle, everything that happened or that is happening in the spiritual world has already happened in ours, everything except the coming of the Messiah, the ascent and the exit to the spiritual world. This is all that still waits to happen. But the times to come before the ascent are also the hardest, darkest and most painful.

When we "work on ourselves" with Kabbalah, we enter a state called the “exile in Egypt.” During this process, we feel that we are becoming less virtuous, that we were better before we began our studies. This is incorrect; it is through our studies that we discover our true nature. As we continue to study and be influenced by the Light and our correct study of Kabbalah, we develop a strong desire to cross this barrier and enter the spiritual world. We long to resemble the Creator, even in the smallest manner.

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