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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 1.7 – From Above to Below

The study of the Kabbalah focuses on studying the structure of the worlds as they evolve from above down to our world. One would think that since we are in the corporeal world, we would be taught how to climb along the spiritual path from below upward, not the other way around.

But the truth is, that it is the exact same path that the Kabbalists write about. A Kabbalist is a person who lives in our world, but has attained spirituality from below upward. None of the writings of Kabbalists speak of a person who hasn’t attained spirituality.

Our purpose is to build an additional sensory instrument, with which to feel the spiritual world and the Creator. That is how it was done before and that is what Kabbalists write about. There is no other revelation of the Creator to man. A person can feel the spiritual world and the Creator only by changing himself. That is what he can write about and convey to others.

The First Man wrote about his attainments. Abraham the Patriarch followed in his footsteps, which in turn was followed by Moses, who named his attainments of the Creator and Creation, "Torah". The Kabbalists that followed wrote their feelings and attainments in additional books, the Mishnah, the Talmud and so on. Every Kabbalist wrote about his research of our world and the way to enter the spiritual world. We call these books, "Holy Books", or "Torah", from the Hebrew word Ohr (light) and Hora’a (instruction), meaning instructions for entering the spiritual world.

The books didn’t arrive "out of the blue". They were not carved in stone by an Upper Power and were not written by the Creator on papyrus. There was always a Kabbalist who sat down and put spiritual research on paper. That research is done from below (our world) upward.

The fact is, the ascent from below upward is personal and differs from one person to another. There are certainly common methods, general rules, degrees and phases in the ascent, but though the ways are common to all, each person experiences them differently. The spiritual world is attained from below upward. But in order for this instruction to be suitable for everyone, Kabbalists wrote it from Above downward, not from below. It is actually the same road, but when looking from above, it is described in more general terms, more uniform.

Light descends from the Creator, building five worlds on its way – Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya. Below the world of Assiya there is the barrier – a partition that separates this world from the spiritual worlds. There is another partition between the world of Atzilut and the worlds below it. It is called Parsa. Between the world of Ein Sof and the world of Atzilut there is the restriction.

Thus, from the highest state – the world of Ein Sof – down to the lowest, where we are, there are five worlds - Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya, each consisting of five Partzufim and each Partzuf of five Sefirot. Thus, the total number of degrees that stand between our (necessary) future state and our present state is 125.

These degrees are not carved in stone, but are inside us. They are degrees of internal spiritual development. When we change something inside us, we ascend by one degree. When we change another, we climb another degree and so on. All the degrees are levels of equivalence with the Creator.

The world of Ein Sof is a complete equivalence of form with the Creator, while our world is in complete oppositeness. The degrees between our world and the world of Ein Sof are measurements of equivalence of man with the Creator, phases of closeness to the Creator.

The goal that the Creator set for us is that while being in this world, we will work on ourselves and gradually correct our inner properties, so that while being in a worldly body, we will be in the world of Ein Sof in our inner soul, our inner properties.

This means that we must resemble the Creator while living in this world. Until we accomplish that, we will keep returning until we succeed. We will have not choice, and will be pushed to do it. This is true for each and every person. This helps to explain why we are often confronted with pressures and unpleasant situations. These are to make us understand that there is a reason for the anguish, that the suffering no meaningless, and that the Creator wants to do something with humanity.

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