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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 6. The Essence and the Purpose of Kabbalah

Kabbalists who attain the Creator feel that He is absolutely kind. They explain that He cannot cause even the slightest pain to anyone in the world because egoism, the will to enjoy for oneself, the cause of every unpleasant sensation, is absent in Him.

We do harm to others for the sole purpose of satisfying our own want for something. If this feeling did not have a constant grip on man, there would be no foundation for evil in the world. Since we perceive the Creator as absolutely perfect and whole, the absence of the will to “acquire” in Him leads to the absence of any evil in Him.

If this is the case, then He should appear to us as absolutely kind, a sensation that seizes every one of us in moments of joy, delight, and fulfillment. However, since everything we feel comes from the Creator, all of His creatures should feel only good and kindness… And what do we feel instead?!

The whole of nature consists of four levels: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human. Each level undergoes purposeful development: slow, gradual, cause-and-effect growth. This resembles a fruit growing on a tree that becomes appealing and edible only at the end of its ripening.

Yet, how many intermediate states has the fruit gone through from the beginning to the end of its growth? The intermediate states reveal nothing about the fruit’s final condition, when it becomes mellow and sweet. Rather, the opposite occurs: as good as the ripe fruit is at its end, so is it bitter and hard during its ripening.

The same occurs in the animal world: an animal’s mental capacity is limited in maturity, but while it grows, its limitations are inconspicuous compared to those of a human child. For example, a one-day-old calf has all the properties of a fully grown bull. Then, it practically stops developing, which makes it opposite to human beings, who acquire intelligence in the prime of life, but are utterly helpless and pitiful in the first years of life.

The difference is so striking that by looking at a newborn calf and a newborn baby, one who is unfamiliar with the ways of our world would conclude that nothing worthwhile will come from a human baby, whereas a calf will, at the very least, grow up to be a new Napoleon.

As a rule, intermediate states are opposite to the final outcome. Therefore, only one who knows the final outcome will accept and understand the unappealing form of the object during its development. This is why people often draw the wrong conclusions, failing to foresee the final outcome.

In fact, the Creator’s ways of governing our world are purposeful and manifest only at the end of development. In His attitude toward us, the Creator is guided by the principle of “absolute good,” without a trace of evil; and the purpose of His governance is evidenced in our gradual development. Finally, we will become able to receive all the goodness that was prepared for us. Surely, this goal will be achieved in accordance with His plan.

Two paths of development in the right direction are prepared for us:

The purpose of all the laws of development using the method of Kabbalah is to recognize the good and evil within us, and develop recognition of evil. By observing the spiritual laws, we can rid ourselves of all evil. This is because the difference in one’s development creates either a deeper, or a more superficial, recognition of evil, and a more powerful or less powerful desire to be rid of it.

The source of all evil is our egoism because it is opposite to the nature of the Creator, who wishes to bestow only good upon us. Since all that we perceive as pleasant comes personally from Him, proximity to the Creator is perceived as pleasure, and the degree of remoteness from Him is proportionally perceived as suffering.

Because the Creator hates egoism, humans, too, abhor it, depending on the extent of their development. Attitudes towards egoism are wide-ranging, from acceptance of egoism as normal in a spiritually undeveloped person who uses it without restriction (down to stealing and murdering openly), to a more developed person’s feeling of shame because of open displays of egoism, to actual revulsion towards egoism in a spiritually developed individual.

Thus, we find that the answers to the original questions are as follows:

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