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Michael Laitman, PhD

Spirit and Body

Actions of the Creator

The main goal of researching creation is to analyze the actions of the Creator in order to learn how to act the way he does and to acquire the ability to imitate His actions.

The acts of the Creator are called "governance" or "nature of creation". Scientists also investigate the actions of the Creator (they call them "nature", "laws of nature") pursuing the same goal – to learn something in order to imitate the "wise" nature.

Everything that we do in our life – all is imitation of nature. All the works of human hands or thought – technology, music, art – everything is based on resemblance to nature.

Even the wildest fantasy is a consequence of our nature. We cannot escape it. Anything that we are capable of creating is nothing else but the development of something that is instilled in us already.

We cannot create anything new. Everything that we do is further actions of the Creator, which He enacts through us. It just seems to us that we perform actions ourselves. We are created this way: constantly acting as directed by nature, we are absolutely convinced that we are carrying out our personal desires.

The truth is that these are also the actions of the Creator. This is a program of our development. All our "discoveries" are revelations of things that already exist, but were concealed from us before.

Our physical body is like an animal's body. It is similar to all bodies of our world and, obviously, does not have any spiritual property in itself.

Bodies, in our world, do not differ in terms of spiritual properties and just change each other in the process of reincarnation.

If there is no qualitative, spiritual difference, then no matter how different our physiological bodies are, spiritually, all of them are considered to be as one body. The difference in the spiritual consists of the difference in properties, qualities. It is because outer material sheath does not exist in the spiritual realm.

For this reason, when a Kabbalist looks into this world, he sees one representative of each species. But if a Kabbalist looks into nature – through the prism of true spiritual properties – then his vision, which distinguishes only spiritual properties, captures nothing in our world but emptiness.

Physiological properties of bodies are identical. Say, if someone suffers from a certain illness, then a physician treats this body the same way he treats other people with the same illness.

In other words, our bodies are similar. Meanwhile, in the spiritual, one body is completely different from the other.

Of course, all this holds for all objects of our world – all still bodies are like one body; all plants are like one plant; all animals are like one animal.

There is only one spiritual realm. It is the realm of properties that are closer – further in relation to the Creator. The presence of the material bodies – still, vegetative, animated – does not make a difference in the spiritual realm, because here the difference is defined only in terms of spiritual properties.

If a certain amount of bodies do not differ between each other, they merge into one. According to this law of equivalence of form – whoever acquires the qualities of the Creator merges with the Creator.

All the creation exists in this spiritual realm. It came into existence after the Creator revealed Himself and is revealing Himself, to the degree of similarity of form to Him. There is only He and we.

To the degree to which our properties are becoming similar to His, our sensation of Him increases. Spiritual movement is inner change that occurs when the sensation of the Creator becomes more or less evident.

We can say that the force of the Creator's Attraction operates in the spiritual realm. This force attracts a person towards the Creator, to the degree to which a person is similar to Him, and this is how a person moves around.

These are consecutive, multi-graded movements. A person improves his properties gradually: it is a process of inner realization and evaluation of one's own properties as bad, followed by willful efforts to improve them with the help of the Creator.

Receiving help creates a new property in a person. A person automatically – according to the "law of gravitation" – occupies a new, higher level that corresponds to a person's new properties.

The higher the degree of a person, the more common qualities of the creation a person has. It is similar to our world, when a person – who went through many states and acquired experience – gains experience of many people. For this reason general is higher than particular.

This is why a person devoted to his nation is higher than man on the street; a person devoted to the world is higher than someone devoted to his nation. There is a difference between people devoted to their family, city, nation, or world.

Birth of Properties

The birth of the new property in a person is like the birth of a human body. At the beginning there is conception: one cannot grasp that property or thought – it is wandering somewhere in a person, being an effect of certain previous courses.

Afterwards, it starts emerging – it manifests itself through some other properties, thoughts, until it is sensed as something of one's own – existing separately, independently, as something that has been born.

This process is like the birth of a human being. At first, organisms of mother and father produce certain cells that later merge together. A certain new organism starts to develop and it is completely unaware of itself – similar to an unrealized thought. Then gradually, this new entity becomes increasingly aware of its own existence, separates itself from its original courses, becomes self-conscious, and starts sensing itself.

These processes are inter-related: independence increases as one ceases to be under the influence of parents. And on the contrary, birth is a change of power.

Spiritual birth is when a person replaces his own power with the power of the Creator: a person voluntarily submits to the rule of the Creator, desires to act despite of his reason, and follows the wisdom of the higher spiritual level.

Spiritual birth – appearance of the spiritual desires – happens like birth on all the levels – intellectual or animated.

Until that moment, a person has no spiritual desires – he is under the influence of his egoistical desires. Receiving from the above new spiritual desires, replacing egoistical desires with altruistic ones, is called spiritual birth.

It happens with the help of the Creator – the spiritual force that gives birth to everything in all the worlds, including ours. Everything that happens in our world is a consequence of the events in the Spiritual worlds that descend upon us. It is said: “the fortune in the world above, related to the grass in the world below, strikes it, forcing it to complete its growth”.

Meaning, birth and further growth happens only under the influence of the compelling, striking force from above. It is even more so when we talk about the spiritual birth and growth - this process happens in spite of our egoistical nature.

If not for the spiritual force of the Creator that compels from above, life and movement would cease to exist in our world – all material manifestations are consequences, manifestations of the spiritual forces.

When our eyes will open, we will see the Upper World; we will discover that the corporeal does not exist. Everything is nothing but certain manifestation of actions of the spiritual forces, which we see in their material form for they appear to us so in our material senses of perception.

As we ascend spiritually and get closer to the Creator, ever higher forces replace the previous ones, until we see that there is nobody and nothing else but the Creator.

Acquiring the first spiritual property is called spiritual birth: a person leaves this egoistical world and enters the spiritual world in his or her inner sensations.

Appearance of a new, distinct property – that is different from properties of this world – pushes a person out of this world to the level corresponding to this property. This level is called the lowest level of the spiritual world – Malchut of the World of Atzilut.

The first correction of a person is called a spiritual birth. After this, a person starts his or her spiritual growth – correction until the full equivalence of form with the Creator.

Spiritual Birth

A person can acquire altruistic properties and exit (liberate from) egoistic ones, enter the world of correction and attain the first spiritual property only when he or she is able to subdue any manifestation of his egoistical qualities.

Naturally, such anti-egoistical forces do not exist in a human being. A new spiritual force appears in a person only under the influence from above; this force assists him in overcoming his natural desires.

Breaking free from the grip of egoism – the Pharaoh – is called liberation from Egypt, exodus from Egypt, while acquisition of the new altruistic properties is called entering the land of Israel.

The spiritual birth resembles a birth of a human being in this world: an embryo inside of a mother’s body enjoys the environment that is most comfortable for its development. Until our spiritual birth, we are under absolute control of the spiritual force that develops us.

However, in relation to a creature per se, one can say that until his birth, a baby exists in his mother's womb, darkness, without realizing where he is, who he is; he cannot move or nurture himself. Everything in him comes from his mother. Such is our state until the spiritual birth.

A newly born baby comes into this world the moment he reaches complete pre-natal maturity. Unless he is born, leaves the place that was so suitable until this moment, he will perish.

Thus, the best place turns into the most dangerous one. If he stays there too long, he will die! This is why a mother herself pushes the fetus out.

A person can sense his egoistic nature and consciously exist under its control - in Egyptian exile - only if he partially senses, as if from “afar”, the “wind of freedom”, the properties of the spiritual world.

Unconscious and subsequently conscious stay in the Egyptian exile is one of the mandatory stages of “pre-natal” period of person’s development and is called Ibur (fetus) in Kabbalah.

Before being born spiritually, one must first feel as a spiritual embryo, perceived as the birth of one’s spiritual desires.

Only after one is born spiritually does he receive the sensation and realization of what it means to exist in the spiritual world: to breathe independently, to receive from the Higher, to plead, to sense the Higher as the begetter and guardian.

Subsequent development resembles the development of a newly-born human being in our world: the Upper force meticulously guides him through the spiritual degrees, and each forthcoming spiritual degree differs from a previous one only in terms of an additional, new, corrected spiritual desire.

Initially, man’s spiritual path consists of acquiring altruistic powers-properties: he grows from Malchut of the world of Assiya to Malchut of the world of Atzilut, passing the degrees of 30 Sefirot.

During this process, one does not use his egoistical desires at all; he only rejects them.

When one, in his properties, reaches Malchut of the world of Atzilut it is said that one fully acquired his altruistic desires – GE.

Later, being part of Malchut of the world of Atzilut, one starts correcting his egoistic desires: rises his AHP to the world of Atzilut, transforming egoistic desires into altruistic ones: receiving pleasure in them for the sake of the Creator. These corrections are performed gradually, in 6000 parts-steps, called years.

Final Correction (Gmar Tikkun)

When a person completes his corrections, he reaches the last degree, the end of the entire correction – “Gmar Tikkun”.

The next degree that follows is called “Messiah” – Redeemer. The light that a person receives from this degree is so strong that it helps him to correct his very nature, transform the in-born egoism into altruism, and changes the “stony heart” (Lev HaEven) into the “living heart” (Lev Basar).

Then one rises to the ultimate degrees of adhesion with the Creator, called 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th millennia. As Baal HaSulam writes, there are individuals who attain these degrees while living in this world.

The article “Vision of Rabbi Chiya” in the Book of the Zohar narrates how after the death of Rabbi Shimon his disciple, Rabbi Chiya, could not understand why his teacher did not reach the final degree, the final correction, Gmar Tikkun.

The answer is given in the same article: there is personal and general final correction. Although the righteous men reach their personal final correction, only general correction of all the souls will elevate everyone to the qualitatively new, highest degree of adhesion with the Creator.

Emerging from the Darkness

When a person realizes that he exists in a dark, dead world and anxiously tries to get out of it with all of his might and desires, he is born into the new, spiritual world, much like a fetus whose level of development does not allow him to stay in the mother's womb any longer.

But if a pregnancy (sensation of being under Egyptian slavery of egoism) results in a pre-mature birth, that is, one is not matured enough, has not acquired altruistic properties for independent existence in the new world, it is considered that he is still-born.

In this case, a person is forced to continue this struggle with egoistical desires (the war with Amalek, internal conflicts, Golden Calf worship, sensing the new spiritual world called Sinai – from the world "Sina" – hatred).

Passing the states of realization of Egyptian slavery and finally realizing the need to come under the power of altruistic forces, one is still not fully prepared to assume altruistic properties.

Despite being given the altruistic powers from above, one is still not capable to take them on.


Being still-born means that a person was not able to acquire the spiritual properties, regardless of what was prepared for him or her. A person does exit egoistic properties; however, he comes into darkness.

The spiritual shines, but there are tremendous obstacles ahead: "Yam Suf" – "the final sea" (Red Sea), dry, lifeless dessert (Sinai) – this is how a person imagines the spiritual world in his uncorrected properties.

Although a person does receive the Upper light, he does not relinquish his previous properties completely, which results in subsequent breaking of the tablets, sin of the Golden Calf, and so on.

As Baal HaSulam writes, premature exit from the Egyptian exile became the reason for all other exiles. But none of the Creator's acts is imperfect: all of that will prove to be a necessary step for further mixing of the altruistic and egoistical properties, required for their mutual penetration, which, in turn, makes it possible to correct the entire egoism.

Thus, on each step there has to breaking of the desires. For without the breaking, mixing of these opposite properties in man, correction is impossible. This is why mixing occurs on all the levels.

The process of birth is gradual, and contains many seemingly ill-fated processes. We are lifted up a little - the spiritual seems desired - and then let go – feel disappointment in the spiritual.

The desires get mixed so that the spiritual could enter into all material elements, into the will to receive, into egoism to the extent that would make it possible to correct the lowest, most distant from the Creator desires. Only then do we achieve complete, perfect "Final Correction".


However, after genuine spiritual birth, a newly born person gulps the invigorating spiritual air and the first spiritual sensations burst into him.

Afterwards, he grows, as described earlier: first, he attains only the desires "to bestow", GE, and then corrects and incorporates AHP, the desires "to receive", applying the intention for the sake of the Creator.

Receiving desires are corrected by following the commandment of loving thy neighbor: when a person with his egoism loves "the neighbor" and not himself.

There are three states:

  1. "Will to receive" – when one loves just oneself.

  2. "No will to receive" – one wishes nothing for oneself. One still is not capable of giving to the others: "neither to me, nor to others". This is a certain level of correction: a person does not want to take advantage of his or her egoism.

  3. "Will to bestow" – one loves the other as oneself.

When a person renounces egoistical desires, thoughts about himself, he wants nothing. Afterwards, when his eyes open up and he sees the Creator, he starts feeling love for Him.

As in our world, a newly born baby falls into the loving hands of his parents, who ensure his safe and necessary development, so does a newly born person in the spiritual: each spiritually born person finds himself in a certain spiritual environment, called 600 000 caring souls, forces, which have qualities that help a newly-born to survive and develop in the spiritual realm.

Ascending, a person feels that everything but him is corrected.

The Secret of Past

Man's nature is such that he is always turned towards the future, his further growth, progress. His path seems to him as rising "from down upwards"; he relates to each future state as greater, better that his present state today.

Man is created in such a way that he always aspires towards his next condition as a better one in relation to his previous one.

And because man is created as aspiring towards the future, he is unable to perceive and sense the states that precede his physical birth.

He also is unable to sense how any desire is conceived in him; he has no idea what is the origin of that which constitutes his "I".

The degree that begot a person, the preceding spiritual state is called "fathers" ("forefathers", "father and mother"). This highest degree gives birth to certain properties in man.

But how can a person embrace the degree from which he receives all the desires and where, in other words, his future lies?

Suddenly, a person has a desire to achieve something: he suddenly feels an urge to receive, find out, or understand something. However, this thought is an upshot of the desire descending onto him. This descending desire is what gave rise to a thought in him to commit a certain action, attain something.

For this reason man is like a book which lacks the first half of the pages. And "reading himself", investigating himself with his uncorrected, "earthly" properties, we are not able to understand anything about ourselves – not just the past, but also the future, although it seems to us that we do.

Foreseeing the Future from the Past

Those who enter the spiritual have an advantage of seeing the future, for they attain their past. They also acquire a possibility to attain the original causes of that which compels them to develop, determines their current condition, their "I".

Attaining one's spiritual parents, one becomes fully aware of his current degree, can look at himself from the side, becomes objective.

The entire advantage that people who attain the spiritual, Kabbalists have is that they see their conception from the Creator down to our world; they climb the same ladder down by which their soul descended into our world.

Kabbalists start sensing their previous "I" and gaze into the future. Only if a person attains his spiritual root does he really see both himself and also what awaits him in the future. Without this attainment, he sees nothing ahead of him.

Desires in a person change all the time, and this is because his spiritual root, directing him towards the goal, is constantly renewed.

Man's growth is the growth of his screen: our ability to advance in spite of, above common sense. The spiritual growth is the desire to move, to progress on your own, and not because of a pressing need.

We can look back only for the purposes of investigating our previous state so that we know how to progress further: not to justify our laziness or non-action, but to acquire knowledge and later carry on in defiance of it.

A human being encompasses everything created by the Creator: the worlds, Sefirot, angels and our entire world exist inside of a human being. However it seems to us that we sense everything from outside.

In reality, nothing exists outside of us but the Creator, Whom we do not feel. We sense only His various influences upon us, thanks to which we attain ever deeper layers of ourselves.

These stages of attainment of ourselves are called Sefirot, Patzufim, worlds, and they exist inside of us. That which exists outside is the illusion. This illusion is so great that it is impossible to picture something opposite, reverse.

Our senses give us an inverted picture: that which in reality exists inside of us seems as if existing on the outside, while outside there is only the Creator.

Internal is Felt as External

How does the sensation that there is a surrounding world occur in us? We, so to speak, exist inside of the Sefira of our sensations. The Creator "pressures" us from the outside, while we, existing inside of our Sefira and balancing the external pressures, perceive and react to Him in our senses.

As the internal pressure collides with the pressure from outside, the image, the picture called "the world" emerges. We conceive this picture as existing outside, while in reality it exists inside of us.

All the measuring instruments are built according to this principle: they measure not the influence itself, but their response to this influence.

We will not be able to attain the external world because it does not exist. Our entire science grasps only the way in which we perceive the Creator. But although we attain just ourselves, comprehending the entire picture only inside of ourselves, this gives us a sufficient account in order to exist in this very picture. This is because the Creator, building this picture inside of us, acts on us according to this picture.

Whatever we sense is the most suitable and necessary sensation for our development. The question "How can a person in this world evolve spiritually?" is irrelevant.

The fragment of the Creator that a person senses and calls his world is exactly what he has to sense at a given moment, and so he should act specifically in "his own world".

That which we sense every moment is the best possible sensation for our spiritual development!

Our subjective perception ensures that we comprehend all the surroundings in a way necessary for our existence. We sense the others and understand their intentions, and this makes it possible for us to exist in the company of the alike.

However, the level of sensation and understanding depends on our level of development. We can draw an analogy with a radio: the wider the range of frequency, the more waves can a radio catch.

We can understand the other people only from within our self-awareness. Only after we find the characteristics of the rest of the world inside of ourselves will we be able to apprehend the surrounding reality.

And if one never experienced a certain sensation (for example, a headache), one has no way of imagining what it is. This is why we differ from the inanimate, vegetative and animated levels of nature in our degree of inner development.

To Find the Creator Within

In order to apprehend the surrounding reality, up to the Creator, we have to investigate our properties, as it is said: "I will find my Creator Within". Man is deliberately built this way, so that he could attain outside of himself. Otherwise, he would not be able to correct "the entire world" through himself.

Yet what we cannot comprehend is our own origins, all that happened before we became aware of ourselves, before this thought occurred: how did it occur; from where did this desire descended down to us?

We do not have an accessible language to express the reason of receiving the particular properties of our "I".

The words descended from above downwards, drawing further away from the Creator's light, and the light weakened in order to create a human being, who would start to exist in a complete alienation from the Creator and would reach the full adhesion with Him.

The entire preparation for the emergence of a human being is called "Back side". We have no sensation of it whatsoever, because these are the highest degrees of the Light descending from the Creator down to our world – the lowest degree.

Only Kabbalists attain these levels of the precipitation of Light as they climb them from down upwards and describe them in their books. Those who ascend attain their own conception, and therefore become more and more aware of their Origin and themselves and attain their own future.

The Secret of Conception

What does it mean to comprehend the secret of conception (Ibur) of the entire universe from the original thought of creation and up to its final goal?

The entire creation, from the beginning to the end, all of its properties and path is contained in the Light, emanating from the Creator. Receiving this light in the process of our development; we comprehend the secret of the universe.

As we climb the steps of the light's precipitation, evolving spiritually, we attain our past, our Origin at each step.

The higher we rise, the more we attain from our "past". This is because everything happens following the same path: from above downwards descend Sefirot, Partzufim, and the worlds, and later, from down upward ascends a human being, until he reaches the adhesion with the Creator.

The Creator reveals all the "steps of the descent from above downwards"; however, development from down upwards, attainment of all the degrees from the lowest (our world) to the highest ("The Final Correction") is not revealed, because only correction of the souls can make it possible.

At the time of the final correction of all of our desires, our true egoistic desire – Malchut – will reveal itself to us. We do no feel this tremendous desire "Lev haEven" (stony heart) until we correct all the other, initial 288 desires. We are not able to endure the suffering that accompanies it, nor are we able to correct the desire itself.

Advancing, we sometimes feel a black abyss opening in front of us, which is called "the shining of Malchut". This is a reverse shining of the real Malchut.

This desire will not manifest in us until the final correction. It is concealed from us so much that we cannot even imagine it. Only when it is completely corrected and filled with the light, do Kabbalists become worthy of attaining the face of the Creator: the full revelation of the light in the entire Malchut.

Prophesy and the Highest Wisdom

There are two types of attainment: prophesy and the highest wisdom.

It is said: "A wise man is preferred over a prophet". This is because a wise man receives with the help of the screen, and this becomes his individual, deserved attainment, which he can control. To the extent of his degree of attainment, he is "a partner" of the Creator: he himself gives birth, builds the degree to which he ascends and inhibits.

Meanwhile, prophesy is revelation from "above", a gift. The Creator opens the eyes of a Kabbalist, who then sees and comprehends: but only owing to the Creator, and not on his account.

Conception and Growth

From the moment a seed falls into the ground, it starts discharging its previous form, properties. Full seed is called a parent to a disintegrated seed, which decomposed in the ground and lost its former properties.

What is left out of a previous form is only energy, potential of a future newly-born. A full seed had plenty of properties, an entire world, minerals, proteins, etc., but the program of development is the only thing that remains of it and gets transformed into a new form.

The only thing that remains of a preceding stage is its energy not clothed in any form: the seed used to have both properties and form, but what is left is its essence that we cannot grasp. Previous form is completely destroyed.

Until there is something of the past, it is called an embryo, descending from above downwards.

When it reaches its final point, discards its previous form, and begins to grow and evolve, this already represents gradual development from down upwards, up until the attainment of the very degree from which it descended: the degree of its parents.

Being born into our world, a person is still an embryo spiritually. He is considered as existing inside of his spiritual parents; spiritually he is not born yet.

His physical development does not imply his spiritual development. None of the physical actions, rituals or customs corrects a person, elevating him spiritually. Hence, he who does not correct himself through the Kabbalah studies is called "Domem": "not evolving spiritually" (lit. spiritually inanimate).

As the desire for the spiritual ascent is instilled into a person from above (if this happens), a person develops an urge to study authentic books, starts looking for guidance, the real Teacher; he becomes more aware of himself and the wickedness of his nature.

In our sensations, we perceive the process of realization of our own pettiness as negative: like rotting of a seed. But if we gradually curb our egoistical properties and plead for correction, we break away from our "I".

Until this state, a person is said to be an embryo inside of a mother. But the moment he receives the power from above that frees him from being a slave of his egoistic nature, he is considered to be born.

The moment of birth is the moment of receiving from above the power to rule over one's desires and subdue them for the sake of spiritual progress. From this moment one starts to ascend from down upwards, climbing the same degrees that his soul passed, descending from above downwards.

Attainment of this lowest condition is the first step of our advancement towards the spiritual, and although our development is directed upwards, towards the Creator, at first, in our sensations, we seemingly draw away from Him.

We feel this way because we reveal, sense inside of ourselves increasingly lower egoistic qualities. In parallel to it, we are shown meagerness of our own power, our complete absence of desire to turn to the Creator for help. The revelation of all these factors gives us a possibility to be born spiritually.

General is Identical to Particular

The person who feels that he has knowledge, that he himself knows and understands how to lead his life, to study, is yet to undergo the development from above downwards. And only afterwards, can he embark on the path from down upwards.

Until we reach the lowest point – a complete realization of our egoistic nature – we travel the path of the realization of our own evil (being influenced by the forces that compel us to develop this way), called the path of suffering.

Being affected by these forces, in every generation, each of us through his or her suffering gradually (consciously or not) realizes and accepts the pettiness of our egoistical nature. By this we draw closer to the goal of creation.

But how long this path is! For the final point of this path is the realization that egoism is so destructive that the only way to avoid suffering is to renounce egoism completely. This part of the path is called "realization of evil" (Akarat haRa).

We can speed up our development, to undergo this process, by correcting ourselves with the Upper light (the path of Kabbalah), if we aim at correcting ourselves through the path of Kabbalah instead of the path of suffering. The difference between these two paths is that Kabbalah greatly accelerates our spiritual development.

The more one aspires upwards, the clearer he sees how low he exists and descends even lower, the quicker he "rots", like a seed, in his own eyes and, after being born, starts to "sprout".

At the beginning, we do not realize that our urge towards the spiritual comes from above - but how else could this urge emerge in egoism! And so we desire the spiritual only because we don't know what it is; for spirituality is death, a complete antipode to egoism, our current nature.

As we are unable to put our hand into fire, so we are unable to make ourselves receive altruistic properties – they are so adverse to us. But egoism itself pushes us towards the spiritual (also because it feels pleasure only from the Light).

Egoism Kills Itself

How can egoism bring itself to its own demise? Why does a person pass from "Lo Lishma" (for his own sake) to "Lishma" (for the sake of the Creator)?

At first, it is impossible to assume "Lishma" voluntarily. Thus, "Lo Lishma" is created on purpose, and we can lie to ourselves that we act not for sake of our egoism, although in reality egoism is what helps us to realize our pettiness and weakness and "gently" brings us to "Lishma".

Hence it is said that the Creator begot two angels – good and evil inclination – and both of them bring a person to the Creator.

But until the very moment of discarding our egoism, we believe that this is impossible – much like a seed: until it disintegrates completely, it cannot acquire a new from. Until there is something of the past state left in a person, he is considered as descending from above downwards.

And only when nothing is left out of previous desires, does the ascent from down upwards begin. The last, lowest state is instantly replaced by the ascent upwards.

Our impure desires, called Klipot (shells) awaken in us desire for the spiritual. They are a necessary part of creation without which we cannot progress.

Impure forces in particular are telling us: "It is worth acquiring the spiritual! What do you have in this world? Small pleasures. In the spiritual world, delight is billion times greater, real, and eternal!" This is what our Klipot are telling us! This way, they help us embark on a spiritual journey, and afterwards change its goal and reach spiritual purity.

Two Angels

When we start to comprehend the general picture of creation, we sense immense perfection. Sensing this perfection is the greatest pleasure of all.

Pure and impure forces, the angels of the Creator, two opposite systems of pure and impure ABYA constantly "polish" a person, as hands polish a pea.

In our world, our egoistic desires crave for pleasures of our world, but when a person enters the spiritual world, instead of craving for earthly pleasures, he develops a desire to receive the Light itself, the pure delight for his own sake, for self-gratification.

Correcting this urge, a person ascends even higher, but here again the impure forces, Klipot supply him with an even greater egoistical desire to receive the Light for his own sake. And again, he melds this desire into altruistic one.

And so he grows, moving "on two legs". Impure forces help us to ascend. The Creator begot nothing that would harm a person: everything is created for his benefit. However, there is no Commandment to love the impure forces.

We can either love or hate something only by virtue of its benefit. At the moment we love Klipot as they give us pleasure. When we will see that they drive us away from a huge reward, we will perceive them as our enemies.

The desire – pure or not – is evaluated by a person himself. And only a person himself measures his own desire. Today we still don't regard the desires for earthly pleasures as impure.

This is our entire life! We love these desires and delight in them; thanks to these desires we feel pleasure from micro-dose of the light, the spark of light "Ner Dakik", which we call "life".

We can speed up our downward path, our prenatal development, only by aspiring upwards. This is the only means for speedy "realization of one's own evil".

One can receive strength and desire, the correct direction, search for the true goal only from authentic Kabbalistic sources and under the guidance of the real Teacher.

Committing each act in life, we should think "Why I am doing this?" That is, we become aware how coarse, egoistic, weak-willed we are, and crave only petty pleasures. Precisely these unpleasant sensations accumulate in us and induce "deterioration of seed", from which eventually sprouts a new creature and grows from down upwards.

This lowest point of our development is called in Kabbalah "the point of our world". And only when a person reaches in his sensations the lowest condition, can he sense this point.

This is called that he exists in "Our world". When he reaches it, he immediately receives the Creator's response, ensuing his growth while sensing of the Upper world.

The Law of Development

If an alien came to our planet, then looking at a newly born calf and a human being, he would conclude wrongly that a calf is a more evolved creature than a human being. The same goes for everything: we cannot comprehend anything without knowing all possible states of the subject of our investigation: from the minute it comes into the world till the time when it completes its development.

We perceive everything only through our sensations, representing a "black box" that is filled exclusively with that which enters it through our five senses. Thus, in order to investigate something we first have to know ourselves completely; we have to realize the limited nature of our senses and distortions that they bring into environment.

Most importantly, since we are not able to comprehend our previous states initially, we lack the ability to know ourselves.

Since we do not understand the reasons behind the events, we are unable to comprehend our present or future states. Yet a Kabbalist, climbing the spiritual ladder, becomes an active part of collective Malchut, Shechinah, or creation and therefore attains his previous (preceding birth) states, and goes beyond the limitations of time.

However, even when a person attains the spiritual degrees, he remains partially limited in his ability to comprehend. And this happens regardless of the fact that each part of creation contains properties of all other parts. One is unable to attain all phenomena through his own part: he does not see the consequences of numerous phenomena, for he hasn't yet attained the reasons behind them.

Many causes remain invisible because these previous states, yet not encountered in one's ascent-return upwards, are still in the state of conception; one hasn't reached the degrees that gave birth to the laws and properties that remain concealed from him.

Say, a person attained a certain degree. It follows that from this degree and lower he can understand the beginning and end of actions. This is called the level of his achievement. A person in this world does not see anything from the past specifically because he hasn't attained the future yet: has not attained his spiritual states.

"Objectivity" of our sensations in this world amounts to our consent to call a certain perceivable light as, say, red, or a certain flavor as bitter. Our language, derived from our sensations, is not objective for it does not allow us to compare our subjective sensations.

In order to compare two sensations, the sensations of two individuals, these sensations have to exist in one person who is comparing them. Only then will he be able to contrast them (but again – subjectively!).

Since we attain everything inside of ourselves, we must know ourselves from the beginning to an end. We can comprehend the surrounding reality only through ourselves.

Any given event evokes no reaction in us unless we experienced something similar to it. Without tasting the grief, we will not understand the grief of the other. Our perception is conditioned by our previous feelings, experience – that which we sensed inside of ourselves.

This is why without attaining our previous ("pre-natal") states, we cannot attain ourselves. And we must attain ourselves, for otherwise we would not attain the entire creation.

Only by starting to ascend the same degrees through which our soul descended do we comprehend our properties.

We attain not because we ascend; rather, ascending, we attain our previous "descending" degrees, go into our past. This way, we see our origins.

No Man Knows Himself

In order to know any object completely, we need, in essence, to know its negative, evil properties and manifestations. This is because the only thing that was created is the will to receive pleasure, egoism, or evil.

To fully know an object, we must discern the greatest manifestation of the egoistic desire in it. Then we will be convinced that we reached the depths of nature, the primary essence of this object.

Thus, to discern the essence of something means to behold its negative properties. And since a human being is not capable of seeing the negative in himself, he is unable to know himself.

Why are we not able to see evil in ourselves? This is because our egoism does not allow us to be aware of it. Our essence is the will to receive pleasure. Absence of pleasure makes us suffer.

We are unable to suffer by our own volition – this is above our nature. If we agree to obvious suffering, this is because we expect a reward greater than suffering we are ready to endure.

In other words, ultimately, we receive pleasure as a reward for suffering.

Moreover, if we see pleasure in something, we are unable to simultaneously see negative and harmful for us. And since all pleasures are brought to us by our egoism, egoism does not allow us to see it as evil.

But if we perceived egoism as evil, we would develop a desire to get rid of it. However, we, on the contrary, say: "This person wants to be a great scientist, a great actor; or she works a lot; he takes a good care of his family, loves his children!" We praise manifestations of egoism and try to find positive aspects in it. While negative aspects we attempt to hide from ourselves somehow.

This is why people buy such theories like communism, charity: this impresses egoism: "I will be content"; "People will care about me"; "I will feel good and safe". This is an excellent cover for egoism! We don’t want to hear negative things about egoism: it is unpleasant and makes us suffer.

Pleasure Conceals Evil

Everything that we see as negative in the others, we try seeing as positive in ourselves. We see only good in people whom we like. In people we disgust, we see only evil.

Children-and-parents is an excellent example: each parent sees only positive in his or her child. Try pointing to something negative and you will earn yourself an enemy. You pointed to something that is true, objective. However, egoism apprehends that what is pleasant, not what is objective!

Every bit of evil that we sense is perceived as pain. Thus, even if we know in advance that this is evil, we disconnect our senses, trying not to hear; we disconnect from evil that is shown to us. And this happens automatically.

We are unable to bear the truth about ourselves. Psychologists call this "defensive mechanism of body", while Kabbalist – "defensive mechanism of egoism".

Hence, the law: "the source of pleasure is not perceived as evil". And only as a result of prolonged experience does a person begin to realize that the seeming good is actually evil. It takes months, years for a person to realize this. As well this realization requires memory and special qualities of consciousness, in-depth exploration of self. And not everyone is capable of this.

Our body is built on pure egoism so that it understands that pleasure is followed by payback, that it is necessary to experience punishment, which creates a conditional reflex on pleasure: the sensation of subsequent suffering, up to the point when any available pleasure is perceived as evil beforehand.

Kabbalists, attaining the highest degrees in their full scope, become worthy of complete attainment of these levels inside of themselves, which is called "the soul".

"The soul" is the spiritual vessel (Kli) filled with the Light. We can comprehend Kli through the Light that fills it, as it is said: "In thy light I will behold light". When the Light comes, we see both our positive and negative properties in regard to the properties of the light.

This is because we can attain an object only by comparing it to its opposite. And only the Light, if it appears, can illuminate our negative properties for us.

The Soul – Attainment of Adam

We already mentioned that the worlds are first attained from above downwards: at the beginning, we attain so-called "descent of the souls". Afterwards we attain from down upwards the degrees of drawing closer to the Creator, the attainment itself.

Rising to the next spiritual degree, a person first attains the descent of his or her soul from above downwards, his previous state, in which he exists till his spiritual birth. This state is called "Ibur – fetus" (Ubar – the spiritual fetus, Ibur – the process of birth).

In other words, rising to each new spiritual degree commences with the state of "Ibur" in it, although it happens differently than when the soul descends unconsciously, by the Creator's will and force. Rising, a person consciously with all his might and prayers ushers himself into the state of "Ibur": the state of complete submission to the spiritual rules of that degree, complete subordination to the laws that are revealed to him at that degree.

If, despite the obstacles of his egoism, a person agrees to follow the rules of that spiritual degree, he turns into a fetus within the Creator at that degree. And later he is born and evolves, until he outgrows that degree and enters the state of "Ibur" at the higher degree.

And this way, at each degree he gradually starts assimilating it from the state of "fetus" – complete submission to its laws.

After a person becomes "a fetus", he continues to evolve: instead of being forced to submit to the spiritual laws, he voluntarily accepts them as his properties instead of egoistic ones. Meaning, instead of earlier organs of his spiritual body, egoistic desires, he acquires new organs – altruistic desires. In them, he receives the soul, the Upper Light for the Creator's sake. This is already called attainment from down upwards, the true attainment!

Until a person is capable of only accepting the laws of a given degree, but does not acquire its desires, properties, his state on a given degree is called "fetus", Ubar. This happens at each degree.

But the moment he starts fulfilling the laws of that degree independently and acquires its desires, he is considered to have been born on that degree.

Fetus is "dissolution" in the desires, properties, and laws of a given degree, which in this case is called "Father and Mother" (Abba ve Ima). And when a person acquires the properties of this degree, he becomes as big as this degree, and immediately starts sensing a new Upper degree.

The same path repeats again: a person starts building from himself an embryo of the Upper degree, which becomes his "Father and Mother".

The Degrees of Soul's Descent is its Birth

All the degrees through which man's soul descends from up downwards are called birth of man's soul. But only by acquiring an independent desire of the Upper degree is a person considered to be born spiritually.

Embarking on Kabbalah studies, a person enters the period of realization of his own evil. We start this journey from "Lo Lishma", egoistic aspirations.

We desire to attain the Creator, to receive spiritual pleasure aspiring to the spiritual egoistically. Each of us starts their spiritual elevation from being dissatisfied with this life; otherwise, how could we engage our egoism in anything?

That's why by extracting a little part of the light from objects of our world and shining with it from afar, without being clothed into any specific object, the Creator instills in a person an egoistic urge to achieve pleasure from the spiritual.

Thus, a person aspires to the spiritual egoistically. However, ultimately egoism is what helps us to exit it; egoism works against itself.

A person tries to substitute one egoistic goal for the other. This is a preliminary stage of developing a true desire.

Naturally, spiritual development is carried out from above, by the Upper objects, called "Abba ve Ima" (Father and Mother). This stage of our unconscious development is called "Ibur". This is an unconscious "Ibur" of our world. In the spiritual world, a person enters the state of "Ibur" consciously.

Reward that is 620 Times Bigger

A person who exists in his physical body, gradually receiving all additional desires of Malchut of the world of Infinity, correcting them, has to attain the same utmost degree from which his soul descended into this world; he has to attain this degree while being in the body.

This way, a human being reaches the 620 times bigger adhesion with the Creator than his soul used to have before descending down and clothing the body.

This gain in particular is the reason for creation of all the worlds. Thanks to correction of egoism, in particular, we attain the spiritual 620 times more than when we were born into this world.

Nothing disappears in the spiritual: if we rise to a certain degree, our soul, traveling the path from up downwards, exists in the state where it was at prior to descending and being born into this world.

This is why now past (before birth) and present spiritual states exist on the same degree simultaneously.

Both of these sates exist in a person. But now a person has a screen on all his once egoistic properties. With the help of the screen, in particular, a person can become aware of his previous states and thus fully sense, taste the light filling him.

A person can become aware of his own conception that he previously was unaware of. This is the essence of independent attainment.

Because now a person possesses new properties, he senses the Creator 620 times more. Prior to this, a person existed at this very degree in the state of Ibur, had no Kelim to be aware of his own state.

In contrast, now thanks to egoism (working with it on the path of ascent, fulfilling the 620 commandments of this level) a person acquires a possibility to see, discern 620 times more.

But we should not think that our world's function is completed with a spiritual birth of a person, his ascent to the first spiritual degree, that after this our world loses its value and meaning.

On the contrary, the spiritual degrees reveal themselves through the objects, garbs of this world. Though them a person starts sensing the spiritual categories that exist in them. This is why our world appears transparent to him.

He starts seeing the rest of the worlds in the same "perspective", uniting and blending them in his perception, in his activity, and in his attitude. The level of attainment of this unity indicates the level of his correction.

Spiritually, a person becomes higher than this world yet he acts through it. There emerges an opportunity to make use of our world. For this is exactly the purpose of creation: being in this world and from within it, man has to attain the Creator.

Our world is not a level that has to be forgotten once you pass it. All the work is done specifically though garbs of this world: through family, society, all the environment. This is why a Kabbalist is not some sort of a person who renounces the entire reality. On the contrary, a Kabbalist is a person who is most connected with it.

The Development of the Soul

From the moment of birth and beginning of the spiritual movement from down upwards, gradually evolving spiritually a human being passes the same processes, ascends the same levels as did his soul descending down, although it happens in a reverse order: from down upwards.

By studying the descent of the levels from up downwards in Kabbalah, a person arouses as if in himself an urge to repeat these processes, albeit from down upwards. The surrounding Light is awakened in either case, for it relates to the degrees regardless of the fact that a person himself has not attained these degrees yet.

A person does not move: in his internal sensations he passes, traveling in an opposite direction, all stages of his creation -- but now by himself -- creating himself.

He creates himself and a screen for his desires, yielding all degrees inside of himself. As a result, he gradually attains the Creator 620 time more than did his soul before clothing the body.

So, what a great possibility is given by the Creator to us! A human being becomes more of the creator as if of his own condition, than the Creator himself!

Attaining each degree, a human being apprehends the original cause of his condition and discovers that the Creator prepared everything in advance. And the apparent sensation that he attained this degree himself was instilled in its properties when it descended from up downwards.

Such is the perfection of attainment: on one side - a human being, on the other – the Creator! Action is interchanging and inseparable: a human being does everything; the Creator does everything. And later, they merge at each spiritual degree to which a person ascends.

Kabbalah calls this two-fold perception of a human being -- that everything depends on the Creator and simultaneously everything depends on a human being -- "governance of HaVaYaH – ELOKIM", double governance.

On the spiritual degrees, double governance merges in man's perception, as do the notions of time: the states of sensing past, present, and future. However, self-awareness, being aware of one's "I" remains.

Our language has no words to describe this spiritual sensation, which has no analogs in our world. This is because in our world there are strictly defined cause and its effect.

Thus either a human being or in the Creator can act as the cause, but it can never be that everything depends only on a human being and at the same time everything depends only on the Creator. This contradicts our reasoning: "Everything depends on me and at the same time everything is pre-determined". Only after freeing oneself from the "earth" can a human being understand that there is no contradiction in this.

Development Explains Conception

As these two paths – from up downwards and from down upwards – are absolutely identical, by realizing on ourselves the path from down upwards, the spiritual development from down upwards, we can understand the path of descent, the creation of worlds and souls from up downwards. This is why Kabbalists, realizing on themselves the spiritual degrees from down upwards, describe to us the descent from up downwards.

Kabbalists do not describe to us their own path because they wish to describe the acts of the Creator in relation to entire creation. And throughout his or her spiritual development, the one who attains, draws from these descriptions the methods and assistance for their spiritual elevation.

Exiting his egoism, his world, the human being finds himself in the spiritual world of Assiya; later, raises to the world of Yetzira; later, the world of Beria; until finally it reaches the world of Atzilut. This resembles the four stages of the appearance of fruit, from sowing to full ripening:

  1. until the moment it is considered a fruit – the world of Assiya

  2. edible, but has no taste and brings no pleasure – the world of Yetzira

  3. taste appears – the world of Beria

  4. taste and all properties manifest completely – the world of Atzilut.

Two Paths of Development

Everything that exists in creation in general, also exists in each of its tiny parts. Thus, all the properties and laws that apply ascending or descending the levels of ABYA worlds have a place and manifest in each of their small parts.

The utmost degree is called Father, reason, the Creator. The lower degree that he yields is called his son, branch, effect, or creation.

Descending from up downwards results in the birth of the lower from the higher on each degree, to manifestation of creation that is independently aware of itself, to separation of creation from the Creator.

The meaning of the descent of the worlds is as follows: gradually distancing from the Creator, the worlds facilitate gradual emergence of creation which senses itself as completely independent.

Climbing the spiritual levels leads to the opposite result: developing spiritually (which implies an increasing similarity with the Creator) creation attains its root, Father, becomes like Him. Each part of creation (human being) individually and the entire creation in general undergo this process.

Studies – Imitation of Nature

Looking at everything that was created in existence, we -- in accordance to what is written: "Created for us to correct" -- discover that everything was created for our deeds. In other worlds, the surrounding reality is created only so that we would mold creation; add to that which is already created.

Our action in existence is called correction of creation. Our goal is to bring creation to the complete correction.

And specifically because it is written: "Created for us to correct", we have to believe that all that was created, was created for us, for our deeds; that everything depends only on us, on building a screen. Our role in creation is to complete our development by imitating nature.

Everything that unfolds from up downwards, starting from the world of Infinity, from the Creator Himself to Adam, breaking of his soul, emergence of our world, until manifestation of physical bodies in this world, and the moment a person realizes that the meaning of his or her existence is a certain goal of the Creator - all these stages of creation's development represent the preliminary conception in the Upper degree – from up downwards.

Later, our spiritual "prenatal" development commences -- until the moment when we become spiritually independent in our acts – to the extent of the screen that we acquire. It is not that we become independent from the Creator; rather we become independent from ourselves, our small initial egoism.

Receiving independence is called spiritual birth. Later, we start our development climbing the spiritual ladder.

All our future states-properties exist inside of us, as do all the phases of its future development exist in a seed being put into the ground.

We just need to create necessary external conditions for successful development of a newborn. These external conditions needed for development are what we must create for our soul. Only then will it begin to evolve.

This is our work. We create nothing new; everything exists inside of us; and we only have to unearth the spiritual degrees inside of ourselves, by learning to imitate the spiritual nature.

Moreover, as a human person grows, he starts seeing a true picture of the world: the world becomes transparent, through it he sees all the worlds as concentric, dressed into each other; he sees how all of them gradually hold back (each its own) portion of the Creator's Light, and thus through them the Creator appears to us in images of our world. However, to the extent of his spiritual development, behind the objects of this world a person sees the spiritual forces.

Attainment "from up downwards" teaches us how to ascend "from below upwards"

Development that we have to undergo after we start our spiritual birth is, in essence, repetition of nature's acts which we see inside and outside of us.

To climb the spiritual rungs means to become similar to them in one's properties. The entire growth of a person consists only in becoming increasingly similar to the nature of the upper degrees, up to reaching similarity with the Creator Himself.

For in everything that we do we only imitate nature: paint manufacturing, sounds, transportation means, management, all our knowledge and sciences – all is a sum total of our information on the environment already revealed to us.

All technological advancements that seem to be totally disconnected from reality are but camouflaged imitation of nature.

But that which we call nature is only a small fragment of the immense picture which exists in reality and reveals itself to the one who ascends.

We do not see the full picture and therefore cannot reproduce it now. A comprehensible part of nature is perceived inside of us, while an incomprehensible part of nature remains outside of us. But this is exactly what we have to gradually reveal to ourselves. And this is called evolvement by imitating nature.

As does development of mankind in a framework of this world, so does spiritual development of a human being amount to imitating nature that is revealed in front of him.

Life and Pleasure Contradict Each Other

Looking at the structure and functioning of nature (both of an individual object and also in general), treating all creation that we sense as a unified system, we see that everything is created with a certain purpose: to ensure existence, functioning, and evolvement.

And the structure of any object is so internally logical -- the connections in any biological creature are so marvelously precise and intertwined -- that in investigating a living organism we basically cannot find a single defect.

Moreover, if we see any loss, we understand from our previous experience that this is just a lack of our present understanding of how perfect the functioning of this system-organism is.

And this is why, as a rule, all our interventions into nature are followed by bitter punishment in a form of historic circumstances, distorted personalities, and disasters.

And it makes no difference whether we intervene into inanimate, vegetative, animated or human levels of nature. It seems to us that we, at least, have a right to intervene into the human level – ourselves. However, not knowing and naturally, not following the laws that define functioning of human being, by intervening we also harm ourselves.

And this is why for centuries we take a punishment for this. This, basically, is the path of suffering waiting for us if we do not proceed by the path of Kabbalah.

Hidden Perfection

If we were able to see the entire picture of existence, including ourselves, in full scope, we would find no deficiency. We would realize that for our total well-being we just have to follow the laws of existence instead of inventing the new ones that “seemingly define the functioning of society”.

But since we do not observe the laws of existence in their full scope and do not find inner strength to go by faith above reason (as a means for curing egoism), we continue to serve our egoistic mind and constantly make mistakes both in our intervening into nature and in ourselves.

As far as the Creator goes, everything is created in complete perfection – but only until we are born.

We can observe a striking difference between the way in which the Upper governance prepares, meticulously and caringly, for the birth of each kind, its initial development, during the first stages after birth, and the struggle for life that each kind is forced to endure later on just in order to survive.

It is as if nature that foresees everything suddenly cancels its plan, and subsequent development of an individual is left up to him.

This change is so sharp that the reason for which nature created a human being with such a great care is concealed even from him - the crown of creation.

As if this priceless bio-material, this prolonged path of development, is lost in vain just in order to break the entire logic of laws and let our organism develop on its own.

We see that each system, organ or cell in our organism functions in a purposeful manner, and all the systems operate in an optimal way.

We are able to see the precise purpose in the functioning of each organ, cell or molecule. If we do not yet know this purpose, it is clear for us that we haven't revealed it yet. However, we are unable to answer what the purpose is of this entire living organism – this is concealed from us!

We see a paradox in a surrounding reality: everything is created according to the most perfect laws which we do not know. Why did nature, so thoughtful of everything, make us unaware of these laws? By not knowing them do we annul all of its efforts to create a perfect organism?

We only partially understand the laws of creation and their logical completeness. However, we do not see any logic in the governing laws, the laws that bring a human being to the purpose for which he apparently was created.

On a global scale, we also do not see the purpose of the existence of the universe; we do not know causes and meanings of all that happens at the cosmic scale, in the countries, nations, and within any of us personally. The most important things in the surrounding reality are simply concealed from us.

A Newly-born mankind

General consists of merging of particular and thus resembles it. And because there is preliminary development and subsequent birth of particular, an individual, the same happens when general is born as well.

And as there are special conditions for prenatal development of a fetus and later, parents’ love and dedication (thoughtfully instilled in us by nature so as to guarantee the development of a newborn), the same goes for the human society as a sum of individuals: society is born and develops according to identical laws.

As far as a fetus is concerned -- he is inside of his mother -- it does not matter whether only nature is responsible for its development or if the mother herself takes care of him. So strong are the instincts that nature implanted in parents to ensure that its plans will continue to be implemented.

Beforehand, the Creator created all the worlds, made the soul descend through them up to our world, created there living father and mother whom he gave a desire to bear children, love their future child, and gave them a set of other egoistic desires, thanks to which they enjoy themselves for the sake of a third person, a newborn egoism.

We see that a birth is continuation of internal development. This is not yet a beginning of man’s development. He is still under the influence of forces of nature, descending from up downwards.

When does a human being start to develop by himself; when does he begin his path from down upwards; when is he born spiritually? Only from the first independent spiritual movement. In general all of that applies to the society as well.

If we imagine the entire humanity as a newly born baby, then what has the Creator prepared for him in place of caring parents? The common law “love thy neighbor as yourself” which the Creator established as the basis for society’s spiritual development.

According to the thought of the Creator, this law has to perform the duties of “Father and Mother”. If the society does not observe this altruistic law, the entire society, as orphan, suffers and advances towards its own destruction, replacing societal formations and regimes. This is how the society gets ready for receiving the spiritual fulfillment.

Where can a society find devoted parents? Each individual has to find parents in surrounding people, telling himself that he is one out of a million, and the entire million in relation to him are his loving parents.

If society functions as father and mother, giving birth to each member of the society and caring about him or her as if he were its own child, members of the society -- and the society in general -- can progress spiritually up to the level of correcting itself with the Creator’s Light. Then they will fully achieve their predestination.

But until members of a society build their environment in this manner, each member resembles a newborn, who lost his father and mother and, naturally, dies spiritually.

And if the society consists only of those who perished spiritually, it is also spiritually dead and, naturally, cannot provide spiritual guardianship to any of its members.

Society – power of the Creator

The society is not merely a gathering of individuals; it is the Creator’s Power. In the society, the Creator instilled an opportunity to bring its members to the ultimate spiritual development.

This does not have to be an actual state; it could be a small closed society. Everything depends on what goals it sets for itself and what principals it follows.

If the group cannot act as a caring parent towards everybody for the sake of the adhesion with the Creator, such a group dies spiritually, and later disintegrates physically.

Various communes that emerged at different times of history set a perfect example. The only reason for their downfall is that even if they took upon themselves an obligation to care for each other, as described above, the goal of their entire set-up was safe, egoistic co-existence and not adhesion with the Creator.

A tireless spiritual force that we call nature or circumstances pushes us towards the purpose of creation: “drawing closer towards the Creator”. If we correct ourselves, then to the extent of our correction, we make independent steps, wishing for the same as the Creator.

Until a spiritual object matures and applies its own efforts in moving towards the purpose of creation, the compelling force of nature makes him advance, and this force is very cruel. This path is called the path of suffering.

This compelling force forces us to care about health, sleep, eat, get married, bear children, love and educate them. And there is nothing we can do with it – the desires are born is us regardless of our own will.

But not until a person, through Kabbalah studies, starts realizing the goal that is set in front of him, and subsequently wants to attain it himself, can he consciously accept it and plead with the Creator to give him strength to achieve it.

Instead of developing in a natural way, when a person starts consciously to fulfill part of that which in the past nature forced upon him in such an implacably cruel way, he undergoes sweeping changes himself. Such development is called the path of Kabbalah - towards the purpose of Creation.

By making first conscious steps towards the purpose of creation, a person frees nature from the functions of supervision and work upon him; instead, he himself performs inner work. Materialistic-egoistic suffering is replaced by the spiritual suffering – an aspiration towards correction for one’s own sake, and later, for the sake of the Creator.

The longer a person works on himself independently, exerting efforts in Kabbalah study, adhesion with the group of other students, with the Teacher, the more functions he will be able to take away from nature in its work upon him, until he becomes completely free from its compelling influence.

Each degree that a person passes represents part of work that was “taken away” from nature. The spiritual degree indicates the ratio to which a person agrees with the Creator, or in other words, he himself fulfills that what he is destined for.

But if the society aspires towards unity in order to receive pleasures, such a society has no right to exist, for the goal of the Creator is replaced by egoistic goal.

Being born into this world, a person continues his prenatal spiritual development. This prenatal development commenced when his soul descended from the Source of all souls in the world of Infinity, passed all the degrees traveling from above downwards, up until its spiritual birth in one of its lives in this world.

Human being completes creation

The Creator created the imperfect.

Apparently, in order to answer these questions, one should know what He created. Thus, the first stage of “correcting” ourselves comes down to knowing what is made by the Creator, that is, know our egoism. And this stage is called the realization of evil, getting familiar with oneself – the only creation.

The Creator has no need for any work of man. Yet, He deliberately created creation incomplete, so that man has a possibility to complete his own creation.

The Creator had to leave some part of creation work up to a man. He Himself “allegedly” was not able to accomplish this instead of a man.

And this is because a human being, correcting himself, acquires certain capabilities, Kelim, aspirations, desires that originally the Creator did not manage to create in him. And that’s why all that the Creator was able to do – He did. The necessary part of work that only creation-human being is able to carry out He had to leave in the hands of man.

In regards to the Creator, this in particular speaks about His perfection: He succeeded in creating such an imperfect creature and at the same time gave it an opportunity to attain perfection by itself.

But in our world, observing the Creator’s deeds inside and around of himself, man sees them as imperfect.

This is because he does not see the end of creation, - manifestation of the entire perfection, both created by the Creator and carried out by man. Being unaware of the final state, one cannot judge about intermediate states, as in the case of alien who mistakenly assumed that a newly born calf will become Napoleon, while a newborn baby would remain worthless.

All negative properties that we see around and inside of ourselves – all of that is exactly what was created by the Creator, because He created nothing but egoism.

However, after creating egoism, us, He left it for us to be corrected. He did this deliberately, because only through our work will we be able to reach His degree – the degree of the Creator.

The rest is created in a form of automatic systems similar, for instance, to a digestion system. But the part of creation entrusted to man, not on any account can be completed by the Creator.

And precisely the fact that the Creator created the entire existence, restricting His participation in it at the end of correction, speaks about His perfection.

We do not understand that it is much harder for the Upper to restrict their actions -- no longer give -- because bestowing is His nature.

Able to take and receive easily, we are unable to give. But to go against bestowal and that which exists in it is unimaginably harder.

In our world this can be compared to the state of the mother who, due to some circumstances that are beyond her control, deprives her baby of bare necessities. Such a state of the Creator is called “suffering of Shechinah”.

We must understand that the Creator restricted His presence at a certain place not by His “good will”, but because He wanted to give us a possibility to attain His degree. And our attitude towards all that is negative should be based on this, and not to critique or to disregard.

We must understand that all that is negative is created deliberately and with even greater effort that all that is positive - it is created for our immediate participation in the creation process.

Since the Creator desires to delight His creatures, for Him to restrict His presence, conceal Himself, and thus create suffering is repulsive to His properties.

Justifying the Creator

Why the righteous men are called righteous? It is because they concur with the restrictions of the Light, the absence of the Creator. That is, they accept an opportunity to do work which the Creator left for them in creation and which they have to bring to completion, perfection. This way they justify “imperfection” of creation.

The place where a person can participate in the creation process presents the best, most effective opportunity for delighting the Creator from that which He accomplished.

What is human being doing in creation? He creates from himself similarity of form with the Creator. What does “the Creator” mean? A tiny, slightly higher than I spiritual degree is sensed by me (if it is) as the Creator. This is because it truly brought me to life and rules over me all the time. I receive everything that exists inside of me and what happens to me from it. This is why a higher degree is always called the Creator in relation to a lower degree.

The moment a person attains this higher degree, becoming similar to his Creator, he instantly senses an even higher degree as the Creator. Ascending this way, a person reveals the Creator more and more.

What does it mean to climb from one spiritual degree to the other? My previous degree, my previous state was that which I called my Creator. And now I become equal to Him.

To us, the Creator always shows Himself at the higher degree, as an example, and demands for us to follow Him, to mold ourselves in His “image and the likeness”.

Man has to feel and became aware of the second, unfinished half of creation, which we call “conception” (Ibur), development, birth, rise and growth of a human being. The Creator puts a person through this state.

The Creator builds one half of creation as an example, and the other as the path of a human being. The Creator makes man His partner, giving him an opportunity to start from the lowest state and make himself resemble the Creator.

During this process, a human being simultaneously feels two types of influences upon himself – private and general Providence, called HaVaYaH – ELOKIM: on the one hand, it seems to a person that man himself has to create everything created by the Creator, and from the other hand, a person sees how the Creator acts through him.

Reciprocal attainment of these two creative forces: his own and the force of the Creator, acting through a person, and the mutual adhesion between the Creator and a human being is the sensation of the spiritual pleasure and perfection.

A human being – HaVaYaH – feels that he is becoming one with Providence – ELOKIM. Machut bonds with Bina on each degree. Then a question arises in a person: “Who governs: I or the Creator, for at the point of the mutual adhesion “I and He” disappears.

Role of a Teacher

What role does a Teacher play in this process that unfolds by the power of the Creator and those under His rule? All efforts of a Teacher are aimed at making the disciples independent, without attaching them to himself, so that under no circumstances would they look at him, but rather, through him, would look at the Creator.

A disciple has to learn to resemble the Creator, not a Teacher. Such a disciple is called “Talmid Hacham”. “Hacham” is called the Creator because he is the source of the light Hochma, while “Talmid”, a disciple who learns to receive this light of Hochma and to give it the same way. And he is called “Talmid Hacham” because he learns from the Creator to resemble Him.

The Creator feels a great pleasure that His creatures build and review creation similarly to Him. And we acquire all our power to review and develop on the degrees of ascent, as ever greater imitation of the Creator.

We give the Creator as much pleasure as our properties and acts resemble His.

As our development in this world in terms of knowledge and progress is ultimately measured by the degree to which we imitate nature, similarly, our spiritual development is measured by the degree to which we imitate the spiritual nature, or the Creator. And in general, there is no difference between these two imitations.

Part of our nature and properties the Creator created in us function automatically. And the other part of our nature is created in us, and only in us, in a way so as to allow us to make ourselves resemble nature – the Creator -- consciously and completely.

This opportunity is given to a few, to those whom the Creator wishes to draw closer to Himself. This is because to imitate Him means to become closer to Him. And such opportunity is given depending on man’s efforts.

We mentioned that existence and providing for existence contradict each other. Existence is given from above, and for us this represents natural laws of nature.

Providing for existence, on the other hand, is given depending of our deeds. This is why our goal comes down to combining the Existence with Providing for Existence so that governance, called “Providing for Existence” precisely resembles the governance, called “Existence”.

And then we see that in everything, both in Existence and in Providing for it, acts only One and Indivisible Creator, performing all the corrections in us through us and creating a miraculous sensation that we do it ourselves.

Movement as an indication of life

We divide the surrounding nature into four types: inanimate, vegetative, animated, and human. The basis for such division, properties, is the level of inner development of each type.

Based on an indication of the spiritual life, all creation is divided into two types: the first type consists of “inanimate”, “vegetative”, and “animated”, while the second, “speaking” type, which we call “human”. The first type is considered as totally dead, and only the second type is defined as living.

Further, the words “life”, “movement”, imply only spiritual notions, although, naturally, there are direct analogies with the notions of our material world.

So strength, ability for a spiritual movement is consider to be an indication of the spiritual life. Initially, it occurs with the help of two completely opposite actions: spiritual restriction and spiritual expansion.

However, the “speaking” level of nature, considered spiritually alive, is also born dead until it is awakened for the spiritual life with the help of "nudges".

The need for external “reviving” emerges because his Kelim, although developed, are ready to receive the spiritual life and spiritual movement already from spiritually prenatal development inside of his spiritual mother. However, at the moment of his birth, appearance in the spiritual world, he is affected by the spiritually cooling spiritual e nvironment that is totally unfamiliar to him.

Restriction and Expansion

The Upper world’s influence upon a newborn spiritually invokes in him restriction.

In other worlds, in all stages of his development, a person is considered to be spiritually dead – at inanimate, vegetative, and animated levels of nature. Finally, he reaches the moment when he has matured for being born in the Upper world.

However, previous development prepared all properties in him; he is born dead. This is why the first sensation of the spiritual world has a cooling effect on him and calls forth the restriction.

This is why there emerges a need for external spiritual influence: a newly born into the Upper world comes to live, awakens for the spiritual life with the help of “punches”.

After this first spiritual restriction evoked by the spiritually cooling punch of the spiritual environment that now surrounds him, a spiritually born person must expand spiritually again, by himself, to reach his previous state – to acquire earlier spiritual properties, regardless of the spiritually cooling influence of the spiritual world.

And these two absolutely opposite–to-each-other acts – the spiritual restriction and expansion – together are called the first step, breath of the spiritual life.

The spiritual restriction at the time of spiritual birth occurs regardless of man’s will, automatically. Afterwards, a person should exert a forceful, conscious effort to spiritually restrict himself.

However, sometimes there is weakness in the spiritual birth which makes a spiritual newborn spiritually weak. In such a case, as the result of this weakness the surrounding spiritual environment cannot evoke in him the spiritual restriction.

Yet, it is needed in order to create in a spiritually newborn an empty space, a desire. Later, this place can be filled with the Light of the spiritual life.

But if spiritual deliverance is weak, the absence of the spiritual restriction does not create in a person an empty space for the spiritual life to fill it and thus a person is considered to be a stillborn spiritually.

That is, a newborn dies. He looses an ability to create a place - which appears as a result of successive restrictions and expansions – into which life could enter.

The beginning of life is exactly what restriction is. And if there is no spiritual (inner) restriction, then later, naturally, the spiritual restriction is also absent. This is because it is absolutely impossible to expand spiritually beyond one’s own spiritual limits.

And because there is no restriction and no opportunity to expand beyond one’s spiritual limitations, there is no opportunity for spiritual movement; hence, there is not spiritual life.

Strength - Being Ready for Restriction

The indication that one is fit for the spiritual life, reception of the Creator’s light is the strength in man to perform at least some kind of spiritual restriction.

The moment a person restricts himself spiritually, restricts his egoism, the Creator’s Light instantly enters the restricted spiritual place and performs the spiritual expansion.

Thus, the first spiritual movement occurs. From this moment, a person is considered to be spiritually alive and capable of further spiritual progress.

The first spiritual movement “into oneself”, the restriction and subsequent expansion up to the limits of previous size, is called the SOUL. This resembles the process of inhaling and exhaling the air of life.

A spiritually still, vegetative, or animated human being has no strength to perform even a slightest inner spiritual restriction. Therefore, the Light of the spiritual life cannot clothe it in order to invoke the spiritual expansion.

Meaning he who cannot internally, spiritually restrict oneself cannot spiritually expand and receive the Light of the spiritual life. And this is the law of nature.

Thus, a spiritually still, vegetative, or animated person is spiritually dead, while a spiritually “speaking” person, that is a person who relates to the “human” level [of nature] is fit for the spiritual life. However, he is born dead. Thus, there must be something that evokes the first spiritual restriction, which one is unable to perform himself.

This spiritually cold spiritual weather that instigates the restriction comes to a person as the result of Kabbalah study and “good” deeds.

However, without a very focused study of special original sources, while understanding its purpose – why he studies and whom he picked as his Teacher –one is incapable of coming to inner restriction.

The Light of life, realization and sensing of the spiritual enters the space in which the person managed to restrict himself, his egoism.

This is the consequence of the Akarat haRa”, realization of evil in man. Disclosing his own true “I”, the realization of evil, forces man to work on himself, that which is called “good deeds”.

Drawing closer to the spiritual, sensing the Creator, albeit not clearly – this is rise of life in a human being. Everything else is dead, because it is egoistic.

Types of Restriction

The spiritual contraction, the ability to restrict oneself internally has to stem from the innermost powers of a human being.

What does it mean to restrict oneself? A human being is the only creation. The sole thing created is the desire to delight in the Light of the Creator. Thus, a human being is the desire, even if unconscious at first, to delight in the Creator’s Light.

We have a brain only to help us to fulfill this desire. It follows that when we speak about the spiritual restriction, we refer to the restriction of desires.

If, being affected by Kabbalah studies, one will manage to carry this out, the emptied space will be filled with the Light of life. And this space is called “soul”.

The restriction must result from one’s own acts and efforts, for nature always strives for spreading, expansion and not restriction.

There are two types of restriction:

1. Restriction from external factor, such as cooling, for instance. If we exert spiritual pressure against a newly-born spiritually, educing the restriction of its spiritual body, the body itself would aspire to reestablish its initial spiritual condition. And it will return to its previous state not because it will be filled with the Light of life, but rather because the nature of the spiritual body, striving to occupy its particular boundaries, will compel it to do so.

Should any external pressurizing force come, the spiritual body, Kli instantly exhibits its own force, which brings it back to the original spiritual form, thus drawing away from this positive external compelling force.

2. From the structure of the Kli. If the reason for the resulting restriction lies in the Kli, the spiritual body itself, and is the outcome of Kli’s properties and structures, then the body has no powers to turn back to its previous spiritual state, its initial boundaries.

In such a case, one needs the Creator’s help, so that the special Light, sent specifically to him, enters into this Kli and brings him back to its previous form. This additional Light that enters the Kli after a certain restriction and brings it back to its original form is called LIFE.

In case the spiritual fruit comes under pressure, the rules of conduct, the laws, and actions are imposed upon it, attempting to suppress the human “I”, nature brings everything back to places, back to previous desires. This is because it instinctively strives to fill itself up to its natural limits, to regain all previous properties.

Any property, if is suppressed, lessened externally, by the external force and not by the inner desire of a human being, is not corrected.

This external pressure is the foundation of ethics (Musar), which therefore is dismissed by Kabbalah. If someone or something external constrains a human being, it will not help. He or she must restrict himself, from within.

To accomplish this, one must pass the stage of “realization of evil”, that is, to get to know evil inside of oneself, to realize it as evil. To the extent of this recognition, the restriction occurs by itself, from inside a person.

To read about this in a book does not mean to see the described inside of oneself. Only when one tacitly tells everything to himself, this becomes his first own restriction.

Contraction can occur under the influence of such external factors as the society, its traditions, obliging rituals or something that a person studied before but did not transform into his nature. Habits implanted by religious education are executed naturally, automatically. If that’s the case, a human being exerts no efforts. It becomes the same as his nature.

Restriction that is carried out without realization of evil, only under the influence of external factors is not considered as originating from a human being. The body (desires) are constantly striving to return to the previous state, to annul limitations that a human being was forced to accept under the influence of external pressure.

Our little egoism which craves only its own fulfillment has no strength for independent realization of the necessity to perform restriction.

Studies Give Strength

But man develops an urge for that under the influence of external force – right Kabbalah studies. And if he is ready for it, he receives the spiritual force that allows to restrict oneself.

And if the restriction is performed from within the Kli, by man’s own will and not under the pressure of external source of power (environment, education, traditions, etc.), the spiritual body does not aspire to return to the past, for it itself developed a desire for restriction. Thus, there is no comeback to former limits, a place previously occupied by egoism, until it was restricted.

And only the external force, the spiritual Light expands the Kli to its present limits. In other words, every time a man performs a restriction inside, the Light fills him, calls forth an expansion, return to the previous state but different set of properties: instead of restricted properties, the Light expands man’s altruistic properties – instead of restricted egoistic ones. And this Light is called life.

This is how the spiritual breathing happens: first, the restriction, for we also cannot take a breath if lungs are filled with air. Afterwards, under the influence of the Creator’s light subsequent expansion.

That is why it is said: “Let Me in”, “Open the gates for Me”, meaning allot me the place in your egoism which I could fill. This is the essence of gradual correction that man must undergo.

The Essence of Life

Comprehending life means comprehending ourselves. It depends only on restriction, for no creature can escape the limits within which it is created. And until the restrictions of creation are called forth by an external force, we are considered inanimate.

And only after we are able to perform a restriction by ourselves are we considered to be born spiritually, living creatures. But how can an inanimate perform a restriction upon himself without becoming alive first?

This is possible by receiving the strength and desires from above, which requires an intense inner work, possible only by receiving these desires and strength from studying the authentic resources with a Teacher.

No creature can go beyond the boundaries, limits within which it is presently created. So how come we have an ability to perform a restriction? By any means, this ability does not come from us. Egoism cannot contain a desire that is so unnatural to it. Yet, this is instilled in us.

Employing the spiritual act of “breaking”, the altruistic desires were f orcefully placed inside our egoistical desires even before we came into this world. Hence, there is an embryo of altruistic desires inside of us. We receive these desires for restriction from above.

An attempt to perform a restriction is a plea, prayer. Only if man continuously tries, invests himself into certain work, this work turns into his path, because he invests part of himself, his desires, energy, his capital, brain into it. And this is what he, as egoist, loves because this part is him, himself.

For this reason, the real prayer lies in our efforts to do the impossible at each degree. And only thanks to these efforts do we receive from above the strength to accomplish the impossible by ourselves.

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