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Perception Patterns

Learning Modes

Our tools of perception can never perceive the Essence, regardless of our degree. Although what we perceive is indeed the Essence, we can only perceive it through Matter, and we cannot even imagine what the Essence itself is like. Moreover, we cannot even want to perceive the Essence.

For example, none of us feels that an additional sixth finger would be welcome. However, if we could imagine that we once had a sixth finger, and that we could do something with it that we cannot do today, then we could talk about a need for a sixth finger. But if we never had an additional finger, we could not even imagine how it would benefit us. This is why we will never want a sixth finger.

Similarly, since we never felt an Essence, we cannot want to perceive the Essence. Attainment of Matter, the manifestation of the actions of the Essence that is present within the Matter, is quite satisfactory.

The above discussion raises an important question: If we cannot perceive the Essence, how did Kabbalists know that it exists? For the time being, we will leave this question unanswered, but we promise to return to it later.


The will to receive is the Matter. It is divided into five degrees. When the will to receive is integrated with the intention to bestow, it adopts different Forms, from the most opposite from the Creator to the Form of the Creator Himself. While spiritually evolving, we gradually study all the qualities that Matter might assume. This is called “Formative Learning.”

We have a genuine desire to acquire the Forms of bestowal that are dressed in Matter. A genuine desire means that it is a desire that stems from having had this Form before and not having it now.

Our Matter, the will to receive, was first created in a corrected Form, meaning the Form of bestowal, which was then inverted to reception. Reacquiring the Form of bestowal through our own efforts is the essence of our correction. This process should be carried out using the same pattern that was created while we had the Form of bestowal, and is based entirely on practical experimentation. Hence, this process is entirely reliable.

Philosophy, however, engages in ideals abstracted from Matter. It is completely opposite to the method of Kabbalah because it is founded on the study of Abstract Forms. Philosophy discusses qualities such as truth, falsehood, anger, and valor while not clothed in Matter, ascribing Abstract Forms titles such as “truth is good, lying is bad.” This creates a concern that people will relate to such declarations as ideals and will adhere to them fanatically.

Baal HaSulam demonstrates this with a parable about a person with such high regard for the quality of truth that, when faced with an opportunity to save people from death, he chose not to because it involved telling a lie.

This parable demonstrates the mistake of engaging in Abstract Forms because we have no means to judge a certain quality as good or bad when it is not clothed in Matter. Only when the Form is clothed in Matter can we determine if it is beneficial to the evolving of Matter or detrimental to it. The only criterion is the evolution of Matter toward realization of the purpose of Creation.


While we could erroneously imagine Abstract Forms, the Essence is something completely unimaginable for us. We logically assume that behind the Form that dresses Matter and the Abstract Form, there is a foundation that sustains all other Forms, which we call “Essence.”

Thus, we see that our ability is limited, that we can only attain Matter and the Form clothed in it. Yet, we cannot avoid asking why the Creator did not create us with the ability to perceive the Abstract Form and Essence.

The answer to that is simple: If we could attain the Abstract Form and the Essence, we would see the Essence clothed in everything, operating everything, from the very first to the very last state. Such a clear picture would rob us of the sensation of freedom of choice; it would prevent us from studying the image of the Creator and building It within us.

Having shown that nothing exists outside one’s Kli, we can now define the terms “this world” and “Upper World,” as depictions of the modes of perception of reality. “This world” is the perception of reality within the Kli while we are working in order to receive. The “Upper World” is the perception of reality within the Kli while we are working in order to bestow, altruistically.

The Full Picture

Kabbalists describe only what they attain with certainty within their vessels, meaning the Form in Matter and Matter. Matter is the will to receive and the Form in Matter is the Form of bestowal dressed within the will to receive. In fact, the creature always attains the full picture, but the question is, how certain can we be of what is disclosed?

For example, when we perceive a certain picture, how do we know what we are perceiving? Which part of our perception of the picture is certain and which is not? Since our tools are limited we cannot be sure. Perhaps the spectacles through which we are observing reality are showing a plain ahead of us when, in fact, there is a chasm right before our feet. Could our next step throw us into the abyss?

If the above example seems unlikely, the next will clarify matters: without radiation gauges, how would we able to detect radiation? We could easily walk into contaminated areas unknowingly.

We are unable to build tools to assist us in determining the trustworthy from the untrustworthy in spirituality. The difference between what we can or cannot rely on lies in the difference between the various tools at our disposal.

Attainment of Abstract Form and the Essence are not considered certain attainment. This is because they are perceived through “external vessels,” not through “internal vessels,” although we do sense in them something called “a remote luminescence.” Such luminescence induces a sensation that something exists, but it is not clearly perceived by the senses. This is the answer to the question of how Kabbalists know about the existence of Abstract Form and Essence.


We should stress that locating the gateway from this world to the spiritual world is not a direct action. It is more like a search for an exit from a closed circle. Although the opening is in a certain place, it can only be seen after having searched all 360 degrees.

To build the Form of the Creator within, we must first know all the Forms opposite from Him. If the Creator had an image outside of us, we would be able to adopt it immediately and thus end the process. However, such an image does not exist outside of us; it is for us to build the image of the Creator within our own Matter. First we must learn about the opposite Forms to the Creator, and only then can we build similar Forms to Him. The sum of the images creates our image of the Creator.

Creating Models

Let us briefly return to Columbus’ ships. The shaman could not detect the ships because he didn’t have the model of such a big “floating house” in his mind. In Kabbalistic terms, we would say that he didn’t have the Kli to detect this Form. For the shaman to detect the ship, its form would have to preexist in his mind, which he would compare to the observed form. He would then recognize it as a ship on the basis of equivalence of form between the preexisting model and the ship he saw on the outside.

However, to be able to feel the spiritual reality, we must come across someone who would tell us about it. Hence, Kabbalists write their books. We can use these books to depict what is outside of us and gradually build the spiritual Forms or patterns within us.

The patterns we would build within would unquestionably be false, but the very effort and the craving would make the Light affect us. The Light builds increasingly similar shapes to its own shape until one begins to see the actual Light. This is the only way to advance, since only the Light can build the vessels within us. In truth, we cannot imagine what is actually happening around us even now. We are surrounded by worlds and powers that we cannot sense for lack of equivalence of Form.

A Caveman in Today’s World

If we think some more about the Indians and Columbus’ ships we might ask this: If a caveman were to be born in today’s world, would he see the cars and the buildings? The answer is that he would not. Would he then bump into buildings or be hit by a car as soon as he left the sidewalk?

Before we answer these questions, we must understand that we perceive only such Forms that our senses are equipped to detect. For example, the air around us, which seems empty, might actually be as condensed and solid as cement. We are accustomed to seeing this world as a space where we can move about freely. But if we build appropriate tools of perception, we will feel that the world is actually filled with the Creator’s enormous powers, which do not allow us any free movement. If this were to happen, we would feel totally controlled by the Creator, as if we were “planted” in cement, unable to make even a single free gesture.

Because our caveman would not have the sense that perceives the wall as Matter or as Form in Matter, he would be able to go through walls as if they were air. Kabbalists wish to direct our observations so we can perceive the world correctly. If we were to draw ourselves just a bit off our ordinary perception of the world and into the real perception that Kabbalists describe, this world may seem very strange to us.

Today, many quantum physicists are discovering that the world has a “strange” regularity of time, space, and motion. For example, they say that objects can be in more than one place at a time. This oddity leads them to think that everything is measured with respect to the observer. This means that the existence or absence of the caveman’s wall, as well as the ability to move through it, are measured solely by the state of the perceiver’s vessels.

We are born into this world with five tools of perception—the five natural senses—and these senses evolve from generation to generation. The environment surrounds every newborn child. As a result, when we grow we perceive the things around us as solid facts, as Forms in Matter perceived by our five senses.

Yet, even our perception through the five senses reflects what our own senses project, nothing more. I am the creator of the buildings, the cars, Earth, the universe, and my whole reality. I create them in my vessels, in my sensations. Outside of me, they are amorphous.

It is very hard to detach ourselves from our natural perceptions. It seems that a different outlook on reality is possible only after we cross the barrier to the spiritual world. Only then do we understand that things might be different than they first seemed.

For example, we cannot go through walls because we are controlled by the very same rules that we create. But the Upper Light is abstract; it is we who limit It. There is only one law in reality: “the law of equivalence of Form.” The more we equalize our own form with the Light’s, the more liberated and unlimited we become.

Our will to receive is divided into 613 desires. According to our difference in Form from that of the Light, we erect boundaries around each and every desire. The sum of all these limits creates the shape of our internal tool of perception, and that tool produces our depiction of reality.

It will be easier for us to understand the law of equivalence of Form if we consider how radio receivers work. A receiver can pick up waves only when it creates identical waves within it. Similarly, we “pick up” things that seemingly exist on the outside—but only according to what we have created within.

The law of equivalence of Form is constant and circumscribes the whole reality. It is valid for both altruistic and egoistic vessels. In other words, we perceive the corporeal reality and the spiritual reality in exactly the same way—through equivalence of Form. The only difference between the two kinds of vessels is in their directions: one is aimed toward the self, the other toward the Creator. However, existence in egoistic vessels permits a very limited number of vessels to be felt.

Quantum physicists are beginning to discover that beyond a certain boundary of research, the world seems to “vanish.” Kabbalists wrote about such “discoveries” thousands of years ago. They explained that beyond this boundary, the physical matter and its shapes disappear, and only forces and shapes that are above Matter remain. Continuing to study from this boundary onward will be possible only after researchers acquire the appropriate altruistic vessels.

Kabbalists depict the ground rules for the appropriate attitude to reality with much greater depth than scientists ever will. Only once these rules have been applied will it be possible to progress in the research and perception of reality.

Kabbalah was kept hidden until recently because humanity was not ready to understand it correctly. The achievements of contemporary science have prepared us to understand the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is why Kabbalah is being disclosed today.

Let us return for a minute to the caveman who stumbled into our time. We tend to think that our vessels are richer than his because we can see Forms that for him are nonexistent.

However, this is a mistake: while we have indeed evolved and acquired impressions of more Forms than did the caveman, building many more vessels, these vessels actually limit us more. Forms in Matter that we perceive were Abstract Forms for the caveman; they did not exist for him, and hence, did not limit him.

In the future, we will discover that the more we “acquire,” the more we limit ourselves. We progress by acquiring forms and building more and more structures, but in the end these structures limit us on every level of reality and show us that we are not at all free.
As we evolve, we absorb numerous impressions from our environment: our parents, teachers, friends, and experiences. These impressions make us look at reality according to our inner “self-programming.” Thus, reality is only a projection of our interior software; it does not exist outside our internal vessels. Reality is a figment of our imagination, but our minds portray its image as existing on the outside.

As with the physical reality, the spiritual reality does not exist outside us, but is really a Light dressed in a Kli. Outside the Kli is only abstract, shapeless Light, and all we are really talking about is applying Forms to the will to receive.

Kabbalists state that in the spiritual reality, the will to receive can adopt a finite number of discrete Forms. By joining all these Forms, we can perceive that of the continuous influence of the Light, which is the very image of the Creator.

Corporeality is a replica, a projection of spirituality, like an offshoot of a root. Hence, the process that unfolds in corporeality is very similar to the spiritual process. The egoistic will to receive can assume a limited number of Forms, after which matter disappears—similar to what researchers are discovering today.

After one builds a great many Forms, these become a single picture of “one” bestowal or “one” reception. This is a projection of the spiritual state called Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction). Gmar Tikkun is a spiritual state that happens after the Kli has robed itself with all the Forms of bestowal of the Light. In such a state, the Light and the Kli equalize completely.

The only way by which the vessel can accelerate constructing the Forms it currently lacks is by choosing the appropriate environment for spiritual progress. Such an environment would make one “imagine” the Forms described in Kabbalah books, and thus induce the action of the Light upon one’s soul. The Light, in turn, will then build “sensors” to detect Forms of bestowal.

In fact, this Light is the same Abstract Form into which everything “disappears,” as quantum physics has discovered. This Abstract Form projects the Form of bestowal upon the will to receive, and as a result, the “sensors” to perceive It begin to formulate within us.

Kabbalists define this Light as “the Light that reforms” because it creates the Form of bestowal within us, and thus brings us closer to our perfect state.

Today, many researchers believe that at the most fundamental level, we are all one, and that the connection between us should be one of love. However, these researchers will not find a way to realize this ideal because the Force to make this correction must be drawn from “the other side,” the side of love. This can only be done through the study of Kabbalah.

Eventually, researchers will discover that matter vanishes entirely and that the only thing that exists is pure thought, but they will not be able to progress beyond that. They will sense that there is another existence beyond our own, where our Matter is opposite to our present Matter, and that we are connected in perfect unity. Yet, the way to obtain that Form of existence, the realm at the “other side” of quantum laws, can only be taught by those who are already “there”—Kabbalists.

It is impossible to break that barrier without drawing the Light found in Kabbalah books, because these are the only texts that were written from the “other side.” One’s desire to “get there” along with the study of the right Kabbalistic texts draws Light upon that person and builds within that person’s soul the Forms in which one perceives the spiritual realm. Just like the shaman had to build the right shapes to see the ships, we have to build Forms of bestowal to be in the spiritual realm.

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