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Article "Divinity in Exile" - Lesson on June 21, 2006

Shamati, Article 2
Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

Good morning to all our viewers in Israel and all over the world. We are reading from the book Shamati, page 5, Article 2: Divinity in Exile.

The Holy Zohar says: “He is Shochen (lit. Dweller), and She is Shechina (lit. Divinity).” We should interpret its words: It is known with regard to the Upper Light, that they say that there is no change, as it is written, “I the Lord change not.” All the names and appellations are only with respect to the Kelim, which is the will to receive contained in Malchut, being the root of creation, and from there it hangs down to this world, to the creatures.

All these discernments, beginning with Malchut, being the root of the creation of the worlds through the creatures, is called Shechina. The general correction is that the Upper Light will shine in them in utter perfection, and the Light that shines in the Kelim (lit. Vessels) is called Shochen, as it dwells inside the Kelim. In other words, the entirety of the Kelim is called Shechina.

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains to us the whole of reality including that one force which controls, begets and arranges everything. What does it mean that it begets and arranges everything? That this one force created the will to receive, existence from absence, and develops it up to a state where this will to receive is called “creature.” This creature goes through all kinds of states until it becomes sensitive, understanding, responding. This means that it acquires some attributes from the Creator, from that one governing force, and begins to know It through its evolution in acquiring the attributes of the Creator within itself.

By acquiring the attributes of the Creator, the creature can feel Him, understand Him and react to Him. The creature can also determine its attitude toward the Creator by comparing the two forms of nature, that of the creature and that of the Creator.

The desire of the Upper Force, of the Creator, is for the creature to develop itself through the discernment between these two forms of nature in such a way that it won’t belong to the Creator’s force as some inseparable part of It that’s completely controlled by the Creator, and also that it won’t be detached from the Creator’s force and not feel and understand Him. But from these two forms of nature that the creature will have within, it will develop its 'self,' something by which it will be called an independent creature. That within the creature a third attribute will be built, what we call a third line, a soul.

On the one hand, it’s the part of God Above; it comes out of it being basically the attribute of the Creator. However, the creature builds and increases this point (which is a part of God, an Upper point) through everything else that's outside of it. The creature builds and increases it out of its own nature.

This point of Bina that the Creator implants in the creature is just a point. With respect to the creature this point of bestowal is existence from absence, the spark of the Creator. To this spark of the Creator, the creature adds all of its big will to receive which is inside of the creature as a system of Klipa. In this way it develops itself as an independent being who’s standing in front of the Creator and gives the Kelim (vessels, tools) to bestow. By that, the creature expresses its own bestowal.

According to the Kelim which it prepares for the Creator and presents to Him, when it gives its own vessels of reception so that the Creator will bestow in them and because it wants the Creator to enjoy its work, the creature is called “ Shechina” (Divinity) and the Creator, according to His act, is called “ Shochen” (Dweller).

The time before the Light shines in them in utter wholeness is called “A Time of Correction”.This means that we make corrections so that the Light will shine in them in wholeness. The state until then is called “Divinity in Exile.”

It means that there is still no wholeness in the Upper Worlds.

It means that the Kelim that the creature has to prepare for the fulfillment of the Creator are unfulfilled. The Light is not in them, and it’s called that the Light is in exile from the Kelim. We can say that the creature is in exile from spirituality or we can say that the Creator is in exile from the creature.

Of course, the whole process that the Kli goes through to prepare itself for complete fulfillment is called “the time of correction” or “the time of exile.” The Kli is filled from time to time, or gradually and then increasingly, but until the Light completely fills the Kli and the Creator is clothed in the creature entirely according the goal, to the Thought of Creation, until then, the time of the correction of the Kli is called “the time of correction,” and the Kli is found in exile, “Divinity in exile.”

Below, in this world, is a state where there should be an instilment of the Upper Light within the will to receive. This correction is called “receiving in order to bestow.”

Meanwhile, the will to receive is filled with ignoble and foolish things that do not make a place where the glory of Heaven can be revealed. This means that where the heart should be a Tabernacle for the Light of God, the heart becomes a place of waste and filth. In other words, ignobility captures the whole heart.

The heart is the whole of ones desires. Lev (heart) is Lamed Bet (thirty-two), meaning that is the same Lev ha Even (the stony heart), the same fundamental desires that the Creator created in the creature, and the whole correction is the correction of the heart, of all these desires.

We say “heart,” though we shouldn’t be confused with a human heart which is just a pump. We feel in the work of our flesh heart all kinds of phenomenon from our nerves and emotions because we’re built in such a way that we react with pressure changes and with all kinds of equalizations of biological data in the body, it is immediately felt in the heart. The heart is the most important organ in the body on the one hand. On the other hand, the connection between our heart and the heart that’s spoken of here is seemingly only the name, even though it has nothing to do with this name.

When we talk about the “the stony heart,” we are talking about thirty two basic desires that were created as existence from absence by the Creator. Those are the very desires that we should eventually correct for the Upper Light to be in them.

In order to give a person the ability to correct these desires by himself and to present to the Creator a Kli for the entrance of the Dweller, a Tzimtzum (restriction) was made. These Kelim are now in concealment, and instead of feeling the Creator, the fulfillment, the Upper attributes, they feel their own desires. Accordingly, they yearn and work. This is called a state of a person in this world.

Bit by bit, by one drawing upon himself the Light that Reforms, that corrects him and that awakens his Kelim to bestowal, his stony heart begins to feel that it doesn’t belong to the system of holiness. A person restricts the stony heart, acquires vessels of bestowal from the Creator called Galgalta ve Eynaim(GE). After acquiring these Galgalta ve Eynaim on top of the stony heart, one can use the stony heart as well to support these Kelim of bestowal he acquired, and thus he gradually comes closer to complete correction.

The correction is gradual and includes many different phases which are: recognition of evil, “move from evil and do good,” and then again, one has to return to the evil for the “revival of the dead” and correct it. However, this whole time is actually the preparation of the Kli called “Divinity” so that the Creator will dwell in it.

This is called “Divinity in Exile.” It means that it is lowered to the ground, that each and every one loathes matters of sanctity, and there is no desire whatsoever to raise it from the dust. Instead, ignoble things are chosen, and this brings on the Affliction of Divinity, because she is not given a place in the heart to be a Tabernacle for the Light of God.

Actually, this is the lower most point that a person discovers in his state in this world. It’s not about a person from the street who discovers that state; the one from the street is unconscious of what we’re talking about here. (It's about) a person who begins to receive some awakening from Above as it is written that “The Creator placed ones hand on the good fortune,” and the Creator is the One that awakens him. So by the Creator bringing a person to the right place, a person draws upon himself the Light that Reforms, and from within this Light begins to see his real nature.

Then he determines that he’s in a state where he loathes sanctity and doesn’t want it, but only yearns for all kinds of fulfillments and pleasures in this world (comfort, peace, pleasure, confidence) – whatever his broken will to receive which is in him as worldly substance, is drawn to. Then he discovers that his vessels are in an exile, and from within the intensity of that sensation, compared to the greatness of the Creator that he discovers (like in the story about the exile in Egypt), he begins to discover the possibilities to come out of it, the urge to come out of Egypt etc.

Question: You said that the stony heart is existence from absence and also the spark of the Creator in the creature is existence from absence. What is this existence from absence?

We say that “…that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created, the Upper Simple Light had filled the whole existence.” Then, Baal HaSulam explains the words of the holy Ari in The Tree of Life about the whole process. Judging by our words, when we talk about it as a process that apparently is spread out according to time and situations, it seems to us that there is an Upper Force; that because of Its good nature to benefit, and because it wants to do good, the thought to benefit compels it to create someone to whom it could benefit.

Then because this Force is a Force of giving, since Its’ good nature is to benefit, It must have something or someone to receive Its’ giving and feel this Force as good and benevolent. Because of that, it was determined that the future creature must be a will to enjoy the benefit that the Creator wants him to enjoy and then he’ll be called a “creature” and He’ll be called the “Creator.”

This desire which was created as a desire to enjoy through the Thought of Creation to do good, was created as existence from absence which didn’t exist before. It was created by this Thought of doing good—the Thought of Creation. Then this desire evolves by the Thought of Creation in order to bring this desire to realization, to the same state that the Thought of Creation wants it to be in, that he would realize this Thought.

The desire is called “existence from absence.” The Thought of Creation is called “existence from existence,” and this is because it is in Atzmuto (in His essence) Who is, according to our Kelim and understanding, called “eternal.” This is the only way we can regard Him if we want to talk or express anything about Him. We can’t regard Him in terms of previously or afterwards, and that’s why we call this Thought of Creation “existence from existence.”

The creature who is fundamentally a will to enjoy, can not realize the Thought of Creation in a form of existence from absence from which it emerged. It is disconnected from the Thought of Creation; it is willing to feel pleasure or pain according to the fulfillment it will feel inside its own desire.

That is not enough because the Creator’s benefit is not in fulfilling the creature; it is in making the creature equal to Himself, because this is actually the real benefit – eternity, perfection. It can only be one thing, the Creator’s state. That is what the creature must be brought to.

How can the creature become like the Creator and still be the creature? For this reason, this desire in the creature, existence from absence, remains alive, existing and unchanging.

However, everything that the creature acquires in addition to this desire, it acquires from the Creator. It should seemingly discover this ability to acquire the Creator’s nature, the ability to be at His degree and stature. The creature should discover that this is the highest and most noble thing; it should enjoy it and feel that it enjoys it in a way that is eternal and complete. The creature should feel this pleasure in itself in the same format, same state and same law as it is in the Creator, meaning a pleasure from bestowal.

This is why this spark of desires, existence from absence, remains in the creature as a mere spark, as this little existence from absence, just like Behina Aleph (phase one) in the four phases of the Direct Light. Everything else besides this Behina Aleph (phase one), this black dot in the Upper Light, fills the whole reality when this dot is being developed and filled through the entrance of the Light’s attributes into it, the attributes of bestowal.

For the time being, these attributes of bestowal can be felt in it as opposite attributes; these attributes of bestowal within this point can be seemingly beneath the point of desire. This means that the creature uses attributes of bestowal in order to receive, in order to exploit these attributes for itself. It doesn’t matter how things take place in the creature in this long process for the benefit of the point of existence from absence which is the will to receive. Then, it decides that it has to restrict this point and work according to the Creator’s attributes as they are. This is called acquiring Bina’s attributes, the attributes of bestowal. Then, it returns once more to the point that it restricted and reawakens it, it’s called “awakening the AHP,” this “stony heart.”

In the end, the creature that sees itself as a point of existence from absence which it restricts, absorbs the attributes of the Creator. Then it sees the Creator’s attributes which come to it as existence from absence and itself as someone great in this world. What it has from the Creator, from sanctity, is just a spark. And it is truly an existence from absence because it comes from absence and not from this world.

Do I get an awakening in this world? Where does this spark come from? It comes from another world, an opposite world. It’s in me as something that’s alien to me – an existence from absence, this awakening to holiness that we call “a point in the heart.”

We can say that that existence from absence, the will to receive from Ein Sof (Infinity), was awakened. There it exists like a will to receive, and in this opposite world, the existence from absence in us is the point of the spark of Light that awakens us. Actually, we seemingly exist in two opposites, in the world Ein Sof and our world. In the world of Ein Sof, the point of existence from absence is the will to receive and in our world, the point of existence from absence is the will to bestow.

There is another article, Divinity in Exile which is written in a little different style. Why are there several styles? The truth is, I didn’t asked Rabash about it; I saw that he writes the same articles several times to himself. The first time he wrote them was when he heard them from Baal HaSulam. Some articles he heard in private, some articles he heard while Baal HaSulam spoke to his students at different events. He wrote almost none of it while he was actually listening to the words, but afterwards.

I remember that I came to him after finishing University and you know that in University students are always used to writing, although I don’t know how they study today, maybe everyone has laptops. I remember that I would listen to lectures five, seven, eight hours a day and I would write notes for all of them. I came to him and I brought my books, and besides that I had these thick notebooks filled with sketches, and he did not understand. How can you listen and at the same time write? Because if you’re writing, you’re writing what you understand from listening and then you actually corrupt whatever went into you.

While you’re listening, you should neutralize yourself so that whatever comes to you will fill you as it is, as if you don’t exist. The Kli has to be as nonparticipating as possible in accepting and absorbing the abundance, the information. I told him that this is the way I write, that I can’t do it differently. It was very hard for me to explain this to him and it was also very hard to understand and to see where I was or was not corrupting what I heard from him.

After all, it still goes through the human and he wants to make it a little shorter here or use another word for what was said there etc. But here, in this sort of study, you have to write it down word for word. The thing is that afterwards when you hear the words, you are not under the influence of the Upper One who speaks. So you miss out on the best, the real and natural impression that occurs while he’s speaking, whilst you are just like some empty Kli controlled by him.

That’s why I can’t say (why the same articles are written in different styles). Here and there I received some brief explanations about it and I also saw for myself that Rabash was rewriting the articles for himself.

While he was writing, he was repeating again and again, each time at a different level and different degree over the same topic. Because Baal HaSulam speaks from his level and the creature, the lower one, receives these things at his lower level, of course there is a huge gap between the degree in which the article was presented and the level in which the lower one receives it. That’s why every time that the lower one repeats the same article, in all kinds of situations, he of course gets different impressions and it works differently in him. That’s why there are several styles to each topic.

Page six, Divinity in Exile, according to the manuscript.

He is Shochen (lit. Dweller) and she is Shechina (lit. Divinity).

I gathered it together according to the manuscript because the original article is Shamati itself, and this is according to the manuscript, it’s rewritten so to speak.

He is Shochen (lit. Dweller) and she is Shechina (lit. Divinity). It is known, regarding the Upper Light, that it is written, “I the Lord change not.” All the names and appellations relate only to the receivers, namely the will to receive incorporated in Malchut, which is the root of creation. It hangs down to this world, to the creatures, and all these discernments, from the root of the creation of the worlds through the creatures, is called Shechina.

The general correction is that the Upper Light will shine in them in utter wholeness. At that time the Light is called Shochen, and the Kelim are generally named Shechina. It means that the Shochen dwells inside the Shechina, being the Light that dwells inside the Kelim (lit. Vessels).

In the whole of reality we have nothing but those two – Creator and creature, Light and Kli, Shochen and Shechina.

Hence, it turns out that the Kelim are generally called Shechina. The time before the Light shines in them in utter wholeness is called “Corrections”. In other words, we make corrections so that the Light will shine in them in wholeness.

Until then, it is called “Divinity in Exile”…

The time of correction is all the other states besides the final state. Divinity, the generality of the souls, the desire that was created, the creature, is always in some sort of fulfillment by the Creator. The measurements of fulfillment of the creature with the Creator are called “the worlds,” “concealments.” To the extent in which the Dweller, the Creator, the Light, can shine in the Kelim according to the law of equivalence of form between them, and that the Kli doesn’t feel Him, He is called “concealed” or “hidden.” Accordingly, the Kli is considered to be in a certain measurement of concealment or at a certain world, a certain state, with respect to the Light.

Actually, there is nothing but the state of Light being inside the Kli, and when it appears within a Kli according to some measure, that’s the overall state. The Light, with respect to itself is of course inside the Kli in a complete and existing form, unchanging with respect to itself. The Kli according to the corrections of its attributes, sensations and senses, discovers the Light more or less. The fact is that The Light is in the Kli in a complete, eternal and existing form, but only according to the measurements of the Tikkun (correction) of the Kli, does the Kli feel the Light each time in a different from, in a different way and in a different strength.

However, it is only spoken of with respect to the receivers, with respect to the Kli itself; there’s no change with respect to the Creator. He is inside the creature completely, eternally, unchangingly. From the very beginning, the way it was determined in the Thought of Creation, it was immediately executed. However, the creature has to go through a process of corrections. This means that it brings itself up to feel this state entirely.

That’s actually the whole of reality that we are in. Besides that, there is nothing else. This is why the whole process is one in which we have to engage by completely feeling it, meaning to bring ourselves to corrections where the way to feel ourselves in the right, true state, is called “the method of Kabbalah,” “the wisdom of Kabbalah.”

What do we receive? Who fulfills us? What are we suppose to feel? By which means are we to come to the correct feeling? This is actually the means that we have within us, which we received to reach the sensation of the actual reality. However, we cannot naturally come to it without studying the method and without implementing it. Humanity, each and every single person, cannot reach it naturally like the way we live in this world.

From within life in this world we have to add an artificial process because we have to perform on ourselves all kinds of actions which are not in our nature. We have to seemingly perform it on ourselves as if from the outside; to draw upon ourselves the Upper Light to influence us, a higher degree to operate on us.

Therefore, there is a person or a desire which begins to work on itself through different or alien forces outside of it. That is why there can never be a state in which a person naturally becomes a Kli for the reception of Divinity as if he just evolves this way. He must always accept this method, to correct himself, to adapt himself to the Light from the outside and to perform the corrections on himself artificially, through forces that are not in him naturally, but that he draws indirectly.

That is why there is no such thing as the possibility of the world coming by itself toward a corrected, final state, to Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction). We’ll still have to disclose this method to every single one in a different measure, to the extent that everyone is in and a part of Divinity, according to the part that a person takes in it. Everyone will have to carry out his part consciously and with that we will reach the general correction.

…below in this world, where there should be the instilment of the Upper Light within the will to receive. At that time, the will to receive is filled with foolish and ignoble things that do not bring the Glory of Heaven.

In other words, where the heart should be a Tabernacle for the Light of God, it is a place of filth; and each and every one loathes matters that belong to Kedusha (lit. Sanctity). They lower it to the ground and there is no yearning and desire to raise it from the dust. Instead, they choose the ignoble things. Thus, there is Affliction of Divinity in that it is not given a place where the Upper Light might dwell.

Question: What’s the difference between the Light and the Kli during the corrections and during Gmar Tikkun? How are they different? How are they similar?

There are two forces, the giving force and the receiving force. Of course, the receiving force does not exist in itself. If it is existence from absence, then it is truly from absence. And the existence that it has and which exists, is the same force of Light, of Creator that sustains it this way because He created it and designed it from nothing, from non-existence. That one force, the Creator, designs the existence from absence seemingly behind the scenes because this existence from absence doesn’t feel how it is being designed, how it is being built, structured, who sustains it, and who gives it livelihood and life.

That existence from absence feels that its own attributes which were created by the Light are in contrast with the Light. What should it do? It should actually come to recognize its root, who sustains it, who makes it, why It made it and what His intention is. This means that by becoming existence from absence, it wants, craves and returns to the same Force that created it. The wonder about this is that when the existence from absence discovers the Creator’s force that sustains it (even in an opposite form from itself), it still doesn’t lose itself. Rather, these two forces are in it as one. It is impossible to express these things.

What was the question?


Question: What’s the difference between the Kli and the Light during the corrections and during Gmar Tikkun?


Let’s put it more simply. We always speak only from the perspective of the receiver, of the Kli, because we can’t do it any other way. Moreover, whatever we can say about the Creator, is about how we feel, how we determine who He is and what He is. I cannot feel Him if not in my Kli of sensation. I cannot say anything about Him if not through comparison to some scale of mine. I can change my scales, my values, my ruler, but I still have to measure according to something, and I speak about Him from within me.

While I’m undergoing corrections, I speak about Him according to my measures of correction; I speak about him more or less, in all kinds of ways and changes. When I reach Gmar Tikkun, when my measurements become correct and final, then I determine to the maximum possible, to the final extent, who the Creator is with respect to me. Is this the real picture? I don’t know what real is. I know that I corrected my Kelim to the fullest and within them, according to the size of my Kelim and according to what they are, I perceive Him.

He built me and created me to perceive Him, let’s say, in five ways— Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, Malchut, and I perceive Him in these five manners. In these five manners, I can perceive Him more or less correctly. Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction) means that I perceive Him to the fullest in the way that these Kelim can perceive without any obstructions, so to speak, but it is still my perception. It’ll always remain my subjective perception and I can never exit from myself. For the time being that’s what we’re learning.

The Kabbalists don’t tell us about what will happen afterwards with the creature in degrees beyond Gmar Tikkun, in other developments which no one knows about what happens there… There seem to be hints that there’s further development of the Kli afterwards, that we don’t know about its root, the process or about anything, because we’re only talking about the correction of the creatures’ Kelim in perceiving the Creator.

What comes afterwards? We’re coming to equivalence of form, we feel ourselves in the same status as the Creator, and then what? It doesn’t say. Perhaps, in this status you can’t say what’s afterwards because it’s an eternal and complete state. What else could change if you have corrected Kelim and the Light fills them? There are no deficiencies, so what does it mean by “afterwards?” When nothing changes, there’s no concept of time and changes.

However, for the time being, we are speaking from within our own deficiencies. Therefore we are asking “what comes afterwards?” about that state also because we can’t understand what perfection means when these things are not awakened.

For us, perfection is when our Kli is filled and doesn’t demand anything more. With respect to spirituality that is the most limited thing. If the Kli doesn’t change, if it doesn’t progress and evolve, it’s limited and not in a state of perfection.

Thus we can’t find the right expression to everything. When we are below spirituality, we have no understanding what-so-ever of the spiritual nature, the nature of the Kli that is similar to the Creator. We are in a nature that is opposite from the Creator. If we acquire any kind of change in any part of our desires that becomes similar to the Creator, we will then be able to imagine and understand (to some extent) that existence called “spirituality.” Without that change we have no discernments in it.

We should also understand that this change appears in a person according to his willingness to evolve. After about four months from when I came to Rabash and received from him these articles, he gave me a notebook which had Shamati written on it. Afterwards I photocopied it, he took it, and I used to see this notebook each time we went to Tiberias, when we were going alone. Then I would also read and use it. I also had my own notebook because I photocopied it. He only gave me the original right before he passed away. He gave me the notebook on his last evening and he passed away the next morning. I discovered that he didn’t give these articles to anyone.

I remember that I came with this one article to Menachem Mendelshtein who was Rabash’s age and was Baal HaSulam’s student. He was with Baal HaSulam when Baal HaSulam wrote the Sulam commentary on The Zohar. He would attend those Baal HaSulam’s lessons where Baal HaSulam would teach from what he had written in his commentary on the Zohar. Baal HaSulam would write during the week and on Friday there was a lesson that students came to where he would read to them from what he had written in the Sulam commentary, and explain it to them.

You are talking with a person who studied the Sulam commentary with Baal HaSulam, and he didn’t receive the articles of Shamati. I didn’t know it and I came to him with the article so that he would explain something to me, and he said “Where did you get this from? What is this? Did you get it from Rabash?” “What is this?” So I was shocked that he did not know of it. At that time I was thirty-four and Menachem Mendelshtein was seventy-five.

When Rabash saw me sitting with him and that together we were reading some article from Shamati, he was infuriated with me. He asked for me to come, and then took me out side and said, “What are you doing?” I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t understand. He said, “They mustn’t see it, no one has these articles; they don’t have a left line.” He didn’t give these articles to anyone, all of his students received only the first article which is There is None Else Beside Him, about two years before he passed away.

After Rabash passed away, I felt that I could not keep these articles to myself, may every one know what he knows. Whatever happens, happens, and I photocopied and gave the articles to Rabash’s students. However, besides them, no one received these articles.

We have to understand that these are very special things. They are really intended for people to develop Kelim inside of them where the Dweller can dwell. To the extent that a person receives within himself the awakening of the left line, only to that extent does he see these articles. Otherwise, he sees it like an ordinary follower does, a Hassid who sees it as Dvekut (adhesion), as “the Creator” and “the creature,” thinking that one has to devote his soul and to be in a state of bestowal, to love. He interprets all of these things as a Hassid (follower), through one line which is giving.

To the extent that he has evil inclinations and Klipot (shells); to the extent that he has opposite desires from the Creator that are awakening him, desires which are against the Dvekut and the correction process, to this extent he needs these articles, he needs the Light that Reforms. He’s got something to reform.

That’s why Rabash didn’t give out these articles, because his students still didn’t have the left line. And the fact of the matter is that they sat in Berg’s Institute and didn’t come. It took me six months to get them out of there, to convince them that they have nothing, that they don’t understand and don’t know anything about Kabbalah. Regrettably, even today, they are still Hassidim, followers.

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