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22. Spiritual Development

All that we desire to know about our world can be defined as the result of creation and His Providence, or as scientists refer to it, as “the laws of nature.” Humankind in its inventions attempts to replicate some details of the creation and utilize its knowledge of the laws of nature. That is, it tries to replicate the actions of the Creator on a lower level and with baser materials.

The depth of humankind’s understanding of nature is limited, though the boundary is gradually expanding. Still, to this day, one’s body is equated with one’s material body. But such a perspective does not differentiate between people, since the individuality of each person is determined by one’s spiritual strengths and qualities, rather than by the forms of one’s body.

Thus, it can be said that all bodies, irrespective of their multitude, form only one body from the perspective of the creation, since there is no individual difference between them to differentiate one from the other. From this perspective, in order to understand others and the entire world around us, and to understand how to relate to what is outside our own bodies, it is enough for us to look within and to understand the self.

In fact, this is how we behave, since we were created to grasp that which enters us from the outside, that is, to react to outside forces. Thus, if we do not differ from others spiritually, and all our actions are standard and within the framework of the various animal qualities of our material bodies, then it is as if we do not exist at all.

Without a distinct spiritual individuality, it is as if we were part of one common body that represents all our bodies. In other words, the only way that we can differ from another is by our souls. Therefore, if we do not possess a soul, we cannot be said to exist individually.

The more spiritual differences we possess, the more important we are, but if these differences do not exist, then we do not exist either.

But as soon as the first small spiritual distinction is formed within us, that moment, that spiritual state is called our birth, because for the first time something individual appeared in us, something that differentiates us from everyone else.

Thus, the birth of individuality occurs through our individual spiritual separation from the general mass. Like a grain that has been planted, two conflicting processes occur in sequence: the process of decay and the process of growth. There is a complete liberation from the previous form. However, until it is repudiated completely, until one’s physical form is shed, one cannot change from a physical body to a spiritual force.

Until all these states are passed (called "the procreation of the fruit from above to below") the first spiritual force from below to above cannot be born within us, proceed to grow, and reach the level and form of the One who begat us.

Similar processes occur in inorganic, vegetative, animal and human natures, though they assume different forms. Kabbalah defines “spiritual birth” as the first manifestation within the individual of the lowest quality of the lowest spiritual world – the passage of the individual outside the boundaries of "our" world onto the first and the lowest spiritual levels.

But unlike a newborn in this world, a spiritual newborn does not die but continuously develops. A person can begin to comprehend himself only from the moment of self-awareness, but never earlier.

For example, we do not remember ourselves in our former states, such as the moment of conception, the moment of birth, or even earlier states. We can only grasp our development, but we cannot grasp our previous forms.

However, Kabbalah describes all the preceding states of creation, beginning from the state of the existence of only the Creator, to His creation of a general soul – a spiritual being. It then follows the gradual descent of the spiritual worlds from the highest to the lowest level, to the last state of the lowest spiritual realm.

Kabbalah does not describe all the following stages (how an individual of our world apprehends the lowest level of the spiritual realm, and then one’s further ascent from the bottom to the top, to one’s ultimate goal – the return to the original point of creation). This is because the ascent follows the same laws and levels as the descent of the soul, and everyone who seeks to understand must independently experience every stage of spiritual birth, up to the final spiritual level of completion.

But all souls, having reached, at the end of their growth, the absolutely corrected state of their original qualities, will return to the Creator and merge with Him into an absolutely indivisible state because of their complete similarity.

In other words, from the moment of one’s spiritual birth to one’s complete attachment with the Creator, the soul must ascend from the bottom to the top through the same 125 levels that it descended from the top to the bottom, from the Creator to us.

In Kabbalah, the first level from the bottom is known as “the birth,” the last, at the very top, is known as “the final correction,” and all the levels in between are designated either by the names of places or people in the Bible, by Kabbalistic symbols, the names of the sefirot or the worlds.

From all of the above, it becomes clear that we are incapable of completely comprehending the creation and ourselves without fully realizing the goal of creation, the act of creation, and all the stages of development up to the end of correction. Since we examine the world only from within, we can only explore that part of existence that we perceive. Thus, we cannot attain complete knowledge of ourselves.

Moreover, our understanding is limited because, in order to understand an object, we must explore its negative qualities, and we are incapable of seeing our own shortcomings. Despite any desires to the contrary, our nature automatically excludes them from our consciousness, because if we are aware of these shortcomings we will feel tremendous pain, and our nature automatically avoids such feelings.

Only the Kabbalists, working on the correction of their natures in order to attain the qualities of the Creator, gradually uncover the shortcomings of their own nature to the degree to which they can correct themselves. Since these characteristics are already undergoing correction, the uncorrected attributes are as if no longer belonging to the individual. Only then will the intellect and the nature of the Kabbalist permit recognition of these shortcomings.

Our tendency to see primarily negative qualities in others does not help us analyze ourselves. Because human nature automatically avoids negative sensations, we are incapable of transferring onto ourselves negative qualities we recognize in others. Our nature will never allow us to perceive in ourselves the same negative aspects.

In fact, we are able to detect negative qualities in others because it gives us pleasure!

A Kabbalist, on the other hand, grasps the full scope of a person’s nature, of its root, comprehending a person in the primary form, which is the soul.

In accordance with this, in order to gain a real understanding of creation, one must analyze it from above to below, from the Creator to our world, and then from below to above. The path from above to below is called “the gradual descent of the soul into our world.” This is the conception and development of the soul according to an analogy with our own world – the point at which the fetus is conceived in the body of the mother with the seed of the father.

Until the last lowest level manifests in a person, a level at which one is completely removed from the Creator, as the fruit of the parents, as a seed, which has completely lost its primary form, one cannot become a physically independent organism. But as in our world, so in the spiritual realm one continues to be completely dependent on its Source until, with the help of the Source, one finally becomes an independent spiritual being.

Having just been born spiritually, a person arrives at a spiritual level which is furthermost removed from the Creator, and gradually begins to master the levels of ascent to the Creator. The path from below to above, is known as “personal comprehension and ascent” in stages of spiritual growth in accordance with the laws of the spiritual realms. This parallels our world, where a newborn develops in accordance with the laws of this world.

The stages of one’s growth from below to above precisely correspond to the stages of the soul’s descent from the Creator into our world, from above to below.

For this reason, Kabbalah focuses on the descent of the soul, whereas the stages of ascent must be learned independently by each person making this ascent, in order to be able to grow spiritually.

Hence, under no circumstances should one interfere with one’s pupil, nor force upon that pupil any spiritual actions. The latter must be dictated by the pupil’s own awareness of the surrounding events in order to explore and correct all qualities in need of correction. This is also the reason why Kabbalists are prohibited from sharing with each other information about their own personal ascensions and descents.

Because the two paths – from above to below and from below to above – are absolutely identical, by comprehending the path from below to above, one can comprehend the path from above to below. In this way, in the course of one’s own development, a person arrives at the understanding of one’s prenatal state.

The program of creation descends into our world from above downward; the highest level begets the lower one, all the way to our world, where it is born in an individual of our world at a particular moment during one of the individual’s lives. From that moment the process reverses and forces one to grow spiritually, until one reaches the highest level.

But those who are growing spiritually must include their own efforts while they grow and adds their own personal actions into creation for its development and conclusion. These actions consist only of a complete reconstruction of the process of the creation, because a person cannot invent something that is absent from nature, whether it is physical or spiritual. In the same way, everything that we do is nothing more than ideas and patterns taken from nature. Therefore, the entire path of spiritual development consists only of the aspiration to repeat and reconstruct the spiritual realm that has already been implanted into the spiritual nature by the Creator.

As already indicated in the first part of this book, all the creations of this world and all that surrounds them were created in perfect correspondence to the conditions necessary for each and every kind. As in our world, nature has prepared a secure and appropriate place for the development of offspring, and the coming of the newborn stimulates in the parents the need to take care of it.

Similarly, in the spiritual world, until the spiritual birth of an individual, everything happens without the individual’s knowledge and interference.

But as soon as the individual grows up, difficulties and discomfort arise, requiring efforts to continue one’s existence.

As one matures, a greater number of negative qualities appear.

Likewise, in the spiritual world, with gradual spiritual growth a person’s negative qualities become more and more apparent. This structure is specifically created and prepared by the Creator through nature, both in our world and in the spiritual worlds. It brings us to the necessary level of development, so that we will realize through ceaseless privations that only through loving our neighbor as ourselves can we attain happiness. Only then will we discover anew the correspondence between the self and the acts of "nature" from above to below.

Therefore, any time we find "miscalculations" of nature or "incompletions" of the Creator, we can take that opportunity to complete our own natures and correct our attitude to the world around us.

We must love everyone and everything outside us as ourselves, in accordance with their descent from the spiritual levels from above to below.

Then, we will completely concur with the Creator, and thus, will attain the goal of creation – absolute pleasure and good. All this is within our reach, and in no case will the Creator deviate from His own plan, because He designed the plan for us with the Will to impart to us absolute pleasure and good.

Our task is merely to study the levels of spiritual descent from above to below, and to gain the understanding of how to conduct ourselves in our own ascent from below to above. The seemingly unnatural feeling of love towards others like us that the Creator demands of us (not those "close" to us, but those like us, because those close to us are already dearly loved), makes us feel an internal contraction of the "self," just like any other altruistic feeling or any other denial of egoism will do.

But if we can relinquish, or contract, our own personal interests, then the spiritual space vacated by egoism can be used to receive the Upper Light, which will act upon the vacuum by filling and expanding it. These two actions together are called “the pulsation of life” or “the soul,” and are already able to bring about further actions of contracting and expanding.

Only in this manner can the spiritual vessel of a human being receive the Light of the Creator, and having expanded the soul, ascend. The contraction can be caused by an external force, or by the actions of the internal qualities of the vessel. In the case of contraction from the effects of the painful pressure of an external force, the nature of the vessel prompts it to raise the forces to withstand this contraction. It expands and thereby returns to its original condition, removing itself from this external pressure.

Should this contraction be caused by the vessel itself, then the vessel is incapable of expanding to its original state on its own. But if the Light of the Creator enters this vessel and fills it, the vessel is then enabled to expand to its previous state. And this Light is called “Life.”

Life itself is the attaining of the essence of life, which can be achieved only through the previous contractions, since one is unable to surpass the spiritual boundaries in which one was created. A person can contract for the first time only under the influence of an external force, or by having prayed to the Creator for the help of the higher spiritual forces, because until one receives the first help – life – into the soul, one is powerless to generate such an unnatural action of the soul.

While one depends on the external force and is unable to "contract" independently, one is not considered to be alive, because "live nature" is defined as having the ability to act independently.

The teachings in Kabbalah clearly describe the entire creation. Kabbalah divides everything in Creation into two concepts: the Light (Ohr) and the vessel (kli).

Light is pleasure, vessel is the desire to receive pleasure. When pleasure enters the desire to receive pleasure, it imparts upon this desire the specific urge to take pleasure in it. In the absence of Light, the vessel does not know what it wants to take pleasure in. Thus, the vessel itself is never independent, and only the Light dictates the type of pleasure it will receive – the thoughts, the aspirations, and all its qualities. For this reason, the spiritual worth of a vessel and its importance is completely determined by the amount of Light filling it.

Moreover, the greater the desire of the vessel to receive pleasure, the "coarser" it is, because it depends on the Light to a greater extent and is less independent.

On the other hand, the "coarser" it is, the greater the amount of pleasure it can receive. Growth and development depend precisely on great desires. This paradox occurs as a result of the opposing qualities of the light and the vessel.

The reward for our spiritual efforts is recognition of the Creator, but it is our "self" that screens the Creator from us.

Since it is the desire that determines an individual and not one’s physiological body, then with the appearance of each new will it is as if a new individual is born. This is how we can understand the concept of the circulation of souls, that is, with each new thought and desire a person is born anew, because the desire is new.

Thus, if the desire of the individual is animalistic, then it is said that one’s soul has become enclothed in an animal. But if the desire is elevated, then it is said that the person became a sage. Only in this manner should one understand the circulation of souls. The individual is capable of clearly perceiving within himself how contradictory his opinions and desires may be at various times, as if the individual were not one, but several different people.

But every time a person experiences certain desires, if these desires are truly strong, that person cannot imagine that there might be another condition, completely opposite to the one in which the person finds himself at the moment. This is due to the fact that the soul of a person is eternal because it is part of the Creator. For this reason, a person expects to l remain in any given state forever.

But the Creator alters one’s soul from Above, which constitutes the circulation of souls. Thus, the previous state dies and "a new individual is born." Similarly, in our spiritual ascents, inspirations, and declines, in our joys and depressions, it appears inconceivable to us that we could shift from one state into the next, when in a state of spiritual elation, we cannot imagine how there can be any other interest but that of spiritual growth.

As the dead cannot imagine that there is such a state as life, so the living do not think about death. All this takes place because of the existence of the Divine, and hence, of the eternal nature of our soul.

Our entire reality has been especially created in order to distract us from perceiving the spiritual worlds. A thousand thoughts constantly distract us from our aim, and the more we try to concentrate, the greater the obstacles we experience.

The only remedy against all these obstacles is the Creator. This is His purpose in creating them – so we will turn to the Creator in search of the path for personal salvation.

Just as we attempt to distract young children with fairy tales while feeding them, so the Creator, in order to lead us to the good, is forced to embed the altruistic truth into egoistic causes, so that we will want to experience the spiritual. Then, once having experienced it, we ourselves will want to partake of this spiritual food.

The entire path of our rectification is constructed on the principle of uniting with the Creator, of connection with spiritual objects, so as to acquire from them their spiritual qualities. Only while in contact with the spiritual are we able to partake from it.

For this reason, it is very important to have a teacher and fellow classmates in pursuit of the same goal: even in daily contact, unnoticeable for oneself, and therefore without being impeded by the body, one can acquire spiritual desires. Notably, the more one strives to be with those who have elevated spiritual goals, the greater the chance that one will be influenced by their thoughts and desires.

Since a real effort is considered to be the one that is done against the desires of the body, it is easier to make the effort if there is a set example, and many are doing it, even if it seems unnatural. (The majority determines consciousness; where everyone is naked, as in a sauna or in a "primitive" society, it takes no effort to shed one’s clothing.)

But a group of friends and a teacher are only helpful tools. In the process of spiritual ascent, the Creator will still make certain that a person will be forced to turn for help only to Him.

Why is there both a written Torah, the written form of spiritual laws – like the Bible – and an oral one? The answer is simple: the written form gives us the descriptions of spiritual processes that are carried out from above to below. It relays only this process, though it employs the language of the narrative, of historical chronicles and of legal documents, the language of prophecy and of Kabbalistic learning.

But the main purpose for the giving of the spiritual laws is for the spiritual as cent of a person from below to above, to the Creator Himself, and this is an individual path for each person, a path determined by the qualities and particularities of the individual soul.

Thus, each person comprehends the ascent along the levels of the spiritual realms in one’s own way. The revelation of the spiritual laws from below to above to the individual is called the “oral Torah,” because there is neither need nor possibility to give a single version of it to every person. Each one should grasp it individually by praying to the Creator (orally).

All the efforts expended by us in studying and working on self-improvement are needed only so that we will realize our helplessness, and turn to the Creator for help. But we cannot evaluate our own actions, and call out to the Creator for help, until we feel a need for that help.

The more we study and work on ourselves, the greater our grievances against the Creator.

Even though, ultimately, help emanates from the Creator, we will not receive it without praying for it. Thus, the one who wishes to progress forward should exert one’s efforts in all possible actions, while the one who sits and waits is described as a "fool, who sits with arms folded and gnaws at himself."

An “effort” is defined as anything that the individual does against the desires of the body, irrespective of what action it is. For example, if an individual sleeps in spite of the desires of the body, this is an effort. But the main problem lies in the fact that an individual always anticipates a reward for efforts made. To overcome egoism, one must strive to make an effort without being compensated for it.

One should, therefore, ask the Creator for strength to do so, because the body cannot work without a reward. But just as a master who loves his craft thinks only of his craft while working, and not the reward, so one who loves the Creator desires strength to suppress egoism. In this way, one would be closer to the Creator because the Creator wishes it, and not because, as a result of the closeness, the person will receive unbounded pleasure.

Should an individual not strive for reward, that person is constantly happy, because the greater the efforts one can exert with the help of the Creator, the more happiness there is both for himself and for the Creator. In a way then, it is as if such an individual is constantly rewarded.

For this reason, if an individual feels that self-improvement is still very difficult and that no pleasure is derived from it, this is a sign that egoism is still present. The individual has not yet made the transition from the masses of society to those few in this world who work for the Creator and not for themselves.

But the one who feels how difficult it is to make the smallest effort not for one’s own sake, but for the sake of the Creator, is already midway between the masses and the Kabbalists.

The masses, however, cannot be educated properly, because they are incapable of accepting the concept of working without reward. The education of the masses is built on the foundation of rewarding egoism. For this reason it is not difficult for these people to observe the commandments in the strictest sense, and even to seek additional difficulties.

However, a preliminary stage, to be simply a believer, is necessary for everyone. Accordingly, the great Kabbalist Rambam (12th century) wrote that at first everyone is taught as little children are taught. They are shown that observance should be kept for egoistic benefits, for the reward in the world to come. Later, when a few of them grow up, become wiser, and learn the truth from a teacher, they can gradually be taught how to depart from egoism.

Generally, that which one wishes to see as a result of one’s actions is called a reward, even as the actions themselves may be in many different areas. One cannot work without a reward, but one can alter the reward itself by replacing egoistic pleasure for altruistic pleasures.

For example, there is no difference in the pleasure extracted by a child from a toy, and the pleasure the adult receives from the spiritual. The difference is only in the outer form of pleasure, in its garb. But in order to change the form, just as in our world, one has to grow up.

Then, instead of the desire for a toy, one will have a desire for the spiritual, thus, the egoistic form of desire will be replaced by an altruistic one. It is, therefore, completely incorrect to maintain that Kabbalah teaches one to abstain from pleasure. It is just the opposite: according to the laws of Kabbalah, a person who denies himself several kinds of pleasure must bring a sacrifice as a kind of a fine to atone the sin of not using everything that the Creator awarded to human beings.

The goal of creation is precisely to delight the souls with absolute pleasure, and such pleasure may be found only in an altruistic form. Kabbalah is given to us so that with its help we can be convinced that it is necessary to change the external form of our pleasure, so that the truth will seem sweet to us, rather than bitter, as it appears at the moment.

In the course of our lives, we are forced to alter the external clothing of pleasure because of our increasing age or because of our community. There is no word in our vocabulary to define pleasure. Instead, there are words describing the form, the garb, and the objects from which we receive pleasure: from food, from nature, from a toy. We describe our striving for pleasure according to its type, as in "I like fish."

The preferred pleasure of those who study Kabbalah can be determined by the question: is it Kabbalah that is important to the person, or is it the One who Gives the Kabbalah? Is Kabbalah important because it emanates from the Creator? Is it the Creator who is important, or is the observance of the spiritual laws and the reward ensuing from that observance, the most important thing?

The complexity of the entire problem is in the fact that there is a short and easy path to the attainment of the spiritual condition, but our egoism does not allow us to take that path. As a rule, we tend to choose the difficult and tortuous path dictated to us by our egoism; we return to the initial point after much suffering, and only then do we follow the correct path.

The short and easy path is the path of faith, while the long and difficult one is the path of suffering. But just as it is difficult to choose the path of faith, so is it easy to follow it once it has been chosen.

An obstacle in the guise of a demand from our own lower intellect first to comprehend and only then to proceed, is called a “stumbling block” or a “stone” (even). Everyone stumbles on that stone.

Kabbalah talks only of one soul, the soul of any one of us, and about that soul’s ascent to the final stage. It is said in the Bible that when the arms (faith) of Moses (Moshe, deriving from the verb limshoch – to pull, to take oneself out of egoism) became weak, he began to lose the battle with the enemies (those he thought were his enemies were his own egotistical thoughts and desires).

Then the elders (his wise thoughts) sat him down (lowered his own intellect) on a stone (above egoism) and raised his arms (faith) and put a stone beneath them (lifted faith above the demands of the egoistic common sense), so that Israel would triumph (the aspiration to the spiritual ascent).

It is also said that the forefathers were idol-worshippers (the initial aspirations of a person are egoistic and are aimed to the benefit of one’s own body) and that they were escapees (Zion derives from the word yetzia, which tells us that through yetziot – escape from egoism – the Light is received).

In the world of a beginning Kabbalist, there are only two states: that of suffering or that of perceiving the Creator.

However, until an individual corrects one’s egoism, and can turn all personal thoughts and desires toward the benefit of the Creator, the world around him will be perceived only as a source of suffering.

But then, having sensed the Creator, one sees that the Creator fills the world with Himself, as the entire world consists of corrected spiritual objects. This picture of the world appears only if one gains spiritual sight. At that point, all former suffering begins to appear as necessary and pleasant because one has received a correction in the past.

Most important, an individual must know who is the Master in the world, and must realize that everything in the world transpires only in accordance with His wishes, despite the fact that the body, with the will of the Creator, continuously professes that everything in this world happens by chance.

Yet, in spite of the body, an individual must firmly believe that all actions in this world are followed by either a punishment or a reward. For example, if one suddenly feels a desire to elevate spiritually, it may seem to be by chance. After asking the Creator for help to act properly, no immediate answer is received and because of this, not enough importance is allotted to past prayer, which was forgotten. But the desire is the reward for former good deeds – the act of asking the Creator for help to act properly.

Or, if one declares that at the present stage, when one feels spiritually elevated, there are no other cares in life except the lofty ones, one must understand that (1) this state is sent by the Creator as an answer to earlier prayers, and (2) that by such an assertion, one proclaims the self capable of working independently.

This means the individual’s spiritual ascent depends on personal actions, rather than on those of the Creator. Moreover, if during one’s studies, one suddenly begins to perceive the object of learning, once again it must be reinforced that this is not accidental, but that the Creator sends one such a state.

Thus, while studying, we should place ourselves in a position of dependence on the Will of the Creator, so that we can strengthen our faith in the Upper Providence. Becoming dependent on the Creator, we thus form a bond with Him, which eventually will lead to complete attachment to the Creator.

There are two opposite forces acting upon us: the altruistic force, which professes that living the Will of the Creator should be the ultimate purpose in this world, and that all should be for His sake; and the egoistic force, which maintains that everything in this world is created for human beings and because of them.

Although, in all cases, the higher altruistic force prevails, there exists the long path of suffering. However, there is also a short path, known as the path of Kabbalah.

Every person should voluntarily strive to radically shorten the path and the time for self-correction, otherwise involuntarily one will be forced to accept the path of suffering in order to arrive at the same destination. The Creator will inevitably force one to accept the ways of Kabbalah.

The most natural feeling of a person is love of oneself, which is ultimately epitomized in newborns and in children. But no less natural is the feeling of love for another being born out of love for oneself, which provides countless themes for art and poetry. There is no scientific explanation for love and the processes that bring it about.

In our lives, we have all encountered the natural phenomenon, inherent to our lives, of mutual love, of the surge of this feeling, and then, oddly, of its decline. Precisely in the case of mutual love, the stronger the feeling, the quicker it passes.

Conversely, a faint feeling of one person often spurs a very intense feeling of the other, but a sudden return of emotion may very well lessen the original feeling of love. This paradox can be observed in the examples of various types of love: love between the sexes, between parents and children, and so on.

Moreover, it can be said that if one exhibits a great love for another, one does not give the other the opportunity to long for and to love the other more intensely. That is, the display of great love does not allow the loved one to respond to the full extent of one’s feelings, but, on the contrary, gradually transforms the feelings of love into hatred. This is due to the fact that the one who is loved stops fearing to lose the one who loves, experiencing the eternal unconditional love of the latter.

But if in our world, one rarely gets a chance to love another, even egoistically, it is not surprising that the feeling of altruistic love is completely foreign and unattainable for us. Since it is precisely this love that is bestowed upon us by the Creator, He conceals His feeling until we develop the qualities needed to answer Him with a full and constant reciprocity.

As long as we feel no love towards ourselves, we will accept any love. But as soon as we receive the love and are satiated with it, we begin to be more selective and to desire only the feelings of unusually great intensity.

And therein lies the possibility of a constant aspiration to increase the strength of one’s love for the Creator. An unwavering, constant, mutual love is possible only if it does not depend on anything.

For this reason, the love of the Creator is concealed from us, and is revealed gradually in the consciousness of the Kabbalist, to the degree that the latter is able to rid self of egoism, which is the sole cause for the waning of the feeling of mutual love in our world.

We have been created egoists in order to give us the capacity to expand the boundaries of our own feelings by allowing us to increasingly sense the Creator’s unveiling love. It is only by sensing the Creator’s love, by desiring to unite with Him, that we yearn to be freed of egoism – the common enemy. It can be said that egoism is the third in the triangle of creation (the Creator, us, and egoism), allowing us to choose the Creator.

Moreover, all the acts of the Creator, the ultimate goal of creation and all His actions, irrespective of the way we see them, are formed on the basis of this absolute and constant love. The Light that emanates from the Creator – which constructed all the worlds and which created us, a micro-dose of which is found in our bodies and constitutes our life, reminds us of what our souls will be after their correction. That Light is the feeling of His Love.

The reason for our creation is a simple desire to create good, a desire to love and to gratify, a simple desire of altruism (thus, not understandable for us), a desire that we, the objects of His love, should experience His love in its entirety and find gratification in this, as well as in our own feeling of love for Him. Only a simultaneous sensation of these two feelings, so contradictory in our world, awards that complete pleasure that is the goal of the Creator.

Our entire nature can be denoted by a single word – egoism. One of the most manifest expressions of egoism is the perception of one’s own "self." An individual can tolerate anything except the feeling of personal humiliation. In order to avoid humiliation, a person is often ready to die.

In all circumstances, be it poverty, defeat, loss, or betrayal, we always attempt, and actually do, find extraneous causes and reasons beyond our control that are responsible for our condition. Otherwise, we would never be able to exonerate ourselves in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, which our nature will not permit.

It will never allow us to humiliate ourselves, because in that way a part of creation, perceived by us in the form of the "self," will be destroyed and removed from the world.

For this reason, our destruction of egoism is impossible and can only be accomplished with the help of the Creator. It can be replaced voluntarily only by elevating the importance of the goal of creation in our eyes above all else.

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