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30. Fear of the Creator

The Light of the Creator fills all of creation. Although we swim inside this Light, we cannot perceive it. The pleasures that we feel are but tiny rays, which, with the Creator’s mercy, reach us; since without any pleasure we would end our existence.

We feel these rays as forces that attract us to certain objects, into which the rays enter. The objects themselves are of no consequence, which becomes evident to us when, at some point, we stop being interested in things that once posed a great attraction to us.

The reason for receiving only the small amount of Light, rather than the entire Light of the Creator, is that our egoism acts as a barrier. If our egoistic desires are present, we cannot perceive the Light, due to the law of the congruence of qualities, the law of likeness.

Two objects can perceive each other only to the degree to which their qualities coincide.

Even in our own world, we can see that if two people are on completely different levels of thought and desire, they cannot understand each other.

Thus, an individual possessing the qualities of the Creator would simply be immersed in the unbounded ocean of pleasure and complete knowledge.

But if the Creator fills everything with Himself, and there is no need to look for Him as for some precious object, then, evidently, He does not merit consideration as a “reward.” Similarly, we cannot apply the concept of work to the search for Him, since He is around us and inside us.

We may not perceive Him, but He is within us, within our faith. At the same time, once we perceive Him, and receive pleasure from Him, it cannot be said that we were rewarded. After all, if there is no work done, and the object in question is found in abundance in the whole world, then this object cannot be considered a reward.

The question remains, then, what is our reward for resisting our egoistic nature?

First, we must understand why the Creator instituted the law of congruence. As a result of this, though He fills everything, we are unable to perceive Him because He conceals Himself from us.

The answer to the question: “What is our reward for resisting our egos?” is as follows: The Creator instituted the Law of Congruence. This enables us to perceive only those objects on our own spiritual level. Thus, we are prevented from experiencing the most dreadful feeling from our egoism (that is the nature of the creations)when we receive pleasure from Him – since along with the pleasure the feelings of shame and humiliation set in .

Egoism cannot withstand this feeling. If we are unable to justify bad actions to ourselves or to others; if we are unable to find any extraneous circumstances that have supposedly forced us, against our will, to carry out the bad deed; then we prefer any other punishment except the feeling of humiliation of the "self," because the "self" is the pillar of our existence. Once it is humiliated, the "self" disappears spiritually; it is as if we had disappeared from this world.

But when we reach such a level of understanding that our only desire is to give everything to the Creator, and when we are constantly preoccupied with the thought of what else we can do for the sake of the Creator, then we will discover that we were created in order to receive pleasure from the Creator, and the Creator desires only that. At that point, we receive all possible pleasures because we want to carry out the Will of the Creator.

In such a case, there is no place for feelings of shame, because the Creator shows us that He wishes to give us pleasure, and He wants us to accept it. Thus, by accepting, we are carrying out the Will of the Creator, rather than personal egoistic desires. As a result, we become analogous to the Creator in qualities, and the screen disappears. All this ensues because we have reached the spiritual level at which we can give pleasure, just like the Creator.

From the above, we can conclude that our reward for efforts made should consist of receiving new, altruistic qualities – desires to "give" and aspirations to provide pleasure – similar to the desires of the Creator toward us. This spiritual level and these qualities are known as “fear of the Creator.”

Spiritual, altruistic fear, like all other anti-egoistic qualities of spiritual objects, is completely unlike any of our qualities or perceptions. “Fear of the Creator” is the fear of being pushed away from the Creator. This arises not from calculations of selfish benefit, nor from fear of being left with egoism, nor from fear of becoming similar to the Creator. All of these are based on notions of personal benefit and take into consideration only one’s own state.

The fear of the Creator is a selfless concern about not being able to do something that could have been done for the sake of the Creator. Such fear is itself an altruistic quality of a spiritual object, in contrast to our egoistic fear, which is always connected to our inability to satisfy our own needs.

Attaining the quality of fearing the Creator should be the cause and the goal of our efforts.

We should put all of our strength into this endeavor. Then, with the aid of the attained qualities, we can receive all the pleasures that were in store for us. Such a state is known as “the completing of the correction” (gmar tikkun).

Our fear of the Creator should precede our love for the Creator. The reason for this is as follows. In order for us to fulfill our obligations from a sense of love; in order to recognize the pleasure contained in the spiritual actions known as “commandments”; in order for these pleasures to invoke the feeling of love (since in our world we love that which brings us pleasure, whereas we hate that which brings us suffering); we should first attain the fear of the Creator.

If we observe the commandments from fear, rather than from feelings of love or pleasure, it means that we do not perceive the pleasure that is concealed in the commandments, and that we are carrying out the Will of the Creator from fear of punishment. The body does not resist this task because it also fears punishment, but it constantly asks about the reason for performing the tasks at hand.

In turn, this gives us a reason to increase our fear and our belief in punishment and reward inherent in the Creator’s domain, until we begin to constantly perceive the existence of the Creator. Having acquired the feeling of the Creator’s existence, that is, having attained faith in Him, we can begin to carry out the Will of the Creator from a feeling of love, since we have acquired the taste for, and found pleasure in, observing the commandments.

On the other hand, if the Creator permitted us to observe the commandments from the feeling of love from the very beginning, thus bypassing fear and only receiving pleasure from the task, we would never develop faith in the Creator. We can compare this to the people who spend their entire lives chasing worldly pleasures, and have no need for faith in the Creator to observe the commandments (the laws) of their nature, since their nature compels them to this task by promising a reward.

Therefore, Kabbalists who perceived the pleasure to be attained from following the spiritual laws of the Creator from the very beginning, would involuntarily observe them, just as others would rush to fulfill the Will of the Creator just for the sake of the tremendous rewards concealed in the way of Kabbalah. Then, no one would ever be able to come closer to the Creator.

For this reason, the pleasures contained in the spiritual laws and in the way of Kabbalah as a whole, are concealed. (The Light is the pleasure that is hidden in each spiritual law; the Light of the Creator is the sum of all the spiritual laws). These pleasures are revealed only when one attains a state of constant faith in the Creator.

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