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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Soul of Pharaoh

Q: I understand from your words that all the situations that the soul goes through in the spiritual world, materialize later on in our world. If the soul has already gone through the spiritual state called Pharaoh, will this Pharaoh materialize afterwards in our world? Will it be in a body with a soul in the state of Pharaoh, or within a body that answers to the name Pharaoh with his earthly attributes?

A: You are confused because you are discussing the object from outside, not from within it. The Torah tells us only about the way we can attain the highest spiritual state. It never speaks about history. In the spiritual world, this history is not yet created. It is written by each soul, which goes through the states of “gentile,” “Pharaoh,” and “Moses” in each person. The Torah is written for each person, and one must only refer to it as personal instructions.

The soul can go through changes only within its existence in the physical body, and that is precisely the reason for its condition. All the parts of the collective soul must complete their corrections, from the lowest state to the highest, while dressed in this world’s body.

In other words, a person who lives in our world must experience all the states of elevation in the 613 degrees to the last degree, which is equivalence of form with the Creator.

Q: The Torah speaks of what happens between forces in the Upper Worlds. Everything that happens in our world, in its substance, is no more than a replica or a seal that has been imprinted and sealed. Did Moses and Pharaoh (the humans) have the power, the spiritual degree that the spiritual Moses and Pharaoh had? Was the first temple, or the second, compatible with their spiritual degree?

A: I don’t understand what you mean by “compatible.” Compatible with what? Do you search for spirituality in those? Do you search for their spiritual attainment? They were not souls with spiritual attainment from below upward, but rather an evolution of the worlds from up downward. Pharaoh, Moses and their like are examples of spiritual situations that a person must experience inwardly.

The Torah speaks of the way each person must rise from the situation it speaks of. We must feel everything that is written there. We will have to experience all the events and the characters in it, and only after that will we be able to actually sense what the Creator has in store for us.

The Torah says that every person will be like Moses, or to be exact, that each of us must be like all the other characters in the Torah, such as Pharaoh, Balaam, etc. But Moses is the goal of the development of the soul and because of that it speaks of him. However, it is also obvious that that such a degree of evolution cannot be attained without the evil inclination of Pharaoh being revealed.

Q: When the soul goes through a certain situation in our world, is it already going through its next situation in the spiritual world? And is it possible that a person is in one situation in this world, and in another in the Upper World?

A: One soul cannot be in several situations at the same time. All our future mental situations, to the last and most complete of them, are but future situations of the soul, which will attain them upon its ascent in each degree.

From below upward: our world is the world of Assiya, which resembles the world of Yetzira, which in turn resembles the world of Beria, which resembles the world of Atzilut. And from above downward, the worlds were created and were “copied” one by one, the worlds of BYA and our world.

The Torah speaks of what happens in the world of Atzilut. The same thing happens in all the spiritual worlds of BYA, which are beneath the world of Atzilut (of a lesser degree), but on a smaller spiritual scale. And so it is in our world, everything happens as it happens in the world of Atzilut.

However, this is in another substance, not in the spiritual desire, but in the corporeal one: the desire to delight self alone, which is the substance of our world. That is why we cannot describe what happens correctly.

The link between our world and the other worlds is inconceivable because we have no conception of the spiritual worlds. Only a Kabbalist feels both worlds at the same time, but cannot explain that sensation to one who cannot feel spiritual substance. The wisdom of attaining the Upper World is personal and is therefore designated as “the wisdom of the hidden.” Only one who attains it can see the results, and no one else.

The Pharaoh of the world of Atzilut is the collective uncorrected will to receive that had been created by the Creator. It is always in the height of the degree of the Creator, but opposite Him. Therefore, the correction of Pharaoh in the world of Atzilut means a complete correction of Malchut, which is the whole of creation.

Pharaoh in the world of Beria, which is below the world of Atzilut, symbolizes the corrected Pharaoh, one degree lower than the final one.

Pharaoh in the world of Yetzira is two degrees lower, two degrees below the top.

Accordingly, Pharaoh in the world of Assiya is three degrees lower - three steps below the final degree.

In our world, meaning in the physical body of Pharaoh, there is nothing of the spiritual situation because our world consists only of matter: our bodies and that which is around them - still, vegetative and animate.

But if the soul of one accompanies his body in our world, that person is called a Kabbalist. If the soul does not accompany him, that person is then still in the stage of preparation in the development of spirituality, prior to the reception of a soul. He then has no connection with the Upper Worlds, whether they are Assiya, Yetzira, Beria or Atzilut.

In the corporeal world, in the substance of our world, there is a picture that accompanies the soul, which is an external adaptation of the picture of the world of Atzilut. For example: the rulers of the world are an external adaptation of Pharaoh (egoism, a shell).

Moses, the force that aspires for the Creator, stands against Pharaoh. If Moses goes to Pharaoh along with the Creator in his soul, then Pharaoh and the Creator are equal in a man. Then, he has the freedom of choice.

Therefore, everything in our world and in the substance of our world must follow a well-defined formula of equivalence of form with the Upper Worlds. But that happens without man’s interference, as an extension from above downward, which brings about historic events in this world.

Some time in this world’s history, something should happen that would cause the souls to experience the spiritual worlds by themselves, rising from our world to the world of Atzilut.

The state called Pharaoh is one where a person who studies Kabbalah feels one’s precise nature to the fullest, as it was first created, and feels how opposite it is to the nature of the Creator. This is the most powerful negative degree, which stands against the complete correction, coming right before the last ascent to the final corrected degree – the End of Correction. If a person corrects that state of Pharaoh in oneself, complete correction is then attained.

Everything in our world, in its history, is an example of spiritual situations in substance that each person must go through within self, according to the rule: “Man is a small world.” That is what humanity evolves towards throughout its history. Every generation’s renewed souls descend into the bodies, moving them toward material progress, but they lead the man in us toward spiritual advancement.

When the soul reaches the full development of the egoistic nature that is needed for its progress, there appears in it the aspiration for spiritual development. A person begins to study Kabbalah, gradually goes through the degrees, from zero (the state of a spiritual embryo) onward and upward to the end of correction. In each degree that person gets greater desires, corrects them and by that attains the light that belongs to that degree by using corrected desire.

The various degrees have different names to the negative and the positive situations that a person goes through in each degree. Only by going from situations of the “left line” (uncorrected) to situations of the “right line” (the force of the Creator) and then to the state of the “middle line” (the correction of the left by the power of the right) - is there an ascent to the next degree.

Man himself, while feeling the desires of his nature, gives himself the name, Gentile. As the book of Genesis writes: the first man, once created, began to name the objects and attributes of the world around him. Along a person’s spiritual ascent, he becomes corrected and names the attributes of his inner world. He calls himself Pharaoh, Gentile, Moses and so on.

When a person feels his negative desires to receive, he names them Gentiles. The particular situations where his nature is shown have particular names of gentiles. Positive appearances are generally named Israel, from the Hebrew words Yashar El (Heb. “straight to God”) that indicates that a person wants to go directly to the Creator. The state named Israel has some particular manifestations of its own, such as the Children of Israel, Levy, Priest etc.

There is never a withdrawal, only progress, even when a person feels the opposite, as when one falls into desires to enjoy for self alone (uncorrected left line), which already grow to fit the next degree.

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