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The Law of Equivalence of Attributes

We do not say anything new in Kabbalah that goes against human logic. All the laws of natural sciences speak in one form or another about each part of creation striving for the center, for a physical-biological balance (whether an atom, a molecule, a still object or a living organ). This is the principle of every law of nature, and this is also the principle of Kabbalah, but Kabbalah relates those collective laws of creation to man.

The very fact that we are a part of nature necessitates us to be subordinate to it. It is not a question of will, and neither is our very existence in this world. Hence, if a person takes upon himself the laws of nature and keeps them, he will feel good, and if not, he will feel bad.

The collective law of nature brings us back to a certain state of balance called the “center of creation.” The minute you begin to want to go back to that center, as the law that returns does, you will feel that you are stepping on a comfortable road, because you agree with the force and keep its laws.

If you do not know that law and act according to your own understanding you will be punished. That is the way nature works – anyone who breaks its laws is punished, including man, who is an inseparable part of nature.

By the way, besides man, no other creature breaks the laws of nature, because all other creatures work only according to their natural impulses. Those impulses also exist in man, but they are not enough for him to know how to behave in nature, and if he does acquire this knowledge, he will simply become extinct.

For that reason, we better understand that the best thing for us is to go along with the purpose of nature, which is (by definition) to bring all levels of reality to perfection, the still, the vegetative, the animate and the speaking, and the level of Israel within the speaking level.

Man must strive to always keep in mind the thought that everything that he feels comes to him for a purpose from the upper force, from the collective laws of nature. That law brings balance and movement to the physical-biological level, as well as to the spiritual level.

You might say that this balance is the return to the center from which we came. Hence, the first condition for keeping this law is to keep in mind the thought that everything I feel comes from one source only, from one center, in order to pull me to it. That law is called the “law of equivalence of attributes” or the “law of equivalence of form,” the center, or the Creator.

The will of the Creator is to bring us to perfection. I too seek to attain perfection, but for that, I need to study the program by which the Creator promotes me. If I want to know the Creator, the system, which works to benefit man, will appear before me. Baal HaSulam (Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag) writes that in the beginning, one must understand that he is dependent on the Creator alone, and that if he does not make contact with him, he might be extinct.

Every thought about wanting to draw closer to the center, to the goal, to the upper force, is far more efficient than any ordinary prayer, or some other ‘strong’ will.

If a person wants to intensify his thoughts along the way, he will have to dedicate his time to a principle called “There is none else beside Him,” and study the system of the worlds. This way he will make the light come inside him.

Hence, it is a must that man will have a minimal contact with the principle of creation, with the Creator, with the system that controls the worlds.

For a person who is already practicing the study of the Kabbalah, it doesn’t matter which language, words or sounds define the spiritual degrees or states, be they the language of the bible, the Kabbalah, or precepts (commandments). But the language is very important for a beginning student. It can confuse and inflict undesirable materialization of the text, and cause him to imagine corporeal objects. Hence, the language of the Kabbalah is a technical language, which is close to the modern day man. It is comprised of Sefirot, systems of worlds, Partzufim, Behinot and sketches.

Thus, one must know that there is a system with subsystems within it, which operate on us, on our body and on our soul, on the whole universe.

When man wants permanent contact with the upper force, he develops a new sensory organ, and through it, he slowly begins to feel his connection with it. That upper force tells man how their communication system is built, how it works around us in the entire reality, and how it aspires to bring us back to the center. It tells man how it runs through the entire world and through man himself.

That system is what motivates man and the world around him. You can call that force “upper force” or “Creator,” it makes no difference. If you feel the collective power of the world, you will be able to understand how to conduct yourself correctly. It is called: “One learns from one’s soul,” or “the light reforms.” The soul is like a computer program. Before it dresses in substance, it is no more than a thought, an idea, and a collective of certain connections between certain events in various situations.

That comparison enables us to explain what is an upper force: the Creator is a desire. “The desire to delight (please) the creatures.” He built a system that is like a computer program. If we study it, we will be able to organize the situations we face in the best possible way for ourselves and for society.

That program is not detached from one’s thoughts, it is inside us. But it is a still object in and of itself. Hence, if you want to change it, for the sake of explanation, let’s say that we want to change it, whom do we turn to? Will it be the Creator?

No, the program doesn’t change. But thoughts and prayers, meaning man’s desires, are what change the program and man alike. As a result of past suffering, man becomes better suited for this program, and he feels it as suitable for him, he feels that it is seems to treat him mercifully.

Kabbalah explains that the upper force, meaning the plan of the Creator, is complete, and it is only the vessels that change. Everything depends on the changes in the vessels, not on the light, because the light does not change.

The light behaves intransigently, mercilessly, and atrociously. That modus operandi cannot be changed, because the light extends and works on the entire creation from its origin, from the point of the “end of correction,” the point where the creature is equal to the Creator. Hence, this condition and operation of the light on us force us to reach the same situation. It is therefore obvious that if we do not aspire for the same thing we find ourselves placed under the pressure of a vicious power that pushes toward the center.

The equivalence of form is tantamount to your consent with the plan. I compared the plan of the Creator to a computer program, because they are both unchangeable. You can scream at your computer all you want, but it will not answer you until you fix the problem by yourself. And so is man with regards to the Creator – before man corrects himself, he has no reason to expect creation to treat him benevolently.

We turn only to he who can change, and only when there is hope that he will change. But there is a big mistake that is prevalent regarding the Creator. It states very clearly: “I the Lord change not” (Malachi 3, 6), and indeed you are the one changing, although the Creator makes you think that it is He who changes and not you.

We are unaware how much our sensory system, which is the whole world, depends on the emotions, on our ‘vessels.’ If they change even just a little bit, the whole world immediately looks altogether different. But before a person crosses the barrier and doesn’t feel the upper world, meaning the Creator, he feels that it is the Creator who changes.

I want to teach you how to do whatever you want using a special program in your ‘computer.’ The system in this computer is nature, but man is the only part in this system that actually operates.

That is why it seems as though nature is caged in a box, in a computer and only man is outside. He is the only one who can work with this program, receive data and affect that data and get a response to his actions on the ‘screen.’ I want to teach you how to use this program, because I too learned it from my teacher and I was convinced how effective it is.

Kabbalists are the only ones who use and control this program, and they pass the knowledge about the right approach to nature and how to control it from generation to generation. Their books describe how this world can be managed. This wisdom is called “the wisdom of the hidden,” because only a worthy person can study it, and for the rest it remains a secret. If a person does not correct his attributes as nature demands, he cannot understand that wisdom.

Even in our present situation we can begin to learn this wisdom. And even if we use it egoistically for the time being, we will improve our situation and improve our feeling.

In order to make contact with the Creator, a contact that existed between the Creator and the soul before it came down to the corporeal world, and clothed in a body, there was a system that was made to slowly bring us from the farthest point from the Creator, to the nearest point to him, to complete equivalence of form with him.

There is a goal programmed into this system, and the system leads the entire creation to this ultimate goal. The program is the general law, intended to bring everything to perfection – Israel first, and then all other nations, and after them, the animals, the plants and the entire corporeal world.

That law acts like the law of gravity in our world: the source, called “perfection” attracts the entire reality and all the creatures toward it, but it is we Jews who stand directly opposite it. We are the first to be attracted to it, and that is why we feel its intense power as pain.

If we do not aspire to the center more than its pull on us, we will feel pain, according to how deep the gap between our desire to approach the center and the intensity of the pulling force is. If the desire to advance is stronger than the pulling force, we will feel complete and content. If one relates correctly to reality, one begins to understand that everything one feels comes from the Creator, in order to make contact, and force me to connect with him.

And then a person relates to the reason that makes him turn to the Creator as a consequence. He relates to his desires as actions of the Creator and feels that everything in him comes from the Creator, except the decision to turn to the Creator. The contact with the Creator and turning to him become a goal, instead of a means to attain something. The goal, therefore, is the Creator, not man.

That means that I must return to the place from which I came before my soul came down to this world. I must connect with the Creator while in this world. If I want money or rain, it is called “Lo Lishma” (not for Her name), the degree of still. If, however, I ask of the Creator permission to approach him, to attain him, then my goal is not me, but Him, the Creator, as it says: “Our hearts will rejoice in Him (the Creator).” This is the real purpose of creation.

Even when a person asks for rainfall, there is still the upper force behind his plea, although it is not aimed at the real goal, it is still a prayer to the Creator. Whether we like it or not, we are tied to the Creator like the umbilical cord ties a fetus to its mother.

But a person who prays unconsciously does not prevent the future pains, because the reason the Creator sends us those pains to begin with, is that we understand that there is a reason for the pain, which cannot be overlooked, because without it man will never attain the purpose of creation. That is why it is crucial to understand that the suffering is purposeful, that they come from a certain origin, from the Creator, for a certain purpose.

The advancement toward the Creator begins the minute a person prefers the contact with the Creator to any thing, good or bad. He seemingly neutralizes his desire for worldly pleasures, an act known in Kabbalah as “restriction.” Once a person attains that kind of ability to control himself, he goes on to acquire the ability to enjoy for the Creator’s sake and not for his own, something that goes completely against his nature.

A person who wants to draw near to the Creator does not regard him as a mere source of pleasure for egoistic pleasure. He accepts everything that happens to him lovingly. Even the bad sensations are regarded as signs that his vessel is not corrected, because that is the reason we feel everything that comes from the Creator as bad. The pains and the bad sensations disappear. At first we feel the pains as bad, but then they are viewed as vital for spiritual progress.

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