The Acceleration of the Reshimot
Man was created in such a way that wherever he goes, he looks for pleasures and takes every chance he can to satisfy his wish. Where do these desires come from, and how does he know how to satisfy them?
At any given moment there are new desires that awaken in man, at all levels of existence: in the physical level, the human and the spiritual level. The physical desires are comprised of desires we don’t always feel, such as the desires of the body cells to develop, the desire of the body to exist and the desire of the organs to act. Hence, there are desires we are aware of and desires we are not. Some of the conscious desires are satisfied naturally, and some require our active participation to be satisfied.
As a whole, the desires can be divided to three parts:
Physical (beastly) desires that exist in animals as well.
Human desires which exist in human society but not in animals, such as desires for wealth, honor and knowledge. There are also human-spiritual desires, desires for something sublime that are clearly not of our world. Searching for supernatural phenomena, religious rituals and Far East techniques for the improvement of the body and the mind, can express such desires.
Spiritual desires which aim directly at the unique Creator. The Kabbalah distinguishes the desire for the Creator from all other desires. Man’s desires for worldly pleasures are called “Man’s Heart” while the desire for the Creator is called “The Point in the Heart.”
The desires formulate in us as a result of the surfacing of the Reshimot (pl. for Reshimo). The Reshimot are the carriers of the information within us. They are like ‘spiritual genes.’ They surface in us and force us to obey their demands. There is a chain of Reshimot preliminary imprinted in man, which makes him feel the desire that they awaken as they surface. Man has no choice but to obey them, though he does not feel that there is something that he must obey, he simply wants. It is as though the Reshimot appear out of nowhere in the subconscious even before we detect them, and when they come into our awareness, we feel them as desires. There is only one thing that we want: pleasure.
The pleasure that the Creator wants to give to the creatures is characterized by a single property: wholeness. The Creator wants to give the creatures from within its wholeness. He is unique and complete. There is none more complete than him. That is why the purpose of the creature is to attain the perfection; the wholeness of the Creator.
Because the goal of the creature is to develop his point in the heart to the degree of the Creator, all of man’s desires, the ones of this world – called “heart” - and the ones for the Creator – called “a point in the heart” - must develop in both quality and quantity.
In every point in the heart there is a chain of Reshimot, a stream of data, spiritual situations, that the soul must go through in order to rise from the lowest situation to the highest, i.e. the degree of the Creator. Only after man attains the Creator from the opposite situation, the lowest of all, there is a genuine desire (a vessel) for the sensation of tranquility, wholeness, uniqueness and eternity.
The point in the heart develops under the influence of the upper light. The point itself descended from the Creator. It is the only thing that man has from above, that feels the Creator, whereas all other things in him are made of a substance of this world.
Each new Reshimo surfaces under the influence of the upper light on the point in the heart, just like plants grow under the influence of the sunlight. Man begins to feel a new spiritual desire, which awakens in him the desire to satisfy and realize it. Thus, our entire life here is a realization of Reshimot.
The soul descends from the Creator, from the highest degree, to our world, the lowest degree, through the 6,000 degrees of the worlds. Each degree leaves a Reshimo in the soul, thus creating a chain of Reshimot treasured in the heart.
In the beginning, only the desires of the heart develop, desires for worldly pleasures – food, sex, family, wealth power, knowledge etc. Then what happens is that the point in the heart begins to develop, a desire for something higher, undefined, suddenly emerges. Then a person begins to want to satisfy this desire, but cannot find the satisfaction anywhere he looks. Then man slowly begins to realize that he satisfies his heart, his corporeal desires through his five natural senses. They fill him as though through five hoses with all sorts of pleasures. But the new Reshimo, the spiritual one, cannot be filled through these senses. It is not filled by worldly pleasures, but by the light. That is why the Reshimo pushes man to attain the upper light, the Creator.
The nature of the light is to give. If the desire in the point in the heart will also be to give, then according to the intensity of this desire, the light can satisfy it. It is a must condition. The desire simply must resemble the light. Hence, a desire gets filled with pleasure only if it intends to give and not to receive. In other words, we can feel pleasure only if it comes by giving.
The equivalence of attributes between the desire and the light brings man to the most complete nearness – adhesion, because the distance between desires is measured by the equivalence between them.
Until now we only discussed the natural development of the Reshimot in man. But the pace of the surfacing, realization and development of the Reshimot can be accelerated through the method of the Kabbalah: studying from the right books, under the guidance of a genuine teacher, in a group of people that want to attain the purpose of creation.
Thus we see that we haven’t any freedom of choice about the Reshimot, the desires, the powers and the mind. The only choice is in the acceleration of the development through the right external influence.
The Creator influences us from within, through our character, the natural attributes and the Reshimot, and from the outside – through family and society. But he does leave us with one area of freedom: the environment. Through it we can accelerate our development and the speed of the advancement toward the goal.
Man will evolve to attain the goal in any case, but he can accelerate the pace if he finds other people to build a group and an environment with. Therefore, those who want to advance should aspire to gather in groups and at the same time become a part of a single group comprised of the whole of mankind.
It is impossible to skip any of the 6,000 degrees of progress from below upwards, by which the soul originally descended. It is impossible to skip any of the feelings and not feel it. All the situations must be experienced, but a society that aims at the right spiritual goal enables man to reach the sensation that his will to receive is bad and he must get rid of it faster.
Thus, man becomes aware of his sensations faster. And that is his choice. His desire to advance faster than the natural surfacing of the Reshimot shifts man from the path of pain to the path of Kabbalah.
By using his freedom of choice, man finds that the self-acceleration of his progress brings him a wonderful outcome: if he wants to realize his desires to attain the Creator by himself, and precedes the pains; the natural pace of the surfacing of the Reshimot, he becomes free from the Reshimot as though he escaped the pains.
And not only does he precede the surfacing of the Reshimot and the pains, he becomes like a horse running faster than the flogging of the rider’s whip. It is not that he awakens the Reshimot before they awaken naturally in him, but he begins to be free of any outside pressure or influence. He acts not under the influence of the Reshimot, but out of his own free will. That is why they say that Israel is above the stars and fortunes. A person who advances independently toward the Creator, who is called Israel, (Yashar – directly, El – Creator) is not influenced by providence from above, for he leads the world by himself, by preceding the instructions of the Creator.
Thus, by preceding the Reshimot, man not only accelerates the process of advancement, he takes upon himself the entire leadership. When man precedes providence, even before he knows what it is and before the surfacing of the Reshimot, he creates the advancement by himself, and becomes completely independent and free. He feels himself above the entire universe, equal to the Creator.