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Return to the Root

The soul must go through a certain process of development in the body. It takes more than one lifetime to complete it, and clothing in many bodies and over many cycles. It is a clear process that man goes through in his life, and yet he can go his entire life without feeling he has a soul, without feeling the spiritual part of him, thus not realizing the purpose of his life in this world.

The soul is merely a desire to enjoy, to receive. It defines the attributes and the needs of the body, while the body itself is a dead object. The development of the soul creates different needs in man. Its desires change with its evolution from desires to bodily pleasures – food, sleep, and sex, just as in animals, to the desire to return to its spiritual state, its primary state from which it descended to this world.

Those desires do not evolve one at a time, but in a jumble. That is why a person can feel he has a craving for knowledge and at the same time a desire for money, honor and sex. It happens in any person, because all the desires are made of a unique compound.

The same applies for the desire for spirituality. It can be revealed along with lower desires, but what distinguishes it is the fact that man cannot satisfy it with anything mundane, because the source for this desire is out of our world. The revelation of such a desire testifies to the degree of development of the soul.

The souls return and descend to this world’s bodies and develop over many lifetimes, until the moment when a person feels an attraction for something that is outside of this world. Humanity undergoes various phases of development, and contemporary souls reveal desires for spirituality. In the past, such desires only appeared in singled out individuals, but today we can see them surfacing in millions.

The souls undergo a process of development of the desires. It happens only in souls that are dressed in bodies, meaning in souls in this world. The reason is that the primordial soul, called Adam HaRishon (the First Man), was unable to appreciate and regard its perfect and eternal state and take pleasure in it, because it did not aspire to that state out of its own desire. In order to receive infinite pleasures, wholeness, knowledge and eternity, there has to be an independent desire for the pleasure and the sensation of its absence. That is why the primordial soul, as perfect as it was created, could not feel its own perfection and had to descend to the lowest level, to our world, so as to rise from this low point and learn to appreciate the perfect state.

Because we are all parts of the same soul, any person must, either in this life or in a future one, develop to the point where he will begin to feel a desire for connection with the upper one, and return to the initial state from which his soul came and to which it must return.

However, man must attain that preliminary situation while in this world, when his soul is clothed in a body. In the beginning the soul was at its place, connected with its root, but denied of a body. The difference between that situation and the state when the soul is clothed in a body is that in the latter, the soul attains a great deal more upper light and pleasure than it had in the preliminary state.

Even if a person does begin to feel a need to return to his spiritual root, he feels it unconsciously. Hence, he undergoes further processes before the initial desire turns to a genuine desire that would actually be able to receive and appreciate the sublime pleasure, the perfect state.

All creatures have a soul, not just humans, but the still, the vegetative and the animate as well. There is a good reason why they say that man was created last, meaning, the last in the chain of the descent from above, the worst, with the greatest desire for pleasure. Compared to its root, man is the farthest creature from spirituality. But precisely because man has great desires, he is able to overturn them and rise to attain spiritual attainment.

But the desire that we have for spirituality is not a big one. We therefore have to intensify it to the point where we can be filled with the entire upper light and the sublime delight. Our entire work therefore, is to obtain a desire for spirituality that would be greater than all other desires. In order to help us develop a desire to feel the perfect, eternal pleasure, an invisible light descends to our souls from our roots, which awakens in us new desires we do not understand.

It is that which creates around us a certain environment, internal and external conditions that awaken in us the need to develop these desires. Such is a hostile environment, or a sensation of fear from an inner enemy inside us. If such feelings come to a person just like that, he is afraid. But a person is made to understand, either directly or through a messenger, that these external conditions were sent to him on purpose, so as to awaken him to connect with the upper one, and to be afraid of fake enemies, ‘marionettes’.

All kinds of unpleasant situations are sent to us so that we will finally understand that it is not the external things that we should fear, but the lack of contact with the upper one, the absence of spirituality. A complete desire for spirituality is built gradually, by ascents and descents that come intermittently: descents to desires of this world, and ascents to desires of the upper one.

Our surrounding world is created by the upper light. That is the difference between our current degree and the one we should attain in order to live by the soul and not by the body. If a person cannot feel the upper world, it appears to him as though he and the world have their own existence, and he cannot see how much this world and him are controlled from above. This is the reason we feel our surroundings as hostile, and not as a means to rush us to return to our root.

Before the soul descends to the body, it is a small point in its root. From there, the soul descends to our world, clothed in a body and loses contact with its root. It can return to its root only if it cancels the bodily desires for worldly pleasures. There are all and all, 620 desires in the body. By correcting them, the soul returns to its root, where it receives 620 times greater pleasures than it had prior to its descent.

People who have crossed this road are called Kabbalists. They live in our world and in the spiritual root simultaneously. They tell us how to rise in degrees that climb from this world back to our spiritual root. When we read their explanations, we attract the illumination of the upper light that pulls us forward.

All through the generations Kabbalists have helped humanity advance to its goal, the purpose of creation. But that help was mostly secretive, ‘behind the scenes.’ Today, however, because the desire for spirituality has already developed in millions, the Kabbalists clearly state that the help of the entire population is necessary to draw the spiritual light by the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah. The first to speak about it were Baal HaSulam (Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag) and Rabbi Kook, who specifically warned that if the study of Kabbalah did not commence, the entire world would be endangered and first of all the Jews.

A soul that has attained contact with the Creator can perform much greater corrections in this world than the entire population can. When it performs corrections, it performs them through the public, which is why humanity must guard such people. In spirituality, the work of the individual is more important than the work of the collective, though it is impossible to compare them because a personal work uses ‘a line,’ while the collective work is ‘in circles.’ Those are two different kinds of spiritual work, and they are both important.

Today, Kabbalists need public support in order to correct the world. The support must come, at least partially out of a genuine interest in Kabbalah, listening to lectures about Kabbalah, and attending classes. That is enough for a Kabbalist to raise the collective.

Kabbalists are in direct contact with spirituality, but they are also supported in their work by people. They raise people’s desires to the spiritual world. It is done in such a way that the Kabbalist gathers within him all the suffering of the collective, which he feels as external to him, and then raises it to the upper world. The Kabbalist receives bounty and light from the upper world, which descends on the people and shines on their lives in this world.

Though most people do feel pain, they are unaware of the purpose of these pains. If man could see what the feeling of pain creates in him, as Kabbalists do, he would not want to get rid of it, only correct it. A Kabbalist can actually feel the suffering of the public, but he adds the purpose to the suffering, and this way corrects it in the root.

Suffering is a need for something spiritual, which is the reason for all the ailments and all the suffering. The collective feels the pain in the form of suffering in our world, such as: disease, poverty, and loss, while the Kabbalist transcends it to suffering which stems from a lack of spiritual completeness.

We do not know the system of creation and thus use it incorrectly. It is as though a person must learn to manipulate a complex machine with many electronic, mechanic, hormonal and nervous systems, as well as many other unknown systems that he does not know and cannot feel. He presses the buttons before he learns how to operate this machine.

The Kabbalists urge us to study in order to know how to operate this machine. According to the thought of creation, we have to operate this machine, and that is the sole purpose for which man was created. That is precisely why man was given the freedom of choice, unlike the other creatures, so as to search the guidance of the Creator by himself and justify it. Then he should replace the Creator in the guidance of creation.

That is the reason that the Creator made man an egoist to begin with, unlike angels, or still, vegetative and the animate in nature. Angels are forces denied of any free choice, like animals in our world. Leading creation is only possible when there is freedom of choice. If man does not participate in this leadership, and does not realize the possibility to use his freedom of choice, and wants to live like all other animals, then nature, meaning creation, continues to evolve by the same law that independently leads the entire mankind and the universe to the goal.

In this law, which brings all living things to the purpose of creation, i.e. to the best and most comfortable situation, there are two active forces: judgment(Din) and mercy(Rachamim), as it says, “In the beginning God created the world with the attribute of Din, saw that the world could not exist, and associated it with the attribute of Rachamim.”

It is our choice whether to advance to the purpose of creation independently, with the soft power of mercy, or leave things to nature, i.e. the harsh force of judgment. In the end, what we must choose is whether to study Kabbalah, advance consciously to the goal, or not study and advance ‘somehow’, not knowing what is ahead of us. Only in that will we find our freedom.

This choice concerns all of us, the entire nation, because our society is built like a pyramid. We complement each other’s acts in the attempt to understand providence. Although the correction begins at the top, the preparation for it begins at the bottom, and if there is no willingness for correction below, it will impossible to do anything above.

The conscious leadership of the world is intended for a chosen few, but the public has its own weight, and can make a difference, though in a different way, through the study of the Kabbalah. As soon as it begins to ask about the world around, it begins to change the carrying on of the world for the better.

There is no need for the entire public to obtain the knowledge of how every detail of reality works; it must simply have the right approach to the conduct of reality and the purpose of creation. By that it contributes its share to the efforts of the Kabbalists and complements them. It is enough if we hear, read and speak of the existence of an upper force that leads us and that we depend on; that we have a special task, which is to take upon ourselves the leadership of the world and determine our future by ourselves, each person individually, and the public as a whole. It is the duty of the public to raise the importance and the knowledge of the upper force above ground level.

Rabbi Akiva said that the entire Torah is comprised of one law: “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” 24,000 thousand of his disciples who were taught to follow that law obtained unfounded hatred for one another. All except five died because of that corruption. It seems that the ones that survived are the ones that were not dragged into unfounded hatred. Among them was Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai.

When all these disciples were united with love, it was called the “temple.” And when the corruption of unfounded hatred appeared, i.e. the will to receive only for themselves, it was called the ruin of the temple, first the spiritual ruin, and then the physical ruin, which resulted from it. Anything that happens in our universe is a result of events that occur in the upper world and concatenate to ours.

Kabbalists had foreseen the ruin of the temple, and today they are trying to convince people to choose life, because they see a future catastrophe in spirituality, but people still won’t listen to them.

People believe that an evil thought can kill. Science also has learned that if a person with bad intentions approaches a plant, even though he may only water the plant, meaning act positively toward this plant, yet at the same time he hates it, the plant reacts to it. That attitude can be measured to see how negative was the reaction of the plant, how much it was afraid and rejected that person.

It is becoming increasingly apparent, in every field of science and technology, that the stronger the energies, the more concealed they are. Science now begins to realize that man’s thoughts, not his actions, have the most powerful influence on the world. We can already hear scientists proclaiming that in the most delicate experiments, the identity of the researcher is of vital importance, because the reaction of the substance and the outcome of the experiment depend on the moral level of the researching scientist.

We believe in ‘good’ and ‘evil’ eye. All the forces we call ‘unnatural’ surround us and we can use them for the common good. Kabbalah teaches us how to conduct the world through our thoughts.

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