You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Books / Interview with the Future / Part 5. Spiritual Exile / The Exodus from Egypt – from Corporeality to Spirituality

The Exodus from Egypt – from Corporeality to Spirituality

People in this world are all ordinary people. But to a certain individual from Mesopotamia named Abram, the Creator was revealed. It is that revelation that made him a special human being. He became Jewish (in Hebrew: Yehudi, from the word Yechud – unification), meaning unified with the Creator. Abraham is a man who received a spiritual spark in the middle of his life and in it he felt the Creator. Other than that, there was nothing special about him. In every other aspect he was an ordinary person.

There is nothing sublime about people, their hands, legs or any other organ. That is why when a person needs a heart-transplant; there isn’t a problem with placing a heart of a pig in his chest. Our organs are no more than a corporeal body, just like any other animal, and there is nothing holy or sublime about them. There is nothing about them that has any connection with the Creator.

The spark of the Creator is what turns one from Gentile to Jewish. If that spark disappears, the person reverts to being a Gentile. However, this situation is impossible because there is never a decrease in holiness, only an increase. It is a spiritual law by which everything moves ever closer to the Creator, toward the end of correction.

The exodus of man from the corporeal world to the spiritual one is a slow process. At first, every person is imprisoned in desires of this world. Then he slowly arrives at the awareness that there is no purpose to his physical-beastly existence. As long as the spark of the Creator is absent in man, he is no more than one of many who exist in the human reality.

It is written in the Haggadah (The story of the exodus from Egypt, told on Passover night) “In the beginning, our fathers were idol workers.” Idolatry is a situation that occurs only after one already feels the Creator and becomes aware of the fact that his attributes are opposite to the Creator’s, and that he is going against the will of the Creator. Thus, idolatry is a certain degree of self-awareness. Things are different when a person is controlled only by his natural desires, which are a consequence of the Reshimot that were imprinted in him at the moment of creation, called “nature.”

The Patriarchs were also idol-workers, but then the Creator, the upper light was revealed to them, and was understood as an instruction to move to the Land of Israel. We see that people move from place to place in our world too, according to one’s inner will. People must find their right place on the planet according to the desire in their hearts.

It is written in the books of Kabbalah, that we can live in the Land of Israel only if we equalize its spiritual degree. Otherwise we will be expelled from here, just as we were two thousand years ago. At the end of the exile, the Creator brought our bodies back to this place, but it is our duty now, to return internally to the spiritual degree named the Land of Israel, meaning to be spiritually worthy of the Land of Israel. That is the only thing we need.

The biography of Abraham the Patriarch testifies to that. As soon as he became a Jew, the Creator told him: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee” (Genesis 12, 1). And Abraham then moved to the Land of Israel in the spiritual sense and lived in it: he began to grow spiritual vessels inside him, called Galgalta ve Eynaim, vessels of bestowal, of giving. Then came Isaac, and after him came ‘little’ Jacob – a spiritual state called Katnut (smallness), which implies the building of new spiritual vessels called HGT (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet).

But in order to attain adhesion with the Creator, man needs more than the ability to give with the intention to give (the kind of work we do in the state of Katnut. C.R.); he needs the ability to receive in order to give. That can be done only with vessels of reception, called AHP (Awzen, Hotem, Peh) that are corrected by the intention to give to the Creator. But man does not have those vessels, not even in their corrupted form, unless he takes them from Egypt.

Thus, when one is in the Land of Israel one wants to give to the Creator. But in that states he has nothing to give, there is nothing to ‘satisfy’ his will to bestow with. As a result of that one goes down to Egypt – to acquire new vessels with which to give to the Creator.

Acquiring the intent to give to the Creator totally contradicts man’s nature, which is purely for reception. That is why no one understands it. Other than the wisdom of Kabbalah, there is no other method that uses it, because this act of giving to the Creator goes against human nature. All other methods stem from within human nature, which is to make life more comfortable, except for the wisdom of Kabbalah, through which Abraham received his revelation.

There is no way that a person can go down to Egypt, to his worst desires, of his own free will. Man is confused from above, he is placed under spiritual and physical famine, and other goals are suddenly exalted in his eyes, so that he will clearly understand how much spirituality is better than corporeality. He is given Spiritual delights in corporeal pleasures. Our sages said about that that after the ruin of the temple, the pleasure of intercourse remained for the servants of the Lord alone. The real taste of corporeal pleasure remained only for those who are wise. Wise is one who wishes to be one, for it is them who must face the greatest pleasures. Why after the ruin? Because it is then that the desires are under the control of the Other Side (Satan, Heb: Sitra Achra).

As one advances in the study, he begins to see himself as more and more evil, because the worst desires awaken in him. That, in fact, is the descent to Egypt. One, who wishes to rise spiritually, falls under the rule of the will to receive. At first he feels it as beneficial that he is immersed in the corporeal sensation and can still live in Egypt and enjoy the ‘Egyptian’ in him, i.e. the will to receive.

That is why it is said in the Torah that the brothers of Josef, i.e. the twelve tribes of Israel, came down to Egypt to see Josef, as if hiding, secretly. The descent to Egypt happens when one loses his vessels of bestowal, his Galgalta ve Eynaim, which are the spiritual part about him. It seems to vanish under the control of his AHP, i.e. the will to receive. That situation lasts quite a while in man’s progress toward spirituality.

In the beginning of the study he is in high spirits, peaceful and careless, ‘floating with angels’ so to speak. But after a few months, he begins to feel otherwise, spirituality no longer shines as it used to, corporeal obstructions reappear and it seems to him as though the sky will never open for him and he will never enter the upper world.

Question: Why does it happen?

Answer: It happens because our AHP needs to grow and we need to acquire a “screen” over the desires of Egypt. Though he does have vessels of bestowal (Galgalta ve Eynaim), they are concealed. When the work in Egypt begins, man craves for spirituality, but the more he longs for it, the more he realizes how impossible it is to attain it.

The work in Egypt continues as long as man feels that he is in fact in slavery, until “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1, 8). A person then feels that the Pharaoh in him controls and leads him against the Creator.

Question: What is wrong with the will to receive allowing me to enjoy? How is its control harmful to me?

Answer: When I want something more than satisfying my will to receive, for example, contact with the Creator, and I see that the corporeal pleasures distance me from him, then I begin to see my desire to enjoy as an obstructive force that harms me.

That state is called: “Now there arose a new king” who did not recognize the Children of Israel, which are the desire for the Creator that were in power in Egypt at that time. (The desire for the Creator is called Israel because of a combination of words: Yashar-El, meaning directly to the Creator. C.R.). Hence, I begin to feel that other than the Creator, I’m also controlled by my ego, and a war begins inside me: am I the one who wants adhesion with the Creator, or am I the one who wants to enjoy corporeal pleasures – which is my real I?

Those two desires fight one another: on the one side there are Moses and Aaron, while on the other – Pharaoh. It is impossible to tell which is stronger, because the magicians of Pharaoh perform the same miracles as the Creator does. Because of that it is possible to exit the authority of nature and cling to the Creator only after the Creator sends the ten plagues.

In order for my neutral “I” to understand where the light actually comes from, it must feel the ten plagues, feel how opposite Pharaoh is to the Creator, just so that I can break lose from him, and come to a state where Pharaoh himself says: “Go, I have suffered enough on your account.”

The ten plagues show to man that Pharaoh’s rule, the rule of the ego over man, is indeed intolerable, until one wants to escape it. Wants… but can’t! In order for the escape to succeed, it must be under certain external conditions: it must be sudden, hasty, at night and hidden from Pharaoh.

Only then can one gather all his desires, separate them from the will to receive and hide from Pharaoh. The escape happens in the dark, when there is no spiritual light. Otherwise one will run to pleasure, to benefit his own will to receive. The escape from nature is done with “faith above reason,” against his better judgment.

It is said, “If you labour and find, believe.” Meaning, one has already given the necessary amount of labour in order to receive the revelation of the Creator, but cannot know ahead of time that his labour has accumulated to the necessary amount to exit this world and enter the spiritual one. The exit from nature is sudden.

Man cannot control this process, he just runs! He walks on land, between the walls of the Red Sea, the last sea, the barrier… and ends up in the desert. The benefit from it is that man enters Egypt with just a spark, with a very small desire for spirituality, and leaves it with empty vessels of reception, i.e. the sensation of the desert.

It is said that, “they left with great substance.” Meaning, now a person has the corrupted desires to receive and he must begin to work with them and correct them. As long as these vessels are under Egyptian rule, he will feel only darkness in them. But when he corrects them and uses them correctly, he will receive the entire upper light in those vessels. These are very large vessels, vessels of the end of correction. The Children of Israel took everything from Pharaoh, so now Egypt has nothing left.

And thus one comes into the desert. He is not yet in the Land of Israel, but now he needs light in order to see how each of his properties is worthwhile and useful in his advancement in the spiritual world. The reception of this light is called the reception of the Torah.

A person, who exists our world into the spiritual world, begins to work in three lines: left, right and a middle line. We must understand that it is not for us to do the job, but our entire task is to discover that everything is done by the Creator – it is the work of God. We must only see how he works on us! The Creator created the entire creation perfect and complete. But a creature can appreciate the state of perfection only from the opposite, from the absence of it. Therefore, a man must experience all the incomplete situations. His entire work is a process of growing self-awareness, to feel how the Creator operates on him in every second.

There is a world, and inside it there is a soul. The contact with the Creator is comprised of three elements: Olam, Shanah, Nefesh. Shanah is the connection between the Olam and the Nefesh. (Olam, Shanah, Nefesh –World, Year, Soul respectively). The word Olam comes from the Hebrew word Haalama, i.e. concealment. This means that the world is the measure of concealment of the Creator from the creature, or, how much a person is in concealment from the Creator.

Question: Can we achieve spiritual results through physical acts?

Answer: Anything that a person does, he does out of his will to receive. Even a motionless rock has a desire to retain its shape, hence the name: “still.” The plant has a desire to grow. It craves the light and grows toward it (physically), meaning there is movement, triggered by desire.

Man’s desire is always expressed by a certain action. Even if a person is not always aware of it, his body, his desire, nevertheless demands a certain satisfaction. This is why every action a beast makes is always the right one.

Therefore, if a person wants to obtain something, he does what must be done in order to obtain it. He acts unconsciously, activating and operating the natural desire imprinted in him as in any other creature in nature. But in a person with a desire for the Creator, though he is still immersed in the desires of our world like any other beast, but there is also a different desire inside him, called “man” – a desire for the Creator.

Any internal desire is expressed through an external act. However, man is not always aware of his desires. And though a stranger may see the act, he will not understand the intention behind it. The science that investigates the intentions is called “the wisdom of the hidden,” because no one but yourself knows what you feel in your heart, and oftentimes even you are unaware of it. But as always, the external form reflects the internal desire.

As long as we are not in spiritual worlds, we cannot join other souls to our screen, meaning raise our AHP to the Galgalta ve Eynaim. Thus, in the meantime, our work is primarily in the realm of this world, circulating the wisdom of Kabbalah. This act is a purely spiritual one, for by that we help others join. Thus we assist in the spreading of spirituality through physical acts.

Back to top
Site location tree