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About the Structure of Creation

For us, it is still an axiom. Only after the correction will we discover and realize that there is an upper force, a Creator, which bestows upon us something called “light”. We, the spiritual vessel, feel inside us the Creator and the light. Something fills the vessel (a desire for pleasure, for delight) – us - with the very desire we call light. A combination of the sensations of pleasure enables us to picture what the Creator wants to give us. The Creator is the source of light.

Light is pleasure, and the Creator is the source. Those are the three factors in creation. The sensation of the Creator is called light. Thus, creation can find, but not fully grasp the perfection of the Creator, because to understand it in the full sense of the word, not as we understand in our world – superficially, with the mind, means to spiritually unite, to complete the spiritual contact with the Creator. To understand the perfection of the Creator means to be perfect, to be in the same spiritual degree as Him. If creation was made in such a way that it delights in attaining the spiritual perfection of the Creator, it follows, that perfection and creation – are not the same. Perfection is the light that delights creation, whereas creation is only the desire to be delighted.

If the Creator represents spiritual perfection, and He wants to create something, then creation must be outside the attributes of the Creator, meaning incomplete. That means that the only attribute of creation – is the lack of perfection. But if the Creator is perfect, how can He create something that is not perfect? Meaning from the very assertion that the Creator is complete and perfect, stems the conclusion that He cannot create anything. Because whatever He creates, would have to be incomplete, and if He creates something incomplete, it means that He Himself is incomplete. After all, it is impossible that something incomplete would emerge from something complete.

So how did the Creator create creation after all? He created it in such a way that He could emphasize His perfection. If the Creator wants to delight someone, that someone must rise to the spiritual degree of the Creator, with all the attributes of perfection. How can that be done? On the one hand, you’d have to create someone, and on the other hand, create that someone in a way that does not exceed the boundaries of perfection. What it comes down to, is creating something that contradicts its very existence. The only way to do it, is to create an incomplete creation, render it a spiritual aspiration to attain the degree of perfection of the Creator on its own. If we could talk about creation only as a will to receive pleasure, we would naturally realize that it is not complete. Then we would ask – how could the Creator create such a thing? But if we look at it assuming creation was made like that on purpose, so that out of that opposite attribute, it would realize the state of spiritual perfection, then the pieces would fall together.

In order for us to come to the spiritual degree of the Creator, through the desire to receive pleasure, we have to know how to use our vessel in the same way the Creator uses His attributes. Creation has but one thing: the aspiration for pleasure, whereas the Creator has but the aspiration to give.

In such a case it is possible to attain the spiritual degree of the Creator only if we correct our nature. But it is impossible to invert our nature to that of the Creator, because they fundamentally contradict one another. The nature of the Creator is to give, and the nature of creation – to receive. In order for us to be able to rise to His spiritual degree, we must correct our nature, meaning use the vessel in order to give. How is that done? When the Creator fills the vessel with His light, He generates pleasure in it, and along with that induces the appearance of the attribute of bestowal. That is what differentiates man from the rest of creation (spiritual and physical). In the rest of nature – still, vegetative and animate, and people too (though not all, of course), there is only the desire to receive corporeal pleasures and nothing more. If they get what they want – they call it pleasure. If they get less than they want – they call it pain. In short – a greater or smaller pleasure determines one’s situation.

But there are people who begin to feel – along with the sensation of pleasure – an extra sense, seemingly incomprehensible. They begin to feel that there is an external force that pushes and directs them. At first they don’t understand what it is and where it leads them, but ultimately it appears as a spiritual desire to give. And when that attribute begins to act, man loses his calm. It is as though he has left the world and feels a need to find something else. He begins to criticize his nature, himself, evaluate his actions and thoughts through this other nature. He finds that he cannot correct his preliminary nature, but he can direct his desire for pleasure in other directions, meaning to receive new attributes – the attributes of the Creator, through his own nature.

The light within him makes him realize that there are two intents: for myself, and for the Creator, and he can work with both.

How does it happen? Because the light brings not only pleasure, but renders a sensation of the giver, a sensation that he too can give. That is why a person begins to feel that through his aspiration to receive, he can work both ways. People who live, work and trade in our world, cannot understand that in fact, they are giving nothing to no one, although they think they give and receive, trade. In fact, they only receive. They just don’t see the opposite nature, whose essence is pure bestowal.

Man can understand his egoistic nature only when he begins to sense the altruistic nature of the Creator. Before a person begins to realize it, he has no right to be called Man.

When we are in our world, we live by our egoistic nature. When we come out to the spiritual world, we will understand what spiritual egoism is, called the “shell”. In our world that shell does not even exist, because our physical egoism is on a subconscious level. Thus we were created and thus we live. When one begins to sense the Creator, he receives the spiritual light and begins to understand the nature of the Creator, and how opposite it is to man’s. Here there is already a dilemma and freedom of choice. If he chooses to continue working as before, meaning to receive pleasure – he is now aware that he receives pleasure – which is called to receive “not for Her name”. (That option did not exist in the past, and he only received pleasure. Now, that there are two choices before him, and he chooses to receive, it is considered a shell, evil force, against the Creator, because he also has a second nature). And then man begins to really receive for himself. But if he chooses to use his intent in order to resemble the Creator, it is called receiving for Her name, meaning using his preliminary desire for pleasure in an opposite direction. Thus man fully utilizes the attribute of the Creator to bestow, through his natural desire for pleasure.

Thus we see that in order to use our natural aspiration for pleasure correctly, we must first adopt the attribute of the Creator, and then we will be able to make a choice between giving and receiving, meaning to be the good force, or the evil force. We can, to a certain degree, make that choice right now. But until we receive the attribute of the Creator, we are within the framework of the corporeal egoism, which does not even count as egoism, because it still doesn’t have the contradicting attribute.

It is not that this is a negative or positive attribute. It is simply our nature. It cannot be evaluated as a negative or positive attribute. Rabbi Ashlag said that this world is like a school in the old days. In those days paper was very expensive, so children were given a board and a piece of chalk to write with, until they learned how to write properly. And before one learns how to write, meaning how to behave, one is under restricting conditions, so that he cannot cause any harm. If you make a mistake, it can always be erased and the board remains clean. So we, in our world, can do whatever we want. It does not count as a sin or mitzvah, regarding the spiritual world. Everything we do in this world (speaking from the perspective of Kabbalah, man’s individual spiritual evolution) cannot even be evaluated on a spiritual level. It is all beneath the level of the spiritual world. Only when a person begins to receive something additional to physical pleasure, different to his own nature, or begins to feel the absence of the attribute of giving, when he begins to understand that there is something more, which is opposite to his nature can we begin to speak about dualism, freedom of choice, ability to aim the egoistic beastly nature toward the altruistic nature, to prefer something to something else. Before that moment one is not responsible for anything he does, he cannot be demanded of anything, because in fact, he has no freedom of choice. Sinners, righteous, sins and spiritual actions, all those begin only at a certain spiritual level. Our world is only a place of preparation through which to enter the spiritual world.

How is it possible to enter the spiritual world? And to do it not after death, but while living here, to begin to feel the attribute of the Creator, to correct and direct the actual desires, our natural ones – that is called entering the spiritual world. The spiritual world means the adoption of the attributes of the Creator. In fact, it is all very simple and not as we imagine it in baseless fantasies. The reception of an attribute of the sensation of the Creator is called the spiritual world, or the upper world, and nothing else! When we begin to feel the attributes of the Creator, it means that we enter the spiritual world. The physical world does not change, it remains as it was. But man feels additional powers within him, because he has now received a second nature.

What is the quickest way to attain that second nature, to finish this ‘class’, learn how to write without mistakes and enter the spiritual world? What does it mean to learn how to write without mistakes? Rabbi Ashlag writes that in principle, those who are ready for it are only those who have the right feelings and intentions, who have already attained the sensation of the Creator and are ready to perform spiritual acts, while still working in our world. These people begin to understand that they must discover the spiritual world, but not through speculations, fortune telling, analyzing the past etc. meaning things that belong to our physical world. It does not interest them any longer. The past and the future of the physical body are irrelevant for them. They begin to think and analyze something higher than that. Not aliens from another planet, not fortunes, nothing that relates to this world, to our body. If they get a push beyond all those desires, it means that the Creator is calling out to them. He wants to endow them with the sensation of His attributes, so that they are able to use their own desires properly. Then they come to a spiritual degree that enables them to exit the physical sensations of our world, from the egoistic desires to the sensations of the desire of the Creator, the spiritual aspiration of bestowal. Through the study of Kabbalah in a group, with a teacher and the right books, it is possible to attain those feelings.

How can that be done? We’ve already said, that if a person has already received the light of the Creator in his vessel, the Creator passes His attributes on along with the light (to the unworthy He only gives a spirit of life that does not include His spiritual light).

How do I make the Creator pass His attribute to me? Let’s say that I have a certain preliminary aspiration. How do I make the Creator convey His attributes to me? There are special books for that. If we read in them, we extend upon ourselves the light and thus receive certain sensations (some negative, some positive), although in the meantime we cannot feel that light. The Creator begins to gradually pass on to us small amounts of sensations of revelation and the attainment of His aim, what the spiritual desire to give is really about.

Why does He do it in hiding and not openly? Well if it were hidden from all the others, and only we, the chosen few, were worthy of that revelation, we would also keep it a secret. And why do we need to hide it, why is it hidden from us? So that we will genuinely want that attribute.

It is a little difficult to explain. I feel that there is a little problem here. The thing is that to convey to us the attributes means to reveal them to us. If the Creator were to be revealed to us, we would receive such tremendous pleasure, that we would not be able to focus on anything else. In order to prevent distractions with this immense pleasure, but to pass His attributes on to us – for that reason the Creator hides that attribute and the pleasure, and conveys them to us secretly, so that we do not feel it. We can only feel the result.

Gradually, over many months of studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, we begin to feel a greater desire for spirituality and attain a better understanding of it. It happens very slowly because our nature is made of an infinite number of subsystems, and we have to have them all corrected. They have to adopt attributes that correspond to the attributes that we receive in our subconscious, attributes that we will never feel, that are actually second and third degree attributes. All those subsystems have to partake in that process of correction, which is why that process lasts so long. The time of correction actually depends on the investment, the amount of efforts man makes. His ability to immerse himself is up to him. He only gives the preliminary desire, but from here on it depends on man’s efforts. It would be more correct to say that it depends not only on man’s efforts, but on his environment, the one he’s found in order to advance toward spirituality.

In the essay “The Freedom” Baal HaSulam writes that the only way to implement our freedom of choice is by searching and finding the right society, that would help a person attain the purpose of creation. The only factor that man can change by himself, and thus influence his spiritual development, and indeed the whole world, is finding the environment that would influence him. There is nothing else besides that. All the processes and all paths are predetermined. The path to the Creator and the spiritual degrees one must go through are given. You cannot change a thing here, or influence it in any way. After every step there is the next step, and then the next step, because it depends on the inner structure of the soul, which must evolve. That structure is predetermined and the only thing that man can choose is the right choice of environment: man is under the influence of society and society can correct him.

How can society change a person if nothing can be changed? If the preliminary and final parameters are predetermined, then what can still be changed? Baal HaSulam answers that only the speed of progress can be changed. That is a parameter of great value. Why? Just think, that you are advancing from one degree to the next in one second, or in a million hours. Let’s assume, that you have a toothache for a million hours, or for one second. In that one second you will not feel anything really. But if it is stretched over a million hours, just imagine the pain! This is a serious matter. Precisely in that ratio, if not greater, one can speed up his progress. Thus he diminishes the unpleasant situations on a quality level. They cannot be avoided because they too are predefined. Everyone must go through them. But we can hasten the passage and thus feel much less pain, or even none at all. The free choice of society, man’s environment, can affect the spiritual advancement of man.

But here we must ask: what kind of choice are we talking about? Do we choose between a more pleasant or a less pleasant path? And is our choice in the egoistic dimension? The thing is that we choose this path not because it makes us feel good. If I choose this path, based on my egoistic desires – it does not necessarily indicate fast progress. To advance fast is to advance with the force of the Creator, through the reception of His attribute of bestowal.

All the worlds that the Creator initially created are only a desire to enjoy. When light, even very dim light, penetrates that desire, it adds another nine aims that belong to the Creator. Man has but one desire – to receive pleasure. The nine other desires evolve under the influence of the light within man. Man is impressed with the operations of the Creator and receives the combination of the attributes of the Creator – his ten desires. A person should know how to implement all of them, his natural desire for pleasure as well as desires that he adopted from the Creator. How can he implement them, so that he becomes like the Creator? How can that be done? He can do it if he corrects his natural desire for pleasure - his tenth Sefira, called Malchut – and transforms it to resemble the nine previous Sefirot – the attributes of the Creator. Meaning, he takes that Malchut and tries to give using the aim “for Her name”. Then he takes that Malchut and tries to make it resemble the Sefira of Hochma, and so on. There are nine attributes of bestowal of the Creator, nine possibilities. Using various kinds of desires, a person tries each time to resemble a certain attribute of the Creator, and thus he adopts all the nine higher Sefirot, all the attributes of the Creator. The part of Malchut that cannot resemble any of the nine Sefirot, meaning to receive with the intent ‘for Her name’ is called the heart of stone, and one cannot work with that part. A person simply cuts off these attributes (desires) and says: “I will not work with these desires!” With all other desires he can work with complete sameness to the Creator. Once a person has corrected his nine intents within Malchut, there remains only the tenth part, which cannot be corrected, because the attributes of the Creator do not affect it. That part cannot understand or sense the light of the Creator. It only feels the pleasure, but not the source, the attributes. That situation is called the “end of correction”. It means that a person has fully corrected his intents and attributes.

That part of the aim, which he could not correct and therefore completely detached himself from it and made no use of it during the correction, is the most powerful, most natural desire.

If he completes the correction of his aims, there comes a special light from above, which can correct the “heart of stone”, so as to make it resemble the Creator. It is impossible to imagine how it happens. It is just that from above comes such a powerful light, that even that desire receives the intent ‘for Her name’. Thus all of man’s attributes, all his possibilities of resembling the Creator are realized, and he becomes equal to the Creator. But what does he gain by that?

In the beginning, when he was first created, he was filled with the light of the Creator, but could not sense the attributes of the Creator. He was created and received pleasure as a result of the Creator’s desire to give. Now he has returned to that state – namely he receives everything that the Creator wants to give. That is because the Creator wants it, but not he himself, meaning that spiritual stature was also attained thanks to the Creator. Besides, because he received the attributes of the Creator and has become like Him, he rises above the spiritual degree of creation, the initial degree that he was born into and attains a higher degree – that of the Creator. That is why he can attain eternal life, perfection and absolute attainment – everything he could not attain while he remained within the boundaries of his own nature. He would receive the attributes of the Creator, but not become like Him. The Creator enables man to rise from a spiritual degree of creation, to the spiritual degree of the Creator, by rendering man with His attributes and bringing him pleasure.

We see that this whole process is predefined by the Creator. That means that He did not create anything inferior to Him and the path that man must go through is necessary for his self discovery, for the reception of that sensation, because otherwise, he would not be able to understand the spiritual degree of the Creator. That is why he begins the spiritual path from an opposite situation to that of the Creator’s. That path is necessary in order for us to go through all the existing spiritual degrees, in all their situations, from the beginning of creation to its end, from a completely imperfect state to complete perfection, so that when we come to the degree of perfection of the Creator, we will know how to appreciate and understand the pleasure that comes with the spiritual degree of the Creator.

However we look at it, the spiritual path until the end of correction is paved with negative experiences and sensations. So where lies the difference between the path of Torah and the path of pain? The path of Torah is different not only in the quantity and the intensity of the pain. The thing is that when a person takes the path of Torah, meaning studies the wisdom of Kabbalah and extends upon himself the light, he understands that he should relate to his physical pain as the lack of the ability to bestow upon the Creator. Meaning, the pain is transformed from physical to spiritual torments, i.e. pains of love for the Creator. That is why a person does not have to go through an endless cycle of physical pain in order to ultimately turn it to spiritual pain. He extends upon himself the light of the Creator with the help of the right books, and begins to feel exactly what is it that he lacks. He immediately comes to the right kind of torment – torment at the absence of spirituality. Therefore, he is spared the horrible physical torments.

If a person has the attribute of Malchut, the desire to receive pleasure, the light affects him in such a way that he begins to receive the nine additional Sefirot that are completely detached from Malchut. It is, in fact, more of a psychological problem, which can be clearly detected in our world. If you receive pleasure from a certain individual, you gradually begin to want to be like him, you want to adopt that attribute. It is all because pleasure and the adoption of a certain attribute, are one and the same.

The Creator shows His ten Sefirot to man; He shows him exactly how he can delight in the Creator. Man feels not only the pleasure, but also its source, the nine Sefirot of the Creator. I see a host who prepares the meal for me, brings me pleasure, and I also see why He does that, I recognize His attribute. Thus one receives, in addition to the original attribute of delight, the Malchut, nine other attributes for pleasure. Now he aspires for the Creator, aspires to receive pleasure through all these attributes, which means that the pleasure that he now wants is different. But how is it different? Where is the difference? Each attribute brings with it a different kind of pleasure: pleasure from food, from a child, from a walk in the park or from rest. All kinds of pleasures. We cannot quite find its equal in the world, because after all it comes in different wrappings of the same pleasure, just different kinds of pleasure. But in the spiritual world there are distinct differences. That means that I begin to understand that it is possible to receive pleasure in various ways, meaning Malchut divides into ten additional Sefirot and feels that there are ten additional Sefirot before it.

How does Malchut, which receives pleasure from the first nine Sefirot, begin to aspire to resemble them? Pleasure comes before everything else. It is the vessel’s number one priority. Therefore a vessel that rises to a higher spiritual degree and receives the pleasure, wants also to receive all its attributes. Thus, for example, if you are next to someone you have admired your whole life, you will (whether you like it or not) adopt his characteristic behavior, become like him. Why? Because he is greater than you. You depend on him, enjoy his nearness. You want to receive, adopt all his attributes. Thus you automatically become like him.

So is it possible after all? It is possible in the first nine Sefirot of Malchut, the nine Sefirot she senses. But the tenth Sefira, Malchut itself, remains unchanged. In that tenth part there is no sensation of a Creator, a giver. There is only a simple sensation of pleasure. It has to be disconnected and preserved. It is not used until the end of correction. That tenth part is the “heart of stone”, the essence of man. It is man’s natural attribute – the craving for pleasure. All other parts are not that egoistic. They are influenced by the attribute of the Creator and become like Him. And that attribute of man, to crave pleasure, is the last Sefira. So in fact, man does not correct his actual self, his own essence. He corrects where the Creator gave him a chance to lose, so to speak, to become like Him. Only in that area can anything be done.

A person cannot do anything with his own nature, which the Creator had created existence from absence (meaning that exists in the creature, but not in the Creator. C.R.). Despite that, he wants to do something with it. How can we see that he does? Because he continues to work with all the other intents that were given to him by the Creator. He is willing to do anything, and that is why the Creator changes his nature. It is like a game: “I will correct you if you prove that you really want to be changed”. The Creator gives man the nature of the first nine Sefirot, a person receives them and then the Creator changes his basic nature, which is the tenth Sefira.

The beginning of the connection between the first nine Sefirot of the Creator and Malchut is taught when one first starts studying Kabbalah. The connection begins before the first restriction. But when a person begins to acquire these attributes in our world, it is a different story, because the soul of a person in our world already contains everything. The world of Ein Sof and all the spiritual degrees to get there, are already in it. It also includes Reshimot (reminiscence) of the spiritual degrees from the world of Ein Sof, down to our world. It is all a part of the soul of each and everyone of us, as a spiritual gene, DNA.

So how does the road develop? The light shines on us from above and illuminates the reshima of the spiritual degree ahead of me, and I begin to aspire to rise to it. Then the light shines on the next degree – and I begin to want to rise to the next degree. The Creator gradually endows me with His attributes, from without, from within, from all around. All the spiritual degrees are in us, in an embryonic state. The light that shines from above makes us want to climb from one spiritual degree to the next.

A side question: “For there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Ecclesiastes 7, 20)”

There are many such verses. The thing is that the path of the righteous is an ascent in the degrees of the spiritual world, and in each of those degrees a person accumulates additional egoism, corrects it and turns it to altruism and thus justifies the Creator. That is why a person is called righteous, because he feels that the Creator is right (just).

No degree is comprised solely of a positive part.

In the process of correction, a person must be in the negative part, in evil desires, shells, egoism. When he is immersed in egoism he is called a sinner, he commits sins. Later on, when he becomes a righteous person, through the correction, he is able to do good. Any person will sin the number of times that he becomes righteous. And so it is in each spiritual degree. If he does not sin, he will have nothing to correct, by which to become righteous. That is how it goes. As you can see, these are completely different terms than those used in our world. The wisdom of Kabbalah speaks of inner processes within the soul, within each and every one of us. Everyone has a sinner and a righteous person within him who take turns. Each spiritual degree is comprised of that combination. Therefore, he who rises higher also falls deeper, and his sins are worse. But then he rises even higher up. There is no fear from sins in Kabbalah, because it is something that a person has to go through in each and every degree, before one can be corrected. It is as it says: “For there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” The sin must come before the correction.

What does it mean to sin? It is a complete captivation in my own egoism, total identification with it, to the point that I can only feel my own egoism, and from within that situation consciously condemn the Creator, and then rise from that situation. But there still remains a clear reminiscence from that situation, at which time one begins to correct his attributes, his aims, to the positive side, otherwise there cannot be a correction. Only he who has something that requires correction, can be corrected.

People in our world have a different conception of the term righteous and sinner, because the Creator did not intend for them to have more serious work, because they cannot go through a complete correction.

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