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Article "What is the Greatness of the Creator"

Shamati 14
Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
August 11, 2006
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

We are reading in the book Shamati, Article 14: What is the Greatness of the Creator?

The greatness of Creator means that one should ask of the Creator for the strength to go above reason. Thus, there are two interpretations to the greatness of Creator.

What is greatness? We understand greatness as something that is elevated. How can we see it, test it, measure that the Creator is great? Compared to whom? And do we need it? It’s as if a person goes out to space. How does he measure himself, where is right, where is left? If he turns ten centimeters towards someplace, he doesn’t know right from left, everything turns around in all directions. With respect to what is he to measure himself? That’s how it is with respect to spirituality if you don’t know what it is.

I change, I don’t know how I got closer and with which attribute, with which desire towards it. It’s just like being in space. It is especially so with respect to such a great attribute as acquiring the greatness of the Creator. Why? It is because I can only advance through two forces.

One force pulls me forward: the greatness of the goal, the importance of the goal, its loftiness. It contains everything, all the elements come together in it—the positive, the negative, everything that has been created, everything that exists. They all bond ideally within my correct goal as one. I can be attracted to this goal through its greatness. This is called the greatness of the Creator, because the Creator (cleaving onto Him, resembling Him) is the goal.

In my present state, all kinds of things that are right for my desires are important, whatever goes into my desire, whatever the desire is intended for and the way it appears in me. So how do I accordingly determine who and what the Creator is, what His greatness is; how do I determine that this is specifically His greatness? There’s concealment. I’m as if in space; I don’t know in which direction to go. And overall, I don’t identify myself as standing opposite anything, any attributes to which I can measure myself and see for sure that I am changing relative to them, that they are my measurement tools.

If I don’t progress through greatness, then I will progress through pain, because after the breaking of the vessels, in each of us, this whole way is gathered within Reshimot. These Reshimot are in everyone and they evolve within a person. In every moment they demand their fulfillment. The sensation of the Reshimot that are unused, uncorrected, unrealized, is felt in me as pain. I progress by these two forces: either through pain or through the greatness of the Creator, the greatness of the goal.

There is a difference between a process called “in its time,” where the Reshimot appear in who knows which way (which is of course in a bad way) and at a very slow pace. They appear through a process called “in its time,” meaning, according to time. Then I’m dependent on all the others, on the rest of the world, on many conditions. Or, (I progress) through Reshimot that appear correspondingly to the Light, to the greatness of the goal, where I constantly draw illumination from the goal. Then it is me who does it, above time, and it is called “hastening time.” Meaning, it is above time and depends on my effort, on how much I strain. According to this pace I progress.

The greatness of the Creator is the force that can pull us very quickly from the present state and bring us to the goal, to adhesion with Him. Here is where man’s choice is whether he strains to increase the goal. To increase the greatness of the goal, he’s got the group that can influence him because he himself cannot cultivate it. It happens precisely in the group, because the greatness of the goal is to adhere to other souls so as to become a Kli for the revelation of the Creator.

Here he does an actual act of uniting with all the other souls, with the friends who are also in the same process, in “love thy friend.” “Thy friend” are those who are in the same direction as you toward the same goal, who are near you in that. “Love thy friend as thyself” means building a group, a Kli, in which we cancel ourselves for the existence of the Kli, so that the force of bestowal will appear in it—the Creator.

In that we have all the conditions in order to elevate the group, the annulment of each one in it, and the goal so that the attribute of bestowal among them will be revealed. If they do that, then of course they reach (the greatness of the Creator). In as much as they can invest efforts in it, it is called “having the greatness of the Creator.” It is one of its expressions.

What does Baal HaSulam say about it? He says that there are two interpretations to the greatness of the Creator. He says: “The greatness of the Creator means that one should ask of the Creator for the strength to go above reason.” Meaning, to the extent that one discovers in his work, in his efforts, in his study, in the group, that he cannot by himself, by his own efforts reach unity and realize the goal, correspondingly he discovers the ability to turn to the Creator to give him that strength. By that he obtains the attribute of bestowal and the unity, and is integrated in them. It’s called “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one,” because he himself, the means in obtaining the goal and the goal itself, all become as one for him.

Hence the desirable result of his effort is when the real need for the real goal appears in him from the bottom of his heart, which is called MAN. MAN means wanting to receive strength from the Upper One to become like the Upper One. This is called so with respect to a person who wants, who asks to go above reason. Why? It is because our whole Kli is Daat (reason). It’s a will to receive that wants and determines that it wants to be filled with pleasures for the benefit that appears within the Kelim, within reason, from within my desires, my mind and heart.

When he wants to go above it, above the appearance of pleasures in the Kelim that he feels, and for which he performs acts, and when his goal, his intention will be to bestow (which means to live within the need of others, whose entire expression will be giving), then this is called that he wants to go above reason.

If a person discovers the need for it and really wants to live this way, to exist above his own nature, then at the same time his plea to the Creator appears, which is called that he’s asking of the Creator to give him the strength to go above reason. Then Baal HaSulam says that “there are two interpretations to the greatness of Creator” Which?

A: To not be filled with knowledge, which is an intellect with which one can answer one’s questions. Rather, one wants the Creator to answer one’s questions.

It means that he doesn’t want to provide solutions to all the problems that appear in him. He wants to rise to the level of the solution that he receives from Above, from a higher degree. It is because a person in every place and state can get by with his intellect, with his sensations and his experience. It is much like the way we get along by investigating a place. “What happens with me? Where am I? Who is influencing me? What can I do here?” Then according to the feeling, understanding the sense a person has, he seemingly answers himself.

But here a person wants all these questions to be resolved by getting the advice from Above, the filling from Above, by getting a new intellect, new emotion. He does not want to resolve these problems and advance somewhat by following his own experience and the elements he’s used to relying on, because then he’ll be progressing according to his own vessels of reception, his reason and ego. Rather, he wants to get an answer from Above. This is called asking and getting a reply from Above. The question is called MAN, and the reply that he gets for it is called MAD.

It is called “Greatness” because all the wisdom comes from above and not from man, meaning that one can answer one’s own questions.

Anything that one can answer is regarded as answering everything with the external mind. This means that the will to receive understands that it is worthwhile to keep Torah and Mitzvot.

A person feels that if he gives his own answer, however he turns it, he’ll always certainly be giving answers according to the animate, corporeal, earthly answers, and has no way to avoid it. Thus the next stage that he’ll arrive at, through providing the solution by himself will not be an ascent to the next state. It is certain to be a descent, because every time states appear, a new desire appears, new questions. So if he resolves them not through the Creator, not through an effort above reason, of course, he drops deeper below reason.

However, if above reason compels one to work, it is called “against the opinion of the will to receive.”

It’s also a problem. How can we ask and demand of the Creator to give us a solution to our questions? That we are willing to annul ourselves to receive from Him whatever He gives; to go against our mind, against our reason? Of course, it’ll not appear in our ordinary Kelim as a nice good solution for our desire, for our ego. How can we come to want that? Again, as I said before, it comes to a person by making an effort in society, in the group, subjugating himself toward them, receiving influence from them, willing to progress according their influence.

With all these efforts he builds within such an attitude that capability comes to him to ask for MAN. It’s the actual Mayin Nukvin.That is, he needs the attributes of Bina. He wants to be in greater bestowal, powers of bestowal. The demand for it is called MAN, Mayin Nukvin, which meanshis need for the attribute of Bina.

Only correct preparation in working in the group and in the studying, meaning by asking during the study for the Light to shine on him and give him the answer to the lack that he takes from others (because that’s the only thing you can build MAN on), only by that does he come to a state, where he asks for the answers from the Creator.

Why does he have to get the deficiency from others and not for himself? It is because the breaking of the vessels occurred among the souls, among the particles of the single Kli that became detached from each other by all the parts of the Kli receiving an egoistic desire. Their Masach, the glue between the parts of Kli, broke.That’s the only thing we can pray for really. Either we pray for ourselves, which is an egoistic prayer, an animate earthly prayer, or we pray to unite the connection between the Kelim, which really broke.

There are only two options of asking for what there is to be corrected. If a person asks not for correction for the filling of his own Kli, but for the connection between the Kelim, then he is really asking for the breaking to be corrected. Then this request is called MAN, because it is in congruence with what the Upper One waits for the lower one to ask and gives it strength to be in greater adhesion to others. By greater Dvekut (adhesion) , each time a person reaches the one Kli, in which the Creator appears according to the equivalence of form.

B: The greatness of The Creator means that one becomes needy of the Creator to grant one’s wishes.


1. One should go above reason. Thus one sees that he is empty, and consequently becomes needy of the Creator.

Then it is called “being empty.” His emptiness is not that he needs something in his vessels of reception. That he is always missing. Above it, he has to discover the need for Dvekut. The need for Dvekut is called “the need for another,” which means that the empty vessels of the other are felt in me as emptier and needing fulfillment more than I feel my own Kelim. This is what a person should feel.

That sensation of giving to another, as Baal HaSulam emphasizes in his essay The Revelation of Godliness, as well as in Arvut and The Peace, is that if you have a pillow, you have to give it to another. What does it mean that “you have to”? It’s an expression of your love for him. If you love him, you don’t have to; you just feel that’s what you want. That is, the desire of the other comes before your own. On top of my egoistic desire I want to express the act of bonding, the act of bestowal.

That’s what Baal HaSulam says, “one should go above reason,” and then he “sees that he is empty.” How is he empty? He is not empty in his reason, where he sees his Kli as empty, and he doesn’t feel the others. But when it’s above reason, he sees that the Kelim he feels of the others, the friends, are empty and he’s in charge of fulfilling them.

Then as Baal HaSulam says, you have one Kisse (one chair), one pillow, and you give it to another. This is called “going above reason.” It means discovering above his own need, his own egoistic deficiency, the deficiencies of others that are precisely felt in him more than his own desire. Then he becomes needy of the Creator in this way and not beforehand.

2. Only the Creator can give one the strength to be able to go above reason.

What’s missing here for a person to see it? What’s missing is the execution. Why can’t a person express the execution? He can’t, because he is the Kli and not the Light, the Force. Meaning we don’t discover the forces of bestowal according to our desire: “I want to bestow.” It is just in a general way that I want to bestow. The will to receive discovers within itself that it seemingly wants to bestow.

Why is it built so that a person wouldn’t feel immediately that he can perform an act of bestowal? Because another main act is missing here that he attains through the act of bestowal. The act of bestowal itself is the means to reach Dvekut with the Creator.

If the act of bestowal was only that we give to each other, we could build a nice society, detached from the Creator. But the goal is to elevate man, not to bring him to a good and secure life within society. He wouldn’t even reach it because the Light should be the one that fills the Kelim here. That’s what gives you the confidence and goodness.

What happens here is that a person feels that he needs help from the Creator to be in bestowal, in the attribute of the Creator, in adhesion with Him, acquiring His nature, the nature of bestowal, the spiritual nature. When it becomes an actual deficiency in him, he discovers the fact that he cannot execute his desire to love the other. Just like we discover with the respect to something we really want but we can’t; we really want to love but we can’t love. Then within that need the solution appears that the Creator can be as a force for me to execute my desire.

Afterwards I also discover within it that I want the Creator to be present in it, to fill it. That this specific act that I now want to carry out in loving man, I want it to be an act of Dvekut with the Creator. This is called “man and woman, Divinity resides between them.” This is what I want it to be. Then he comes to a point where both he and the act and the Creator are together holding each other in one essence— Israel, the Torah and the Creator are one.

In other words, what the Creator gives is called “The Greatness of Creator.”

The state, the degree that one attains is called “the Greatness of the Creator.” Actually there are no words for it. The highest filling that a person can discover in all the fillings of the corrected Kli is called “Greatness.”

Greatness is also from the word in Hebrew “pomegranate.” We know it from another article of Baal HaSulam. Pomegranate has 613 seeds, so by correcting 613 desires, all these desires are directed toward one desire—“Love your friend as thyself.”The Torah explains that the 612 desires exist only to sustain the all-embracing desire of love of man, which is the great law of the Torah. Hence, by sustaining the desire of “Love your friend as thyself” through correcting all of his desires, which is called “keeping all the other Mitzvot,” he becomes like a pomegranate.

He then comes to the Greatness, which is the complete filling in all of his corrected desires for love of man, as we have spoken about here. Only then the strength from the Creator, the Creator Himself comes and sustains that state with His Greatness.

Question: I see a need in someone which goes against my desire. What do I do? Do I still try to do something called bestowal, so that it will give me pleasure, or what?

Look, you are asking for instant advice so as to act. Man’s actions are divided into reception and bestowal. That’s all we have. The same applies to his intention: it's either to receive or to bestow. In our state, we can perform physical actions of bestowal or reception, and our intention is certainly to receive. That’s nature.

We can change our actions, but it's not important. It (a change) is only according to the intention, and the intention is always to receive. If I receive in order to receive, meaning if my benefit is greater from receiving, then I receive, let’s say I steal or I take. If I see that by that I can lose, God forbid, I calculate and instead of stealing I go to work, to get something, to give to another in return for receiving from him.

That’s how all our relationships are built. From the most beautiful action, in the eyes of people, to the worst—it’s all a calculation. I, according to my attributes and preparations, calculate what is worth doing for my optimal, maximal general benefit. That’s nature and I perform the act, which includes all the great systems in me, in my mind and heart, in my experience, in everything, in previous lives. Everything is accumulated into a calculation that I perform subconsciously, every time every moment, every second.

Baal HaSulam says that if I did something with my little finger, performed some insignificant action, I am sure there is personal benefit and that it will be better for me in my next state than it is in my present one. It is then that I can perform the action. Whatever you do in these actions, however you turn them, they are all egoistic and bring you only ego.

They increase man’s ego and therefore man and all humanity evolve in every generation. The ego grows until in our generation we are discovering that we are empty and can no longer reach any tranquility, any security, any filling through this method. Then we start looking for what we can do, and that’s the crisis of our time.

A person who feels that crisis comes to a resolution “I’ll go and seekwherever possible.” It also happens subconsciously as the Reshimot propel us to search. Subconsciously, I don’t know how, suddenly a group comes, some hearing occurs. Before I didn’t hear, I didn’t know. Suddenly I hear and see. The desire opens up and I suddenly see that there is someplace where I can somehow be interested in something and fill myself.

When I now come to the place where these Reshimot can be realized, then I have here a new method—an unnatural one, not according to what I did before, but a supernatural one. That’s what they want to give me.

Another question is how much I listen when they want to give me a program to operate myself in an entirely new way, to take out the operating system from myself and put in another. I will have to want to do it. Otherwise I can’t exchange one with the other. How do I do this upgrading? It’s a problem. They say there are actions that I can perform by which I go from my nature to above my nature, to a different nature.

The whole wisdom of Kabbalah is how to exchange the program of calculation according to which I calculate my actions. My actions are my intentions, because the fact of reception and bestowal, giving or receiving from another doesn’t change. What changes is the intention.

The intention means that at first I did all of my calculations, subconsciously or consciously, of what I would gain from it, with how much more confidence and less effort. Maximum pleasure for minimum effort was the formula. Now, I change the formula to maximum bestowal. Is my effort important here or not? It is, but only as much as I express my maximum bestowal. The greater or lesser effort depends on how much I can bestow. This determines my degree, the level, the Aviut in which I operate myself.

(One needs) to change the programming, that is the intention from in order to receive to in order to bestow, and not the physical actions. The world behaves as it always does, nothing changes. Within a person the operating system changes and no one knows about it. You cannot see from his actions what his calculations are because he might give, might receive, he might seem very ordinary, maybe crude or maybe more gentle. It doesn’t matter how. He might be strange in your eyes, but you never know the operating system. That’s why it’s called “the wisdom of the hidden.”

What can you do? It’s also hidden within the person. It’s hidden from the person himself, who has to make an effort, with what he has, in order for the programming to be replaced. Because if he is in the one nature, he can’t reach another nature by himself. He can’t jump above himself; he can't take himself by the ear, by the hair and pull himself out of his state. It has to be an outer force that operates on him and does this to him, that changes his operating system, his will to receive, his ego, his 613 natural desires.

The Creator created desires and from the beginning they are operating with everyone in order to receive. We have to come to a state where we want and ask of Him to replace this operating system.

The actions in a group cannot change the state that much. You may bestow and do all kinds of actual things with respect to your friends, and if you are in the right group, it helps. Because then you discover whether you want it or not; you also have the influence of your friends compared to that. However, the whole change comes through the Light that Reforms. If you try with everyone to reach this new programming of above reason, against the ego, then during the study the Light influences you, that higher state in which you are connected together.

From that state you have luminescence on the present state and subconsciously you feel the difference between the two levels, two states. Then, even if you don’t see the more spiritual level, you begin to detect, you somehow begin to feel what you are missing. What you really are missing is the love for others. You begin to see a little more the difference between your nature and a higher nature from yours, another nature, the spiritual nature.

Human society did many kinds of corrections proclaiming, “let’s work with love and give to one another, and be equal,” and all that. It only corrupted itself. Because the problem is that we are not using the Upper Force correctly. We are either not using it at all, like Utopists or Marxists who didn’t ask for the goal to be the equivalence of form with the Creator. Or, they may have wanted it, but they wanted it in such a way that bestowal to another and to the Creator would be as filling of the ego of everyone, filling the Kelim and the desires of everyone.

This is why you can’t directly, as you say, go and bestow on others. If it is balanced with the general effort in the group, if it is balanced with the general study in the group, it yields a result. Because all in all, it is the Light that operates and makes you see the present state, the right needs, the new desires, and a drive for a higher state. It is because you are basically in space and you don’t know in which direction to go. What is good? What is spiritual? Everyone gets it wrong.

This is why to implement the process correctly, to direct yourself correctly and shorten your way, so you don’t continue progressing like all of humanity through affliction, you need to implement all of the advice of Kabbalists. There aren’t that many, but you have to do that in the right combination. And then you will succeed.

It is not any actions where you proclaim, “Now I give to others, now I humiliate myself towards others.” There are many people who engage in this. It may be as it is done in Hassidism where every one says,“Who am I, what am I?” Or they do good to others and they take care of others. I am not disqualifying that. They can do that. From that too, they eventually get the understanding of what happens, that it doesn’t give them any benefit.

The wisdom of Kabbalah reveals that the transformation in human nature comes only through implementing the whole method. This is why we need a group, the books, and a guide to work on us.

The question “What do I do now?” doesn’t have an immediate answer. In fact, for the question, “what do I do now?” you have to get an answer from within. It is because if you work according to someone else’s need, you don’t perform your own action. You don’t advance yourself. The deficiency has to come also from within. If it is a need for spiritual progress, then “from within” means “in contact with others,” because that’s all we need to correct in the breaking of the vessels.

Question: How do I know if I got an answer from Above or I answered myself intellectually? How do I know if it is an answer that my brain, my intellect gave is not different from the one from Above?

An answer that you get from Above is called from the other, from your connection to others. You made an effort and saw after the effort that the whole group is connected, corrected and bonded. This is what you suddenly see. And only you are not in it and can’t be in it. You are repelled from it by your nature, yet you would like to be in it, but can’t.

The state which appears to you consists of two elements: you’re rejected from the connecting to others yet they are connected, and you want to be connected, you must be connected to them, but you can’t. Then, out of these two elements—they are connected and I would like to be inside, but I can’t, and I am repelled from it—from these two elements, you build the deficiency for the connection with them.

“Alright, so I’ll bond with them. So what?” Why isn’t this deficiency realized immediately, even when you have discovered it, which is already a great thing? What is missing in that deficiency is what you attain by this connection. What you have to attain by this connection is the internal connection with the Creator. I bond with my friends and immediately within that connection, within that point of welding, I discover the Creator, my connection with Him. In that burning point of welding, in my connection to the friends, which are the Kelim, I attain this result, which is the Creator.

When I go through the connection with friends, it’s called “I” being “ Yisrael.” Connection with the friends, with others, is called “the Torah.” What is the Torah? “Love your friend as thyself,” the creation of the Kli, of the bonding, “as thyself.” “It’s a great rule in the Torah” is where later the Creator appears, Kudsha Brich Hu. It’s called “ Yisrael,” “the Torah,” the bonding with others as a Kli, and the Creator as the filling, all appear as one.

This is why a person gradually discovers his need to bond to others according to the efforts, to what he hears from them about greatness, etc. Then he finally discovers that, “Yes, I would like to bond with others but it repels me. So how do I do it, what do I do, how do I overcome myself?”

This state is like a dance: he moves backward and forward, he can’t, he can a little, he does some things, some additional actions to somehow bring himself closer. (It continues) until a third element appears in him, where within the bonding he wants to obtain adhesion with the Creator. Before he has these three elements, he doesn't reach that. The Kli, the real Kli, the real bonding with others and the appearance of the Creator come as one.

The minute you reach Arvut, you immediately have the revelation of the Creator. Because it’s not that the Creator comes down from the mountain and clothes in the Kli. The Kli in itself, when it reaches the attribute of bestowal, according to this attribute and within it, the Upper Force,the Creator appears.Because the Creator comes from the words Bo (come) and Reh (see), “come and see, discover.” It means “come” with your new vessels which you build. There you see, you discover, you feel the Creator within the Kelim. It’s not something strange that you discover outside of you. It’s within those same Kelim.

This is why the three of them— Yisrael, the Torah, and the Creator—have to occur together simultaneously. That's how it happens in every state, in the 125 degrees. Baal HaSulam explains it in the letter on page 64 in Fruit of Wisdom.

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