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Article "One Law" - lesson 4

July 29, 2004

Duty of Carrying out 613 Commandments

“Man’s soul consists of 613 separate desires, and the correction of those from the intention ‘for one’s self’ to the intention ‘for the Creator’ allows a person to feel union with Him.”

Our individual Kli consists of 613 desires, and in accordance with the law “the Particular and the general are equal,” the common Kli also consists of 613 desires. In the same way the common Kli consists of ten Sefirot, each of its small parts also consists of ten Sefirot. The consecutive correction of each of these desires is called fulfilment of a commandment. This is not simply correction: it must be achieved from the opposite state. Baal HaSulam defines it in this text as “the correction from the intention ‘for one’s self’ to the intention ‘for the Creator’.”

“The first stage that we go through is called the realization of evil. We need to achieve a state, when we understand that we do everything for ourselves and not for the sake of the Creator. This is a certain form of the Creator’s revelation, when the Host is standing in front of you with His delicacies and you know that you intentionally receive for yourself and not for Him. You cannot do anything about it because this is the way you want it and this is the only way you act. This is the preliminary stage that everyone has to achieve. This is a high spiritual level, the revelation of the left line.”

This does not happen by itself: say, I am told that I am an egoist and I correct my intention to “for the Creator” at once. No, nothing like that happens. This is an important initial stage with the purpose to let me receive spiritual attainment and realize that I do everything for myself. It may seem to the people who have not passed through this that they are great Kabbalists that soar somewhere in “the spiritual.”

This is because they have not gone through the realization of evil and have not achieved the state when the person clearly understands that all of his actions are egoistical. Here is the Creator, but he does nothing for Him and has no desire for it. This is the state of Pharaoh, who knows exactly that everything belongs to him. At the same time, he faces the Creator and attains Him to a certain extent. This first stage is very important.

Therefore, Baal HaSulam writes: “The revealed imperfections bring me joy. I am happy when they manifest.” Because if they are revealed (i.e., the person has achieved the level called “for one’s self”), this is a very good level, state. He can begin his correction from this level: if he already reached it from one (left) side, then he will surely correct it.

And now let’s ask ourselves if we have already achieved this realization of evil? The answer is no, absolutely not. In order to be in it, one needs an environment, a group, because only inside it can the person realize how little he loves his neighbor and how much he hates him.

However, one has to reveal this hatred to another in the Creator’s Light, with regard to Him. The entire first level that precedes correction is called “for one’s self” and not “for the Creator.” Subsequently, we correct it from “for one’s self” to “for the Creator.”

Let me explain this again. Man’s soul consists of 613 separate desires. The correction of intentions on these desires from “for one’s self” (first level) to “for the Creator” (second level) enables a person to feel connection, confluence with the Creator in every corrected (by means of correct intention) desire.

One must not, need not, cannot correct desires: we only need to correct the intention on it, on its use.

The attainment of each individual manifestation of the Creator within oneself is called His revelation or His name.

After the person has realized evil in reception “for himself,” raised MAN, received the Light of correction and fulfilment, the reception of pleasure becomes in this case equivalent to bestowal. Having done that, the person feels the Creator’s manifestation in all of his actions: starting with realization of evil (when he was opposite the Creator) and until he receives “for the sake of the Creator” and bestows upon Him. In this corrected Kli he feels the Creator. It is called the Creator’s name, His manifestation in man’s Kli.

In other words, the names of the Creator reflect the private comprehension of the various measures of the Creator’s universal abundance. Every person has to go through all of these measures and has to perceive the complete general revelation (name) of the Creator.

It is called HaVaYaH. All the other nine names designate nine Sefirot below Keter. That is to say, all of them are individual manifestations. In all, there are ten Sefirot, ten names of the Creator.

This way a person builds his Kli, creates, corrects, and fulfills it. In this Kli he feels complete manifestation of the Creator in all possible variations. It turns out that when a person creates this Kli and receives the Light in it, he assumes these names of the Creator. He becomes similar to all the Creator’s manifestations and receives the Creator’s names.

Question: What attitude should we have to the revelation of evil?

We should see it as the first and most essential level. However, we do not have to look for it because this evil is revealed only with regard to the Creator, His Light. The Kli is revealed only from the Light. That is why we need to aspire to the Creator, to perfection, and to the fulfillment of the law “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” From this we will see how opposite our properties are to His.

Question: You say that the time of individuals has passed, when a person could attain the Creator by himself and establish his personal contact with Him. Now is the time for a group. What does it mean that a group begins attaining the Creator? How does this happen?

Kabbalists are the people who enter the spiritual world and from there they tell us about the entire universe. No one else but them knows or understands anything about it. They explain to us that the only thing that was ever created is the soul, Adam. This soul was broken into many parts so as to create in each of them the right intention and to fill this Kli, to make it equal to the Creator.

We exist within the common Kli of Adam, but instead of Adam and the souls we see the bodies of this world. This is the same picture of the common Kli with all of its parts. Imagine that every person is a soul. We need to act with regard to each other within the framework that we observe, see.

Kabbalists say: if you wish to relate to this system, to the bodies as to the souls, (while bearing in mind that souls stand behind bodies), and aspire to reach the souls through the bodies, you have to treat them according to the principle “Love thy neighbor as thyself” with the intention to get to the souls through bodies and treat them in exactly this way.

Your dream, your goal is to achieve that state which is concealed behind the bodies, behind our world, and to attain the world of Infinity, where we all are united as one soul, one common Kli. When you reach this state and get there, you discover this common Kli filled with the Creator’s Light and merged with Him.

In our world, if you treat the entire humanity this way, you will attain this goal. However, since it is impossible to have this attitude towards the entire humanity and because you cannot receive any feedback from it, hence you have to choose a certain number (a group) of people, who move in the same direction as you and who can help you. Together with them you can already start building some form of that ideal state, which exists within, in the souls.

In a group you build relations among the bodies that are similar to those that exist among the souls in their corrected state. This way you discover that this state is still a very long way off. You find out what you need to achieve it and whom you have to ask for it based on your desire to reach the state of Adam, the single common Kli that is filled with the Light and completely merged with the Creator.

So it turns out that you observe the same law. Your attitude towards the system is absolutely natural. You do nothing artificial and devise no new methods. Since you are a part of the system called Adam, you simply moved away from it and fell into egoism. This refers to everyone else around you, the entire humanity, which has to reach the same inner state of your souls.

You create this small community, which will help you to create a model of the inner state. What for? So that this model would pull you forward all the time. So that with its help you can work on yourself and advance towards that inner state in which the common souls exists in perfect union with the Creator. That is all there is to it. This method is pretty simple. Only because of its simplicity do we find it difficult to grasp.

Question: How do we reveal in ourselves 613 desires? If we count our desires now, we will probably come to 30 or 40. Why 613?

What desires do we have and why are there 613?

When man’s basic desires are revealed within him, these are not the same desires that we have today. Presently we have either bodily desires (for food, sex, family, and everything else that our body demands naturally) or social ones (for wealth, fame and power) followed by the desire for knowledge, which is the initial aspiration to the Creator’s attainment.

Our earthly desires have nothing to do with 613 spiritual desires. The desires that we have to correct relate not to food, honor or knowledge, but to the Creator alone. Yet what does “desires relate to the Creator” mean? These are the desires that appear in the Creator’s Light. They appear when you begin to see that you receive from Him.

When a child is conceived in the mother’s womb, all of its desires (as well as ours) are unconscious. When we cross the Machsom, we have no desires yet, only some general aspirations (“I want spirituality!”). We even do not know what the words “spirituality” or “bestowal” mean. This question arises as time passes: “What are these desires for bestowal and how can they be opposite to ours?” Indeed, Klipa is the desire to enjoy the Creator. These are the desires that appear when you see Him.

What else does an ordinary person in this world need beside taking care of himself and his family and having a little fun? This is all that he wants. Yet, elevate him to another level and he will have totally different desires: to write, draw, learn literature, arts, philosophy and sciences. These are not his previous desires that developed and grew. They are completely different.

When we come into contact with the Creator, absolutely new desires appear within us. We do not need to correct our earthly desires; they will fall off by themselves.

The Kli appears as a result of the Light’s action. If you stop eating, drinking, pursuing fame or knowledge, you will not receive the right correction. You have to acquire the desire for the Creator. These 613 desires gradually manifest, when the spiritual Partzuf (10 Sefirot) appears within us during our birth in the state of Ibur after crossing the Machsom.

We reach the Aviut Shoresh and then the Aviut Aleph (stages 0 and 1 of the Aviut) when desires are born within us. They appear under the influence of the Light and we begin to feel what the Creator is. An appropriate desire for Him appears within us. Therefore, at the moment we have no way of saying what these 613 desires are.

From this I would like to make one simple conclusion. Kabbalah embraces the entire universe, which can be revealed more and more. We do not yet have these 613 desires, which we need to correct. That is to say, we do have them, but they are concealed within us and we need to reveal them.

Question: For all that, do we have to restrict our material desires or not?

I have said many times that there is no need to work with material desires. In no way should a person force or restrict himself in anything. While being immersed in these desires a person is totally engrossed in them. It is better to give your body what it wants if you cannot live without it and return to the spiritual realm. We know it from our own experience and from all the stages that we go through that it is best not to remain inside our broken, impure desires, but to yield to them so that they would let you engage in the spiritual. This is the only acceptable path for us. The rest is suppression and coercion. We have no right to force ourselves and others.

Only the Light can correct you. You have to attract the Light. Hence, you should leave these desires and busy yourself with drawing the Light. By binding, tying them up you will not correct them. They are constantly growing and you will have to tighten your grip on them all the time. There is no point in doing that. You should constantly aspire to the connection with the Creator, and the extent of your correction will be determined by the amount of Light that descends upon you. These desires have to be transformed, i.e., acquire intentions, whereas you wish to eliminate them. All you have to worry about is intention.

Question: Speaking about the desires for group work, for a teacher, and for the right books, what names of the Creator do we reveal if we discover such desires within us?

You do not reveal any names of the Creator in such a case! Stop juggling with the Creator’s names and the Sefirot. All of this can be revealed only after the Creator (Light) reveals Himself. The person reveals his Kli, starts working with it and gradually acquires the screen. With the help of the screen he fills his Kli and reveals the Ohr Pnimi (Inner Light), which together with his Kli forms the Creator’s name.

The Creator’s name is the Gematria (numerical value) of the letters Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey split into the Lights that fill them. The main part is Keter; this is the way the Creator creates His beings. The creation’s subsequent fulfillment is reflected in the remaining names, the next nine Sefirot. All of them appear within us on the rungs of the spiritual ladder. You have no names today and it is pointless to speak about them.

True Wisdom

“The Kabbalists of the past presented the method of individual attainment (for everyone in whom a true mature desire for the Creator appeared in one of the generations). Here we offer a general way, because of its consistency and because it defines the spiritual substances without clothing them in a material form. This explanation is especially useful for the development of the method of comprehension. This science is called the true wisdom.

“The success of its presentation will grow in succeeding generations, because they will be more prepared to understand the true wisdom. The success of its understanding depends on the magnitude of the spiritual leader of that generation, or on the generation itself, or on both of these factors.”

While revealing the science of Kabbalah, we should try to make it as accessible as possible. We will see firsthand how in our generation, from year to year, it will be possible to offer this wisdom to people in a correct and comprehensible way. At the same time, people will be able to understand it better.

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