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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 3.23 – Basic Terms

Sefirot: properties, clothes that the Creator "wears" in order to appear before His Creatures. They are not His real properties and there is nothing we can say about them, because we cannot grasp their meaning. We can only grasp what He wants to reveal to us. We regard these external properties as “attributes” or “Sefirot”.

We feel the properties of the Creator as a certain Light that awakens a unique feeling in us. We name each Sefira according to that feeling. Every Light that comes from the Creator is a certain form or providence, a sign that awakens a certain response. Generally speaking, all the forms of Light that emanate from the Creator toward us are denominated “the Light of divinity”.

One feels the Light of the Creator to the extent that one attains corrections. Without a single mended property in man, we cannot feel the Light that comes from the Creator, although unknowingly, he is still controlled by Him. When that is the case, we cannot believe that the Creator exists.

One feels that Light comes from the Creator only to the extent that one's own attributes resemble His. Then one begins to understand that the Creator’s influences are forms of bestowal of love and mercy. Even formerly "negative" emotions, such as fear and cruelty, will now be interpreted this way.

All the Light-forms of the Sefirot are monitored signs of how the Creator relates to His Creation. That means that the Sefirot convey the Creator’s rule to mankind. These Light-forms, these Sefirot are different types in which the Creator watches over us and relates to us. Those forms are divided by ten primary kinds, ten Sefirot.

The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that the Creator extends to His creatures, meaning the ten Sefirot. That is why the fundamental textbook of Kabbalah is titled “The Study of the Ten Sefirot.”

There are ten forms (Sefirot) in which the Light emanates from the Creator. These forms beget Creation. The vast variety of creatures in Creation stems from various combinations of the properties of these ten Sefirot, because these combinations create ten inner Sefirot in each Sefira. Inside of these are another ten Sefirot and another inner ten Sefirot and so on and indefinitely.

Every property in Creation stems from the properties contained in those ten Sefirot. That is the reason for the differences between people. The various branches of Creation are interconnected and thus create new branches. It is therefore possible to compare Creation to a tree that has a root. This is the source, while a trunk and branches and leaves that are a replica of the root.

In fact, everything that happens in the root will happen later in the branches. There cannot be an event in the branches that does not happen first in the root.

Restriction: This is the law of Creation. It states that the creatures were not created perfect, but with a certain flaw. Perfection is a complete match (identicalness) between every creature and the Creator.

The world of Ein Sof, the collective form of creation, which is the beginning of everything, was created perfect by the Creator. But the perfection is concealed from the creatures. They must discover it gradually, according to their individual desires.

Therefore, although Creation is complete, eternal and in utter bliss, one cannot feel it at first, but only when one changes one’s attributes to match those of the Sefirot, the Light. Then one begins to feel the actual reality denominated “the next world”.

The entire Creation is made in such a way that it is compelled to discover its real state. This is how the Creator uses the Sefirot to control Creation.

Place: A place is an absence. The concealment of the Creator creates a “place” – a feeling of emptiness. The Creator created that sensation of emptiness deliberately, so that one would strive to feel the Creator independently, and discover Him by himself, through the properties that he corrects to match the Sefirot.

The World of Restriction: First the Creator created everything in its complete and final state. Afterwards, He concealed Himself from the creatures, thus creating a vacant space, an absence, called “The World of Restriction”.

Reshimot (1): These are reflections, recollections that remain from the past, after everything is no longer felt. It is a memory of what it could be like if it hadn’t all disappeared.

It is through these Reshimot that His creatures can survive inside the empty space, without being filled with the Light of the Creator. Without any pleasure, the creatures would simply cease to exist. The Reshimot keep changing, and it is those changes that urge us to move, to want, and to obtain whatever it is the Reshimot awaken in us. The changes of the Reshimot give us the sensation of movement, time and life.

The Reshimot make both good and bad things appear in our sensation equally, and it for us to understand that they are equal and determine which way the Reshimot give us the freedom of choice, the ability to decide between the two, because if there is too much good feeling, or too much bad, then everything is predetermined.

For instance: if the Creator were not concealed and His perfection was exposed, we would not be able to make a single independent act, through to our own choice; we’d have to act like the Creator does; His perfection would compel us to.

Line: This is a form of the Creator leadership by His Creatures are corrected and regain their completeness. The line is a part of the perfection that all the creatures will feel in the future. This will occur once they are corrected through the providence of the Creator that descends on them through the line, depending on their momentary state.

There are Reshimot in the creatures, and the Light pours on them from above through the world of Ein Sof that is filled with Light. The line fills the creature according to the Reshimot and gives it a certain portion of its own perfect state in the world of Ein Sof. The purpose of Creation is to perfect man’s imperfection, the sensation of the absence of the Creator and the absence of the Light in the creatures.

In order to bring us to that perfect state, the Creator uses a providence of good and bad. Although man can feel only good and bad, since the providence of the Creator is always of benevolence, it is our corrupted properties that make the absolute good feel like bad.

It is according to our degree of correction that we can begin to discern the ‘bad’ providence as good. That is why it is said that within the providence of “good and bad” there is the providence of the “Absolute good”.

Reshimot (2): Reshimot are a part of the collective and complete Light of Ein Sof. The line transmits the Light to the creatures that are in the empty space, concealed from the Creator and feeling incompletion in accordance with the nature of the Reshimot in this or that creature.

That is why it is said that the Reshimot awaken and move the body (desire). But the line does more than just fulfill the body. While fulfilling the desire, it corrects it, in accordance with the Reshimot.

A "tube" is a Light that comes from the world of Ein Sof and descends to the creatures in the empty space that are feeling incompleteness. The Light fills them according to the line, and consequently, the creatures then unite with the Creator.

The Creator gives to all creatures, regardless of the Light that passes through the tube. However, His Leadership is felt only by those who are already in the Upper Worlds, according to their labors.

At the end of correction the Creator will once again reveal himself to all the creatures as the Absolute Benevolent leader of the world. He will not appear through the tube, according to our personal attributes, but as the Absolute Good Who is equally good to everyone at all times.

This is the state of the end of correction, a time when everyone feels the absolute good, love, eternity, absolute knowledge, and perfection. That state has been prepared for us ahead of time by the Creator in the world of Ein Sof, and all creatures will see it according to their individual degree of perfection.

Inner Light and Surrounding Light: When the Light comes from Ein Sof to the creatures, it divides into Inner Light and Surrounding Light, or a filling Light and casing Light. Inner light is what the Creator reveals to the creature by filling it with this Light. The Surrounding Light is what the creature has yet to attain from the perfection.

Hence, the entire Light of Ein Sof, meaning that perfect state that the creature will reach in the future, is divided into a partial state that the creature already attained by acquiring a certain degree in the spiritual world. A part of the perfection that is not yet attained, and since the creature does not receive the entire Light, but limits the amount it receive, the partial Light received is measured against the Light of Ein Sof. The measurement unit that is used is the five Lights NRNHY (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida).

Adam Kadmon: This is the first and the highest of the spiritual worlds. Since all the other worlds are "lower" than Adam Kadmon, they descend from it. Thus, it is obvious that the properties that they receive from the Light, transmitted through it from the world of Ein Sof, also contain the properties of the world of Adam Kadmon.

Otiot (letters): Otiot are vessels. The Light from Partzuf AB does not carry with it any Otiot because the Otiot are already so filled with Light, they are completely satiated. The Light from Partzuf SAG is expressed in the letter Hey ), which represents the root of the future vessel. The Light that comes from Zeir Anpin contains the letter Vav ), which is the actual beginning of the future vessel. The Light that comes down from Partzuf BON contains Otiot, especially on their departure from the Partzuf when they collide and vanish, thus begetting the twenty-two Hebrew Otiot, or vessels.

After the breaking of the vessels in the world of Nekudim, each vessel is left with Reshimot from the breaking. These stay with it until the end of correction. Each Light leaves its vessel during the breaking, which creates the flaws in the vessels. This is where the domination of the body over the soul originates, as the extent of the body's control over the soul is related to the amount of corruption of the body, meaning the amount of desire.

But that domination of the body over the soul happened deliberately to create the egoism in us, our independent desire to take pleasure in the Light of the Creator. However, that domination also creates the beginning of the process of correction, which will end when we attain the level of the Soul-Light. At that time, there will be no difference between the body and the soul, or between man's desire and the Creator's.

The end of this process is when the body-desire declines even further, until finally it declines to the level of a beast (animate degree). This is all preordained in the breaking of the vessels in the world of Nekudim. However, since the corrected state is also preordained even before the breaking of the vessels, every desire will be reconstructed to resemble the Light, and the more identical it is to the Light, the more Light will enter it.

During the 6,000 years, meaning before the souls complete their correction and a few individuals become Kabbalists, spirituality (the revelation of the Creator) will not be felt in this world. But when all the souls are corrected, we will come to a state called the “end of correction." Then, the Creator will be evident to everyone in this world and this world will become a perfect place. The Light from the world of Ein Sof will come down to it and the Parsa in the world of Atzilut will no longer be an obstacle to its expansion. That state is called "the seventh millennium”.

Since the desires of the body (the AHP) consist of egoistic desires that contain three degrees of Aviut–Bet, Gimel and Dalet–their correction is not like that of the raised AHP, but occurs gradually.

The correction of Aviut Bet and its filling in its place below the Parsa is called "the eighth millennium”. The correction of Aviut Gimel and its filling in its own place under the Parsa is called "the ninth millennium.” and the correction of Aviut Dalet and its filling in its place under the Parsa is called the “tenth millennium.”

No one can know what will happen at the end of the correction of all the souls, when the Light of the Creator becomes evident in our world. Even Kabbalists who rose through all the degrees of the spiritual worlds can only attain the degree of the seventh millennium. But they cannot know how the Creator will appear in our world after that.

However, Baal HaSulam writes that there are souls that do attain these situations. These souls come to our world once every ten generations and his soul is one of them. However, he cannot explain how it happens, because that is a situation that we must learn by ourselves.

The state of the end of correction is characterized by the original desire (the egoism) obtaining an identical nature to that of the Light, something that presently is unimaginable.

Providence operates through the worlds of ABYA, but they will exist only while there is concealment.

The world of Nekudim is the root and origin of the evil in our world. The Creator uses it to show how, “Light excelleth darkness” by inverting the darkness to become like the Light. All the worlds exist for the sole purpose of revealing the perfection of the Creator, both in man and in Creation. Therefore, there are two kinds of worlds: in the beginning there is concealment, and afterwards there is completeness.

The worlds of BYA were created from the broken vessels of the world of Nekudim. The vessels of the Rosh, meaning the three upper Sefirot continue to the world of Atzilut. After that, the world of Atzilut completes itself at the expense of the vessels of the worlds of BYA.

Shabbat and Holiday: Those are states of Katnut and Gadlut of Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut. The state of Katnut means “suckling” (breast feeding). The state of Gadlut means "redemption. However, these states are only temporary and last just as long as correction is still needed.

Image of the Creator: The Creator demonstrates His leadership in the form of “circles” and “straight lines.” During His descent from Above, He demonstrates His power and marks of His leadership. “Superior” means stronger and greater; it is defined as "the inner circles," when at the very center there is our world.

Malchut: Malchut is called the “similitude of God” because that is the only place where we can feel the Creator, with attributes that were given to him from Above. We attain in our innermost feeling, in our Malchut. However, we do it with the attributes we receive from Above.

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