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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 7.5 – From the Introduction To The Zohar

Introduction to the Book of Zohar (item 10): "Now we can understand the fourth inquiry: how is it possible that from His Holiness will emerge the chariot of defilement and shells, since it is at the other end of His Holiness and how can it be that He supports and sustains it?

Indeed, we must first understand the essence of defilement and the shells. Know, that it is the great will to receive, of which we said that it is the essence of the souls by creation. And because they are willing to receive the entire filling that is in the thought of Creation, it does not receive the entire filling that is in the thought of Creation, it does not stay in that form within the souls, because if it had, they would have had to remain eternally separated from Him, because the difference in form would have separated them from Him.

"And in order to mend the separation that rests upon the vessel of the souls, He created all the worlds and separated them into two systems, as the verse goes: 'God hath made even the one as well as the other,' which are the four worlds of ABYA of holiness.

"Opposite them are the four worlds of the impure ABYA. And He imprinted the will to bestow in ABYA of holiness and removed from them the will to receive for themselves, placing it in the system of the impure worlds of ABYA. For this reason, they have become separated from the Creator and from all the worlds of holiness.

"For that reason the shells are called 'dead,' as the verse goes: 'sacrifices of the dead' (Psalms 106, 28). And the evil are attracted to them, as our sages say: 'The evil are called dead when they are still alive,' because the will to receive, imprinted in them in oppositeness of form to His Holiness, separates them from the Life of Lives, and they are remote from Him from one end to the other.

"This is because He has no interest in reception, only in bestowal, whereas the shells want only to receive for their own delight, and have nothing to do with bestowal, and there is no greater oppositeness than that. You already know that spiritual remoteness begins with some difference of form and ends in oppositeness of form, which is the farthest possible distance in the last degree."

If there is complete detachment between Creator and the creature, how can He support and guard it? The Creator intentionally formed Creation with opposite traits to His own. Thus, He assigned his creatures with the task of correcting these traits. In order to help them, He built two opposite systems of worlds to serve the creatures.

The one that take the right side, that of holiness, or the desire to bestow, is called "living" and "righteous." Those that take the left side, that of uncorrected desires, meaning egoism, are considered "dead," and "evil." All these states refer only to spirituality, when the Light is either in the vessel (still, vegetative, and animate), or removed from it (only the still degree).

When we say "evil," we are referring to people who have already attained the revelation of the Creator, have entered the worlds of BYA, and are now climbing on the 6,000-rung ladder toward the Creator. Thought they are now working in order to bestow, they might still fall into egoism and reception in order to receive. These two situations must be experienced in every single degree.

The "evil" state compels us to advance toward holiness and correct the attributes of the left line. But the more egoism we correct in our current degree, the greater portion of egoism we receive in the next. Then we must perform the same operations in the spiritual degrees and correct the next lot of desire to receive. The situations are much more acute and profound in spirituality, but at the same time, the power we receive to handle them is greater, too.

We always choose the desire that gives us the most pleasure in every situation. This conduct was imprinted in us from Above and is unchangeable. But what we can change is the direction of the pleasure toward its origin. Thus, the focus should be on feeling the source of the pleasure!

The will to receive in itself is not egoism. If I want to receive because the Creator gives me pleasure, and I please Him by receiving, it is considered giving, not receiving. If I don’t care who gives me pleasure, even knowing that it comes from the Creator, but take everything to derive the greatest possible pleasure from it, then my desires are egoistic and corrupted. Our world is still far below that of the impure desires, meaning even below the corrupted desires.

The pure and impure worlds complement each other. They are both necessary for spiritual progress. The individual is in between them, in the middle part, Tifferet. That is the only neutral place.

Above it there is holiness, and below it, impurity. There is nothing to correct in holiness, but it is impossible to correct the impure forces. Only in the middle third of Tifferet is it possible to connect the upper and the lower parts, and thus correct them.

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