Inner Qualities and Outer Aspects
The answer to the intellect must be in this manner: “I believe that the Creator listens to all of my requests and prayers for help.” If we are able to stand firm on our answers to both intellect and heart, then the Creator will reveal Himself to us, so that we will see and sense only the Creator.
Within each of us are seventy fundamental desires. These are called "the seventy nations of the world."Therefore, our souls correspond to the partzuf of Zeir Anpin in the world of Atzilut, which includes 70 sefirot. After we begin to seek more closeness with the Creator, and receive the Light of the Kabbalah, we are given feelings and desires that we never imagined existed.
The seventy desires derive from two sources, since we move forward in combinations of the two lines – the right and the left. Our actions in accordance with the right line are countered by our evil (egoistic) inclinations (the husk, klipa) against the work of the heart, which is called Klipat Yishmael.
The work in the left line is countered by an evil force against the work of the intellect, called the Klipat Eisav. However, when we progress further in our work, we see that in order to enter into the spiritual realm we must rid ourselves of both klipot.
This is because they do not want to receive the laws of the spiritual realm – just as it is mentioned in the Bible that the Creator offered the Torah, the laws of the spiritual realm, to Eisav and Yishmael before he gave it to Israel, but they did not want to receive it. Only after we see that we are not able to receive the altruistic-spiritual laws with either the right or left force, do we carefully progress to the middle line, which is called "We will do, and then we will hear," which is called "for the sake of bestowal," and is then called Israel.
Since all of us, along with our thoughts, intentions and desires, are entirely immersed in our egoism, we are unable to think independently, objectively and non-egoistically. Thus, we are unable to criticize ourselves.
In general, we have no need to criticize ourselves, since we already know that everything we do is based on our egoistic desires. However, in working on ourselves,, doing work which goes against our desires, when we invest efforts to develop spiritual yearnings, we needs to examine our situation. We ourselves must examine the situation, not the Creator, who already knows what our situation is.
The surest way to test our true spiritual state is to see whether we feel joy when we work for the sake of the Creator. If so, we see that the test is not to determine if we exert great physical or emotional strength, but rather to examine our inner state. Do we retain the same joy regardless of whether we receive from the Creator what we imagine is necessary for us, or not?
Kabbalah speaks of an individual as being like a whole world, since inside each of us is to be found everything around us: the universe, the nations, gentiles, the righteous people of the nations of the world, Israel, the temple and even the Creator Himself – the point that is in our hearts.
In the first place, Kabbalah teaches of our inner qualities, and then proceeds to the outer aspects that are considered consequences of the inner qualities, and thus are designated with respective names. In addition, the spiritual state of the inner qualities directly affects the spiritual state of the outer aspects and the influence of the latter upon us.
As human beings, our initial spiritual state is egoism. One who begins to strive for closeness with the Creator is known as “a righteous person of the peoples of the world.” How can one verify if one is, in fact, already at this level? Since Man possesses only egoistic desires, everything that is missing from the gratification of the ego is perceived to have been taken away, as if what was desired had been possessed, and then stolen from the individual.
We have this feeling because of our spiritual "past": on previous spiritual levels, our souls were completely filled with good, but with our spiritual descent into this world, all of it was lost. Therefore, the moment we feel a desire for something, it is equivalent to being filled with complaints towards the Creator about what was taken away, or was never given – that for which one longs.
Thus, if we are able to say from our hearts that everything the Creator did is for the good of all of us, and feel joy and love towards our Creator, as if we had, indeed, received from Him everything we could possibly imagine for ourselves, and justify everything the Creator supervises, then we have successfully completed the test of our intentions (kavana). One who has succeeded in this way is known as a “righteous person of the peoples of the world.”
If, with the help of the Creator, we work further on correcting our desire to receive, then the object of verification is no longer our thoughts, but our actions. The Creator gives us everything that we ever desired, but we must be prepared to return everything, while at the same time receiving only the part that we are capable of receiving for the sake of the Creator.
In many situations, we experience the tests as a choice between two possibilities: we feel as if half of our desires draw us to one side, and the other half draws us to the second side. In general, we do not feel within us any struggle between the opposing forces of good and evil, as only the forces of evil rule within, and the problem that continues to arise is which force will deliver the maximum benefit to us.
When the opposing forces are equal, we cannot choose or prefer one over the other, as we feel we are between two forces that are influencing us. At this point, our only solution is to turn to the Creator, so that He should draw us to the good side.
Thus we are obligated to consider everything that happens to us as if it were a trial from Above.
When we do so, we will speedily rise to the goal of creation. To understand the Creation in general, and the particulars of what has happened to us, we must understand the creation’s final goal. Then we will understand the actions of the Creator, since all of them depend on and emerge from the final goal.
This is similar to our world, where, if we do not recognize the future result, we are incapable of understanding anyone else’s actions. It is said: "Don’t show something completely in the middle of its work."
The Creator represents the entire creation, the Light. His goal is to please us with this Light. Thus, the only thing that He must create is the desire to be pleased . All that exists represents the Light and the desire to be pleased. All else created besides us has only one purpose – to aid us in reaching the final goal of creation.
We exist within the Creator, in the ocean of Light that fills everything with itself. But we can perceive the Creator only to the degree to which we are comparable to Him in qualities. The Light can enter only those desires we hold that are similar to those of the Creator.
To the degree that we differ in qualities and desires from the Creator, we do not perceive Him, because His Light does not penetrate us. If all our qualities are opposite to His qualities, then we do not perceive Him at all, and imagine ourselves to be the only ones in this world.
The Creator strives to give us pleasure through His quality of "the desire to give." For this reason, He created all the worlds and their inhabitants with the opposite quality, "the desire to receive."
The Creator generated all of our egoistic qualities; thus, our lowly state is not our own fault. But the Creator wishes for us to correct ourselves and thus become like Him.
The Light gives life to all substances: inanimate, plant, animal, and human. In our world, the Light is obscured and thus we cannot feel it. As we swim in the ocean of the Creator’s Light, if a part of that Light enters us, it is called “the soul.”
Since the Light of the Creator brings life, emits vital energy and pleasure, then those who do not receive the Light, but only obtain an insignificant glow to sustain their physical existence, are considered spiritually dead and lacking a soul.
Only a few in this world, known as Kabbalists (Kabbalah deriving from the word lekabbel: "to receive the teaching about the way to acquire the Light") gain the ability to acquire the Light. Each of us starts from our original state, during which we are completely unaware of the ocean of Light in which we "swim."
We must, therefore, attain a complete replenishment of Light. Such a state is known as “the goal of creation” or “the final correction.” In addition, this state must be reached during one of our earthly lifetimes.