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Phases of Revelation

The lowest level on the scale of the spiritual resembles the inanimate part of nature, similar to bodies in space, or minerals, and so on. This inanimate level is also called "not alive."

The inanimate level in the spiritual (or someone who is found there) is not capable of acting in an independent fashion. Nor can it reveal characteristics of its own, since the desire to have pleasure within it is so small that it is defined as merely guarding its characteristics and not furthering their development.

Lack of individuality at that level of creation is pronounced in the fact that it possesses nothing independent. It focuses on its function blindly, automatically carrying out the desires of its Creator, since it cannot conceive of anything else because it has no individual desires.

Since the Creator wanted inanimate objects to behave in precisely this manner, He gave them the lowest level of desires, which did not require these objects to develop. Thus, having no other desires but those originally implanted in them by the Creator, these objects blindly perform their tasks, caring only for their needs of a spiritually inanimate nature, not sensing their surroundings. Similarly, in people as yet spiritually inanimate, there is also a lack of any individual desires. Only the desires of the Creator guide them, and because of their nature they must follow this guidance meticulously and subconsciously, in accordance with the program implanted in them by the Creator.

Therefore, in spite of the fact that the Creator devised human nature in this manner for His own purpose, in this spiritual state people cannot perceive anything but themselves. Consequently, they cannot do anything for others, but can only work for their own benefit. Thus, this level of spiritual development is called “inanimate.”

A higher degree of development can be found in the nature of plants. Since the Creator conferred on this group of objects a greater desire for pleasure than given to inanimate objects, plants require certain movement and growth in order to satisfy their needs.

But this movement and growth is an attribute of a group, not an individual aspiration. In people who belong to the vegetative level of desire, there appears a certain level of spiritual independence from the Creator who sets the program. Since the Creator constructed all of nature on the basis of absolute egoism (the desire for self-gratification), on the vegetative level these individuals begin to develop inclinations to distance themselves from the desires already implanted in them.

Consequently, they begin to act out of consideration for others, that is, as if against their nature. However, regardless of the fact that the plants in this world grow in all directions and possess a certain freedom of movement, their movement is still considered to be a collective movement. After all, no one plant is capable, due a complete lack of appropriate desire, even to fathom the possibility of individual movement.

Similarly, a person belonging to the vegetative level of desires is not capable of aspiring to individual endeavors that diverge from the norms of the collective, society and one’s upbringing. On the contrary, this person aims to preserve and to obey all the norms and the laws of its "vegetative" environment. This is comprised of a similar group of people belonging to the "vegetative" level of development.

Therefore, just like the plant, the person at this level has no individual, separate life, but lives as part of a community, residing among numerous others who are similar in nature.

Among all the plants and among all the people at this level there can be found only one common life, rather than an individual life for every being. All the plants in general can be compared to a single vegetative organism, in which each plant can be likened to a separate branch of this body.

The people belonging to the "vegetative" spiritual level can also be compared to this example. Though they do sometimes deviate from their egoistic natures, nevertheless, because their spiritual development is minor, they remain confined by the laws of society and by their surroundings. They have no individual desires or strength to oppose society or their upbringing, even though in some matters they already go against their own basic nature and act for the benefit of others.

On the spiritual gradation of development, the vegetative level is followed by the animal level. This is considered higher because desires, allotted by the Creator to this level, develop those at this level to such a degree that they find satisfaction in the ability to move independently of others, and think independently for the purpose of satisfying their desires, much more so than at the vegetative level.

Each animal has an individual character and feelings irrespective of the surrounding environment. Consequently, a person at this stage of development possesses a greater ability to function contrary to egoistic inclinations and for the good of others.

But even though a degree of independence has been gained, from the collective, leading to a personal individual life not shaped by the opinions of the community, feelings for the self are still paramount.

Those who exist on the human (“speaking”) level of development are already capable of acting against their nature and contrary to the collective (unlike the plant).

These people are completely independent from society in the choice of their desires.

They can feel for any other being and can thus care for others. They can help them in their quest to better themselves by identifying with their suffering. Those on this level, unlike the animals, can sense the past and the future, and can, thus, act, being guided by the recognition of a central purpose.

All the worlds and the stages ascribed to these worlds can be seen as a sequence of screens that conceal from us (the Light of) the Creator. As we acquire the spiritual strength to overcome our own natures, each of its forces, each consecutive screen, disappears as if dissolved.

The following tale illustrates the progression of our spiritual quest to dissolve the screens and live as one with the Creator.

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