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Introduction to the Book of Zohar. Items 26-38

26. As was already said, state one obliges state three to exist. It has appeared in all its completeness, as in state one, according to the plan of creation; nothing less was planed.

The Baal HaSulam says that the Creator created Malchut in the center of the world of Infinity. Malchut is inside the light called the world of Infinity. This is state one.

He also created state three, in which Malchut exists in the state of Infinity, filled with the light, where all is inside it. So what is the difference? The difference lies in the fact that in the first case only Malchut constituted creation; now it expanded and filled the entire volume of the world of Infinity.

This is because having gone through the so-called period of correction it passed from state one to state three. Malchut became similar to the entire volume, which we refer to as “the world of Infinity” or the Creator. We can achieve state three either by taking the path of Torah (i.e., correction with the help of the light) or the path of suffering.

In any case, both states are identical as regards the Creator. Time and correction do not exist for the Creator, because with regard to Him both these states are quite obvious and real. Only we, who are moving along this path, gradually pass from one state to the other.

This transition consists of several stages. The first one is called “construction of the worlds”, the second – “correction” and the third – “ascent of the souls”. The first stage necessitates the existence of the third one.

So, state one obliges the resurrection of the dead bodies. That is, their huge desire to receive that became worthless, ended, and decayed in state two (during correction). It must again rise from the dead, in its enormous proportions without any reduction, that is, with all its former shortcomings.

Work begins anew in order to turn the enormous desire to receive into the desire to bestow for the sake of the Creator. Here we win twice: First, we have an opportunity to obtain the abundance and pleasure that is in the plan of creation. We already have a huge desire to receive, which ascends together with these enjoyments.

Secondly, receiving in this way will be equal to the desire to delight the Creator and will be a “pure” bestowal. In other words, we gain the equivalence of properties with the Creator, which is complete merging of our state one with state three.

The Baal HaSulam wishes to tell us that state one, in which the will to receive pleasure was created, is a minimal natural desire. At a later stage, this desire is complemented with a huge “makeweight” – the intention for oneself. This negative intention goes through a period called the “realization of evil”, and is completely rejected by the person (considered “dead”). The person who studies Kabbalah acquires the intention for the sake of the Creator with the help of the Upper Light.

That accomplished, the person attaches his desires to the acquired intention and “resurrects” them. When desires are used with the intention for the sake of the Creator, the person becomes completely similar to the Creator.

There are several stages in our development. At first, we only have one desire. Later we acquire the egoistical intention called our “ego”. Being our natural properties, our desires are not taken into consideration regardless of what they are and what form they take. The intention (for what purpose we use our desires) is critical.

Whatever desires our children may have, we do not consider them egoists. In our view, they resemble small animals, and we treat them with kindness. If a child takes something that does not belong to it, we do not consider it as theft, as something evil. We judge every action by the intention that stands behind it.

Evil begins when I acquire the egoistical intentions. I then recognize them as “dead” and refrain from using them. I detach myself from my previous intentions, neutralize my desires, and acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator under the influence of the Upper Light.

The first stage continues as we study Kabbalah. During our studies, the Surrounding light descends upon us. At some stage we begin to perceive ourselves as egoists, mean, evil people totally opposite to anything spiritual. This happens because under the influence of the Upper Light, we begin to feel our own evil. As we reach a state when we can neither use the intention for our own sake, nor our desires, we will make a kind of Tzimtzum Aleph and be ready to receive only spiritual properties. The next stage is the reception of Masach (or “faith”), a new Kli, the intention for the sake of the Creator.

As soon as we receive it, we proceed to the next stage called “resurrection” and “similarity to the Creator”. The Baal HaSulam writes about these stages in item 26.

27. Indeed, resurrection cannot take place before the End of Correction; that is, at the end of state two.

The Baal HaSulam says: resurrection of the dead (i.e., our desires and intentions we refused to use) takes place when we acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator (Kelim de Ashpa’a). At the next stage, we add AHP to Galgalta ve Eynaim. This is the AHP that we ignored, considered dead before, and now revived. Thus, we form a complete Partzuf consisting of ten Sefirot similar to the Creator.

Reception of the Galgalta ve Eynaim is called “acquisition of the intention for the sake of the Creator”. The subsequent adding of the AHP occurs when we resurrect our old previously unused desires. So the revival of the dead desires, or as Torah describes it, “resurrection of the dead” happens right before the End of correction. Naturally, not a word of what we say refers to our biological bodies. We only speak of desires. Whatever is found in our world has no continuation.

Therefore after we achieved the eradication of our huge desire to receive and earned the desire to bestow, we were privileged to attain the levels of the soul that are called Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida. We gained the greatest perfection so that the body arises from the dead in all its enormous desire to receive. Now it does not threaten us any more with a separation from our merging with the Creator. On the contrary, by adding the desires of the body (AHP) we get over it and give it the form of bestowal (similarity to the Creator). This is true about any particular bad property.

The Baal HaSulam says that first of all, we reject our original desires and make a Tzimtzum on them. Secondly, we acquire a new desire. Our third action is the resurrection of our old desire.

He says that we apply the same method in our world.

It deals fairly with any individual bad property that we want to get rid of. At the beginning, we have to give it up completely so that nothing of it remains (i.e., completely neutralize it). Then you can come back (by gradually attaching the AHP), get it over again, and bring it (AHP) to the middle line.

This period is very long. At the beginning, we just study and gradually conclude that all we are made of is evil. We then obtain Faith and the Kelim of Galgalta ve Eynaim and ascend them. Starting with the period of “resurrection of the dead” we begin to attach to ourselves the AHP. The similar process takes place in the worlds as well.

We exist in this world, cross the Machsom, acquire the Kelim of G”E (Aviut 0 and 1) and finally reach the Aviut 2 (absolute Faith), three and four (resurrection of the dead). The seizure of evil occurs when the Machsom is crossed. “Resurrection of the dead” is the AHP de Aliya. By acquiring the G”E we gradually attach to ourselves the AHP. Only when the person can start raising his AHP, does he become similar to the Creator, because only reception for the sake of the Creator is considered bestowal.

When the Kelim of G”E are all I have, I only learn how to bestow. Real bestowal can only be at the last levels three and four, when by receiving pleasure the person pleases the Creator.

Hence, the resurrection of the dead takes place right before the Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction). Only at this level can the similarity to the Creator be achieved.

28. As it is said by the sages, “In the future, the dead will rise with their defects and then will make a complete recovery”. That is, at the beginning, the same egoistical body rises from the dead. It is a huge, limitless desire to receive, one that was nurtured by the system of impure forces before it was honored to be purified by the light with the help of Kabbalah.

Of course, this is an allegory. No dead bodies are going to rise from their graves. When we begin to work with our previously dead AHP, it appears in all its original vileness (Aviut 3 and 4). We begin to correct the emerging egoism on the last levels of similarity to the Creator. Prior to that, it was only the period of preparation. Although we are in the spiritual world, these are just the Kelim de Ashpa’a (vessels of bestowal). However, at the levels three and four, we achieve reception for the sake of bestowal, which is equivalent to absolute bestowal.

We completely rid ourselves of egoistical desires, acquire altruistic intentions, and begin to resurrect our dead desires from the smallest to the biggest, while attaching them to the altruistic intentions. Such is the order of correction.

Thus, all of our desires recover and achieve the similarity of properties with the Creator. From this, we can understand why the dead must rise from their graves with all their defects. The expression “Nobody would say that these are different bodies” means: no one would say that this form is different from the one that was in the Thought of creation. The huge desire to receive the abundance of the plan of creation was only temporarily given into the power of the Klipot… (the intention for oneself).

As a result, the desire is given to the person to correct with the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. He not only becomes similar to the Creator in his actions, he becomes equal to Him in that he achieves the ultimate level of existence. He not only enters the Creator’s sensations, but also attains the Thought of creation, eternity, perfection, infinity, and absolute freedom.

At that, our world loses its significance, disappears from the sensations of the person who now includes all the other souls.

We should reach this state while living in this world. We should attain and feel all the spiritual levels while being in our biological body. Everyone has this opportunity.

29. From all we have explained, it is possible to answer the second question: What is our role in the long chain of reality in which we are small links throughout our short life?

We come to this world to spend some 60-70 years and have no clue how we are going to live them or what we can make out of this life. The first 20-30 years are spent to reach adulthood. The last years do not count, because we grow too weak, indifferent, and tired. All we have left is a few years to ask a question about the meaning of life and understand something.

What are we and what is our purpose, how can we do or influence something, if our conscious existence is so brief? Why are we so sensitive to this question that animals never ask themselves?

This is what the Baal HaSulam says:

You should know that our work during the years of our life consists of 4 periods. In the first period, the person acquires a huge, limitless desire to receive in all its depravity, while remaining under the power of the system of the 4 impure worlds of ABYA. This is the AHP, which we gradually destroy. Why does man first acquire enormous desires from all the Klipot? Unless we had that uncorrected desire to receive, we would not be able to correct it, because you can correct only the properties that you have.

Our first steps consist in acquiring as many desires as we can, although we aspire for the spiritual! Actually, we do not strive to satisfy our egoistical desires. Yet, as the person’s spiritual aspirations grow, his egoistical desires awaken and develop as well. Hence the words: “He who aspires higher than others has bigger egoism” are very true.

Do not be surprised by the growing feeling of our egoism. This happens not only because we understand ourselves better, but also because bigger egoistical properties are revealed in us. This way, we acquire the Kelim of the AHP, the egoistical vessels in their egoistical form (with the intention for oneself).

Hence, the desire to receive, which our body has from its birth in this world, is not enough… For a certain amount of time we should be under the influence of the Klipot, i.e., we unconsciously and unwillingly let the egoistical desires grow in us.

The period during which the egoistical desires grow in the person is called “13 years”. This means that impure forces should control the person and give him some of their light under the influence of which his desire to receive would grow, because the pleasures which impure forces supply the desire to receive extend and increase his demands.

Affected by the Upper Light, egoism grows day by day, because we need more and more of this light. By His purposeful influence, the Creator causes our egoism to grow.

For example, when man is born, there is a desire only for one portion, no more. When the impure forces fill the desire with this portion, the desire to receive doubles immediately. When the impure forces satisfy the increased desire, it extends and wishes to receive four times more pleasure.

Unless the person begins to limit himself and acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator (the Kelim of GE), unless he purifies himself, severs all ties with egoism and makes a Tzimtzum Aleph (does away with his AHP), he will continue chasing various pleasures of this world. Every time he receives some satisfaction from the Klipa, his desire would become twice as big as before. Hence, it is said:

If the person does not purify the desire to receive in order to turn it into bestowal, it grows during his lifetime, until he dies without gaining the desired objective.

This is what happens with us during all our incarnations, until we really understand that the pursuit of pleasure never leads to fulfillment.

I was asked by a local TV station to comment on Madonna’s visit to Israel and her plans to make a video clip about Kabbalah. People want to know why she decided to do it in Israel. The presenters were genuinely puzzled asking why would someone who has seemingly everything, millions of dollars, influence and fame, all of a sudden seek Kabbalah, come to Israel, although the situation here is rather volatile. Why would Madonna be promoting Kabbalah?

I told them that the person comes to a state, when he ostensibly achieved in this life all he ever wanted. Nevertheless, he suddenly realizes that he in fact has nothing. He understands that by increasing his desires he will only intensify his suffering, i.e., he will increase the emptiness of his Kelim, his sensations. So instinctively, he begins to search for an alternative method of fulfillment and discovers that this method is at a level that is higher than the usual pursuit of pleasures.

We see that, after satisfying their big desires, people like Madonna suddenly feel that it is not the end, that there is more pleasure waiting to be received. These desires are purely egoistical, but unfortunately, the hosts of the TV show do not feel that way. Everything depends on the level of development of egoism.

Thus, the person is under the power of the Klipot and impure forces. Their task is to extend and increase his desire to receive and make it limitless in order to show him the material (all of his AHP) which he should work on and correct.

Until the person receives this AHP, until he perceives it as dead, unfit to be used for receiving pleasure, he will continue reincarnating repeatedly.

By feeling his dead desires that are totally unable to give him a genuine fulfillment, the person will begin to soar and acquire new, sublime Kelim of GE. This only happens after the realization of evil.

This process can be accelerated. We should not try to get everything in the world, while receiving blows each time something is achieved with no fulfillment. We do not have to go all the way to the end, when we can save time and avoid suffering with the help of the Upper Light.

By attracting the Upper Light, we see how defective all of our Kelim(AHP) are. We have not yet used it, but we see how evil and opposite to the light it is. Therefore, we need not spend many more lives to discover the fallaciousness of the egoistical fulfillment.

This is what we call time contraction; this is what the method of Kabbalah is about. We need to draw the Surrounding light, and by using it, quickly go through the period of realization, correction, and ascent to perfection.

All the stages of this path are predetermined. The only thing that depends on us is the acceleration of time. Without plunging into negative sensations and clashing with our own egoism, we can see the vileness of egoism in advance and avoid its blows.

This is achieved by the most intensive drawing of the Upper Light, which is only possible with the help of a group, of friends who aspire to the Goal together. I can attract the Surrounding light that affects all of us.

If we join our forces, we will make a breakthrough towards the end of state one. If we accumulate the light that everyone can attract, we all would feel its influence and realize our own evil so intensively that we would desire to obtain the Kelim of G”E (properties of bestowal). Therefore, everything depends exclusively on our intention, on how much we are prepared to adopt this method.

30. The second period is from 13 on (after we come to the realization of the dead state, AHP), when strength is given to the point in the heart of man. It is the opposite side of the pure soul clothed in the desire to receive from the moment of his birth.

That is, from the moment of birth, we possess the egoistical Kelim that keep growing until we wish completely to reject them. Only then does our point in heart awaken. Even before we reach the level of “13 years”, we feel it as an aspiration for the Creator, but it is still suppressed by our egoistical desires. As soon as we see their evil and vileness and relinquish them, the point in heart emerges and manifests.

Awakening does not come before one reaches the level of “13 years”. After that, a man begins to pass into the power of a system of the pure worlds because of his study of Kabbalah. The main purpose during this period is to obtain a spiritual desire and to increase it (to reach G”E, i.e., the properties of Bina, the screen, Faith, Kelim de Ashpa’a). From his birth, the person only seeks to satisfy his material desires. Therefore, notwithstanding that during 13 years he gains a huge desire to receive (feels his AHP in this first period), his development is not finished yet. The end of development of the desire to receive is an aspiration to spirituality. If for example, during 13 years his desire to receive aimed at receiving wealth and honor in this material world, it is known that this world is not everlasting and that, like a fleeting shadow, everyone appears in it for a brief moment and then disappears.

When he gains the huge desire to receive spirituality, he wants to absorb all the abundance of the eternal world to come for his own pleasure. Therefore, the essence of the huge desire to receive is to gain spirituality.

Thus, he acquires the eternal, enormous AHP.

After the first period, the person makes the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and starts working with the vessels of bestowal in order to acquire a screen. What is he going to build his screen on? The screen is built on desires, yet he restricted, destroyed, and neutralized them in state one. So what is next? The desires he restricted in state one belong to this small, simple, and egoistical world.

In order to develop in himself altruistic intentions in state two, the person should lean on new desires for the spiritual world. First, he grows his desires of this world up to the level of “13 years”. They in turn separate into animate desires and the desires for wealth, honor, fame, and knowledge. This happens in all of our previous incarnations.

Feeling them as evil, he restricts them (makes Tzimtzum Aleph) and begins to acquire other desires that develop on spiritual levels.

He builds his altruistic Kelim (GE) on the enormous egoistical desires zero and one, which are much greater than “our world”. This state is called “Katnut” (small state). Now he has GE, or as we say, he achieves the states of Bina, the Masach, or Faith. Here he begins to build his new desires: two, three, and four. When he reaches the level of “Gadlut” (big state), he attaches to himself the AHP (levels of Awzen, Hotem and Peh). At this stage, he becomes similar to the Creator.

This is what the entire path of man is like.

We are now in the middle of the process of realizing evil. After that, we will be building our G”E and working with the “dead bodies”, i.e., with the AHP. This stage will be followed by the correction of the Lev HaEven when we achieve complete similarity to the Creator.

The Baal HaSulam describes these stages of our development in a different way, uses a different language. We can look upon the states either from the point of the light (the NaRaNHaY), or from the point of the Kelim (the Sefirot). We can also divide them into periods that presumably correspond to a human life. This is because all the spiritual roots have their reflections in our world.

The Baal HaSulam may use the language of the Torah (the Bible or Talmud) to demonstrate that all the sacred books write about the same topic: the path man must traverse and how he will do that. He says that the problem starts not in this world, but at the stage that follows, because man’s desires begin to grow. The Klipot (impure forces) emerge and enable the person to transform their influence into something opposite and pure.

How does it happen? Here is what the Kabbalist says:

31. Our sages say: “The leech has two daughters, crying, give, give (Proverbs 30, 15)”: “A leech means Hell (hell is a forced use of the egoistical properties). The sinners, who fall into the trap of hell, bark like dogs: “Bow-wow” (“Hav-Hav” – Heb.: give-give), meaning – “give us the wealth of this world and the wealth of the world to come”.

The level at which the person works with the Klipot is very important, because this way he obtains the material for his work. He acquires the desires without which he cannot become similar to the Creator. Therefore, there must be periods when we receive uncorrected desires and correct them.

Therefore, the level that comes after 13 years is defined as “pure”, which is the meaning of the writing, “the house-maid serves her mistress”, that is, to serve the Holy Shechina. It means that the maidservant symbolizes egoistical desires that lead to the spiritual level of bestowal, when the person is awarded “the light of Shechina”.

It is the person’s responsibility to do everything he can in order to gain the state of “Li Shema” (desire to bestow). If he does not make every effort to reach the state of “Li Shema”, he will fall into the garbage bin of the “impure” maidservant, who is the opposite of the “pure” one.

Unless the person who studies Kabbalah begins to purify the acquired impure desires, he falls more and more into the Klipot.

The zero level corresponds to our natural petty egoism. Below is the area of the Klipot; above is the place of Kedusha, the intention for the sake of the Creator. Unless the person makes an effort to apply the right method of spiritual ascent, unless he turns the property “–1” into “+1”, “–2” into “+2”, etc., he falls deeper and deeper under the power of the Klipot, until his study of Kabbalah is for his selfish enjoyment, with an intention to pass himself of as an important Rabbi, in order to lock people to him and to turn them into zombies. Thus, he plunges into absolute impurity.

This means that the maidservant takes the place of her mistress and prevents the person from approaching the Holy Shechina.The last level of this period is the desire to enjoy the Creator. This resembles man in this world whose passionate desire is so great that it is burning in him day and night, as it is said, “A constant memory does not let me sleep”.

It is also said about him, “The tree of life is full of passion”, that is the five levels of the soul form the Tree of life for 5oo years. Every level lasts 100 years that brings the person to the reception of all these five levels of NaRaNHaY that become revealed in the third period.

Why are there exactly 500 years? 500 years is a complete level. Every level is called “100 years”, because it consists of 10 Sefirot and each Sefira in its turn has ten sub-levels. Therefore, the number "100" is considered a complete level. If Nefesh is a complete level, it is called “100”. This means that man created the Kli and acquired for it the inner light called “100”. This is how the corrected Kli filled with the light is designated. It is defined similarly on all the levels: Nefesh, Ruach, Haya, Neshama, and Yechida, which totals 500 years. However, this is attained in the third period.

32. The third period is in Torah and Commandments Li Shema, that is, for the sake of bestowal and not for receiving a reward. This work purifies man’s desire to receive for himself and turns it into the desire to bestow.

After man acquired all the egoistical desires, not only the Galgalta ve Eynaim, but the AHP as well, he begins to work for the Creator. I would like to remind you that “the desire to bestow” and “the desire to receive” are just names. Human beings do not have pure desires to receive or to bestow. The desire to bestow is the Creator’s attribute, while the desire to receive is man, creation. This is his property and there is nothing else in him.

If man wishes to become similar to the Creator, he uses his desire to receive for the sake of bestowal, i.e., he receives pleasure to please the Creator. However, he still receives. Desires remain unchanged, only the intention, the method of using the desire is modified. Therefore, when we say that man passes from the “desire to receive” to the “desire to bestow”, we ought to understand that he acquires a new intention for the same old desire. This is why old desires with the intention for one’s self are considered dead. At a later stage, they rise and become pure and eternal, if man acquires the intention for the Creator’s sake instead of the intention for himself.

Let me say this again: although Kabbalah is called a science, it is attained not in the mind of our world, but in the Upper mind. This world is attained in its Kelim, in the mind of our world. To start attaining the Upper World above the Machsom, one should acquire the mind that corresponds with the Upper World.

The mind of the Upper World is called “faith above reason”; it is the property of bestowal. This property is exactly what constitutes the mind in the Upper World. You may be sitting at the lesson and understand nothing. It does not matter. Just make an effort and this will attract the Upper Light. The Upper Light will create in you the Reflected light, the correct intention. This intention is where you will feel the Upper World and receive the Upper mind.

This will happen not because you will be racking your brain, but because while being confused, irritated and exhausted, you will continue to aspire to Him. You will succeed not because you slept well and came to the lesson in good spirits, with pen and paper, eager to research the Upper Realm as the scientists of our world. This will only happen because of your effort.

Quite the contrary, everything will work out from the state of confusion, disillusionment, detachment, and weariness. When spirituality seems insignificant and unreal, it means that you are in the most correct state with regard to the Creator. If, while being in these states, you continue aspiring to the Upper World, the necessary spiritual Kelim (spiritual mind) will be formed in you.

Man rises to the level where so much light descends upon him that he can already transform his desires into spiritual, altruistic.

As soon as man purifies the desire to receive, he becomes worthy and ready to obtain the five parts of the soul that are called the NaRaNHaY. They are in the desire to bestow and cannot be clothed into the body until the desire to receive has a power in him.

The soul has two components: one is the Kli that consists of five parts: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA and Malchut. It is alternatively called the body of the soul, or the Partzuf. Inside it there is the light called the NaRaNHaY (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida).

As soon as the egoistical intentions become altruistic, desires begin to fill with the Upper Light to the extent of the Ohr Hassadim (or the Reflected light, or the screen – the definition is of no consequence). Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut are the five Kelim that are filled with the five lights of the NaRaNHaY.

However, when man is honored to become entirely a desire to bestow without receiving anything for one's self, he earns the same properties that he has in his upper NaRaNHaY (descending from its source in the world of Infinity from state one through the pure worlds of ABYA). These properties descend upon him immediately and clothe in him in accordance with the level.

The fourth period is the work after rising from the dead. It means that the desire to receive that completely disappeared, died and was buried, rises from the dead in its biggest and worst appearance, as it is said, “In the future, the dead will rise with all their defects”, and then turn them into receiving for the sake of giving.

Some special individuals are given this work during their lifetime in this world.

The Baal HaSulam says that there are people, who complete this work and reach the levels that are above the “resurrection of the dead”, when Lev HaEven becomes completely corrected. This is the level we are destined to achieve.

33. Now, there is the sixth analysis left to understand. As it is said by the sages, all worlds, upper and lower, were created only for man, not for anything else. At first glance, it seems very strange that the Creator has tried to create all of this for such an insignificant creature like man, who is like a grain of sand in this world in comparison with the whole universe, let alone with the spiritual worlds.

The matter concerns man’s feelings, his mental and spiritual parameters. How can we compare ourselves with the Upper Worlds, when even our world, our universe is a tiny grit in the great cosmos with regard to the smallest level of the Upper World?

We are told that man is created to become the master of all the worlds, to include all of them within him, and that nothing exists except for man with all the worlds within him. How can this be? It utterly contradicts our ideas about ourselves, and the universe that we know by our sensations.

It is even stranger to realize why man needs all these Upper spiritual worlds? What is this universe for? How can we use it? We do not even properly know our own planet. We have no idea of what is a couple of miles below us, or a couple of parsecs above us. Why do we need all that is created around us? Here is what the Baal HaSulam answers:

You should know that the Creator receives joy just from the gratification of those whom He has created, but only to the extent in which creation feels Him, feels that He is giving and wishes to delight them. He starts amusing Himself with them as a father who is playing with his beloved son. As much as the son feels and recognizes the greatness and power of his father, he shows him all the treasures that he prepared for him.

Read this again; As much as the son feels and recognizes the greatness and power of his father (the Creator)… This means man acquires the properties of the Creator, for how else would he be able to understand?

Think carefully about what was said and then you can understand and know the great amusement of the Creator with those perfect souls that were honored to feel and understand His greatness throughout all the ways He has prepared for them, until they come up to the relationship between father and son. Everything that was written is for those who perceive the spiritual worlds.

Until we reach these levels and establish the same contact with the Upper Force, we will not be able to understand the purpose of all that was prepared for us. As much as we can feel the greatness of this power, realize it on ourselves, and adopt its properties, we will begin to comprehend how we can rule over the universe and all the Upper Worlds in place of the Creator. Only then shall we discover why He created such immense and awesome worlds for us.

There is nothing more to say about it. It is enough to know that for those pleasures and amusements, it was worth it for Him to create all the worlds, both the Upper and the lower, which we are yet to reveal.

34. In order to prepare His creatures to reach the aforementioned exalted level, the Creator thought of four levels that evolve one out of another. They are called still, vegetative, animate, and human, and they are indeed the four phases of the will to receive that each of the Upper Worlds consists of. For although the vast majority of the will is in the fourth phase of the will to receive, it is impossible for it to materialize all at once, except by the preceding three phases that gradually expose and develop it, until its form has been completed.

Man gradually enters into the sensations of the Creator, becomes similar to Him, masters the system of creation, and begins to rule over the heritage that the Creator prepared for him. Man gradually ascends the four levels still, vegetative, animate, and human, while attaining the four degrees of comprehension of the universe.

These four levels exist in our will to receive and, by correcting each of them, we ascend to the next level of sensation of power over the surrounding world.

35. In the first phase of the will to receive, called still, which is the preliminary exposure of the egoistical desire in this corporeal world, there is but a general movement that includes the whole of the still category. But in particular items there is no apparent movement. That is because the will to receive generates needs and the needs stimulate movement that is sufficient to attain what it wants.

It is the same with us; the most important thing is desire. If there is a desire, I will be able to make a move to receive what I want. If I feel that I am too lazy, (What does it mean to be lazy? – It means that my will to receive is insufficient), I have to work on increasing my will to receive, and then I will not be lazy anymore.

How can I make this happen within myself? Only with the help of studies, contacts with others like me, by receiving the Kabbalistic method from the books, listening to what Kabbalists advise us.

Our will to receive is small. To increase it to such an extent that we break through the barrier into the spiritual, we need to turn our desire from being small into being an all-conquering one. One can do this only under external impact, under the influence of a group, when I have 35 people around me.

If all of us out there are given the opportunity to unite, then each of us will receive the will that is 200, 300 times greater, according to the number of people now present at our virtual lesson. It will be quite enough to cross the barrier and enter the Upper World right now. We lack only one thing: the union of our aspirations for the spiritual.

Since there is only a small will to receive, it dominates the whole of the category at once, but its power over the particular items is indistinguishable.

This refers to the first phase – the still level of the will to receive. Each subsequent level appears as a superstructure above the preceding one.

36. The second phase of the will to receive that is called vegetative is added to the first. Its desire is larger than in the still phase, and it dominates every item of the category. Similarly, in the vegetative world we see a germ, a spark of life in every plant.

Each one has its own private movement that spreads up and down and to the sides, and moves where the sun shines (reaction of each part to the Upper Light); the manner of nourishment and excreting waste is also apparent in each item. There is already a recognition of what is “good” and “evil”; useful things are attracted, harmful are repelled. Already the vegetative type of will to receive exists in us, but is nonetheless a very small, general desire.

A group appears and, in general, it aspires to something. You may say, “Well, isn’t it good that the group aspires to something?” Everyone in the group must be an individual, but at the same time, all of them must be united, merged in a single whole, despite their outstanding individual qualities.

Only then will this gathering of individuals become a group. If they are not prominent individuals, but simply people united on their small level, it is not a group, but an amorphous mass. This difference separates a Kabbalistic group and an ordinary mass of people. A group is made up of people who are developing themselves individually to the maximum, while uniting in one whole to the maximum despite their individuality.

Thus, individuality starts from the second vegetative level, when each of us begins to feel inner movements, to comprehend and distinguish between the notions of “evil” and “good”, “to the Creator” and “to myself”, “to friends” – “away from them”, and so on.

37. In addition, we also have the animate level, the third phase of the will to receive that is so great that it generates in each of its parts (that is, in every individual who reaches the animate level) a feeling of freedom, which represents a special life of each part that is distinct from the others.

Plants and trees in the field shed their leaves at the same time, and then begin to grow. The leaves fall because there is no sun; the sun shines for all of them. Conversely, they wake up when the sun rises, turn in the direction of the sun, and so on. That is, there is a common life for all, different from that of the still nature, but it is common for each species.

Each individual animal leads a separate life; each can move around freely, even though there are periods common to specific animal groups, such as mating, development, growth, and rearing. Animals are at the intermediate level, but they have freedom of movement.

In the same way, as we reach the animate level of development where free inner movements awaken within us, work begins on our egoistical desires that are unique for everyone. Yet what is still negative and insufficient on this animate level? Why is it not final? The Baal HaSulam says:

However, these desires yet lack the sensation of their neighbor (this is most important), that is, they are yet unprepared to feel compassion for others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune.

He does not write, “to feel joy over others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune”, but puts it in the right, altruistic way: “to feel compassion for others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune.”

This is the fourth degree of the will to receive. Why do we need it? Why is it something that distinguishes man (by man we mean his spiritual category) from an animal?

38. In addition to all is the human level, the fourth phase of the will to receive. This is the complete, fully developed will to receive, because it includes feelings for others.

If you wish to know with absolute accuracy what the distinction between the third (animate) phase of the will to receive, and the fourth (human) one is, I shall tell you that it is as the worth of a single creature against the whole of reality.

What does the feeling of someone’s joy and suffering give me? Why should I feel another's Kli, another's desire?

The person who finds himself at the third level of development is an ordinary person. If he reaches the fourth level of the will to receive, he includes in himself all the worlds. Only the quality of feeling his neighbor enables man to grow his will to receive to such a degree where he attains and absorbs the whole universe. This is what he gets from the sensation of others, something that animals lack.

A feeling for others is an altruistic feeling! Animals possess an egoistical sensation of others; they help one another, have families, prides, packs and herds, i.e., groups of all sorts. They have developed mutual aid on a very high, animate, instinctive, egoistical level.

The Baal HaSulam writes in paragraph 37, “to feel compassion for others’ suffering”. Compassion means to feel someone’s suffering as one’s own or to be happy for his good fortune. When someone else receives, I feel as if I receive.

If man can reach such a level of his will to receive, he rises above nature, above all the other worlds, starting from phase zero, where he is still at the animate level of development. If he rises to the human level, i.e., absorbs in him all the negative and positive desires of those around him and identifies himself with them, then he turns into an immense vessel that includes all souls, all worlds, including the world of Infinity. This whole circle enters inside his large, common soul.

This is because the will to receive at the animate level, which lacks the sensation of others, is unable to beget desires and needs other than what is imprinted in this creature alone. Whereas man, who can feel others, acquires their desires and properties as his own, absorbs them, becomes needy of everything that others have too, and is thus filled with envy wishing to acquire everything. He then acquires additional egoistical desires, the Klipot, that he can now correct.

When he has a certain share, he wants to double it. (He sees that someone else has something and craves it). Therefore, his needs multiply until he wants to swallow all that there is in the whole world.

He desires all that exists in the world, including the desire called “Pharaoh”. He wants the Creator to fill, delight, and serve him. Only owing to our inner quality of envy, meaning sensation of others, can we evolve and reach the level called “man”. The rudiments of this opportunity exist outside us. How can we prevent them from leading us to the Klipot, away from the Creator? We shall discuss this at length later…

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