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The Quest for the Thought of Creation

Even though the Creator wants us to receive the pleasure of becoming identical to Him, He didn’t give us this desire to begin with. All that He gave us—Creation—was an infinite craving for pleasure. However, as we can see in the sequence of phases, the Creator did not infuse Creation with a specific desire to be like Him. This evolved within her through the phases.

In Phase Three, Creation had already received everything and intended to give back to the Creator. The sequence could have ended right then and there, since she was already doing exactly what the Creator was doing—giving. In that sense, Creator and Creation were already identical.

But Creation did not settle for giving. She wanted to understand what made giving pleasurable, why a giving force was necessary to create reality, and what wisdom the giver obtained by giving. In short, Creation wanted to understand the Thought of Creation. This was a new craving that the Creator had not “planted” in her.

When Creation developed the desire to become like the Creator, she became a distinct, separated being from the Him. We can look at it this way: If I want to be like someone else, it necessarily means that I’m aware that that someone else exists, and that that someone has something that I want. It may be that person’s possession or a quality; but it is something that the other has that I would very much like to have, too.

In such a state, I not only realize that there is someone else besides me, but I realize that that someone is not only different from me, but better. Otherwise, why would I want to be like Him?

Therefore, Malchut, Phase Four, is very different from the first three phases because it wants to receive a very specific kind of pleasure (hence the thicker arrow)—that of being identical to the Creator. From the Creator’s perspective, Malchut’s desire completes the Thought of Creation, the cycle that He originally had in mind (Figure 2).

As Figure 2 indicates, achieving the Thought of Creation will elevate Malchut (Creation) to a higher degree than its own root, a higher place than the Source that created it. Put simply, it would raise Malchut to the level of the Creator and make it identical to Him.

But alas, we are not looking at things from the Creator’s perspective. From down here, with our broken spiritual spectacles, the picture is less than ideal. In order for Creation, who is completely opposite from the Creator, to become like the Creator, she must use her will to receive with the intention to bestow. By doing that, she will turn her focus from her own pleasure to the joy the Creator receives from giving. And in so doing, she , too, will become a giver.

Actually, in Phase Three, Creation already received in order to give to the Creator. So from the Creator’s perspective, Phase Three had already completed the job of becoming identical to the Creator. The Creator gives in order to bestow, and Phase Three receives in order to bestow, so in that sense they are the same.

But the ultimate pleasure is not in knowing what the Creator does and replicating His actions. The ultimate pleasure is in knowing why He does what He does, acquiring the same thoughts as His, and even the same nature. And this knowledge—the Creator's nature—hasn’t been given to Creation. It is what Creation (Phase Four) must achieve on her own.

There is a beautiful connection here. On the one hand, it seems as if we (Creation) and the Creator are on opposite sides of the court, because we receive what He gives. But in fact, His greatest pleasure is to see us becoming like Him, and our greatest pleasure would be to become like Him. Similarly, every child wants to become like its parents, and every parent naturally wants his or her child to achieve what the parent did not.

Therefore, we and the Creator are actually pursuing the same goal! If we could comprehend this concept, our lives would be very, very different. Instead of the confusion and disorientation so many of us experience today, we and the Creator could march together toward our designated goal since the dawn of Creation.


Kabbalists use many terms to describe “the will to bestow”: Creator, Light, Giver, Thought of Creation, Phase Zero, Root, Root Phase, Keter, Bina, and many others.

Similarly, they use many terms to describe “the will to receive”: Creation, creature, Kli, receivers, Phase One, Hochma, and Malchut are just a few.

These terms refer to subtleties in the two characteristics—bestowal and reception. If we remember that, we will not be confused by all the names.


To become like the Creator, a giver, the Kli does two things. First, it stops receiving altogether, an act called Tzimtzum (restriction). It stops the Light entirely and doesn’t allow any of it into the Kli. Similarly, it’s easier to avoid eating something tasty, but unhealthy, than to eat just a little and leave the rest on the plate. Therefore, making a Tzimtzum is the first and easiest step to becoming like the Creator. The ability to make the Tzimtzum is called “acquiring a Masach (screen).” Figure 3 shows how the Creator’s Light approaches the Kli but is rejected by the Masach.

Figure 3: The Masach stops the Creator’s Light (downward arrow) from entering because Creation doesn’t want to be a receiver, but a giver, like the Creator. In that state, if receiving Light means being less similar to the Creator, Creation prefers to remain dark.

The next thing that Malchut does is to set up a mechanism that examines the Light (pleasure) and decides if it will receive it, and if so, how much. This mechanism is a development of the Masach (screen).

The condition by which the Masach determines how much to receive is called “aim to bestow.” In simple terms, the Kli only takes in what it can receive with the intention to please the Creator, or as Kabbalists put it, “in order to bestow” (Figure 4). The Light received within the Kli is called “Inner Light,” and the Light that remains outside is called “Surrounding Light.”

Figure 4: The Masach separates the Light that Creation can receive in order to bestow—Inner Light—from the Light it cannot receive with this aim—Surrounding Light.

At the end of the correctionprocess, the Kli will receive all of the Creator’s Light and unite with Him. This is the purpose of Creation. When we reach that state, we will feel it both as individuals and as a single, united society. This is because the complete Kli is not made of one person’s desires, but of the desires of all of humanity. And when we complete this last correction, we will become identical to the Creator, Phase Four will be fulfilled, and Creation will be completed from our perspective, just as it is completed from His.

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