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Crisis and Correction

Before we talk about how Kabbalistic concepts can help us in our day-to-day lives, let’s see what we’ve learned so far. It might come as a surprise, but you already know quite a bit about Kabbalah. You know that Kabbalah started about 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq), when people were searching for the purpose of their lives. Those people, led by Abraham the Patriarch, discovered that the reason we are all born is to receive the ultimate pleasure of becoming like the Creator. When they discovered it, they built study groups and began to spread the word.

Those first Kabbalists told us that all we’re made of is a will to receive pleasure, which they separated into five levels—still, vegetative, animate, speaking, and spiritual. The will to receive is very important because it’s the engine behind everything we do in this world. In other words, we’re always trying to receive pleasure, and the more we have, the more we want. As a result, we’re always evolving and changing.

Later, we learned that Creation was formed in a four-phase process, where the Root (0), which is synonymous with the Light and the Creator, created the will to receive (1); the will to receive then wanted to give (2), then decided to receive as a way of giving (3), and finally wanted to receive once more (4). But this time it wanted to receive the knowledge of how to be the Creator, the Giver.

After the four phases and their Root, the will to receive was divided into five worlds— Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya—and one soul, called Adam ha Rishon. Adam ha Rishon broke and materialized in our world. In other words, all of us are actually one soul, connected and dependent on each other like cells in a body.

But when the will to receive grew, we became more self-centered and stopped feeling that we were one. Instead, today we only feel ourselves, and even if we do relate to others it is done to receive pleasure through them.

This egoistic state is called “the broken soul of Adam ha Rishon,” and it is our task, as parts of that soul, to correct it. Actually, we don’t have to correct it, but we must be aware that we are broken and want to become corrected. When we realize that, we will begin to look for a way out of the trap of this law, the egoism trap.

Looking for freedom from the ego leads to the emergence of the “point in the heart,” the desire for spirituality. The “point in the heart” is like any desire; it increases and decreases through the influence of the environment. If we want to increase our desire for spirituality, we need to build an environment that promotes it. In this section, we will talk about what needs to be done to have an environment that is spiritually supportive on personal, social, and international levels.

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