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The Desire for Spirituality


Different Strokes for Different Folks

The only difference between people is in the way they want to experience pleasure. The pleasure in itself, however, is amorphous, intangible. But covering it with different “dresses,” or “coatings,” creates an illusion that there are different kinds of pleasure, when in fact there are many different kinds of coatings.

The fact that pleasure is essentially spiritual explains why we have an unconscious craving to replace the superficial coating of the pleasure with the desire to feel it in its pure, unadulterated form: the Creator’s Light.

And because we’re unaware that the difference between people is in the coatings of pleasure they wish for, we judge them according to the coatings they prefer. We consider certain coatings of pleasure legitimate, such as love of children, while others, such as drugs, are considered unacceptable. When we feel an unacceptable coating for pleasure emerging in us, we are forced to conceal our desire for that coating. However, concealing a desire doesn’t make it go away, and certainly doesn’t correct it.


As we’ve explained in the previous section, the lower part of Phase Four is the substance of the soul of Adam ha Rishon. Just as the worlds are built according to the growing desires, Adam’s soul (humanity) evolved through five phases: Zero (still) through Four (spiritual).

When each phase arises, humanity experiences it to the fullest until it exhausts itself. Then, the next level of desire appears according to the sequence of Reshimot embedded in us. Until today, we had already experienced all the Reshimot of all the desires from still to speaking. All that’s left for the evolution of humanity to be complete is for us to experience the spiritual desires to the fullest. Then, our unity with the Creator will be achieved.

Actually, the appearance of desires at the fifth level began back in the 16th century, as was described by Kabbalist Isaac Luria (the Ari), but today we are witnessing the appearance of the most intense kind within the fifth level—the spiritual within the spiritual. Moreover, we are witnessing its appearance in huge numbers, when millions of people the world over are seeking spiritual answers to their questions.

Because the Reshimot that surface today are closer to spirituality than they previously were, the primary questions people are asking are about their origins, their roots! Although most of them have a roof over their heads and earn enough to support themselves and their families, they have questions about where they came from, by whose plan, and for what purpose. When they are not satisfied with the answers religions offer, they seek them from other disciplines.

The main difference between Phase Four and all other phases is that in this phase, we must consciously evolve. In previous phases, it was always Nature that compelled us to move from phase to phase. It did this by pressuring us enough to feel so uncomfortable in our present state that we had to change it. This is how Nature develops all of its parts: human, animate, vegetative, and even inanimate.

Because we are naturally lazy, we will only move from one state to the next when the pressure becomes intolerable. Otherwise, we wouldn’t lift a finger. The logic is simple: If I’m fine where I am, why move?

But Nature has a different plan. Instead of allowing us to remain complacent in our present state, it wants us to evolve until we reach its own level, the level of the Creator. This is the purpose of Creation.

So we have two options: we could choose to evolve through Nature’s (painful) pressure, or we can evolve painlessly by participating in the development of our awareness. Remaining undeveloped is not an option, as it doesn’t fit into Nature’s plan when it created us.

When our spiritual level begins to evolve, it can only happen if we want it to evolve and to reach the same condition as the Creator's. Just like Phase Four in the Four Phases, we are now required to voluntarily change our desire.

Therefore, Nature will continue pressuring us. We will continue to be struck by hurricanes, earthquakes, epidemics, terrorism, and all kinds of natural and manmade hardships until we realize that we have to change, that we must consciously return to our Root.

Just to review: our spiritual root evolved along Phases Zero through Four; Phase Four split into worlds (its upper part) and souls (its lower part). The souls—collected in the common soul of Adam ha Rishon—broke off by losing their sense of oneness with the Creator. This breaking of Adam ha Rishon brought humanity to its present state, with an unseen barrier that separates the spiritual worlds (above it) from our world (below).

Below the barrier, the spiritual force created a corporeal particle, which began to evolve. This was the Big Bang.

Keep in mind that when Kabbalists talk about the spiritual world and the corporeal, physical world, they are referring to altruistic or egoistic features, respectively. They never refer to worlds that take up physical space in some undiscovered universe.

We can’t take a spaceship and fly to the world Yetzira, for example, or even discover spirituality by changing our behavior. We can only discover it by becoming altruistic—similar to the Creator. When we do that, we will discover that the Creator is already within us and that He has always been here, waiting for us.

All degrees prior to the last evolve without awareness of their “selves.” In terms of our personal awareness, the fact that we exist doesn’t mean that we are aware of our existence. Before we reach the fourth level, we merely exist. In other words, we live our lives as comfortably as we can, but we take our existence for granted without asking about its purpose.

But is it really that obvious? Minerals exist so that plants can feed on them and grow; plants exist so animals can feed on them and grow; minerals, plants, and animals exist so humans can feed on them and grow. But what is the purpose of human existence? All the levels serve us, but what or whom do we serve? Ourselves? Our egos? When we first ask these questions, it is the beginning of our conscious evolution, the emergence of the desire for spirituality. This is called the “point in the heart.”

In the last evolutionary degree, we begin to understand the process we are parts of. Simply put, we begin to acquire Nature’s logic. The more we understand its logic, the more we expand our consciousness and integrate with it. In the end, when we have fully mastered Nature’s logic, we will understand how Nature works and even learn to master it. This process occurs exclusively at the last level, the level of spiritual ascent.

We must always remember that our final level of human development should unfold consciously and willingly. Without an explicit desire for spiritual growth, no spiritual evolution can occur. After all, the spiritual evolution from above downward had already happened. We have been brought down the Four Phases of Light to the five worlds Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, and were finally placed here in this world.

If we are now to climb back up the spiritual ladder, we must choose to do so. If we forget that the purpose of Creation is for us to become like the Creator, we will not understand why Nature doesn’t help us—and sometimes even places obstacles on our way.

But if, on the other hand, we keep only Nature’s goal in mind, we will feel that our lives are a fascinating voyage of discovery, a spiritual treasure hunt. Moreover, the more actively we participate in this Tour-de-Life, the faster and easier these discoveries will come. Better yet, the hardships will be felt as questions we must answer, instead of ordeals we must face in our physical lives. This is why evolving by our own awareness is so much better than evolving only after Nature gives us a painful push from behind!

If we have a desire to evolve in spirituality, then we have the right Kli for it, and there is no better feeling than a filled Kli, a fulfilled desire.

But the desire for spirituality must come before the spiritual filling. Preparing the Kli before the Light is not only the sole means of ascending in the fourth phase; it is also the only means in which no pain and shortage is involved.

In fact, if we think about it, there is nothing more natural than to prepare the Kli first. If I want to drink water, then water is my light, my pleasure. Naturally, to drink water I must prepare the (Kli) first, which in this case will be thirst. And the same applies for anything we want to receive in this world. If a new car is my light, then my desire for it is my Kli. This Kli makes me work for the car, and ensures that I don’t squander my money on other whims.

The only difference between a spiritual Kli and a physical one is that I don’t quite know what I will receive with a spiritual Kli. I may imagine it as all kinds of things, but because there is a barrier between my present state and my desired goal, I can never really know what my goal will be like until I actually reach it. When I do reach it, it is greater than anything I could ever imagine; but I’ll never know for sure how great it is until I have actually reached it. If I knew my reward in advance, it wouldn’t be real altruism, but disguised egoism.

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