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The (Narrow) Road to Freedom

It might come as a surprise to you, but you already know quite a bit about Kabbalah. Flip back and let’s review. You know that Kabbalah started about 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq). It was discovered when people were searching for the purpose of their lives. Those people 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 always evolve and change.

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

After the four phases, the will to receive was divided into five worlds 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 just 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 do have to be aware that we cannot feel real pleasure in our present state because of the law of the will to receive: “When I have what I want, I no longer want it.” 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 is increased and decreased through the influence of the environment. So if we want to increase our desire for spirituality, we need to build an environment that promotes spirituality. This last (but most important) chapter in our book will talk about what needs to be done to have a spirituality-supportive environment on personal, social, and international levels.

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