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Chapter 2. Spirituality

Spirituality. The very word causes a cavalcade of descriptions, ranging from what we find at the bottom of a bottle of tequila, to religion, to cults, to ghosts and goblins. Yet what is this thing we call “spirituality?” Is it a place such as heaven? Is it a religion such as Christianity, Judaism or Islam? Is it a condition? Is it a state of mind? Or is it a combination of all of the above?

If we consider the lack from which we suffer, we can narrow it down a bit. Whatever spirituality is, it is definitely not here, not in this world where we live, eat, sleep, breath, and fulfill a generous amount of our desires. The topic has been discussed, refuted, pontificated upon, buried, and resurrected more times than can be counted. Yet for whatever reason, a singular definition of “spirituality” still eludes us.

Having been examined from a variety of directions, most everyone agrees on one fact: spirituality is where the “soul” resides. In other words, it is the soul’s environment. That is all well and good, but it also defines nothing until we know what a soul is. It is like saying to someone from a different planet that “this item is a dog house” yet they have no idea what a dog is.

In general, there are four common attitudes regarding the soul, as well as our existence here in the physical and the spiritual. Those four attitudes are religious, secular, scientific, and philosophical. The following description is taken from Attaining the Worlds Beyond and offers a brief explanation of each:


Clothed within each and every one of our physical bodies is an eternal entity called a “soul.” The soul is eternal, and as an object has virtually nothing to do with the world in which we physically live, unless it inhabits a body. It has a completely independent existence from the physical body and exists before, during and after the physical body’s existence.

The soul is not a “body” as we know it, having no organs or physical attributes, and can therefore be considered “whole” or undivided. It is much like dividing a pitcher of water into three glasses; the water in each of the glasses still contains every element of the original substance, missing nothing. The soul does contain certain qualities that it expresses when clothed within a physical body. Furthermore, the physical body takes on the spiritual qualities of the soul while the soul inhabits it.

The body itself is simply a physical and biological substance with no characteristics of its own until the soul inhabits it. The inhabiting by a soul within a body is called physical “birth” and the leaving of a soul from a physical body is called “death.” Without the soul, the body could not move or interact in any way because the soul is responsible for the body’s life and motion.


This approach is also known as the “dualistic” approach to explain the soul’s existence, as well as to explain our physical existence. Most college students who have taken biology classes are very familiar with an experiment that has been repeated many times. Under the right conditions, gaseous and solid chemicals are mixed within a vacuum chamber, an electrical spark is induced and presto, instant life appears. The discovery of such science has led to an expansion of the initial religious idea. It goes something like this:

Certainly souls do inhabit bodies, but they do not necessarily have to in order for the physical body to exist. The biological body can exist as a totally independent unit, able to perform all functions of life. It exhibits qualities of its own, albeit none that are spiritual. But here is the catch. In order to actually have any spiritual qualities, the soul must inhabit the body, just like in the original religious concept. And since the soul is a spiritual entity, the body is the recipient of only good qualities when inhabited by the soul. Otherwise, it is simply like any other animal, until that point when it is inhabited by the soul. But the soul is the actual controlling force because it is what causes the body to be born and maintains it as well.


This approach is also known as the “non-believer” attitude. Basically this idea denies any existence of a soul or spirituality altogether. In fact, the only thing that exists is what is here, what can be seen or detected physically. Every event the body performs is a function of calculations of the brain with regard to pain and pleasure. Data is received through our senses and analyzed by the brain, which then determines whether what is being sensed causes pain or pleasure.

The brain also has the ability to store information regarding what it has experienced as pain or pleasure. It attempts to recreate the situations of pleasure over and over again. The reverse is also true with regard to pain. So in this concept, almost everything operates by example and memory. Of course, the brain can guess from what it perceives as pleasure that something similar will produce pleasure as well.

So in this view, what separates us from animals? The difference between us and, say, the devoted pet that lies at your feet is simply the advanced development of the human brain. The human brain analyzes and acts on hundreds of thousands of times more data than that of your animal companion. This massive amount of analysis is how we “reason” and is responsible for our superiority over every other creature.

This reason stems from both the amount of data we can process, and the speed at which we process it. Hence, animals are categorized by the volume and speed they analyze and process. Of course, this approach is far and away the most scientific. It relies totally on what we have in front of us, what we can see or detect with scientific experiments. The basis for every action or non-action we make is the processing of data that comes to us through our environment.

The downside to this approach is that this removes any romantic idea of humankind and relegates us to being mere slaves of our environment, constantly calculating pleasure versus pain. Any concept of free will goes right out the window as all our actions are merely a combination of our initial genetic makeup and our environment. From this great conundrum, lacking appeal to most scientists, came the final attempt to create the more palatable approach we refer to as “philosophical.”


The “philosophical” or “modern” concept takes the best of all three concepts and attempts to provide an explanation for our physical and spiritual existence. Yes, the soul does exist. Yes, the soul is the real “us.” Yes, the soul is an eternal and spiritual being. Yes, our genetic makeup and environment strongly affect how we are here. Of course, once again, we have raised many more questions than we have answered, even if we combine all three of these definitions.

At the end of the day, the three concepts that accept the existence of the soul fail to explain how it is related to the body in this world. We are most comfortable with what we can see, hear, smell, touch, and feel. Yet the scientific version of spirituality leaves this incredibly strong sense of lack completely unanswered. What most of us end up doing is fantasizing about the spiritual, simply assuming it exists. Those who believe there is nothing but what we have here are few and far between, for who wants to believe their existence ends at physical death?

Here we find ourselves struggling with an age-old dichotomy. We want to believe in spirituality and the soul, but we have absolutely nothing concrete to base it on. If we apply our normal reasoning to the problem, our logical conclusion is too painful for most of us to stomach. To break down the problem to the basics, we cannot logically say we “accept” the existence of something unless we actually experience it. Our only solution would be to somehow experience the perception of something spiritual, yet we have no concrete real way of perceiving what we define as the “spiritual”…or do we?

Nearly everyone has an opinion about what spirituality is, but almost no one has any connection with the spiritual world or any idea how it works. People have argued that the spiritual can be understood through arts such as music, or through science, religion, even psychology. But spirituality can really only be understood when experienced. This means that a person must somehow be able to enter the “place of the spiritual,” research it, and determine what its properties are. In other words, they must undertake a process of discovery. The tool for this process is called “Kabbalah.”

Kabbalah is a clear, concise system that helps us to discover what that mysterious lack is, and then provides a proven method to fill it. One cannot attain the spiritual through psychological or other earthly means. Methods that involve meditation or special music certainly do produce psychological phenomena that make us feel wonderful, but that is not the spirituality to which I am referring.

The spiritual world I refer to can only be revealed through a wisdom that serves as a branch, a lifeline, a connection between “here” and “there.” Our world, as well as that of the spiritual, operates through forces. The study of the method of Kabbalah is a complex system comprised of one’s own work, by which one draws upon oneself a very special and unique force.

That special force Kabbalah refers to as “Light” awakens the spiritual desire in us, a desire to fill the lack that originally brought us to search for answers. That lack is our wish to continue living in this world, but primarily from a physical perspective in the animate body. What changes is everything that has to do with our minds and our desires; they should operate on an altogether different frequency, as if one were breaking through an invisible barrier to another world.

This kind of spiritual discovery that we generally coin “attainment” cannot be seen, presented, or made apparent to anyone. People who have not experienced it cannot feel or comprehend the explanations for it. Attainment is a unique, completely intimate feeling, a sensation that is attained through the study of this wondrous wisdom.

Simply put, Kabbalah is a method that allows a person to experience and research the spiritual. In doing so, one discovers and reaches many different spiritual degrees and states. The process that enables us to have these incredible insights stems from a spiritual concept called “equivalence of form,” which will be described in detail in this book.

To begin with, let’s start with a brief overview of exactly what is contained within the spiritual. There are basically two elements and one process. These two elements are the Creator and the creature. The process is a method similar to a machine that starts with these two elements, separated as far from each other as east is from west. Through a successive series of spiritual steps, the creature slowly moves closer to its Creator. By doing so, more and more of the Creator is gradually revealed.


The Wisdom of Kabbalah, our tool for research, utilizes its own specific language in order to describe certain aspects of the spiritual. For instance, terms such as God, Creator, and Emanator are actually labels of specific forces and degrees. The different names of God used within the Wisdom simply describe our perception of a single Force from a different perspective than previously experienced. In other words, the difference between one spiritual degree and another is not that the Creator has changed; it is just that a bit more of Him has been revealed because we have changed.

Many who first begin their studies are under the misconception that Kabbalah refers to more than one Force, but it does not. They ask, “Does this infer that there is not one singular Force, one supreme Force in the entire universe?” To the contrary, it is our changing perspective that causes this illusion that there is more than one Force and different Lights – these are different perceptions of the Creator.

We experience one degree at a time, so whatever we experience as the next higher degree we always perceive as the Creator. In fact, as we discover a degree, it will appear so perfect, so right, that we find it virtually impossible to think there is anything else but this degree. Our experience is, “This is it, I have found it all.” Yet, as time passes, another layer will be added, provided that we keep working towards it.

One can also look at this process from another point of view. The Creator can also be thought of as the Collection of the Forces we discover, the Sum of the parts. This Collective Force actually monitors the whole system of creation. From this perspective, the Creator is One and is completely unique. This Force, the Creator, has but one singular mission, to delight His creatures in any possible way they can be delighted. This is considered the one primary law of the spiritual worlds.

Every other law is a branch of that law, which cascades downward and is responsible for everything that happens. How should we regard this law? The simplest answer is that every single thing that happens to you every second of the day has but one sole purpose: to bring you to the point of utter bliss, and to be completely filled with the Light of the Creator.

Kabbalah breaks down the structure of the spiritual into pieces, then pieces of pieces. One can also visualize the overall structure as a five-layered onion. In the center is the heart, the Creator. We, the souls, are on the very outside of that onion. We are concealed from the Creator by these five general layers, which Kabbalah calls “worlds.”

One can think of these layers as coverings, or veils, that hide what’s inside. The first layer of the onion, the first world, is called Adam Kadmon. The successive worlds, additional layers between the Creator and us, Kabbalah gives the names Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, the outermost layer.

From the innermost point, the heart of the onion, the Creator pulls us toward Him. If we place a cannonball on our bed, then another smaller ball at the edge of the bed, we will observe that the smaller ball plunges downward toward the cannonball. Of course, we all know we have just witnessed the effect of gravity. The Creator acts very much like this force, constantly pulling His creatures closer to Him.

When we, as His creatures, feel that tug, the pull inward, we normally sense it as pain. That pain is the result of our resistance. But when we begin to cooperate with that Force and work with it in order to come closer to the Creator, we will no longer feel any pain. Instead, the Force will become a source of pleasure. It will feel good. Of course, the antithesis is correct as well. The more we resist, the more pain we feel. This is the source of our troubles and the troubles society experiences as a whole.

So we can look at Kabbalah in a different way. Its wondrous wisdom provides a manner in which to view ourselves so that no matter what the situation or circumstance, we are always in agreement with that Force. In so doing, we are always headed in the right direction, towards the Creator. Hence, although Kabbalah does provide answers to our desires in our world, it has an even more important purpose: to give us an impression of a new reality that opens before us, a new life that will fulfill us.

To equalize with the Creator means to be equal to Him in every manifestation. It does not refer to the Upper Force itself, but to how He relates to things, how He appears before us, within us, as a Supreme Power, as Essence, in the way that He wants us to feel Him. Another word of caution is in order here. The above does not mean we become God or that we are God. It simply means that when we enter the spiritual, we have been able to equalize with the attribute of the Creator (i.e. bestowal), not His essence. This confusion has led to major misunderstandings where people think, “We are God.”

The Creator created us from His wish to give, to bestow. He created our will to receive exactly in the amount that He wanted to give. That is why we must attain everything that He wants to give us – eternity, strength, perfection, total control. So our target is to obtain those same characteristics.

The primary law of creation is the singularity of the Creator—the one and only Power that controls everything. There is none else beside Him And that Power is one of bestowal.

The second law of creation is that the Creator is totally benevolent.

We cannot settle the contradiction between these two laws as they appear in our conception of reality. If we explore the world around us, it surely doesn’t seem as if the Creator is being benevolent. But people who achieve that equivalence of form will tell you that this is no theory, but pure fact. How do they know this? They discover this fact within that sensation of the Creator. People who enter the spiritual and are working on achieving that equivalence of form are called “Kabbalists.”

The work they perform is called “correction.” This correction is not like the correction of a child who has misbehaved, but more like the correction made when we fine tune the dial on a radio, thereby receiving the station more clearly. There will be much more about that later.


As creatures, we are at the very center of the Creator’s creation. We were created for only one purpose: to first establish contact with Him, then to begin a relationship with Him. Of course, our ultimate goal is to realize, meaning to make real, His sole purpose, to delight His creation. We accomplish this task through a process called “correction,” meaning to achieve equivalence of form.

The correction of a person makes it possible to be filled with the Light of the Creator, meaning to feel the Creator. This sensation is exactly where we experience the spiritual worlds. To accomplish our task, we must be completely filled with the Creator. We start from a state that Kabbalah calls “this world,” where The Creator is totally concealed from us.

The spiritual worlds are measures of concealment of the Creator from His creatures. In order to hammer home this point, let me repeat that the spiritual worlds are not worlds as we think of them in corporality. They are simply tools of measurement, their labels akin to signs of different levels of concealment of the Creator.

Our initial perception, that first contact, is considered the ascent of the soul to the first spiritual degree. What happens next? The soul continues the process of correction, making it resemble the Creator more and more. Of course, with each degree attained, we feel the Creator that much more strongly. Then, at some point, we reach a final step of our personal correction. Kabbalah calls that Gmar Tikkun, or the “end of correction” of the soul.


The desire to enjoy that which was created by the Creator is called a “creature,” or the “substance” of creation. However, this desire cannot be fulfilled in its primary form because as soon as one is filled with pleasure, the joy vanishes. Anyone who has ever dived into a massive portion of their favorite dessert has experienced this very phenomenon. The more of the delicious treat we eat, the less we enjoy it. In fact, if we eat enough, we will end up sick of it.

So there is a problem. The desires we experience are incomplete. The intent of the Creator from the start was to make the desire complete. However, this only happens when our intent resembles the Creator’s attribute of bestowal by our free choice. Because this attribute is not limited in its use by emotions, we can attain perfection and eternity. One can get tired of the dessert, but if one feels pleasure by giving it away, then the pleasure simply continues to grow, never negating the desire.

Correction means that each person is obliged to transform the will for self-enjoyment into the will to please the Creator. By performing this single task, the result is that our desire to enjoy precisely equals the Creator’s desire to give us pleasure. The primary point here is that the Creator is bringing His creation to a point where it can actually use its only attribute, the will to receive, in a correct manner.

Thus, the correction pertains only to the correction of the aim over the desires that appear within a person. In other words, for every single desire that appears in a person, he or she must eventually use it to benefit others.

It is important to note that these corrections cannot be performed by the creature, but rather by the Creator. In other words, they are performed by a higher spiritual degree then our current one. We never have the strength to perform self-corrections. We must simply cultivate a desire to be corrected, which is a prayer for correction, to a certain degree of intensity. The Creator will take care of the rest. The next upper degree will perform it. Those who are undergoing or have undergone this process of correction are called “Kabbalists.”

For true correction, we must choose a place that we feel in our hearts is exactly the right place for us. This need not be because of the presence of a great teacher, one who is highly regarded by others, and not because that teacher is eloquent and knowledgeable. One must choose a place where things are spoken that one wishes to know in one’s heart.

So what should we do when we begin to realize our purpose and the need to fulfill it? How do we begin this process of revealing the Creator? We should search in our hearts and be honest with ourselves, agreeing to nothing unless we think it right. This includes even the smallest thing, because the soul must find the place where it will be corrected.

The first question most people who discover this lack ask is, “What is the sensation of the Creator like?” The sensation of the Creator cannot be put into words accurately. Why? We simply have no words to describe it, though it is a very tangible sensation indeed, as it is written: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

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