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Chapter 9. A Reality of Wholeness and Infinity. Nature Plan

Our observations of Nature have shown that in order for life to form and continue, each cell in the organism and each part of the system must dedicate itself entirely to benefiting the body or the system it is in. At present, human society is not like that, which brings up the question, “How can we exist at all?” An egoistic cell in an organism becomes cancerous and its host body dies. We are egoistic parts in a single system, and yet we are alive!

The answer is that our lives are not actually defined as “living.”

Man’s existence is unlike any other degree in Nature in the sense that it is divided into two levels. The first level is the one we presently exist in. We feel separated from others; hence, we are inconsiderate of them and try to exploit them for our own benefit. The second level is the level of the corrected existence, where people function as parts in a single system, where they are in a state of mutual love, sharing, wholeness, and eternity.

Existence on the second level is defined as “life.” Our current existence is a transition period designed to bring us to the point of attaining the corrected and eternal state by ourselves. Thus, Kabbalists, who have already climbed to the second level, define our current existence as “imaginary life” or “imaginary reality.” When they look back to our level, they say, “We were like those who dream” (Psalms 126:1).

At first, the actual reality is hidden from us, we cannot naturally sense it. The reason is that we perceive our world according to our desires, our internal qualities. Thus, we presently do not feel that all people are connected as one because such a picture of relationships is repulsive to us. Our inborn egoistic desire to enjoy is not interested in this kind of relationship; hence, it does not allow us to perceive the actual picture of reality.

There are immeasurable elements we do not presently perceive. Our minds serve our egoistic desires, and operate our senses accordingly. This is why we cannot sense the existence of something that is not considered beneficial, or something to be wary of (in the context of an egoistic desire). If we can sense something, we sense it only if it is good for us or bad for us. Our senses are “programmed” in this manner and accordingly perceive the picture of our reality.

If we want to depict this picture correctly, we must now invert it to try to understand how reality is perceived through the eyes of an altruistic desire. Assume that we are beginning to be “calibrated” so we can sense what is good for others. In such a state, we will identify completely different things around us, from the things we previously noticed. Everything we saw before will seem completely different now. Kabbalists describe that state in the words, “an inverted world I saw” (Talmud Bavli, Pesachim, 50:71).

When we build within a new desire to be a healthy part in humanity, to be similar to Nature’s altruistic force, this will mean the start of a new system of sensation, disconnected from our present system. This system will be called “a soul.” Through the soul, one perceives a whole new world picture, the picture of the real world, where we are all connected as parts of a single body, filled with eternal pleasure and bliss.

Thus, let us now refine and complete our definition of life’s purpose, which we earlier defined as “bonding among people.” Now, we see that the purpose of life is to consciously and willingly rise from the level of imaginary existence to the real level of existence. We must come to a state where we regard ourselves and reality not as we see them now, but as they really are.

In other words, the state we feel at present is an imaginary state in our egoistic tools of sensation. If we exert our efforts to progress with the correction process, and build within us a complete desire for altruism, our tools of sensation will become altruistic tools. And in them we will experience our state very differently.

Our actual state is an eternal state. We are all connected in a single system, and the flow of energy and delight within it is perpetual. In that state, there is reciprocal giving; hence, the pleasure in it is infinite, perfect. In contrast, our present state is ephemeral and limited.

Our present sense of life stems from a tiny drop of vitality that trickles from the eternal state to our souls. This drop is a part of Nature’s comprehensive altruistic force, which penetrates our egoistic desires, exists in them, and sustains them despite their dissimilarity with it.

The task of this drop is to sustain us in the first level of existence, the corporeal level, until we begin to sense the actual reality, the spiritual one. It follows that the present, transient lives we have are like a gift that has been handed us for a certain time, to be used as a means to reach the real life. In the real life, our sense of life will not be only that tiny drop, but the full force of Nature, the force of giving and love, which will then be our life force.

The spiritual reality is not above us in the physical sense of the words. It is rather a qualitative discernment. To ascend from the corporeal reality to the spiritual reality is to elevate one’s desire toward the quality of altruism, toward Nature’s quality of love and giving. To sense spirituality means to sense how we are interconnected as parts of a single system, and to sense a higher degree of Nature. Life’s purpose is to climb to the spiritual reality and experience it, in addition to our sensing of the corporeal reality, while we are living in a physical body, in the physical world.

By Nature’s plan, humanity was created with the ability to perceive only the first, imaginary level, and thus it evolved over the millennia. During that time, humanity accumulated observations and experiences that brought it to the awareness that an egoistic existence did not bring it happiness, and that it needed to switch to the second level, the “corrected altruistic existence.” The overall crisis in the egoistic evolution places us at the transition point between the two levels of reality.

Hence, we must regard our days as a special point in time. We are at a turning point, moving toward a complete, eternal existence, which Nature had predetermined as the apex of human evolution.

Perhaps this is the time to explain that the pleasures we want today are very different from the pleasure that fills those who acquire Nature’s quality of altruism. Today, we want pleasures from the sensation of ourselves as unique, special, superior. An egoistic desire can be filled only in comparison with a certain lack, either compared to a shortage that it previously had, or compared to others. Such pleasures require constant and rapid renewal, since the minute a pleasure satisfies a desire, it immediately cancels it, as we saw in Chapter Two. This process causes pleasures to be short-lived. When the ego intensifies, it produces a state where one can only feel satiation from the ruin of others.

An altruistic pleasure is quite the opposite. The altruistic pleasure does not compare with others, but is rather within others.

In a sense, we can compare this to a mother-and-child relationship. Because mothers love their children, they enjoy seeing them enjoying what they give them. The more a child enjoys, the more the mother enjoys, too. A mother feels joy precisely from those efforts she makes for her child, more than in anything else she does.

Naturally, such satisfaction is possible only on condition that we love the others, and its power depends on our measure of love for them. Love, in fact, is the willingness to care for the wellbeing of others, to serve them. A person, who feels that we are all individual parts of the same system, sees service as one’s role, one’s sustenance, and one’s reward. Thus, there is a world of difference between these two kinds of pleasure.

A person who has acquired the quality of altruism has a “different heart” and a “different mind.” Such a person’s desires and thoughts are so different from ours that even his or her perception of reality is different from that of others.

Thanks to the altruistic attitude to others, a person abandons the sensation of being a single cell, connects to the common body, and receives sustenance from it. For such a person, the single system that we partake of comes alive, and one begins to feel the eternal life of the comprehensive Nature, the energy flow, and the endless pleasure that fills the collective system.

Our sensation of life consists of two elements: reason and emotion. When a person feels and understands the feelings and the reasons of the eternal Nature, one then enters that world and lives within it. Such a person stops regarding his or her life as something that is about to end. Unity with the eternal Nature makes one’s sensation of life continue even when one no longer has a life in a biological body.

The death of the physical body means that the body’s perception of reality has stopped. The five senses cease to transfer information to the brain, and the brain stops projecting the corporeal world picture on the brain’s “screen.”

However, the system of the spiritual perception of reality does not belong to the level of the corporeal world. Hence, as soon as one acquires it, it continues to exist even after the demise of the body. Those who have sensed their existence in the spiritual system prior to death find that this sensation remains after the body has died, as well. This is the meaning of “living in one’s soul.”

The difference between how we now sense life, and the sensing of life that we can feel, is enormous. To try to describe it, The Book of Zohar compares it to the difference between the glow of a tiny candle and the radiance of infinite light, or between a grain of sand and a whole world. Obtaining the spiritual life is the realization of our potential as people, and this is what we should all reach while we are living in this world.

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