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Michael Laitman, PhD

To Receive—Discover the Force of Giving

To understand the kind of pleasure that the Kabbalist receives, it’s essential to understand a basic concept in Kabbalah: In the whole of reality, there is only a single force—the force of giving. And because that force is giving, it creates “something” to receive what it gives. The giving force in Kabbalah is called “Creator,” and what it creates is called “creation,” a “creature” or a “created being.” The created being is us, humanity as a whole and each of us in person.

This creature goes through a process of learning and development, and at its end discovers the full grandeur and beauty of its Creator. Baal HaSulam explains that this revelation of the Creator to the creature is the essence and the purpose of the whole of creation.

Reality as an Embroidery

Now let’s talk a little more about revealing the Creator. When Baal HaSulam describes the purpose of Kabbalah as “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world,” he means that the essence of Kabbalah (“reception”) is to discover the Creator because this is what gives us the ultimate pleasure.

But there is more to it: Kabbalah explains that discovering the Creator means discovering the law that governs nature. In fact, the Creator is nature. By disclosing this law of nature, Kabbalah aims to disclose reality in its entirety, the whole gamut, revealing why things happen to us and how we can not only predict them, but change them to our benefit.

Also, if you can understand all sides of nature, you can reach far beyond your present physical life, far beyond the boundaries of your five senses, as if someone has removed a blindfold from your eyes and allowed you to see the true vastness and beauty of the world.

How does it work, and what do you actually receive? Reality is like embroidery. When you look at an embroidery you see a coherent picture. But when you look behind the picture, at the threads that make up the picture, you find a mess of strings and cords that you can’t decide where they begin, where they end, and which part of the picture they belong to. Kabbalah helps you understand the threads behind the picture of reality, and teaches you how to become an embroiderer yourself, so you can build a picture that suits your liking.

The Latent Sense

Reception in Kabbalah is all about perceiving the spiritual world. It is a world invisible to the five senses, but one we certainly experience. If everything we perceive depends on our senses, it stands to reason that all we need to sense the spiritual world is a special sense that perceives it. In other words, we don’t need to look for anything outside of us, but we need to cultivate a perception that already exists within us that lies dormant. In Kabbalah, this perception is called “the sixth sense.”

Actually, the title, “sixth sense,” is a bit misleading; it is not a “sense” in the physiological meaning of the word. But because it enables us to perceive something that we otherwise wouldn’t, Kabbalists have decided to call this different means of perception “the sixth sense.”

Here’s the crux of it all: our five senses are “programmed” to serve personal interests. For this reason, all we perceive is what seems to serve our best interests. If your senses were somehow programmed to serve the interest of the whole world, then that’s what we would perceive. In this way, each of us would be able to perceive what every other person, animal, plant, or mineral in the universe perceives. We would become creatures of unlimited perception—omniscient, literally Godlike people.



In Hebrew, the name "Adam" comes from the word Domeh, as in Dome la Elyon (similar to the Upper One), as described in the verse, "I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14).


In such an unbounded state, the five senses would be used in a very different way. Instead of focusing on personal interests, they would serve as means of communication with others. This is why the sixth sense, which enables perception of the spiritual worlds, is not a sense in the usual meaning of the word; it is the intention with which we use our senses. Intention is a critical Kabbalah concept that we explore more fully in Chapter 4.

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