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I. Kabbalah Facts and Fallacies. 4. The History of Desires

Just the Gist

The history of humankind runs on a par with the story of human desires and how they developed. The search for ways of fulfilling our desires determines the speed and direction of a civilization’s evolution and defines how it measures progress. This chapter explores the development of human desires, from basic needs all the way up to the highest level: the need for spirituality. You can begin a serious study of Kabbalah only after you’ve acquired that need; it is the gateway to understanding the Creator’s role and our own role in the world...

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Five Levels of Desires

The list of humankind’s achievements is parallel to a list of its desires. Humans’ desire to transfer more goods at a faster pace prompted the invention of the wheel. And humans’ desire to rule and conquer was the driving force behind the invention of the canon in the Middle Ages. As collective desires grow, civilizations advance. Kabbalah divides the entire complex of human desires into five levels...

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The Recognition of Evil and the Revelation of Good

In the previous chapter, we talked about the recognition of evil, that is, the recognition that we are egoists, acting only in our own interest. We said that if we consider our state as totally evil, and His state as utterly desirable, we will cross the barrier and enter the spiritual world. The question that remains open is which is the quickest and most painless way to recognize our evil. This is where Kabbalah comes into play. The advantage in Kabbalah is that it teaches you about human nature without having to physically experience the evil. This is why Kabbalists say we don’t have to suffer; we can study instead...

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When Sex, Power, and Knowledge Don’t Do It for Me

When desires for worldly pleasures—food, sex, family, wealth, power, and knowledge—fail to keep their promise of lasting happiness, “the point in the heart” begins to develop. It’s a desire for something higher, appearing when all the mundane desires have exhausted themselves...

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Zooming on the "Why"

The real work begins once the point in the heart opens up. In Kabbalah, the focal point is the intention. Desires create our thoughts, but intentions give them direction. This, in turn, creates our actions and ultimately our whole reality. Using the study of Kabbalah, you can concentrate on developing intentions that affect reality in a way that elevates you to experience the Upper World, the Creator...

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In a Nutshell

There are five levels of desire: food and sex, wealth, power, knowledge, and spirituality. The only one we can really fulfill is the last...

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