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Michael Laitman, PhD

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:

Level 1. Meeting basic natural desires, such as food, shelter, and sex

Level 2. Striving for wealth

Level 3. Craving power and fame

Level 4. Thirsting for knowledge

Level 5. Desiring spirituality

Once the immediate craving is fulfilled, however, a feeling of “emptiness” appears. The more the process repeats itself, the more a person is driven to question the profitability of the empty-full-empty process itself. Once we give up on finding fulfillment to our desires on one level, we try the same in the next. And when desires of the first four levels have all proven incapable of providing lasting fulfillment, we begin to ask, “Is there anything more to life than chasing material goods and social status?” When that happens, we begin to want spirituality. In Kabbalah, this state is called “the appearance of the point in the heart” (More on that below in this chapter).

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