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Michael Laitman, PhD

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.

In that sense, humans finish the Creator’s creation, meaning that they correct it. Because humans have the ability to be like the Creator, the Creator passes on to them the leadership of creation, once they are corrected. So the good purpose of evil is realized only if egoism becomes a driving force towards the Creator. Otherwise, evil is evil is evil. And it produces evil, as egoistic acts throughout history show.



In Kabbalah, correct refers to correction. No one will tell you that who you are or what you do is correct or incorrect. But if you’ve used a desire to become more “Creatorlike,” then you’ve done the correct thing. To Kabbalists, correction means turning the intention with which we use a desire from “for me” to “for the Creator.”


The Creator wants us to partake in our own creation. If you remember that, all your calculations stop being passive. Instead, they become tools with which you contact the Creator and experience Him. Every negative, or evil, attribute in you becomes a means to an end.

In Kabbalah, there is no other way to make contact with the Creator—only through realization that our attributes are negative. Put differently, the recognition of evil is the beginning of the revelation of good.

This explanation of the Creator’s goal leaves one question open: if he wants to give us pleasure, as Kabbalists say, what’s wrong with a good tan, if we enjoy it? Well, there is nothing wrong with it, if that’s what you really want. But if you have a question nagging in the back of your mind (while lying on the beach), and you can’t enjoy sunbathing anymore, then maybe you need something more, and maybe that something is Kabbalah. As Baal HaSulam puts it: Kabbalah is for those who ask (even unconsciously), “What is the meaning of my life?”

Feeling Good, then Better

Behind all our desires is the search for satisfaction. Kabbalah explains that life is based on only one desire: to feel good, regardless of whether that good feeling comes through obtaining a better job, a new car, a mate, or successful children.

When you begin to feel spirituality, it changes your scale of desire. You may begin to see that some desires have become more important and others have become less so. You begin to weigh your life not according to what you see and know in this world, what your physical body sees right now, but according to a much broader scale. You begin to see what favors you and what does not for generations to come. As a result, you change how you assess your environment.

When you begin to realize that you are a part of a single soul and that all of humanity are parts of that soul, too, you begin to think that it may be in your interest to help them. In short, Kabbalah reminds you to look at the big picture.

Ironically, however, the more you want spirituality, the more you want mundane pleasures, too. A Kabbalist is not a person without desires for food, sex, money, power, and knowledge. On the contrary, a Kabbalist is one with stronger mundane desires than most people experience, but also with a desire for spirituality that is greater than all his or her mundane desires put together.

This process of intensifying is designed to make you develop such a strong desire for spirituality that you will be willing to do anything to attain it, including conceding all desires that are not for spirituality. But to give up those desires, you must experience them. This is why Kabbalists explain that the higher your spiritual degree, the greater your mundane desires, too. Kabbalists progress by experiencing the greatest worldly pleasures, and then being given the awareness that there is something that’s even better and greater than all those pleasures combined.

In spirituality, just as in our world, your desires change as you grow. The earlier objects of your desire seem like toys compared to the things you seek now. That search finally leads to the absolute good—direct contact with the Creator, achieved through equivalence of form with Him, through being like Him.

A Win, Win Situation

But if the Creator made a world in order to bestow His abundance to the created beings, then what’s wrong with wanting to receive everything “for oneself”? Why is it perceived as evil or egoism? Why was it necessary to create a world so imperfect and a creation so corrupted that it must be corrected?

Kabbalists explain that the Creator receives pleasure by giving pleasure to His created beings—us. If we delight in the fact that our reception pleases the Creator, then the Creator and we coincide in qualities and in desires. In this way, everyone thinks of the other, not of him or herself, and everyone still receives pleasure; it’s a win, win situation.

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