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Michael Laitman, PhD

Like Roots and Branches

As we’ve explained in Chapters 7 and 8, the worlds are created by a series of causes and effects. Therefore, "roots" refer to the spiritual forces, which create our world and the people in it. They exist in the spiritual worlds beyond this material one, but they influence and operate on our world.

The roots are like many unseen fingers pushing and prodding a piece of clay—our existence—into a certain form. They mold existence by guiding objects. These objects that the spiritual forces, or roots, guide are the "branches." The branches exist in this world. They have material existence. Every object in this world, including you and me, is a branch of some spiritual root.

As their names indicate, roots and branches are connected. Like a tree, one of them you see and the other you don’t, yet both are connected.



In Kabbalah, every cause is considered a root and every consequence of the cause is considered a branch. The roots are also referred to as “parents” and the branches are considered their “offspring.” The key concept in Kabbalah is that what happens in the roots will happen in the branches.


A tree or plant cannot exist without its roots. Things that happen to the roots show up in the plant. If the roots don’t receive enough water, the plant droops. If the roots are fertilized, the plant grows fuller.

In Chapter 8 we said that the elements in all the worlds are the same. We said that the only difference between them is in the spiritual level of the same elements: the higher worlds contain more altruistic elements and events. So clearly, the objects of each world relate to the objects Above or below it. Forces from one appear in the next, and so on, though in a new way. The highest level, the Root or the Source, creates and controls the events through all the worlds, down to the “branches” in our world.

The Same but Opposite

To indicate the difference in the quality of the substance in each world, the same elements in each world receive different names. The Upper World, for instance, contains angels, while our world contains animals. This does not mean that animals are angels. But if we keep in mind the world within a world concept from the previous chapter, we will recall that each element in reality contains five levels: 0-4. Level 3 of the will to receive in the spiritual world is called “angels,” and the same level in the physical world is called “animals.”



Kabbalah explains that at the end of correction, when all our desires are corrected, even the angel of death will become a holy angel. It means that when we are corrected we will see that all the forces we thought were evil are actually good but presented themselves as evil to prompt us to correct.


The correspondence between the Upper and lower systems is similar to having an object, which you can sink in wax, in sand, in plaster, in cement, or in dough. The final result is different because of the different substances. The shape, however, is the same. Even though the quality of the matter or its behavior is different, the final form corresponds to the shape that made it.

But the matter is always opposite than the shape. If you press a flat board with a little dome in the middle against the beach sand, you will get a flat surface with a little crater in it. Similarly, the Creator is the shape and we are the matter. Because He is a giver, we are receivers.

Just like the dome and the crater, our will to receive is the exact negative of His desire to give. It contains all the elements that exist in Him, but in an inverted way: what’s good in Him is bad in us. And since He is only good, we are only … you get the point.

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