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Attaining the Upper Worlds, Part 1

TV Series “Talking Kabbalah”
With Rav Michael Laitman, PhD

Lecture Video

As you know, the main book of Kabbalah is The Book of Zohar. There has never been any book like it and there never will be. It is truly a unique book in its depth and in the way that it includes the entire creation and explains it. There is no other book like it.

But the problem is, as we know, that humanity develops in its desire to receive, from a small desire to receive that existed in previous generations, to greater and greater desires to receive. Hence, in every period there are Kabbalists that bring us the wisdom of Kabbalah in a different manner, through different interpretations.

The first man (Adam) wrote the book Raziel ha Malach (The Secret Angel). Our forefather Abraham wrote The Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira). These books are written in a way that is completely not understandable for us.

The book of Zohar is a little more understandable, it is, after all written in the 2nd century and it is closer to us, yet in our time, it is impossible to learn a book that is entirely Midrash (stories), except for a few parts of it, which are “Idra” (meaning, that it is possible to study it), “Raba” (a lot), “Idra Zutta” and “Safra de Tzniuta” all the other parts are Midrash stories.

A person who opens the book cannot understand what happens beyond the level of the stories. And indeed, The Book of Zohar explains the entire structure of creation, the whole system as well as the Upper Providence, and how it works on us, how with it we can affect the Higher Providence, so that we will get a positive response. But when we open the book we do not see this, and that is why Baal HaSulam worked so hard to write The Sulam (The Ladder), which is the commentary to The Book of Zohar (Zohar meaning “Radiance”).

In it he explains what The Book of Zohar talks about, in a way that is closer to our way of comprehending. In order for us to understand his Sulam commentary, he also wrote introductions. These are the Introduction to the Book of Zohar and later on Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, Preface to the Book of Zohar, and The Preface to the Sulam Commentary. Without these four introductions it is impossible to understand his Sulam commentary.

That is because even that interpretation is still very special, and although it is written in a modern way (Lights, vessels, screens, numbers, and forces) this scientific method still can not open for us the depth of the wisdom. That is because even after reading and studying the formulas in the book, we still have difficulty in sensing, seeing the spiritual world. Therefore, in order to give us the right outlook, the right angle of vision of the Sulam commentary, Baal HaSulam wrote the introductions to his commentary.

Out of all the introductions, the most important one is the Preface toWisdom of Kabbalah, "Pticha" as it is called. The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah also has a short introduction, which we will study today.

Actually, each introduction is an independent structure by itself, seemingly unrelated to anything else. However, all together these introductions give such an overview and a relationship to the commentary on the Zohar that a person can penetrate through the commentary, into the book and begin to see what’s going on. It’s like those images—they look like wallpaper, a pattern, but once you get closer you suddenly see that there is a depth to it, like a third dimension.

Let’s say it’s three dimensional, but this is only on the condition that we look at it in a unique way. By using our focus and our vision in a unique way, into a single point, the image opens up and we see what is happening inside it. Thus, it is the same thing with the introductions. We need to acquire the correct angle of vision. And through these introductions, that’s what we gain. Only after we have the possibility to open the Zohar in the correct way, then it will indeed open up.

So let’s start from The Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah.

It is specifically written that all of the Upper and lower worlds are all included in man.

This is very important. It is actually the main thing that he is trying to say in this introduction, and we definitely should hold on to this view and not let go of it.

Meaning, all the worlds, the Upper as well as the lower, including our world, are inside of us. That is because overall we perceive everything, all parts of reality according to our properties. The Upper Light is around us. There are no changes in it, no shades, but according to how we change our properties is what determines how we sense changes. It seems to us that the world is full of people, objects, forces, and that everything happens, behaves, evolves, changes, but in actuality this is not true.

In truth, if we could see ourselves as if looking from the side, seeing as though we had different properties, we would see that there really is nothing there. We would see that each one of us is a black box, a closed system which can only feel what occurs inside of it, not outside.

We are impressed by our inner properties, which divide into the Upper world and the lower world. The Upper world is called “our altruistic properties” that is if we can acquire them and feel them within ourselves. The lower world, our world, is if we feel ourselves as we now feel, we can call this “our egoistic properties”, in our desire to enjoy, to receive.

Therefore, there is nothing outside of us, as we imagine. It seems to us that there are worlds, our world outside of us. This is not true. It is an illusion. And so it is with everything else that we imagine. Everything is actually a product of our imagination. We, as the scientists have proven, see an inverted image, which is then re-interpreted by our brain. It is the same with our inverted vision that causes us to see everything outside of us, while actually it is all inside of us. It is just my impression that makes me think that the world is outside of me.

That is what Baal HaSulam emphasizes and explains in several places. He emphasizes it a lot and he explains it in several places. In spite of this, we still have to make efforts to understand it and to think about it. There is just one outcome of this: all the worlds (outside, inside, no matter where and how we imagine them) change only according to our properties. That is it. That is what we need to know, or at least, that is what we need to remember.

It is specifically written that all of the upper and lower worlds are all included in man, as well as that the entire reality of those worlds exists only for man. [Meaning, that it is actually part of our structure]. Is it not enough for man to have this world and all that’s in it, to use for his benefit, that he would need all of the Upper worlds as well, with all that’s in them, since they have only been created for his needs.

Meaning, what do we need all these things for? I understand there is ‘me.’ As well, they say that there is an Upper Power, the Creator. Thus, I have to somehow deal with Him. That’s my life, that reality. But what do I need all the worlds for? They have so many things in them, good, bad; all sorts of good forces, evil forces, angels, I don’t know. Maybe there are many things, inanimate, vegetative, living, and speaking.

Whatever there is in our world also exists in every other world, only in different forms, different dimensions. What do I need it for?

I hardly need the earth. How can I include all of this, the solar system, galaxies, infinite distances, and infinite amount of rocks; who needs all that? What was all this created for? And they say it was created only for us. They say it is created for us and that we need every gram of something that is in the substance of reality. How can all of this be tied to us? How can it be understood that all these things are tied into our soul?

It is a picture that is completely not understandable. However, it is written that it is so. And indeed, a person who starts to open his or her soul and see what he or she has to attain, sees that these worlds must really enter the soul. What the person may feel eventually is that the entire reality, all the worlds are really inside of him or her, and he or she controls them, rules over them, swallows and directs them.

Question: Were the worlds created outside of man, and if so, why is it said that they are included inside of man?

There is a thing and its opposite, an inner contradiction. We will study it in The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah.

The entire reality is called "the desire to receive," and this desire to receive has two parts, an inner part and an outer part from which the worlds were created. From the inner part, the souls were created. Overall, they act in reality together in such a way, that the souls actually rule the worlds. That is why it is written, “the worlds are included in the souls.” That’s it. I don’t think I can explain more than that right now, but we will talk about it later.

I understand this contradiction, that on one hand the worlds are included in the soul, and on the other hand it is as if it was created by my "self". We will learn this. I agree that for now it is a contradiction.

Question: If everything is included in me, then who are all the people around me?

When I talk about Man and an Upper Force, then Man means a collection of all the souls, which is actually the First Man, Adam ha Rishon. In our root there is one single soul that was created by an Upper Power, and it was created opposite to the Creator. Later on, as you have probably heard, it was divided into many individual parts and each individual part has to perform its own correction so as to be included back with all the other parts. Thus, that there will begin again to be one soul opposite a single Creator.

When all the souls gather together, to the extent that they connect to each other, the worlds disappear, because Olam (world) is derived from He'elem and Ester (concealment). Meaning that there are between the Creator and me, some kind of filters that are called “the Worlds.” To the extent that I connect with other souls, I elevate above the worlds and I attain a state in which I am above them, meaning that they really enter me.

These things are not easy, but gradually we get used to them. And later we see that through this outlook we are able to solve many problems, strange occurrences, events, relationships and connections of things that are all contradicting each other in our world. It is a wonder how this philosophy that seems so remote from our reality helps us understand what happens in this world, because we do not understand this world either. And the fact that during thousands of years scientists and philosophers haven’t grasped our world is because they do not relate correctly to this world, meaning, not through the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Question: Who are the other people? Are they other souls?

Currently I sense myself and the world around me, which is full of people. There will come a time when besides this world I will also sense and see other worlds.

Let’s say that some additional sense will open up for me. Later I will begin to improve my perception, and if I improve it, I start to see all individual souls, all people that seem to exist around me. I feel them as existing inside of me, as being part of me, part of my desire. And those worlds that I see as external to me, acting outside of me, I begin to see as part of my structure, and I actually control them. That is how it all opens up into a world of spiritual vision.

It is hard for us to explain it now; very gradually we can develop within us an additional sense of vision. We can take this additional sense, expand the range of our vision and see these things. Then it will not be such a wonder. But now, when we still have no sensation or perception of it, it is very hard to imagine.

2) And indeed, in order to explain this issue in its entirety, I would have had to bring forth here before us the entire wisdom of Kabbalah, but usually only to the extent necessary to understand the preface of these issues in the book. [Meaning that he is not going to swallow it all immediately, but only a small-abbreviated portions]. And the essence is, that the intention of God, Blessed Be He, in creation was to benefit His created beings, as we know.

Meaning that there is in Him a desire to bestow, and out of the desire to bestow He needs someone to receive the bestowal. In us it is expressed in the opposite way. Just as I want to enjoy, to receive, to be filled, to fill myself, the Upper Force has the exact opposite desire, to give, to bestow, to fill, and to fill me.

It is certain, that when the thought arouse to create the souls and bestow all the goodness upon them, immediately they were drawn and emerged and stood before Him in all of their completeness and stature, in the totality of the pleasures that He meant for them to enjoy.

Since in Him, Blessed be He, the thought alone completes the action, and He does not need an instrument for the action as we do.

Meaning that for now we need to accept the assumption that the Upper Power, called the Creator, the bestower, creates something called “the desire to enjoy.” It is the desire to receive the pleasure in the quantity and quality that He wishes to give. Call it soul, Malchut, vessel, it doesn’t matter what we call it, what words we use, but we need to understand that it is a perfect match to the Creator’s desire both in quality and in quantity.

We learn that from the Creator emanates Ohr (Light). Again, the Creator is called Behina Shoresh, and then He creates a vessel that is called Behina Aleph.

When the Light fills this vessel, it (the vessel) now discovers a quality of the root (Shoresh), and wants to become similar to Behina Shoresh. That is considered to be Behina Bet. Behina Shoresh is the desire to receive, and then here is a desire to bestow, in Behina Bet. Emerging from Behina Bet is Behina Gimel.

What does that mean? Since Behina Bet wants to be similar to the Shoresh, to be equal to Shoresh, how can it be equal? It simply receives in order to bestow, right?

This is Behina Gimel. It is a desire to receive in order to bestow. And from here, acting in just this way it actually results in reaching the Shoresh.

But when it senses how good it is to be in Behinat Shoresh, a new desire develops in it, a desire to enjoy the stature of Shoresh, which is called Behina Dalet—a desire to receive that comes not from the Creator, but from the created being. The created being discovers how good it is to be in the degree of the Creator, and it wants this stature for itself. That is why Behina Dalet is called vessel.

Actually, this vessel reveals that its desire to receive does not come from above. From above, the desire to receive only arrives in Behina Aleph. Behina Bet is the desire to bestow, Behina Gimel is the act of bestowal, and Behina Dalet is the desire to be at the stature of the Creator. That is why this desire does not come from above and therefore is called the created being. This created being, as soon as it reaches this desire, is filled with pleasure completely, and this state is called, The World of Infinity.

That is what he is saying. As soon as the Creator thought, felt what He wanted, (to give joy to the created beings) He immediately created a created being in a state filled with all the pleasures, filled entirely.

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