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Michael Laitman, PhD

Analyzing Desires

Q: How do Kabbalists determine which desires can be corrected and which can not? Are there considerations in Kabbalah or does everything come with attainment and experience?

A: The Creator created the will to enjoy because His attribute - to delight - and His desire - to bestow - are total and complete. But the will to enjoy needs to be corrected, perfected, and made complete. A person does not possess an independent will. Without feeling that the will comes from within, a person cannot truly enjoy anything.

The will to enjoy originates in the Creator, but in order to feel pleasure, you must feel His absence. What is the pleasure that stems from the Creator? It is the pleasure we receive when recognizing the perfection of the Creator and His stature. These alone are worthy of being received as pleasure, because that is the most sublime state.

Therefore, the creature should be together with the Creator, and be as the Creator. Being with someone and being as someone is only possible when we equalize our attributes, desires and thoughts.

But how can we creatures, with our will to enjoy, want to delight in the Creator, in His perfection and His stature, and make that will stem from within ourselves?

For that purpose, the Creator hides Himself. By gradually descending from Above, He slowly distances Himself and creates five worlds (in Hebrew the word, “world,” also means “concealment”): Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya.

Each degree, or each world, is another degree of concealment of the Creator. Below these worlds is our world, where the Creator is not felt at all. The will to enjoy is five worlds apart from the Creator, until the Light reaches our world, which is why we only feel ourselves in this world. But that can only be felt through the concealment that the worlds create. Thus, if the Creator is completely hidden, we creatures are left alone.

The whole of nature in our world is in exactly that state. The still, vegetative, and the animate only feel themselves, and remain with that feeling, whereas the speaking creature, man apart from feeling himself and his will to enjoy, begins to feel a longing for something higher, too.

While the Creator is in a state of total concealment, the creature cannot feel that the Creator is hiding from him. Yet, the very sensation of distress, originating from the absence of the Creator, indicates His existence and the possibility that one can feel Him.

The prospect of aspiring for the Creator arises in us because there is a spark from Above within our will to receive. That spark is placed in us in order to let us choose which is best: the perfection of the Creator, or our own situation.

In order for that to happen, the desire to feel the Creator’s nature and His attribute of bestowal is implanted within our egotistical desires. This implantation is accomplished by a spiritual process called “the breaking of the vessels” (a “vessel” is a desire or aim).

That process mixes the attribute of the creature - to take pleasure - with the attribute of the Creator - to render pleasure. Thus, man gets to choose which of the two is better and more complete.

The process of choice is called “the correction of the breaking.” It is a process that spreads over many life cycles under the providence of a special system designed to manage the correction, called “the world of Atzilut.”

At the end of the correction, the creature (the soul) wants to resemble the Creator in everything. Once it has gone through all the states of equivalence of form with the Creator, and through the comparison that the creature renders between itself and the Creator, the creature justifies the Creator entirely.

Equalizing the attributes (the equivalence of form) brings adhesion with the Creator, and, in this way, we grasp His thought. That, in short, is the whole story. The rest, you’ll just have to discover by yourself.

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