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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Evil Force – the Force of the Creator

Q: I was surprised to read in the Haggada (tales for Passover night) that Pharaoh made Israel come nearer to the Creator. How is a negative force capable of working for the Creator and against itself?

A: Pharaoh is the force of the Creator. It is a good force that takes a negative appearance in us, as it says: “Two angels lead one to the goal - the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.”

The whole experience of progress in Kabbalah pertains to the acquisition of new forces of bestowal. If man had only good inclinations, he would never be able to advance. For that reason Pharaoh, the evil force and man’s evil inclination, which allows man to take from it greater desires for pleasure, correct them and rise even higher.

Therefore, it is important to relate to Pharaoh as the Force of the Creator that was given to us for our assistance. Pharaoh promotes us by awakening in our egos a desire to advance and develop materially. From awakening that desire, we begin to understand that material progress doesn’t give us anything, and that true development is spiritual.

When, under the influence of Pharaoh, we begin to develop spiritually, we search in the spiritual world for a vessel to be filled with the desire for pleasure. Thus, our own egoism, Pharaoh, is the motivating force behind everything. This is because it is impossible to receive the Upper Light in our will to receive; it is impossible to sense the Creator, the infinite pleasure.

Instead, we can only enjoy the (very small) pleasures of our world that, once gone, leave us feeling emptier and even more dissatisfied than before.

Pharaoh must motivate us to spirituality, so that afterwards, when we receive the spiritual delight, he will take it for himself. In our world, Pharaoh motivates us to receive pleasure using our regular desire to please ourselves.

In the Haggada of Passover, he is called the “old Pharaoh.” Then it is said that a new king rose in Egypt, and this is the Pharaoh who takes us to spirituality, and then takes receives it himself.

In fact, contrary to the pleasures of this world, one can receive spiritual pleasures only in a vessel called “faith above reason,” meaning with the intent to enjoy in order to please the Creator. Pharaoh pushes man to receive spiritual pleasures for himself. But man cannot receive such pleasures directly, so Pharaoh takes man toward spirituality, study and labor.

When one finally receives the Upper Feeling, Pharaoh comes and takes man’s attainments through the alien thoughts that are sent him.

Q: How does it happen?

A: After the attainment, there suddenly appears a thought to use what one has attained for oneself, such as to enjoy the status of a “sage,” or a Kabbalist, draw people near or drive them away, gain respect, influence, etc. By so doing, Pharaoh takes for himself all the spirituality that one has worked so hard to attain, through the vessel of faith above reason, and into his own private vessel of joy.

What benefit does this offer us, then? It is through Pharaoh that the Creator motivates man to new efforts. But once man has attained a new spiritual sensation, he loses it again because Pharaoh puts in him yet another new desire for self, instead of the desire to bestow. In this way, man will enjoy the spiritual pleasures he has acquired.

Q: Why does Pharaoh succeed?

A: The will to receive that the Creator created is entirely in the hands of Pharaoh, who can always raise new desires to receive, greater than the small desires to bestow he had acquired in the previous degree.

This way, Pharaoh gives man an additional will to receive that is greater than the will he has corrected thus far. Pharaoh plants in man, through his desires, the desire for pleasure of the next degree in order for him to correct that, as well. That way, he enables man to continue with the process of correction.

All that man can see is how his work is wasted. Furthermore, man feels that each time he acquires a greater attainment, he falls from it and plunges deeper still in his own selfish desires, where he discovers an even greater desire for pleasure than before.

This process repeats itself time and again, and each time Pharaoh brings man to such desperation that he cries for the Creator to save him from the hands of Pharaoh. At this point, Pharaoh’s work is done, and he appears before man as an angel, an emissary of the Creator.

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