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Michael Laitman, PhD

Crossing the Red Sea

Q: It is very hard to apply the first restriction over all my desires, so I wanted to ask if it is possible to work with each desire separately, one by one, without restricting all of them at once?

A: We are all born with a certain quota of corporeal desires: desires to enjoy for ourselves. These desires can be satisfied with a greater amount of corporeal pleasure or with a lesser amount, by limiting the desire. But all that has nothing to do with the type of will to receive that is necessary for entering spirituality.

When we enter spirituality, our will to receive grows in quality; we want to take pleasure in the Creator and not in pleasures of this world, which are mere costumes over the pleasure that comes from the Creator.

In each spiritual degree, we are given a greater portion of will to enjoy, which we must overcome. Each additional desire should be used in our search for a connection with the Creator. As we are gradually granted new, greater desires, we should first gather our strength in order to refrain from using those desires for ourselves. That is called “making the first restriction” on the given desire. Thus, we acquire a screen and can already use that will for the Creator and not for ourselves.

From this we learn that in each degree, we should gather strength to perform the first restriction over the desire of that degree by ourselves.

Only once, when man first exits the sensation of this world and enters the Upper World, does he receive a screen over his corporeal will to enjoy. In other words, the first time we cross the barrier between the physical and the spiritual world, we acquire the intent not to use the corporeal desires for ourselves. It is a special moment, called “the crossing of the Red Sea,” that comes after the exodus from Egypt, meaning after one has been freed from one’s nature.

Through that passage, man crosses over to the spiritual realm, where he senses the Creator. The sensing of the Creator is the attaining of the Upper World.

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