Kabbalah tells us that there are 4 possible modes of interaction with the single force in the universe that works in the form of either bestowal or reception.
Perceiving Reality: Giving and Receiving
Question: Why do I give and get taken of advantage of.
Answer: Well it feels that way to you at the moment, but that's not what’s actually happening. Our will to receive is a cunning force, always doing things with the thought of the best possible outcome for ourselves. In the physical world, the world of egoistic desires, it’s impossible to give solely with the thought of another’s benefit. Even the most altruistically appearing outward actions we are always operated by the principle of receiving for only self-satisfaction.
Kabbalah tells us that there are 4 possible modes of interaction between the two forces that exist in the universe – the force of bestowal and the force of reception:
Receiving for the sake of receiving. This is an unconscious state where a person has no awareness that they are constantly calculating only for themselves. Most of us spend the majority of our time in this state because the whole universe including our level of existence is made from this primary desire. Nothing could survive with out the will to receive and everything we perceive around us is made from this and nothing else.
The next mode, giving for the sake of receiving is a new calculation based on seeking pleasure from apparently giving to others. This is how our society functions with its laws, and customs of interaction. It’s also an unconscious degree of reception because the true intention behind this giving isn’t revealed to the person. It appears as if I’m giving to others but in fact, I am only trying to get more pleasure. I want something back from the person I give to, fame, acknowledgement, love, a favor down the road, or peace in the society, mutual agreements, etc. All of the actions I take in this world including giving to others are based in receiving, because it feels good for me - to give.
Now above our physical world there is the spiritual world which is totally concealed from us. The first inkling we can have of that world is when there is a restriction on the nature of reception created by a masach, or screen, which is the appearance of an actual intention to bestow. That’s the first degree above our world.
Giving for the sake of giving. Here the intention to give is pure though tiny. The inner of giving is independent of any calculation of the will to receive. Here there’s no intention of self benefit, no good feeling, no wish for society to live in peace just so it will make my life easier, no gain in social stature, no increase of self-esteem. Nothing, nothing for myself at all. Now who can say with out self delusion that they have ever really done this? This form of bestowal never brings any kind of pain to the giver because there is no desire to receive anything, so you can’t be empty and therefore.. you can’t suffer.
This degree seems impossible to achieve on our own, because it is. Our nature is one of total reception and can do nothing but calculate for self benefit. This degree is achieved internally by assistance from a higher level that creates this restriction on our will to receive as a response to our heartfelt desire to reach that.
4 – The last and most exalted degree we can attain is receiving for the sake of bestowing. In this spiritual degree, a person calculates how much pleasure to receive, but only thinking of how it pleases the giver of the pleasure, the Creator. This is in fact the very thought behind creation, to receive everything that the creator wants to give which is endless delight, so the sensation of pleasure from reception is amplified by the pleasure created by not thinking about self, but only of how it fulfills the Creator’s desire to give. This endless, eternal state the Kabbalist call ayn sof. This is all very simple but not very easy unless a person has a strong desire to reach this state above their nature. But with it, the drive for spirituality will become the dominating force in the human heart.
Perceiving Reality's Introduction to Kabbalah
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