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"Kabbalah Revealed" Episode 7: Equivalence of Form

Description

The law of equivalence of form that operates to bring every part of nature to a state of complete balance. The method of Kabbalah is introduced in this episode as the means for humans to reach equivalence of form with nature at the level of thoughts.

Transcript

Kabbalah Revealed #7
Equivalence of Form 

Lecture presented for the American television channel, Shalom TV
Anthony Kosinec


•    Bold and indented: Original text of Baal HaSulam
•    Regular: Commentaries of Tony Kosinec
•    lowercase italics: emphasized words
•    Capitalized Italics: titles and  transliteration from Hebrew

Hello again and welcome to Kabbalah Revealed. I’m Tony Kosinec.

In our last lesson, we learned about the screen (Masach)—the primary tool of attainment in the method of Kabbalah. And just to sum it up quickly, the screen is an intention to receive, in order to bestow to the Creator. That is, that the creature creates in itself a quality, a similar quality to the quality that surrounds it; an inner quality that has a similarity of form, an equivalence of form with the property, the attribute of bestowal outside of it. That is, its act of receiving becomes an act of giving.

We also learned that all motion in the higher reality, in the spiritual worlds, happens only as a result of this law of equivalence of form. Now we could imagine that this law of equivalence of form is some kind of mystical or magical thing, some kind of an innovation, a novelty, but it’s not just something that was made up by the sages of Kabbalah. It really is a principle, a law that governs the whole universe, everything that we see. It exists in nature. It is simply that the sages are pointing out to us that this is the method by which we develop, we grow, we move, and can attain the goal of creation.

In this lesson we are going to look at little more closely at the law of equivalence of form. We will do that by looking at an article written by Baal HaSulam. It’s a piece of an article actually. It comes from Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah—giving of instruction by the Light). And it’s a section of it called The Acting Intelligence.

What the Kabbalists, said that every person is obligated to comprehend the root of his soul means that the creature's purpose, most desired and full of hope, is bonding with the Creator, as in the verse: “and to bond with Him”; and the Sages interpret this as bonding with His Attributes, just as He is compassionate, so you... And so on.

He says here “every person is obligated to comprehend the root of his soul.” In other words, it’s not just that somebody makes a decision that they will bond with the root of their soul, it’s that the entire system consists of a motion coming from the Thought of Creation, which moves a person to the point where they will comprehend the root of their soul.

The way in which the Though of Creation—which is to create a creature and fill it with delight—the way it functions in the universe and in creation is expressed through the law of equivalence of form. That is, that all of nature works on this law. That there is a constant pressure in our environment and in every environment in the universe, and there is a constant force to equalize the inner pressure with the outer pressure and to come to a state of balance with it, so that we come to a state of rest or comfort. This is simply the law that is functioning all the time.

You could think of Kabbalah as the physics of the spiritual world and so it points this out to us so that we can begin to perceive it and to work with it. But this law functions in the natural universe as well and we can look at it through natural sciences. For instance, astrophysicists tell us that the material universe was initiated by a huge explosion—the big bang—and from that point forward, all action within the universe is really a kind of an equalization of this force, until it will find a state that is motionless. So, all forces in the universe are working in such a way as to come into a balanced state.

In our world, this law is observed strictly and we can see it on different levels of life, the different levels that exist in our world.

[Tony drawing]

For instance, in the inanimate level, we see that there is a movement of forces tectonic plates, or the motion of weather, wind and water, constantly seeking a kind of a balanced state with each other. And we see also the vegetative level obeys this law by absorbing things that it needs from light, which is outside of itself, through a kind of photo-electric process, chemical process, or the movement of minerals through it, with a kind of an equalization of hydraulic forces that will move it through its stem and through its leaves.

In the animate level—animals—you’ll see movement of animals to areas where there is food and all of the appropriate things for their survival. If external forces and conditions change, there is a constant shifting so that they come into alignment with it.
But on the human level, we don’t keep this law of equivalence of form, because we don’t live in an environment like the environment of the inanimate, vegetative and animate level. These are already taken care of. These things are already perfected; they already work according to this law. And the human level, we are up against laws that we have no sense of and we don’t know how to observe these laws.

[Tony drawing]

So the human level, which is not the intellectual and physical human animal, but the part of creation itself that is supposed to be connected to the upper forces, is not involved in the keeping of these physical expressions of equivalence of form, but must learn how to keep the law of equivalence of form in the spiritual world, which is its environment.

Lets look at the environment that we actually do live in.
The world that surrounds the human level is based on exactly the same principle of nature, but it’s a completely different order of nature because the human level is a level of feeling, thoughts and intentions, and there are laws and forces that work on us that are of that nature.

[Tony drawing]

Here is the environment that we find ourselves in. There is a field of influence, and this field of influence is called “the Creator.” The Creator influences us by means of forces, and these forces are expressed as laws. That is, they are obligatory. They come to us from the Creator, and each one of these is one of 613 forces or laws. These laws are laws of love; they are laws of bestowal; they are intentions towards the creature.
Here, in that field, is the creature, plus the other levels of life below the creature—levels 1, 2 and 3, that we spoke of earlier. Within the creature, there exist like pressure or forces that must equalize with the influence coming from the Creator, and these are called “desires.”

There are 613 desires within the creature, the human level of the creature. The law of equivalence of form means that the inner desire or pressure must equalize, that is, come to equivalence, form a balance with this desire that is related to this force from the Creator. [Tony point to drawing] And to the degree that we are unlike the forces, the 613 actual laws of nature for the human level, to the degree that we are not like it, we and all the levels of life below us suffer, things go for the worse. To the degree that we equalize, that we succeed in finding equivalence of form and becoming the same thing as the intent behind that law, all of life, including the creature itself, finds a homeostasis. Man, the human level, finds a homeostasis within this field and achieves equivalence with it, becomes like all of the 613 laws.

All of these laws that effect both the levels of life below us and the ones in relation to the man, if the creature can equalize with that, with the law of nature, he is also equalizing with the Creator Himself, because the Kabbalists tell us that the value and Gimatria between the word for nature (Teva in Hebrew) and the world for God (Elokim) is 86, meaning they are the same thing; they apply both to the level of human and to every other level below man.

This may seem mechanical, it’s a kind of mechanical explanation, but since we as humans don’t really feel how our inner states effect the levels of life below us, nor really do we have to, all we need to be aware of is our feeling states and how they work in our relationship to the world around us, that is to people around us, to situations, the situations of our life. And that’s what the equalization of the inner pressure of the desire and the outer pressure of a law is really about. 

We learned in the story of The Guest and the Host that the way in which we can perceive what these laws are and to equalize with them, is to be concerned not with the gift, that is, the event itself, but with the Giver—what is the thought behind the event and the circumstances that we find ourselves in at any given time and what is our attitude towards that? It seems like a very difficult thing to do, but that process of how we can sense that, already exists in nature and we merely have to learn to observe that, how that operates, and to do it.

Let’s return to the article The Acting Intelligence by Baal HaSulam. As we read this, try to connect to the author’s thought and to his feeling, but especially try to connect to the thought and feeling behind why he is expressing this to you.

The Acting Intelligence

I will explain by way of an illustration: we observe that in every deed performed in the world there adheres and remains in that deed the very mind which performed it; so that in the table we sense the mindful craft of the carpenter and his command of his craft, whether great or small, for at the time of his work he evaluated it with his knowledge and intelligence, so that one, who examines that deed and thinks about the mind concealed therein (realizes) it is from its inception bound up with the mind that made it, that is, they are, in fact, unified.

We can see in everything that appears in this world, that there is a thought behind it. It simply doesn’t arise out of nothing. There is in the world that we see before us definitely craftsmen behind the objects. And we know from this physical example that the intention, that is, the quality of the work, the care, what it is that was intended for our use, can be felt even in the simplest things. It’s what we call quality. It is a sensation not that this is an expensive or simply a beautiful object, but that if you really look at it, what you are sensing is the intention behind that thing; the quality of the mind, the quality of the desire to give an object or a circumstance of beauty to us.

We may look at a physical object and perhaps we will be blinded by its opaque quality, but to the degree that we desire to feel and know and become like that thing behind it, that is, “I want to know what my friend’s experience was, that is, I want to know what the artist meant by this, I want to feel the message that is really intended in this.” If I just take the object as it is, I can’t understand anything, but if I look at the object, I can feel the mind of the artist, of the craftman.

I’m skipping here. And he goes on to say:
And therefore, when someone thinks about his friend's performance, and comprehends the intelligence that he exercised in that performance, then both are equally involved with one power and intelligence; they are, now, in fact, unified like a man who chances upon his beloved friend in the market, and embraces and kisses him and to draw them apart is impossible on account of the great bond between them.
In other words, if the person who perceives this thought behind the giving, is in contact with the thought, he is contact with precisely the same point of origin out of which the object and the intention behind it emerged. And he has bonded with his friend behind the object, behind the event. That is, “Oh, I understand what the artist meant by this. I feel the idea conveyed to me not at a distance, but I’m bonded with that idea; I am one with the mind of the one who intended it.”
And therefore, generally speaking, that aspect of Intelligence of which we speak is the power (and intelligence), which is found between the Creator and His creatures, It is the intermediary, (between Creator and creature), that is, He emanated one spark of Intelligence by which all returns to Him.

All these things that are presented to us as physical occurrences, as inner feelings, as sensations, as desires, as fulfillments, all of these things that appear to be outside of us, are actually the Mind of the Creator, that is, the Thought of the Creator, conveyed to us on the level on which we can accept it. If our desire is to understand why this was given, the quality of love behind what is given, then we bond with that intermediary, the Light. This is the intelligence emanating from the Source.
And recall the verse: “All of them You made with wisdom,” that is, He created the whole universe with His Wisdom; [that is, with this Thought] and, therefore, he who merits to comprehend the ways in which He created the universe and its order, surely bonds with the Intelligence of Him who caused them, and thus he bonds with the Blessed Creator.

The acts of the Creator are not the physical things. Remember, the environment that the human lives in is not the environment of physical acts, which is already perfectly in balance with the laws of nature. The environment of the human is the Thought of the Creator. This is what a person can connect with. We can connect with the cause. The bonding with it is simply to enter into the same thought and the same intention. Once this begins to happen, we are no longer separated in an external world, in a physical world, but we are connected with that point that emanates everything into this world.

This is done through a relationship with the Creator. It’s like a relationship with a lover, with a beloved, in the sense that when you love somebody, you want them to know who you are. You write them little notes; you show them what you enjoy, you express you’re thought to them so that the bonding with your beloved will be on the level not simply of the physical, but beyond that, in the intangible place that we feel as love. So these constant events that evolve in our lives are like notes of love, a beckoning on the part of the Creator to come to Him, and our desire to respond to that call is likewise from a place and a feeling to want to know our beloved in that way.
And this is the secret of the Torah; it is all the Creators of the Creator that appertain to (can be comprehended by) the creatures and then the creature comprehends by their means the Intelligence which formed all.

That means, everything that was created, every single expression that exists in creation is only the expression of the Creator and is aimed specifically at this call to the creature. It’s all accessible to the creature. Every single bit of it is supposed to be known by the creature. In other words, the worlds were created for man.

And with this we understand why the Creator showed us the Tool of His Craft; are we in need to create worlds? Rather from what we said above it is clear, that the Creator showed us His Orders so that we would know how to bond with Him, which is the fulfillment of “to bond with His Attributes.”

Why does an artist show us his work? It is so his perception, his inner feeling and his attitude will be accessible to us and though right now we don’t understand how worlds are created, through the connection with the Thought of the Creator, we can rise to know all of His laws, all of the ways in which everything that we see before us comes about, that is, why it’s there, for what purpose it’s there. This reciprocal sensation of thought and intention is the way in which the law of equivalence of form is expressed on the human level. It’s the balance between the inner desire to know, to be filled with pleasure, and the actual pleasure that exists, the only pleasure that exists, which is the knowledge of the Thought of the Creator, and this system is built perfectly to create the desire that will allow a person to come into this balance.
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"Kabbalah Revealed" Episode 8

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