Third Talk : Five Worlds – Five Levels of the Will to Receive
There exist five worlds between the Creator and our world. They are called:
Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. Beneath the
world of Assiya there is the Machsom, and our world is below
it. Our goal while still located in our world is for our soul to attain the
level of the world of Ein Sof, meaning, to attain complete unification
with the Creator. That is, when our soul is clothes the body of this world, to
change the attributes of egoism into the attributes of the Creator on each
spiritual level until our entire egoism is replaced by altruism. When that
occurs, our soul’s attributes will become fully equivalent to the Creator’s
In our world, the following two egoistic attributes are enacted: “to receive
for the sake of reception” and “to bestow for the sake of reception”. The
spiritual worlds are built on the following attribute: “to bestow for the sake
of bestowal” or “to receive for the sake of bestowal”. The first task of a
person who wants to pass into “the world to come” is to restrict the use of
his desires, or to perform Tzimtzum Alef. This means to stop working
with egoism or with the egoistic desires.
We are not able to change our “desire to receive” because this is the only
thing created by the Creator. However, it is possible and also necessary, to
change the intention in the desire from “to receive for one’s own sake” into
the intention “to receive for the sake of the Creator”. Hence, we can see that
the action does not change outwardly; rather it is only the intention that
Therefore the methodology of changing the intention (something that no one can
see and that is hidden from everyone) is called the secret Science of Kabbalah.
It is the methodology of how to receive by changing the intention. The
important thing is what I am thinking when I perform any given action, and
what goal I am pursuing when I act. All 125 levels are degrees of gradual
correction of the soul’s intention, from receiving for one’s own sake to
receiving for the sake of the Creator.
The five worlds are levels of the desire to receive, beginning with the
weakest desire (Keter) and ending with the strongest
(Malchut). These are built starting at the top (the Creator) and
descend downwards to creation. As the light comes from the Creator and passes
through the worlds, it becomes weaker and therefore suitable for being
perceived by the weaker altruistic desires. When the soul receives the light
of correction from above, it begins to change the intention “for its own sake”
into the intention “to receive for the sake of the Creator”, or “to bestow”.
The soul reaches the Machsom line only if it performs the
Tzimtzum Alef on all the desires it perceives in that state, that is,
when it totally refuses to work with egoism. However, it is not yet able to
receive anything for the Creator’s sake.
When the soul corrects its intention to bestow on the level of Keter,
it enters the world of Assiya located above the Machsom.
That is, when it is able to counteract the weakest possible egoism by not
receiving anything and nullifying itself in the light of the upper. If the
soul is able to counteract its egoism in the light of Hochma, it
ascends to the level of the world of Yetzira.
The soul continues this way by increasing its ability to work against greater
egoistic forces each time, ascending to the next (higher) spiritual level,
until reaching the world of Ein Sof. The soul acquires its essence as
a spiritual substance only after crossing the Machsom and ascending
In the spiritual world a person is dealing with pure naked desires that are
not clothed in various appearances of our world. A Kabbalist who is in the
spiritual ceases to investigate our world because he correctly perceives it as
the natural result of the branch from the spiritual root. For him, it is more
interesting to see the cause, or the beginning root, rather than the
consequence, located on an incomparably lower level than the root, from which
all desires and causes originate.
A person who ascends, thereby changes all earthly desires into the desire for
the Creator. At first he wants to possess the Creator egoistically, in just
the same way he previously wanted to receive everything in our world. As it is
said: a person wants the Creator so much that this passion does not allow him
to fall asleep!
Gradually, a small light called Ohr Makif, which constantly surrounds
a person, begins to shine for him, whereby he reaches a request for the
spiritual with the help of this light, using a desire stronger than all other
desires. Finally, with the help of the same light, a person passes the
Machsom and receives the intention of bestowal.
Only the Upper light of the Creator is able to raise a person in this way; to
provide the answer to all his human efforts for the spiritual, to bring him to
the state where desire for the spiritual is so great that it does not let him
fall asleep and suppresses all other desires.
All souls go through the same stages during their path, but each soul’s
assignment in this world is different. Also different is the speed with which
different souls to go through the same path.
Every thought, every desire and every movement a person makes in our world,
regardless of the person, is given to him with one single goal: to ascend and
to come closer to the spiritual. However, the majority of people go through
this advancement in a natural way on the unconscious human, animal, vegetative
and still levels.
Everything is predetermined and pre-programmed by the goal of creation. A
person’s free choice consists of whether he agrees with everything that
happens to him, whether he begins to understand the goal towards which
everything is directed, and whether he himself wants to be an active
participant in all of the events happening to him.
All thoughts and desires in the world of Ein Sof pass through a
person. However, a person “picks up” only thoughts corresponding to his level.
On today’s level, a person is able to not think about new discoveries. However,
when he increases the level of his knowledge and concepts, he suddenly begins
to dream of something complex. This means that he is meant to feel and perceive
a more complex realm of perception.
The realm of a person’s activity is constructed in this way, or his picture of
the perception of the world in which he lives. If a person develops further,
even deeper thoughts come to him with a different connection between things.
Everything depends on a person’s level of development, because this determines
his bounds of perception or the part of the world of Infinity a person
There is no other way to develop the desire for the spiritual, to evoke
Ohr Makif, to personally take part in fulfilling the goal of creation,
and to shorten the natural path of achieving this goal, other than studying in
a group under the direction of a teacher. Only the light that begins to shine
can help change the egoistic properties (being the only obstacle on the
spiritual path) into altruistic properties.
Ohr Makif changes our desire to receive into the desire to bestow and
takes us past the Machsom. We say that we do not want anything from
the material world and that we want only the spiritual. If we knew that going
through the Machsom means changing the intention with regard to who
and what we think and worry about, we would run away.
To continue, we now enter the territory above the Machsom where we
encounter an ocean of light. This is the light of the Creator, which shines on
us to the degree that our exaltation of the Creator is greater than our
egoistic desire. This gives us the opportunity to gradually acquire the
property of the light itself, or to bestow.
The most important thing is to pass the Machsom. A soul that has
received the light knows the entire path after passing it, because the light
teaches it. There already exists an unraveled map and instruction for each
subsequent step and every action. These are the instructions that Kabbalists
have described for us in their books.
Every bad thought is opposite to the Creator’s good thought, but how can we
change a bad thought into a good one? First, we have to understand that the
thought is bad; to realize its evil in order to then come to the decision of
correcting it. We can see this evil only in the Creator’s light or in His
greatness. However, if light does not shine for a person, then he is blind and
exists in the dark, under the Machsom where light does not penetrate.
A person exists in this world and believes that all his thoughts are good.
When a person becomes illuminated by the light of the Upper or surrounding
light called “Ohr Makif”, he begins to see his own entire essence.
This is called “the realization of evil”. Without this illumination by the
light, a person tries to justify himself and he is always correct in his own
eyes. However, the realization of his own ego in the illumination of the light
pushes a person to turn to the Creator for help. Moreover, thanks to the
illumination, a person already sees the source of the illumination and he
precisely knows to Whom he has to turn.
If the person’s plea is genuine, the Creator alters his nature. However, the
desire to receive does not change; the only thing that changes is the intention
from “receiving for his own sake” into “receiving for the Creator”, which
corresponds to bestowal. This is how the gradual change of a person’s
attributes into the Creator’s attributes takes place on each of the 125
Each level includes several processes:
- the realization of evil: how much worse than the Creator one is in the left
- what help one should receive from the Creator from His right line;
- the combination of the right and left lines: how much can one receive from
the right line, that is, to pass into the middle line.
As a result of these actions, another part of a person’s desire becomes
equivalent to the Creator, enabling him to pass to the next level. This
continues on each level, until all of a person’s attributes become equal to
the Creator’s attribute.
A person’s desires determine his action. It is impossible to perform actions
without desires! For example, tomorrow morning I have to wake up early,
therefore I am going to sleep early today. Am I doing this against my desire?
No! No one in this world is able to perform actions without the desire and
without fulfilling this desire with pleasure. The desire is the energy or
moving force that gives a person the opportunity to do something.
Sometimes it seems to us that we are doing something against our desire. This
is not the case. We simply perform a calculation, that it is beneficial to do
something even if opposing the desire. If beneficial to a person, he undertakes
various unpleasant and undesired actions.
By choosing, a person is able to bring another desire closer, to create it and
to realize it. Not a single one of us would be able to move even a finger
without receiving the moving force for this or bringing another desire closer.
A person who does something good for another person thinks that this is really
the case and that he truly does this action unselfishly. However, if he enters
the whole depth of his thoughts he will see that he does everything with just
one goal: to do something good for himself only, and everything else is his
If in addition a person studies Kabbalah, he is able to see how all of this
works; that each is an absolute egoist and does not think of anyone other than
himself, not even his own children. Simply, in the current stage the entire
system of thoughts is faulty, and it seems impossible to a person to do
something for another’s sake.
It is only possible to give to someone when receiving something in return, or
benefiting in some way. One should not be ashamed of this fact. This is our
nature. We either receive for self-gratification, or give in order to benefit
from it in some way. This is no one’s fault. The only thing we need to do is
aspire towards changing our attributes to the Creator’s attributes.
Kabbalah teaches people to accept a person just the way he was created. We
cannot hate someone for this or get angry because we see these attributes in
him. Nevertheless, it is difficult to communicate with the external world and
to have the patience to observe the petty egoism of someone you may encounter.
However, each person is created the way he should be. We should only try to
help each other to change the attributes we have been given into the altruistic
What is suffering? It is everything that opposes our desire. As the Talmud
says, if a person puts his hand in his pocket and takes out one coin, but he
wanted another one, then he experiences suffering. Suffering is everything in
life that does not correspond to our desire. We perceive suffering whenever we
are in a bad mood, sick, or when we do not want to do something.
However, everything being done is happening for our good. One way or another,
everything that happens advances us towards reaching the goal of creation.
Except, in our distorted perceptions, good seems bad and sweet seems bitter.
In reality, it is possible to feel what is good only after passing the
Machsom. Right now, however, everything is perceived as suffering.
This happens due to the lack of fulfillment by the light. After all, light
remains outside as long as our desires have not received the altruistic
While a person is not getting closer to the spiritual, the will to receive is
the angel of life for him. However, by studying Kabbalah and attracting the
surrounding light to himself, the person gradually sees how much his will to
receive for himself is an obstacle to changing his egoistic nature into
altruism. He sees that this is a real enemy of advancing forward, and his
desires become the angel of death instead of the angel of life.
When a person comes to realize the evil of his own egoism in comparison to the
attributes of the light that he has perceived, a huge desire emerges to remove
these chains at any cost. However, since one is unable to do this on his own,
in despair he cries to the Creator for help. And he receives this help, if
this is his only plea and it is authentic.
A person who wants to come closer to the spiritual has to be like everyone
else: he has to work like everyone else and to have a family and children. The
important thing is what he does in the two-three hours that are free from work
and responsibilities at home. Does he spend them in front of the TV or in a
restaurant, or does he put efforts into achieving the spiritual goal?
In either case, a person cannot talk about his spiritual work to anyone else;
he has to thoroughly conceal what he feels with relation to the Creator. This
is done in order not to damage another person’s spiritual path. Every person
has a different path. Once reaching full correction, everything will become
revealed since there will be no place for obstacles of egoistic jealousy.