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Fourth Talk : The Structure of the Soul


When a person begins to study Kabbalah, it seems to him that he is moving backwards or standing in place. But in fact, this is a major sign that he is moving forward. The reason for this is that he evaluates his states in his not-yet-corrected perceptions.

Each consequent correction brings a student closer to acquiring the intention “for the sake of bestowal”. However, in order to do this, a person has to go through dozens of kinds of changes. He has to find out who he is and what exactly he wants, what the desire to receive means, what the material of creation is, and the meaning of “life” and “death”. A person comes to the conclusion that life means to feel the light, and death is the perception of the darkness, or the Creator’s absence from his perceptions. Before a person comes to the genuine understanding of what is good and what is bad, he first goes through many different states.

The Machsom is the barrier that blocks the light from entering our world. How is the Machsom different from the Masach (the screen)? The Masach is characterized by an attribute that is totally different than the Machsom. In front of the Machsom, there is the light in its entirety, and nothing conceals it. There, the person himself pushes the light away with the force of his desire to not receive the light for the sake of self-gratification.

The barrier-Machsom is outside of me and blocks all of the upper light from me. On the other hand, the Masach is something that a person places inside of himself by way of his inner realization and by his desire to not allow the light to enter him egoistically, but rather to accept it only for the sake of the Creator. When a person has the Masach, then the barrier is no longer necessary, because the person is able to oppose the light himself.

How is our path divided along the 125 levels?

We know that there are 125 levels of attainment between us and the world of Ein Sof. However, we only need to reach the world of Atzilut in order to become corrected, that is, we have to go through the worlds of Assiya, Yetzira and Beria. Each of them is counted as 2000 years, so there are 6000 years altogether. After that there is the correction above Tzimtzum Bet, or a correction in a different dimension called Tzimtzum Alef.

Our soul consists of five parts: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin (Z”A) and Malchut. They differ due to an increasingly greater desire to feel pleasure. They are divided into two parts: Galgalta ve Eynaim (Keter and Hochma) and AHP (Bina, Z’A and Malchut). In other words, Keter is called Gulgolet, Hochma is called Eynaim, Bina is called Ozen, ZA is called Hotem and Malchut is called Peh. The first part of the soul experiences pleasure from bestowing, and the second - from receiving. This is how every soul is constructed.

The only thing we have to correct is Galgalta ve Eynaim, or Kelim de-Ashpaa, meaning the bestowing desires. Our spiritual path begins when we ascend from our world. To ascend means to gradually correct GE. By ascending through the worlds of BYA to the world of Atzilut, we are affirming that our Kelim de-Ashpaa are corrected. We are not able to correct the Kelim de-Kabbalah or the AHP.

What are we able to do, in this case? We are able to gradually elevate our Kelim de-Kabbalah or AHP from the worlds of BYA into the world of Atzilut. This begins with elevating the least egoistic AHPs from the world of Beria, and then elevating the more egoistic AHPs from the world of Yetzira. This work concludes when the most egoistic Kelim from the world of Assiya have ascended. We do not correct the Kelim-desires themselves. Rather, we simply attach them to the Galgalta ve-Eynaim that corresponds to them, that is, we plug them into the bestowing desires.

Every time we ascend, we receive a specific additional amount of the light. Therefore, this action is called “ascent”. There are three ascents altogether. To be more precise, an ascent from three different places takes place: from the worlds of Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. The AHPs that ascend into the world of Atzilut are not the genuine desires to receive (Kelim de-Kabbalah), meaning, they are not a person’s “I” or the “Lev ha Even”. This is the part which a person cannot correct himself. The only thing that becomes corrected is a small part called “AHP de-Aliyah”. However, a person does not have to perform a huge correction. As soon as the above correction will be completed, the Creator Himself will correct the Lev ha Even.

In order for a person to know what he needs to correct, he has to see and feel what it is that needs to be corrected. This is the reason for the existence of the ascents that do not depend on a person, which are called “stimulation from above”. There are the Shabbaths, holidays and new months. This is given to a person only because he has already corrected his Kelim de-Ashpaa, that is, he does not want anything for himself and he is located in the world of Atzilut.

The first action or the first ascent will be the attachment of AHP de-Aliyah of the world of Beria. The second ascent takes place when the AHP of the world of Yetzira becomes attached. The third, with the attaching of AHP of the world of Assiya. When a person has ascended these three levels, then the correction of “Lev ha Even” takes place, and this is known as “Gmar Tikkun” or “the end of correction”.

There are two kinds of desires to feel pleasure. These are desires to feel pleasure from receiving, or from bestowing. The pleasure from bestowing is perceived in Kelim de-Ashpaa, and the pleasure from receiving is perceived in Kelim de-Kabbalah. Both of them are un-corrected in us. The easiest thing to correct is Kelim de-Ashpaa in such a way that I will give everything for the sake of the person to whom I am giving, rather than for my own pleasure. This is easier to correct because the action (bestowal) and the direction (for the sake of another person) have the same direction.

Kelim de-Kabbalah (AHP) allow a person to feel pleasure only when he receives. It is much more difficult to correct them. In order to correct them, a person has to give pleasure to another by receiving, and to receive only for this sake. To do this, a stronger connection with the Creator is necessary, because this correction passes through the very essence of the human “I”.

Therefore the AHP becomes corrected after G”E, and it becomes corrected gradually. In other words, it is not as difficult to ascend to the world of Atzilut with the corrected Kelim of G”E, as it is to attach the AHP afterwards. The reason for this is that the latter action is opposite to the intention.

All of the five worlds serve as barriers for the Creator’s light. The lower a world is, the more light it conceals. The worlds or barriers end at the Machsom, which positively conceals the light from our world, and only a small spark penetrates into it, which is necessary to support life in our world. This spark is called “Ner Dakik”. The Creator did this in order for us to be able to live without the Masach. The Masach is not necessary when there is no light but there is Ner Dakik.

This weak light or Ner Dakik is divided into a great multitude of parts. It “spins” the atoms, moves the molecules, and compels all of matter to exist, moving it towards development and giving life on all of the levels: the still, vegetative, animal and our level – the human level.

If, with the help of study, a teacher, and the group, a person nevertheless acquires a screen on his tiny egoism or on Aviut Shoresh, then this means that he is already able to withstand the smallest light, Nefesh, which is greater than Ner Dakik. That is, in this case a person is able to be in this light and not to receive it for his own sake. The Masach or screen is doing that which the Machsom did before. This is the passage from this world into the spiritual worlds, and the Machsom is no longer necessary. However, the Masach is blocking only the smallest light, Nefesh.

This is analogous to an example from our life. Suppose a person was brought up “not to steal”, and if we place $100 in front of him then he will not steal this money. However, if the amount of money that appears before him is greater than that which he was brought up “not to steal”, then he will not be able to withstand the temptation and his upbringing will be insufficient to prevent him from not stealing.

The same thing transpires in the spiritual. Wherever there is Ohr Nefesh, a person easily acts for the Creator's sake, easily perceives Him, has contact with the light and receives pleasure for the sake of bestowal. He is able to do this because he has a Masach for that level, which prevents him from receiving for his own sake. This state is called the world of Assiya.

After that, with the help of studying and additional efforts, a person then acquires a Masach on a stronger egoism or on Aviut Alef, and now he is already able to receive the light Ruach for the sake of bestowal. Correspondingly, in our previous example, a person has acquired the shield to “not steal” up to $1000, for example. In this case, a person can go from the world of Assiya into the world of Yetzira. Analogously, when a person acquires the Masach of Aviut Bet, then he is able to pass to the world of Beria.

This way, the barrier is eliminated during the passage from one world into the next. This means that a Masach becomes acquired in place of the barrier, which corresponds to the Aviut of the given world. The barrier goes inside of the person because he no longer needs it. A person becomes capable of carrying out the law of the given world on his own, that is, the law is simply not necessary for him because the person is above it, he is higher than the law, and he fulfills it or carries it out by way of his convictions.

Since our soul consists of five parts, we therefore have to acquire Masachs of five different levels and strengths, in accordance to the egoism’s weight:

-When a person acquires Masach with Aviut Shoresh, he crosses the Machsom and enters the spiritual level of the world of Assiya;

-Masach de-Aviut Alef gives a person the opportunity to ascend to the level of the world of Beria;

-Masach of Aviut Bet elevates a soul to the level of the world of Beria;

-Masach with Aviut Gimel elevates the soul’s level from the world of Beria to the world of Atzilut;

-and finally, Masah Dalet Aviut elevates a person (that is, it elevates a person’s soul, since a person is considered a soul in Kabbalah) to the world of Adam Kadmon.

After that, the soul ascends to the world of Ein Sof from the world of Adam Kadmon.

Since each world contains five Partzufim, and each Partzuf consists of five Sefirot, a person acquires a new level with every five Sefirot. For example, in the world of Assiya, the first five Sefirot allow a person to reach Malchut of the world of Assiya; the second five Sefirot elevate him to Z”A of the world of Assiya; five more elevate him to Bina of the world of Assiya, and the next five - to Hochma of the world of Assiya. The final five Sefirot allow the soul to reach Keter of the world of Assiya.

When the soul moves along the path, it gradually acquires Masach from Aviut de-Shoresh until Aviut de-Alef of the world of Yetzira. This continues each time, until the soul goes through all 125 levels by going through all of the worlds.

When a person is in the world of Assiya with Aviut de-Shoresh, it is considered that his soul is going through the process of conception (Ubar) in the mother's womb (Bina), and this period lasts for "nine months”. That is, the soul goes through the corresponding number of levels of development, called “intra-uteral”, which corresponds to the amount of time a woman is pregnant in our world.

The passage into Aviut Alef and, correspondingly, into the world of Yetzira, is called the birth of the soul, which corresponds to a person’s birth in our world. Presence in the world of Beria corresponds to growth and feeding over the course of two years, when the soul has to receive the light that gradually grows the Masach in it.

There, the soul is still in the state of Katnut (Kelim G”E). On the other hand, passage into the world of Atzilut already symbolizes the beginning of the gradual Gadlut of the soul (the acquisition of Kelim AHP). This continues until 13 years (adulthood or Bar Mitzvah), when the soul becomes independent in the world of Atzilut. That is, it already has the Machsom that allows it to begin to receive for the sake of bestowal (or to attach Kelim de-Kabbalah with the help of AHP de-Aliya).

The world of Atzilut contains Zachar (Z”A) and Nekiva (Nukva). Relative to each other, they are in various positions, depending on the soul’s state (Katnut or Gadlut); various Zivugim transpire between them, and so on.

In the spiritual world, there is a notion called “Eretz” or earth. This is the place where you are located or where you are going. Eretz comes from the word “Ratzon” or desire. Our entire soul consists of one huge desire (Eretz), which contains various small desires (Artznot or Retzanot) as well as desires of the “nations of the world”, which are called other nations.

Eretz is closer to the Creator than the spiritual “other nations”, which are Ever ha Yarden (Jordan), Mitzraim (Egypt) and Suria (Syria). These are our neighbors and they want our earth, or Eretz Israel, because this is where the Creator is located, or this is the desire closest to Him.

All of correction must begin with us, or from the purer desires. On one hand, they are the closest to Eretz Israel; on the other hand, they are the farthest away from it, because there exists a reverse dependency between the light and the desires.

In order to return to the Creator, a person must be at his most egoistic state, that is, he has to feel that something is missing from his life. On one hand, he is an egoist according to his Kelim, meaning that he is far from the Creator according to his egoistic desires. On the other hand, when he alters his Kelim or intentions with the entire force of his desire to come closer to the Creator, then he is closest to Him.

When a person begins to study, he gradually learns to separate his desires into their various components according to the degree of their Aviut, and he begins to evaluate which of his desires he should begin working with and correct. In addition, when he works with his desires he also understands where he located, according to his internal spiritual map.

 

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