Why Do I Need This Imaginary World?
from a Student: What is the science of Kabbalah's approach to the perception of reality?
Answer: The approach is
very simple. A human being is a desire. This desire imagines itself from within:
Who am I, what am I, what do I consist of, how do I exist, as well as what and
how do I feel? In addition, it imagines that it supposedly exists outside of this desire, as though there is another form of desire somehow depicted as
outside of itself.
There is a great
gap between the desire which seems to belong to me (in which I imagine myself),
and the desire in which I perceive everything that surrounds me. The desire in
which I imagine my external environment is disconnected from my internal "I."
desire feels foreign in regard to my inner desire; however, I analyze it only
to the extent that the inner desire can benefit from it, meaning, receive
pleasure from it in my inner desire. Therefore, I can kill this external
desire; I can rid it of all life and Light because I don't care what happens to
it. The most important thing for me is to gain in my inner desire. I use the
external desire only to benefit my inner desire.
Why do we perceive
the world and ourselves this way? Baal HaSulam explains that there is only one
desire, but it has two inner, inherent differences-the separation into the
internal and the external. Through this breaking, the Creator enabled us to
feel the difference between Him and ourselves, to feel how opposite we are to
each other, and how distant He is from us. However, instead of feeling Him, we
are imagining the world that surrounds us now.
So how else can He
instill Himself, the quality of bestowal, into us, the quality of reception? He
does so by giving us an example of what these two forms of nature represent,
what it means to receive and to bestow.
The Breaking Of The Soul Is A Sacred Action
The breaking of the
Kelim had to happen in order to ensure that the desire to receive and
the desire to bestow would not remain separated and incomprehensible to each
other, but would intermix and learn to understand each other. The breaking of
the only desire that was created, the soul, did not happen by mistake; it is
part of a program that allows the creation to gain greater awareness by being
forced to realize how mistaken its perception is.
For the Upper One,
this is not "a breaking," but a sacred action-a revelation to the lower one of
how opposite he is to the Creator. It is therefore an essential action for
attaining perfection and correction. It only seems to us that this is a
breakage, similar to how a tailor might look to a child who thinks that the
tailor is ruining the fabric by cutting it with scissors; whereas in actuality
the tailor is doing it in order to create a suit from it. For the lower one,
this looks like corruption, but for the Upper One, it is correction.
In order to
understand me, you have to descend to my level. Imagine, I am a thief, a
criminal, and full of various vices, and you are incapable of understanding my
pattern of thought. Therefore, you need to descend to me and somehow
familiarize yourself with my vices. Then you will feel how you can connect to
me in order to rescue me from my state.
There is no other
way to do this. You will have to "get dirty" and establish a real connection
with me by descending to my lower state. This is why it is written, "I, the
Creator, am situated with you in all your vices," and "The Shechina is
Only from this
state can the Creator begin to raise both of us together. Therefore, the
breaking was necessary, and our state is the best possible state from the point
of view of freedom of choice.
Why Do We Have The Perception Of An External World?
The Creator makes
us believe that not only do we perceive ourselves from within, but that around
us there are people who see and consider us. However, this is an
illusion, a lie. There is nothing on the outside, but only within us. So why do
we have these additional, external impressions? It's because through them, the
Creator expands our Kelim and builds our new level, elevating us above
the animate level to the human level, the degree of "Adam" (which translates as
"like the Creator"). It's all in order to make us similar to Him.
We think that the
Creator exists outside of us, and that we contact, communicate and interact
with people outside of us. We imagine Him before us, but later we transfer Him
inside and merge with Him. Then, there is nothing before us, since we become
one whole with Him.
However, in the
meantime, we imagine Him as being outside of us. This is a deceptive appearance
which makes us regard our Kelim as "external," and it allows us to
acquire additional Aviut for our desire. That is how the ego (the desire
in which we perceive ourselves relative to others or others relative to us)
helps us achieve the quality of the Upper One and become like Him. We only have
to move this image from the outside to the inside, and then we will merge with
entirely different may happen after the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun).
Kabbalists write that the end of our correction is merely the beginning of a
new state; that by correcting our desires we will begin a new phase. Time will