Spiritual Development: From Embryo to Person
Talmud Eser Sefirot, Volume 3, Part 8: Time and place in spirituality signify a renewal of form. Since a Partzuf grows only through a multitude of unions (Zivugim) and transfers of Lights that differ from one another, building it together, they are called "the months of the intrauterine development" or the period of embryonic development, which can last for 7, 9, or 12 months depending on the amount of portions of Light that are necessary to form it.
We study the changes that happen to the will to enjoy and count the number of these changes or renewals, which are called "months" (Hodesh, month, comes from the word Hidush, renewal). There is no time in spirituality. Time is determined by the number of changes that we have gone through, rather than the motion of the hand of a clock or the changes of some external factor. As much as I changed, that is how much time has gone by. This is how time is defined in spirituality.
Therefore, the period of an embryo's development means that I go through one state after another ("I go through," Over, comes from the word embryo, Ibur). I have to go through a specific amount of changes in order to go from the intrauterine development inside the Upper One to development outside of Him.
Now I am also in the Upper One and He develops me. During this process of development I have absolutely no influence on the changes I undergo. I am forced to change by instincts and forces that I experience as suffering, and thus, I go through these changes against my will.
Then another phase comes: I start to feel that there is some kind of reason behind it, that there is a high need for it, and there is an Upper One who makes all these changes to me, wishing for me to start finding out about the system of governance, the cause and effect order of development, the beginning and goal of the whole path. That is how the whole world is beginning to awaken in our times.
After that we reach the realization that we have to evoke these changes ourselves. From a certain state onward there is no time that the Upper One changes for us, forcing us to develop. Now the Upper One only adds Lights for us, which we perceive as evil. However, this does not enable us to develop, but only to reach the realization that we have to demand development from the Upper One. That is, we must already participate in the development ourselves and demand it.
The Upper One does not force me to do the action itself, but only to request it so I would ask the Upper One to carry it out. My request has to be in the middle. For now this request can be expressed as a cry due to feeling bad.
After that I develop and am required to have this cry come out of the realization of goodness, when I understand that all of this is for my good. Even though I might feel bad in my sensations, I already realize that this is good for my development, because I have to ascend to the next level. Then the Upper One no longer demands a cry from me, but cooperation in development. This is called partnership.
After that we reach a state where the Upper One does not awaken me at all, but I have to search for an opportunity to awaken inside of me, using the environment. I have to awaken the Upper One so He would awaken me, and then agree with His action and tell Him exactly how to do it. It's as if I understand and choose the best form of action for myself, and then the Upper One does it.
In the end we reach a state where I give the Upper One all the orders. In the beginning of the path He made all the actions upon me, from beginning to end, without my awareness. I did not know who is operating me, what He does, and where I am. But at the end of the path I determine everything from beginning to end, and only use the force of the Upper One.
Our entire path lies in that we acquire increasingly greater independence and self-sufficiency, becoming more and more similar to the Upper One.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot