The Upper Thought Is Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll creation is the will to receive pleasure, and that is why it requires transformation and fulfillment. But this can be done only by some part in it that will gain understanding, wisdom. This part doesn’t belong to creation itself; it descends to it from the Creator, from the desire to bestow.

There is nothing in the universe except these two forces: the desire to receive and the desire to bestow. From the relationship between these two properties, the creature starts analyzing itself and the nature of the force that affects it.

As a result, in the desire to enjoy a mechanism gets formed, which is regarded as a “head” (a “Partzuf’s Rosh”), meaning a mind, thought, and discernment. With the power of this thought, desire begins to attain itself.

At the still, vegetative, and animate levels, the desire to enjoy acts instinctively. And a creature of this world called “man” who acts instinctively as well is also included herein. Try as we may to measure and evaluate ourselves by our own devices or by the view of others, we always judge within our egoism.

All our “compassion” is solely for our own sake, and all our actions are for our own benefit. But remaining locked inside ourselves, we can’t know who we are. We can only weigh and prefer greater desires to the lesser ones. And the ability to make such a calculation is called “thought” or discernment in our world. But in essence, it is merely an evaluation: What is greater, more vital, and beneficial for our egoism. That’s all our mind is about.

All these discernments take place at the animate degree, at the level of our animate body. This is how we live and evolve for thousands of years. But when we acquire an additional property, the property of Bina, bestowal, it is at that point that we begin to perform an assessment based upon two attributes: reception and bestowal. That’s when the mind, the “head,” which makes decisions is now called spiritual since it makes a calculation pertaining to bestowal, the attribute of the Creator.

Relative to Him, it evaluates what the created being should or shouldn’t do and how. Hence, work only within the desire to enjoy is regarded as animate since it’s the highest degree it can attain. This is how we all exist, as it is written: “All are similar to the mortal beasts.”

But one who acquires the desire to bestow is regarded as “human” (Adam) since he is “similar” (Domeh) to the Creator. That is the Kabbalists who attained the property of bestowal, the Creator. Then, they calculate coming from the two properties, reception and bestowal, meaning that they analyze how to connect within a person the desire to enjoy and the intention to bestow, to what degree the intention to bestow can rule his desire to enjoy.

Such a person has a different mind, “the head.” And even though all his actions continue residing in the desire to enjoy, the aim of these actions and their intention which moves and governs them is bestowal. And it is evident that this is a completely different type of calculation as well as perception, which cannot be comprehended by those who for the time being view things with mammalian eyes. It is written: “The view of the Torah is opposite to the view of the laymen.”

The “view of the Torah” is bestowal, whereas the “view of the laymen” is egoistic reception. And although the matter remains the same, the desire to enjoy, it all depends on how it is used, on the intention governing this matter: Will it be egoistic or altruistic, for my benefit, or for the benefit of others? This will be the test for our desire.

In all upper, spiritual worlds, only one law of bestowal governs everything, while the desire to enjoy obeys this thought and such an intention. And only in our world, in the state from which we start our ascent, the governing law is the one that submits everything to the interests of egoism.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/21/2011, “The Freedom”

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