Philosophy: A Building Without A Foundation

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”: …for we do not define by name or word that which we do not attain. That is because a word designates some degree of attainment.

The root of everything is the unattainable and imperceptible essence of the Creator (Atzmuto). We never speak about it because something can be described something only on the basis of their attainment through our bodily senses when we analyze our sensations with our brain.

A person consists of two parts: mind and emotion. The emotional part is a desire. The part that measures and explores is the mind, which develops next to the desire. If we don’t experience any “feedback” from either of these two parts, it means that we are deprived of the ability to perceive. The “insight” happens in the desire that lies underneath a dry, mental analysis.

As it is said in the “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” besides Atzmuto, there also exists an abstract form that we are unable to attain. As opposed to abstract form, both materialized form and matter are attainable. Thus, in Kabbalah, attainment occurs from bottom to top to the extent it is actually possible.

On the other hand, philosophers do not contemplate the steps of ascent; they talk about some “force” that is outside us and scholastically deliberate on it as if this kind of “research” is legitimate. This kind of approach has actually ruined philosophy. Today nobody takes it seriously. When it comes to abstract conversations, everybody hypothesizes as much as they want to. Moreover, this principle lies at the very foundation of philosophy; a person can build their own picture of the world based on speculation; it is “legal.” This “pluralism” has resulted in a fountain of fantasies and nothing is left of the serious real foundation.

The wisdom of Kabbalah, on the other hand, declares a very simple thing: Reality can be explored only by the observer, meaning, it can be researched only in conjunction with the explorer. Everything is evaluated through the observer and the picture that is created in the observer’s bodily sensors is in accordance with the law of similarity of properties. A person is comprised of both matter and form.

Matter is the desire to receive.

Form is the intention either for the sake of receiving or for the sake of bestowal.

We perceive reality through ourselves in accordance with the level of our ability to change. What is outside us, we just don’t know. Discoveries of Kabbalists can’t be applied to our personal research until we achieve the same level they did.

So, we use the wisdom of Kabbalah to attract powers from these steps, trying to reach them, like little children who strive to grow. In other words, we still use the wisdom of Kabbalah as a “special remedy” that is not clear to us yet, but it works. Then, when we attain revelation, we will research and apprehend the same phenomena inside our own vessels. At that time, Kabbalah books will help us examine ourselves and will direct our advancement.

But still, we never know what actually is outside us. Kabbalists who advanced further due to their internal changes tell us about some 125 steps of attainment and describe what they have perceived at each of these steps. They outline specific remedies that will allow us to widen our limits of perception. Their desires are vessels of the soul; they perceive something called “Divinity,” the power of bestowal that emerged in them to the degree of their similarity of properties with Divinity. When receiving desires shape themselves as bestowing ones, they feel that “something” is fulfilling them. This “something” is called the “upper force” or the “Light.” But again, that, too, is perceived only by the person.

So, the “Light” is a reaction that happens in our sensations, in our receiving desires, as it is being filled. In other words, the “Light” is a phenomenon in the vessel. Even the Light that in Kabbalah is called “external” is, in fact, located inside the vessels, only more distant from clear perception. One way or the other, it’s always about what is happening inside our sensations and desires. This is the way we advance.

Regarding Atzmuto: according to our logic, we say that there is a higher root. We never sense it, nor will we ever attain it; however, by of course, there must be the source of our existence, of our sensations, and all the changes in us. And yet, no matter what we feel, we feel it only in accordance with our own properties. That’s why the “Creator” (Boreh) means “Come and See” (Bo-Reh). This phenomenon I also perceive internally and Atzmuto is outside us.

The entire reality is divided into three parts:

A man

The fact that he feels

The source of his feelings, which is imperceptible

The approach of the science of Kabbalah calls upon everyone to study reality. After all,  there is the commandment, “Know your Creator and serve Him.” How? According to the principle “From Your actions we will know You.” Man changes himself and is constantly trying to come into agreement with the upper force and become similar to it. Then he feels the changes made in him, and according to these changes, begins sensing new phenomena. It is the upper force to which he aspired.

So the “Creator” is a new modified form clothed in  the changes that happen to us, the property of bestowal that is revealing itself within us. Subsequently, the wisdom of Kabbalah is very strict about its major rule: Never detach reality from the person comprehending it. Otherwise, we’ll end up being philosophers.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/5/12, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”

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