Living In Intention Instead Of Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe soul is the desire that was created by the Light, the Creator, which eventually must reach similarity to the Creator.

The Light (represented by the plus sign on image 1) creates an equal desire (the minus sign). However, once it enters the desire, they nullify one another. The desire does not perceive Light as pleasure because they are opposite.

However, as the desire acquires the quality of the Light, it gradually begins to transform into its opposite. It intends to make a restriction (Tzimtzum) and only work with the Reflected Light, in other words, to receive and enjoy only when it feels that it bestows to the one who gives it pleasure. In this way, it attains equality with the Creator.

In other words, Light comes to me with the desire to give me pleasure, but I accept it only under the condition that I feel equivalent to the Creator, as in the example with the Host and the guest.

The Host wishes to please the guest, give him everything there is (arrow marked “a,”representing the pleasure traveling and entering the desire). However, the guest only agrees to accept it under the condition that they are equal (arrow marked “b,” intention or Kavana).

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

If the intention of my action is to return what I receive from the Host, then as a guest, I can accept the pleasure. In other words, I only do actions that bring me closer to the Host, the Creator, that make me equivalent to Him.

In our world, we live in the action of receiving for our own sake. We wish to receive as much as possible. Nothing else interests us.

This is why we reach a state where we exhaust our possibilities; in other words, the correlation between the plus (what we receive from the Host) and the minus (which exists in us) disappears and we stop perceiving pleasure. In this way, nature, the Creator, pushes us to begin working on a second level in a state of similarity to the Creator.

Working on a second level makes us “human,” Adam (which comes from the word “Domeh,” meaning similar to the Creator).

Adam is a purely spiritual structure that only exists in the intention. We become human due to the intention to bestow; we become similar to the Creator. Otherwise, we are animals who only work with our egoism like all the other parts of creation.

Becoming equal to the Creator means reaching His level of perfection, the state of eternity, immortality—everything that is above our world. There are only three types of matter in our world: the still, vegetative, and animate. Here, man is also an animal. He works for his existence, lives for a certain amount of time and dies.

In order to make it possible for us to rise to the human level, the system of interaction of Light and desire goes through a great number of states that are referred to as the “creation of the system of the worlds.”

Light comes down from the world of infinity to our world and goes through a variety of states. We study them in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Light and desire (represented by the plus and the minus on image 2) interact as a dipole.

As Light influences the desire, it gradually teaches, builds, and changes it. At first, Light and desire are divided into five parts between them called five Partzufim.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

The world of Adam Kadmon divides into Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut. The Lights of Yechida, Haya, Neshama, Ruach and Nefesh correspond to them. This is exact physics of the division between desire and pleasure.

Then a very interesting thing happens. The desire wishes to become equal to the Light, receive it fully with the intention to bestow, and it fails. This takes place in the world of Nekudim, which ceases to exist after the breaking.

What is the meaning of the breaking? The main condition of reception is the creature’s desire to become similar to the Creator, to no longer feel shame, and to receive pleasure for His sake (see image 1).

When in the world of Nekudim, the creature really wishes to receive for the sake of the Creator. In other words, the entire, enormous desire that was created wishes to receive only for the sake of bestowal to the full 100%.

Let us assume that, when I make a restriction and do not receive anything, I put myself into a state where the Host depends on me, and I do not depend on Him. You wish to treat me to something that I really like, desire passionately, and absolutely cannot live without, but, if I am able to make a restriction, then I become independent. Seemingly, you did everything to fulfill me, but, since I feel that I depend on you, I reject the fulfillment. I do not wish to feel shame. It burns me, nullifies me, and makes me dependent on you.

This is why I refuse the treats until the Host and I feel that we have switched roles. The Host tries to convince me to try His treats. He says, “I made this for you, I know that you like this, I tried so hard,” and I do Him a favor by agreeing to take from Him. In other words, we switch places. Instead of being a receiver, I become a giver by doing Him a favor.

This way, my refusal, the restriction of my desire, allows me to reach a state where, instead of depending on the Host, He becomes dependent on me, and it no longer matters that He has everything, and I have nothing. He wishes to fulfill me, but I am in command of His desire because I rule over it with my willpower, and thus, I rule over the Host since, initially, He wished to fulfill me, and I do not allow Him this.

In this case, man is no longer an animal, unlike in his past state when he received from the plus into his minus, and his entire life revolved around receiving pleasure for his own sake. Now, he enters a different state, a state of intention where he becomes the plus who bestows to the Host, and the Host is the minus because He wishes for the guest to become fulfilled.

After Light and desire divide into five components (five dishes, for example), a simple action takes place. The desire receives all the Light with the intention to bestow, and now there are enormous inner desires in this desire that it did not consider before. It begins to feel that it wishes to enjoy the pleasure so much that it no longer cares if it bestows to the Creator.

Let us say that I have pushed away a very desired and pleasant sensation a number of times. However, as soon as I received it, the pleasure I experienced was so great that I am no longer able to refuse it. I immediately forget that I am able to refuse it, reject it. The pleasure begins to rule over me. This is what happens, and this is something that cannot be taken into consideration before the pleasure is actually received. This additional pleasure appears in me when I feel equal to the Creator.

The thing is that, when I begin to receive pleasure, I feel an additional flavor to the flavor I already feel from this tasty treat. I have created an intention to please the Host, this additional pleasure now awakens in me, and there is nothing I can do about it. An additional desire appears, which the Creator did not previously create under the influence of the Light.

The initial desire simply was created under the influence of the treats He has offered me, and now, an additional desire awakens in me, an additional pleasure from being like Him, but I did not take this into consideration ahead of time.

Now, I discover that I am unable to accept the Host’s treats for His sake. My entire intention, all my plans to become independent, to become like the Host, have disappeared, and I cannot realize them. This state is called the world of Nekudim.

Why is it that the world of Nekudim does not exist? It is because our Kli, vessel, and the created screen, the intention to bestow to the Host, break and mix together with the Light (see image 2).

Before, we did not have an intention, but now it has been activated between the desire and the Light.

Starting this moment, the three components—desire, intention, and Light (pleasure)—exist in nature fully dependent on one another. They have been mixed, and they carry information about their interdependence.

The next world appears after the breaking: the world of Atzilut, the world of correction. All desires that can correspond to the intention, and thus the Light, are corrected in it.

The remaining uncorrected desires divide into three parts: the worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya. These desires only can be corrected by a special structure referred to as “man” in our world.

This is a very complicated structure that contains a multitude of possible dependencies. It is created with a single purpose: to allow us to correct ourselves and become like the Creator.

However, the most interesting part is that this system consists of a multitude of small desires where each one contains two parts.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

Moreover, the first part of my desire is in contact with a part of an adjacent desire, and my other part is in contact with a part of another adjacent desire, and this way, we become mutually included in one another.

Even though each one of us represents a separate desire, both its parts depend on someone near him.

This way, I depend on those who are near me, and it is the same with everyone else. It is as if we were incorporated in one another. This is a very important thing!

This also can be viewed in the form of steps where every step consists of two halves of adjacent steps.

There is a higher step that is always in me and I receive Light from it that enters me, and this is why my upper part depends on it.

My lower part is inside the next step, and this is why I also depend on it.

Thus, it turns out that, even though I am in the middle, I do not depend on myself. I depend on the upper who is inside of me, and I depend on the lower who has me inside of him.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

On my own, I am nothing. This way, every one of us depends on those who, hierarchically, are above and below him. However, there is a special part to this structure: our middle part. It is very special, and it is called “the third of the middle part of Tifferet,Sefira Tifferet. It is our freedom of will.

The thing is that, by being in an absolutely full closed system which contains the still, vegetative, animate levels and man, we have no freedom when it comes to our choice. Everything in this system already is set—dictated, determined—and nothing in it depends on us. All our thoughts and desires, everything that happens to us, is determined ahead of time: where we will be born and who we will be, who we will have relationships with, and when we will live and die. Everything is predetermined, except for one thing: the possibility to use the middle part of Tifferet to control the connection between the upper and the lower steps in relation to me. This part of Sefira Tifferet neither depends on the upper nor the lower steps.

In other words, if I were to separate myself into ten Sefirot, ten parts, it would turn out that I have a middle, neutral part and that I can control this neutral part.

Basically, if we want to be in control of ourselves, then our entire future depends on our ability to control this neutral part.

The action of controlling is my desire to have the kind of a connection with the upper and the lower Partzufim that would allow me to build one single whole with them. I wish to neutralize myself in relation to them, to do everything for their good. This way, I connect them through me.

If we act this way, we will become completely like the Light. It will fill us and circulate through us without any interference on our part. This is what our entire work is all about.

This is very easy to realize. The gradual development of mankind brings us to the question about the meaning of governance, the meaning of life, the meaning of our state. The world begins to understand that it is coming to a dead end, and then Kabbalah becomes revealed: a science about turning your development in the right, desirable direction that explains how we can participate in it, avoid suffering, and how we can reach the highest state, above death, above our inferiority, above our current sensations.

Kabbalah becomes revealed when we begin to ask ourselves about this. It explains that there is only one way to come out of the dead end, to neutralize ourselves and exist for the sake of connection with the other elements. Only then we begin to own the governance like the guest and the Host. In general, the guest fully depends on the Host, but when he tells the Host that he does not wish to receive from Him—in other words, he does not wish to use his desire in its natural form—he becomes the governing and not the governed.

So, what can we govern? The only thing that we have is our love and hate, attraction and rejection, the plus and the minus.

All the elements in nature exist in the state of proper interaction and harmony because they do not have freedom of will. However, since man is the last stage of egoistic development of all of matter, he has this freedom of will appear specifically in the middle part, the third part of Tifferet. This is why man feels shame before the Host or the others. This feeling of shame, the feeling of rejection or attraction, gives him the opportunity to rise above his desires. This way, he becomes the governing and not the governed. This is the essence of the entire wisdom of Kabbalah.

So, when we begin to connect, at first, absolute rejection appears between us, infinity between us.

According to our nature, there is no way we can include ourselves in one another. We are all absolute egoists.

If I perform the first restriction, TA (Tzimtzum Aleph); in other words, I do not wish to use my desires egoistically, then this way, I make myself neutral in relation to another.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire-5

It is after I begin to act as a guest in relation to the Host, for the sake of another by incorporating his desires in me. At the same time, it is as if I were above Him. I am like the Creator to Him because I wish to bestow to Him, fulfill Him.

This way, I become similar to the Creator to a certain degree. When I act this way, the Upper Light comes over me, and there appears a special connection between me and the Creator, the Light. It begins to circulate in us.

This happens after we perform the first restriction, and this is enough to rise above our corporeal, egoistic level.

The characteristic of the next stage is that I include the desires of another in me. A double desire is formed in me, and it is as if I have become “pregnant”—I and the embryo, the object for whose sake I act—both exist in me. I begin to understand and feel him. He becomes part of me. This way, I now have two desires, mine and his.

I begin to receive additional Light from the Creator because I have become twice bigger.

Actually, I have become more than twice bigger because I want to bestow, and I develop an enormous, additional desire, strength.

Now, an intention to bestow to my partner, my friend, is being formed in me.

I already have a screen, and I begin to work for it as if I were working to bestow. This way, the enormous Upper Light does not just come to me. It begins to circulate between myself and it.

This Light never fades because it is in constant circulation between us. This sensation of Light within us is called the sensation of eternal existence.

Usually, when there is no intention to bestow, when the Light enters the desire, it extinguishes it. Just like with any of our desires: I eat and drink, and when my pleasure reaches a certain degree of fulfillment, it disappears. This applies to all the corporeal pleasures (food, sex, family, any pleasant interactions) because pleasure enters the desire directly, and they nullify one another to the extent that they are opposite to each other. Pleasure fills the desire. The desire diminishes and completely disappears.

How can I make the pleasure constant? The sensation of pleasure is called the perception of life. This is Light.

Without the reflected Light, we reach the state of emptiness. Pleasure enters the desire. They nullify one another, and in the end you get a zero.

However, when we operate according to the principle of bestowal, I end up in the middle between the upper Partzuf (the one above me) and the lower one (the one below me), and in his turn, he is between me (I am above him) and the one below him, and so on. We all are interconnected through a chain. This way, each one of us gives to the one below, and he gives to the one below him, and so on, and no one loses anything, but instead everyone gains.

It is because a part of the upper and a part of the lower exist in me, and I begin to feel like I am infinite since everything that exists above me (the upper part – 1) and everything that exists below me (the lower part – 2) are both included in me.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

In the end, the entire universe becomes connected to me through all these elements, and I feel like I am fully consuming the entire universe, the world of Infinity. This is what we get when we are connected properly to one another. This is the revelation of one’s soul.

When we are in a state of mutual bestowal, then as we gradually come closer to one another, we begin to attain that what we call the upper worlds.

I begin to come near to my friend from the world of Assiya, Beria, Atzilut, and Adam Kadmon, and once I am completely near him, I enter the state called the world of infinity.

All the worlds are defined as the overcoming of our egoistic desire, the distance between us, turning hatred into love, a minus into a plus.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

Thus, when I overcome my current enormous egoistic minus, it becomes the matter where I perceive the world of Infinity, eternity, perfection. This is our actual work.

When we gather together and properly interact with one another, we wish to create a group.

A group is something that does not exist in either one of us. It is the state we wish to reach.

When we separate from ourselves, make a restriction on us for the sake of the group and not our own sake, we reach a sum of desires, a sum of intentions, a sum of aspirations, and we do this for the sake of the state called the “group” and not an individual. Thus, the system of our connection in the intention and not the desire is the group.

Living in Intention Instead of Desire

All the desires we restrict become thrown away, and only our intentions remain in the group.

This way, we rise to the next step where we no longer exist in the desires created by the Light, but only the intentions.

This state of “living in intentions instead of desires” is the state of existence in the upper world.

Actually, in our world, we also judge a person according to the way he treats the others. This is the intention. However, when we wish to rise above our current corporeal life, first we must make a restriction over us, which means to stop using our desire the way it was initially created, but only striving toward the center of the group.

This is why the entire wisdom comes down to teaching the right way to come together, separate from our egoism, and only direct our intentions forward.

The purpose of our work is to connect our intentions. The upper world, the next step of the development of mankind, consists of them. Desires and pleasures are not the matter of the upper world. Intentions are.
From the Convention in Stockholm 8/30/13, Lesson 2

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