When the Point in the Heart Awakens

When the Point in the Heart SpeaksA question I received: When a person becomes religious, doesn’t he do this because his point in the heart (desire for spirituality) has awakened? Or, does he do it because something happened in his life that made him seriously think about life? If we assess the situation, we see that these thoughts cause a great change in people’s lives. Let’s say that these changes aren’t spiritual, as described in Kabbalah, but nevertheless, what – if not inner awakening – can make a person who was born into a certain world, completely change his life around, and adopt a lifestyle that isn’t easy at all?

My Answer: Surely a person constantly questions his goals, and the surfacing of all kinds of desires in him prompts changes in his life. However, all these desires and occurrences surface at the level of our world, and as such, are unrelated to spirituality. It could also be that this person starts worrying about the world to come, about what will happen to him after he dies, and thus starts noticing everything in the world as being illusive and transient, and that he’ll be left with nothing at the end of it… In either case, he is pursuing security, and religion offers him a reward for his efforts.

However, when a person couldn’t care less about his security or finding a place to relax, or about being rewarded in this world or the world to come; when he wants only one thing – to discover the truth – he then discovers the wisdom of Kabbalah. Such a person has sought after all desires and revealed their emptiness. He neglects them because they are based on compromising with his consciousness, “sweeping things under the table” so to speak, and they make him ignore the painful inner questions. The desire to discover the truth makes him incapable of lying to himself, and ready for anything as long as it leads to the truth. The point in the heart is speaking within such a person, and not his earthly desires, his heart.

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Cain and Abel are Within Us

Cain and Abel are Inside UsThree questions I received relating to the Torah and inner work:

Question: Can you explain the meaning of the story about Cain and Abel? I suppose that it speaks about the struggle between the will to bestow and the will to receive. Could you please explain this in more detail, especially the meaning of the Creator’s reaction?

My Answer: Cain and Abel are two forces within a person. One of the forces is egoism, and the other is the Creator’s property, bestowal, which descends into a person, and which the person develops from its initial manifestation, called “the point in the heart.” The entire story in the Torah talks about people conquering, killing, and competing with one another – everything in our lives until we take the control into our own hands and start progressing toward the goal on our own – by restraining the egoistic force, using it constructively, and dominating it with the Creator’s force in us.

Question: I tried translating this chapter into the Kabbalistic language, and got stuck on the verse: “My soul will despise you.” How do I translate the world “my soul” in this context?

My Answer: A person’s soul falls into egoism, which is opposite to the property of Bina of the World of Atzilut, the property of absolute bestowal, and hence the soul becomes repelled from Bina, the Creator.

Question: Could a desire for correction after the revelation of evil be called an act of bestowal?

My Answer: Not yet, but it leads to it.

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Who Is the Creator? Who am I?

The Creator and ITwo questions I received on “Who is the Creator?” and “Who am I?”:

Question: On the one hand it says that the Creator is a quality – the quality of bestowal, which the person needs to attain, and which is within the person. But on the other hand, the Creator is always described as something outside of me, someone I must pray to. He’s described as an essence that is separate from me, as a force that controls everything. So who is the Creator? Is He inside me or outside?

My Answer: The Creator is the innermost part of you, but as long as you don’t perceive Him this way, you imagine everything to be outside of you, including Him.

Question: In the morning we say: “Lord, the soul that you have given me is pure… You have breathed it into me… and you will return it to me in the future…” My question is: Who or what is this “I,” “inside of me,” “within me,” etc., that this blessing speaks about? According to the blessing, if the soul is inside this “I,” then who am “I”?

My Answer: You are a desire, an aspiration toward the Creator. That is what the soul is. Everything else is desires needing connection to this aspiration, and you are the one who needs to make such a connection. It is possible to the extent that you feel the Creator’s importance. However, you need to first correctly define who the Creator is: the property of bestowal and love for others.

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