A question I received: I would really appreciate it if you would explain the following quote from Baal HaSulam’s article, “The Freedom”:
“Whereas if there is no such spark in man, but all the sparks of his essence are dressed in bestowal of contentment to their maker, then it is neither absent nor dead. For even when the body nullifies, it only nullifies from the aspect of reception for self gratification, in which the will to receive is dressed, and has no right to exist but through it.”
I don’t understand – how is it possible that when this body dies (which you said is perceived as changing one’s shirt), the desire to bestow does not die with it? When I die, then even if I will still have the desire to bestow, I won’t be able to bestow anymore – I won’t be able to realize my desire!
Or suppose that instead of dying, I survived a car accident or a serious disease, but I lost my limbs and had brain damage; then even though I am still alive, I will not be able to bestow! Without a body you can’t bestow to your friends or participate in dissemination. So how does one’s desire continue to exist and be realized if the body no longer exists?
My Answer: Here’s an explanation of Baal HaSulam’s quote that you cited: “Whereas if there is no such spark in man, but all the sparks of his essence are dressed in bestowal of contentment to their maker, then it is neither absent nor dead. For even when the body (egoism) nullifies, it only nullifies from the aspect of reception (the desire) for self gratification, in which the will to receive is dressed, and has no right to exist but through it.”
The desires remain. What changes is their intention or “clothing.” We live inside these desires, and we also perceive our body, or its presence, inside a certain desire, which becomes revealed in our “I” for a period of time (our life), and then decreases and disappears. This is what gives us the feeling of life and the gradual death of the body.
Read the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar ” and you’ll see what Kabbalah means when it says:
- The death of the body – the death of the egoistic intention
- The revival of a body – the birth of the altruistic intention
We only perceive our animate body until we correct our entire soul; that is to say, until we correct all our desires from “for myself” to “for others, for the Creator.” Then the perception of the body will disappear, because the desire in which we perceive this body will be corrected into bestowal, and it will become eternal because it helped us correct all the other desires.
Take this as a foundation: There is only the Light and the desire, and you feel everything (this world or the world to come) inside the desire. Everything depends on the desires – their size, quality, and similarity to the Light.
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