Preparation to the Lesson
After I receive an awakening from Above, I have to add something to it on my own by getting inspired by a book and the group, and by strengthening my initial inspiration through the desires of my friends.
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Shamati #47 “In the Place where You Find His Greatness“
Desire knows no boundaries. Therefore, our spiritual desires are always able to unite, regardless of where we are physically.
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“Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 17, Lesson 10
In the spiritual world, my desire for pleasure no longer plays a significant role. It becomes a means of connecting between myself and the Creator.
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent),” Item 137
The Creator gave us the good and evil inclinations so we could independently choose to form the middle line.
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Kabbalists explain that the desire is the only creature that the Creator created. It consists of 613 (Taryag) different desires with all their different manifestations. We live precisely within these desires. They are all us.
The Light of the Creator shines on these desires. In reality, it is He who separates one common desire into a multitude of particular desires, because the desire becomes divided and made more complex under the influence of the Light. This is why it divides into different pieces, even pieces that are opposite to one another.
Among these desires, some desires are contrary and opposite to the Light, and others support and are similar to the Light. The evil desires in us pull us away from the Light and alienate us from it; they are called “the evil inclination” (Yetzer Ra), “evil forces” (Kohot HaTumaa), or the opposite side (Sitra Achra). The good desires in us, called Yetzer Tov, pull us closer toward the goal and help us attain it. They are called “forces of sanctity” (Kohot HaKedusha).
There are also desires in us on different levels of development: still, vegetative, animate, and human. In addition, there are desires called “angels,” “demons,” “spirits,” and so on. There is an enormous multitude of different kinds of desires, but they are all inside us; we consist of them.
However, we relate to our desires and qualities in different ways. We treat some of them as if they are closer to us and useful, whereas others seem farther away from us, opposite to us, and harmful. We treat them one way or another depending on our goal, on our way of working with them, and other considerations.
Nevertheless, regardless of what we say, think, or name, we are always referring to our desires. The people we see around us are also expressions of our desire, a desire that has taken “our” form under the Light’s influence.
Some desires are big and relatively constant; if they change, they do so slowly. These desires are on the still level of development. Other desires are more flexible, and they are on the vegetative and animate levels. They change faster or slower according to their type and strength. All of these desires depend on a higher level of desires – the human level, also called “the soul.” The “animate” desires that are smaller than this level are called “spirits” and “angels.”
In addition, “chambers” are different kinds of spaces or cavities; these are desires of the still level that have their own characteristics. Some desires operating inside these chambers are more active and flexible, and they are referred to as “spirits,” which are on the vegetative level. Desires that are even more active operate inside the spirits; these are “angels,” the animate level. Finally, on an even deeper level there are souls that help one another.
In this manner, The Zohar reveals the entire word to us. But this entire world is within me and my desires. It is as if I am traveling among them, like a tiny person in a cartoon wandering inside his own body, penetrating different organs and spaces between them and seeing how his entire organism operates.
The Zohar describes something very similar. It tells us what we are like in the spiritual world and that the entire spiritual world is our desire, which appears to us as being on the inside or on the outside, in all kinds of different states. And all of this is intended for us to work with.
The Zohar: And though the essence of the heart of stone (Lev HaEven) cannot be corrected, its color nonetheless becomes corrected, for its black color is included in the three colors of holiness (bestowal) of the first nine Sefirot and receives luminescence and correction from them, This enables it to exist and be fit for being discerned in the future (at the End of Correction).
As I increase my desire to become similar to the Creator through my actions, by using my desire (Malchut) to be like bestowal, I sense the actions and qualities of the Creator in the first nine Sefirot of my soul. Meanwhile, I neutralize and cease using the desires belonging to Malchut (the heart of stone). As a result of this analysis and my effort to avoid working in the desires of Malchut (the heart of stone), Malchut becomes permeated by a tiny luminescence.
Later, once I become completely similar to the first nine Sefirot in my desire to bestow, by correcting my desires as much as possible and making them “for the sake of bestowal,” I discover that even the heart of stone can be used for the sake of bestowal. I find that it is precisely because I’ve always rejected and distanced it from myself and was unwilling to use it that it received an impression of bestowal. Thus it came to include within itself all the shades of the colors that I’d used in the first nine Sefirot.
There are only several colors – white, red, green and black, and I can use all of them except for black. Because I do not use the color black, the other colors allow it to include them within itself to a certain degree, and as a result it becomes fit for use. This is the meaning of the verse, “In the future the angel of death, egoism, shall become a holy angel, the quality of love and bestowal.” In other words, at the End of Correction the notion of “forbidden” will be revoked, as we’ll have the strength to use all of our desires for the sake of others.
Then all the restrictions and prohibitions will vanish in all axes of time, motion and space. This state is called the World of Infinity – a world without limits, where my existence is unbounded and I have unlimited opportunities.
I am a small word, and I perceive everything within myself. As Baal HaSulam explains in the “Preface to the Book of Zohar,” there is a “camera” within me that projects the picture of this world on a screen in the back of my head. Thus, the world is presented to me through the following system of coordinates: “world, year, soul.” Therefore, in order to see the true picture of the world, I have to properly arrange my desires, through which I perceive the world.
By correcting every one of my desires from reception to bestowal, I gradually begin to convert the pictures of this world, presently perceived in the light of reception, to a picture of the world in the light of bestowal. Then, step by step, I will draw closer to the true picture of reality – one that is outside of me and independent of my corrupted vessels of reception (Kelim). I will see reality in its true form, outside of me; stated differently, I will “see” the spiritual world.
All I have to do to accomplish this is to change the method of utilizing my desires from reception to bestowal. Therefore, I must first and foremost imagine that the whole world that I presently feel and seem to dwell in is actually my desires; it is in these desires that I dwell, which are all aimed at consumption (reception).
As I gradually begin to convert them from reception to bestowal, to exit out of them to the outside, the picture of the world will change. This is very difficult for me to understand because I am accustomed to perceiving the world as it appears to me at this moment. However, the whole picture of the world is created by forces descending from Above, like a picture on a computer screen. I can change my desires, and then I’ll perceive a different reality.
We are living in a special time, when all the forces, all the conditions, and all the states that we go through help us to discard our current perception of the world, a perception of the corporeal reality, and develop the desire to acquire a different perception of reality – that of the spiritual world.
When I reveal the wicked forces of the spiritual worlds, called Klipot, and the forces of goodness opposite them (as it is written, “The Creator made one against another – wickedness against holiness), then I attain a level of existence inside these parallel systems of good and evil worlds. Thus, I feel heaven and hell opposite to one another. It’s impossible to feel one without the other.
Let us hope we will attain all of this and become the “sinners” of which the Torah speaks. To be a sinner means to exist opposite to your “righteous” state; it is when you toddle between “sinner” and “righteous,” alternately becoming one and then the other. By “zigzagging” in this manner, one advances higher.
All of this refers to the system of the spiritual worlds that we are facing. There is nothing there resembling the colorful pictures of heaven and hell that religion has frightened us with. We have to free ourselves from all these primitive superstitions and realize that nothing can happen to our body after death besides disintegration, since the body is no more than a protein-based matter.
We have to understand that there are only two forces acting inside us – reception and bestowal. However, they can be called by many different names. Everything consists of them and everything exists only in us.
A name is a desire (HaVaYaH) with the Light (Ohr Pnimi) in it, which was attained by a human being. A holy name refers to a property of bestowal, and a wicked name refers to a property of reception. Even the name of the worst villain described in the Torah refers to a revelation of the Creator, but from the opposite side; it refers to the property of egoism inside a person. All the good names refer to the revelation of His “face,” goodness, the property of bestowal inside a person. All of this talks about the revelation of the Creator inside man.
All the good and evil forces acting “above this world” are the revelation of the Creator’s forces either from His front side or His reverse side, as Moses was told, “And you will see My back but will not see the face.”
Nothing exists besides the creation and the Creator, and the Creator can either be concealed or revealed to creation. Our task as creation is to reveal the Creator – the only acting force in the universe. All the rest that we now perceive as an “external world” is also inside us, but in our desires that have not yet been revealed.
This is the picture we have to imagine. We have to understand that nothing is worse than our current state, the state of complete separation from the Creator. Namely, our world is the worst of all worlds (states).