The Zohar Explores Our Inner World Of Desires

greatest 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.

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