Why Do I Need This Imaginary World?

great A question I received: What is the science of Kabbalah’s approach to the perception of reality?

My Answer: The approach is very simple. A human being is a desire. This desire imagines itself from within – who am I, what am I, what do I consist of, how do I exist, as well as what and how do I feel? In addition, it imagines that it supposedly exists outside of this desire, as though there is another form of desire somehow depicted as outside of itself.

There is a great gap between the desire which seems to belong to me (in which I imagine myself), and the desire in which I perceive everything that surrounds me. The desire in which I imagine my external environment is disconnected from my internal “I.”

This external desire feels foreign in regard to my inner desire; however, I analyze it only to the extent that the inner desire can benefit from it, meaning, receive pleasure from it in my inner desire. Therefore, I can kill this external desire; I can rid it of all life and Light because I don’t care what happens to it. The most important thing for me is to gain in my inner desire. I use the external desire only to benefit my inner desire.

Why do we perceive the world and ourselves this way? Baal HaSulam explains that there is only one desire, but it has two inner, inherent differences – the separation into the internal and the external. Through this breaking, the Creator enabled us to feel the difference between Him and ourselves – to feel how opposite we are to each other and how distant He is from us. However, instead of feeling Him, we are imagining the world that surrounds us now.

So how else can He instill Himself, the quality of bestowal, into us, the quality of reception? He does so by giving us an example of what these two forms of nature represent, what it means to receive and to bestow.

How Can The Kli Receive The Light?

Contradictions Bring Understanding How does the Creator break the Kli? This is done by Partzuf Ishsut, which represents the mother, the motherly bosom, the whole infinite kindness with which the Creator treats the creation. This Partzuf is what supports the Parsa, knowing that it will cause the Kelim to break. It knows that the Light will vanish and the Kelim will fall from bestowal into egoistic reception, which is death!

Try to understand to what extent these Upper Systems take all the suffering and restrictions onto themselves in order to create the breaking. The breaking occurs due to the fact that the Light of the Final Correction (Gmar Tikkun) comes into completely open Kelim, which desire to receive all of the Light for the sake of bestowal; they want to eat from the whole table that is set by the Host.

I am His guest, and I am completely certain that I’ll receive all of these dishes only for His sake. So I take them, fill myself with them, and rejoice about the fact that I give to the Host. It seems to me that I have achieved the final correction, that I am in the World of Infinity and have a screen for everything.

But then suddenly, I begin to reveal that I have no screen on anything at all. After all, I received the Light of Hochma from above downward, which can never enter the Kelim of reception since this is impossible. I thought this could be done, but I was wrong. If only I had been 10-20% wrong. However, I did something that was completely unacceptable.

How can a Kli of reception accept the Light? It can only do so by uniting with Bina. This will occur later on, in the world of correction.

The Breaking Of The Common Soul Is A Sacred Action

All the People in the World Are Sick With the Same Sickness The breaking of the Kelim had to happen in order to ensure that the desire to receive and the desire to bestow would not remain separated and incomprehensible to each other, but would intermix and learn to understand each other. The breaking of the only desire that was created, the soul, did not happen by mistake; it is part of a program that allows the creation to gain greater awareness by being forced to realize how mistaken its perception is.

For the Upper One, this is not “a breaking,” but a sacred action – a revelation to the lower one of how opposite he is to the Creator. It is therefore an essential action for attaining perfection and correction. It only seems to us that this is a breakage, similar to how a tailor might look to a child who thinks that the tailor is ruining the fabric by cutting it with scissors, whereas in actuality the tailor is doing it in order to create a suit from it. For the lower one, this looks like corruption, but for the Upper One, it is correction.

Imagine that in order to understand me, you have to descend to my level. I am a thief, a criminal, and full of various vices, and you are incapable of understanding my pattern of thought. Therefore, you need to descend to me and somehow familiarize yourself with my vices. Then you will feel how you can connect to me in order to rescue me from my state.

There is no other way to do this. You will have to “get dirty” and establish a real connection with me by descending to my lower state. This is why it is written, “I, the Creator, am situated with you in all your vices,” and “The Shechina is in exile.”

Only from this state can the Creator begin to raise both of us together. Therefore, the breaking was necessary, and our state is the best possible state from the point of view of freedom of choice.

Once we ascend to a high spiritual level and become great righteous men, we just might regret not being down below…

Learn To Awaken The Dawn

pipe.jpg A person in our world studies at a university for several years, takes many exams, and suffers when he doesn’t understand something, but later, when he completes the studies, receives a diploma, and leaves the university, he can’t remember: why did he study in the first place? Well, he did it in order to gain a certain approach to his area of expertise, in order to gain the ability to learn new things. His previous knowledge is not a basis for this; it only gives him the right approach that makes him better able to perceive “the Light that Reforms.”

The same ability is passed down in spirituality from one degree to the next. As I go from one degree to another, I become more skillful and sensitive to the Light, and I am better able to attract it. I don’t know what the Light is, but I already know how it works. I am able to recognize it and, from within my desires, I am able to understand how it should come to me and what its influence should be. To some degree I am prepared for new, unknown states. I am able to evoke the Light’s influence upon myself of my own accord, and when the Light comes, I am ready for it.

From within my qualities, I already recognize and desire the right influence of the Light. Even in the Light’s absence, in the darkness, during the transition from this world into the world to come, I can already awaken the dawn.

Therefore, our entire work is to perpetually keep searching, because the search brings us new understanding of the future degrees.

A Different Formula For Happiness

programoflife A question I received: I am an egoist who feels pleasure when my neighbor’s car blows up and suffering when my neighbor buys a new car. Where can I get a different formula for attaining happiness?

My Answer: If you want to suffer from the misfortunes that befall your neighbor, and to be happy when he is happy, then you should marry his daughter – then he will be “your” family.

Do you understand now? You need a connection with him so his Kelim will become your own! If you become one family, then you will feel pleasure from all his successes and acquisitions. You only have to connect your Kelim to his. Otherwise, every new acquisition he gains will become a huge loss for you.

The fact that we perceive others’ Kelim as external allows us to ascend to a different level. This is why the breaking occurred. If I now connect the external Kelim to me, I will acquire the qualities of the Creator which I could never acquire otherwise.

The Creator divided me into two parts and gave me a sensation that one of the parts is foreign to me. But who are the people foreign to me, really, if the entire universe consists of just me and Him? So, a “foreign” person is just how the Creator appears to me. If I now attach that outsider to me, it will mean that I adopt the qualities of the Creator.

He created within me this artificial division into “myself” and “Him,” where the external part is called “clothing and castles” or “another person.” Now there are two parts inside my desire: myself and the neighbor, and I have to work in order to attach the neighbor to myself because I will thereby acquire the qualities of bestowal, love for the neighbor.

When I do this, I will begin to feel the same thing toward the Creator. He is outside of this entire sphere, but I have a means that enables me to imagine and feel Him – I can go from love for the neighbor to love for the Creator, and thus, gain a connection with Him. The opportunity we have to perceive reality as divided into two parts is a special patent and a salvation, because it enables us to make attempts to attach the external part to the inner one. Otherwise our situation would be hopeless.

Therefore, we must use this entire world as a means for our own correction, since the whole world was created for us, in order to enable us to attain the Creator.

What Happens At The End Of This Movie We’re Watching?

our A question I received: If the whole picture of the so-called “outside world” is actually projected in my brain, like with a photographic magnifier, then where is my brain in all this? Does it exist within me or outside of me?

My Answer: A more fundamental way to phrase your question is: Who are we, actually? At this moment, I feel as though I have a physical body in which I live, experience suffering and joy, and fulfillment and emptiness. That is how I must relate to it for the time being. It is written that “The Torah speaks the language of men” – meaning that the Creator addresses us in our language, evoking within us various feelings and impressions.

Afterward we will discard this entire language and all our past conceptions of the world and will see how the old picture disappears completely. Believe me when I say that nothing you see before you presently will remain! This mirage will dissipate like a fog, and the picture you see now will evaporate as though the movie you were watching came to an end. We will acquire a new perception, one that is completely unfathomable to us right now, and will enter a new world – a reversed world.

Imagination Facilitates Growth

vision The Creator makes us believe that not only do we perceive ourselves from within, but that around us there are people who see and consider us. However, this is an illusion, a lie. There is nothing on the outside, but only within us. So why do we have these additional, external impressions? It’s because through them, the Creator expands our Kelim and builds our new level, elevating us above the animate level to the human level, the degree of “Adam” (which translates as “like the Creator”). It’s all in order to make us similar to Him.

We think that the Creator exists outside of us, and that we contact, communicate and interact with people outside of us. We imagine Him before us, but later we transfer Him inside and merge with Him. Then, there is nothing before us, since we become one whole with Him.

However, in the meantime we imagine Him as being outside of us. This is a deceptive appearance which makes us regard our Kelim as “external,” and it allows us to acquire additional Aviut for our desire. That is how the ego (the desire in which we perceive ourselves relative to others or others relative to us) helps us achieve the quality of the Upper One and become like Him. We only have to move this image from the outside in, and then we will merge with Him.

Yet, something entirely different may happen after the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun). Kabbalists write that the end of our correction is merely the beginning of a new state; that by correcting our desires we will begin a new phase. Time will tell.

Why Do We See A Split World?

truth5.jpg It is nothing less than a miracle that the Creator created us with a split perception. Thanks to it, we are able to see our own ego as something alien to us. Because it seems alien to us, we don’t regard it indiscriminately, like a mother who looks at her beloved child and thinks that he can do no wrong.

But after we discern all of its flaws, we suddenly realize that they are all inside us. We are suddenly forced to recognize all the evil that we see on the outside as our own, and thus to shift our view from the outside to within. This is nothing less than a miracle.

All this stems from the initial oppositeness between the point of creation, which was “created from absence,” and the Light. This point compels my perception to be split in two: the inner and the outer. I am thus forced to regard myself from the outside as though it is not me at all, and later to accept that it is all within me.

Meantime, within me there is only the point in the heart. When I recognize the hatred and the evil that I see on the outside as my own, and connect my point in the heart to these qualities, I end up with a corrected Kli! It works a bit like a device that prints photographs – it turns a negative into a positive. In the same way, the only thing that needs to change is my outlook, which will allow me to see everything in the “Reflected Light.”

My entire perception is built according to this principle, including sounds, sensations, tastes, visuals, odors, and everything else perceived by my physical sensory organs. The same applies to all the degrees of desire – whether for food, sex, money, power, or knowledge. They are all seemingly external fulfillments that I must reveal within. So, the same principle applies not only to Kelim, but to Lights as well.

This is a difficult thing to understand at this time, but everything will be clear when we enter the spiritual perception and see the world this way.

Judging Others Is Tantamount To Passing A Verdict On Yourself

Where Do Our Thoughts, Ideas and Dreams Come From The Creator purposefully divided our perception into external and internal in order to give us the ability to recognize the opposition between reception and bestowal. If we felt everything only inside ourselves, we would not be able to understand it. We would be going around in circles like a dog chasing its own tail, while staying in the same place.

For example, each of us has numerous negative qualities that we may dislike, such as a weakness for lying, dominating over others, arrogance, and theft once in a while. I may hate all of these qualities, but they are all mine. Therefore, I acquit myself. But if I see someone else doing the same thing, then I am ready to kill him. If I always perceived everything inside of me, then I wouldn’t be able to get out of myself or my ego, and shift to the side of bestowal.

“Every person judges others to the extent of his own deficiencies.” This means that by perceiving these qualities as external to me, I see their true form. If they were in me, I wouldn’t relate to them objectively, since they are mine. For example, see if you can convince a mother that her child is not intelligent or beautiful. You can’t; she will always think that he is the most beautiful, intelligent and kind child in the world.

But since I relate to the external qualities as foreign, I view them with animosity and hatred, and therefore I am able to see these qualities (which are actually my own) in their true form. I am able to look at them without prejudice; I can criticize them wisely and correctly, and my ego helps me with this analysis, like a strict judge that pays attention to the minute details, revealing the true corrupted qualities.

However, later on I reveal that all of this was mine; it exists inside me, but because of my extreme hate for all other people, I see everything to the extent of my own corruption. Yet, others are not guilty of anything! It only seemed to me that one person was a thief, another was a liar, and I was right to hate all of them. Now, however, I see that my egoistic desire was really at fault. Yet, the external vision had opened my eyes and allowed me to recognize the deficiencies, in order to then learn that they are inside of me.

The World Around Us Is A Grand Illusion

onlyme Each soul is connected to the World of Infinity by a chain or a ladder of spiritual rungs that gradually weakens the Lights and Kelim. I awaken this system the moment I establish a connection with Infinity. Actually, this whole system is inside me; it only seems external to me.

There are two entities in the universe: man and the Creator. Man has to feel that he exists outside of the Creator in order to understand the meaning of “being separated from the Creator.” He has to learn what opposition to Him is and what it is to be close or far from Him in order to then be able to experience adhesion with Him.

This is why I was deliberately created with a perception of reality that is divided into what is inside and outside of me. This makes it easier for me to understand what the Creator is and what I am, what the breaking and the adhesion are, what a state of unconsciousness (concealment) is as opposed to the state of being close to Him and merging with Him into one whole.

The Creator tosses outside everything that I feel inside me, and as a result, my perception is divided into two parts: internal (which is everything I receive), and external (everything that I give, but without the correct intention).

The external world is my Kelim that are purposefully portrayed to me as foreign in order for me to understand what bestowal means. If I begin to relate to them as to parts of me, then I will understand how far I am from bestowal, and how opposite and undesirable it is for me. I will then see that loving my neighbor as myself is not that simple; in fact, I cannot do it. And that means I cannot bestow or come close to the Creator.

“But hold on,” you are thinking, “I want to be close to the Creator!” Well, if you want it, then you need to show it, and bestowal is the only way to do that.