Desires And Qualities: A Definition

clip_image001A question I received: What is the difference between desires and qualities? What is a desire, and what is a quality?

My Answer: Desire is the matter of creation, which always receives. There is nothing else to say about it. A quality is the form that the matter (the desire) takes; it determines how the desire works, what it expects from its work (meaning its intention), and its goal – whether for oneself or for the sake of someone outside of it (others and the Creator). Although this matter is the desire to receive pleasure, it can carry out various forms of work and be in different states, depending on the circumstances and the surroundings.

Despite the fact that I am, for example, the quality of “Abraham,” which is a completely bestowing quality, I have no opportunity to bestow because I am under someone’s control. Maybe my circumstances are such that I have no one to bestow to, or the people surrounding me don’t want me to bestow to them.

This is called a quality. A quality means that the desire to receive pleasure works in some specific external form, being clothed in it. There are ten main Sefirot, and all other spiritual “objects” are forms or qualities that are clothed within them.

When reading The Zohar, we recognize different qualities in us, such as Job, Pharaoh, and the Creator. All of these are qualities, clothed in our desire to receive. Anything we can imagine is merely the desire to receive pleasure. Therefore, from our point of view the Creator is also a particular form of the desire to receive pleasure – illuminating, elevated, high, wonderful, and bestowing to everyone. We are unable to imagine Him any differently because we cannot have any other matter except the desire to receive.

Gradually, to the extent that we try to distinguish all these qualities within us, we are influenced by the Surrounding Light. As a result, the spiritual system begins to be clarified within more and more and we begin to perceive these qualities the right way. We only need patience.

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