Question: Can we build the collective intention before the lesson begins? If so, how?
Answer: The collective intention has to be founded on the common goal. Our ultimate purpose is to delight the Creator, whereby we equalize ourselves with Him. In order to accomplish this, we must get to know Him since He wishes that we see His love and kindness. It isn’t our personal need; the Creator wishes for us to know Him.
Getting to know something means to become equivalent in form. Hence, we do our best to aim all our efforts at bestowal. I exert effort not to gratify my egoism, but yearn to step out of myself and desire to find the Creator namely to delight Him therewith.
To accomplish this, I need to possess the Kelim (properties, vessels) of bestowal, and I turn to the aid of the Light concealed in the Kabbalistic texts, especially in The Book of Zohar. The Light can reform me, walk me across the abyss that lies between my properties of reception (receiving Kelim) and bestowal (bestowing Kelim).
However, if I think about it alone, there isn’t sufficient force. It doesn’t even sustain my ability to hold the intention to bestow. On the other hand, if I work with the others as a link in the chain, in one desire where everyone nullifies himself before all the others, then our common spirit gains great power. Kabbalists, who had already passed these stages, promise us that this is the way to success.
Hence, I am happy to be among the friends and to be able to build the intention with them by withdrawing from myself as far as possible in order to finally bring pleasure to the Creator. In this way, we become similar to the Creator in qualities and get to know Him in the same degree; moreover, we achieve adhesion with Him.
Therefore, we must start preparing before the lesson and arrive to it with a fully formed desire. By thinking about it, a person “heats” himself up more and more until he finally succeeds. It is written: “Mitzva (commandment) without intention is like a body without a soul.” You are given a commandment to study the Torah, a Kabbalistic method that is designated to reform the evil inclination. With its help, you will attain bestowal, feel love for all others and, ultimately, for the Creator. The Torah derives from the Hebrew word “Ohr” (light) and from the word “Oraa” (instruction).
But if you haven’t equipped yourself with the necessary intention, you are sitting at the lesson dead and performing mechanical actions deprived of spirit and the Light of life. So it is up to you to decide what you are getting up for at night and what you are doing.
Even if a person is unable to keep the intention, let him at least feel how strongly he lacks it. The heartache caused by the empty, bitter heart is just as important.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/1/2010, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “The Buds”