Baal HaSulam, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”: “…a great rule in the Torah” … the verse of “Love thy friend as thyself.” It is difficult to understand how such a statement can contain the sum-total of all the Torah? At most it can be the rule (the collective) of the part of the Torah and texts that relate to the relationships between man and man. But how can you include the greater part of the Torah, which concerns work between man and God in the verse, “Love thy friend as thyself”?
We do not know how to use this principle. Everyone is sure that they love their neighbors. As for specialists in the humanities—philosophers, political scientists, social scientists, and psychologists—they also reason about love for the neighbor as if it were easy to implement.
In general, the notion of “love” only confuses people. They cannot separate it from the natural, instinctive, hormonal attraction that is inherent to the animate and even vegetative kingdoms. In man, who has an evil inclination, this attraction acquires even greater scope, yet it still bears no relation to real love.
“Loving the neighbor” means fulfilling his desire while not receiving any direct or indirect benefit from that. It is aimed entirely at the well-being of the neighbor, while I am like an external part of the universe, a “tube” coming out of a power station that generates all the pleasures. This tube is not part of the action in any way. It does not need anything for itself. It is just a conductor.
But how can I become such a selfless conductor if I am entirely imbued by feelings, if I want to enjoy myself? After all, unlike a tube, I have my own life.
Moreover, I am told that this rule is “the general principle of the Torah.” That is, there is nothing but this principle in the Torah. Yet the Torah describes the most diverse areas of life. Could it really be that they are all connected to the neighbor?
If so, then how can I bring all of the facets of my reality, including my relationship with the Creator, into my relationships with other people? Won’t I be narrowing things down too much? How can the entire world with all of its diversity be squeezed into several psychological models?
Question: So how is it possible to love the neighbor in the modern, global world?
Answer: In reality, there is no means in our world that could allow us to correct our egoism. Only the Light that reforms is capable of that.
After all, only the Light and the vessel exist in reality. The force of bestowal (“existence from existence”) created a point of reception (“existence from absence”), and there is nothing else besides them.
Next, the force of bestowal influences the force of reception, leading it to altruistic actions until these two forces become equal to one another: the force of bestowal gives, while the force of reception receives in order to give. In the end, they end up in unity and adhesion.
But that is not enough because the state of Malchut of infinity was created by the upper one. It was simply “lowered down” to creation. The desire that was created by the Light received the “full package” from it, including the altruistic intention, and it lives to its content in union like a “dummy.” Having emerged from absence, it cannot make any independent action and it looks into the mouth of the giver: “Do you want altruism? Go ahead. Do you want egoism? Go ahead. You can have anything you wish.” That is how the matter of creation is built.
But in that case, it cannot be called a full-fledged creation. After all, the Light performed all the actions to it. So who is unified with the Creator in the end? For now—no one. An independent being did not emerge yet. So how can it be formed?
For that the receiving desire has to be brought to total opposition to the Creator in every regard, and then it has to be given the opportunities and the means to attain itself separate from bestowal and to acquire the forces for correction. A very great preparation is necessary to make creation, and it begins precisely here, from our world. This is why the spiritual worlds descended and why the material development unfolded until the earthly evolution brought us to modernity. And now, we are starting to gradually gain awareness of ourselves and our state.
This is the source of self-awareness, whose criterion is the Light, the Creator, the human society that is already demonstrating its global, integral facets. This causes you to experience discomfort: “Something here isn’t right. Something doesn’t make sense.” That is how the realization of evil emerges, opening up the path to correction before us.
We won’t understand what is happening and what we are facing right away. Humanity is only stepping onto this path. However, this also does not involve anything more than a combination of two forces: reception and bestowal. Within their mixture we must always look for the operating mechanisms. Like inter-atomic actions, they will show us what kind of unity is possible at this stage and which qualities are inherent to it.
You are learning to connect two forces and you must always reach the right formula of their balance. If you attain balance, it means you are on the right path and you are forming yourself in the right line. In reality, all of the scientific formulas describe equivalence of form. That is what we study and attain in nature: similarity and balance of all of its parts.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/26/11, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”