Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”: Therefore, we must understand that in every emergence in the world there are four factors where from the four of them together arises that emergence. They are called by the names:
A. The source;
B. The unchanging conduct of cause and effect, related to the source’s own attribute;
C. Its internal conduits of cause and effect, which change by contact with external forces;
D. The conducts of cause and effect of external things, which affect it from the outside.
The repeating influence of these four factors and their interaction with each other eventually results in a “product,” meaning a human being or any other kind of being. “There is nothing new under the sun.” Anything we observe has stripped off its former shape that grew up under the influence of the four above-mentioned factors.
Why is it so important to know about them? It’s because we won’t identify what we are dealing with without having an understanding of them. Who am I? What do I see? What influences me? I understand nothing about my thoughts, desires, or actions.
The simple question “what is it?” forces me to consider the four factors that created the object I am studying. Having studied them, I get to know the object, be it a phenomenon or a property, something active or subordinate, something spiritual or corporeal.… My original perception of reality is built in a way that things that do not undergo the four factors do not exist for me. I am unable to know them.
Whatever I see has already gone through a certain developmental process, and as a consequence, it’s revealed in me. By asking “what is it?”, I in fact question the origin of the object. Hence, there always are the four factors that lie between the source of the object and my perception of it. Without them, I am unable to recognize objects and phenomena. The question about the essence of any object is an inquiry about the difference between its prior stage when this phenomenon was not yet known to me and my current sensation of it.
In this case, can we call each prior stage “the source”? What is it? Does a primary (original) condition called a primary source exist?
In spirituality, at all times there is a beginning (a root) followed by the development by four stages and completion. This entity represents a standard “unit” in which the root stage is named “the source” that initiates the whole process.
It is an entity that has stripped off its former shape and taken on another form, different from the original. And that entity, which shed its previous form, is defined as “the source.” In it lies the potential destined to be revealed and determined at the end of the formation of that emergence. Therefore, it is clearly considered its primary cause.
The source contains potential force that further turns into an action and acquires a final shape at the last stage.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/2011, “The Freedom”