Understanding The Great Kabbalists

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator is the force of bestowal that dominates all of reality. The force of bestowal can glow from a distance. No matter who we are and of what matter we are made, its bestowal upon us can make us resemble it: turn us into the ones who bestow.

In order to connect to this force, those who have attained it describe the different revelations of the force of bestowal, the Creator. They tell us about the mechanism of His system of bestowal upon us, and thus we can connect to Him. Indeed, we can never say anything about a person himself. We can speak only about how his actions are revealed to us. Baal HaSulam writes that we never can know the “essence,” but only the actions of the essence.

It is the same with the Creator. It is written: “By Your actions, we will know You.” By His actions, we gradually perceive His correct image. This is because His actions are imprinted within us in different forms. From them we begin to understand, ponder about, clarify, and arrange the Creator’s actions, and then we can create His image. It all stems from our impressions, and this is how we reach recognition.

The revelation, recognition, and understanding that we reach is called “imaginative cognition.” It is imaginative because on one hand, our matter remains the same: the desire to enjoy. There is no other matter. On the other hand, the form that dresses in this matter is the desire to bestow, the attribute of the one Who bestows, His image, by which I am impressed.

In order to be impressed by that image, by the Creator, I am impressed by the group. Thus, I come closer to perceiving Him. Reading The Book of Zohar is special because while we read it, we want to be impressed by the different forms of the Creator’s bestowal that were revealed to those who were able to attain His forms. These forms come to us, but they are hidden, and we don’t feel them, we cannot describe how we sense them. We don’t have a clear feeling of the forms, of their various types, manifestations, or attributes, whereby I would feel any inner changes.

Kabbalists describe all these forms and give us a whole picture as to how this understanding is formed within a person, how it changes and develops in him from a very small form: the point in the heart. Starting from this tiny point, every stage develops first in a negative direction that is opposite to the Creator, and then in a positive direction that resembles Him. Then again, development is in a negative direction, in another attribute that is opposite to the Creator, and then in a positive direction that is like Him. Thus it continues: left, right, left, right. This is how our understanding develops, from the smallest to the greatest.

The states where we are opposite to the Creator are called the “evil inclination,” and the states where we receive attributes like His are called the “good inclination.” In other words, the “inclination,” the desire, remains, but we call it “bad” if it is opposite in form to the Creator, and we call it “good” if we receive attributes that resemble Him.

We are actually talking about ourselves in relation to the attribute of love. This is the Creator’s attitude toward the created beings. So, in every step that we take, we advance from hatred to love, then again from hatred to love. When we feel hatred, in some way, we feel the notion of “Mount Sinai,” a mountain of hatred. Then, when we feel love, we feel the Light that Reforms, the revelation of the Torah.

When we read The Book of Zohar that tells us about all the states, good and bad, the negative forces and the positive ones that operate mutually and equally in order to attain the goal, we have to try and connect to the great Kabbalists who felt all these states and adhered to them. Now, I want to be part of Rabbi Shimon’s group that includes Baal HaSulam, Rabash, and all the great Kabbalists.

This is all one mechanism, one system, the corrected part of the whole vessel of the soul that has been corrected. There, in these desires, are the great souls that feel and have attained the Creator, that have the same attributes that He has. They talk to us about this mechanism just as parents talk to their children. Although the child doesn’t understand everything he is told, he still has to try to.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/2011, The Zohar

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