Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom“: “Although our strength is not enough to face the first factor, the “source,” we still have the ability and the free choice to protect ourselves against the other three factors, by which the source changes in its individual parts, and sometimes in its general part, as well, through habit, which endows it with a second nature.”
I feel different influences and although I cannot resist them, I can “play” with their “combinations,” “juggle” them and make a decision. But what decision exactly?
Although my actions are artificial, there are different factors that can evoke them. If there were only one factor, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. When there are two factors, I can already direct the ratio between them and influence the balance of power. Thus, I can influence my fate and the changes in me; there is now my “self” that makes decisions.
Here there is a great philosophical problem which compelled people to divide reality into good and bad. One force is inconceivable, unattainable. Only the idea of multiple forces, to some extent, enables people to act and to “juggle” them. Even if people acknowledge the existence of an upper force, they still have a need to believe in different “angels” and “devils” that separately rule under It.
We see that in the spiritual work this problem is solved in a totally different way. A person is under different kinds of influences from the Creator and he can prefer one over another. It’s still unclear how this happens, but we see that the solution for our independent participation in the process is here.
Question: It turns out that I am trying to play with the reasons, although I really have no control over them because I myself am a result.
Answer: I can change a certain influence on me and for that there is another factor. I add my factor to the laws of nature and want to know what I evoke by that. Thus, I can really decide something and learn new phenomena. This can be done by scientific research and by spiritual research; with the help of my factor I begin to study the upper force.
In order to do that I have to be made of two forces, and I have them: on one hand, the ego which is great help, and on the other hand, the group in which the Creator, the upper Light, is hidden. Between them, in the resistance between them, my “self” is born. Thus, I discover the Creator according to how I manage to connect these two forces inside me. I can’t discover Him with only one of them. We need the combination of the two.
The point is that the term “one” is revealed above matter and above the Light. The Light is the measure of bestowal; matter is the measure of receiving, and the Creator above them is consciousness, the thought of creation, and not the duplicity of the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, bestowal and receiving. This isn’t even bestowal, but the desire to bestow that precedes it.
In this desire that are parts that are detached from actual bestowal. I want to reach them, to know who the Creator is, not in relation to me, but who He actually is. In Kabbalah this is called “Atzmuto,” the essence of the Creator, to which we have no access now, although we also want to attain it. This is to where our curiosity is drawn.
So I have to create all the conditions, like in a lab designing a field study. Everything stems from the Creator, but His bestowal surrounds me on all sides. I look for my place, for the opportunity to discover the Creator by this experiment. Actually we always behave this way when we study something new. We only have to arrange everything in its place, to understand what we are dealing with and how we reach the result.
On the whole, behind every experiment we discover an attitude, a formula, and a connection between different phenomena. In addition we discover the logic behind them. These aren’t just dry facts that leave us on the same level on which we discovered them. No, we always look for the reason: why are they connected this way? What forces them to be so? What’s the reason? Behind every phenomenon that I see in matter, I want to see what caused it, the upper part of the Partzuf. I want to know the reason for the data I received; this reason is the actual result of the experiment.
So in my spiritual work I develop a kind of “lab” attitude towards reality. The “lab” in this case is me and the approach remains totally scientific.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/11, The Freedom”