We say that spirituality is a “force.” Does it mean that this world is the matter? No, it doesn’t. A force by itself is matter. There is nothing but force. Contemporary physics arrived at the following conclusion: beyond atoms, particles, and photons, we don’t detect matter. Even when we use traditional methods of exploration of the universe and go deep down into the very basis of it, we discover that at the foundation matter “disappears” and actually works as a force. We are used to drawing a material picture of the world, but in fact it exists only in our perception, but in fact, matter is only a force, nothing more than that.
This force is divided into two categories (two desires): giving and receiving. Overall, the multiplicity of isolated forces outlines a kind of reality that Kabbalists call imaginary, illusory. It is realistic, but ephemeral, like a three-dimensional drawn in the air with a laser beam. And we live in it, and actually “come from” this “beam.” All of us are “painted” in space, and in fact, our essence is also a force, two desires and a screen that balances them.
These forces are receiving and giving desires that must incorporate and integrate with one another. But so much one of them dominates the other, and so that the resulting desire also has “access to power,” and cooperation, participation, understanding, shared common sensations all the way to love, when everyone is ready to give partnership, stay in mutual cooperation and understanding, share common sensations including love and be ready to give up everything they have for the sake of each other and at the same time they have to accept everything from others.
The receiving force has to achieve the same power of being as the power of bestowal, feel it, and develop accordingly to obtain qualities similar to the Creator. And for this it must go through special states that allow it to feel that it is alive and empowered to make decisions, to plan and to implement plans into reality. At this point, it is impossible to abide without an imaginary picture. This is where the illusion called “our world” in which the receiving desire prevails comes from.
Baal HaSulam brings an example of a coachman who used to live with his wife and children, earned enough money to keep his house properly, and was quite happy until his troubles began: His horse died, the house was burned down, and his wife and children died in an epidemic. As a result, the coachman appeared before the Higher Court where it was resolved that he would be paid for his adversity since he had suffered so much.
What was he given? He received a horse, a cart, a wife, children, and a house; the same feeling, which for him was happiness. In this “picture,” his life is again wonderful: he works, brings money to his family, and rejoices together with them. Everything is great! His desire is small, but for him it’s a real paradise where all is well and nothing more is needed. A perfect illusion.
Sometimes, we have dreams. How do they differ from reality? What if in a couple of minutes the alarm clock rings and wakes you up, and you realize that what you have seen was a dream? In fact, this is the way it is. So, what is the difference between a dream and the reality? How do we tell one from the other?
It is important to understand that our reality is “drawn” by a force and is granted to us to make our desire to receive feel independent, powerful, competent, and detached from the one who actually operates it. This is the only way to reach equivalence of form with the Creator. Otherwise, what kind of similarity would it be if I were completely under its control?
In fact, our detachment from the Creator is illusionary, and that’s why this world is called imaginary. On the other hand, spiritual realms are not imaginary, because that is where we are aware of the illusion, agree with it, and rise above reason. There, we work above our understanding, knowing that there is none else besides Him, agreeing with this more and more deeply. We are already working with a real force, despite the fact that we ourselves also are a force, and there is only force.
Question: If our whole life is just one, long dream, what practical conclusions can we make of this?
Answer: It is said in Psalms: “We were as dreamers.” Practically, I have to take this life seriously. It is given to me to rise above it, not to neglect it. Nothing should be disregarded. The current “picture” is drawn for me by the upper force, and until I complete the preparation period, I cannot get rid of it. I have to continue sensing this world until the end of correction; each time returning for new corrections. Even if I ascended to the 124th level and all that is left is the last 125th step, I still will return.
There is no other choice. This “basic infrastructure” is extremely important, since only by leaning on it we realize our choice. Thanks to it, at each step, it seems to us that we act independently and that we are equal with the Creator, and perhaps are even more powerful than He is. There is not the slightest chance to merge with Him without this sense independence. Otherwise, there is no “me”, the one who is able to merge with Him.
This is the way we work in this world. Let it be imaginary, we are aware of it, and then we accept it. We are starting to consciously play with our “independence,” and at this point, the fact that we are being governed by Him is no secret to us anymore.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/12, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”