What Holds Me Back?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Item 10: It is so because He has no interest in reception, only in bestowal, whereas the Klipot want nothing of bestowal, but only to receive for themselves, for their own delight, and there is no greater oppositeness than that.

Question: What is a Klipa?

Answer: The Klipa is something that prevents me from getting closer to the Creator. I recognize it as the force that puts obstacles in front of me.

Actually, what can prevent me?

I want to enjoy, and this means that all kinds of pleasures prevent me; they distract me, take me away from the likeness to the Creator, and keep me from advancing towards unity and bestowal. These are the pleasures that are called “filth.”

So, the Klipa is something extremely pleasant. Let’s say, I like to relax at home more than to participate in the gathering of friends. It is more pleasant for me not to think about the world and correction but about what will happen to me personally. It is dearer to me to take care of my own children, not the neighbors’.

But the real Klipa is when I feel that I advance towards the Creator along a certain path and thus can bring Him pleasure but suddenly I find out that it is more pleasant and comfortable to deviate somewhere, become distracted by something. This is what the Klipa is: It seems to cling to my clothing and pull me back.

We cannot understand all this until we acquire the intention above the desire, until we get out of the desire and begin to act on the basis of intention.

To act on the basis of intention means to apply restriction (Tzimtzum) to the desire to receive. I must be independent of it and be completely free to choose. In other words, independently from the desire, I can decide for myself that I will work with it in order to receive. I have the opportunity to work in order to bestow, but I decide to the contrary. This is what filth is. Conversely, if I have no choice, there is nothing to ask from me. To receive with the egoistic intention is the Klipa that runs through all our ascents until the end of correction. And we are always required to make a difficult decision—how to act, in order to receive or in order to bestow?

We are talking about the work with the Lights and vessels of the egoistic desire, not just about the rejection of the “small” pleasures of our world. I am required to make a decision of a high order when I begin to feel that there is a king, egoistic by nature. This is the flipside of the Creator, and I think that it dominates the world. So it should be, and I decide in these conditions.

Moreover, the decision is possible only if I rise above the restriction, if I am independent. This is when I decide to enjoy for the sake of reception, and turn into a Klipa.

In general, the forces of filth energetically propel a person to the goal. They awaken him in such a way that, like a mountaineer, he must climb above them, overcome them, and ascend to the summit to the King’s palace. And his every move is a rise above filth.

The Klipa is the essence of the material of creation, the desire to receive that took its egoistic form and appears to us in this way. That is why it is impossible to make a step forward without being connected to the Klipa.

But of course, we don’t connect to it ourselves. We always must keep in the right line, and then the forces of filth come at the right time and in the right form.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/5/13,”Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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