Baal HaSulam, Shamati (I Heard) # 3, “The Matter of Spiritual Attainment”: This is considered Ein Sof, and it is the connection existing between Atzmuto and the souls. We perceive this connection in the form of “desire to delight the creatures.”
Ein Sof is the beginning.
This connection is called Ein Sof. When we pray to the Creator and ask of Him to help us and to give us what we want, we relate to the discernment of Ein Sof. There is the root of the creatures, which wants to impart them delight and pleasure, called “His desire to do good to His creations.”
Everything descends to us from Infinity. There is a “pantry” of all delights the Creator wishes to give to the souls, the “treasure trove” of His attitude to creation, the “repository” of all forces, all the Lights and vessels. Our prayers, requests, and demands also rise to Infinity. All our aspirations are headed there.
“Infinity” stands for His endlessly kind attitude to the good and the bad. Like the owner of the house, He grants everything to his guests except for the cancellation of the guests’ sense of shame.
Creatures respond to Him; they ask and demand from Him anything they want. However, the system is set in a way that in order to get a fulfillment, one first has to be corrected.
After the shattering of vessels took place, any fulfillment that precedes correction turns into poison and hurts us. Why doesn’t the Creator give anything to us for free? The fact is that if we are still immersed in egoistic desires, the Light becomes “poison” to us. This explains why the Creator is “unable” to give us the Light, since He just doesn’t want to torture us, even though He suffers because of this situation much more than we do. As a result, all we receive is just a tiny glow; anything more than that would be damaging for us.
Question: How can I know anything at all about Infinity if it is the “Light without a vessel”?
Answer: Actually, there is no such thing as the Light without a vessel. We are talking about a concept that states that the vessel doesn’t restrict the Light. In the world of Infinity, the Light is not constrained by a vessel. This is why it is called “Infinity – without end (Ein Sof)” There, the vessel is endless and so is the Light in it.
And in addition, in Kabbalah we are exploring a new kind of vessels. The specificity of this science is that we must always “be attached to the ground,” because otherwise we cannot understand the “coordinates of the worlds.”
Until the first restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) occurred, the vessels were “round” and had no boundaries; they only contained points of perception that were distributed over four levels. Later, new types of vessels were created. They varied from the previous ones by the quantity of restriction they contained, by the measure of the screen (Masach) that rose above the restriction and by the amount of the reflected Light that rose above the screen in order to work in the same way as the Creator.
The Creator wishes to give to His creation, but to what extent is the creation ready to accept for the sake of pleasing Him?
It means that we should be delighted, thus giving the opportunity for the Creator to be pleased. We should be ready to receive anything from Him. We should be eager to “swallow” and “absorb” all His presents in the “round” vessel; however, we have to receive only according to a line rather than a circle.
Actually, it is an extremely difficult limitation for us: It’s as if the Creator puts in front of us an endless table with all kinds of imaginable dishes. And our appetite is quite sufficient to eat all of them; there is no problem to swallow them all. But instead, I cut a slice of bread, sprinkle it with a pinch of salt, and drink half a glass of water.
This is what the “thin line” is about: I am incapable of anything else. After all, I want to please Him and therefore cannot taste delicious dishes for my own pleasure. If I go over the “limit,” I’ll start enjoying.
Does the Creator really enjoy our abstinence? Does it mean that we please neither Him nor ourselves? Maybe, it’s better not to touch anything at all? It would be okay if we could take a decent portion, but if we only take a tiny amount…
It’s impossible to “shape” our minds to the extent that we reach a “correct condition”… What can we do? How can we be satisfied with bread and water from such a lush table? Won’t we just disappoint ourselves and the Creator more? How can we restrict ourselves by declaring our own weakness?
In fact, this is exactly how we should work with screens. This is the work that we should be doing. How can we justify it?
Comment: In fact, by doing so, we are doing something on our own…
Answer: So from our side we should keep the basic promise: “The end of an act is in the preliminary thought.” We should remain confident that we will reach complete correction after many small actions.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/13/13, Shamati #3