Question: If the Creator lacks any desire to receive, why did He create us?
Answer: The Creator delights in us. He does have the desire, although not the receiving one.
Let’s call His desire a “force,” and everything will fall into places. We always associate any desire with ourselves: It’s always “I” who wants something. While we regard the notion of “force” as completely neutral: It is something that has potential to act. In this case, it is not just a force but the desire to bestow, a force that wants to perform an act of bestowal.
Baal HaSulam writes in his article “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose” that the Creator is absolute good. How did he come to this conclusion? Regrettably, other people have never witnessed anything like that. Sometimes, we experience positive sensations, but it’s usually because the amount of negative sensations goes down. Something we call the “good” is only a way to escape the evil. We wish we could use “absolute good” the way we want….
HaSulam continues “… it is utterly impossible that He would ever cause any sorrow to any person.” The Creator is Good that does only Good. This fact contradicts our sensations. If we admit that the upper force exists and yet we often feel bad, it means that the reason for our negative situations must be the upper force. Can we really accuse anybody around us of being the source of our bad feelings?
Why then does Baal HaSulam describe the Creator’s absolute benevolence as the initial axiom that doesn’t originate from anything else? He writes: “…our common sense clearly shows that the basis for any evil-doing in the world stems only from the will to receive. That means that the eagerness to benefit ourselves makes us harm our fellow persons, due to our will to receive self-gratification.”
In other words, we realize our desire to receive not only in order to benefit ourselves, but also to harm others, and preferably do it in one shot. It is called “theft”: A person steals from the other to benefit himself, and it is called a double profit. If for any reason we are unable to steal from the other, then we at least “give a present” to oneself. Otherwise we are unable to satisfy our needs. We desperately need it; this urge is instilled in us. It’s similar to how a child is driven by a rampant impulse that makes him run, jump, break things, etc. Our egoistic desire is eager to fulfill itself by harming others.
Baal HaSulam continues: “Thus, if no being would find contentment in favoring itself, no being would ever harm another.” So, the desire to receive is the cause for all the evil in the world. Because it is totally in the Creator’s hands, we don’t have the slightest chance to do something with ourselves without His assistance.
“And if we sometimes find some being that harms another, without any will to receive self-gratification, it does that only because of an old habit that originated in the will to receive, which now rids it of the need to find a new reason.” Let me reiterate: A cycle of repeated actions that were originated by a desire that used to “burn” in us automatically continues these actions. Pure “mechanics” becomes our second nature even though it is not accompanied by any intentions or thoughts, nor it is driven by actual necessity. Deficiency no longer exists, but in the meantime we acquired a desire that grew on the basis on “mechanical body movements,” and now we need them.
As a result, even if there is no need to steal, a person continues to steal. Why? What for? One has no idea, it’s a habit.… This is exactly what happened with Shura Balaganov, a character from “The Little Golden Calf”: Right after Shura received a big sum of money as a present, he was arrested for pick-pocketing. He simply couldn’t resist stealing since it had become part of his nature.
Frankly, we don’t even realize that we are “stealing”; that is, we perform actions that are not beneficial to us anymore. At some point in the future, each one of us will “catch” oneself and notice how many mechanical actions one makes during a day. Quite often, there is no chance to stop these actions since our habits are extremely durable.
“And because we realize that the Creator is, in and of Himself, complete and needs no one to help Him to completion, since He precedes everything, it is therefore clear that He does not have any will to receive.” The One who precedes everything cannot have any desire to receive whatsoever. He is primordial and original. Who can He receive from? “And because He has no will to receive, He is fundamentally devoid of a desire to harm anyone; it is as simple as that.”
The Creator is not at all the desire to receive or the need for self-gratification. He is perfect. The question is: Can the Perfect One also be the absolute good with external actions addressed to the creation that He made?
Baal HaSulam defines this aspect as “basic,” meaning not subject to any analysis and beyond the initial agreement; it’s the attribute of the precursor of everything. So, “…it is completely agreeable to our mind as the first concept, that He possesses a desire to bestow goodness upon others, meaning to His creatures.”
Let’s return to the current, actual picture of the reality in which we don’t see anything like that. Our world is full of affliction; it’s as if our universe works tirelessly to “swell” desperation, and yet Baal HaSulam explains that everything is quite opposite.
The fact of the matter is that we lack objectivity and common sense; we are bound by our current primitive egoistic intellect and are unable to conduct a “pure” investigation. For years, even I could not agree with many Kabbalistic postulates.
Only after we become corrected, we start thinking differently, by using our widened mind. Then everything takes its place, but not because of habit or a forced consent; rather, it is based on a true, logical, rational, uncompromising analysis. New vessels-desires open within you, and on their basis, you state the facts.
From the 4th part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/28/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam