In his article “The Peace,” Baal HaSulam writes: This is done by the law of development imprinted in Creation against humanity’s will, where the deeds of the wicked themselves necessarily instigate the good deeds, as we have shown above.
We are all under the influence of this law that drives us forward through suffering.
However, the Creator gave man the mind and power and let him control and guide the law. It is possible to accelerate and boost the process of development at will freely, independent of time.
How can we realize this opportunity that was given to us?
Our desires are irrelevant; they always remain absolutely the same and we cannot diminish, increase, or develop them in any way. We have to forget about them as if they do not exist, because we do not control them. Kabbalah says that it is only intentions that we can control. It’s not about limiting our desires, nor is it about what we should do with them. It is written so, but what’s implied in these words is the intention.
However, if we are able to somehow change our intention, how do we do it? For that, this world is given to us. We are in a very interesting state: As opposed to spirituality, we can kind of act altruistically, bestow, connect and love with the intention “for our own sake.” In other words, this world lets us deceive ourselves.
This interesting state is under all the spiritual worlds.
Five worlds descend from the world of Infinity to our world: Adam Kadmon (AK), Atzilut (A), Beria (B), Yetzira (E), Assiya (A), and the very last, our world.
Usually we think that it is a very primitive, worthless world. In fact, it’s not so. Here, we can act with intention. Intention and action exist in all other spiritual worlds, but there they are united and equal; there, they act only to the extent of their intention to bestow.
In this world, it is opposite: One can act both for the sake of receiving and bestowing simultaneously. At the same time, our intentions are directed solely at receiving for our own sake. In other words, in this world we can perform actions that are opposite to intentions and have intentions that contradict actions. It is a very interesting phenomenon.
When we watch a small child, we clearly see his simple actions and very plain intentions: He grabs everything only for himself. Animals act the same way. It’s obvious. That’s why we love them, since they don’t lie to anyone; their actions and intentions do not contradict. They totally lack guile.
A grown man acts externally with internal intentions. He can be very polite, respectful, and kind and at the same time pursue a goal that might hurt someone only for the sake of his own benefit.
However, this opportunity is given to us only in this world in which contradictory actions and intentions are possible, to completely objectively and independently start our ascent to the upper world. We are the ones who choose how to rise to spirituality because we are given the opportunity to act for the sake of bestowal, although our intentions remain evil—for our own sake.
How can we pull ourselves to the upper world? It’s very easy. We have to place ourselves in a community of people who are given the same opportunity to act and have intentions as other normal, egoistic and artful people in this world, i.e., those who understand their nature at least a little bit. They have a desire to change their intentions, although the only thing that we can actually change is actions, not intentions.
If we join this group of people and act supposedly for the sake of bringing pleasure and benevolence to each other, we would like to connect with one another in one unified whole and make mutual bestowal our goal; in this case, we act correctly, for the sake of bestowal, but our intentions are wrong. We cannot do anything about them.
However, if we study Kabbalah together, in a group, we learn how the unity of intentions and actions are implemented in the upper worlds. Then, a special illumination descends from the upper world to us and changes our intention.
Our actions are normal; we are oriented towards each other in order to connect, whereas our intentions remain “for our own sake” (Lo Lishma.)
Under the influence of the Surrounding Light called Ohr Makif (O’M), which is a special energy, an extraordinary force, we start changing; to the degree of our transformation, our surroundings also modify from “for the sake of ourselves” to “for the sake of others” or “for the sake of our friends” and later on for the sake of something greater and higher. This is how we approach a state of Lishma and begin sensing ourselves in the intention to bestow.
To be in the intention to bestow is to exist in the upper world because in this intention we start perceiving totally different, higher properties of matter. We start exiting ourselves, from our state that is limited by sensations of this world, and as a result, we rapidly move ahead to the same goal nature leads us to.
By voluntarily aspiring ahead, we avoid suffering. Our sufferings are now called “afflictions of love” since now we think of how to move ahead more effectively, how to better trigger the Surrounding Light to us, and how to faster change our intentions.
We perform minimally required actions in regards to the group and humanity, since humankind has to rise to the same goal: to change from the intention “for one’s own sake” to “for the sake of others.” Physical actions do not matter much. We need them only to show the place where we can implement the power of the Surrounding Light, the force of the Light of correction.
Therefore, the study of Kabbalah, which tells us about what is perceived with the help of correct intentions—the so-called Light of Bestowal (Ohr Hassadim) and the Returning Light (Ohr Hozer)—helps us change our intentions and start sensing and attaining the upper governance, the upper force.
It explains why we need our friends so much, because only among them, only between us, can we make internal work that corrects our intentions.
This is why our main goal is to reach a desire to attain a new state that is pre-destined by nature and to pursue it. Nature wants to take us out of the state named “this world” in which we are present today and raise us to the world of Infinity. This is our final goal.
If we clearly understood these things, we’d know that it is most urgent and essential for us to create groups that interact with each other in all their parts so that all our actions are directed to some kind of bestowal. By acting this way, we can evoke the correct Surrounding Light to us during our classes and it will correct our intentions.
Kabbalah tells us that all the Creator made was just one desire— Malchut of the world of Infinity. Then, in this desire emerges the intention that goes through shattering (shevira) in the world of Nekudim.
Further, in the worlds of Atzilut (A), Beria (B), Yetzira (Y), and Assiya (A), it gradually starts to resurrect, whereas in this world, desires and intentions remain broken into 613 parts.
Our work is in the correction of the intention “for our sake” to the intention “for the sake of bestowal,” “for others’ sake” in each of our desires. Then a desire will be considered corrected.
In other words, when we study the science of Kabbalah, the Surrounding Light descends to our intentions; in their turn, they attach to desires, and then corrected desires enter the upper world. This is where we start sensing the spiritual world. Thus, by gradually correcting ourselves, we rise to the level of 613 desires until we reach the final correction.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention Day One 12/13/13, Lesson 1