When I feel that I lack the right desire, I need to ask for it. This is called the “prayer before prayer”: I pray in order to awaken a request in me for the Creator, the right desire that I don’t have at the moment.
Now on the contrary, I would rather eat and take a nap, but I ask to be awakened; I want to feel the emptiness of my current thoughts and above them awaken to bestowal, to love, and to feel fulfillment from this. The request itself, the turning towards the Creator, is my “nourishment,” filling me with vitality. You see, in this way I am linked to the Creator, and I don’t need anything more. So how could I sleep now?
Question: But if I don’t want to sleep anymore, so haven’t I nullified this desire within me, and not gone above it?
Answer: Now I am in need of other fulfillment. I love the other and want to bestow to him. My previous desire doesn’t disappear; it burns within me as before, but at this moment I am involved with bestowal.
There is nothing I can do about it; in spirituality I always have two desires, two feelings. On the one hand I feel my inner emptiness that I don’t want to fill as usual, and on the other hand, I want to stay above it with a desire to bestow. I must have this emptiness as my “body,” which is what I have restrained. Without it, I would not be able to advance.
The question is how is it possible to feel these two desires simultaneously? The Tzimtzum (restriction) was designed for this: I take control over the desire, in spite of its power and above it, build a Masach with an intention to bestow and a burning aspiration for it.
This is the duality that is discovered in spirituality, and we must get used to it. One of its most prominent examples is told in the Torah: (Genesis 21:12) in Isaac shall your seed be called, the Creator says to Abraham; and after that He ordered him to sacrifice Isaac in the land of Moriah, (Genesis 22:2) and offer him there for a burnt-offering. How do we integrate these two contradictory stipulations?
Baal HaSulam writes in Letter 51: a person cannot scrutinize the body and the soul as two subjects. Rather, he is composed by the Creator as one, meaning as one subject, and therefore spiritual perception is difficult for him, really like two opposites that are impossible to clothe in one subject. And in spite of it all, we must internalize this principle, to comprehend it somewhat, otherwise we simply will not survive.
And if it’s bad for me today, if I am tired of my futile efforts, lose direction and prefer to take a nap, if emptiness dominates me, the despair, the powerlessness, and life begins to surprise me with unpleasant surprises, on the one hand I must rise above the problems that are sent to me and see them not as obstacles but as salvation. You see, without them I would not feel a need for the Creator, for the help of the Creator.
And therefore it’s necessary to hold these two points together, to be in Bina and Malchut simultaneously, and go forward like this. The person must be “divided” into two: into a body (desire to receive) and a soul (an intention to bestow). He requires this split. However, the desire doesn’t disappear; it’s not nullified, and I will need to work above it all the time. Within it dwells emptiness, and above it shines the goal that I want to attain. So the “head of the Partzuf” makes the right calculation in spite of the “rumblings of the stomach.”
However, both must be perceived by the receiver, as they are for the joy of the festival, continues Baal HaSulam. It is precisely between these two poles where happiness is found. Through our discussion today about the perpetual contrast between them, we build the foundation for the future Masach.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/30/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”