Baal HaSulam, the article, “There is None Else Besides Him”: It is written, “There is none else besides Him.” This means that there is no other force in the world that has the ability to do anything against Him. Only one force exists, all of us are under its authority and there is no escape from its influence because all of us are found under its control.
And what man sees, that there are things in the world that deny the Higher Household, the reason is that this is His will. This is because it cannot be otherwise. He intentionally confuses us, gives us a false feeling of independent existence, of seemingly private thoughts and feelings. It is as if we exist independently with some kind of desires and thoughts. The Creator arranges all of this intentionally. That is how He awakens various disturbances in us.
This method is called, “the left rejects and the right adducts.” This means that both from the left and from the right when this one power pushes us from feeling existence within Him and also when He suddenly is revealed and reminds us of His existence, all this is done according to a unique plan. All kinds of influences of this one power throw us from side to side.
Only He acts upon us, intentionally making us forget that “There is none else besides Him” and sending disturbances in different forms. He awakens a feeling in us of existing in this world, portraying a picture of this world: that we have a family, children, grandchildren, life, study and work. In fact, all of this is portrayed only within our own mind and nowhere else.
But the main thing is that He brings us closer through rejection, so that we ourselves, based on our capabilities, find the way to approach Him. And the benefit from the rejections is that through them a person receives a need and a complete desire for the Creator to help him, since he sees that otherwise he is lost. And will never be able to discover Him by himself.
And only if the person overcomes all the obstacles with the help of the environment, efforts, and perseverance, then he reaches discovery of this force. He intentionally places obstacles for each one of us and for all of us together, so that we will overcome them, find, and discover Him. Therefore, all of the obstacles, confusions, exhaustion, various difficulties, detachments, and lack of agreement are imperative only in order that from negative states like these we will discover this force.
And to advance from the negative states towards the attainment is possible only if we shut our eyes, meaning that we don’t think about all the obstacles that He places before us. It is up to us to advance beyond them, with what is called “faith above reason” or with “an intention for the sake of bestowal.”
And the more rapidly that the person advances, this force presents clearer, greater, and more sophisticated obstacles in front of him, so that precisely through this subtlety the person will understand Him better, will see the internal state of this force more clearly and will recognize Him more closely.
Therefore the confusion, the subtlety, the cruel flirting, exist only to oblige us to search for what the intentions of that force that is playing with us are. When we investigate His attitude toward us, we learn both about ourselves and about Him, why He surrounds us with various external circumstances specifically this way and why He changes the desires and the thoughts in us all the time. Together with this, He leaves us with only one possibility, to remember that only He does everything and to appreciate this opportunity of connection with Him that is called the point in the heart.
In the end, this force exhausts us so much that we become confused and sink into egoistic thoughts about our world and forget that this is derived from Him, or we ignore Him and don’t want to think about Him; rather, we want to escape quickly and become detached from the spiritual work. We begin to hate the behavior of the Creator and the method to attain Him.
But nevertheless, He brings us to a state where we begin to understand that only He can help if He will “take us by the hands,” and just as He confuses us, so He also will resolve everything. Therefore, our final decision must lead to the confidence that only He can and must do this and that I oblige Him to do this!
But we don’t want Him to ease our distress and bring us somewhere; rather, we want Him to be revealed to us because we agree to be under His control! We want to be in the characteristic of bestowal, in the characteristic of connection with everyone! We want to feel the unity because now it is revealed before our eyes as the only proper and most complete characteristic.
If a person works this way outside of himself in order to bestow, then he has a yearning to connect with the Creator, meaning a yearning to connect with everyone, for mutual fulfillment, bestowal, love, and support. When a true need is awakened in a person like this through work with the group (otherwise he doesn’t reach it and doesn’t understand why), then the higher force is discovered.
Rather, for those people who truly want to draw near the Creator…he is therefore given help from Above. How? …and so they will not settle for little, meaning remain as senseless children. So that everything will be okay, relaxed, good, successful, and this way day after day, … so he will not be able to say that thank God, I have Torah and Mitzvot and good deeds, and what else do I need?
And only if that person has a true desire… for the goal of creation, meaning that his soul needs to discover the Creator. ….will he receive help from Above. How? And he is constantly shown how he is at fault in his present state. He has still not reached a state of connection with the Creator because his characteristics are absolutely the opposite of His. Namely, he is sent thoughts and views, which are against the work, against the Creator, against unity with Him. This is in order for him to see how far he is from the Creator, that he is not one with the Lord. That is how he is taken care of.
And as much as he overcomes, he always sees how he is farther from holiness (from bestowal), from love of others, than the rest of the friends, than others, who feel that they are one with the Creator, as it seems to him that they are more successful and more diligent. But he, on the other hand, always has complaints and demands, and he cannot justify the Creator’s behavior, and how He behaves toward him. How much time, how much effort and energy he wasted! What for? It is not clear to him what he is doing in life and therefore he cannot justify the behavior of the Creator. This pains him. What exactly? Indeed he suffers not because of his past! If he checks things correctly, he will begin to understand that his lack of agreement with the Creator, his lack of ability to justify Him, these are what cause him pain.
Where are all of those years that passed for nothing, the powers and efforts that he wasted? What is the purpose of all this? Is it truly possible to say that he yearned for something, advanced, did something? What was the benefit of all those years that passed?
Finally, he comes to feel that he has no part in holiness (in bestowal) whatsoever. Although he occasionally receives awakening from Above in regard to the friends or even in regard to the Creator, which momentarily revives him, but soon after he falls into the place of baseness. (This passes immediately and he sees that everything is artificial). And then he falls again.
But if he is stubborn and climbs the mountain all the time and falls, climbs and falls, then ultimately, after prolonged work, after a long time, he receives help from Above because he gathered enough effort in order to overcome himself for the sake of connection with the Creator.
He asks what the Creator wants him to do, and he does it. Does the Creator want him to do something else? He carries this out as well! If the Creator wants him to submit himself to the group, then he submits. Submit to the lessons and dissemination? Please, he also does this. He is ready to submit to everything that the Creator tells him! He doesn’t choose what to do. Suppose that he pays Maaser, studies once a week. It is not he who chooses this; rather, he carries out what our teachers say.
In spiritual work, the precise order of activities is very important, beginning from waking up in the morning, on which leg I stand up, what I do, which words I say, what is the first thing that I think about, what do I think about when I get up from the bed and go to the bathroom? I am saying this seriously! You can’t imagine how important the right intention is! Indeed every move that I make must be accompanied by the right and precise thought! That is what must be all the time, day after day, until this becomes a habit, something automatic! Otherwise, I will go back to various thoughts that detach me from the goal. Therefore I must immediately connect to the higher management. Everything that I feel and I think about, all these are from the Creator.
It’s very difficult to begin to think about the Creator in the morning. It is as if I am divided into two parts. All that I have is not mine, but comes from Him. Now I am going to the bathroom, wash, go back, do something else; all these are not me but Him. And so on. And the main thing is to accept everything gratefully, to elevate in my eyes the characteristic of bestowal that fills the whole world. And he who says that there is another force in the world that is the opposite of the Creator is absolutely disconnected from the supervision.
Basically, we are constantly involved with refining our characteristics, increasing their sensitivity, in order to begin to feel this force, the characteristic within which we are found. We learn how to tune into Him all the time, increasing our sensitivity to Him.
Come, let’s begin to feel Him together now. Where is He found? You see we are found within Him. Through your inner efforts, try to feel that He is found here close by! He is found within us, manages us also by means of the things that I am saying now and also what you hear from me; all this comes from Him. That is how He surrounds us within Him.
And if we become distant from advancement towards feeling the Creator, from equivalence of form with Him, and we fall, even then it is up to us to understand that He is doing this intentionally so that we will be elevated and feel the defect in the state through which we passed. Therefore, He intentionally arranges this fall for us.
And that is how it is all the time. If we become detached and fall, this says that the state through which we passed was incomplete and He is showing us where it is still possible to add a drop of sensitivity. There is no need to complain, because until today I advanced in the best way and that is what is interesting. Whatever it was, there is no need to be concerned about the past! Everything had to be exactly like that. Also there is no reason to be concerned about the future because the future is also from Him. It is the same thing regarding the present since what He is doing with me now is the best condition for me. So what remains for me to do? Just don’t separate from the thought that He constructs the past, the present, and the future both within me and outside of me.
If a person directs himself like this, he begins to feel that the Creator is working with him. And all of the changes within him, all of his thoughts and feelings, he begins to accept as the language of the Creator, as His turning towards him. What does the Creator say? The arrangement of all of my desires and thoughts is His appeal to me. On this level He speaks with me and awakens in me all of the internal changes. If I think about something now, wanted something, or didn’t think and didn’t want anything, He awakens all of this within me, He turns to me. And how do I turn to Him? I also direct my deficiencies and my thoughts to Him, understanding that He controls me absolutely.
And so it follows that I am in a dialogue with Him. I am included within the law of “There is none else besides Him,” because I am no longer the disturbance, rather I am mixed with Him, for nothing more than this is necessary. And so I see that the whole world and all that exists in it are my incorrect reactions regarding the actions of the Creator.
If a person feels that he is in a bad or good state, that something is happening to him, let’s say bestowal from the friends that formerly seemed to him to be a bad influence and now gives him inspiration, in sum this comes from the Creator and certainly this doesn’t happen because of our merits! And if we praise a friend, this says that this is how the Creator turns to us through him.
All of us must respect our friends because they are representatives of the Creator, for He chose them specifically in order to bestow to us through them. And it is necessary to be thankful for all of this only to the Creator and not to the friends. It cannot be that there is nobody to thank. If we say, “from love of the people to love of the Creator,” then everything proceeds in the right direction. Therefore the main thing is not ever to abandon the thought that we are not under the control of two or three forces; rather, we are under the control of the one and only force in the world! We have received the point of departure from Him, so that specifically with the help of our efforts, we will bring ourselves back into Him. The main thing is to imagine to ourselves (in our language) how it is possible to give Him contentment.
This is a wonderful discovery of connection; it absolutely frees a person and gives him immense possibilities of yearning only for discovery of the one and only Creator to all of humanity and even himself in particular. If we were to position ourselves correctly in regard to the Creator, then certainly we would see that there are no problems in the world at all.
I am talking about regular Kabbalists and not about those great Kabbalists, that need to be integrated with everyone and to suffer for all of humanity.
Baal HaSulam writes in the article, “Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator,” that when a person is in discovery of the face of the Creator, he comprehends the world as, “abundant, good, and great peace from the Creator and is always satisfied” and everyone who yearns for Him is found in wholeness. And the opposite, someone who doesn’t yearn for the Creator, is in confusion, deprivation, and disadvantage. This means that everything depends on how close we are to the Light. “There is none else besides Him!”
From the World Zohar Week “Integral Education Convention” Day Three 2/4/14, Lesson 1