The book, Shem MeShmuel, Parshat “Ha’azinu”: “Adam HaRishon said to all of the creatures, ‘Come, let’s bow down and kneel before the Creator’; but due to the error the concept had become corrupted until even the good of that generation didn’t have the possibility of uniting together to serve the Creator. Rather they were isolated individuals. And the correction of this began in the generation of the dispersion which made a division in the human species. This means that the correction began with the gathering and association of people for service to the Creator, beginning from Abraham, peace be upon him.”
The desire to receive must reach correction and resemblance to the characteristic of bestowal, meaning the Creator, whose desire is to benefit the creatures.
The desire to receive will be like the Creator through intention. It cannot change itself and remains a desire for pleasure. But as a result of the process, all of its pleasure is in bestowal. It advances in this direction.
The correction begins from the developed state, from the advanced stage of the extension of the four phases of the Ohr Yashar (Direct Light), when the desire already feels itself, its reception. It is aware of who is receiving, understands that it is the opposite of the giver, and the feeling of this difference awakens shame in it.
And so the correction doesn’t begin immediately. Adam, the first Kabbalist, was the one in whom it awakened. Like us, he asked questions about the meaning of life: “What is all this for? Why? How?”, and he reached discovery of the Upper Light.
The desires were weak and small then, what is called refined. And the corrections were also different than our corrections. Indeed, the desire to receive didn’t just grow, but also divided into many parts. It was not just that the population of Babylon was not large. The number of humans in the world tells us how much the desire for pleasure has grown and requires division so that everyone will have the power to correct his part.
There were ten generations between Adam and Noah, and between Noah and Abraham who led the correction differently, and he wanted to add to this process all of the people in the world who were still concentrated in one area.
As we know, Abraham gathered around him all of the people who wanted to join with him and took them out of Babylon.
For the most part, there are no meaningful differences from ancient days until our day: not in essence, and not in the stages of the process. Of course, each one feels his unique way through his individual Reshimo. But by and large, all of these corrections are called the “service of the Creator,” or work “for the sake of the Creator,” which is incumbent upon us.
And so in the time of Abraham, part of the Babylonians began to separate from the others and called themselves, Yashar-El (straight to the Creator), Israel, according to their inclination, their goal. When they united, they passed through various states of connection on more or less strong levels, stages of analysis, the levels of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
After that they found themselves in the low state of the Egyptian exile, and felt how their ego had again grown and dominated them, just about as it had been in Babylon. But they already related to its dominance differently. They wanted to leave its dominance, and at that time they had almost disappeared, melting into it so much had it swallowed them into itself.
This was a real danger, the “49 Gates of Impurity,” a state almost without a solution. And in spite of it all, from their last energy, with the help of the force among them called “Moses,” they succeeded in darkness, under a succession of blows, to awaken both “in good” and “in bad,” and flee from the dominance of the ego, rising above it.
This was called the “exodus from Egypt”—they rose above the ego and were drawn towards development. However, the ego didn’t disappear, but they controlled it themselves.
This control of the ego and even the ability to use it correctly for the sake of bestowal is called “Torah.” The Egyptian exile, the descent into the abyss of narcissism that was discovered, ultimately provided them with this ability.
And after this, the period of the wilderness began, where they adjusted the ego and corrected it with bestowal for the sake of bestowal, filling it with Hafetz Hesed (delighting in mercy). Even though they didn’t have anything, since they were in a wasteland, they passed from desire to desire and each time discovered the evil and corrected it.
The Torah tells us about this period and explains to us how it is necessary to correct the ego, to rise above it, and to control it. But this is control only on the first level: bestowal for the sake of bestowal.
And so, with the ascent of Malchut to Bina, after “forty years in the wilderness,” we were finally ready to correct Malchut. This was already the level called the “entrance into the land of Israel.” We continued on with corrections and wars, conquering the land, until the people of Israel dominated the land of Israel.
But with this the correction wasn’t finished. Only its first stage was finished, which had continued from Abraham until the building of the First Temple (Beit HaMikdash). This was the correction of only those people who had gone out from Babylon, a small part of humanity. But the general correction that Adam HaRishon had begun had not been realized.
So in order to continue the process, the group of Abraham that had become the people of Israel, had to be broken up and enter into contact, into connection, with all of the rest of these desires, these parts of humanity, which are called the “seventy nations of the world.” Meanwhile, they had been scattered to all places on Earth; in other words, from being controlled by the ego, they passed to all kinds of control, they created religions and faiths, and awakened various forces that acted upon them.
And so the nation of Israel not only had to fall from its level, but also had to be scattered among all the peoples, among all the forces, the controls and the methods, to be integrated with them and integrated in them.
The destruction of the Second Temple symbolizes the final fall of the people of Israel into unfounded hatred that was worse than among all the nations of the world, because they just about lost the connection between them, the characteristic of the people of Israel and belonging to the land of Israel. Indeed, only their general orientation, only their need to make the correction for the sake of the future, is what held them together in some form.
After that, the integration with the world was finished, and now the awakening again began. First of all, the people of Israel entered the land of Israel. After this they corrected themselves from being a small group to all of the people dwelling in Zion, after that to the people of Israel scattered throughout the Diaspora, and after that gradually the whole world.
Everything happens gradually, according to the refinement of the vessels, desires, and with the integration of the Reshimot that remained from the time of the shattering. In fact, there is nobody who is greater and nobody who is less here. We see this within the material only according to the intensity of the desire to receive and the Reshimot that are awakened within it.
They are under the influence of the Light that awakens them accordingly. And all of the corrections are sustained from the lightest correction to the heaviest correction. That is how development happens.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/4/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam