Question: I value what is written in the sources and in the prayer book because you said they were written by Kabbalists, members of the Great Knesset, but I imagine what is said there in the most corporeal way. How should I turn to the Creator? Should I pray to Him if I don’t feel Him?
Answer: We don’t feel the Creator, so having no choice, we imagine Him in different corporeal images. If we want to attain Him or at least to imagine who we turn to correctly so that we can really turn to Him, we have to understand who He is, which means to gradually attain His attributes.
A man’s need to reveal the Creator stems from this world, from which we gradually begin to depict Him correctly to the extent that we acquire the attribute of bestowal, which means to the extent that we begin to resemble the Creator according to the rule “from the love of the created begins to the love of the Creator.”
If we do it any other way, we will not turn to the Creator but to His oppositeness, to our ego, to Pharaoh. When we turn to him we ask for corporeal fillings, not to acquire the attribute of love and bestowal. This is the reason that Baal HaSulam says that first we have to imagine the Creator and then pray to Him.
Only if our efforts are aimed to the connection with friends, which spur and summon the influence of the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif), the Light of the Torah that reforms, to the source, to the attribute of love and bestowal, is the image of the Creator revealed in a person. It is revealed as the only upper force similar to the way the image of the parents is formed in a small child as something that is whole, safe, protecting, the source of himself and of the whole world.
A person who begins to study the wisdom of Kabbalah draws away from the religious perspective of the Creator if this is how he was brought up, and seems to leave the religious path. After the correction of the first level of the ego, by correcting himself in a group of friends who try to get closer to each other, by fulfilling the Kabbalists’ instructions in the connection between the friends in the group, by drawing the Light that Reforms, the Surrounding Light(Ohr Makif), by the attempts to get closer to the friends; he gets closer to fulfilling the main rule in the Torah, “love thy friend as thyself.” It is only under the influence of the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) that saves and corrects a person that a student begins to feel the presence of the Creator in the world. Thus our forefathers advanced in their attainment of the Creator to the extent that they resembled Him.
Then came the period of the sons when the feeling of the Creator through uniting in the group became more real. An urge to turn to Him appears and is felt as the source of life and all of a person’s attributes and actions. A person becomes totally focused on the connection with the Creator because he feels that the Creator manages all his thoughts, desires and actions.
So the only thing left for a person to do is to ask the Creator for the ability to make the right choice in his thoughts desires and actions because it is as if he wants to overtake the Creator in his yearning to resemble Him. The period of the correction of a person’s nature is called the period of the sons and it is said “my sons have overtaken me,” which means that the sons overtake the Creator in their yearning to resemble Him.