Repentance (Tshuvah) means that I am able to feel the Creator to some extent and link my existence to Him. He creates all my states and leads me from one state to another, me and all of humanity. I want to be constantly connected to Him as to my Creator who creates every moment of life. The Creator is the one who creates every moment of reality.
The return happens after my separation from the upper force that created the whole reality: me and the whole world. I was unaware of the upper governance. If we feel nothing besides our animal life, we exist as if in a dream, in an illusory world. Suddenly, a force emerges that pulls me out of this dream to another understanding, awareness, and feeling of truth, which is the root cause called the Creator who controls everything: me and the world. Such awareness is called repentance (Tshuvah).
Understandably, this realization is also caused by the Creator. He plays with me, puts me through different states, forces me to exit the sensation of the Creator and His true world, and return to it again. Due to such entries and exits, stop-and-go cycles, He develops my sensitivity to Him.
Some returns happen out of fear of losing the sensation of the Creator and forgetting that He rules the whole world, that everything has a reason and that everything has an answer. I do not depend on my neighbor, my wife, the police, or my boss, but only on the Creator, who controls the entire reality.
It is such a wonderful feeling to connect everything happening to the Creator that I don’t want to leave it. Perhaps it gives me comfort in corporeal life. If all the problems come from the Creator, then there is no need to worry, for His goal and intentions are good and He knows what He is doing. This makes life much easier for a person and is called “return in awe.”1
If I understand that I am going against the Creator’s wishes and still perform this act, by doing so I conceal the Creator from myself. After all, I seem to want the Creator to disappear from my horizon and not to interfere with me. The Creator says: “This should not be done! I do not want you to do this,” and I push Him aside, not wanting to notice, and do as I please. Therefore, an intentional crime negates the Creator.
Before, I knew that the Creator was hidden from me, but I understood that He exists. When I commit a crime intentionally against His wishes, taking advantage of the fact that I do not fully sense Him, I force the Creator to disappear. I then become “free,” not believing in reward or punishment, considering myself free to do anything.2
If a person wants to fulfill the Creator’s desire, it is considered a commandment, while the opposite, going against His will, is a crime. The Creator wishes for us to correct the broken common soul, that is, to restore the unity between us which would extend to all the lower levels of creation. This is our main commandment.3
We have to understand that we exist in a system of forces. If I am influenced by the force that sustains me at a certain level, then I behave like a righteous person. As soon as this force disappears, I inevitably become a sinner, according to the balance of powers. Therefore, I need the Creator to become the guarantor for me not to fall into sin anymore. I am in constant dependence on the balance of internal and external forces that hold me in a certain condition: the environment, the Creator, and me.4
I undergo a series of states, through concealment and revelation, making efforts, and it seems to me that everything depends on me. However, when the Creator is revealed, I understand that He played with me so that I would exert the necessary measure of effort to get a greater understanding and sensation of Him. The Creator requires no payment from me nor does He blame me for anything. Yet, without applying effort, it is impossible to acquire the right impression of what the light and the darkness are, the pros and cons of the Creator, giving and receiving, or my own strength and the force of the Creator.
Due to the Creator playing with me, guiding me through concealments and revelations, I understand my desires. This is how we teach our children. We do not want them to cry and would gladly do everything for them, but without efforts, children would never grow up or become wiser. They would not gain patience or understanding. Therefore, you cannot avoid making a child perform exercises, apply efforts, work, and sweat so that he will grow up and rise to our level.
It is the same here. When we return to the Creator and reveal His governance, we understand that life was a game to make us grow. We complain that our whole life is continual suffering. But a small child also cries and screams when something is not working out, it is a major tragedy for him.
Life ends, leaving nothing behind of our joys and sorrows. The only thing that lasts forever is our effort on the spiritual path, like a child who gains knowledge. Such efforts are not lost because we use them to make corrections in the system of the common soul, Adam HaRishon.
In fact, all our efforts in corporeal life also do not disappear. Their impact is on such a low level, on such a meager scale, that it is a pity to waste energy on them. It is said that even a tiny louse, making efforts to survive and eat, also contributes to the common sum. However, it is impossible to compare the significance of corporeal efforts and the desire to conform to the will of the Creator, to establish mutual relations with Him. This is a completely different level.
I dedicate my life to resembling the Creator, looking to Him, and asking if I am doing the right thing by wanting my actions to precisely resemble His wishes. If I truly want it, then the Creator begins to reveal Himself so that I can mimic Him and act according to His thoughts, like a child who learns from his father. This is called becoming a servant of the Creator, learning from Him.5
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/4/19, Writing of Baal HaSulam, Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot, item 57
1 Minute 6:00
2 Minute 19:36
3 Minute 22:30
4 Minute 23:38
5 Minute 26:17