“The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (Pticha) begins with these words: “The Creator wished to cleanse Israel; hence, He has given them plentiful Torah and Mitzvot (commandments)…” The Creator has a goal and He works toward it. The goal must be achieved through the process that the created beings undergo. The Creator placed this goal before us and He wishes for us to achieve it not by some miracle, but through our own effort and gradual internal changes.
This goal is primary, it precedes our creation; in order to achieve it, we must go by means of Torah and Mitzvot, meaning, to change our desire with the help of the light that reforms. This goal existed prior to the creation of a person in this world, as was the ladder of spiritual degrees that the person must ascend in order to achieve it. The Creator thought about everything in advance and organized it for us; everything is ready.
We must cleanse ourselves of our egoism and by doing so achieve the goal. But we do not negate it because nothing was created in this world needlessly. Thus, if we have the correct attitude toward our nature, made by the Creator, and strive toward the state He has in store for us, we find ourselves on a given path that we must go through.
It is impossible to skip over this path because we acquire the qualities we need while on it, we purify ourselves. We must cleanse our egoistic desire and, through this work, arrive at the intended goal. Such is the desire of the Creator.
This is how Baal HaSulam starts his article “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” trying to explain to us, in the briefest way possible, the beginning, the middle, and the end of the path of the person’s spiritual work and the study of the system of the upper worlds. In this article, one must understand that the higher spiritual laws, expanding from the thought of creation, consist of only two parts: the nature of the Creator and the nature of the creation, which must be opposite to the Creator. The final goal is to bring the creation to the full adhesion with the Creator without changing its nature but giving it a different form, which resembles the qualities of the Creator.
Through studying the article “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” the system of the upper worlds and its unfolding from top to bottom as a result of which our whole reality was built, we realize that all of it sprung from the thought of creation, for the purpose of bringing us to the final goal. This top-down development of the worlds, the spiritual degrees, states, obligates us to conduct certain actions here below in order to use all the means at our disposal and achieve the purpose of our lives. Our inner work must reflect the spiritual qualities described in this article.
We learn about the light working on the desire, building and disseminating from top to bottom, Partzufim, Sefirot, upper worlds. But in fact, we are learning about the actions we must perform in order to have a clear understanding of what our spiritual work has to be like. Thus, we eliminate all prior misconceptions and clearly see what must be done to achieve the goal.1
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/14/19, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” item 11.
1 Minute 5:05