Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the first step in terms of enlightenment?“
As a background, the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah is a research of our spiritual enlightenment all the way to full spiritual attainment. It explores our thoughts, desires and the reality we attain in our senses. Below spiritual attainment, we also undergo degrees of attainment in our world. During our spiritual preparation period in this world, we start learning and understanding the connections between spiritual objects, however such understanding is incomparable to the sensation of spiritual attainment.
Kabbalists name spiritual degrees after having attained them. If we only partially attain a degree, it is considered that we are its “son,” which is why we are called “Bnei Adam” (“the sons of Adam,” which in Hebrew is the term for “human beings”), since we are all parts of the degree called “Adam,” and our goal is to fully attain that degree—the root of our soul.
When we rise to a spiritual degree, we feel what transpires in it, attain its qualities, and perceive and sense the Creator according to that degree. With further spiritual ascent, what we perceived in the previous degrees will also change.
It is important to understand that only our perception and sensation changes in this entire process. It is not that each of the 125 spiritual degrees are each playing a different film. However, there is a simple upper light that fills reality, and by attaining certain spiritual qualities, we feel part of that light, which we call a “world.” We can also feel a tiny part of that light in our inborn egoistic qualities, and we call it “this world” or “our world.”
From the level of our world, our spiritual awakening takes place when we receive, as is written, the “posterior of the holy soul,” meaning the final and lowest degree of the soul, referred to as a “point.” This point becomes inserted into our hearts, i.e., into our desire to receive, or in other words, amid the human ego.
Without the point in the heart, we would remain as animals, i.e., our desires would not aspire outside our world. The point in the heart, i.e., the beginning of spirituality, is the initial spiritual awakening we get to potentially elevate us above the animate degree into spirituality.
The process of growing the point in the heart through which we attain spirituality is called the process of building what Kabbalah calls a spiritual Partzuf. All of our spiritual attainments take place in this Partzuf. We can identify whether we have a point in the heart if we find ourselves asking about the meaning and purpose of life, why is there suffering in the world, what is reality, where are we from, where are we now, and where are we headed, who are we, and other related existential questions. The wisdom of Kabbalah was made in order to answer these questions by providing us with a method for spiritual attainment, where we receive the answers as a clear perception and sensation of the spiritual reality in a series of stages.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.