Entries in the 'partzuf' Category

The Screen Is Not Just A Partition, But An Entire System

matter3 A person is a small world, which means the whole world is inside me. I stand facing the Upper Light and the Creator with all my properties and internal characteristics. I am unable to imagine anything outside myself.

We have already gone through sufficient preparation in order to avoid associating what is written in The Zohar with images of our world, history or geography. We can now see the text as describing ourselves, the Creator and the screen between us and Him. Now we have to try to see the system and structure of the relationship that we have to build between us and Him.

The screen is not just a partition between the Creator and myself, but it is an entire system. After all, I am only a point of desire created “out of nothing” and the Creator is also just a point, a spark of Light that created me, the point of desire.

The screen refers to a huge system that exists between both points: me (a black point) and the Creator (a point of white Light). The screen is not positioned above the desire to enjoy, but is included in this desire. With the help of the screen I can calculate how closely I can align my desire to match the Light; this is why the screen should fully embrace my desire.

Rosh (the head) of the Partzuf is the place where I decide which part of my desire should become attached to the Light. The part of my desire that I am able to align with the Light is called Toch (the inner part) of the Partzuf. The part that I am still unable to align with the Light is called Sof (the end) of the Partzuf.

The screen operates within all of these parts, being a system that connects me with the Creator. The system is divided into three parts:

  1. Rosh, the head of the Partzuf, which performs a clarification and calculation
  2. Toch, the inner part of the Partzuf, which receives the Light and attains similarity with it in action
  3. Sof, the end of the Partzuf, where a separate calculation is performed regarding my inability to be similar to the Light

It’s not enough for me to simply decide what part of my desire I can make similar to the Creator and throw the rest away. I also have to check which parts I cannot align with the Creator and why. The end of the Partzuf has to be as clear as its inner part.

The Host is asking me about every minor detail: “Why don’t you want to accept Light into it from Me?” I then have to check that detail and explain to myself why I can’t receive inside it. Therefore, the screen is an entire system of connection between the Creator and myself; it is not simply the partition that we draw in our illustrations.

When studying The Zohar, we are constantly learning about this system – the connection between us and the Creator. I am below and the Creator is above, and between us there is an entire system we call “the screen,” which consists of three main parts. This system encompasses all the worlds.

Spiritual Attainment Is Never Lost

infinity A question I received: If a person starts studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, manages to attain spirituality, and then dies a few years later, does he have to come back into this world and suffer again in order to ask the same question: “What is the meaning of my life?” And then does he have to start doing the same work all over again in order to pass the Machsom and from there to advance onwards?

My Answer: Well, you tell me: every time a person has to go through a new learning experience in life, doesn’t he also have to “die” and “come back” in order to ask, “What is the meaning of my life?” Indeed, before taking any new step in life, a person has to ask himself: “What is the meaning of my life? What am I doing here, why, and how?”

If a person is making a truly spiritual action, then it always has to start from zero, as if the person dies. In this respect, it does not make a big difference whether his physical body is alive or not. The death of one’s physical body indicates that a person has to replace the lowest degree of his desire to enjoy, the degree that causes us to feel our earthly body and this material world.

On the lowest degree of the common created desire, a person perceives his Partzuf as the earthly body, and he perceives that degree as this world. This degree never changes and it has to accompany a person throughout the entire duration of his correction process, all the way until the full correction.

Aside from the material degree, a person also perceives the spiritual degrees as he climbs them. But once in a while he has to replace the lowest degree (the physical body), which means that he has to die and be reborn.

However, replacing the lowest degree does not mean that one has to start his spiritual path all over again. It just means that he will traverse this path with much greater ease this time around. After all, one’s spiritual attainment never disappears. In the following life cycle, a person will easily find a teacher and a group, will quickly attain everything he has gone through before, and will continue onwards. However, in order to attain a new level and a new realty, he will have to go through a certain adaptation process.

By Changing Yourself, You Change The World

changingA question I received: What does it mean that “an inner change creates a new state”?

My Answer: The science of Kabbalah explains that everything occurs inside us, inside the desire to receive pleasure that was created by the Creator. There is nothing outside of this desire. Everything occurs inside the same matter of creation relative to the same Malchut of Infinity, including the actions of restriction, the creation of the screen, the descent, and the distancing from Infinity down to our world.

The descent of creation from the World of Infinity can be likened to a person who is slowly losing consciousness, and who gradually loses the understanding of where he is. It seems to him that the world and the situation outside is changing, while actually, the only that changes is him.

Therefore, it’s because of the inner changes that happened in us that instead of the World of Infinity, our inner state appears to us as the Worlds of Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya, or this world. This is how we “descended.” Now we have to “rise” along the same degrees of perception from below upward. All the changes of perception occur only inside a person.

Each of our inner states is called a world. Our present state is called “this world.” If we change it, it will be called “the World of Assiya,” then “the world of Yetzira,” then “the world of Beria,” and so on.

How do we change our state? We do it by changing the relationships between us. We are given an opportunity to return to Infinity, due to the fact that each of us feels that he exists separately, distant from the others. We are separated by the “thickness” of our desire, hatred, egoism, the feeling of rejection from others, pride, and lust for power.

However, if a person understands that by uniting with others, he will return to the state of Infinity, and that he has to return there in spite of these new difficult conditions, in spite of our rejection of one another, then he begins to work. He begins to create a connection with others in spite of his egoism. He does not destroy his egoism, and in fact, he doesn’t do anything with his ego. He simply builds a connection with others above it. This is called building a screen over the desire. That is how the desire turns into a Partzuf.

The rejection between the souls remains and grows constantly, but a person builds bridges over it, creates connections between the souls, which become higher and higher. It’s precisely due to the growing Aviut (thickness) that a person raises himself to higher spiritual degrees every time – above the evil. This is how one ascends along the 125 degrees of connection between all the souls.

As a result, a person achieves a perception of the World of Infinity, which is 620 times greater than before he descended to this world. “Six hundred twenty” does not refer to the quantity, but to the level of realization, understanding, perception, and sensation of life and existence. We acquire this understanding and perception in the World of Infinity instead of our initial state, where we felt like a mere drop of semen and had no opportunity to do or perceive anything.

However, now, when we return to that same state of Infinity, and our sensation is 620 times deeper and stronger, we feel that we are on the same level as the Creator, the Upper Force, which created us and all of creation.

Therefore, our inner changes in regard to others create a new state in us, which is called a new world. All the worlds are within us, and we feel them to the extent we go through inner changes through our connection with other souls.

How To Build Your Ten Sefirot And Fill Them With The Creator’s Light

womenA question I received: The “Preface to the Sulam Commentary” describes a system that is external in relation to man. So how am I supposed to envision that this system is related to me and is inside me?

My Answer: There is no soul inside my animate body. My body does not contain the ten Sefirot of the soul. I only have an initial point, and I have to build the ten Sefirot from it. This point originated from inside my egoistic desires. When I make a connection with the other points in the heart using my egoism, then my ego gives me the material, the desires, and the connection to other people, and this will create the structure of the ten Sefirot inside me.

I will then become the point of Malchut, the tenth Sefira, and my first nine Sefirot will be comprised of my attitude to other people. All the other souls, everything I see in front of me, the entire world, and everything around me are my nine Sefirot (Tet Rishonot). When I connect them to myself with love, with the understanding that we are all one whole, then I rise above my egoism, and if I am able to rise above my Malchut in order to bestow, then I will connect these external qualities of bestowal to myself.

That is when my soul, the complete Partzuf made of ten Sefirot will appear within me. And that is exactly where I will reveal the Creator: inside the desires that I have acquired through bestowal to others.

Everything around me is the structure of my own soul. But after the soul’s breaking and fall into egoism, I started desiring to use these other parts of me egoistically, to receive everything they have. Now I have to go back to bestowing to them. I have to reconnect them to myself through love, and that is how I will reveal the Light of my soul—inside them.

I can never reveal the Light inside myself, in Malchut, because the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) cannot be revoked. This is why everything depends on me coming out of myself and connecting to the other souls, by feeling their desires as my own. Inside this common desire, I will reveal the Creator.
(From Part 3 of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson, on the “Preface to the Sulam Commentary”)

The Meaning Of Abraham’s Gifts To The Sons Of The Concubines

moses-decreed-that-kabbalah-has-to-be-taught-for-freeA question I received: It says in Beresheet 25:6: “But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.” What gifts did the sons of the concubines receive from Abraham? Where are these gifts?

My Answer: These gifts are all the beliefs and religions in the world, except Kabbalah. Kabbalah, however, is the sole method of egoism’s correction. The sons of the concubines did not wish to correct themselves and to be Abraham’s students, and therefore he sent them eastward – Kedma, to a source from which they would begin to return to Kabbalah.

By the way, the Torah does not speak about people in our world, but about spiritual forces. Therefore, the Kabbalists did not mean that a woman named Sarah gave birth to child named Isaac, for example. Rather, they meant that two spiritual Partzufim, called Abraham and Sarah (in Kabbalah they are generally called Father and Mother, Aba ve Ima), gave birth to their common, more advanced state, called Isaac.

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An Explanation Of Some Kabbalistic Concepts (Advanced)

russia4Questions I received on various Kabbalistic concepts and definitions:

Question: Is the screen a tool that returns us to the state we were in before the knowledge of good and evil?

My Answer: It is the tool of recognition, attainment and ascent above the knowledge of good and evil, leading to equivalence of form with the Creator.

Question: What is the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath?

My Answer: It’s a symbol of the Full Correction.

Question: I was reading The Book of Zohar and in the section, The List of Abbreviations and Explanations, it states: “AA – Arich Anpin – the Partzuf of Hochma, the central, initial Partzuf in the World of Atzilut, from which all the other Partzufim originate.” Is this correct? As far as my very limited knowledge goes, Keter is central and the other Partzufim originate from it.

My Answer: Arich Anpin is Keter of the World of Atzilut, because Atik is concealed from the lower Partzufim.

Question: Could you please explain what is the “mouth to mouth” teaching technique? Is this form of study used today?

My Answer: This type of study happens through the common screen of a teacher and his student. The screen is located in the mouth (Peh) of the souls (Partzuf).

Question: What is the difference between desire and effort?

My Answer: Effort can be exerted only to the extent of the desire.

Question: If there is no desire, how does one create a demand for the effort?

My Answer: Under the influence of the environment.

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The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Intention in the Prayer”

The Book of ZoharThe Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Intention in the Prayer” (abridged).

“Each day a voice calls upon all people in the world, ‘This depends on you. Separate a part of yourself and devote it to the Creator.’” At some point in life, thoughts and desires to draw closer to spirituality come to every person, and it depends on us whether or not we heed that inner call.

To correct himself, man needs to receive the strength that exists outside of him, beyond the bounds of his egoism. Hence, all of man’s efforts aim to create the only true desire within him – to feel the Creator!

In spirituality (and, consequently, in corporeality) a person can be in one of three states: lying, sitting, or standing. A newborn infant in our world and a spiritually newborn person develop in the same order. Lying means that the position of the head, the legs, and the body are at the same level. In spirituality, this corresponds to the embryonic state, when all that exists in the ten Sefirot is the same. This is the lowest spiritual state.

Sitting means that the head is above the body, and the body is above the legs, but one cannot use his legs. Such a state is called Katnut (smallness) or VAK. Standing implies absolute distinction between the levels of the head, body, and legs. It is called Gadlut (big state) or GAR. Thus, according to one’s ability to ask for correction, he gradually receives strength from the Creator and grows.

The “time of desire” is an appropriate state for making requests and receiving the answer – the strength for self-correction. The King and Queen are ZA and Malchut. Each blessing constitutes a sequence of individual corrections of man’s soul.

Consequently, man ascends to a Higher spiritual level. Thus, he gradually attains Supernal Unity with the Creator.

Although Kabbalah is considered a secret teaching, it holds no secrets. It is perceived as secret only by those who are still unable to create the spiritual organs within themselves with which to perceive their surroundings. We are the only ones who conceal our surroundings from ourselves in default of the corresponding sensory organs.

As soon as the soul tears itself from egoism altogether, it completely merges with the Creator and is no longer obliged to descend into this world, clothe in a physical body, and receive an additional portion of egoistic desires. A sacrifice to the Creator signifies rejection of the body’s egoistic desires; it is called a “sacrifice,” for our body is no different from that of an animal. Therefore, the aspiration to rid oneself of the animate body and its desires is called a “sacrifice.”

All of the characters described in The Zohar are spiritual objects, Partzufim. Therefore, it is said that the wise (Hacham) sees only for himself, from himself upwards, and cannot pass the Light to others below.

It is hence said that wisdom is found within the heart, as the heart receives from below upwards; whereas he who understands (the Sefira Yesod, Tzadik, the righteous one) shines with the Light of Mercy, Ohr Hassadim, from Above downwards. He sees that he receives for himself, and shines upon the others, i.e., shines upon Malchut, as it is written: “The righteous knows his animate soul.”

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The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Raising a Prayer” – 2

The Book of ZoharThe Book of Zohar. Chapter “Raising a Prayer” – 2 (abridged)

The first Commandment finds its place in the blessings that King David sang during his offerings in the Torah, where man must fear his Master, for these songs stand in a place called “fear” or Malchut. And all of these written blessings constitute the essence of fear of the Creator, Malchut. And man must sing these songs with his desires in fear.

Man must achieve a level of spiritual development where his desires will coincide with what is said in the texts of these blessings. It is impossible to force someone to wish something; all our feelings are the product, the result of our spiritual level. The Light of that degree influences one’s egoism and corrects it with the power of that degree.  Therefore, man can only ask for correction, but it will come from Above, from the Light, from the Creator.

Here we have a list of degrees that man must gradually go through in his correction. These degrees are usually called Commandments, and in all there are 620 of them between us and the Creator: 613 Commandments of the Torah for Israel (altruism) and seven Commandments of the Torah for all the nations (egoism). Here they are expounded in a different way: since the most important thing is to ask for correction (and if the request is genuine, it immediately receives an answer in the form of Light that descends to it), all of man’s work on himself, all of his efforts in the study, all his work and actions are intended only for creating a true request, MAN.

Hence, the stages of man’s spiritual development are described as his path in prayer; as if he stands and prays, although this process continues within him throughout his life on earth.

The second Commandment is to love the Creator. (As it was repeatedly stated, this feeling is the result of correction; see the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot,” item 45, which describes the four stages of one’s sensation of the governance, from darkness to love). It is when through one’s prayer, one reaches Ahavat Olam (great love) and Le El (for the Creator). These two blessings precede the appeal, Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel) and Ve Ahavta Et (and love the Creator), the blessing of the Creator for one’s love for Him that follows the appeal Shema Israel. And this is the secret of love for the Creator.

The third Commandment takes place when one reaches a place in the prayer that is called Lehishtabe’ach (blessed is the Creator). He must then attain praises and blessings of the Creator in his desire, as in parts of the prayer Yotzer Ohr (He who creates Light) and Yotzer HaMeohrot (maker of the stars).

The fourth Commandment is to proclaim the Creator’s unity, i.e., Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel, our Creator is one!). From this point (degree) on, one must express the secret of the Creator’s unity (in all His manifestations to man) in his heart’s desire (one’s heart must be filled only with the sensation of the One, Upper Force). Afterward, the Commandment to remember and remind others of the exodus from Egypt (egoism) is observed, as it is written: “Remember how you were a slave in Egypt.”

The fifth Commandment is for a Cohen to bless the people (the Light’s descent to the Partzuf), so that Israel will be included when the prayer (the Cohanim’s blessing) ascends, for at this time (state), Knesset Israel (all those who correct themselves by aspiring to the Creator and constitute a part of Malchut de Atzilut), i.e., Malchut, receives a blessing (Light).

The sixth Commandment and the desired time (spiritual state or level when man wishes only to give all of his desires, i.e., his soul, to the Creator, meaning that he can act for the Creator’s sake in all of his desires) is to entrust one’s soul with the Creator with complete desire in one’s heart. When one falls (willingly accepts the small state) on his face (Hochma) and proclaims (raises MAN): “I entrust my soul with You, O Creator.” The intentions and desires of his heart are to give his soul completely to the Creator (this desire is the consequence of this spiritual degree and comes naturally to those who attain it).

These six Commandments of the prayer correspond to the 600 Commandments of the Torah. And the remaining thirteen Commandments are required in order to attract the thirteen properties of mercy (thirteen Midot HaRachamim), which include all the rest. The prayer is adorned with 600 Commandments, which corresponds to HGT NHY, to what the prayer, Malchut, receives from ZA.

Happy is he who heeded and focused his desire on this (who was able to raise a proper request for his correction), who completed all that was required each day (in the Creator’s daylight), and directed his heart’s intentions and desires to fulfill this Commandment, which depends on the word.

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The Meaning of Spiritual and Physical Tears

The Meaning of Spiritual and Physical TearsQuestions I received on tears and crying:

Question: I’ve never seen you answer a question about tears on this blog. What is the spiritual root of this phenomenon?

My Answer: In spirituality, tears are the expression of a passive participation in correction. They’re a sign that a person (a Partzuf or soul) is spiritually weak and in the state of Katnut. This is a small state where one has a small screen. That is to say – a screen that only protects one from egoism but doesn’t enable one to work with egoism directly, to bestow.

It is written that the Creator sheds tears into the Great Ocean because He cannot make the correction for the person (see the chapter “The Vision of Rabbi Chiya” in The Book of Zohar). A person has to want to be corrected, but he doesn’t want it. And the Creator is more pained by this than the person, and He sheds tears (Light) into the Great Ocean – the desire He created, and because of that the toughest part of the desire – Malchut de Malchut – is corrected.

Question: When we cry, are we crying for ourselves?

My Answer: Our tears are the ego’s way of expressing itself when it can’t have something it wants or when it feels “compassion” for someone else, which means that we imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes and are afraid that the same thing will happen to us.

Question: Do such tears indicate spiritual closeness with the Creator?

My Answer: Never!

Question: Then why does one feel “lighter” after crying?

My Answer: Because the animate organism becomes psychologically more relaxed after a nervous stress.

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We Raise the Entire Universe Up to the Creator

We Raise the Entire Universe Up to the CreatorA question I received: By disseminating Kabbalah you ascended spiritually and enabled Rabash to ascend even higher. This is why during his life Rabash did everything to make sure that you would continue to disseminate Kabbalah once he is gone – this was the purpose of his life. Before his death Rabash instructed you to continue disseminating Kabbalah. Does your dissemination of Kabbalah today play any role in Rabash’s afterlife?

My Answer: All the souls are absolutely interconnected. Even in our world studies already reveal that every one of us knows everyone else through a sixth acquaintance. Baal HaSulam explains that all the souls in our world go through correction over the course of 6,000 years, in the form of one Partzuf:

  • At first, during the first 2,000 years, the world, common soul, Kelim Chabad are corrected with the Light of Nefesh;
  • Next, over the second 2,000 years, the world, the common soul, Kelim Hagat are corrected with the Light of Ruach;
  • Finally, over the last 2,000 years (and we are living at the end of this period), the world, the common soul, Kelim NHY are corrected with the Light of Neshama.

By correcting ourselves we receive the smallest Light – Nefesh, but due to our correction in the first souls (the forefathers, the great Kabbalists of the past), our corrections reveal the greatest Light – Neshama. The Kabbalists of the past prepared all the conditions for our correction, but it is we who correct the broken (devoid of a screen, of the intention “for the sake of bestowal”) and the mixed (Bina and Malchut) Kelim (desires). Hence, we and our actions are the most important in the process of creation’s development. We raise the entire universe up to the Creator!

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