This Is What Your Soul Wants
The Unfolding Stages of Spiritual Perception
Faith above reason allows us to perceive our greatest enemy (the one who stands in our way of attaining goodness) precisely by reason. We can sense and perceive evil only to the degree that we believe in spiritual pleasure above reason. Objectively, there is nothing else but the Creator, but this realization occurs on the highest level of Kabbalistic perception.
Until that time, however, we perceive ourselves in this world as well. In the process of gaining perception, we come to understand what is: (1) the Creator (2) the First creation (3) creations (4) the pleasure that the Creator wishes to bestow upon His creations.
The entire progression, naturally, unfolds in accordance with the chain of “cause and effect,” rather than in accordance with time. The Creator exists. The Creator wishes to bring forth a creation in order to gratify it. The Creator generates the desire to be delighted precisely by that pleasure (both in quantity and in appearance) that He wishes to give.
Longing to Be Like the Creator
The first created being is called Malchut. The first perception of the Light of the Creator by the created being is known as the “World Without End.” The term, “Without End” is used because in that state, Malchut received the Light of the Creator without limiting the amount of Light it received.
The created being gained much enjoyment from receiving the Light. However, while receiving enjoyment, it also sensed the Creator Himself—His desire to bestow. Since Malchut longed to be similar to Him, Malchut eventually rejected receiving the Light, and the Light then departed.
This action of Malchut is called “restriction” (the restriction of the reception of the Light—Tzimtzum). The Creator has no lack, so Malchut cannot give to the Creator in the same way as the Creator gives to Malchut.
How can Malchut “give” to the Creator? By complying with the Creator’s Will, which is to bestow good to the created beings, and receiving from the Creator, thus pleasing the Creator. This is considered “giving” on the part of the created being.
Malchut can only change the form in which it receives. This change can be achieved by adding to the act of receiving, the intention of pleasing the Creator.
Being Devoid of the Creator’s Light
The first stage required to reach this new form is the restriction—having the Light leave. The restricted Malchut later became divided into many, many parts—souls, in which each one separately must correct its egoism.
These small portions of Malchut, devoid of the Creator’s Light, are then put in the condition and situation that we call “our world.” After this, little by little, these portions abandon the desire to receive for themselves, and acquire the desire to bestow while still in “our world.”
The force that aids the soul to depart from egoistic inclinations is known as the “salvaging” one, the Messiah. The levels of gradual spiritual correction are called the “spiritual worlds,” while the inner gradations are known as Sefirot.
The aim of correction is the return to the original state, before the restriction, at which pleasure is received not for one’s own sake, but for the sake of the Creator. Such a condition is known as “the end of correction.”
The Creator’s Game with His Creatures
All the thoughts and questions that arise in us about the goals of creation and the goal of one’s efforts, such as, “Is it necessary?” and “in any case, the Creator will act according to His own plan and desires, why does He require anything of me?” etc., arise because they are sent directly by the Creator. So one more question occurs to us: “What for?”
If all the questions that arose in us concerning the creation strengthened us on our way to the spiritual, then the meaning of the questions would be clear. But in those who first embark on this journey, there are constant thoughts about the difficulties, the hopelessness and the disadvantages of this path.
There is no other force and desire other than the Creator, and all is created by Him to gain an understanding of the purpose of creation, including, of course, the “disruptive” questions, thoughts and forces that hinder our progress to Him.
The Creator put many obstacles on the path that He decided should be followed for spiritual elevation, precisely in order that we should fear not reaching our goal of perceiving the Creator’s grandeur, instead remaining forever in our lowly state. This perception can convince our hearts to want altruism.
We must understand that only the Creator can open our eyes and our hearts so we can recognize the greatness of the spiritual. Disruptive questions arise specifically so we can feel this necessity.