Lesson 3 – Part I
Creation as a Tool
In the previous lessons we’ve learned, that in order to live joyfully and with purpose, in this world, we need to understand what we are here for. We’ve learned that we want to feel “good”, in the broadest sense of the word, meaning to feel a sense of fullness and wholeness and oneness. According to the Kabbalists, what we want is to be full with a spiritual energy called “Light” (Ohr). This light cannot be perceived by our 5 senses and it is actually the Light that was created at the time of the creation of the world, (“And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light” (Genesis 1, 3). When someone connects to this Light, he feels like he has everything. This conclusion leads us to the first Spiritual Law of the Universe, which is:
All we want is to be filled with Light
However, when we try to define the sense of fullness to which we aspire, and to explain what that “Light” is, we are unable to do so. We also cannot completely explain or physically touch; love, happiness, satisfaction, inspiration, imagination, brilliance and the spirit of invention. This leads us to the second Spiritual Law of the Universe, which is:
The logic of our five senses is limiting and misleading.
Meaning, we should not look for our heart’s desire in our logic.
If so, then where should we look?
Kabbalists divide the world into two: the World of Truth and the World of Illusion. Everything that can be perceived with our 5 senses happens in the World of Illusion, whatever we can’t perceive with the senses (beyond our senses) is in the World of Truth. This is where all the intangible things we want live (joy, health, passion, excitement, fulfillment, love, etc.).
Note well, that the World of Truth is not something that is unobtainable, untouchable or elsewhere. It is in the here and now. We’ve just not been trained to connect to it. All of us have had glimpses of this world from time to time, but since it is a world that operates on a frequency that cannot be perceived by our senses, it therefore, becomes imperative for us to learn how to access this world.
The Language of Branches
Kabbalists claim that there is a definite connection between the World of Truth and the World of Illusion and in order to reveal it, they’ve developed the Language of Branches – the language of the World of Truth, the soul and the Light. This language was created with the knowledge that we are limited by our 5 senses. The assumption is that everything we experience, see and hear in the physical world (The world of Illusion) is a branch, or extension, of the World of Truth, like a shadow. Everything we experience with our 5 senses (in the World of Illusion) is actually a “shadow”, a reflection, of something from the World of Truth.
The worldview of the Kabbalists is that to understand why we behave the way we do, make the choices we do and have the life we do (in the world ruled by our 5 senses), we have to understand the root/seed level of where everything comes from. This can only be found in the World of Truth.
Kabbalists call it “knowing the seed”, which in the language of the branches is like a seed of a tree that contains the totality of the whole tree, including its; branches, roots, fruits, buds and its different characters. Our knowledge of the seed’s character helps us to control its growth and development. We know where to plant it, in which season to plant it and how to nurture it into adulthood, in the way that is most beneficial for its optimal life. The same goes for us. Knowing the seed of our life helps us to live the best life we were meant to have.
Kabbalists wrote thousands of years ago that everything started from a middle point where there was no existence of time and space. The energy that created this point is the Light. The definition of this Light is an infinite energy whose essence, like the physical light, is to spread, to share and to fulfill. This Light, according to Kabbalah, is the single most important force that permeates every single part of Creation.
This power (Light) gives life to all creatures in the Universe and it drives and maintains every particle of Creation. Every material/energy known to man, emotional or spiritual is an emanation that evolved from this Light – the Endless Light. This Light is the cause of everything and all of reality is included in it. It includes everything that will grow and emanate from it in the past, present and future. The nature of this Light is to share bliss and abundance with all.
This Light is mentioned in the first Spiritual Law of the Universe. It is our life’s purpose – to connect to the Light and to be filled with it. The tangible evidence that we are connecting to this Light, is when our lives are working. Like a plant, Kabbalah teaches, that it thrives due to the Light that shines through it, and when we watch it wither, it is a sign that the Light has stopped flowing in the same plant. A similar conclusion could be drawn about animals, people, businesses or communities. Prosperity and growth are signs of a constant flow of endless Light. Withering and lack of energy in those systems is a result of a lack of Light flowing through them.
According to the first Spiritual Universal Law, when we love someone or desire an object, we are drawn to the Light within, and not to the shell that is perceived by our 5 senses. When we do not receive this Light from that person or object, or from an event or a social, family or a business system, we will do everything we can to disconnect from it in order to look for another source of Light, satisfaction and wholeness. This is why we will prefer a particular product over another, although at first glance both have the same quality and price tag. If we will dig deeper, we will probably reveal that the product we have chosen has more energy, more light of love, enthusiasm, desire and power due to what (Light or Darkness) was invested in the process of producing and marketing it.
The Vessel – the Desire to Receive
So the question is, if at the beginning there was only infinite Light, then how could it have expanded some more? With whom or what could it share its abundance with? Therefore, there must be something or someone that was created with whom the infinite Light could share with, whose essence is to receive. Meaning, that the existence of Light, the seed of Creation and the reason for all, must have created a creation that was able to accept whatever the Light had to offer. It was called by the language of Kabbalah (the language of branches) “the Vessel” (כלי), which in Hebrew means “container”, meaning it has the ability to contain, to contain the infinite spreading Light.
It alone has the essence and desire to receive the abundant, infinite Light of Creation.
The Vessel is what reveals the Light in our world. When we love our fellow man and we have a desire to give and to do well by him, it is imperative that we have a tool to carry out the energy and Light within us, pushing to share and divide. Words, actions and objects are the tools through which we express our inner energy that seeks a way of expression.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that the creation of the Vessel was the beginning of the expansion of the Light from the Creator’s essence. The appearance of the Vessel is basically the appearance of the souls of every creature in all of Creation. Recall, that in the previous lesson we defined the soul as a tool which has the ability to receive the Light according to its (the tool’s) size and that the meaning of the word soul (Neshama) in Hebrew, is “assessment”, meaning: evaluation of a size and quantity.
Hence we understand that everything we will see and experience is, according to Kabbalah, a combination of the Light and the size/desire of our Vessel. The Light is the reviving and motivating power and the Vessel is the essence that reveals the Light and allows its expression.
We can liken this process to an electrical device. The electrical energy that runs through it is compared to the Light that cannot be seen or grasped by our 5 senses. The device itself is a tool that must have the electrical energy running through it in order for it to work. Hence we understand that objects, plants and animals have a kind of soul that the Light runs through, and each soul reveals the Light differently. Just as different electrical devices use electricity for different purpose – to heat or to cool, to light, etc., the power behind those actions are the same but the difference is in the tool, the device, that reveals this power.
This tool, this Vessel, is our desire to receive. The size of our desire will determine how we will draw the Light inside and how it will be revealed in our environment. This desire comes from the soul and that is why when a person dies and his soul – the source of his desires – leaves him, he has no more desires.
We are all familiar with the famous saying by Descartes “I think therefore I am.”, but according to the Kabbalah, we should say, “I want, therefore I think, therefore I am.”
The creation of the Vessel, that contained all the souls, was infinite like the essence of the Light. The souls that were created contained desires to be filled. The Light expanded and filled all the desires without boundaries of space or time. Now, the Light and the Vessel were in great unity, as mentioned in the Midrash, “Him (the Light) and his name (the Vessel) are one.”
If we imagine a reality in which we receive anything we desire, a situation in which every wish or will is immediately fulfilled, we can come to understand the reality of infinity in which all of the creatures and the Creator’s Light are all one, without separation.
However, if the infinite reality was so ideal, was so perfect, how come we didn’t stay there? How did the reality we know now, where everything is in so much darkness, pain and separation, get created?
That will be answered in the next lesson.
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