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November 14, 2019

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What Is the Meaning of the Angels’ Argument Over Whether Man Should or Shouldn’t Be Created?

What Is the Meaning of the Angels Argument Over Whether Man Should or Shouldn't Be Created?

The following text is taken from the Midrash on the creation of man: “When the Holy One, blessed be He, came to create Adam, the ministering angels formed themselves into groups and parties, some of them saying, ‘Let him be created,’ whilst others urged, ‘Let him not be created.’”

What is the meaning of this passage, which details the Creator’s “conversation” with the “angels”?

 

Doubts about Man’s Right to Exist

The Creator is the unified Law of Nature, the Law of Love and bestowal, present within us and all around us.  We don’t perceive Him because we live by completely different laws, but the whole purpose of our lives is to reveal Him.

The “angels” are nature’s (the Creator’s) forces, which obey the Law and are unable to act or think independently.

The story symbolizes as the opposing forces begin to manifest, illustrating human nature, which is wholly egoistic and evil.

Imagine flicking on a flashlight in total darkness. As it illuminates your surroundings, you discover that you’ve been sitting in a cesspool all this time. At first, it may seem as if you would have been better to remain in the dark, but that is not the case. At least now you know the source of the stench, and why you’ve been so miserable. Our task is to clean up the cesspool, to rein in our egoism.

 

Man Is Born with a Destructive Nature

Man is born an egoist. From the very beginning, he is mired in imbalance and prefers falsehood to truth.

Precisely because man is an egoist, he will have the opportunity to realize this, and then to show mercy. Thanks to his good deeds, starting from the opposite end, he’ll be able to realize what is good, so that afterward he can acquire the quality of bestowal and correct himself.

Man is aggressive, delights in the misery of others, strives to harm others, and longs to hoard more than necessary for his existence. Although he evolved from the animate degree, while the animate degree is in harmony with Nature, man is not!

The lion and the cow take from their environment only what they need for their sustenance, but man does not. Nature dictates this behavior in animals, but not in man. There is not a single quality in man that he uses to achieve peace.

Man is born with a grotesque desire to rule and dominate the whole world to suit his needs, which is contrary to Nature’s quality of bestowal.

We see that the history of humankind is a procession of wars. If man were to grow cognizant of his essence, he would realize that all he thinks of is how to use others for his own benefit.

The whole progress of humankind throughout millennia amounts to the development of weapons of mass destruction. Man sought ways to rule, profit, and use his strengths by elevating himself over others.

Not one of his inclinations is directed toward achieving balance with his environment, which would allow him to give others their due. Instead, man strives to acquire and control everything that belongs to others.

Given the circumstances, man should not be created, for he is opposite to all of Nature.

 

Man Justifying His Own Creation through Struggle and Free Choice

However, when man uses his powers correctly and achieves correction, he becomes king over Nature and the world, the whole process becomes purposeful, and man becomes equal to the Creator.

The Creator says to the angels, “Nevertheless, I am for creating man, despite his flaws, because I see that through this process he will obtain a spiritual degree. That is what I need from him. He will correct himself. He will rid himself of his ego and come to Me. And when he does, it will be of his own accord, not as a slave to My Light. This is very important.”

Thus, the Creator doesn’t mind the initial state of Creation and all the states we go through. He already sees us in the final state, which is the reason for our existence.

The struggle described in the Midrash is ever-present within man. With every step, at every moment in life, man works to establish this balance, and thereby brings balance to the whole world. He cannot stand still, for every state compels him to act, and he chooses his path with each step. Every second, man must connect to the goal of Creation, scrutinizing why the Creator had chosen to make him, despite all the forces and qualities that opposed his creation. Indeed, the goal of man’s work lies in justifying his own creation.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“What Is the Meaning of the Angels’ Argument Over Whether Man Should or Shouldn’t Be Created?” is based on the book, The Secrets of the Eternal Book: The Meaning of the Stories of the Pentateuch by Semion Vinokur.

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