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April 25, 2024

Why You Have the Desires You Have

Why You Have the Desires You Have

Driven by the Desire for Pleasure

We were created in such a way that wherever we go, we look for pleasures and take every chance we can to satisfy our desires. Where do these desires come from, and how do we know how to satisfy them?

At any given moment there are new desires that awaken in us, at all levels of existence: on the physical, human, and spiritual levels. We don’t feel all the physical desires, such as the desire of the cells to develop and the desire of the organs to act. Some of these desires are satisfied naturally, and some require our active participation to be satisfied. As a whole, the desires can be divided into three parts:

  • Physical (beastly) desires, which exist in animals as well.
  • Human desires, which exist only in human society, such as desires for wealth, honor, and knowledge, and human- spiritual desires, desires for something sublime that are clearly not of our world. Searching for supernatural phe- nomena, religious rituals, and Far Eastern techniques for the improvement of the body and the mind all express such desires.
  • Spiritual desires, which aim directly at the unique Creator. The Kabbalah distinguishes the desire for the Creator from all other desires. Our desires for worldly pleasures are called “humankind’s heart” while the desire for the Creator is called “the point in the heart.”


How Desires Originate

The desires form in us as a result of the surfacing of the reshimot, the carriers of the information within us, forcing us to obey their demands. There is a chain of preliminary reshimot imprinted in us, which makes us aware of the desire that they awaken as they surface. We have no choice but to obey these desires, although we do not feel that there is something that we must obey—we simply want. It is as though the reshimot appear out of nowhere in the subconscious even before we detect them, and when they come into our awareness, we feel them as desires. There is only one thing that we want: pleasure.


The Awakening of the Desire for Spiritual Fulfillment

The pleasure that the Creator wants to give to a creature is characterized by a single property: wholeness. He is unique and complete. There is none more complete than Him, and the purpose of the creature is to attain the perfection, the wholeness of the Creator.

Because the goal of the creature is to develop the point in the heart to the degree of the Creator, all our desires, the ones of this world (called “heart”) and the ones for the Creator (called “point in the heart”) must develop in both quality and quantity.

In every point in the heart there is a chain of reshimot, a stream of data and spiritual stages that the soul must go through to rise from the lowest situation to the highest—the degree of the Creator. Only after we attain the Creator from the opposite state, the lowest of all, is there a genuine desire (a vessel) for the sensation of tranquility, wholeness, uniqueness, and eternity. The point in the heart develops under the influence of the upper light. The point itself descended from the Creator. It is the only thing that we have from above that feels the Creator, whereas all other parts of us are made of a substance of this world.

Each new reshimo surfaces under the influence of the upper light on the point in the heart, just like plants grow under the influence of the sunlight. One begins to feel a new spiritual desire, which awakens the desire to satisfy and realize it. Thus, our entire life here is a realization of our reshimot.


How Your Development can be Sped Up

Until now we have only discussed the natural development of the reshimot. But the pace of the surfacing, realization, and development of the reshimot can be accelerated through the Kabbalah: studying from the right books, under the guidance of a genuine teacher, among a group of people who want to attain the purpose of creation.

Thus we see that we haven’t any freedom of choice about the reshimot, the desires, the powers, and the mind. The only choice we have is whether or not to accelerate the development through the right external influence. The Creator influences us from within—through our character, the natural attributes, and the reshimot—and from the outside, through family and society. But He does leave us with one area of freedom: the environment. Through our environment, we can accelerate our development. We will evolve to attain the goal in any case, but we can accelerate the pace if we find other people to build a group and an environment with. Therefore, those who want to advance should aspire to gather in groups and at the same time become a part of a single group comprising of the whole of humankind.


Exiting the Developmental ‘Path of Pain’

It is impossible to skip any of the six thousand degrees of progress from below to above, by which the soul originally descended. It is impossible to skip any of the feelings and not experience them one at a time. All the situations must be experienced, but a society that aims at the right spiritual goal enables people to realize that their will to receive is bad and that they must get rid of it quickly. Thus, we become aware of our sensations faster. And that is our choice. Our desire to advance faster than the natural surfacing of the reshimot shifts us from the path of pain to the path of Kabbalah.

Awakening to Kabbalah by Dr. Michael Laitman“Why You Have the Desires You Have” is based on the book, Awakening to Kabbalah: The Guiding Light of Spiritual Fulfillment by Dr. Michael Laitman.

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