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October 2, 2022

Elevating Your Concerns from Bodily to Spiritual

Elevating Your Concerns from Bodily to Spiritual

The Spiritual Process: Contractions and Expansions

The program of creation descends into our world from above downward; the highest level begets the lower one, all the way to our world, where it is born in an individual of our world at a particular moment during one of the individual’s lives. From that moment the process reverses and forces one to grow spiritually, until one reaches the highest level.

Our task is merely to study the levels of spiritual descent from above to below, and to gain the understanding of how to conduct ourselves in our own ascent from below to above. The seemingly unnatural feeling of love towards others like us that the Creator demands of us (not those “close” to us, but those like us, because those close to us are already dearly loved), makes us feel an internal contraction of the “self,” just like any other altruistic feeling or any other denial of egoism will do.

But if we can relinquish, or contract, our own personal interests, then the spiritual space vacated by egoism can be used to receive the Upper Light, which will act upon the vacuum by filling and expanding it. These two actions together are called “the pulsation of life” or “the soul,” and are already able to bring about further actions of contracting and expanding.

Only in this manner can the spiritual vessel of a human being receive the Light of the Creator, and having expanded the soul, ascend.

 

Generating the First Action of the Soul

The contraction can be caused by an external force, or by the actions of the internal qualities of the vessel. In the case of contraction from the effects of the painful pressure of an external force, the nature of the vessel prompts it to raise the forces to withstand this contraction. It expands and thereby returns to its original condition, removing itself from this external pressure.

Should this contraction be caused by the vessel itself, then the vessel is incapable of expanding to its original state on its own. But if the Light of the Creator enters this vessel and fills it, the vessel is then enabled to expand to its previous state. And this Light is called “Life.”

Life itself is the attaining of the essence of life, which can be achieved only through the previous contractions, since one is unable to surpass the spiritual boundaries in which one was created. A person can contract for the first time only under the influence of an external force, or by having prayed to the Creator for the help of the higher spiritual forces, because until one receives the first help—life—into the soul, one is powerless to generate such an unnatural action of the soul.

While one depends on the external force and is unable to “contract” independently, one is not considered to be alive, because “live nature” is defined as having the ability to act independently.

 

Everything in a Nutshell: Light and Vessel

The teachings in Kabbalah clearly describe the entire creation. Kabbalah divides everything in Creation into two concepts: the Light (Ohr) and the vessel (kli).

Light is pleasure, vessel is the desire to receive pleasure. When pleasure enters the desire to receive pleasure, it imparts upon this desire the specific urge to take pleasure in it. In the absence of Light, the vessel does not know what it wants to take pleasure in. Thus, the vessel itself is never independent, and only the Light dictates the type of pleasure it will receive—the thoughts, the aspirations, and all its qualities. For this reason, the spiritual worth of a vessel and its importance is completely determined by the amount of Light filling it.

Moreover, the greater the desire of the vessel to receive pleasure, the “coarser” it is, because it depends on the Light to a greater extent and is less independent.

On the other hand, the “coarser” it is, the greater the amount of pleasure it can receive. Growth and development depend precisely on great desires. This paradox occurs as a result of the opposing qualities of the light and the vessel.

 

Determined by the Desire You Have

The reward for our spiritual efforts is recognition of the Creator, but it is our “self” that screens the Creator from us.

Since it is the desire that determines an individual and not one’s physiological body, then with the appearance of each new will it is as if a new individual is born. This is how we can understand the concept of the circulation of souls, that is, with each new thought and desire a person is born anew, because the desire is new.

Thus, if the desire of the individual is animalistic, then it is said that one’s soul has become enclothed in an animal. But if the desire is elevated, then it is said that the person became a sage. Only in this manner should one understand the circulation of souls. The individual is capable of clearly perceiving within himself how contradictory his opinions and desires may be at various times, as if the individual were not one, but several different people.

 

Turning to the Creator for Salvation

But every time a person experiences certain desires, if these desires are truly strong, that person cannot imagine that there might be another condition, completely opposite to the one in which the person finds himself at the moment. This is due to the fact that the soul of a person is eternal because it is part of the Creator. For this reason, a person expects to remain in any given state forever.

But the Creator alters one’s soul from Above, which constitutes the circulation of souls. Thus, the previous state dies and “a new individual is born.” Similarly, in our spiritual ascents, inspirations, and declines, in our joys and depressions, it appears inconceivable to us that we could shift from one state into the next, when in a state of spiritual elation, we cannot imagine how there can be any other interest but that of spiritual growth.

Our entire reality has been especially created in order to distract us from perceiving the spiritual worlds. A thousand thoughts constantly distract us from our aim, and the more we try to concentrate, the greater the obstacles we experience.

The only remedy against all these obstacles is the Creator. This is His purpose in creating them—so we will turn to the Creator in search of the path for personal salvation.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondElevating Your Concerns from Bodily to Spiritual” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.

  

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