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February 20, 2020

How to Develop a Spiritual Intention

How to Develop a Spiritual Intention

The Heart Can Not Be Outwitted

In the spiritual states, one’s intellect (reason, wisdom) corresponds to the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma). One’s heart, desires, and feelings correspond to the Light of Mercy (Ohr Hassadim). Only when our hearts are ready to listen, can reason affect them. Ohr Hochma can illuminate only in the place where Ohr Hassadim is already present. If Ohr Hassadim is not present, then Ohr Hochma does not illuminate. Such a state is known as “darkness,” or “night.”

But in our world, that is, in an individual who still remains in the enslavement of egoism, reason can never hold domain over the heart, because the heart is the source of all desires. It, alone, is the sole master of the individual, whereas reason has no power to counter the desires of the heart.

For example, a person who wants to steal asks advice from reason, to determine how to carry it out. Thus, reason becomes the executor of the heart’s desires. On the other hand, if a person decides to do a good deed, once again reason helps, just like all the other parts of the body. Hence, there is no other solution but to cleanse the heart of egoistic desires.


The Intention to Please the Creator

The Creator intentionally shows a person that His desire is to have that person receive pleasure, in order to offer the person the possibility to become freed from the shame of receiving.

One forms a strong impression that by receiving pleasures “for the sake of the Creator;” one truly pleases Him, That is, the person gratifies the Creator, rather than receives pleasure from Him.


The Study of Kabbalah for Selfish Reasons

There are three types of work done by a person in Kabbalah and the commandments. In each type there are good aspirations and evil ones:

1. One studies for one’s own sake, such as to become famous, so that those other than the Creator will pay honors and money for one’s efforts. For this reason, one publicly engages in the study of Kabbalah in order to receive a reward.

2. One studies for the sake of the Creator to gain reward from the Creator in this world and in the world to come. In such a case, in order that people should not see one’s work, all studies are done in private to avoid being given a reward for one’s efforts. The only reward sought is from the Creator. Such a student would fear that rewards from others would become a distraction from the intention to be rewarded only by the Creator.

These intentions of one doing spiritual work are known as “for the sake of the Creator” because one works for the Creator, and observes the commandments of the Creator, to receive the reward only from Him. This is like the first case, in which a person was working for the people, fulfilled people’s expectations by doing the work, and then demanded a reward for the performed tasks.

In both cases, the common denominator is the expectation and desire for a reward for work done. In the first case, one worked for people and expected a reward for the work done. In the second, one worked for the Creator and expected a reward from Him.


The Realization of Slavery to Egoism

3. After the first two stages, a person realizes the degree of enslavement to the ego. The body (desire to receive) then begins to inquire: “What type of work is this? Where is the reward for it?” But one does not receive an answer to this question.

In the first stage, egoism does not pose any questions because it sees the reward for the work done from others’ reactions. In the second stage, an individual can respond to egoism by stating that one desires a bigger reward than can be received from other people, that is, one desires eternal spiritual pleasures both in this and in the other world.

But in the third stage, when the Creator wants to bestow upon a person, one begins to realize the degree of one’s enslavement to egoism, and can make no reply to the body. And the fact that the Creator wants only to give leads one to wish to do the same, and this will be the reward for one’s actions.


The Prayer that Is Born from Disillusionment

A “reward” refers to that benefit which people desire to receive for their work. In general, we refer to it as “pleasure,” whereas by “work” we mean any intellectual, physical or moral exertion of the body. A reward may also come in the form of money, honors, fame, etc.

When we feel that we lack any strength to withstand the body, that there is no energy to perform even the lightest of tasks, because the body cannot make any effort without seeing some reward in return, then there is no other alternative but to turn to the Creator for help. We must pray for some supernatural power that would allow one to work against one’s nature and reason.

Thus, the most important problem is to believe in the fact that the Creator is able to help despite natural laws to the contrary, and that He is waiting for such requests. However, this decision can be reached only after one is completely disillusioned with one’s own abilities.

The Creator desires that each person choose what is right, and should distance himself from what is wrong.

Otherwise, the Creator would have made a human being with His own qualities, or, once having created egoism, He himself would have transformed it into altruism without the process of bitter exile from the state of Upper Perfection.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondHow to Develop a Spiritual Intention” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.


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