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September 24, 2020

The Role of Self-Analysis in Spiritual Advancement

The Role of Self-Analysis in Spiritual Advancement

The Unity of Knowledge and Altruism

In the left line, which brings about suffering as a result of the absence of the desired, is awakened a need for the help of the Creator, which comes in the form of Light of the soul. In the right line, in a state when a person desires nothing for the self, there exists only the Light of Mercy (Ohr Hassadim), the joy from the similarity in spiritual qualities. But this state is not perfect, because it lacks knowledge and the understanding of the inner meaning. In the left line is no perfection because the Light of Wisdom can illuminate only if there is congruence in qualities between the Light received and the recipient of the Light.

The congruence results in Ohr Hassadim, which is found in the right line. Spiritual gains can be made only by having a desire. But the right line has no desire for anything. All the desires are concentrated in the left line. However, the desired cannot be received into the egoistic desires.

Thus, it is necessary to unite these two qualities so that the Light of knowledge and pleasure of the left line can enter the Light of altruistic qualities of the right line, and the Light of the middle line will illuminate the created being. Without the Light of the right line, the Light of the left is not revealed and is perceived only as darkness.


The Desire to Come Closer to the Creator

Even when we are still enslaved by our own egoism, the work in the right and the left lines still takes place. However, we do not yet control our desires. Instead, the desires dictate our thoughts and actions, and prevent us from being filled with the Light of congruence with the Creator (Ohr Hassadim) and the Light of ultimate comprehension (Ohr Hochma).

Rather, we are only capable of pronouncing the names of the worlds, the Sefirot and Kelim. In such a state, it is especially effective to study the construction of the spiritual worlds and their effects, that is, Kabbalah, to help us develop the desire to come closer to the Creator. In the process, we begin to desire to resemble the objects that are being studied, and hence, draw upon ourselves grace from the upper realms, though we do not perceive this process, due to the lack of spiritual senses.

But the spiritual forces affect us only if we are studying for the sake of coming closer (in qualities) to the spiritual. Only in this case do we bring upon us the purifying effect of the Surrounding Light. It can be observed in numerous cases, though, that without the proper guidance, we may know what is contained in the Kabbalah books, and may even engage in “meaningful” discussions on the topic.


A Life Saving Medicine or a Poison

Nevertheless, we may never truly grasp the emotional essence of what we learned. But those who attain spiritual levels through their own work, even the most insignificant, already exist in the shell of our world, and are engaged in the task for which they descended into this world.

On the other hand, the knowledge and the memory of the “smart ones” often increases their egoism and doubts, and thus pushes them further away from their goal.

This is because the Light derived from the study of Kabbalah can be a life-saving medicine (Sam Hachaim), or a deadly poison (Sam Hamavet).

Beginners cannot discern between those who truly perceive (Kabbalists) and those who study Kabbalah as just another social science. For beginners, the work along the three lines is focused on analyzing their own states, rather than on attaining the Upper Light, the focus of those who already perceive.


Utilizing Self-Examination along the Spiritual Path

In the right line, also known as the state of “giving,” Hesed, or faith above reason, we are happy with the lot that was given to us, with our fate, and with what the Creator has given us, since we regard this as our greatest gift. This is regardless of the fact that we carry out the commandments of the Creator without grasping their inner meaning, but rather based on our own upbringing or the acceptance upon ourselves of certain obligations and self-education.

But this state is not yet considered as the right line because the left line is absent. Only when the opposite state appears can we speak of either one of the lines. Thus, only after we are inclined towards critically assessing ourselves, only after we appraise our own achievements, only after we determine the true goals of our lives, only when we critically appraise the results of our own efforts, only then will we obtain the left line.

What is important here is the goal of creation. We determine that, in essence, our goal is to receive pleasure from the Creator. At the same time, we feel that we have not experienced this even once.

In the course of our studies, we learn that this can occur only when a congruence of qualities exists between us and the Creator. Thus, we are obligated to examine our own desires and aspirations, to judge them as objectively as we can, to control and analyze everything, in order to determine if we are truly moving toward renouncing egoism and acquiring love for other people.

Attaining the Worlds BeyondThe Role of Self-Analysis in Spiritual Advancement” is based on the book, Attaining the Worlds Beyond by Dr. Michael Laitman.


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