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July 24, 2024

Archive for September 20, 2013

What Is Independence and Free Will According to the Torah?

What Is Independence and Free Will According to the Torah?

Learning to Perceive Reality

During the correction process one gradually learns to sense this world and the Upper World, and their interaction at the same time. Information descends from the Upper World into ours and manifests as matter. We see physical objects, plants, animals, birds, insects, and people. But if we possess spiritual vision in addition to the corporeal one, we can also sense the forces that govern matter.

It is precisely this perception of reality that everyone must achieve: to sense the Creator behind everything that exists and transpires. We needn’t believe it blindly, but actually see and sense it. This is what the Torah teaches us.


Preparing the Independent, Free Willed Creature

The Creator created the creature from the quality of egoism, which is opposite to Him. He filled the creature with the Light, and then emptied it, thereby lowering it to the state called “our world.”

In return, the creature ascends back along the spiritual degrees, thereby meriting pleasures far greater than what it had before its descent into this world.

A question arises: to reach equivalence with its Maker, why did the creature need to experience the worst possible state?

The fact is that the creature must have the strength and freedom to act freely in between two opposite qualities: its own ego and the Creator, to freely choose its own path and independently follow it.

To provide man with these choices means the Creator must a) completely distance the creature from Himself, b) give the creature the ability to develop and attain the Universe, and c) allow the creature freedom of choice.

The Creator provides the creature with these conditions gradually. The creature that senses the Creator, and is therefore filled with the Light, is not autonomous. Rather, it is fully controlled by the Light, which dictates its own terms and imparts to it its qualities.

To create a fully autonomous and independent creature, the Creator must distance Himself from it completely. In other words, by freeing itself from the Light, the creature achieves independence in its actions.


The Torah: Instruction Manual to Repair the Soul

From the very first pages, this is exactly what the Torah speaks of: how to repair this unusable tool – our soul – and return to the Creator as a result. Like an instruction manual, it explains how one can ascend to the most supernal and perfect state, while still living in this world.

As was already mentioned, during the correction one exists between two worlds – the Upper and the lower. In the process of correction the soul acquires the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience for the correction. More importantly, one develops new sensations, new spiritual qualities. Thus, by achieving complete correction of the soul, one acquires the qualities that allow for existence in all the Upper Worlds – in eternity, serenity, and perfection.


Baal HaSulam, the Instructor of Our Generation

In order to pave the path for our generation the greatest Kabbalist of the modern age, Baal HaSulam, pleaded with the Creator to allow him to descend from the world of true perceptions to a lower degree, so he could communicate the way to the spiritual dimension using letters, words, and earthly emotions. When his request was granted, he penned the main Kabbalistic works for our generation, which we can use to enter the spiritual realm. His works are like a map without which you will surely lose your way in the labyrinth of corporeal life, lose hope, grow weary and pass away without ever learning the true purpose of your existence. Like a father responding to the suffering of his children, Baal HaSulam picks us up and carries us to the Light.

Just as one cannot exist in our world without understanding it, the soul cannot exist in the spiritual world after the body passes without acquiring knowledge about it beforehand. Therefore, all the achievements in the science of Kabbalah not only guarantee us a comfortable existence in this world, but also the opportunity to exist in the world to come.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“What Is Independence and Free Will According to the Torah?” 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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