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July 16, 2024

How Does the Spiritual Screen Work?

How Does the Spiritual Screen Work?

When a person becomes capable changing his intention from wanting to receive for itself to wanting to receive in order to bring pleasure to the Creator, this new and revolutionary intent is called a “screen.” Only if there is a screen over the desire to enjoy (a willingness to take pleasure only to the extent that it delights the Creator), does the soul become worthy of reception. This point in the heart can then be called a “Vessel.”

So all we really have to do is acquire a screen! It actually boils down to a change in our intent, from that of wanting to receive to that of wanting to give. But how does this screen work and how does it allow us to sense the Creator? The answer is simple; it works just like the rest of our senses.

For instance, let’s take a look at the process of hearing. How do we hear? Air waves strike a kind of screen within our ear called an “eardrum.” The eardrum is connected to specialized hearing organs that transfer the vibrations of the eardrum into electrical impulses that our brains interpret as sound.

The sense of sight is no different. Light strikes a kind of screen, the retina, where nerves are stimulated and transfer electric signals into the brain that it interprets as sight, what we see. If you remove either of the “screens” from these sensory organs, no matter how much air is moved in the form of sound waves, or how much light enters the eye, we still will not hear or see. Our other senses have the same types of screen mechanisms. The spiritual screen is no different. Light is reflected off the screen and signals are sent within us allowing us to sense the Creator.


The Shame from Reception Stops the Feeling of Pleasure

Let’s look at this process in spiritual terms. When the will to enjoy receives and feels the Giver as well, it feels both pleasure and shame. The shame happens because by receiving, the soul senses itself as opposite to the Creator. The presence of the Giver makes the receiver feel shame, and that shame stops us from enjoyment. In spirituality, when we receive, we feel we must give something back to the Giver, to equalize with the Giver so we do not feel as if we are only receiving.

Let’s say that for years Betty and Bob have been going out to dinner every Friday night with another couple. But if Bob loses his job, he no longer has the money for this. When Bob calls the couple to tell them they cannot go out, as good friends they understand the situation and might talk Betty and Bob into letting them pick up the tab. Of course, Betty and Bob would still enjoy themselves, but perhaps not quite as much as they normally would. When that check is laid on the table, a disconcerting feeling arises.

But how about the next week when Bob is still unemployed? At some point, any of us would simply say “no thanks,” mainly stemming from that feeling of shame, that feeling that we are not doing our part. We decline because this minute amount of shame would make us miserable.


Concealment of the Creator as Help

Multiply that sense of shame several million times over and one begins to understand what kind of shame is involved with regard to taking pleasure from the Creator for one’s own enjoyment while sensing Him. Our souls simply cannot do it.

One might ask, if the presence of the Creator can evoke such a sensation in us, how can we say that the decision is really for the Creator? So in order for us to make an independent decision to receive for the Creator and so we can come to resemble the One who created us in order to delight us, the Creator has to be concealed, just as He is to us today. That way our decision will not be compulsory, like not sticking our hands in fire because we know fire will burn.

We actually need the original concealment. It is our guarantee that until we are ready to receive only if it pleases Him, we cannot possibly do so. In order to give us that opportunity, there must be a situation where we creatures feel that we are the only ones here. Then, all the decisions will be our own.


From “Soul Embryo” to Mature Vessel through the Screen

The soul is not apparent or awake in us from the beginning. In each of us there is an “embryo” of a soul, but whether or not the soul has come to the point where it is ready to begin growing is a totally different story. But once the point in the heart begins to stir and demand, we begin to sense a faint question that turns into a desperate plea to know the purpose of our lives. This burning question becomes so intense that we finally reach a point where, without the answer to that question, we simply cannot go on living.

When we reach a stage where the point in the heart begins to stir, and we begin that process of revealing the Creator, we suddenly feel drawn to something exalted. Everyone feels this preliminary sensation, but after we experience that sensation several times, it diminishes because we learn correctly and begin to create within us those Vessels that will help us feel spiritual sensations.

We stop being like embryos in the womb and become more and more mature. Our emotions are then redefined and analyzed, and we grow farther away from our preliminary situation. Instead of wanting to be “enveloped” in something higher like an embryo, we begin aspiring to attain the Upper One Himself, to consciously wrap ourselves inside His attributes and try to move forward independently. That is possible only if we begin to acquire that spiritual Vessel for progress we call the “screen.” That is exactly what Kabbalah teaches.


Through Restriction to Free Choice

The soul only revokes its first restriction for one reason. What do we sense when we feel the Creator? We sense His intense desire to give, to delight us. If we do feel the desire of the Creator to please us, we can decide that despite the sensation of shame, we will accept the pleasure because that is what the Creator wants. Therefore, by doing so, we can bring pleasure to the Creator for His Sake, not for ourselves. The act remains as before, and we still receive just as we did when we felt shame, but the intent of our reception has now changed.

The decision has been taken only out of the desire to delight the Creator, despite the sensation of shame. But we as creatures discover that by acting for the Creator, we do not feel ourselves as receivers, but as givers. As creatures, through our equivalence of form with the Creator, we feel total wholeness, eternity, unending love and pleasure.

But the decision to restrict the reception of Light (the First Restriction), to receive Light only for the Creator, will come only if we feel the Creator, the Giver, because only the sensation of the Creator can awaken such a resolution in us. From that point forward, our advancement depends on us alone.

Wondrous Wisdom: Everyone's Guide to the Study of Authentic Kabbalah“How Does the Spiritual Screen Work?” is based on the book, Wondrous Wisdom: Everyone’s Guide to the Study of Authentic Kabbalah by Michael R. Kellogg.

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