Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is, “The Saboteur Was in the Flood, and Was Putting to Death,” in the Work?
Article No. 04, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar, Noah: “There was a flood and the saboteur was sitting inside.” Baal HaSulam asked what is the difference between the saboteur putting to death or the flood putting to death. He said that the flood caused corporeal suffering, and the saboteur causes spiritual suffering. In other words, within the corporeal suffering there is a saboteur who kills a person’s spirituality, meaning that the torments of the body bring him foreign thoughts until these thoughts sabotage and kill the spirituality.
We should interpret his words. The flood and the rain are called “revealed,” meaning that which is visible to our eyes, that the saboteur was killing the people. That is, what a person thinks, that if the will to receive had what it demands, meaning knowledge and not faith, if it could understand everything about His guidance, as the will to receive requires, he would serve the Creator properly. However, this is not so, and as a result, because it is difficult for a person to suffer, he moves away from the Life of Lives and wants the Creator to impart upon him only pleasures. This is why he moves away.
However, within the corporeal suffering, meaning a person’s inability to understand His guidance, why the Creator does not give him what the will to receive understands that He should give, and he suffers, from this extends death in spirituality, meaning spiritual suffering that causes death in spirituality. In other words, he falls into heresy.
That is, the fact that he suffered the corporeal suffering because the Creator did not give him what he thought, and it pained him, these sufferings cause death in corporeality, as it is written, “The dead is as important as the dead, and one who has no sons is as important as the dead.” However, afterward, he comes to spiritual suffering, meaning that he cannot overcome the faith and believe in the Creator, that He leads the world with a guidance of good and doing good. At that time, he comes to heresy.
This is called “spiritual death,” when a person falls into the vacant space of the Sitra Achra [other side]. Later, when a person reenters the work, it is considered “the revival of the dead.” At that time a person must believe that the fact that now he has begun the work once more is not by his own strength, but he rather received from above the “dew of resurrection.” This is considered “the revival of the dead,” with which he has been rewarded because he received an awakening from above. For this reason, a person must say each day, “Blessed are You, Lord, who returns souls to dead corpses.” Also, one should say (in the Eighteen Prayer), “You are certain to revive the dead.”
Thus, there are two things here concerning suffering: 1) Corporeal suffering, when a person suffers in corporeal matters because of what he needs, and he suffers death because of it, as in “The dead is as important as the dead, and one who has no sons is as important as the dead,” etc. It follows that this death is not related to spirituality. However, afterward, it causes him spiritual death because he cannot believe that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good.
It follows that this is spiritual death and not corporeal death. This is the meaning of saying that within the flood of rain, which is corporal suffering, he later comes to spiritual suffering, when he cannot justify Providence, and therefore falls into spiritual death.
This is as it is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (Item 138), “Prior to the end of correction, Malchut is called ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ since Malchut is the guidance of the Creator in this world. As long as the receivers have not been completed so they can receive His whole benevolence, the guidance must be in the form of good and bad, reward and punishment. It is so because our vessels of reception are still tainted with self-reception. Thus, we necessarily sense evil in the operations of Providence in relation to us. It is a law that the creature cannot receive disclosed evil from the Creator, for it is a flaw in the glory of the Creator for the creature to perceive Him as an evildoer, for this is unbecoming of the complete Operator. Hence, when one feels bad, denial of the Creator’s guidance lies upon him and the superior Operator is concealed from him to that same extent. This is the worst punishment in the world.”
It therefore follows that when a person receives bad from Him, it makes the operator become concealed from Him. This is called “death” in spirituality. And who caused him to receive bad from Him? Why did he receive bad? It is because those Kelim [vessels] were still dirty with self-reception. Hence, there must be guidance in a manner of concealment and hiding. For this reason, suffering causes death in spirituality.
Because of this, a person must go above reason and not be impressed by the reason he sees and on which he builds his work in holiness, so he may be rewarded with entering the Kedusha [holiness], since this reason came because he received ills, and according to reason, if the Creator is good and does good, why does He not give a person what the person thinks he needs, and instead, the Creator does what He wants? It follows that reason is built on the basis of a guidance of good and evil. Hence, a person’s only choice is to say that what reason tells him is incorrect, as was said about this, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” Instead, he should not be alarmed by the reason and say that he is going above reason.
However, concerning the feeling of nearing the Creator, there are two manners to discern: 1) Sometimes he is worried that he should obtain something he needs. Normally, when a person needs something, he prays to the Creator to satisfy his need. If he needs this thing and does not see a natural way to obtain it, and a miracle happens and he receives what he asked for, the person fills with love of the Creator for helping him obtain the matter, and he attributes obtaining the matter to the Creator. It follows that nearing the Creator came to him by reception of delight and pleasure; this was the cause for nearing the Creator.
The same applies for a sick person who has been healed. He was already despaired, and suddenly a change for the better occurred and he was cured. He, too, sometimes draws near to the Creator, for the reason that receiving the good from the Creator brought him closer to the Creator.
At times it is to the contrary. A person suffers torments, and the torments push him to draw near the Creator. That is, it occurs to him that if he takes upon himself the burden of Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds], the Creator will save him from his troubles. It follows that the suffering caused the nearing to the Creator. It should be said about this that since at a time of trouble, a person is in a state of lowliness, since it is written, “The Lord is high and the low will see,” it follows that the fact that he is in lowliness because of the troubles and torments that have afflicted him, he is ready to receive help from above, as it is written, “The Lord is high and the low will see.” However, usually, we see that suffering pushes a person away from the Creator since he cannot attribute the suffering to the one who is good and does good. Hence, this causes him death in spirituality.
However, concerning lowliness, there are many interpretations. In other words, when a person lowers himself, the question is, What is lowliness? How is it expressed that a person is in lowliness? The literal meaning is that lowliness is when one subdues oneself and works above reason. This is called “lowliness,” when he lowers his reason and says that his reason is worthless.
In other words, man’s reason dictates that if the Creator gives him all his needs, which the will to receive understands that it deserves, then he can love the Creator. That is, he loves Him because he satisfies all his needs. If He did not, he would not be able to lower himself and say that his reason is worthless. Rather, at that time he would depart from the Creator and say that it is not worthwhile to serve the Creator if He does not grant him his wishes. It follows that this is called “proud,” since he wants to understand the ways of the Creator, in what is He regarded as good and doing good, if the body does not get what it demands. About such a proud person the Creator says, “He and I cannot dwell in the same abode.”
But if he lowers himself and says, “I cannot understand the ways of the Creator,” and he says that what his reason dictates is worthless, but he is going above reason, this is called “lowliness,” and it was about him that the verse, “The Lord is high and the low will see” was said. He is rewarded with the Creator bringing him near Him.
Accordingly, we can interpret what our sages said, “Anyone who chases greatness, greatness runs from him” (Iruvin 13). That is, a person says, “I can serve the Creator on condition that He sends me greatness. That is, if I feel His greatness, I will be able to work for the sake of the Creator. Otherwise, I cannot work for the sake of the Creator.” He is told, “greatness runs from him.”
But when a person says, “Now I want to be a servant of the Creator unconditionally, and I do not need greatness,” but he rather wants to serve the Creator in utter lowliness, meaning although he has no feeling of the greatness of the Creator, but above reason, which is called “lowliness,” then he is rewarded with greatness because he lowers himself since he wants to work only for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake.
Hence, when he says that he cannot work unless he feels the greatness of the Creator, it follows that the will to receive says that if he does not understand the greatness of the Creator within reason, he will not be able to work for the sake of the Creator. It follows that only the will to receive is the operator, but on the will to receive there were Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment. Hence, it is utterly impossible to be rewarded with greatness. Instead, a person must always run from greatness. At that time, it can be said as it is said, “He who runs from honor, honor chases him.”
It therefore follows that there are several stages here in the order of the work: 1) A person must first chase greatness and honor, since otherwise, he has no Kelim [vessels] at all for honor and greatness, since the thought acts on what a person demands. If he has no Kelim for reason, how can he go above reason? For this reason, when a person begins the work, he must think how to receive greatness of the Creator, so that when he has a feeling of the greatness of the Creator, the body will not resist because it is natural for the small to annul before the great. There is no work on this, since there is a rule that the body does not resist anything that comes by nature.
But if he has no yearning for reason, meaning to want to serve a great King, then his work is only in the action, and he has no need for the Creator to help him, since then he works only to receive reward. To the extent that he believes in reward and punishment, to that extent he can work and he has no need for the greatness of the Creator. In other words, even though the King is not so great, he does not mind since he looks at the reward, and not at the giver of the reward.
But if he begins to work for the sake of the Creator then he needs the greatness of the King. It follows that if he does not yearn for the greatness of the King, it is a sign that he is not working for the sake of the Creator. Thus, specifically when he chases greatness, it is a sign that he wants to achieve a state where he can say that all his actions are for the sake of the Creator. Afterward, when he feels that he must know that he has a great and important King, and he sees that this is to him the main disruptor, what he needs in order to be able to overcome the will to receive, he comes to the second stage, when he has to run away from greatness and wants to work for the sake of the Creator unconditionally, which is called above reason.
In other words, although his reason tells him, “You see that you believe in only a small king,” a person should still say, “To me you are a great King, as though I felt it. I believe above reason that You are a great King as though I felt it.” Hence, at that stage, he runs from greatness and from honor and then the greatness and the honor chase him and catch up with him although he does not want to receive the greatness because only then is there equivalence with the Creator.
This is the same as we learn about Zivug de Hakaa [coupling by striking]: To the extent that the Masach [screen] rejects the light, although it has Aviut [thickness], meaning a desire and yearning for the light, it still does not receive it because it wants to be a giver and not a receiver. Hence, by the rejection in the Masach, the Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light] is born in him, and in this Ohr Hozer he receives a new Kli [vessel] for reception of the light.
It is likewise here. First, a person needs to acquire a desire and yearning to obtain the greatness of the Creator, and then a person must acquire strength to reject the greatness and not want to receive it because he wants equivalence of form. At that time he obtains the Ohr Hozer, and in this Ohr Hozerhe receives the greatness and the might.
It follows that there are three stages here:
1) To want specifically the greatness of the Creator.
2) To reject the idea of yearning, meaning that although he understands that if he has a true feeling of the greatness of the Creator, the body will surrender to do the holy work. Still, he runs from the honor and the greatness and says that he wants to work for the sake of the Creator. Although he has no feeling, he asks the Creator to give him the strength to be able to defeat the will to receive, even though it disagrees with it.
3) When he does not need the feeling of the greatness of the Creator and works for the sake of the Creator unconditionally. At that time, he is rewarded with the greatness of the Creator and the glory of the Creator. Then, the words, “He who runs from honor and from greatness, honor chases him and wants to cling to him,” come true because he already has equivalence of form, meaning that he wants to work in order to bestow.
Accordingly, once a person understands that it is worthwhile to receive the feeling of the greatness of the Creator because then the body will agree to serve the King, and once he has a demand for this, since he wants to work for the sake of the Creator but the body resists it because as long as long he does not feel the greatness of the Creator, he does not want to believe above reason, then comes a state where a person must run away from this because this is only an argument of the will to receive.
But when he does not feel the greatness of the Creator, the body does not agree to this work, and then a person must say, “But our sages said, ‘Anyone who chases greatness, greatness runs from him,’” since a person must work for the sake of the Creator even when the body does not enjoy the work, since for the sake of the Creator means not considering one’s own benefit whatsoever.
This is as it is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (Item 199), “Whole love is whole on both sides, whether in judgment or in mercy. And even if He takes your soul, your love in the Creator is in complete wholeness, as when He gives you abundance. There is one who loves Him so as to have wealth, long life, sons around him, rule over his enemies, and success on his way. Thus, he loves Him. If it were to the contrary, and the Creator would reverse the fortune upon him with harsh judgment, he would hate Him and not love Him whatsoever. For this reason, this love is not love that has a foundation. Complete love is love on both sides, in judgment or in mercy and successful ways. He will love the Creator as we learned, even if He takes His soul away from Him. This love is complete.”
We should interpret that a person having to love the Creator in ascent—when he feels that the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good, since during the ascent, a person wants to annul before Him unconditionally—but this is like a candle before a torch, where he annuls without any mind or reason. This is regarded as a person serving the Creator when he has a soul.
An ascent means that the person is alive and has the breath of life. At that time a person has love for the Creator, and this is called “the side of goodness” in the work.
But a person must also love the Creator when He takes his soul away, meaning when the Creator takes from him the breath of life. This is called “the time of descent,” when he has no feeling of vitality, when his soul is taken from him and he has no vitality. If he has love for the Creator in such a state, as well, this is called “complete love.”
Such a thing can be only above reason, since within reason he has no vitality so as to have the strength to overcome. Hence, a person must work during the preparation on escaping from the greatness and honor before he obtains any nearness on the part of the Creator. That is, he should not say that only if the Creator gives him the breath of life he will be able to work in order to bestow, but without vitality, meaning without the spirit of life, he cannot work for the sake of the Creator. This is not the view of Torah.
Rather, a person must ask the Creator to give him the strength to love the Creator even when He takes his soul away, and he is left lifeless, to be able to overcome and love the Creator under any circumstances.
According to the above, we should interpret the meaning of “He made darkness His hiding place.” It means that when the Creator wants to hide Himself from a person, which is certainly for man’s best because he is still not ready for revelation, He gives a person darkness. That is, He takes from him the breath of life, and then he falls into a place of darkness, where the light of Kedusha does not shine.
A person should believe that this is concealment. Concealment means that he believes that there is a great Creator who leads the world in a manner of good and doing good, but this is concealed from him. He should believe that this is only a concealment, and if he succeeds in believing that this is only a concealment but it is not really as he sees it, then he is rewarded with the light shining on this Kisse [cover], meaning that light will shine within this darkness.
Accordingly, a person should learn from the state of descent and from the state of ascent. That is, the state of descent comes to a person when he wants to make great efforts to achieve Dvekut[adhesion] with the Creator. Yet, he sees otherwise, as though he did nothing, but he is in the same state as before he began the work on the aim to bestow. At that time, a person should have faith in the sages and what they say, and not in what a person thinks and says, since these descents give him room to ascend and draw near to the Creator.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link