Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are Spies in the Work?
Article No. 33, Tav-Shin-Mem-Tet, 1988-89
It is written in The Zohar (Shlach, Item 18): “I looked in this verse, since Solomon said, ‘For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other, and there is one spirit to all,’ for here there is an opening for the faithless. He replies, ‘He repeats those words that the fools of the world say—that this world is runs on chance and the Creator does not oversee them. Rather, the fate of man and the fate of beast is the same.’ What did Solomon (tell) them? He said, ‘Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, if it ascends upward? And the spirit of the beast, if it descends down to the earth?’ Does it go up to the high place, and the spirit of the beast, does it descend down to the earth, as it is written about it, ‘He has made man in the image of God,’ and it is written, ‘Man’s soul, the Lord’s candle.’”
It follows that there is a question: Since Solomon said, “For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other, and there is one spirit to all,” The Zohar asks, Does this mean that Solomon opens a door to those who are faithless? It replies that Solomon said this in the eyes of the fools. When Solomon looked at the fools, he called them “beast,” as it is written, “I said to myself concerning the sons of men: ‘God has sorted them to see that they are but beasts.’” “Sorted” means that God sorts them out so they remain alone and do not connect to people and bring this view to people.
What did Solomon reply to them? “Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, if it ascends upward?” meaning to a high place, a holy place, to feed on the upper light, while the spirit of the beast, which descends down to the earth, and not to that place that is for all the sons of men?
We should understand this in the work. That is, how we learn this in one person, who consists of all those states, meaning has all the questions. The thing is that when a person wants to begin to observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], the person sends spies to spy on the work of the Creator to see if it is worthwhile. At that time the evil inclination shows him images of those who engage in Torah and Mitzvot, that they are concerned only with their own benefit. They say that they are servants of the Creator, but he sees that they are working for themselves. The only difference is that they say that they want the Creator to pay for their work, and secular people say that they settle for payment from a person like himself. Yet, they all work for their own benefit.
But we heard that you say that our sages said, “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead,’” for because the Creator is the giver, those who work for their own benefit are separated from the Life of Lives and are therefore called “dead.” They even present evidence to their words in what our sages said (Berachot 17), “Anyone who engages in Torah Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] is better off not being born.”
Therefore, The Zohar says about the spies within man that Solomon said about them, meaning repeated those words that the fools of the world say—that this world runs on chance and the Creator does not watch over them, but rather the fate of man and the fate of beast are the same; as one dies, so dies the other, and all have the same spirit. That is, both are called “dead”; whether religious or secular, all work for their own sake.
Solomon said, “Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, if it ascends upward? And the spirit of the beast, if it descends down to the earth?” That is, we must believe the words of our sages, who said (Pesachim 50), “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even if Lo Lishma, since from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake].”
Therefore, although when he begins the work, he begins Lo Lishma, meaning for his own sake, like the people who are as beasts, meaning engage only in beastly lusts, but those who engage in beastly lusts, what degree will they ultimately achieve? Solomon said about this that they will achieve the degree, “the spirit of the beast,” which “descends down to the earth.” That is, they will remain in earthliness, in vessels of reception for their own sake, which is the lowest thing, called “earth.”
But those who engage in Torah and Mitzvot, although it is Lo Lishma, meaning for their own sake, still, from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma. For this reason, they will emerge from self-love and achieve equivalence of form called “Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator,” and will be rewarded with life, as it is written, “And you who cling to the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.”
This is why Solomon says, “Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, if it ascends upward,” to a high place? “Who knows” means we must believe in the words of our sages, who said, “And from Lo Lishma, he comes to Lishma,” and “He who comes to purify is aided.” Thus, he who knows how to appreciate this and believe in the words of our sages will therefore achieve Dvekut with the Creator, which is regarded as “the spirit of man.” That is, it is those who engage in the quality of “man,” although they are still in the quality of “beast,” meaning still engaging only for their own benefit.
Baal HaSulam interpreted the verse, “will give wisdom to the wise.” A common question is, It should have said, “will give wisdom to the fools.” He answered in regard to this, that he who wants to be wise is already called “wise.” But one who has no desire for wisdom is called a “fool,” as it is written, “The fool has no desire for understanding.”
Therefore, those who want to be “men,” as our sages said, “You are called ‘men,’ and the nations of the world are not called ‘men,’ where “nations of the world” means the self-love within a person; this is called “the nations of the world.” But “Israel” means Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], meaning that within “Israel,” everything he has is straight to the Creator.
For this reason, one who wants to walk on the path toward achieving the quality of “man,” the verse says about him, “the spirit of the sons of men, if it ascends upward,” to the high place, meaning to the Creator, as it is written about it, “He has made man in the image of God,” and as it is written, “Man’s soul, the Lord’s candle.”
This means that “in the image of God” means that as the Creator is the giver, so man should achieve this degree of being a giver. Yet, since man begins the work in Lo Lishma, how can he achieve the degree of a giver? The answer is as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” The Zoharasks, “With what?” and it replies, “with a holy soul.” That is, the Creator gives him a soul by which he receives the assistance. This is the meaning of “Man’s soul, God’s candle.”
This is the meaning of the verse, “I said to myself concerning the sons of men: ‘God has sorted them.’” The Zohar interprets that “sorted” means that God sorted them out so they remain alone and do not connect to the sons of men, so they will not express this view to people. In the work, this means that a person should be careful from the argument of his spies, who want to bring him the view of the beast and say that he should not mind the view of man, meaning that the body can achieve the quality of man, and their beastly view does not let them consider the view of man. For this reason, Solomon warns them that they need extra care not to be lured after their view.
This is why he says, “sorted,” meaning he sorted them so they remain alone. This means that the spies come with complaints that they have the same fate, meaning that both remain as “dead,” meaning separated, since they both work for their own sake, and both are called “the wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’” Yet, we must brace ourselves and not listen to the spies or look at their view when they say it is a waste of work since in any case, you will remain as “the wicked in their lives are called ‘dead,’” so why work for nothing if you know you will not gain anything? By this, these fools, who are as beasts, govern man’s body.
But the main argument of the spies is that it is true that it would be worthwhile to work for the sake of the Creator if the taste of Torah and Mitzvot were revealed, at least to the extent that the pleasure in beastly lusts is revealed. But we see that in Torah and Mitzvot, of which we say that “They are our lives and the length of our days,” we have no taste of feeling, while in beastly lusts we do feel the taste. So, why did the Creator place such a concealment before us? It would be better if the Creator revealed Himself to the lower ones. Why do we need to do everything in faith, since the path of faith pushes people away from walking in the path of the Creator? Therefore, the spies say, this way is completely unacceptable.
Baal HaSulam said about this, that if the taste of Torah and Mitzvot were revealed, it would be impossible to have free choice, meaning to do something for the sake of the Creator. In corporeal pleasures, we see that there, the ARI said that all the flavors we have in corporeality are but a tiny light compared to what is found in spirituality, and how difficult it is to direct them in order to bestow. Certainly, with great pleasures, it will be utterly impossible to observe them in order to bestow.
We could ask, If His Providence were revealed in the form of The Good Who Does Good, all creations would annul before Him “as a candle before a torch.” The answer is that when the delight and pleasure are felt, the will to receive cannot look at the shame. Instead, it wants to receive despite the shame, just as in corporeal lusts, a person does not look at any shame, and the passion drives him to receive. Only afterward he regrets, meaning after the passion has left him, he begins to be ashamed of how he behaved like a beast, without any shame. This is the meaning of what our sages said, “The wicked are full of remorse,” for in the work, “wicked” means that the person himself comes to feel that he is wicked. Then he begins to be ashamed of what he had done.
It is likewise in spirituality. If the delight and pleasure were revealed, the person would receive it in order to receive. Only afterward, once he has satisfied his wish, he would be ashamed. But he would have no way to correct himself. But while there is concealment, and a person begins to work with faith above reason, the person begins to exercise prohibiting self-reception. For this reason, once he has exerted in the work of bestowal, although the person cannot achieve this degree without help from above, when he asks for help, he asks to be given help to have the strength to receive in order to bestow. For this reason, it cannot be said that the person would see the greatness of the Creator and would annul before Him. Rather, he would receive a pleasure of the will to receive for himself.
But when a person first works in order to bestow during the period of concealment, he says to the Creator, “I want to serve You unconditionally, even if I do not feel Your greatness. I want to believe that You are great and worth serving.” It follows that he agrees to serve the Creator unconditionally. Although he cannot, he asks the Creator to give him this power to serve even without any feeling, but only for the sake of the Creator.
When a person achieves this degree, where he is willing to work without any reward, our sages call this learning “Torah Lishma,” without any reward. At that time, he is rewarded with the revelation of the secrets of Torah.
At that time begins the work of the Masachim [screens], when he can already see the meal. However, at that time he must calculate how much of the meal he can receive in order to bestow. That much he should take, and not more.
It follows that we should discern here, for example, that he sees that he was given, for example, five dishes of food. Yet, he only sees them. He does not know how they taste because he has not tasted any of them. But since he is a faithful person, meaning he is certain that he will not receive in order to receive, he can already see the meal, since he has achieved the degree of not receiving in order to receive.
For this reason, although he sees the meal, he still did not taste, prior to making a Zivug de Hakaa[lit. coupling by striking] called the “intention,” how much of the meal he can receive in order to bestow. Once he has made the Zivug de Hakaa, he tastes from the meal. But if he still cannot receive in order to bestow, the Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment are still on him and he cannot see a thing. Hence, precisely when a person can work without any reason or intellect, but only above reason, which is called Lishma, then he is rewarded with the secrets of Torah.
It follows that the primary sin of the spies is that although they do not lie, but tell the truth, for they speak according to their intellect and reason, therefore, the whole sin is that they do not believe that the Creator helps everyone, that we must believe that “The Lord supports all the fallen.” If a person says that he is so lowly that the Creator cannot help him, he is blemishing the faith, for he does not believe that the Creator is almighty. In such states, when such thoughts come to a person, it is very difficult for him.
And the hardest is that a person thinks he sees the truth. He does not blame anyone for his escaping from the campaign, but says, “It’s true that the Creator is righteous, but what can I do if I haven’t the power to overcome my will to receive, since my bad qualities are not like those of others? Therefore, I must leave the work and I have nothing more to hope for.”
But sometimes he says otherwise: “I am not saying that my friends are better. Rather, it is that they do not really see the truth and think that they are doing something in spirituality. For this reason, they do not feel the situation in the current state—that they are not moving one step forward. This is why they can continue the work and no lack is apparent in their work. This is why they are always content.”
It does not matter what is the reason for which a person escapes the campaign. What matters is that at that time, it is difficult for a person to believe that the Creator can help everyone, that with respect to Him, it cannot be said that He can help only the great ones, but not the small ones. It follows that by this he blemishes the faith in the Creator. Instead, a person must believe what is said, that “The Lord supports all the fallen.”
It therefore follows that the matter of spies is for lack of faith. That is, all the faults they mention to a person: 1) That it is difficult because it contradicts the body’s nature, since the body wants to exist, and here it is told that it must serve the Creator “with all your heart and with all your soul.” This is from the perspective of the heart. 2) We must believe that all the work is based on a foundation that is above reason. Thus, how is it possible to walk on this path?
We therefore see that these spies are not lying. So what is the sin in the words of the spies, who slandered the land of Israel, as The Zohar says, that the land of Israel means the kingdom of heaven, called “the land of Israel,” and this pertains only to the quality of “Israel”? But they said, “We do not see that it is possible to be rewarded with it for the two above reasons.” Thus, the sin is that they did not believe in the greatness of the Creator, that He is almighty, and had no faith in the sages, who said, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
Hence, the correction is to pray to the Creator, that only He can help with this, and believe that “You hear the prayer of every mouth,” as Baal HaSulam explained that “every mouth” means even the lowest possible mouth.
Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link