If a person has a desire for Kabbalah they are part of the shattering, the broken vessel of the system of Adam HaRishon, one of the 600,000 disconnected pieces born approximately 5700 years ago when Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. While this is the image the Torah provides, she didn’t actually bite from the apple of the serpent. Adam’s desire for knowledge is the meaning of the above-mentioned parable. He was the first person whose knowledge allowed him to split the spiritual from the corporeal. So, though he sinned with his desire for knowledge, he also created the Creator with his curiosity. Before him, life was only animalistic pleasure without free will.
There have been a few times when the shattering Adam instigated was corrected. If you have a point in the heart (desire for spirituality), your soul has a memory (reshimot) of when Israel was connected as one, as it was in Abraham’s tent, at Moses’ reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai and during the first and second temples of Jerusalem. In all these corporeal forms, the light of the Creator was the same as the people.
All of reality exists in the single thought of Creation that Adam brought to the world with his sin. The thought exists as light and love unbound by time and ever-flowing. In direct contrast, our world is dominated by the ego, which is pure self-interest usually masked as something else.
The main obstacle for a person to come to Kabbalah study is that as human beings without vessels of bestowal (a desire to give to others without self-concern) one can’t perceive bestowal. Kabbalists want to attain spirituality in order to access the unchanging, infinite energy that exists in this thought of the Upper system of Creation, known as bestowal, without having any concrete sense of what bestowal is.
Whenever we strive to build this desire, our bodies fight us, because our default setting is to receive pleasure only for own benefit. It’s a small miracle when one first receives the light. It’s a small opening derived from a spark called a point in the heart.
The point in the heart compels a person to want to understand the meaning of the world. This person senses a force is operating them and they want to know that unchanging force of the Creator. He is only infinite light of pure goodness. A person progressively receives greater portions of the light by becoming more and more like Him.
Actualizing the potential desire of this point or spark is a process of four stages, complicated by the limitations of humankind’s perception. This corruption of thought and desire, is why few people attain spirituality in the world today. Adding to the confusion, time is not linear in spirituality. This is the result of all the phases being a single interconnected process in a system of five spiritual worlds.
Everything one experiences in his or her spiritual growth is dependent on how one is tuned that system. This includes all the discernments and levels of attainment, which are processed through the entire system of all five worlds. These worlds constitute the totality of reality, which is only light and darkness that a person in spirituality receives through filters. While the system is black and white, it is also filled with wonder.
Any person can achieve the light of Adam, Moses or King David if they possess the desire. The Creator’s light flows through such a man above time and space, connecting man to the reality of God. While many have faith in a Creator, only by accessing the vessels of bestowal and becoming part of the system can one know Him.
This system is only built by a person’s connection with a Kabbalah group, through connection to the original Kabbalistic sources and the hearts of others. One cannot overcome his or her own nature by one’s own forces, so a person depends on a group to hold him against his or her innate desire. More precisely, one gradually becomes dependent on a microcosm of his or her group, “the ten.” A ten is a minion of ten Kabbalists that function as a single body to build the ten parts of each world from malchut (mouth, reception) to keter (crown, bestowing light, wisdom) and back to malchut in an elliptical process.
Each phase of direct light orients us closer to this state, where we can feel the Creator’s unchanging, infinite force in more flavor and precision. This infinite force cannot be described in words, but we call it Atzmutot (His essence). The Creator is always giving us infinite light, but we are not in tune with it. It’s like we’re receiving empty white noise from a radio and need to adjust to the right station. Together in a single intention we can turn the dial and restore Israel to a state of sanctity. This adjustment happens in four phases of direct light.
The first stage in this process is Behina Aleph, which means first phase. This is the first level of reception from the broken vessel of Adam. The vessel receives knowledge (hochma) of bestowal. This is the previously described awakening of the point in the heart, the first discernment that man makes in his will, which is still to receive for one’s self. One’s reason tells a person that it is better to give to others than to receive for one’s own benefit, but they are working within their reason.
In the second phase (Behina Bet), like Adam, one crosses the machsom, the barrier between corporeality and spirituality. One has knowledge that it is better to bestow than to receive, but the body only has a desire for self-reception. This results in the body rejecting the light of the Creator. This rejection is the source of the conception of the sephira (one of ten sephirot, attributes of the Creator contained in each world) bina (goodness, strength). This is working above one’s nature to the build the quality of bestowal. The quality of bestowal is built in the man by emptying his or her vessel, creating a state of complete darkness in the vessel for the light to enter. This is a process of suffering in one’s corporeality, but thriving in spirituality, making an opening for the Creator to enter.
The third phase (Behina Gimel) is where one builds Zeir Anpin (small face), the partially revealed aspect of the Creator. This is where one has awareness of the Creator operating him in his senses, as he or she is illuminated with the light of Hassadim (mercy). Light of Hassadim sorts out the contradiction of the light of bina and the light of hochma, and better orients a person to receive the light, so he or she will eventually be able to bestow it to others through his connection to those with the same desire.
The Creator’s mercy brings the created being perception of the thought of Creation, turning one’s self into a creature by rising above the aforementioned mixed discernments and receiving a small portion of the Creator’s light (20%) in the first world of Adam Kadmon. This degree of light is illuminated on the first world always, but the receiver perceives it differently depending on the differences in klipot (shells that block the Creator’s light), concealments of faith, and masachim (screens, blockages in the purity of the soul).
The reception of the light of Hassadim brings about the final phase of direct light (Behina Dalet). This is the degree of malchut (mouth, reception, king). Malchut is the desire to become like the Creator, to receive the light of the Creator in order to bestow contentment to him by bestowing to his creatures. The creature achieves independence from the Creator by achieving equivalence of form with him, but his or her desire is only for the Creator to feel joy and rid him of the suffering, the uncorrected creatures necessarily cause him.
When a group of many Kabbalah students in tens work for this desire, the result is the foundation of a vessel. This vessel is built to be oriented to the will of the Creator, both for the tens and the individual, which become one. A mutual deficiency (hissaron) gives the group the power to inherit the Torah. The tens and the group itself receives from Him, the ability to receive in order to bestow. The group becomes like the arms and legs of the Creator. This is why the great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam writes, “The Torah (light), the Creator and Israel (the Kabbalah group) are one.”