(The Subject of The Exile of The Divine Presence)
It is written that there is none else beside Him, meaning there is no other power in the world with the ability to do anything against Him.
And what man sees, namely, that there are things in the world which deny the household of Above, is of the reason that this is His will.
And this is to be considered from the aspect of correction, which is also called to repel with the left and beckon with the right. The left rejects and the right draws closer, i.e., that which the left rejects is included in the correction.
This means that there are things in the world which from the beginning come with the intention of diverting a person from the right way, and by which he is rejected from holiness.
The benefit derived from these repeated rejections is that through this process a person receives a need and a complete desire for the Creator to help him, since he sees that otherwise he is lost.
For not only doesnt he progress in his work, he also sees that he regresses, and he lacks the strength to do good deeds even if not for their own sake. And only by truly overcoming all obstacles, which is above reason, can he do good deeds.
But he doesnt always have the power to overcome that which is above reason. Without this power he must deviate from the Creator's way, and even from that taken not for its own sake.
And it is always with him that the broken part is larger than the whole, meaning that there are many more descents than ascents.
And he does not see in this that there will be an end to his predicament, but rather sees himself standing forever outside of holiness. For he sees that it is difficult for him to observe even as little as a jot, unless he overcomes that which is above reason; but then again, he is not always able to overcome.
And what shall be the end of it all?
Then he reaches the decision that there is no one to help him other than the Creator Himself.
This causes him to make a heartfelt demand of the Creator to open his eyes and heart, to bring him nearer to an eternal attachment to Creator.
Hence it is found that all the repeated rejections he had experienced had come from the Creator.
He experienced these rejections not because he was at fault or because of a lack of ability to overcome, but because these rejections are for those who really want to get closer to the Creator. And in order for such a person not to be satisfied with only a little, namely, not to remain as a little child without knowledge, he receives help from above. Then he will not be able to say Thank God, all is well because he believes he needs to do little else.
And only if a person has a true desire, will he receive help from Above. And he is always shown how he is at fault in his present state; that is, he is sent thoughts and views which work against his efforts.
This is in order for him to see that he is not in harmony (in a state of wholeness) with the Creator.
And as much as he overcomes, he always sees how he is found in a position farther from holiness than the others, who serve the Creator and feel they are in a state of wholeness with the Creator.
But this is not the case with him; he always has his complaints and demands, and he cannot excuse the Creator`s behavior, and how he behaves toward him, and it pains him that he is not in harmony (at peace) with the Creator.
Until he comes to feel that he has no part in holiness whatsoever.
Even if he sometimes receives some awakening from Above, which momentarily revives him, he soon falls into an abyss.
However, this is the reason which causes him to come to a recognition that only the Creator can help him and really draw him closer.
A man must always try to walk the way of being attached to the Creator, namely, that all his thoughts will be about Him.
That is to say, that even if he is in the worst state, from which a greater descent cannot be possible, he should not come out of His domain, namely, think that there is another authority which prevents him from entering into holiness, and it is within its power to either do good or evil.
That is, he must not think that there is a matter of the power of the Other Side (sitra achrah), which does not allow man to do good deeds and to walk the Creator`s ways; but he should think that all is done by the Creator.
And this is as said by the Kabbalists, that he who says that there is another power in the world. kelipot, is in the phase of thou have worshipped other gods, and he is committing a felony, and not necessarily by thoughts of heresy. But if he thinks that there is another authority and power except or aside from the Creator, then he is committing a felony.
Furthermore, he who says that man has an authority in and of himself, namely, he says that yesterday he did not want to go in the Creator`s ways, is too considered to be committing the felony of heresy. That is, he does not believe that only the Creator rules the world.
When he has committed a felony, he must regret it and show remorse, and the laws of sorrow and pain must be set in order. What is the point at which he committed the wrong?
Or more simply: What is the reason, what caused this felony?
It is with regard to this point that he should feel sorrow.
And a man should then feel sorry and say, Because I committed this felony the Creator hurled me down from holiness to a place of dire lowliness.
That is to say that Creator has given him the will and the desire to divert himself and to find relief.
(Sometimes a man accepts the will and desire to receive vitality from things that he has already pronounced to be castoffs, and now he wants to receive nourishment from them once again.)
When a man feels that he is in a phase of ascent, and feels some reward from his work, he must not say, Now I am in a state where I understand that it is worthwhile to be the Creator`s worker.
Rather he should know that he has now found favor (grace in the eyes of the Creator); therefore, the Creator draws him closer, and this is why he now senses reward from his work.
He should be careful never to leave the domain of holiness, never to say that there is another operating force besides the Creator.
This means that the matter of finding favor in the Creator`s eyes, or the contrary, does not depend on man himself, but that all depends on the Creator.
And why is it that he now finds favor in the eyes of Creator while later it may not be so?
This a man cannot comprehend with his external mind.
And likewise when he regrets that the Creator doesn't draw him closer, he should be careful not to be sorry for himself should he become distant from the Creator.
For by so doing he becomes a recipient for his own benefit rather than for the sake of the Creator.
This creates a state of separation from the Creator.
A person needs to feel distress over the exile of the Divine Presence, meaning, for causing the distress of the Divine Presence.
As an example, a person may feel a singular pain in one organ but the pain is mainly felt in the mind and heart, for the mind and the heart are all of man (the entirety of man).
And surely, the value of pain of an individual is unlike the value of pain of the whole as felt in the mind and the heart.
Likewise is the pain of a person when it is compared to the pain of the Divine Presence - which is the generality of souls.
The Divine Presence has a sorrow since her organs are distanced from her and thus they cannot be sustained by her.
And if a man thinks of the sorrow of being distant from G-d as not his own, then he is saved from falling into the trap of the desire to receive for himself, which is the cause of separation from holiness.
When a man feels that he is somewhat closer to holiness and that he has the joy of meriting favor in the eyes of the Creator, he must recognize that the core of his joy is that now there is joy in the Divine Presence.
And from having the privilege of bringing joy to the Divine Presence, man himself receives joy.
That there is joy to the individual is only a part of there being a joy to the generality.
And by these considerations, he loses his particularity, i.e, the quality of being a separate part from the Divine Presence. He does not get caught in the trap of the other side, sitra achrah, which is a willfulness to receive for his own sake.
However, the desire to receive is a necessary thing. It is all that which constitutes a person, since anything which exists in a person except the desire to receive is attributed to the Creator. Nevertheless, the desire to receive pleasure should be corrected to a form of bestowal.
The pleasure and joy taken by the desire to receive should be intended as the contentment which is felt Above. And created beings receive pleasure, since it is the purpose of the Creator to benefit His creations.
And this is called the joy of the Divine Presence above.
For this reason, a man must seek advice as to how he can cause contentment Above. Certainly, if he receives pleasure, contentment shall be felt Above.
Therefore, he should long to always be in the King`s Temple, and to have the ability to play with the King`s treasures.
It follows that his entire longing should be for the sake of the Creator.
Y. Ashlag (1882-1955)
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