You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Textbooks / Shamati / 3. The Matter of Spiritual Attainment

3. The Matter of Spiritual Attainment

I heard

We discern many degrees and discernments in the worlds. We must know that everything that relates to discernments and degrees speaks of the attainment of the souls with regard to what they receive from the worlds. This adheres to the rule, “What we do not attain we do not know by name.” This is so because the word “name”indicates attainment, like a person who names some object after having attained something about it according to one’s attainment.

Hence, reality in general is divided into three discernments, with respect to spiritual attainment:

1. Atzmuto (His Essence)

2. Ein Sof (Infinity)

3. The Souls

1) We do not speak of Atzmuto at all. This is because the root and the place of the creatures begin in the Thought of Creation, where they are incorporated, as it is written, “The end of an act is in the preliminary thought.”

2) Ein Sof pertains to the Thought of Creation, which is “His desire to do good to His creations.” This is considered Ein Sof, and it is the connection existing between Atzmuto and the souls. We perceive this connection in the form of “desire to delight the creatures.”

Ein Sof is the beginning. It is called “a Light without a Kli (vessel),” yet there is the root of the creatures, meaning the connection between the Creator and the creatures, called “His desire to do good to His creations.” This desire begins in the world of Ein Sof and extends through the world of Assiya.

3) The Souls, which are the receivers of the good that He wishes to do.

He is called Ein Sof because this is the connection between Atzmuto and the souls, which we perceive as “His desire to do good to His creations.” We have no utterance except for that connection of desire to enjoy and this is the beginning of the engagement, and it is called “Light without a Kli.”

Yet, there begins the root of the creatures, meaning the connection between the Creator and the creatures, called “His desire to do good to His creations.” This desire begins in the world of Ein Sof and extends through the world of Assiya.

All the worlds are in themselves considered Light without a Kli, where there is no utterance. They are discerned as Atzmuto, and there is no attainment in them.

Do not wonder that we discern many discernments there. This is because these discernments are there in potential. Afterwards, when the souls come, these discernments will appear in the souls that receive the Upper Lights according to what they have corrected and arranged. Thus, the souls will be able to receive them, each according to its ability and qualification. And then these discernments appear in actual fact. However, while the souls do not attain the Upper Light they, in themselves, are considered Atzmuto.

With respect to the souls that receive from the worlds, the worlds are considered Ein Sof. This is because this connection between the worlds and the souls, meaning what the worlds give to the souls, extends from the Thought of Creation, which is a correlation between the souls and Atzmuto.

This connection is called Ein Sof. When we pray to the Creator and ask of Him to help us and to give us what we want, we relate to the discernment of Ein Sof. There is the root of the creatures, which wants to impart them delight and pleasure, called “His desire to do good to His creations.”

The prayer is to the Creator who created us, and His Name is “His desire to do good to His creations.” He is called Ein Sof because this speaks of prior to the restriction. And even after the restriction, no change occurs in Him as there is no change in the Light and He always remains with this name.

The proliferation of the names is only with respect to the receivers. Hence, the first name that appeared, that is, the root for the creatures, is called Ein Sof. And this name remains unchanged. All the restrictions and the changes are made only with regard to the receivers, and He always shines in the first name, “His desire to do good to His creations,” endlessly.

This is why we pray to the Creator, called Ein Sof, who shines without restriction or end. The end, which appears subsequently, is corrections for the receivers so that they may receive His Light.

The Upper Light is made of two discernments: attaining and attained. Everything we say regarding the Upper Light concerns only how the attaining is impressed by the attained. However, in themselves, meaning only the attaining, or only the attained, they are not called Ein Sof. Rather, the attained is called Atzmuto and the attaining is called “souls,” being a new discernment, which is a part of the whole. It is new in the sense that the will to receive is imprinted in it. And in that sense, creation is called “existence from absence.”

For themselves, all the worlds are regarded as simple unity and there is no change in Godliness. This is the meaning of “I the Lord do not change.” There are no Sefirot and Behinot (discernments) in Godliness.

Even the most subtle appellations do not refer to the Light itself, as this is a discernment of Atzmuto where there is no attainment. Rather, all the Sefirot and the discernments speak only of what a person attains in them. This is because the Creator wanted us to attain and understand the abundance as “His desire to do good to His creations.”

In order for us to attain what He had wanted us to attain and understand as “His desire to do good to His creations,” He created and imparted us with these senses, and these senses attain their impressions of the Upper Light.

Accordingly, we have been given many discernments, since the general sense is called “the will to receive,” and is divided into many details, according to the measure that the receivers are able to receive. Thus, we find many divisions and details, called ascents and descents, expansion and departure etc.

Since the will to receive is called “creature” and a “new discernment,” the utterance begins precisely from the place where the will to receive begins to receive impressions. The speech is discernments, parts of impressions. For here there is already a correlation between the Light and the will to receive.

This is called “Light and Kli.” However, there is no utterance in the Light without a Kli, since a Light that is not attained by the receiver is considered Atzmuto, where the utterance is forbidden since it is unattainable, and how can we name what we do not attain?

From this we learn that when we pray for the Creator to send us salvation, cure, and so on, there are two things we should distinguish: 1 – The Creator; 2 – That which extends from Him.

In the first discernment, considered Atzmuto, the utterance is forbidden, as we have said above. In the second discernment, that which extends from Him, which is considered the Light that expands into our Kelim, meaning into our will to receive, that is what we call Ein Sof. This is the connection of the Creator with the creatures, being “His desire to do good to His creations.” The will to receive is regarded as the expanding Light that finally reaches the will to receive.

When the will to receive receives the expanding Light, the expanding Light is then called Ein Sof. It comes to the receivers through many covers so that the lower one will be able to receive them.

It turns out that all the discernments and the changes are made specifically in the receiver, with relation to how the receiver is impressed by them. However, we must discern the matter we are speaking of. When we speak of discernments in the worlds, these are potential discernments. And when the receiver attains these discernments, they are called “actual.”

Spiritual attainment is when the attaining and the attained come together, as without an attaining there is no form to the attained, since there is no one to obtain the form of the attained. Hence, this discernment is considered Atzmuto, where there is no room for any utterance. Therefore, how can we say that the attained has its own form?

We can only speak from where our senses are impressed by the expanding Light, which is “His desire to do good to His creations,” which comes into the hands of the receivers in actual fact.

Similarly, when we examine a table our sense of touch feels it as something hard. We also discern its length and width, all according to our senses. However, that does not necessitate that the table will appear so to one who has other senses. For example, in the eyes of an angel, when it examines the table, it will see it according to its senses. Hence, we cannot determine any form with regard to an angel, since we do not know its senses.

Thus, since we have no attainment in the Creator, we cannot say which form the worlds have from His perspective. We only attain the worlds according to our senses and sensations, as it was His will for us to attain Him so.

This is the meaning of “There is no change in the Light.” Rather, all the changes are in the Kelim, meaning in our senses. We measure everything according to our imagination. From this it follows that if many people examine one spiritual thing, each will attain according to his imagination and senses, thereby seeing a different form.

In addition, the form itself will change in a person according to his ups and downs, as we have said above that the Light is Simple Light and all the changes are only in the receivers.

May we be granted with His Light and follow in the ways of the Creator and serve Him not in order to be rewarded, but to give contentment to the Creator and raise Divinity from the dust. May we be granted adhesion with the Creator and the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures.

Back to top
Site location tree