Our need to perceive the Divine makes us spare no effort in attempting to solve all of nature’s mysteries, leaving no stone unturned either in ourselves or in our environment. But only the yearning to perceive the Creator is a true yearning, since He is the source of everything and, above all, He is our Creator. Therefore, even if a human being existed alone in this world, or in other worlds, one’s search for the self would inevitably lead to a search for the Creator.
There are two lines that reveal the Creator’s influence on His creations. The right line represents His personal Providence over each of us regardless of our actions. The left line represents the Providence over each of us, depending on our actions. It stands for punishment for evil deeds and reward for good ones.
When we choose a certain time to proceed along the right line, we must tell ourselves that everything in the world happens only because the Creator wants it to happen. Everything proceeds according to His plan, and nothing depends on us.
From this point of view, we have neither faults nor merits. Our actions are determined by the aspirations that we receive from the outside.
We must therefore thank the Creator for all that we receive from Him. Moreover, realizing that the Creator leads us to eternity, we can develop feelings of love for Him. We can move forward with a proper combination of the right and left lines, aiming exactly at the middle. That is, we can advance only along the line that is exactly halfway between them.
Yet, even if we begin to advance from a correct starting point, if we don’t know exactly how to continually check and correct our course, we are sure to deviate from the correct path. Furthermore, if we make even the slightest deviation at any point along the journey, then our error will increase with every step as we continue moving forward. Consequently, we will get farther and farther from our set goal.
Before our souls descend into this world, they are a part of the Creator, a tiny element of Him. This element is known as “the root of the soul.” The Creator places the soul into the body so it can elevate the body’s desires when the soul rises and merges with the Creator again.
In other words, the soul is placed into the body when a person is born into this world to overcome the desires of the body. By overcoming the desires of the body, the soul ascends to the same spiritual level it descended from, experiencing far greater pleasures than it had in its initial state when it was part of the Creator. At this point, a tiny element is transformed into a whole spiritual body, and is 620 times greater than was the original element before it descended into this world.
Thus, in its complete state, the spiritual body of the soul consists of 620 parts, or organs. Each part is considered to be a spiritual law or spiritual act (mitzvah). The Light of the Creator or the Creator himself (which are the same) that fills every part of the soul is called “Torah.”
When we ascend to a new spiritual level, it is called “fulfilling a spiritual law.”
As a result of this elevation, new altruistic aspirations are created and the soul receives the Torah, the Light of the Creator.
The true path to this goal proceeds along the middle line. This implies combining three concepts into one: the human being, the path to follow, and the Creator. Indeed, three objects exist in the world: the human being, who is striving to return to the Creator, the path one needs to follow in order to reach the Creator, and the Creator, the goal toward which the human being is striving.
As has been said many times, there is nothing that truly exists except the Creator, and we are but His creations, endowed with a sense of our own existence. We come to recognize this clearly in the course of our spiritual ascent.
All of our perceptions, or rather, the perceptions we see as our own, are but responses to the Divine Acts He has produced in us. In the end, our feelings are only what He wants us to feel.
As long as we have not yet fully comprehended this truth, we will see not one, but three separate concepts: the self, the path to the Creator, and the Creator Himself. However, once we have reached the final stage of spiritual development, once we have ascended to the same level from which our souls descended – only this time with all our desires corrected– we can receive the Creator completely into our spiritual body.
Then, we will receive all the Light of the Creator and the Creator Himself. In this manner, the three objects that once existed separately in our perception: ourselves, our spiritual path, and the Creator merge to become a single entity – the spiritual body filled with Light.
Therefore, to ensure that we proceed correctly, we must conduct regular checks while advancing on the spiritual path. This will ensure that we strive for all three objects with an equally powerful desire from the very outset, regardless of the fact that we perceive the three objects to be separate.
From the outset, we must work to blend them into one; at the end of the path, this will be apparent. They are, in fact, apparent now, even though we are unable to see them as such, due to our own imperfections.
If we strive for one of the three objects more than for the others, we will immediately deviate from the true path. The simplest way to check whether we are still on the true path is to determine whether we are striving to comprehend the characteristics of the Creator in order to become one with Him.
“If I am not for me, then who is for me? And if I am only concerned with myself, then what am I?” These contradictory statements reflect the conflicting attitudes we face when considering our efforts to attain a set personal goal. On the one hand, we must believe that there is no one to turn to for help but ourselves, and act with the certainty that our good deeds will be rewarded and our evil deeds will be punished.
We, as individuals, must believe that our own actions have direct consequences, and that we build our own futures. On the other hand, we must say to ourselves, “Who am I, to be able to defeat my own nature by myself? Yet, no one else can help me either.”