Lights and Vessels
In the previous issue of Kabbalah Today, we said that a bowl represents the desire to receive pleasure
and we called it a Kli (vessel). We also said that the Light, which fills the Kli, is drawn as a downwardly arrow. There is also an upwardly arrow, which represents the Kli’s desire to give pleasure to the Creator.
1. The whole of reality consists of five stages. In the first stage, known as “The Root Stage” or Stage Zero,” the Creator thinks, “I want to express the love that I feel, so I will create something that will receive My love.”
2. In Stage One, His thought creates Creation, which is made of a desire to receive the love that the Creator wants to give.
3. In Stage Two, When Creation receives love, she (Creation) discovers its source—the Creator—and wants to be like Him. In the same way, as children grow, they don’t want to receive from their parents, but to be like them.
4. Therefore, in Stage Three, Creation receives His love not because it is pleasant, but because the Creator wants to give it. When Creation thinks of the Creator’s desire instead of her own, it is as if she were giving love, just as she was receiving it.
5. Then, in Stage Four, Creation asks, “Where did He get this idea in the first place?” She wants to know His thoughts, not just give Him love the way He gives it to her.
Drawing 1 represents the Creator’s thought of expressing His love by creating Creation, the Root Stage. The downward arrow indicates that a higher degree is creating a lower one. In Kabbalah, every degree that creates another degree is considered higher than the degree it has created.
Drawing 2 presents the entrance of Love (which Kabbalah usually refers to as Light) into the Kli—Creation—as it happens in Stage One.
Drawing 3 presents Stage Two, when the Kli (Creation, us) discovers its source, and wants to be like Him, to give love. The upward arrow represents the Kli’s desire to please the degree that created it, the Creator. Note that an arrow that stems from the Kli toward its Creator doesn’t mean that it is actually giving anything to the Creator, only that it wants to give.
Drawing 4 represents Stage Three and combines drawings 2 and 3. The downward arrow indicates that the Kli is receiving Light, as we explained in drawing 2, and the upward arrow means that the Kli is doing it not because it is pleased to receive the Light, but because it pleases the Creator that the Kli is receiving. Again, the upward arrow shows the Kli’s desire to please the Creator.
Because here the Kli is receiving Light not because it is pleasant, but because it wants to please the Creator, we say that the upward arrow shows the Kli’s intention to give. By receiving Light, its intent is actually to give pleasure to the Creator.
Drawing 5 is similar to drawing 2. However, in this case, the Kli doesn’t want to receive the Creator’s love, but the Creator’s thought, to know why He created Creation to begin with. If the Kli obtained that knowledge, it would become like the Creator in every aspect, from thoughts to actions.
Unlike Stage One, the downward arrow in this case doesn’t indicate that the Kli is receiving, but that it wants to understand His thought.