Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kabbalah On The Dichotomy Between Good And Evil

On any given day in history, little ones all over the world have looked up and asked the same questions. It's always predictable. Very soon after a small amount of language is learned, something magnificent happens: not only are words spoken - questions are asked. But often, parents don't have the answers and reply: "Because that's the way it is."

Later, as adults, after a time in life's journey, we all come to ask deeper questions that are difficult to resolve in our minds, like: Why is there suffering? And most of all, we search for an explanation to the great dichotomy between good and evil, as expressed by many clichés: “There is always the proverbial double edged sword,” “It's always darkest before dawn,” “There's a light at the end of every tunnel,” and “With pain, there often comes gain.” But why does this dichotomy exist? What possible answer could there be?

A clue to the answer might be found in The Introduction to The Zohar, by Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam):

As we enter the world of Infinity (Ein Sof), where there are neither opposite attributes, nor contrasting sensations of good and evil, our language becomes useless.

Kabbalists say that beyond the corporeal world, there is a spiritual world where all opposites unite into one. Yet, this is perplexing, since it's hard for us to conceive of an infinite world where the dichotomy of good and evil doesn't exist. Furthermore, even when we agree with this truth, we still ask the hard questions regarding the sufferings of the world.
Kabbalists explain that this is how we feel in our corporeal world, but later, when we’ll begin to feel the spiritual world Kabbalists describe, the dichotomy of good and evil will simply disappear.

But why must man live in what seems an imperfect world, when Kabbalists tell us there is a perfect world where these opposites don't exist? From our point of view, it seems a hopeless and purely negative situation; yet deep inside we know that after every adversity that befalls us, we learn and mature. So it is too with our children: We know that we can't live their lives for them or protect them from every bad turn. And if we tried, we'd deprive them of the chance to learn and grow by making their own mistakes and decisions.

So it is with man - he's born into a substance, called “this world,” where he perceives his existence with his five senses. But he’s not yet a fully conscious being, because he does not yet feel the spiritual realm of existence. And our corporeal world is necessary for man to develop and mature, until he becomes conscious of the spiritual reality.

Moreover, if we were born with the ability to feel the spiritual realm, and did not have to go through a “maturation process” in order to feel it, it would be like remaining a baby in a womb with all of our needs provided. We would have no room to manoeuvre or have any kind of independence.

People who come to Kabbalah are like children asking about the color of the sky or how it is that the moon hangs there at night. But most of all, they ask: "What is the meaning of my life?" And unlike the children whose parents might scratch their heads, they can be certain: Their questions will be answered.

By: Bnei Baruch

Bnei Baruch, is the largest group of Kabbalists in Israel, sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah with the entire world. Study materials in over 25 languages are based on authentic Kabbalah texts that were passed down from generation to generation

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