The Purpose of Creation
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1462  
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Chizuk: The Secret to Happiness
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The Secret to Happiness
Part 2/8
By the.guard

Said the student to his Rebbe: “I want happiness”. Replied the Rebbe: “First remove the I which is haughtiness. Then remove the want which is desire. After that, all that will be left is happiness.

Part 2: The Purpose of Creation

To answer the questions of the previous section, an introduction to the purpose of creation is necessary.

The Ramchal and many other Tzadikim explain that G-d created the world for one purpose only; to bestow His good upon us... TheBa'al Hasulam explains that the evil inclination is nothing more than "the desire to receive for the self". This desire was implanted in us by G-d in order that He be able to bestow his good upon us. G-d wouldn’t be able to bestow his good on an entity that was really just part of Him… After all, in essence, everything in the universe is G-d! Our bodies, our minds and our hearts are really G-d. Even our souls are just a חלק אלוק ממעל – “A part of G-d on High”. So how could G-d give anything to us, it is essentially giving to Himself? To solve this, G-d created us with aרצון לקבל - “a desire to receive” so that we perceive ourselves as separate from G-d. Since G-d does not have a desire to receive anything (from whom would He receive? He lacks nothing and there is no one else!), through this desire-to-recieve we became separate and different than Him. (In truth there is nothing but G-d - אין עוד מלבדו. But we perceive ourselves as separate. This is one of the great paradoxes that man can never fully comprehend, and it requires faith. It is similar to our inability to grasp how on the one hand we have free will but on the other hand we say that everything in the past was really G-d’s will).

While this "desire to receive" is necessary for our existence (otherwise we would just be part of G-d and not separate) it is the "opposite" of G-d -because He has no desire to receive anything. G-d has only a desire to "give", yet we exist only by virtue of our desire to "receive". Being opposite of G-d does not allow us to become truly close to Him. Because in spiritual terms, the more similar you are to something, the closer you are to it. And the more different two things are, the farther apart they are. There is no “distance” in Heaven, only “difference”. And this difference in our nature causes us “shame” to receive G-d’s good for our own sake (as the Ramchal calls it נהמא דכיסופא – “bread of shame”). As part of G-d, our souls yearn to be similar to Him, like a branch wants to be similar to its root. Receiving causes us to feel the difference between G-d - the Giver, and us - the takers, which causes us shame.

So what is the solution to this dilemma? How can we receive the good of G-d without shame? We can't just negate the "desire to receive" or we would cease to exist as separate from G-d. Not only that, if we destroyed our desire to receive, G-d would no longer be able to bestow his good upon us, which was the whole purpose of creation! So according to the Baal Hasulam, our job is not to destroy the "desire to receive" but rather to elevate it to the point where we desire to receive only for G-d's sake and not for our own sake (this is the meaning of לשמה). Ultimately, we will all come to this level at גמר התיקון (the end of all “fixing”) and learn how to receive only to "give" pleasure to the Creator. In this manner of receiving, the best of both worlds is achieved. Not only can G-d bestow His good on us, but we don't feel the shame of being different and separate from the Creator through the act of receiving, since we are receiving only for His sake. This allows G-d to bestow his good on us, because the pleasure we receive is still enjoyed by His creations, but the enjoyment is for the sake of the great King and not for the sake of the "self". We are receiving because that is the will of G-d and because it gives Him pleasure, and not because we want to enjoy it ourselves.

This also allows for the enjoyment that G-d wants to give us to become infinite in nature. For if the enjoyment was only for the "self", it would be limited to the capacity for enjoyment that we were created with. For example, if one creates a cup that can hold a liter, once a cup is full, it can’t receive anymore. So if the taking would be only for ourselves, then once we got all we wanted it would be over. However, if our enjoyment is for the sake of the Creator, then the greater the Creator is in our perception, the greater the enjoyment is. And since the greatness of G-d has no limit, so too our enjoyment will have no limit. In the World to Come, G-d will keep revealing a little bit more of his greatness each day, and this in turn will make the pleasure that the Tzadikim receive from G-d more pleasurable all the time, since their receiving will be for the sake of a King who never stops getting greater in their eyes!

But because this type of receiving (for the sake of the Creator) is a very high level, to get there one must first be willing to forgo any receiving for the self at all. The more we are willing to give up our desires for G-d's sake over the course of our lifetimes, the more we become worthy - and ABLE - to accept all the good that G-d wants to give us for HIS sake. In all honesty, most of us are probably far from these lofty levels of true לשמה, but the more we train ourselves to emulate the attributes of the Creator in our actions and in our intentions, and by developing an attitude of outer-focus instead of inner-focus, the closer and more similar we can become to the Creator, and the more we are preparing ourselves to receive His great light.

To be continued...

These 19 short videos clips are excerpts from a series on by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier called "The Fight - A Frank Strategy and Pan for Conquering Desire".

Gathering from the wisdom of chazal, this series presents a solid understanding of the mechanics of desire, and offers us a strategy and plan to winning The Fight of our Generation.

Video #5 - Don't Think About a Pink Elephant


"Lo sasuru acharei eineichem (do not veer after your eyes). The Gemara (Talmud) tells us what this means is if a man looks at a woman for the person of being neheneh (enjoying) in a sexual manner, he violates a lo sa'asei (negative commandment) in the Torah. It's very important to understand what the Torah is teaching us. You see, the real battle of tayvah (desire) is way before it comes to fruition, way before it comes to an act. The real battle of desire is within the framework of my mind — not thinking about another woman; not thinking thoughts that are inappropriate. The real challenge isn't not acting, the real challenge is not thinking. And it's something that takes years and years and years of growth and work.

I'd like to share with you a technique and an observation how to work on this. Let's assume you get serious and you say okay, I will not think about women in that way anymore. Here's the problem: I almost guarantee you're going to fail. Why?..."

Click the link above for the full story and video.

Email us if you don't have internet access, and we will send you the story by email. (sorry, we can't send the video.)

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