A common space for harmonic peacemakers
Removing Ourselves from the Equation
Rav Ashlag explains in Ten Luminous Emanations that there are two forms of Light: the ultimate level of Light that comes directly from the Creator, called Or d’Chochmah, and a lower level of Light, revealed in the world through our actions, called Or d’Chasidim. These are not actually different types of Light – there is only the single, simple Light of the Creator. The difference between the two forms is in our level of involvement with the revelation of Light.
When we are the ones to reveal Light in the world through our thoughts and actions of sharing, the Light is channeled through us, rather than coming directly from the Creator. The problem with this, Rav Ashlag teaches, is that it means the Light we reveal will never be as pure and unfiltered as the Or d’Chochmah.
We often speak of the need to transform ourselves into more sharing, selfless beings. The incredible lesson from Rav Ashlag here is that even our thoughts and actions of sharing can only reveal a lower level of Light. When we are sharing with someone or teaching them, we impart our own imperfect understanding and experience of the world. Because we are not the Creator, the advice, the wisdom, or help we can offer someone is extremely limited. Unfortunately, no matter how much we share, it is, at best, Or d’Chasidism. The only way we can have a complete revelation of Light is when we reach the point where we have completely removed our ego from the equation and become pure channels for the Light. This is why it is so important that we work on diminishing our ego. The purer we are, the purer the Light that goes through us into the world. The ultimate level of connection is when we completely remove ourselves from the process.
Of course, this does not mean that we stop sharing. Instead, we must find a way to inject the essence of truth, the essence of the Creator, into our sharing. We do this by connecting others with the source, the Creator – whether it is through the Torah, the Zohar, or the writings of the kabbalists. When we inject that sliver of truth into our actions, without the adornment of our own interpretation, that is the part that resonates with the soul. It is key that we understand that the Light we share is so diluted that it is almost nothing! Our words and our wisdom alone will not satisfy someone. No matter how much we give from ourselves, it is a short-term solution. But when we connect them to the source of Light, our hope is that their soul recognizes what they really want: a direct connection to the Creator.
For example, when someone asks us for advice, we tend to immediately think of a story or a circumstance we went through that is similar. We want to share that with them, along with what we learned, and those are all good things to share. But how many of us stop to ask ourselves, "Well, what does the Zohar say? What did the kabbalists write about this challenge or obstacle the other person is going through?" When we share the writings of the kabbalists or the words of the Torah or the Zohar with another, we inject that sliver of truth, connecting them not to our own ideas, but to the Light.
Our ego sometimes makes us think that we are the ones responsible for revealing Light in the world. We must remember that the Light comes from the Creator, not from us. We cannot reveal pure, unfiltered Light without the Creator. Even if our intention is to reveal Light in the world through our actions of sharing, as long as we want to be the ones revealing Light in the world, it cannot be the totality of Light.
The incredible gift of the study of Ten Luminous Emanations is that, to the degree that we deepen our understanding of the wisdom, we awaken Light. Through our studies and consciousness, we can inject some level of truth into our sharing that will hopefully inspire others and awaken their desire to seek out and build a direct connection with the Creator for themselves. When we have diminished our ego and completely removed ourselves from the process, only then can we reveal the pure Light of the Creator.