Two Modes of Creation

As mentioned in previous articles, one apparent "intent" of God in creating this world of God-concealment and lack of clarity is that a dimension of reality exist that brings a possibility for an apparent choice to stray away from God. When we choose Godliness in a world of seeming non-Godliness, we bring forth a clarity of Godliness that was otherwise unknown.

In last week's article, we explained that this role of clarification and bringing forth Good from the Good-Evil concoction that is this world is so much at the core of what the human being is all about that his very own body serves as the ultimate physical parallel to this lofty spiritual task. It takes in foods that contain a mixture of healthy and unhealthy ingredients—minerals and quantities our bodies need, and minerals and quantities our bodies would be better off without—and "chooses" that which is good for it and attempts to do away with that which is bad for it.

The Duality of Humanity
In order to allow for the creation of a being that can fulfill the world's purpose of bringing forth Godliness in a situation of non-God-clarity, God arranged that the human being be made up of a God-side and a side that seems non-Godly. The God-side is free to choose beyond, or above, what comes naturally just as God is free to override the natural limits, whereas the "non-God-side" follows its instincts as an animal does.

The modes by which these two sides of the human experience were created are very different, according to Kabbalah.

The creation of the God-side (the soul) by which God comes to be seen through the human being is referred to as Positive Creation ("Yotzer" in the Torah and Kabbalah). It can be likened to a flashlight shining a spot of light onto the floor—the spot of light is being projected from the light-source, the flashlight. Similarly, the soul of the human being is being projected by the soul-Source, God.

The creation of the non-God-side (the body) by which the appearance of an "other" to God surfaces, resulting in a seeming hiddenness of God, is referred to as Negative Creation ("Boreh" in the Torah and Kabbalah). This can be likened to a shadow created in the spot of light; the darkness of the shadow is, in a sense, a new creation. However, it was not born from something else the way the spot of light was. Rather, its whole "existence" is based on the blocking out of the light. The shadow is "something" that is being created from no thing. It is creation by negation.

Healing the Body
God, by setting up the human race as beings that can manifest both wisdom and waste—products of the soul and body respectively—opens the possibility for each human being to take part in a process of "clarifying" and bringing forth the human side of himself from among his human-animal combination of self, paralleling the world's purpose of bringing forth the Good in a world where there is opportunity for both Good and Evil.

The result of this process is that there is a greater degree of God-clarity in an arena in which God was previously not all that clear. In a sense, it is up to the human being to proclaim God as king in our unclear world. Of course, God is running the show irrespective of whether or not we acknowledge Him. But it is humanity who "brings" God to this world—in the sense of conscious awareness and practical manifestation—by exemplifying Godly traits in his thoughts, speech, and actions. This is the function of the soul here in this world.

For this reason, the deeper sources in Judaism teach that the Jewish soul is carved from beneath God's Throne of Glory. Glory refers to a manifestation of self that goes beyond one's self. For example, a parent's glory is in his child's independent decision that manifests the parent's ideals; a king's glory is in his people's and army's committed loyalty and follow-through.

(This explains the concept of Yiddishe nachas, meaningJewishpride in Yiddish. The term nachas literally means "landing," i.e. when a Jew sees his grandchildren following in the Jewish footsteps he laid out for them, he sees the ideology he adhered to and advocated being passed on and adopted by the generations of his offspring to come. Thus, he sees himself, and what he personified, flowing downward through his offspring and coming in for a "landing." In a sense, it is a concretization of his life. This also explains why the Hebrew word for "glory," kavod, can also mean "heavy," since that which is your glory is, in a sense, solidifying your contribution to the world and defining what you were "all about." It is the legacy you leave behind.)

Similarly, God's glory is humanity's recognition, awareness, and manifestation of God even in this otherwise God-fuzzy world. Thus, God's kingship—articulated by the Throne of Glory—is "established" to the extent that the soul-side of the human being is expressed from among his human-animal combination of self.