Chapter Three – The Bad Stuff
Why did God make bad stuff? (How can evil even exist when God is good?) As explained before, the best way to understand anything is to understand its purpose.
We just explained that all souls were implanted with a strong desire to receive. This desire is in direct contrast to God’s infinite desire to give. What gives? We explained that in the spiritual realm, not bound by time and space, anything dissimilar is distant.
So how will the souls ever cling to God, the source of all goodness? How will they ever get close?
A Place to Rectify
So that’s the point of all the worlds, above and below. They give a soul a chance to rectify this separation, to bring the soul close to God. Now we have a lesson on basic metaphysical geography.
There are two opposing systems of universes, the holy system, based on the desire to give, and the unholy system which is based on the desire to receive. When an aspect of this system runs wild, only interested in itself, it sees itself as totally separate and wrapped in its own shell. It is evil.
This is why the Sages say that the wicked are considered dead, even in life. They are cut off from the source of life itself, because they are spiritually the opposite of God. He is the ultimate giver, and they are the ultimate takers. As different as night and day, East and West.
The two systems of worlds each form their own chains, world below world, until they end right here in this physical universe. Here is where the body and soul come together. Both the soul and the body have their roots in the intention of creation – to give pleasure to the souls.
But the body has its root in the aspect of the soul which is the desire to receive, and this is channeled down through the system of unholy worlds, manifesting as a physical body. It is totally under the control of that system until the age of thirteen (twelve for a girl). Despite his innocence a child is a total taker, and in that sense is extremely distant from his maker.
Learning to Give
When the child reaches adolescence he gains meta-consciousness, what can be called a conscience or a yetzer tov in Hebrew. If a person is involved in performing mitzvahs, studying Torah and doing good deeds, he starts to change.
A person must receive, our very existence is a gift from God, but gradually we transform the desire to receive into a desire to receive in order that we may give. That we may give to others, and that we may give back to God.
As we purify and rectify our bodies below, we get access to our higher self above, our aspect of giving – our soul’s light from God. This helps us even more to transform our desire to receive, in a type of snowball effect.
Even our very act of receiving God’s goodness, just enjoying it, can become an act of giving. In halachah, there is a concept that “adam chashuv shani,” the pleasure someone has when another receives his gift has real monetary value. When a loved one graciously accepts and appreciates the gift we give them, it feels good. The receiver can give by receiving.
When we work on ourselves here in this world, we can transform our need and want to receive into an act of giving. With our pure intentions we align ourselves with God. We cleave to him, and become capable of receiving all the infinite good we were intended to get.