When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert for forty years, the people started to resent him. Though they had been slaves in Egypt, they had food and comforts there that the harsh desert did not provide. So, the Creator sent them the spiritual food called manna. When the Israelites ate the manna, they found it tasted like whatever they wanted it to. If they wanted it to taste sweet, it would be sweet. If they wanted it to taste savory, it would be savory.
How could it be that something can have opposite qualities, like sweet and bitter, at the same time? The answer to this question is an important lesson about the unlimited nature of the Light of the Creator.
The kabbalists teach that the Light of the Creator includes the essence of everything in our world, unified in simple perfection. In other words, everything in our physical world comes from the Creator, so the Creator must therefore possess all of the qualities of our world in some form.
Because the manna was spiritual matter, it had this same spiritual quality to it - it included everything within it, both bitterness and sweetness, before it manifested in the world. The manna itself was not sweet or bitter, but it had the seeds of those traits. Based on the receiver’s desire and consciousness, that spiritual quality manifested in the way they wanted it to.
Through this example, we can understand the way the Light manifests in our lives. There are two aspects of the Light of the Creator. The first is the essence before we receive it, which is the simple perfection that includes all aspects of our world. The second is the form it takes when revealed in our world, manifested in a specific and limited way based on the person receiving it. The Light begins in its first form, sending us abundant blessings. But when we receive the Light, we actually constrict it so that it only reveals a very small aspect of its true potential. It’s like we have taken the Light and squeezed it so that only a small beam can shine through. Though every part of the Light of the Creator has the ability to reveal unlimited blessings, we restrict that revelation and experience the Light in a limited way.
To whatever degree we are limited in our connection to the Creator, that is the amount we are limiting the Light of the Creator, who both wants and is capable of revealing unlimited blessings all the time. This shows us the pain that we make the Light of the Creator go through whenever we manifest it, because we are always preventing it from revealing its full potential. In doing so, we are experiencing limited joy and limited fulfillment in our lives.
When we drink something sweet, for instance, there is Light of the Creator within the drink. We taste the Light, but we restrict it so that it is only manifests as sweet. The Light itself is not sweet – it has every quality of everything in the world, but we don’t allow those qualities to manifest. That Light can manifest in millions of ways - as joy, comfort, prosperity - but we constrict the Light of the Creator and say, “Right now I only want to experience sweetness.” We tell the Light how to manifest and, therefore, prevent it from manifesting in its totality.
There is no difference in the Light that manifests as sweetness, beauty, joy, or any other blessing. When we receive Light, we think, “I asked the Creator to send me happiness today, so the Creator is sending me Light of Happiness.” There is no such thing as Light of Happiness. There is only the Light of the Creator, one simple Light. If today we only ask for happiness, then we limit the blessings to only happiness, one tiny aspect of the Light, rejecting the fact that the Creator wants so much more for us.
The essence of the Light is boundless. When we are limited both in our requests and in our consciousness, we force the Creator to limit the blessings, as well. This understanding should give us the desire to stop limiting how we want the Light of the Creator to manifest.
The more we open ourselves up to a true connection with the Creator, the more we take off the barriers of the Light. This is the level that a righteous person reaches. They constantly feel the Light unrestricted all of the time. They don’t have a limited manifestation the way that most of us do. They appreciate the totality of the Light of the Creator.
The Creator wants to give us endless blessings. Our work is to push ourselves spiritually, connect with the Creator, change our consciousness, and earn the Light of the Creator.
*Adapted from Michael Berg’s class on Ten Luminous Emanations - Lesson 13