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By Marcus Jastrow

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39 T H E PA T H O F K A B B A L A H There are some among us who succeeded in acquiring a new sense—one that imparts the ability to feel a broader reality than we generally see. The expansion of the limits of their senses allows them to skip the boundaries of time and see everything that happened before they were born and what will happen when they are gone. These people can remain outside the bounds of their normal emotions and see the general and real picture of Creation. They are able to connect causes and their consequences, while the rest of us are able to see no more than a tiny part of this reality.

Q: Can one know if one is making spiritual progress? A: Only when one begins to study Kabbalah, meaning spiritual development, do the low and egoistic desires actually appear. That is the proof that one has really begun to evolve. Q: Can a person who has already climbed two or three degrees suddenly come to a halt, or even decline? A: No, one cannot fall. One cannot even stop, and will continue to climb. Everything moves toward the final and best situation. It is either done by beatings from behind, meaning by nature, or in a positive way, when one is given a book and told that it is a means to accelerate one’s progress.

The term, Eretz (land) in the spiritual world refers to where you are or the place you are headed. The word, Eretz comes from the word, Ratzon (desire). Our souls consist of one big desire (Eretz) with many smaller “lands” inside them. There are desires called the “nations of the world” or “abroad” and there is the Land of Israel, which is the closest desire to the Creator. The neighbors of this Eretz—Jordan, Egypt, and Syria—want — —want the Land of Israel because that is where the Creator can be found.

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