Likutei Amarim Chapter 1
James Scott Trimm
Finally the Tanya comes to the conclusion of Chapter 1 saying:
The explanation [of the questions raised above] is to be found in the light of what Rabbi Chayim Vital wrote in Sha'ar ha-Kedushah (and in Etz Chayim, Portal 50, ch. 2) that in every Jew, whether righteous or wicked, are two souls, as it is written, "The neshamot (souls) which I have made," [alluding to] two souls. There is one soul which originates in the kelipah and sitra achra, and which is clothed in the blood of a human being, giving life to the body, as is written, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood." From it stem all the evil characteristics deriving from the four evil elements which are contained in it. These are: anger and pride, which emanate from the element of Fire, the nature of which is to rise upwards; the appetite for pleasures— from the element of Water, for water makes to grow all kinds of enjoyment; frivolity and scoffing, boasting and idle talk from the element of Air; and sloth and melancholy— from the element of Earth. From this soul stem also the good characteristics which are to be found in the innate nature of all Israel, such as mercy and benevolence. For in the case of Israel, this soul of the kelipah is derived from kelipat nogah, which also contains good, as it originates in the esoteric "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil." The souls of the nations of the world, however, emanate from the other, unclean kelipot which contain no good whatever, as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 49, ch. 3, that all the good that the nations do, is done from selfish motives. So the Gemara comments on the verse, "The kindness of the nations is sin,"— that all the charity and kindness done by the nations of the world is only for their own self-glorification, and so on.
(Tanya; Likutei Amarim; Chapter 1)
Likewise the Essenes taught:
Now, this God created man to rule the world, and appointed for
him two spirits after whose direction he was to walk until the
final Inquisition. They are the spirits of truth and falsehood.
The origin of truth lies in the Fountain of Light, and that
of falsehood in the Wellspring of Darkness. All who
practice righteousness are under the domination of the
Prince of Lights, and walk in ways of light; whereas
all who practice perversity are under the domination of
the Angel of Darkness, however, even those who practice
righteousness are made liable to error. All their sin and
their iniquities, all their guilt and their deeds of transgression
are the result of his domination; and this, by God's
inscrutable design, will continue until the time appointed
by Him. Moreover, all men's afflictions and all their
moments of tribulation are due to this being's
malevolent sway. All of the spirits that attend upon him
are bent on causing the sons of light to stumble. Howbeit,
the God of Israel and the Angel of His truth are always there
to help the sons of light. It is God that created these
spirits of light and darkness and made them the basis of
every act, the [instigators] of every deed and the direction
and the directors of every thought. The one He loves for to
all eternity, and is ever pleased with its deeds; but any
association with the other He abhors, and He hates all its
ways to the end of time.
This is the way those spirits operate in the world. The
enlightenment of man's heart, the making straight before
him all the ways of righteousness and truth, the implanting
in his heart of fear for the judgments of God, of a spirit
of humility, of patience, of abundant compassion,
of perpetual goodness, of insight, of perception, of that
sense of the Divine Power that is based at once on an
apprehension of God's works and a reliance on His
plenteous mercy, of a spirit of knowledge informing
every plan of action, of a zeal for righteous government,
of a hallowed mind in a controlled nature,
of abounding love for all who follow the truth,
of self-respecting purity which abhors all the taint of filth,
of a modesty of behaviour coupled with a general
prudence and an ability to hide within oneself the secrets
of what one knows – these are the things that come to men
in this world through communion with the spirit of truth.
And the guerdon of all that walk in its ways is health
and abundant well-being, with long life and fruition of
seed along with eternal blessings and everlasting joy in
the life everlasting, and a crown of glory and a robe of
honor, amid light perpetual.
But to the spirit of falsehood belong greed, remissness
in right doing, wickedness and falsehood, pride and
presumption, ruthless deception and guile, abundant
insolence, shortness of temper and profusion of folly,
arrogant passion, abominable acts in a spirit of lewdness,
filthy ways in the thralldom of unchastity, a blasphemous
tongue, blindness of eyes, dullness of ears, stiffness
of neck and hardness of heart, to the end that a man
walks entirely in ways of darkness and of evil cunning.
The guerdon of all who walk in such ways is multitude
of afflictions at the hands of all the angels of destruction,
everlasting perdition through the angry wrath of an
avenging God, eternal horror and perpetual reproach,
the disgrace of final annihilation in the Fire, darkness
throughout the vicissitudes of life in every generation,
doleful sorrow, bitter misfortune and darkling ruin-ending
in extinction without remnant of survival.
It is to these things that all men are born, and it is to
these that all the host of them are heirs throughout
their generations. It is in these ways that men
needs must walk and it is in these two divisions,
according as a man inherits something of each, that
all human acts are divided throughout all the ages of
eternity. For God has appointed these two things to
obtain in equal measure until the final age.
Between the two categories He has set an eternal enmity.
Deeds of falsehood are an abomination to Truth, while
all the ways of Truth are an abomination
to perversity; and there is a constant jealous rivalry
between their two regimes, for they do not march in
accord. Howbeit, God in His inscrutable wisdom has
appointed a term for existence of perversity, and when
the time of Inquisition comes, He will destroy it for ever.
Then truth will emerge triumphant for the world,
albeit now until the time of the final judgment it go
sullying itself in the ways of wickedness owing to
the domination of perversity. Then, too, God will
purge all the acts of man in the crucible of His Truth,
and refine for Himself all the fabric of man, destroying
every spirit of perversity from within his flesh and
cleansing him by the holy spirit from all the effects
of wickedness. Like waters of purification He will
sprinkle upon the spirit of truth, to cleanse him of all
the abominations of falsehood and of all pollution through
the spirit of filth; to the end that, being made upright,
men may have understanding of transcendental
knowledge and of the lore of the sons of heaven,
and that, being made blameless in their ways, they
may be endowed with inner vision. For them has God
chosen to be the partners of His eternal covenant,
and theirs shall be all mortal glory. falsehood shall
be no more, and all works of deceit shall be put to shame.
Thus far, the spirits of truth and falsehood have been
struggling in the heart of man. Men have walked both
in wisdom and folly. If a man casts his portion
with the truth, he does righteously and hates perversity;
if he casts it with falsehood, he does wickedly and
abominates truth. For God has appointed them in
equal measure until the final age, until 'He makes all
things new'. He foreknows the effect of their works in
every epoch of the world, and He has made men heirs
to them that they might know good and evil. But [when the
time] of Inquisition [comes], He will determine the fate
of every living being in accordance with
which of the [two spirits he has chosen to follow].
(Manual of Discipline 3, 17-4, 26)
Likewise the Emissary Paul writes:
14 For we know that the Torah is of the spirit,
but I am of the flesh and I am sold to sin.
22 For I rejoice in the Torah of Eloah in the inward son of man.
(Romans 7:14, 22 HRV)
Because of this, we are not weary, for even if our
outer man is corrupted, yet that which [is] inside
is renewed day by day.
(2Cor. 4:16 HRV)
for the flesh desires a thing which is opposed to
the Spirit and the Spirit desires a thing that is
opposed to the flesh and the two of these are
opposed to each other, that you do not do the thing
which you desire.
(Gal. 5:17 HRV)
As noted above the Talmud teaches: “If God created the evil inclination, He also created the Torah as its antidote.” (b.Baba Batra 16a) likewise Paul teaches that the Torah is of the spirit and as such is the antidote for what he calls “the flesh” which clearly corresponds to the evil inclination.
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