Prayer: Spirit of Prayer
Prayer is a worldwide activity. There
are thousands of methods of prayer. There are different methods
and mechanics of prayer, different purposes to prayer and
different desired outcomes. Lets see if we can make this
First question: what is the
difference between prayer and meditation?
Answer: In prayer we talk to God, and
in meditation we listen to God, our inner wisdom, our higher
soul, etc. We will confine ourselves to prayer in this article.
I will also confine our answer to the
Kabbalistic or neo-Kabbalistic answer.
Five levels of prayer correspond to
the five Kabbalistic worlds as depicted in the Tree of Life:
This section from Rav Michael Laitman
explains the ascension up the five worlds as obtaining the
qualities or attributes of the Creator.
The gradual process of conforming to the Creator in
qualities; the systematic approaching of the qualities of the
soul to those of the Creator is known as the spiritual ascent.
The spiritual ascent occurs along the levels or steps known as
In total, from the very first to the very last step of
merging with the Creator, the spiritual ladder consists of 125
steps or sefirot. Every 25 sefirot constitutes a
finished stage, known as a world or a realm. Thus, aside
from our own state, which is known as "our world," there are 5
The goal of the egoistic part is to reach the qualities of
the Creator while still existing in us, in this world, so that
in spite of our egoism we can still perceive the Creator in
everything around us and within us. The desire for unity is a
natural desire within us all. It is a desire not influenced by
any prerequisites or inferences; rather, it is a deep knowledge
about the need to unite with the Creator. Full article:
Each level provides a different perception of the Creator,
depending on each levels particular properties. Therefore,
those who have acquired the properties of a specific level see
the Kabbalah and the Creator in a completely new way. Everyone
who attains a particular level of the spiritual world receives
the same perception as everyone else on the same level.
When the Kabbalists said, "Thus said Abraham to Isaac," it
indicated that the Kabbalists were situated on the same level as
Abraham. Thus, the Kabbalists understood how Abraham responded
to Isaac, since in their spiritual state they were like Abraham.
Therefore, reaching the five worlds
brings out in us Divine qualities that we wish to obtain and
free ourselves from selfish desires. The five worlds with the
corresponding Sephira of the Tree of Life are:
The World of
The World of
Atziluth (Will) (Keter & Chochmah)
The World of
Beriah (Creation) (Binah)
The World of
Yetzira (Formation) Chesed, Gevurah, Tipareth, Netzach, Hod,
The World of
Assiya. (Action)- Malchuth
The purpose is to obtain divine
qualities. Obtaining divine qualities, of course, would also
give us a different perception of our current problems,
different capabilities (i.e. Divine capabilities), different
solutions to our problems. One can see how by climbing this
ladder we thus answer our own prayers by obtaining the wisdom
and understanding of the Creator.
Assiya: How does this correlate to
prayer? When we pray at the level of the World of Assiya, we
would likely be praying in a selfish and perhaps manipulative
way. I have received criticism in saying that most prayer is the
attempt by humans to manipulate the Creator. God, please make
this person love this other person. God, please see to it that
this person is removed of their selfish thoughts. God, please
heal me. God please see to it that we win the football game.
This is as if, God is sitting up there with a scoreboard and
deciding who gets and who doesnt. It is often a childs prayer,
about needing, neediness, often from a victims place, where the
Creator is the controlling factor. People often feel that their
prayers are unanswered here. That is because they are using
prayer as a tool to change their lives instead of doing what
they need to do to change it themselves. Furthermore, since I
run a blessings page, people often ask for miracles that are
intrusive on other people: Please pray that so and so will not
do so and so.
Now, we all understand that
psychologically this is necessary for human development.
Furthermore, at challenging times, this is something we really
need for support. However, spiritual ascension to the higher
qualities of the Creator, requires us to move on. This world is
the world of action, the purpose of prayer is to have actual
creation take place in the world of Assiya by including the
Divine qualities from the other four worlds and making the world
of Action happen. In other words, having dominion because we
have embraced the Creator and the Creators qualities.
Interestingly, to do this we must pray from the other worlds.
Yetzira: Prayer from this place
would look like the following: Let me see the wisdom and the
path that would allow me to find an alternative solution. Show
me what I can do to help so and so? Give me the words that
will support so and so who needs help. Show me how to heal
myself. It is more psychological in nature, more centered on an
adult look at what they alternatives are and can be. It is
structured to be looking for the inner wisdom and understanding
and mature in its nature.
Beriah: Understanding that the
purpose of prayer is to create or re-create, this is the stage
of manifestation. In this stage, prayer is about being in an
elevated state of mind, state of consciousness and state of the
soul. It is about accessing our highest wisdom and our higher
level of the soul. It is about integrating with the Divine
aspects that we do not often have. In this stage, there is a
thinner line between meditation and prayer. This is because we
use some meditation techniques while having a Kavanah
(intention). For example, we might: listen to the Hebrew
Liturgy, integrate into Ecstatic Kabbalah prayers on CD or
embrace the Hebrew letters and prayers like Ana Bekoach into our
consciousness. It may be why
most Hebrew prayers are in the form of song.
This might also include embracing
the 72 names of God. Furthermore, prayer is about knowing (DAAT)
obtaining the Divine knowledge. We might hold onto a Divine
Idea: I wish to seek a deeper understanding of this problem. I
wish to see the global picture. I wish to impact world peace.
What can I do to effect world peace? What can I do to assist the
world? How can I be part of the Divine? This level is about
embracing the Creator and manifesting a divine life for others
Atziluth: Atziluth would give us
active manifestation almost at the level of creating miracles.
We would actively think a thought or prayer and it would
manifest through our will by connecting to the Divine will.
There would not be any odds to the egoism vs. the Divine Will.
God wants what we want. This would be because there would not be
any egotistic separation between the two. We would be in tune.
At most we sometimes glimpse this level, so I cannot possibly
give instruction here, because, I do not know.
AdamKadmon: Total emergence with the
ONE Soul. Prayer at this level would be the ultimate of letting
Ive attached a link from my
instructions for Rosh Hashanah last year:
LINK TO ROSH
HASHANAH information and instructions