Why Do We Call the Creator “the Creator”? - Official Kabbalah Publication of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
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Why Do We Call the Creator “the Creator”?

By Michael R. Kellogg

Why do we call the Creator “the Creator”? At first glance, the answer seems obvious: we call Him that because He created creation. But this immediately brings up another question: “How did He do that?” Well, there are nearly as many explanations as there are people. Among them are answers that were given to us by folks who actually experienced spirituality through the wisdom of Kabbalah. And fortunately for us, these sources wrote down and left us detailed information that answers this very question.

These people we call Kabbalists explain that this whole shootin’ match known as Creation started with an initial thought, which they called “the thought of Creation.” They tell us that this initial thought was “to bestow good to His creatures.” How did they find this out? They experienced it, and then they simply wrote down what they felt. But the real question here is:

What did they experience and how did they experience it?

Now, in order to bestow good to something, there’s got to be “something” on which to bestow good. After all, how can there be giving if there is no one to receive what is being given? That wouldn’t make any sense at all. So to create a “bestow-ee” in this picture, the “bestow-er” created a desire, or as Kabbalists call it “a will to receive delight and pleasure.” This desire, our “bestow-ee”, was created and then filled with delight, the most wondrous and wonderful pleasure we can imagine, and even more.

While our will to receive (which we will call “Desire”) was sitting there feeling good, it suddenly began to feel something else. It actually began to sense that “somebody” was giving it this delight—that there was a “giver” in this picture.

Previously, Desire felt only pleasure, but not that the pleasure came from anything or anyone in particular. The discovery of the giver (the Creator) made Desire want to relate to the giver of that pleasure, the Creator. In fact, Desire’s discovery of the Creator made Desire want to be like Him, to do what He does, even more than it wanted the pleasure the Giver was providing.

“After all,” Desire thought, “if the Creator gives so much, imagine how much pleasure He has! Well, being a will to receive pleasure, why shouldn’t I have this pleasure, too?” This new yearning caused a rather dramatic change that is going to flip flop this whole picture.

In order to have what the Creator has, the will to receive decides it wants to do what the Creator does, just as our children often want to do what we do—just to be like us. But Desire has no ability to give because it has nothing to give, so it does the next best thing—it stops receiving. This is not what the Creator does, but Desire figures it is the closest it can come to being like Him.

But oh, what a problem this creates. Now the Creator isn’t doing what He is supposed to do, He isn’t giving, and Desire is not doing what it is supposed to do either—receiving. Realizing what a mess this is, Desire now begins to think, “How can I do what I was created to do, and still be able to be like the Giver?” Desire now comes up with a plan, and oh what a plan it is.

Desire wants to be able to give, just like the Giver. In other words, the goal is to give to the Giver, to the Creator. But what does the Creator want? Does He want a new Volvo? Does He want world peace? Does He want a membership in some swanky country club, tickets to the World Series, what?

Well, being a giver by nature, the Creator only wants to give.

Eureka!!! Desire says to itself, “If I receive pleasure, but only because that is the one way I can give the Creator what He wants, I am in business here. I will be giving Him pleasure!” And that is exactly what Desire does.

Kabbalists tell us that the story of the Creator and Desire is a model that shows us how to relate to the Creator. They wrote books that teach us how we can do that, and they called their method, “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” the wisdom of reception (of pleasure).