Chapter 6

How should man train himself to acquire the quality of Power? Know that all actions which excite the evil inclination actually stir up the strong Powers. Therefore, man should not excite the evil inclination, so as not to awaken the Powers. The reason is that man is created with two inclinations, good and bad: the one belongs to Lovingkindness, the other to Power. However in the Zohar to the first section of Genesis[1] it is stated that the good inclination was created from the sake of man himself, the evil inclination for the sake of his wife. See how sweet are his words. Behold Beauty, the merciful quality[2], turns to the Right and all its conduct is with the Right, the good inclination. But the Female[3] is of the Left and Her conduct is with Power. It is, therefore, proper not to bestir the evil inclination for man's own sake because this bestirs the Power in Supernal Man and so destroys the world. Hence, every excitement of man towards Power and the evil inclination makes a flaw in Supernal Man. From which one can observe how ugly is anger and such-like, for it causes the strong Powers to prevail.

In truth the evil inclination should be bound and tied down so that it is not incited to any bodily act whatsoever, not for the desire of cohabitation, not the desire of money, nor towards anger, nor towards honor in any way. However, for his wife's sake he should gently bestir his evil inclination in the direction of the sweet Powers, to provide her with clothes and with a house, for example. And he should say: 'By providing her with clothes I adorn the Shekinah,' for the Shekinah is adorned with Understanding which is Power (for it includes all Powers and these are sweetened in Her abundant mercies.) Therefore, all the needs[4] of the household are the Tikkunim of the Shekinah, which is sweetened by means of the evil inclination, which was created to do the will of his Creator and for no other purpose.

Therefore, a man should not intend to derive any kind of pleasure from the evil inclination but when his wife appears before him in her beauty in a fine house he should have the intention of adorning the Shekinah, for She is adorned by the good Powers of the Left from whence come wealth and honor[5]. For this reason he should bestir his evil inclination to love them[6] and he should then have the intention that the Left bestir itself to draw Her near[7], according to the secret of: 'His left arm[8] is under my head' (for She does not at first bind Herself except towards the Left). And then: 'his right arm[8] embraces me,' he should intend to sweeten all those Tikkunim with the good inclination and to really perform the Tikkun for Her, to make her happy[9] in performing the divine command for[10] the sake of the Supernal Union. Behold in this way he sweetens all the judgments and performs their Tikkunim with the Right.

This method applies to all desires which derive from the evil inclination. These should be directed chiefly towards the benefit of the wife whom God has chosen to be a help meet for him and afterwards he should turn them all towards the service of God to bind them to the Right.

of Genesis I. 49a.

the merciful quality Lit. 'the master of mercy'

the Female The Sephirah of Power. The Sephiroth on the left side are the passive Sephiroth.

all the needs Lit. 'all the Tikkunim,' 'all the ways in which the house is set in order.' By doing this for his wife's sake man uses the evil inclination to give adornment to the Shekinah.

wealth and honor 'In her left hand are riches and honor' (Prov. III. 16.).

to love them Wealth and honor

Her near The Shekinah

His left arm...his right arm" Cant. II. 6, v. Zohar I, 133a.

make her happy His wife

divine command The performance of the marital act by the husband is a religious duty according to the Rabbinic interpretation of Gen. I. 28, Ex. XXI. 10.