The physical realm

Imagine a company producing cars in a four floor building, from the concept to the finished product. The top floor is filled with teams of engineers and designers, collaborating over blueprints and 3D renditions of a potential best-selling model. The next floor is a robotic assembly line, tasked with constructing a skeletal frame for the cars. As we proceed to the second floor, we find skilled workers laboring over the aesthetics; the cars are painted, seats are installed and shiny tires are attached. A state of the art showroom is situated on the ground floor, swarming with cheerful sales reps, eager to offer assistance. Customers can view the latest models and if it catches their fancy, drive one home. On this floor the goal of the entire company is achieved.

Similarly, Kaballah teaches that the creative process evolves through four successive “worlds”. In the first world, all that exists is an abstract idea, entirely removed from physicality. The subsequent three worlds involve the gradual process of translating that abstract concept into the physical world. The last of the four worlds is the home of the final product of creation, the physical realm. We inhabit the final world of the creative process.

Modus Operandi

Just as in a car factory different skill sets are employed at each stage of production, so too, each world in the creative process incorporates a unique modus operandi which is vital for success in that realm.

“[our] world is called a world of action; therefore, its enhancement is achieved through action”.

Our success in this world is hinged upon our doing.

The following analogy is given: In order for a field to grow it needs rain. Yet, if the farmer did not sow the field the rain will not help. “Planting the seeds” is the action which is vital for any further results to follow.

Heart Follows Action

Since action is the “key to success” in our realm, it is also the catalyst for internal change. “Acharei ha’peulos nimshochim halevavos” - our hearts follow our actions. A conscious decision to be a better person will succeed if it is followed by concrete changes reflecting that decision. A girl, concerned about her negative feelings towards her peers, once asked the Rebbe how she could improve and become a better person. He advised her to seek out opportunities to do favors for her friends, for example, by offering to bring them food from the school cafeteria. The Rebbe explained that by virtue of her acting nice, she will be transformed internally and eventually become nice.

A World of Action

Likewise, when one studies a profession, it is the practical experience that will complete their understanding of the field and ensure success. Take the study of music for example. If a person were to become well versed in every music book, without having touched a musical instrument, they wouldn’t be able to play the simplest of tunes. Only through rigorous practice, will one have any hope of becoming musician. Whether a person desires to improve themselves or the world around them in whatever endeavor it may be, a premium must be placed on action. The Kabbalists advised that whenever a good resolution is made, it should not be left in the world of thought or speech but should immediately be attached to an action, however small, to get the ball rolling.