We will now explain the next step in the process of revelation and creation, the realm of desire (Keter). As explained above, the Kav HaMidah (The Measuring line), is similar to the assessment that the teacher makes of the student before the actual line of explanation. As such, the Kav HaMidah precedes the Kav V’Chut (The line and Thread), which is the actual line of revelation itself. The very beginning of the Kav V’Chut is the general desire for the whole of Creation. This is called the Igul HaRishon (The First Circle). It is called a circle because it is an all encompassing general desire that includes everything in it. It is also called the Ratzon HaKadoom (The Primal Desire), because it is the general all inclusive desire which includes all subsequent desires.
Now, it must be understood that there is a profound difference between the “Simple essential desire” (Ratzon HaPashoot B’Atzmooto) before the Tzimtzum, mentioned above, and this desire after Tzimtzum. The desire before the Tzimtzum is still absolutely one with the essential simple singularity of Ohr Ein Sof. Before Tzimtzum there was G-d and His name alone, as explained above. Therefore, the way the desire exists in Ohr Ein Sof cannot be defined as a general desire which includes particulars within it. Since it is totally one with the essence, only the essence exists, as a simple singularity with no parts. Even the levels of Yachid, Echad and Kadmon, mentioned above, have no actual existence at all, but are rather merely Heyulie abilities of G-d, who is Kol Yachol (has infinite abilities). They therefore cannot be defined as general desires which include particulars. Only after Tzimtzum, when the desire becomes revealed, can it be defined as a general desire which includes many particulars.
However, even though there is a distinction between the desire before Tzimtzum and the desire after Tzimtzum, and they are not at all comparable to each other, nonetheless, the post-Tzimtzum desire is like a “Carbon copy”, so to speak, of the simple essential desire before the Tzimtzum.
The entire Creation, from beginning to end, is implied in this general post-Tzimtzum desire. Each particular of the general desire is subdivided into smaller particular desires, and each of those subdivides into even smaller particulars etc. Each desire is only a particular, relative to the general desire that encompasses it, but is a general desire, relative to the particulars included in it. In this sense, the desires are like concentric circles. The most general desire encompasses all the particular desires within it and each subsequent desire is encompassed by the desires above it, but encompasses the desires below it, like layers of an onion.
This may be illustrated by the general desire to have a dwelling place. There are many particulars of what a dwelling place could be. It could be a Palace, a castle, a brick house, a wooden shack, a straw hut or an igloo etc. Each of these is one particular in the general desire for a dwelling place. On the other hand, each is a general desire relative to its own particulars. For instance, a brick house is comprised of many rooms, such as a living room, bath room, kitchen etc. Here the desire for a brick house is the general desire, whereas the desire for a kitchen is only a particular of the general desire for a house. Likewise, the desire for a kitchen is general relative to its particulars, such as the desire for a refrigerator, an oven, a toaster and a sink etc. The desire for an oven, likewise, is general, relative to its particulars etc. In the same way, the general desire for all of Creation includes within itself all the particular desires for all the levels of existence which result from it. Each of these levels is a general desire relative to the levels that follow it, but a particular desire relative to the levels that precede it. The general primal desire of Creation, the Ratzon HaKadoom, is an all encompassing “circle” which contains all subsequent desires and each subsequent desire encompasses all the particular desires that follow it and is contained by the desires that precede it.
Now, the difference between the desire before the Tzimtzum and the desire after the Tzimtzum may be compared to the human soul before it is invested in a body and after it is invested in a body. Before a person is born, we cannot speak of any “natural tendencies” or “desires.” Only after he is born in a body can we say, with certainty, that a baby possesses primal urges and desires that will affect and encompass his entire life. For example, we can say with certainty that he will desire a place to live in, even though, at this point, he has no clue of what a house is. Before his soul was invested in a body, on the other hand, we could not say this at all. Nonetheless, concealed within the soul, even before it was invested in a body, was the Heyulie for this desire, but only in the way of a Heyulie, not in an actual way. Now that the soul is invested in a body, however, there are actual primal urges and desires. For this reason, before the soul is invested in the body, since all that exists is the essential singularity of the soul, we cannot speak of general and particular desires. However, once the soul enters the body, we may now speak of a general primal desire which includes, hidden in itself, every desire this person will ever have during his lifetime.