An Invitation to the International Kabbalah Congress In Odessa, Ukraine

congressDear friends!

The International Academy of Kabbalah invites everyone to a Kabbalah Congress that will take place in Odessa, Ukraine on September 11 – 14, 2008.

The theme of the congress is: Unity Through Dissemination
The purpose of the congress is:

1. To create a common virtual space for the worldwide Kabbalistic group
2. To discuss mutual projects
3. To develop new ways to learn and teach Kabbalah

The congress location is the picturesque suburbs of Odessa, at the Kuyalnik Resort.
The program will include lessons with Dr. Michael Laitman, seminars, meals, and a cultural program.
Arrival to the congress site will begin at 12:00 PM on Thursday, September 11.
The opening ceremony will be held at 12:00 PM on Friday, September 12.
The closing ceremony will be held at 12:00 PM on Sunday, September 14.
The rooms have double occupancy.
Cost of participation: $170.
Application deadline: August 10, 2008.

Click here to register
For additional information, write to this address

We are waiting for you!
Congress Organization Committee “Odessa 2008”

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: International Kabbalah Congress in New York
Laitman.com Post: Mini-Congress in Colombia

icon for podpress  Unity - A Clip from the 2008 International Kabbalah Congress in Israel [1:29m]: Play Now | Download
 

The Wisdom of Kabbalah Isn’t Learned Through Common Sense

The Wisdom of Kabbalah Isn\'t Learned Through Common SenseTwo questions I received on whether it’s necessary to know the Torah before studying Kabbalah:

Question: I have been examining Kabbalah from every angle: science, religion, faith, spirituality, and so on. Are you sure that a person who studies Kabbalah with you and reads Baal HaSulam’s articles is able to understand what you are saying correctly? This wisdom is great and there is nothing like it in the entire world. Should it really be so easily available to every person who wants to study it? Maybe these people don’t even understand what they are reading.

I am asking this because I’ve met students who explain Kabbalah in a completely different way, and they have preconceived notions that are difficult to change. Shouldn’t they first learn about Abraham, Moses, and the stories from the Bible? Shouldn’t they first understand the simple meaning of the Torah before they start studying the spiritual part of the Torah?

My Answer: I brought many new students to my teacher, Rabash. They were secular and didn’t know anything about Torah, yet he accepted them to be his students. Rav Kook also wrote that the study of Kabbalah does not require any preliminary preparation. It doesn’t matter how a person understands the material, because this wisdom isn’t learned through common sense, but by attracting the Upper Light in order to reveal new qualities in the student. And to the degree that the student acquires the Light’s qualities, he starts understanding the Light.

On the other hand, people who “examine” this wisdom’s meaning with their corporeal qualities won’t be able to understand anything! The wisdom of Kabbalah differs from any other science, because in all other sciences, we can examine the world with the five senses that we already have, but in the wisdom of Kabbalah one first needs to acquire the sixth sense – similarity to the Light, and only after that, to the degree one is similar to the Light, he will be able to examine It.

Hence, this wisdom is much more practical, since we attain it within us, not outside of us. Using this wisdom, we reveal the Upper World, and we attain it from within, in a profound way. This attainment changes the student, since he studies everything inside himself only. This is why Kabbalah is called the wisdom of the inner, or the Inner Torah.

Question: If it’s impossible to understand the Torah without knowing Kabbalah, then why did most Kabbalists of the past say that before one can start studying Kabbalah, one has to learn the Torah in detail?

My Answer: It’s because the period from the 1st century until the 16th century (from the fall of the Second Temple until the Ari) was a period of exile from spirituality. During this time it was necessary to wait for the souls that fell from the spiritual level to intermix with the souls that have never been on that level. For example, Abraham was told ahead of time that the Egyptian exile was to last for 400 years. Similarly, Baal HaSulam predicted what would happen in our times – that beginning from 1995 on, there will be intensive, mass revelation of Kabbalah.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: How to Read the Torah
Laitman.com Post: Talmud Eser Sefirot – A Study Only for Attaining Revelation
Laitman.com Post: Improve the Quality of Your Life
Myths About Kabbalah
Kabbalah in Our Times
Do knowledge and intelligence ease the way of faith above reason?

icon for podpress  Kabbalah's Popular Growth In Our Times [04:20m]: Play Now | Download
 

There Are Many Paths to the Creator

Continuing Rabash\'s LegacyTwo questions I received on the differences between Rabash’s students:

Question: Your teacher Rav Baruch Ashlag (Rabash) had many students, including Rav Gotlib, Rav Brizal, and others. Every one of them understands and interprets your common teacher in his own way. In particular, there are great discrepancies about religion and dissemination of Kabbalah. How do you explain this?

My Answer: The reason several versions come from one teacher is to give every person the opportunity to find a teacher who suits his upbringing and aspiration. Check all of these versions, and then choose the one that’s right for you. I’m sure that all of these teachers teach the same basics: by studying in a group to evoke Ohr Makif, one attains the property of bestowal (the Screen and Ohr Hochma), and then one ascends by nullifying oneself before the AHP of the Upper Level.

Question: And how do you explain the fact that Rabash’s students don’t keep in touch with one another?

My Answer: Each of them is following his own path, as it is written: “There are many paths to the Creator” (Yesh Harbe Drachim Le Makom). When Rabash passed away, he left his entire archive to me, and I let all of his students make copies of all his notes, as well as giving them all of the original audio tapes to copy – over a thousand of them. And I wish them success in everything!

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Correction Lies In Unity
Laitman.com Post: New Book – Shamati (I Heard)
Kabbalah Today Article: Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash)

icon for podpress  Film: Always With Me - Rav Laitman's Memoirs of Rabash [19:50m]: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Memoirs of Rav Michael Laitman On a Personal Experience With his Teacher, Rabash [07:05m]: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Film: Rabash - the Last Great Kabbalist [03:29m]: Play Now | Download
 

Women On the Path of Kabbalah

Questions from WomenQuestions I received from women on how to be sure that one is advancing in spirituality:

Question: Can a woman cross the Machsom without participating in the group, by studying your books for at least two hours a day?

My Answer: To ascend spiritually, a woman has to study and disseminate.

Question: Is it possible to follow the path of Kabbalah incorrectly? What I mean is: If I study with you in Bnei Baruch and I physically do what is needed – disseminate, pay Maaser, study Kabbalah, and have contact with the group, then can I still be doing something wrong in my inner work?

My Answer: Check yourself against the articles and recommendations of Baal HaSulam and Rabash. With every lesson, we delve deeper into this decisive question.

Question: What is the difference between regular feelings and spiritual feelings? When I have regular feelings, should I keep in mind that they aren’t real? And if yes, then how can I trust my feelings?

My Answer: Right now you should only study, and the Light will bring you new, correct notions, which will enable you to measure and judge everything correctly.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: The Woman’s Correction
Laitman.com Post: Women’s Spiritual Progress
Laitman.com Post: Women in Kabbalah
Lecture: Women’s Spiritual Development
Lecture: Women’s Spiritual Development

Babies – Physical And Spiritual

Physical and Spiritual BabiesI’ve received many requests to explain the correlation between a baby’s development in this world and the soul’s development in the Upper World. Here is an explanation:

The Talmud Eser Sefirot – the fundamental Kabbalistic textbook with over 2,000 pages of difficult text, has about 300 pages that talk about the soul’s intrauterine development in the womb (the AHP) of the Upper Partzuf (the mother – Ima, Bina). This development may continue for seven, nine, or twelve months – but usually it continues for nine months. It is followed by birth and then 24 months of nursing – which is also described in 200 pages of very difficult text.

What are these lengthy, complex descriptions saying in simple language? The soul begins its development with the point in the heart, when a person asks, “What is the meaning of life?” Next, the person begins developing his soul by attracting the Upper Light to this point. He first goes through preliminary stages called single concealment and double concealment, and then enters a state called conception (Ibur). In this state, he attaches to the Upper Partzuf, provided that he agrees to stay together with It regardless of all the difficulties! And the difficulties keep increasing, but by strengthening his connection with the Upper One, despite the disturbances created by egoism that keep pulling him back, he continually absorbs the qualities of the Upper One – love and bestowal. This process continues until he attains all of the Upper One’s properties by means of annulling himself. This self-annulment also prevents him from becoming a disturbance or a foreign body in the Upper One.

When he absorbs all of the Upper One’s qualities, this concludes the period of passively absorbing the Upper One’s properties – of developing in the form of an embryo. An embryo develops by passively receiving the Light, and this is why it is referred to as blood (Dam, from the word Domem – still), or a passive adoption of the Upper One’s properties.

Stated differently, the state called pregnancy ends when a person desires to go from nullifying himself to actively interacting with the Upper One. This compels the Upper One to push him away, in order to end the previous kind of interaction – similar to when an embryo remains in the mother’s womb for too long, and evokes rejection. The Upper One pushes the lower one away from Him and forces the lower one to begin interacting with Him more actively – to nurse. The Upper One does this by creating conditions that enable the lower one to receive the Light of Hassadim (milk). However, the milk still turns into blood (Dam) in the lower one.

This nursing period lasts for 24 months, and during this time the lower one gains active properties of bestowal (Bina, Galgalta Einaim). This level enables a person to exist in the complete volume of the Upper World, and to be completely independent of his egoism – to perceive the Upper One and learn from Him.

Knowledge of the laws operating in our roots and of how the Upper Forces operate, gives us an absolutely precise understanding of how to ideally and most correctly treat and raise a child, how to interact with a fetus and a newborn, as well as with a teenager and adolescent. It enables us to build the correct system of interactions, and to create the conditions for optimally realizing the opportunity we have in this life – to attain the purpose of our creation.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Preparing for Childbirth – a Conversation
Laitman.com Post: A Conversation About Pregnancy and Birth
Article: Spirit and Body

The Internet Is Just a Step Toward Revealing Our True Connection With Each Other

The Internet Is Just a Step Toward Revealing Our True Connection With Each OtherA question I received: What do you expect from the development of the Internet and other means of communication? I see how much you depend on them and their development.

My Answer: The Internet connection lets humanity progress inconceivably faster. However, I think that in the future the means of communication will rise to yet a different level, because our interconnectedness has to be even more evident. Very soon there will be new possibilities of unification, which will erase the sensation of distance between us altogether. Time and space will cease being obstacles between us.

This is necessary for egoism to develop and for us to recognize that it is evil. This is how Nature has arranged things, and this will soon become revealed to us. Interdependence and communications enable us to go through many experiences by connecting with others who feel them, without actually going through them ourselves. By becoming included in one another, we accelerate every person’s development and maturation. We are seeing with our very eyes how civilizations that were isolated from the whole world for millennia – Japan and China, are merging with the whole world within a mere decade. (From the lesson on the article “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose” on 21/07/2008.)

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Disseminate Kabbalah On the Internet, But First Find Out How
Laitman.com Post: Loneliness – Inside and Out
Kabbalah Today Article: Facebook – What’s All the Fuss?
Kabbalah Today Article: Better Than the Virtual World!?
Kabbalah Today Article: You Have a New Message 🙂
Kabbalah Blog Post: The Internet Prison – the Influence of the Internet on Our Lives

Another Pointless Conference of the World’s Leaders

Another Pointless Conference of the World\'s LeadersNews Story (translated from www.ynet.co.il): Leaders of the industrial G8 countries have gathered in Japan to discuss global warming. These rich and developed countries disagree about many things, and no one wants to be the first to yield and lose. The leaders smiled for the photographers and then went their separate ways. They won’t save the world this time around either. It’s the same story all over again: the leaders gather for a discussion, and nothing comes out of it. By now, even the journalists are laughing at this. What has to happen for them to actually sit down and talk, and for something to change?

My Answer: The leaders are powerless to change anything. It cannot be done by their mental, moral, or physical power, because the world is governed from above, and our entire history shows us that we can only make things worse. Since we don’t follow the laws of nature, instead of feeling comfortable, we feel nature’s negative reaction, expressed as undesirable phenomena on all levels of nature: the still level (tsunamis, global warming, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes), the vegetative level (droughts, lack of water, harvest failure), the animate level (extinction of species, disturbed balance, spread of disease), and the human level (war, depression, drugs, suicide, fear).

The correction of the world depends on the correction of man, on his balance with nature. And to achieve this balance, we have to know the forces that govern us. Nature has arranged everything this way in order to elevate us (whether coercively or consciously, willingly) to the level of the governing forces – the Creator. And we can become corrected only by desiring to become similar to the Upper World, to the governing forces of Nature, the Creator.

Kabbalah explains the structure and laws of the Upper World, and this is why it’s necessary for us today – it is our only salvation. As for all the world’s leaders – they are no more than puppets in the hands of the Creator.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Pointing the Finger at Al Gore (Instead of Pointing It at Ourselves)
Laitman.com Post: Women As Leaders of Nations
Laitman.com Post: The More You Know, the Better You Sleep
Kabbalah Today Article: Global Warming – So What?

What Is Pain, and How Can We Stop Feeling It All the Time?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn our world, pain is the organism’s reaction to a problem in it. It’s the organism’s way of telling us that something is wrong with our body. For example, pain warns us of danger and makes us pull our hand away from fire. Pain compels us to move, to come closer to something/someone, or to get away from them, to change our qualities, to adopt new opinions, to realize the reason for the pain, to draw conclusions, and to progress to new states of being.

In fact, pain is the only force that is able to affect our egoism: pain when we feel bad, or when others feel bad, or when others feel good. Pain pushes us from behind and forces us to develop. The pain of feeling empty pushes us ahead, toward fulfillment. Pain is everywhere! All our sensations come from clashes, contact, pressure – or in other words, from pain. We feel pleasure only when it’s preceded by the painful sensation of an unfulfilled desire, suffering, or expectation.

However, when we come out of egoism and rise above the Machsom, we begin to realize that instead of living our lives based on lack or absence, we can live based on total fulfillment and fullness. Instead of basing everything on pain, we can take perfection as our starting point. Instead of doing the things we do because we need to, we can do them out of love, without needing anything.

This is a completely different kind of existence, a different attitude to the world, to people, to yourself, and of course – to the Creator. And when we attain it, the Creator immediately becomes revealed to us, because then we become perfect, just like Him.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Kabbalah – For When Life Is Like Putting Out One Fire After Another
Laitman.com Post: Correct Yourself and Everything will Radiate Harmony
Laitman.com Post: The Fates of Great Kabbalists
Laitman.com Post: Turning Anger Into Progress
Article: Why Do I Feel Bad?

Only Kabbalah Combines All the Right Ingredients

Only Kabbalah Combines All the Right IngredientsA question I received: I’m able to intrigue many people with a “trick” that lets them be in the present, after they discover that they are always thinking and feeling the past or the future. The moment they’re “enlightened” by this realization, should I talk to them about Kabbalah? If yes, then what’s the best thing to let them read? They usually have preconceived notions, so it’s better to give them something easy to start with. For example, maybe I can let them read something by the American mystic and spiritual teacher Gurdjieff?

My Answer: The first time you talk them, don’t talk about Kabbalah but rather show them what is the reason for the crisis – both the personal and general one, and explain that the correction lies in unification, attainment of the quality of bestowal. Show them that this is the only freedom of will we have, and we are like robots in every other regard. Moreover, the attainment of this quality has to be evident in one’s perception and mind.

However, we can’t change our egoistic nature, but only an external force – the force of bestowal – can make this change in us. Explain how one can attract this force, that there’s a method for it, and so on.

Mystics and philosophers such as Gurdjieff, Madame Blavatsky, Solovyov and many others were true seekers of a connection with the Upper Force, but they didn’t have the right Teacher and the authentic method. Hence, their compositions only express their attempts to use human qualities and reason to figure out something that’s impossible to attain with our qualities. This can only be done with help from above, through the Upper Light.

Kabbalah draws the Light of Correction (Ohr Makif) by combining the necessary “ingredients”:

1. The person
2. The group
3. The text that talks about one’s corrected state
4. The Teacher who guides the way

This is why Kabbalah is the only method of attainment that allows one to enter or clearly perceive the Upper World.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: Improve the Quality of Your Life
Laitman.com Post: Kabbalah and Other Teachings
Laitman.com Post: Verifying the Validity of Kabbalah
Chapter 7 from the Book The Kabbalah Experience: Beliefs, Mysticism and the Supernatural

How Little Geniuses Are Born

How Little Geniuses Are BornA question I received: I listened to your conversation with Professor Gregogy Brechman on pregnancy and birth, and it made me think about how lately everyone is panicking about aggression and violence among children, and child suicide keeps growing exponentially. According to your conversation with Dr. Brechman, the ones to blame for this are the pregnant mothers-to-be who are constantly thinking whether to “execute (abort) or to have mercy” on the creature that’s in their womb, because these thoughts instill a very powerful fear for life in the future child.

Shouldn’t we do something about these thoughts of the uncorrected parents, because the further we go, the worse and more egoistic their thoughts become, and hence every generation that’s born becomes more cruel and aggressive? If our thoughts during pregnancy really influence the way a person will turn out, then what should we think to make children geniuses? And can a man influence the thoughts of his pregnant wife?

My Answer: It doesn’t matter what state the creature is in: a drop of semen, an embryo, a newborn, a child, or an adult, and whether he already attains his higher existence or still doesn’t – regardless, as a Reshimo, he is always influenced by just one force – the Creator. And there is no one else in the entire universe besides the two of them – the Creator and the creation!

The Reshimo develops under the influence of the Light and begins to feel that it’s receiving from someone. It starts to perceive someone, the way a newborn does. In other words, one’s entire development is qualitative rather than quantitative – it’s the development of one’s relationship with the Upper One (the Light, the Creator), or of one’s attitude to Him.

Hence, if the parents are studying Kabbalah, the connection with the Upper One, then they already prepare their children – on the informational level – for spiritual development. And this influence becomes more and more important as the child develops through the prenatal period, then after he’s born, then the preschool period, and so on, until he becomes an adult. The soul has no age, and regardless of the form of its bodily, outer shell, any influence on the soul is positive.

Related Material:
Laitman.com Post: A Conversation About Pregnancy and Birth
Laitman.com Post: Preparing for Childbirth – a Conversation
Laitman.com Post: How to Help Teachers and Parents
Laitman.com Post: How Should I Raise My Children?
Laitman.com Post: A Mother and a Child
Laitman.com Post: Hyperactivity in Children – Our Children and Us
Kabbalah Today Article: The Story of Cogwheels