How Do You Turn a Bat Into a Rooster?

How Do You Turn a Bat Into a Rooster?A question I received: It says in the book Shamati, Article #16: “The rooster said to the bat: ‘I await the light for the light is mine; but you, what need have you for light?’” My question is: How does a person go from the state of being a bat to the state of being a rooster in this lifetime?

My Answer: Those who use Kabbalah (Torah) to attain the property of love and bestowal will see the Light of life in this property. On the other hand, those who use Kabbalah (Torah) for their own sake (to get rich, satisfy their pride, attain honor and confidence, to feel like they’re better than others, to justify their existence, and so on) are in the state of darkness; yet they are convinced that they are in the Light of the Creator. They are like bats that mistake the darkness for the light, and hence they are content to remain in exile from spirituality, to perform mere physical rituals – and they don’t feel like they need anything more.

Look at what Baal Hasulam writes in the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot,” about the words of the prophet Amos, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! Wherefore would ye have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light!” “There is a parable about a rooster and a bat that were awaiting the light. The rooster said to the bat: ‘I await the light for the light is mine; but you, what need have you for light?’ (The Talmud. Sanhedrin 98:2)” This means that without the Light (which descends only when one studies Kabbalah), one doesn’t even understand that he is in darkness, because he only perceives our world.

If a person doesn’t aspire higher, above our world, but is satisfied with mechanical observance of rituals, historical and philosophical investigations, theology, holy water, amulets, and meditation (as we can see, this covers the whole gamut, from the naïve to the erudite), in other words, if one doesn’t have a “point in the heart,” then nothing will help him. It’s because his desire is still on the level of our world, and people always act exclusively according to the desires that surface in them.

Hence, Kabbalah is intended only for those who are searching for a genuine answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” And this answer lies in attaining the Source of one’s existence. This is how one reveals the meaning of what is happening as well as its final outcome.

Related Material: Post: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself – That’s Your Reward! Post: Groping in the Dark to Find the Spiritual Sense Post: Look Forward, Only Forward Post: When the Point in the Heart Awakens
Kabbalah Today Article: Kabbalists on Kabbalah
Lesson on the Article “The Bond (Arvut)”

How Can We Overcome Fear?

How Can We Overcome Fear?Two questions I received on overcoming our fears:

Question: In one of your lessons on the book Shamati you spoke about fear, and you said that when a person is afraid, he should immediately connect to the Creator. Can you elaborate on this? What should I do when I feel chilled to the bone with worry about my loved ones?

My Answer: You should connect everything that is happening with the Creator, with yourself, and with the entire world, so that all of these will unite into one and there won’t be any difference between them. All of your doubts and fears should vanish within this union. And if they don’t – then it’s even better! Then you can ask the Creator to help you.

Actually, if you open The Book of Zohar , you’ll discover that the first correction, “Pkuda Kadma” (in Aramaic) is when one attains true fear. In fact, fear always haunts everyone and everything: On the still level of nature, there is fear to preserve its structure, on the vegetative and animate levels of nature, there is fear to become filled with what’s necessary and to push away what’s harmful. And it’s the same with man.

The only difference between different kinds of fear is the scope of one’s use of fear. That is to say, one uses it more to the extent that one realizes its depth within him, or in other words, to the extent of one’s egoistic development. An ordinary person in this world has two types of fear: fear for this world (about his quality of living, health, children, etc.) and fear for the world to come (to make sure he will go to heaven instead of hell).

However, as one’s egoism develops, one goes through all these types of fear and reaches a third kind – true fear. He then asks, “Will I be able to become like the Creator? Will I attain the property of love and bestowal for other people and for Him?” And when a person feels the need to attain this property of love and bestowal, then fear pushes him forward and brings him to the Machsom, and he makes “a return to the Creator out of fear (or agitation, trepidation)” (Tshuva mi Iraa).

Question: Can studying Kabbalah help one get rid of his fears, for example, the fear of being on stage or of expressing one’s opinion?

My Answer: Yes, because studying Kabbalah develops your perception of the unity of everything, of the integral universe. It also replaces one’s earthly fears with the true fear – the need to attain the Creator.

Related Material: Post: Kabbalah – the Cure for Any Affliction
Shamati #38: The Fear of God is His Treasure
Shamati #138: About Fear that Sometimes Comes Upon a Person

Drugs and Attainment Are Incompatible

Drugs and Attainment Are IncompatibleA question I received: I was an alcoholic and drug addict for 20 years. A year ago I went through rehabilitation and have stayed off drugs and alcohol thanks to a “12 step” program – a program of spiritual growth. Recently I started studying Kabbalah and became confused – should I continue the “12 step” program or devote myself completely to Kabbalah? Or should I combine both paths? Maybe some Kabbalah students are anonymous alcoholics and drug addicts, but I haven’t been able to find them yet. Can they share their experience with me?

My Answer: Kabbalah is spreading throughout the world. Obviously, the people who begin studying it come from all walks of life. I recommend and ask you to support each other.

A question I received: Suppose that a person is above the Machsom and he already attains and feels the connection with the Creator. As he continues working on his correction, he still decides to experiment with LSD in order to compare the different states. Will he not feel the Upper World then? I’d like you to give this question the attention it deserves, because modern science doesn’t consider LSD an ordinary drug, but an extremely powerful psycho-stimulant.

My Answer: As soon as a person takes drugs, he detaches from the perception of the real world and enters a realm of “wandering,” illusory images.

Related Material: Post: Drugs Have No Connection With the Attainment of the Upper World Post: Can Identifying the Chemical Pathways and Brain Structures that Generate Religious Experiences Lead Us to Spirituality?
Kabbalah Today, Quote from the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah

The Greatest Power Comes from Yielding to Others

The Greatest Power Comes from Yielding to OthersPower is the fundamental property of egoism. When we lose it, we feel as if we’ve lost ourselves. Even our perception of the things around us is based on the sensation of power: Our senses perceive everything by evaluating their influence on different objects, things, and forces – by weighing, “who is stronger?”

When one becomes aware of his constant aspiration to rule over his environment (and again – without this aspiration, one cannot perceive the environment), then this realization leads one to recognize the evil within himself. He then feels the need to revoke his all-inclusive lust to rule over everything, and to replace it with the opposite quality – “Anava” (being absent).

Inside this aspiration or quality, one discovers the Creator. The Creator hides from us inside this property in order to give us the opportunity to attain (without His obvious influence) the same height, omnipotence, independence, greatness, and humbleness of love as He has.

One then discovers that he acquires power over everything precisely by yielding to others, because he then becomes incorporated into the general Light. This correlation – “the Creator and the creation” – can be described as calm, omnipotent, and uniform white Light that fills everything, and inside it there are small, black, egoistic balls that are anxiously jumping because they aspire to realize their foolish pride, conceit, and power.

It is written: “In the place where you attain the Creator’s greatness, you attain His humbleness (Anava).” Hence, power comes through the property of love and bestowal.

Related Material: Post: Egoism Is Destroying Itself Post: The Revelation of Godliness (Baal HaSulam) Post: Practical Advice by Rabash Post: This Is How I Am Post: Guidelines for Achieving Unity – Selected Quotes of Baal HaSulam Post: The Conditions for Correcting the Soul