Thank The Creator For Good As Well As The Bad

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does a person learn to raise a prayer (a request to the Creator) correctly?

Answer: A person’s entire work is aimed at knowing how to correctly respond to the Creator’s calling when the Upper Light affects him.

I am separated from the Creator by five stages (five worlds) of emanation of Light (0-1-2-3-4), and I begin to receive impressions from it in the last, 4th stage, where I am able to comprehend “what and how.” However, if I haven’t reached the 4th stage, I don’t yet understand that my awakening comes from the Creator and I do not reciprocate with a request. Even when our point in the heart (a desire to attain something greater, something spiritual) is awakened, we still do not understand where to go, what we are supposed to do, and Who it is that is calling. We simply start searching for the purpose and cause of our life.

In other words, what is really evoked is a question about the Creator but the person does not yet realize it. When he starts studying the science of Kabbalah, it becomes more clear to him what, or rather Whom, he is asking about. A person discovers that there is Some One who awakens him and who wants the person to respond to Him.

There are only two: the Creator and the creature. The world as we see it seems to us to be a certain way in order to help us project ourselves back to the Creator. It is written: “The whole world is created to help me, and I am created to serve the Creator.” The theater in front of our eyes that we call “our world” was created to help us focus our perception and reaction to find the Director who runs the entire show.

Finally, when amidst all this bewilderment and confusion we focus on Him, we find the right direction and learn how to communicate to Him correctly. We discover what our request should be (in terms of strength, concentration, and content) in order to deserve a response. Therefore, we should not neglect the world, especially the immediate environment, studies, and the friends in the group. We should use each moment of our lives to better discern the root point from where the Creator’s call comes, and through this “portal” send back a response.

If I manage to arrange my prayer (request to the Creator) correctly, from below Upward, I will understand that everything has its purpose in the world without which I would not be able to establish contact with the Creator.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, Article, ““Who is He Who Causes Prayer?”

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Kabbalists On The Essence Of The Wisdom Of Kabbalah, Part 10

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages of the great Kabbalists. I promise to answer them. The comments within brackets are mine.

The Reality Contained in the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Life [sensing one’s own existence] of any spiritual object is determined by the measure of its attainment [of the Creator, the property of bestowal and love, that is, connection with the whole universe].
– Baal HaSulam, Pri Hacham, Igrot (Letters), Letter 17

It is a grave mistake to think that the language of Kabbalah [like other mystical languages] uses abstract [unfounded] names. On the contrary, it touches only upon the actual [clearly perceived and attained in its fullness, up to the very source of all names, the Creator]…

This is our [Kabbalistic] law: All that we do not attain [clearly in the mind and in sensations, at the very least like we perceive our world], we do not name [we do not assign definitions to it since we lack clear attainment of its qualities].
– Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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Don’t Stop Asking!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I feel that my prayer is egoistical, then should I stop praying?

Answer: The worst thing that you can do is to stop asking. It means you are returning to the animate state since an animal does not and cannot pray. We are talking about a real prayer, your correction, not tears or words from a book.

A prayer is the request to attain pure selfless bestowal. But how can you ask for altruistic bestowal if it is even more egoistical? It turns out you can only pray if it is not for yourself. As soon as you start asking for yourself, it is no longer spiritual because you are asking the Creator to satisfy your egoism.

A prayer to the Creator is only about the force of bestowal. This is how the prayer starts. Later on, you must determine why you need it, and what you need it for. I have to find out whether I want to give in order to receive even more for my egoism.

The entire 125 degrees that a person ascends are discernments of levels of prayer. I receive the Light of AB-SAG, which I need in order to assess the details of my desire. In each spiritual state, at each new degree, I discern more. Thus, I begin to understand why everything is necessary: this world, friends and foes, fools and sages, slaves and heroes, and those who are driven by lust and power. I need to examine my relationship with all of them and aspire for the Creator.

How do I know whether or not my prayer is selfless and that it doesn’t contain any personal interest or benefit for myself? I know it only when I pray for others. This helps me to assess my prayer. As a result, I am able to comprehend why the Creator made me and the entire world the way we are. All of reality is created and arranged for one purpose: for us to learn to ask the Creator correctly and to receive what we ask for – the Creator’s nature, the true quality of bestowal to replace our egoism.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, Article, ““Who is He Who Causes Prayer?”

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Your Protection From Above

Dr. Michael LaitmanNature is divided into several levels: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. Likewise, mankind consists of them as do each of us individually. These four levels represent the four stages of evolution of our will to receive for our own benefit.

We are led through these stages by envy, lust, and ambition: from desiring wealth to desiring power, and from desiring power to desiring knowledge. This is how we evolve from level to level. The greater a person’s ascent, the more opportunities nature provides for him to err and deviate from the truth. In fact, the more advanced a person is, the more diverse qualities he develops which makes him more vulnerable and open to various influences.

The poor are mostly pre-occupied with their welfare and the money of the wealthy. The “heroes” who strive for power are dependent on the opinions of others, while the “wise-men” who crave knowledge are filled with doubts and keep looking for something as they are never satisfied.

The more evolved a person is, the greater the chance that he faces the challenge of being pulled by some foreign idea and away from the straight, short route to the goal, which is adhesion with the Creator. In the “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Baal HaSulam writes that the wholesome desire of the advanced people breaks and they start chasing wealth, power, and fame, thereby forgetting that it is the end of the “person.” At this point, only luck and “protection from Above” can help.

We know that there were people who possessed a true (spiritual) desire, but even they eventually expired under the weight of earthly pursuits. Therefore, you must scrupulously examine your desire: Are you absolutely certain that the goal is important to you, so important that the rest of the world doesn’t exist?

The Creator assists the person on his path, but only if the person lives in constant awe and is afraid to deviate from the right track. This spiritual fear brings him assistance from Above. In this state, a person understands that his soul is in the hands of the Creator.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Weekly Torah Portion – 07.30.10

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “Ekev,” Selected Excerpts
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Begin A Dialogue With The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe main requirement for a person is the proper reaction when the Creator addresses him. The Creator is primary. The Creator always begins. A person is the consequence, the reaction to the Creator’s influence on the desire. I am a reaction of the desire to the Light’s influence on it. The Upper Light comes to us from Above through the four stages 1-2-3-4, HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey). The created being has no other connection to the Creator.

Therefore, we should try to react properly to the Creator’s appeal to us; that is, to our perception of ourselves and the world at every given moment. We should recognize a constant dialogue with the Creator in our existence. He created a connection between the initial point of addressing us, the tip of the letter “Yod” (Kutso Shel Yod) and the last letter of HaVaYaH – “Hey,” in which we and our world are situated.

The connection between the initial point of the letter “Yod” and the last “Hey” can include all five worlds, 125 degrees, and then we do not feel a connection with the Creator. The connection is revealed immediately as we ascend to the first degree, number 125, Malchut of the World of Assiya. And then follow the degrees 124, 123, and so on, until we ascend to the World of Infinity, the uppermost degree.

And all this is within HaVaYaH, between the beginning of the letter “Yod” and the last “Hey.” This HaVaYaH (my connection with the Creator) starts to become more and more clear to me, as though the fog (the concealment) clears.

I achieve revelation of the connection, by continuously directing myself to the Creator in response to His influences on me, trying to connect everything to Him, according to the principle “There is none else besides Him.” How can one react in the most proper and effective manner? The most effective reaction, directed precisely at the Creator in any circumstance, is to try to carry out a common action of “appealing to the Creator” together with the friends.

However, the appeal is only effective if it is directed back through the HaVaYaH. This is achieved by reading authentic Kabbalistic sources. When you read about what happens in the HaVaYaH, you direct Malchut to Keter; that is, you direct your unification to the source.

To the extent that we unite, we exist in Malchut. This is only if we come together. And as we read The Book of Zohar all together, we desire to launch the HaVaYaH back through the reflected Light to its beginning, the letter “Yod.” After all, Kabbalah books only tell us about the connection between Keter, “Yod,” and Malchut, the lower letter “Hey.” Therefore, when we read without the revelation and understanding of the connections in the HaVaYaH, we rouse this connection onto ourselves and cause this system to be revealed.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, The Zohar

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 07.30.10

Shamati #15 What is Other Gods in the Work
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Lech-Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 237
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Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” Item 70
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Article “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence
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The Work After The Congress

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If you were to choose from the three different times: the time leading up to a Congress, the time during it, or the time after the congress, which is the most effective time?

Answer: One period is impossible without the others! If I don’t receive great inspiration during a Congress, and if I don’t descend after it, then I will have nothing over which to ascend and no strength to ascend. I am talking about an ascent to the next degree.

Every ascent is based on 1.) receiving the strength from the environment, receiving the greatness of the goal and the Creator during a Congress, 2.) revealing new egoistic desires (descents) right after a Congress, and 3.) making the effort to rise above the desires and finding the strength that we receive, drawing closer together, getting involved in the routine of the work, and preparing for the next Congress as quickly and intensely as possible.

Before a Congress we are constantly preparing ourselves for the forthcoming meeting; we get ready to unite. We prepare to receive an impression from such a great number of people around us during the Congress so that they can influence each of us as much as possible, and so that everyone will be in awe from the impressions they receive. After all, the only freedom of will consists in absorbing the strength from the environment.

The influence of the environment is the only means for a spiritual ascent. The more inspiration I absorb from the others during a Congress, the greater the degree that I can then ascend to by realizing this inspiration. It should become my own, constant sensation of belonging to the common desire (Kli).

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10,"Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot"

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Tame The Roaring Flood

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Every time I try to focus on the lesson, I discover that I am distracted by countless irrelevant thoughts. What should I do?

Answer: Everything comes from the Creator and is called the “awakening from Above” (Itaruta de-Leila). If the Upper Force instills bad thoughts in you along with the good ones, it is similar to a flood that carries a lot of filth in it. When you attempt to filter the water, the debris rises to the surface. However, it is necessary for you to filter out the “filth” and realize what you are carrying. Therefore, drawing Light that Reforms brings out the sensation of “filth,” showing you how much you still need to correct.

A Kabbalah beginner does not understand the reason behind it all and gets confused; he yearns for the good but experiences terrible states. He does not yet have the inner power to conquer them, nor does he comprehend what is happening. Why then should he undergo such conditions? It is necessary because “no one is as wise as the experienced.” Through continuous study, a person will feel that all such states are necessary.

It can be the other way around, that a person does not experience “filth,” non-spiritual desires and thoughts. This is a sign of the inability to draw the Light that Reforms, which discerns the uncorrected desires that one needs to acknowledge as “bad” and  in need of correction. One must ask for their correction, not their annihilation.

Hence, when we read Kabbalistic texts and feel bad, it is a sign that we are on the right track, and that the Torah serves us as the “potion of life” because it reveals our inner ailments that we need to correct. If, on the other hand, we felt good, confident, proud, and superior, it would be a sign that the Torah serves as the “potion of death,” allowing us to slumber in our egoism and feel more and more satisfied.

Thus, we should rejoice that during our studies, our inner “sinners” become disclosed. This means that the Torah is showing us and correcting our evil; indeed, as it is written: “I created the evil inclination and granted the Torah to correct it.” This is how a person can verify whether he is moving in the right direction toward awareness of his evil egoism within.

The longer we study, the more aware we become that evil resides within us, and our priority is to correct it. With regard to the rest of the world, we should pray for its awakening and basically justify it (“Ladun Kol Echad Le Kav Zhut”).

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, The Zohar

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