There Is Nothing New Under The Sun

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: If everything is prepared ahead of time, then where does the participation of the creature come into play in this process? It seems that we receive everything from Above and that everything is predetermined….

My Answer: Of course! If I give my son a Lego toy to build or bring him baby food, both of which were created by factories and labs, weren’t they prepared ahead of time? Everything is prepared ahead of time, but at the same time, a child grows and becomes independent through these means that were already prepared. He tries to grow, and because of this, he matures and develops his own individuality based on everything that was prepared for him beforehand. This is the way we develop.

Therefore, we cannot do anything new here, as it is written, “We will eat what has long lay in store for us.” Everything occurs according to the Reshimot (spiritual informational genes), which are already instilled in us. However, we draw Lights so that these Reshimot will become revealed in us. We draw the Surrounding Light in order to understand what we need to do, and to perform clarifications.

We participate like partners in the Creator’s actions. Therefore, our work is called the work of the Creator. However, from this work, we learn to be similar to Him and advance from the stage of “conception” to “feeding” and then to “maturing.”

And then, at the stage of “returning through love,” we already carry out actions like the Creator. What does it mean “like the Creator?” The forces are His, and we merely discern what needs to be done and how. When we reach complete correction (Gmar Tikkun), it means that we have revealed all the actions of the Creator above us as active partners in these actions and we desire their execution. That is it and no more.

And after the end of correction, when I become similar to the Creator in all aspects, it is possible that there exist other actions, which I carry out to a greater extent on my own, independent of the Upper Force. However, we have no understanding of this. The science of Kabbalah does not tell us about further stages.

Therefore, it is written that we correct ourselves. Through every action that is carried out, I correct myself, meaning I agree, desire, and merge with that same action with all of my heart. In this manner we achieve final correction.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/15/10, The Zohar

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What Is The Creator?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: You said that the material is the desire to enjoy, while the spiritual is the connection between the desires. If so, what is the Creator?

My Answer: The Creator is what you reveal within your actions. You reveal the general force of love and bestowal to the extent that you perform acts of love and bestowal yourself. Then, in your actions, you reveal the inner force which is called the Creator (Bore in Hebrew) which means Come and See (Bo – Come, Re – See).

Our attainment happens solely through the principle of “From Your actions, I shall know You.” When through all my actions from below upward, I attain the force that fulfills me, which is love and bestowal, I attain the Creator.

When does a small baby begin to recognize his mother? He receives a certain impression from her actions. Yet, he reveals nothing from this impression, but merely feels that somebody cares for him. By starting to react to her and repeat the actions that she wants him to rather than doing what he wants to do, he begins to attain her. In essence, his entire upbringing comes down to this.

In this same way, we attain the Upper One, the Creator. I perform actions in accordance with the Reshimot (spiritual genes) that arise within me. This is called “From Your actions,” and thus, “I shall know You.”

Why is it “Your actions?” After all, they are my actions, aren’t they? No, the Creator has given me the Reshimot. He has given me the desire, the group, and the environment as well as the strength to perform these actions. That is why, after every action, I say, “These are Your actions.” However, through these actions that have passed through me, albeit with my participation and desire, I come to know You (the Creator).

Who is it that comes to know You? There is a certain point of my free will called my own “I.” I have triggered these actions from You, and thus, I come to know You. From Your actions, I come to know You. Within me, there is an “I” that comes to know You. The actions are His, but the attainment is mine.

From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/2/10, The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Life And Death

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: Does the light that people see during clinical death, that gives them a sensation of peace, have anything to do with the Surrounding Light?

My Answer: This type of sensation is a common psychological phenomenon during clinical death. I experienced it while being in a coma for a week and am well aware of its effects. It is a physiological reaction of the body.

Why would an animate body receive Light just because it died? Why would one think that the death of a physical body implies correction? After death, the body remains at the animate level, just as it was while being alive. How does it impact the soul?

The only thing that impacts the soul is correction. Conversely, if the soul simply exits the body without having performed any spiritual work, why should it be entitled to Light? It would be “shame,” like “the bread that is not his.” If you attain the Upper World solely by being driven by the Upper Force that operates on you from birth through death, then where is your freedom of will and conscious effort? If I, through my own work, do not form within myself a vessel capable of perceiving the Upper World, how will I know this Upper World?

We don’t receive anything after the death of our body, because it remains at the same animate level as it was while alive. The only thing left after death are  Reshimot (informational data, records). However, if a person didn’t realize the Reshimot, he will be born in a new body with the old Reshimot.

In the corporeal body of flesh, there is nothing spiritual or sacred. We respect a dead body because it represents the soul to us. Therefore, in our attempt to mirror Upper spiritual acts, we perform such rituals. If we did the same through the forces of our soul, then we would be making real corrections.

Baal HaSulam wrote: “I don’t care where you bury my sack of bones.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/16/10, Article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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Don’t Let Your Ego Consume You!

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: What does the group do? Does it help me see my egoism or correct it?

My Answer: Both. None of us can live without a system, without a spiritual environment. My exercising free will as well as my work completely depend on it. A seed pulled from the soil and left without the necessary environment dies! What will come out of it if you drop it on the ground, uncovered by the soil that provides water, nourishment, minerals, and energy?

For a person, the difference lies in whether he works in the group or not. Suppose you have a sack of seeds and you can plant them in order to grow something. If not, what else are they good for? Only to eat….

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/16/10, The Zohar

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Salvation Lies In The Middle Line

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “Lech Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 22: Therefore, when Abraham… came and received the illumination of the left line, …he immediately fell under Nimrod’s rule. He, in turn, threw him into the furnace, which extends from the power of the illumination of Shuruk.This is when the Creator helped him extend the illumination of the middle line over the Masach de Hirik, which decides and makes peace between the two lines—right and left.

Salvation always lies in the middle line, the screen of Hirik (Masach de Hirik). Two forces – the left and right lines, the force of bestowal and the force of reception – must surface within us; with their help, we are being governed from Above. Similar to how these two forces descend from one upper root, so must we unify them in the middle line.

For this purpose, we are given the Wisdom of Kabbalah, a method that allows us to understand how to unify the two lines and remain in the middle one. However, in order to attain this wisdom, this knowledge, we need a group, studying, and dissemination. All these means help us visualize the correct state, desire it, and ask the Creator to grant it.

Obviously, this wisdom and understanding how to arrange these two forces in order to reconcile them in the middle line also come from Above. It is written: “Who makes peace in His heaven, makes peace within us.” “Who makes peace in His heaven” means the place from where the two lines derive. There too, the Creator extracts them from the middle line – Himself, Zeir Anpin in relation to us. Thus, the two lines descend down to us, to Malchut and all the souls residing within her.

“Makes peace within us” means that from Above, we are given the knowledge of how we have to arrange ourselves. And once we do, the middle line descends and enters us. This is our salvation that was given to Abraham as well.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/15/10, The Zohar

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Welcome To The World Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom Baal HaSulam’s Pri Hacham, Igrot (Letters), Letter No. 26, pg. 85: “The golden bell and the pomegranate are at the hem of the mantle, and a sound is heard when the High Priest enters the sanctuary.”The word “Ephod” (garment of the High Priest) originates from the words “Where is the door?” since where there is a door, there is an entrance, even if it is locked. In the material world, we can see a closed door, a closed entrance, but in spirituality, only an open entrance is visible. One can see it only through complete faith; only under this condition does the door become visible, and at the same moment it turns into an entrance.

The moment that a person attains perfect faith, complete measure of bestowal, the entrance and the door are revealed to him as one. A second before this, he didn’t see anything, neither the door nor the entrance. And all of a sudden the door opens up. Did the door previously exist or not? No, it did not; the property that a person acquired turned into an entrance and a door, thus allowing him to enter.

In our world doors exist before we are ready to walk through them, but in spirituality, we first have to build our Kelim (spiritual vessels) in order to sense a new reality through them. Before we do so, spirituality does not exist. We have to give it its form. This is why both the door and the entrance are built by a person who attains perfect faith: bestowal.

During his upbringing, a person sways from side to side, like those looking for a door. At the final moments of his advancement, he is next to the entrance, but it is then in particular that he suddenly gets tired and takes a step back. He has no strength left to open the door, and spends his life wandering from place to place, searching for an exit but never reaching it.

Our path consists of multiple steps forward and back, and that continues until a real need to enter spirituality is formed within us. We have to prepare our desires because spirituality has no form of its own until we give it one. A person lacks the right perception, reaction, and clarification until he goes through all four levels of each desire. Gradually, he accumulates all the discernments and combines them into one structure which he reveals in the Light. One can only hasten the time of his development; he still must go through all the states.

From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/9/10, Pri Hacham, Igrot (Letters), Letter 26, pg. 85

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Kabbalists On The Purpose Of Creation, Part 22

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

The Creator’s Guidance Is Purposeful

Thus, we have thoroughly shown the conducts of His Providence in our world, which is only a purposeful Guidance [that is, it can be understood only from the final result]. The attribute of goodness is not at all apparent before Creation arrives at its completion, its final ripeness [because the Creator can be comprehended only in the Creature’s corrected properties]. On the contrary, [until the creature corrects himself and his evil into love and goodness] it [his and the world’s state] rather always takes a form of corruption [although inside, it is absolutely corrected as good, yet concealed by the qualities of the observer himself] in the eyes of the beholders.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose

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Children Who Have Grown Old

A peDr. Michael Laitmanrson grows in such a way that at first he receives new desires and fulfillments, which are necessary for his development and which work for his benefit. This is the direction given to him by nature, which desires to raise him and make him self-sufficient, the way children in our world grow.

This is not considered forbidden pleasure, since I have to go through this natural path of development until I become an “adult.” Indeed, we see how children are usually full of different desires and take pleasure in this life.

However, the moment I become an adult, I have to start growing and developing consciously, rather than by the power of nature. Suddenly, all the pleasures I receive start being detrimental to me because I do not aim them for the sake of bestowal.

Previously all the responsibility rested on nature. The Creator determined my path and led me along until the age of 15-20 years. Everything I took from this life was beneficial for my development. But as soon as I completed this period of “childhood,” I have to start determining my own direction. I now have to add the intention of bestowal of my own accord. Otherwise any pleasure I receive will no longer raise me and advance me forward, but will kill me! It will lead me backwards in order to make me feel that it is impossible to keep going this way and that instead of developing by way of my egoism and pleasures, I have to develop through the intention to bestow.

Therefore, all the pleasures that a person receives after the age of adulthood are detrimental to him, like a person who is picking at his wound. How deeply do we have to become immersed in this evil in order to understand that we cannot continue this way, like children who have grown up and whom nature no longer permits to enjoy life recklessly, but instead demands bestowal from them?

How deeply will we have to “pick at our wound” is something that depends on us. We are given all the means and explanations, and we are brought to the study, the books, and the group, which is the place where we have to get serious and think about what we need to add to our lives in order to develop correctly.

What we are adding is the “true vs. false” discernment, in addition to “sweet vs. bitter,” unlike children who only understand “bitter and sweet.” In order not to remain children for the rest of our lives, as it says, “What to do with children who have grown old?”, we have to start acting according to the principle of “true vs. false.” Yet, we should not erase “sweet vs. bitter,” but rather build a new attitude to life above it. This is possible only be evoking the Upper Light upon ourselves through the study of Kabbalah.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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All The Treasures Are In Front Of You!

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: I study The Zohar every day, but I don’t feel anything besides my growing desire. Am I advancing in the right direction?

My Answer: This is very good! If your desire is growing from one day to the next, then you don’t need anything else! Even though a growing desire brings you disappointment, you have to see it as a reward. This is because desire or lack of fulfillment is the force that moves you forward. When you have an empty desire, you feel that you lack unity with the Creator, the feeling of connection with Him, the quality of bestowal.

Therefore, the right desire is a reward. In our world you have to earn fulfillment, but in the spiritual world you have to earn a spiritual vessel, a desire. The fulfillment is always there, you are welcome to come and take it! But what will you take it into? That is the question.

 

Right now there are spiritual treasures all around you: “diamonds,” “gold,” “money,” and anything else you can possibly wish for. You just do not have a desire for them, which is why you don’t recognize them. The space around you seems empty! All the best things you can possibly wish for are already present, but it is as if you have been gagged and your arms and legs have been tied, and then you are placed in front of this treasure and told, “It’s yours!” But, how is it yours if you can’t take it?

 

It is necessary to develop or prepare the desire, the spiritual vessel. That is all we have to do. Therefore, our reward is desire or aspiration, and it has to be created by the Light. We have to change our perception, our attitude to reward and punishment. In our world punishment is desire or the sensation of lack, whereas reward is the fulfillment that calms you down because you live inside the will to enjoy.

However, if you are inside the will to bestow and you have the desire to bestow, this is a reward. Why is the difference so great? It is a result of the restriction. The restriction was performed on reception, but there are no restrictions on bestowal.

If you already have the desire to bestow, then everything lies open before you and everything becomes revealed to you to the same degree. Inside your desire to bestow, you begin to see in the Reflected Light everything that is around you, and you are welcome to take it!

That is how gradually, from one day to the next, The Zohar changes our vision and the direction of our thinking, by building a new, different attitude to life and to the phases of spiritual advancement.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/10, The Zohar

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