Good Environment – 05.01.11

My Good Environment – Dr. Laitman’s Advice and Principles for the Week

Kabbalah Moments: Asking The Creator

As Simple As Two Times Two

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalah, first and foremost, is a science. And a science cannot be mastered while you are lying down on the couch with a book in your hands. It certainly counts as well, but a science requires studying.

Hence, we are opening special courses so that a person could gain the most basic knowledge in a few months. First, he or she must understand what the science of Kabbalah is. We don’t pressure them; a person is not expected to work on, to correct himself or herself. For starters, they come and receive a certain amount of information without which they cannot comprehend where they are.

A person receives an explanation about the structure of our and the spiritual worlds, the connection between them, the transition into spirituality, the upper governance, the origin of the soul’s root, and the way to reach it. He gets to know what “luck” (Mazal), the Lights that “trickle” to us (Nozel), is; how Kabbalah relates to religions, faiths, science, and other things; what the meaning of time, space, and movement is; how to approach the perception of reality correctly; what free will entails, and much more.

A person has to learn all of this in a condensed, simple, and clear manner, by asking questions to a competent instructor who has studied with us for many years, has finished the necessary courses, and passed examinations. Our instructors are professionals in their field. In a short time, they will provide you with all the basic knowledge. I personally stand by it.

If, however, a person neglects the correct learning order, he or she will keep lacking it. He will be just like a graduate who was a bad student in school and now cannot find a job since he doesn’t even know the multiplication table.

Therefore, I strongly recommend signing up for these courses. They consist of three semesters: The first two provide basic knowledge, while the third offers a wide range of additional opportunities designed toward continuous education. Some students don’t wish to end these studies continue with them for several years now.

Good luck!

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/2011, “The Freedom”

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Standing Before The Absolute

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the correct prayer?

Answer: True, in order to be transformed, we only need to pray. The correct prayer is expressed in the words: “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.”

Together with the whole world, all the friends, all the others, I wish to come to a state where we are all unified and thereby bestow pleasure to the Creator. In relation to us, He is good and does good. There is none else besides Him. So are we good and do good in relation to Him. There is none else besides us.

It is said that He and His name will be one. In other words, the Light and the vessel, the Creator and we, come to oneness, adhesion.

Question: Is this the collective prayer?

Answer: Yes, since you pray for everybody. It is that very prayer, the intention, Abraham was so eager to kindle in Babylon. He yearned to cause immediate correction: “Let’s cry out, let’s do this!”

“To pray” is to judge myself: How corrupted is my state of existence and what am I lacking in order to correct it? That is, a prayer is rather an analysis of the situation than a plea to the Creator. There is no one to ask since the upper Light stays at absolute rest. It contains thought and emotion, but when you pray, it is as if you wish to impose your qualities and sensations on the Light.

That’s where the problem lies: We need to transfer the emphasis to self-analysis. A prayer means that I examine myself: What am I lacking, what do I wish the Light to illuminate in me? Where I find a flaw, that’s where it falls and works on. Hence, I need to find my flaws, my needs.

I stand before the immutable Absolute, and everything in it is for the good. If this is so, what can I possibly ask for? Even without my asking, He bestows abundance. So it follows that I have to find in myself the spots that need correction. And that’s what a prayer is about. It is totally directed at me, at the search of what I am missing in order to become similar to bestowal, to the Light.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/2011, “The Freedom”

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Why Am I Not Prince William?

Dr. Michael LaitmanOn the spiritual path, we are faced with a question: What do we do with our inborn properties? One has a good character: He is thoughtful, intelligent, isn’t stubborn and agrees when it’s worthwhile, quickly engages in the group, draws the Light, and moves forth. And another hates everyone, doesn’t want to do anything, procrastinates, and, in short, acts like a bad boy. But is it really his fault that he was made this way?

What should he do then? There are all kinds of folks: simple minded and quick witted, unlucky and gifted, fast and slow paced, arrogant, ambitious, and so on. Characteristics are many, and everyone has their own combination. The Creator endowed me with a specific package of properties, and I have no power over it. It wasn’t up to me; I didn’t get to pick the list.

Where is my free will then? Where is equality on the spiritual path? Where is the degree of choice we all share? Where is the chance that everyone is supposed to have? Not only are we all different, but also, fate is good toward some and harsh to others. At times, people have to face problems we wouldn’t wish our enemies.

However, free will is supposed to initially be founded on equal opportunities, isn’t it? Where is this equal chance at the starting line and further on the path? We don’t have it all the same.

In response to this, Baal HaSulam explains why the created being is supposed to develop in this specific way. The truth is that we originate from the final, perfect state of existence. It is said: “The end of an action is in its initial thought.” It is as if the Creator is saying: “I wish to see everybody in this specific state.” He initially created this final condition, in which we exist in all our glory and perfection.

How can we come to it voluntarily? For this, from the final perfection, there expands a reverse path back to us, into this world. Let us see many “defects” and “faults,” let us all be different, let us have individual destinies and combinations of qualities—it all is rooted and “sprawled” from the final, complete state.

One may wonder: Why has the situation been arranged the way it has? Why am I not Prince William whose wedding is watched by the whole world? And after all, why did the perfect state give rise to such imperfect, distorted states with numberless flaws?

Baal HaSulam answers these and all other questions in his article “The Freedom.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/2011, “The Freedom”

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I Wouldn’t Like To Repeat A Year At School

Dr. Michael LaitmanThere are two paths: a long and a short one, the path of suffering and the path of the Torah. In fact, on the path of suffering I don’t move ahead. However, each time I stand idle, suffering puts me through blows and returns me to the path of the Torah.

By the same token, a child who doesn’t care to study finds himself “under the blows of fate”: He isn’t allowed to play outside until he completes his homework and he stays in the same grade to repeat a year. Having suffered for some time, he feels the need to sit down with the books. Frankly, today’s parents don’t have what it takes, but the Creator does have the power and the means. He forces us to do our homework and keep moving toward the goal.

Thus, the purpose of suffering is to direct us toward the path of the Torah since correction occurs solely by virtue of the Light that Reforms. Yet, in the course of events, insofar as I don’t wish to turn to the Torah, I am bombarded by blows, and they force me do so.

After all, I am but the desire to enjoy. All it takes is to lock me away from “toys,” deprive me of pleasures, sting me with suffering, and I, like a little darling, am willing to do whatever it takes. What can we do if we are small and weak and have only one solution: to draw upon ourselves the Light that Reforms.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/2011, “The Freedom”

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Sorrow Shall Become A Delight….

Dr. Michael LaitmanWritings of Baal HaSulam, Letter 19: A person is not ready for adhesion with the Creator all at once, but gradually, as it is written, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me.” That is why he creates yearnings, which are the beginning of adhesion, as it is written, “a righteous who suffers.” He suffers because the Creator does not desire adhesion with him. That is why the person feels yearning and sorrow without love, which is necessary for adhesion. He feels suffering which will turn into the delight of adhesion.

Question: How can we aspire to a connection with the Creator in states of suffering that He sends us?

Answer: The Creator does not send us suffering. Only goodness comes from Him, but in my egoism, I feel His kind attitude in the opposite way, meaning that I experience suffering. But this is exactly the “awakening” that is necessary for attaining the goal, for changing my egoism to bestowal. Then suffering turns into pleasure.

Nothing changes besides my attitude to the world, as it is written, “You will eat what is old.” You have changed yourself and your attitude to what happens. You have ascended above your will to enjoy, and therefore, instead of suffering you experience pleasure.

You used to aspire to imaginary sources of fulfillment, but now your aspiration for the Creator, your sorrow and suffering turn into fulfillment because you don’t want anything but this. You only want to desire Him, and this already fulfills you.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/1/11, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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That Infamous Button

We ButtonUltimately, there is only one action that is up to us and with the help of which we can express our desire. All other actions don’t work.

Let’s say I am consumed by the burning desire to do or change something, to better my life. There are thousands of switches in front of me on the wall. I keep pushing the buttons hoping to see some changes, I try to understand whether I switched something on, while losing track of the sequence and getting lost in the location of the buttons….

So it is in our life: We get disoriented by numerous “buttons” that we barely have time to press. “Relax,” Kabbalists advise. “This way, you won’t succeed. There is only one button you need to push to feel good. If you push any other, you will feel bad.”

Why are they there then? They are needed so that while we are making vain attempts, we would smarten up and find the right button. This path is regarded as “the path of suffering.”

But there is another path, “the path of the Torah,” where a person receives instructions: “Don’t touch any other buttons on the wall for it’s going to make things worse. After all, you think they work and expect good results. The time is passing by, while you keep vesting your hopes and aspiration not in the Creator, not in the only working force in reality. In other words, you are serving idols. Besides, having the same expectations, you are increasingly lagging behind the preset pace of correction. As a result, each incorrect push of the button and a halt that follows it lead toward negative consequences.”

What is the solution then? We need to find the right button as fast as possible. In the article “The Freedom” Baal HaSulam explains to us how it’s done. If you keep returning to the same button, pressing it deeper and deeper, you do get to open the source of abundance, which corrects and fulfills you with all the good there is.

This is the only button that turns the whole system on, while all the others are not connected to anything. By pressing them, you only bother yourself, instead of engaging the only mechanism you have available. Just as well, inaction naturally brings you trouble. The cogwheels of reality continue to spin, and if you do not contribute the positive to it, the system automatically slides down to the negative.

This is why it is necessary to find the right button among all others and train yourself to press only it, making no errors. This is what constitutes our work. Who doesn’t seek luck? This is what “luck” is all about.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/2011, “The Freedom”

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The Measure Of Yearning And Longing

Dr. Michael LaitmanWritings of Baal HaSulam, Letter 19: A soul is a measure of yearning and longing….

Question: The concept of the quantity of yearning and longing can somewhat be understood, but what is the right quality?

Answer: Every person’s quantity and quality are determined subjectively, depending on the root of one’s soul and his mission. Similar to our world, there are all sorts of states we can measure by height and character, by the degree of one’s suffering or joy, the intensity of sensation, and the rate of their influence on a person.

Baal HaSulam gives just three examples for assessing them. Even though we differentiate much more, in the end, they all amount to these three, “in that place, at that time, in that woman” (these concepts are explained in the lesson).
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/1/11, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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