Good Environment – 06.30.11

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

Ahead Of Nature

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”: Thus, that creature develops and marches upward in degrees of the above spoken exaltedness, until he loses all remnants of self-love and all the commandments in his body rise, and he performs all his actions only to bestow, so even the necessity that he receives flows in the direction of bestowal, so he can bestow. This is why our sages said, “The commandments were given only to refine people with.”

Through the principle of “love thy friend as yourself,” we come to the end of the path: to adhesion. Whether we like it or not, we must achieve it. Our free choice is to move quickly, which we can do if we take advantage of the environment. Otherwise, nature will push us until it forces us into it—and we will want to move faster than nature anyway.

How do we advance? We advance due to internal development. How does it happen? It takes place because of “the Torah and commandments,” meaning the method of correction by which we have to refine ourselves. Of course, we are not talking about the external actions of this world. Baal HaSulam mentions an excerpt from the Gemara to make this clear to us: We are required to perform namely the internal correction of our qualities. This means that our interrelationships should be aimed exclusively at bestowal of the same height as that of the Creator.

How can it be achieved? It is done in stages. First, a person knows nothing, like a child who just started to grow. Then, he is gradually given explanations, and he understands more and more. Ultimately, everything depends on the environment, on explanations, on the efforts that are applied during his education, and on his own efforts when he practices the assigned tasks.

In essence, a person is taught to be in the environment and to use it correctly, according to the principle: “I created the evil inclination, and I created the Torah as a spice.” The evil inclination is revealed namely in the environment; there is no other possibility.

Besides that, it requires the Torah as “a spice,” meaning the Light that Reforms. A person feels evil relative to the Light. The Light exposes my vessels, and I demand for it to correct them. Then, the Light fills them.

Thus, step by step, a person comes to correction.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/27/2011, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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Kabbalists On The Nature Of Man And The Nature Of The Creator, Part 12

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

The Superiority of Man to the Beast

Animate: Each of them has its own sensation and characteristic. They can certainly operate against nature, meaning give, and they have individual life. Yet, they cannot feel more than their own being. In other words, they have no sensation of the other and hence, cannot care for the other.

Speaking: It can act against nature, is independent from the society, and feels the other, and hence can care for them and complement them by feeling and regretting with the public, being able to rejoice in the solace of the public, and by the ability to receive from the past and from the future.
– Baal HaSulam, Shamati (I Heard), Article #115, “Still, Vegetative, Animate, and Speaking”

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The Faces of The Beloved

Dr. Michael LaitmanAccording to our nature, the character of our actions, we are receivers. However, the more you receive for the sake of bestowal, the higher you are as a giver. The action itself does not change, only your intention does. That is what turns you into a giver instead of a receiver.

Does the Creator feel it? It is possible to say that nothing changes for the Giver, but only for a human being. There is nothing to be added to perfection. All His responses and impressions are actually manifested in you, in the image of the Creator that you have formed.

Thanks to this, you can bring yourself to equivalence with Him: It seems to you that changes take place in Him, that you give Him more or less pleasure. You suffer or enjoy because of Him, relative to how much He suffers of enjoys because of you, and so on.

All these relationships unfold in the creature only to elevate it to the degree of the Creator, meaning to supplement the creature with perfection that comes from the property of bestowal. It turns out that the Creator plays with the creature just to educate it.

Similarly, we show children various faces: We laugh with them, become serious, and express anger. Everything is for the sake of education, in order to show a child as many nuances as possible and thereby teach him how to work correctly with himself and the environment. And in fact, nothing but love motivates us.

In his “Preface to The Book of Zohar,” Item 33, Baal HaSulam writes about this: “The truth is that there is a Godly will here that these similitudes, which operate only in the souls of the receivers, will appear to the souls as He Himself participates in them to greatly increase the attainment of the souls.

It is like a father who constrains himself to show his little darling child a face of sadness and a face of contentment, although there is neither sadness nor contentment in him. He only does this to impress his darling child and expand his understanding so as to play with him.”
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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Physically, I Am In The Group. What About My Soul?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it true that we can become aware of evil only after the Machsom (barrier to spirituality)? What can I do until then?

Answer: Every degree has its measurement, its standards, and its criteria. Identically, I had different views of myself at the age of four, five, six, or seven.

Even now, I have a possibility to recognize evil. Physically, I am present in the group, but am I there with my soul? No, I am not. What will this state lead me to? What will happen to me? I cannot reach spirituality like this. It’s too bad. I feel sorry for lost time, a wasted life, from which I did not gain anything.

Then, I start hating what prevents me from connecting with the friends: my difference from them. Of course, all this occurs in egoism, in the receiving desire that wants to obtain spirituality so as to not miss anything in life. However, this puts me in the correct egoistic condition of Lo Lishma (for oneself), and then the influence of the Light turns it into the altruistic state of Lishma (for the sake of the Creator).

Anyway, shame is present here as well. First, I am ashamed of the possibility of being caught for theft, then I notice that it is not worthwhile stealing, at least not always. As a result, I change internally so that I do not want anything from anybody. All I want is to bestow. This is my aspiration, and I am happy with it.

Wonderfully, this is Lo Lishma, and the will to bestow, the act of bestowal, is already embedded in it. Although, there is compensation: a good feeling. In this way, we connect with good and do not demand anything for the time being.

At the next stage, the Light Reforms a person even without his awareness, and he really connects with to the Good Who does Good. Thus first, I connect with good that makes me feel good, and then, I switch to real bestowal to the Creator.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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An Unbearable Distinction From The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanIf the Creator, in line with His Thought of Creation, wasn’t supposed to elevate us to the highest degree of evolution, He wouldn’t have created in us the sensation of being different from Him. The point is not in the difference between the Giver and the receiver. It is clear that the Creator is in the lead. He is good that does good. He is the Absolute, and, being the Giver, He created us as receivers “by default.” We certainly won’t feel ashamed while we receive from Him. What would be the problem with receiving from the One who Gives? After all, that is the way He made us.

Shame, however, derives solely from the sensation of being different that was designed by the Creator, the feeling of separation between Him and us, which leads to our beginning to sense reception as flawed. This rule is projected onto our world as well, where we feel uncomfortable when we receive pleasure from someone with whom we have a special relationship in which the other has a higher status.

There is an additional problem here. Compared to spirituality, it takes opposite forms pertaining to us and poses a question: Can I stop feeling ashamed? In spirituality, however, my question is how can I enhance shame because it becomes an instrument to analyze myself, a vehicle to raise my awareness of my evil.

As we know, besides the awareness of evil, we don’t need anything else. All the rest is done by the upper Light. What is this evil after all? It is not about my being a receiver by nature. I realize how evil I am when I discover how truly great the differences are between my qualities and those of the Creator.

I desire greatly to enhance this sensation, this awareness, since this is what leads me to ask for correction. We regard such a plea as “the gate of tears.” The necessary details of perception are gathered within me until the awareness of my evil finally makes me scream because I cannot bear this discrepancy between the Creator and myself.

Thus, evil is not a mere distinction between the receiver and the Giver. Clearly, the Creator gives, while I receive. Such an arrangement remains at all the spiritual degrees, in the end of correction and after it. The problem lies in becoming conscious of the inner, qualitative distinction between my properties and His. That is what causes me to feel shame.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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There Are No Mistakes, But Only Revelations!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it possible not to make any mistakes on the spiritual path?

Answer: To tell you the truth, we do not make mistakes. We reveal the uncorrected desire, which in reality is also not impaired, but is intended to provide us with a contrast, a difference between two opposite states. Otherwise we wouldn’t feel any state.

Therefore, we never have mistakes or any kind of mishaps. The opposite state has to become revealed. We are creatures, and are unable to perceive any phenomenon by itself. We can only feel it my measuring, evaluating, and perceiving it in relation to something else. There has to be “me” and “what I feel,” one object compared to another.

It is impossible to feel any phenomenon by itself because that would be the Creator before He made the creation, when it is even impossible to say about Him that He is good and does good. For whom is He good? For whom does He do goodness? After all, goodness can only be evaluated compared to evil that already exists.

Therefore, we cannot even talk about the essence of the Creator the way philosophers try to reason because we do not have the capability to perceive it, nor the words to describe it. Creation starts with being opposite to the Creator, at least slightly removed from Him. This “slightly” gives creation its own status, the sensation of one thing opposite another—black against white, “the advantage of the Light is from the darkness.” Then there is something to talk about.

We don’t even know how a phenomenon can exist by itself. Can you possibly create some kind of form that does not have any distinctions, boundaries, characteristics, and shades of color—anything? You are unable to perceive that kind of thing. This is something we don’t perceive. If there are no shades or distinctions present, then we do not perceive.

After all, all of our senses, like the five earthly senses, are built on the fact that a certain influence hits my nerve endings, and then I receive some kind of impression: visual, auditory, tactile, taste, or smell. I need nerve endings, there has to be a collision, a striking, and mutual interaction between two opposites—and then I perceive. If there is no striking, then there is no sensation. When do I begin feeling the Creator? From the striking (Hakaa), the collision between the desire and the Light.
From the lesson on 6/24/11, Writings of Rabash

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A Splinter In The Universe Or A Beloved Child?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “General Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot: …as corporeal things are separated from one another by an axe and a hammer, the spirituals are separated from one another by the disparity of form between them. And when the disparity of form increases to the point of oppositeness, from one extreme to the other, complete separation is created between them.

From the perspective of the Creator, who created the will to enjoy, there is no opposition between this desire and the desire of bestowal. It’s like a baby who receives from a mother—there is no division between them. They are inseparably connected and enjoy one another.

We see how in nature, a foreign organism consisting of someone else’s flesh receives the opportunity to grow inside the mother’s body and is not perceived by her as foreign! How is this phenomenon, a fetus inside a mother’s womb, even possible considering that when we get a tiny splinter, the body immediately begins to reject the alien object? An infection immediately forms around it and the body tries to push it out and separate it.

It’s known how during an organ transplant it is very difficult to overcome this barrier, the body’s incompatibility with and rejection of an alien body. But here the opposite happens: One body grows inside of the other, and the big body is always taking care of the small body, doing everything only for its benefit!

This is an example of the will to enjoy (the fetus) and the will to bestow (the mother) not being in conflict with one another. And the same thing happens in relation to the Creator, who created the will to enjoy. This desire does not contradict or oppose bestowal.

However, if the goal is to bring this will to enjoy to the form of bestowal, then they do become opposite to one another according to their intentions. In the initial state there is a bestowing desire and a receiving one: the Creator and the creation. But there is no discrepancy between them and they are united together. But then, creation develops and acquires an egoistic intention, and now according to their intentions, they become opposite: The intention of bestowal is opposite to the intention for oneself from beginning to the end, from zero until infinity.

What we have to correct is the egoistic intention and not the desire! The desire remains in us. We always keep the will to enjoy. But the intention has to be “for the sake of bestowal.”

However, we usually get confused about this, thinking that we have to fight with our desires. Religions and different spiritual practices try to destroy the desire or decrease it. But Kabbalah says the opposite: “Increase your desire and the intention of bestowal together with it!” Then you will be able to bestow more with your actions.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/24/11, “General Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”

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Good Environment – 06.29.11

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

About The Book “Zohar For The People”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When you simplify The Book of Zohar, aren’t you afraid of ruining it?

Answer: No, I’m not afraid because I know for sure that I’m ruining it! The text of Zohar for the People is compiled from the original text of The Book of Zohar and the Sulam Commentary, weaved together and simplified.

Therefore, it is definitely ruined compared to the source. Many words (such as Behina and others) that underline precision, were removed from the sentences in order to make the text easier. The resulting text is coarser, less precise, but more concrete.

We had to take this plunge in order to bring The Zohar’s text closer to an average person’s level of reading and understanding. Of course, this kind of text does not replace the source under any circumstances. It is intended for mass reading of The Book of Zohar.

Some study Kabbalah as mechanics, some study Kabbalah as a wisdom, some study Kabbalah to memorize things, some study Kabbalah to write books, some study Kabbalah to teach—but some study Kabbalah in order to change. Under the influence of the upper Light that descends upon a person in the process of reading The Book of Zohar, one starts feeling the upper world, and then, from the sensations, he begins to understand it. This is the real study of Kabbalah. And the book Zohar for the People is intended for these kinds of people.

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