Audio Version Of The Blog – 11.01.12

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Superstorm Sandy: In The Trap Of Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I am writing to you, frightened by the howling wind and rain; outside the window is a hurricane. What is happening to us?

Answer: We are caught in a trap that was prepared for us by our egoistic nature. Under the influence of its nature, a person tends to 1) satisfy basic (reasonable) needs and 2) satisfy the desire for excesses that emerge in him under the influence of his environment. Rather than striving to become similar to nature, making humanity as one family, we engage in competition, individualism, and protectionism.

The self-interests of producers impose a consumer society on us in which everyone aspires to excess in everything. However, they never reach happiness because this feeling of happiness does not incite them to make new purchases and it annuls the cult of consumerism.

All of this is done to replace the spiritual values with the material ones. People are limited, brought up on soap operas, and are duped by mass culture; it is easier to sell to those and it is easier to manage them. The increasing contrast between humanity and integral nature creates different kinds of imbalances that manifest in the form of social and natural disasters.
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A Storm Is Like A Chance

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: A priest has already said that super storm Sandy was caused by Obama and Romney’s sins. Major disasters are always blamed on someone’s sins. How do we avoid falling into this trap when explaining to people what is happening?

Answer: Basically, there are two options: the path of the Torah and the path of suffering. And if we do not tend towards the positive, then we tend towards the negative.

In general, everything good and bad that a person feels in this world is part of the general management. It is not possible to say that any phenomenon is detached from spirituality and has nothing to do with it. It has.

Now, imagine that the qualities of judgment (Gevurot) that are revealed today are clothed in mercy (Hassadim). Due to this power, the world could move forward nicely. After all, the force of bestowal would gain the power to open up in the internal properties of judgment, which are now manifested today in a storm. Social divide would be diminished around the world, the value of unity would grow, integral education would develop…

However, in reality the opposite is true, and the storm is the consequence of this. Only it was not sent as a punishment. There are no punishments; these are the actions of the same forces that we did not correct at the time, according to the program. They accumulate, and if we had done everything right, they would have raised us to a higher degree. Now, this degree, on which we were supposed to be, is manifested in the opposite form, in the form of a natural disaster.

The same factor appears not positively, as it should be, but negatively. However, we switched the rails from the path of the Torah to the path of suffering. The “switch” is in our hands.

So, it is not a punishment, but a natural consequence that we have caused ourselves. There is no need to imagine as if the Creator decides to punish us one way or the other. It is nothing like that; we are dealing with the law of nature: You do not realize the revealed Reshimot (informational genes), they accumulate in a large account, a “fine” that we get.

This “fine” is like a warning. And the question is, whether we accept it correctly.

It is said that punishments soften and cleanse the body. So maybe that’s for the better? “I was punished, a disaster fell upon me, and I became cleaner. I have suffered, but become purified…”

This is an absolute lie, an unprecedented mistake. I myself have brought upon myself what I have gotten because I had not realized the Reshimot properly. In fact, I am given a chance now. Until now, going through the sequence of Reshimot, I did not understand how to behave. I played, I was confused in my own egoism and mood swings.

And now, having found myself in a difficult situation, I finally got a “gift”: I have the opportunity and ability to judge correctly. In other words, the disaster came to help me, to shake me: “Wake up! It can no longer continue like this! You cause yourself harm.” In this case, a disaster is a remedy, though bitter. Similarly, a child could be treated in a tough way to keep him out of trouble.

That is why the storm should be seen on the one hand, as a warning, and on the other hand, as a situation that can help us make a correct calculation and move forward.

So this is great! We ought to say, “Thank you!”

The approach is simple: Everything that happened before had to happen. We do not look back. “If” does not count. Now, a blow is manifested; hence, we must continue to make a calculation, the calculation on how to correct corrupt desires, the property of judgment.

Note when this happens: a week before the presidential election. So let’s see what happens: Will Sandy help the reassessment of what is happening? If not, we will see worse hurricanes, severe disasters. It depends on the events of the next week how the US will survive the winter.
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From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/12, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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Ascent But Not Escape

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is the negative force in the world revealed in such a clear manner, and not at all in proportion to the positive force that we awaken? Or maybe we don’t awaken anything?

Answer: The negative force awakens so that you will ask for the positive force that is in opposition to it. And not in order to annul the blow, but in order to transform the blow to something beneficial. It is, as if, you ask the father to teach you to think, but not to stop the unpleasant process, but to transform it into being 100% beneficial. You truly want to acquire a new mind and improve your own attributes. You don’t identify with your ego, which receives the blow, but on the contrary, you exit it and admit: “The ego deserves this blow, but let it be for its benefit, let it change it.”

And then instead of bitterness and pain, you suddenly feel sweetness. In addition to its coming as a “blow,” the negative force helps you break away from your desire to receive, to rise above it and determine for yourself, that it is specifically in this form that it brings benefit. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to cut yourself off from the ego.

In this way, our work is in asking for strength to rise above the desire, but not because we don’t want to feel the blows from it, but because we want to identify with the Creator. We want to discern the evil within the desire to receive, to feel the blow on it, not in order to adhere to it, but to rise above it to the desire to bestow. And again, not because we will feel peace and quiet there, but so that we can perform an act of bestowal.

Here a very delicate and fundamental clarification is hidden, a clarification that reveals the condition of the Machsom (barrier). We are approaching it…
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/12, The Zohar

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A Flood Of Water In The Work

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom the article “What is a Flood of Water in the Work” by Rabash: In The Zohar, Noah comments on the words “and I am bringing a flood of water on the earth”… we know that when a person begins to work in order to bestow, the body claims, “What mean you by this work?” What is the sense in not wanting to work for your own good; after all, you should worry about enjoying life and to bestow means that you don’t work for your own good. So it is against our nature and this is called “a claim of what.”

But there is another claim, when the body objects to the Creator’s work, when a person says to the body that we have to believe in the Creator, that He looks after and leads the world as the good and the benevolent. Then the body comes to a person with Pharaoh’s claim that says: “Who is the Lord that I should listen to Him?” which means that it is hard for him to believe in the Creator. This means that he says that he can work for the Creator’s benefit, but only if he feels the Creator’s greatness does he understand that it is worthwhile to work for Him.

These two questions: “Who?” and “What?” have to appear before every person on his spiritual path and to be revealed to their fullest. A person should know how to cope with them and to understand them deeply. These are fundamental questions that result from the great exertion invested in the group, in the study and in the great efforts to advance towards the goal.

As a result, the questions of “Who?” and “What?” are revealed to a person and it is these questions that balance and stabilize him and help him clarify the powers he needs in order to build his spiritual vessel.

This vessel that is built of two opposite lines in every one of its parts, above which a person builds the middle line; above all the attributes and the discernments he has to determine a common discernment called the middle line.

So first he has to clear the two questions of “Who (Mi)?” and “What (Ma)?” which means with the water (ma-im) of the flood. Rabash writes: “And if a person is happy by these two questions, that he now has a place to work above reason, it turns out that he is saved from the flood of water.”
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/12, Writings of Rabash 

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There Is Always One Criterion For Advancement

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we make sure that we are firmly supporting our friends with our intentions?

Answer: We should constantly check our attitude to the group. There is nothing more I can check. The right course without deviation, the pace of the advancement—are all measured with relation to my attitude to the friends.

I don’t have to check and examine thousands of parameters and discernments, going crazy between many gauges and dials like in a cockpit, where the eyes must follow a lot of instruments. Only with time is a pilot trained to take in the overall picture and recognize a problem. This why the pilots’ indicators are analog with pointing arrows and they are not given digital displays.

In spirituality it is different. There, despite the many discernments operating on you, you have to bring them to the same scale, to one criterion—to the environment. I reach a growingly stronger adhesion with the group, until I reach the implementation of the adhesion, and I attain the next level and build myself.

Time after time, I adhere to the group and enter it as Noah’s ark. I try to place myself under the influence of the friends as hard as I can. At the same time, I can criticize them, but only if it increases my devotion to them. So first I have to determine the point of adhesion, like a drop of semen in a mother’s womb.

Then when the contact is established, the “flesh” is created around the drop of semen because egoistic desire is constantly added. There are problems, internal criticism and confusion, but I let myself open this “Pandora’s box” only if I am in control of the situation and use it to reach adhesion.

Thus the spiritual embryo grows, by enabling all his desires to participate in the adhesion, above the desires themselves, above reason, and in contrast to its desires. On the one hand, the desires are burning inside, objecting to the annulment, and on the other hand, he demands this self-annulment, the adhesion.

According to his powers, he balances these two extreme states on the middle line and this provides the growing of the “body.” This is because the “body” is basically already a result, a middle line, Tifferet.
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/12, The Zohar

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A Check For Selfless Devotion

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator’s greatness is a very complicated issue. Of course we cannot move without feeling His greatness, but we don’t want it to be like in our world when it is part of our nature to respect an important person.

The importance depends on the environment. If people around me respect someone, I will also respect him. But if people around me disrespect someone, I will undoubtedly disrespect him too, it only depends on the society that impresses me. I decide according to the opinion of society who is important and who is not.

Naturally I am always ready to serve an important person. It only depends on how important a person is in my eyes if I agree to carry his suitcase that weighs 10kg or 100kg, to work for him for one day or for a whole lifetime. But these are purely egoistic motives. If the Creator reveals his greatness to us, we will gladly work for Him, just as for a very important person because of the egoistic desire. It would not be faith above reason and the intention of in order to bestow but ordinary ego, since I will work for the pleasure that I receive from belonging to a great personality.

It is a pleasure to serve a great person; this is our nature and so in such a case our machine works on ordinary fuel and doesn’t perform any spiritual work. This is because spiritual work is above any payment that the desire to receive gets as compensation.

So the Creator cannot reveal His greatness to us if we ask Him for it so we can use it to work putting the Creator’s greatness as a condition for our work. Because then we would get the same situation as in our world. I underestimated someone and disrespected him and suddenly the society says to me: “Didn’t you know what a great man this is? How clever, rich and influential he is?” Then I would immediately begin to respect him and would be ready to serve him.

The Creator is concealed and doesn’t reveal His greatness to us unless we, with the help of the group, the teacher, and the study, prepare ourselves in order to truly want bestowal, and only if we need the Creator’s force, His greatness, only in order to attain bestowal, do we receive it.

This means, that bestowal should be in first place, and only for the sake of bestowing should we want to feel the Creator’s greatness. Only in this case will we reveal the greatness of the Creator, based on what is important to us, the importance of bestowal.

A person needs to prepare a very special deficiency called the three lines. We will find out more about this very important point, but it is good that we have moved closer to it. It is a very subtle but fundamental condition of knowing how to separate where the egoistic motives are concealed and where the true bestowal regarding the Creator’s greatness is.
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From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/12

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Forced By The Stick Or By Choice?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt says that the Creator created the evil inclination, but actually the point is that I have to discover my inclination by myself, discover that that my initial desire is evil and opposite from the Creator.

It isn’t that easy. Even if the Creator gives and I receive, what’s so bad about that? The point is not the desire; it stays the same, neither good nor bad. I determine evil by myself, by attaining it.

A person reaches the giving of the Torah when he needs correction, when he discovers within his desire an evil intention: for himself and against others, which means against other people and against the Creator. This is what he calls evil. It requires serious preparation in order to feel such shame when you feel “I would rather die than live.”

We imagine the giving of the Torah as a necessity, as compelling as the mountain of hatred looming over us that leaves us no choice. But a person has to feel a need since there is no coercion in spirituality. So how can this problem be solved? On the one hand, the Creator “pushes me to the wall,” and on the other hand, I need to feel a deficiency.

In fact, what the Creator dictates is only a condition, and if I fulfill it, I receive the Torah, which means the method of correction, but I have to stabilize this condition by myself and to agree to it: “If I don’t accept it, then I would rather die than live.” This is the preparation required of a person.
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From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/28/12, Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 11.01.12

Preparation to the Lesson

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Writings of Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “Article 4,” Lesson 3

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The Book of ZoharSelected Excerpt, ParashatKdoshim,” Item 113, Lesson 8

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Volume 3, Part 8, “Ohr Pnimi,” Item 45, Lesson 28

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