Audio Version Of The Blog – 01.07.13

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Freewill: More Questions Than Answers

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn what state do we currently find ourselves? Who is organizing this state for us? Who “resets” us, who prepares us by leaving us only one correct action, which in so doing we will succeed?

We see that everything is determined in Nature. We are in a rigid system that chains us in on all sides and doesn’t let us move freely by even one millimeter. On the contrary, every movement you make shakes the system and it responds immediately. If you understand that, then your reactions are correct. Imagine that you are standing naked, completely surrounded by needles that almost touch your skin. You can’t even make the slightest movement, and at the most you may be able to move your eyes a little.

This is how the laws of nature “wrap” us. It’s even much more than that since they operate both in our mind and our emotions (in the heart), and I have to check: Do I have any free will? Does anything exist except this nature? If so, then this is where my self is. But can anyone exist on the outside? In the meantime I am totally, internally and externally, surrounded by needles and can’t move independently at all.

So we have to clarify what there can be besides nature. Has it left one of its creatures called “Adam – man” something that enables him to become free of it? And besides, how can this be if the whole universe is a system of absolute fixed laws? We are in a system that is totally mutually connected and each day we discover its integrality more and more, that it is deterministic and that there is no freedom in it; so how can it be that there is something outside its whole laws and frameworks? It’s a serious problem: Who is outside the laws? Of course, it isn’t our animal body, which we can study thoroughly since we have all the necessary data for that.

On the whole, we all totally obey nature’s laws, and if we are satisfied with that, then everything can keep on flowing that way, but if we can discover at least one grain of freedom that would really be a wonder. For what is the freedom intended? How and for what has nature made room in itself for it, why has it restricted itself and not entered this zone? What is this space in which the real created being who is not under the influence of nature actually exists? What is this created being actually? Does it have any laws of its own according to which it operates?

There are many questions to answer here. Spinoza and Kant mainly dealt with these questions. It’s a complex system that belongs to us since we ask the question about the meaning of life by refusing to accept the deterministic approach, aspiring to be above the predetermined corporeal state, and to find something else….
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/4/13, “The Peace”

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At The Forefront Of The Spiritual Attack

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur correction depends on our receiving a new attire called Masach (screen), or an intention, because we were created from the matter of the desire to receive, which is totally opposite from the Creator. This enables us to use our desire to receive in order to bestow in the same way that the Creator treats us since adhesion is possible only according to the equivalence of form.

So, all our work is first to discover how opposite we are from the Creator and then, according to our sorrow because of this oppositeness, to ask for correction, equivalence of form. This is, in fact, all we must do.

So, why must we go through such a long path. Isn’t it possible to ask the Creator to make us whole, right away? In fact, the Creator has created everything whole. We are in the world of Ein Sof (Infinity), identifying with Him, equal to Him, and in absolute adhesion with the Creator, and only our recognition of this state is missing. This recognition determines our independence.

Adhesion was created by the Creator, but on our part, we only have to be like a drop of semen that is adhered to the mother’s womb but hasn’t developed into a human being yet. It doesn’t feel its “self” yet. It doesn’t feel that it exists as an independent being. In order to discover its self-existence, this drop of semen must draw away from the Creator in its feeling of independent existence to the distance in which they were strongly adhered.

On the one hand, from the perspective of the nature of this drop, it will draw further and further away from the Creator according to the size of its desire until the entire desire contracts into a point, into a zero, into “nothing,” and totally disappears. However, on the other hand, the way back will be revealed to us: the need to overcome this great distance because of the differences in our nature and to attain equivalence of form.

When we reach equality and connection above the distance between us, we attain the Creator’s form and understand and feel Him, His plan, and this entire program. This is why, on one hand, we become independent, and on the other hand, we adhere to Him according to our own desire and freewill.

Thus, we discover all of creation. In this process, it becomes increasingly clearer to us. It is impossible to do that all at once since the heart must understand this process and not only the cold mind.

The revelation is possible only where there is concealment. The darker it is, the more the Light that arrives can illuminate all its dark caves, all the opposite forms of the darkness. Then, as a result of the connection of all the direct and inverse forms, the recognition is born, the attainment, as it is written, “The advantage of the Light is knowable only from the darkness.”

Our world is built in the exact same way. If a person doesn’t understand a certain phenomenon, he may pass by it and not even notice it. In order to discover a new, natural phenomenon, a person must study a lot and be in the vanguard, at the forefront of the scientific discoveries. He must know everything that is revealed to us and then suddenly see what is beyond the boundaries of the attainable, which means to discover something new. In order to do that, he needs to attain and recognize all the vessels that he has attained so far.

The same rules operate in the wisdom of Kabbalah. People who are ready to be in the dark in order to attain spirituality draw upon themselves the Light into the darkness, and then, in the gap between them, they begin to discover the spiritual attainment and the equivalence to the Creator and the adhesion to Him.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/3/13, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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A Flame Clings To The Wick

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 134: You should know this law, that there is disclosure only in a place where there was concealment. This is similar to matters of this world where the absence precedes the existence, since the growth of wheat appears only where it was sown and rotted.

It is the same with higher matters, where concealment and disclosure relate to each other as the wick to the light that catches it. This is because any concealment, once it is corrected, is a reason for disclosure of the Light related to that kind of concealment, and the Light that appears clings to it like flame to a wick. Remember this on all your ways.

The oil itself cannot burn. In order to light it, we need a wick. The wick represents the opposite property, on one hand, and on the other hand, the connection between the Light, the fire that needs air and oil to burn.

The wick connects the oil, the fuel, and the air. The wick itself is meaningless. It can be made of some material that is not consumed. It is only the link that connects the oil, which we need to light, and the air that is necessary for combustion. If there is a connection between Malchut and Bina, the fuel and the air, then in the gap between their attributes there can be fire, the Light.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/3/13, “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama

Dr. Michael LaitmanSpiritual qualities are given different names: Nefesh (soul), Ruach (spirit), Neshama (soul). We begin to join the spiritual world by receiving the level of Ruach.

Nefesh, is the level of the inanimate of Holiness, when a person cannot move by himself. He comes to the lesson and thinks that everything is fine, that nothing more is required of him: today is the same as yesterday and tomorrow will be the same as today. He doesn’t explode and doesn’t feel sorry that he remains in the same state, but is rather happy that another day has gone by and that everything is fine. He accepts the daily routine.

But it is also an achievement if a person is in the group, trying not to interfere with its advancement, ready to join everyone, and to support it. He supports what the others are doing. But doesn’t show any special initiative; he doesn’t have the level of Ruach. There is no new force growing in him. And so he is called Nefesh de Kedusha (of Holiness).

But he still comes to the lessons and studies. I wish the whole world were on the level of Nefesh of Holiness. Nevertheless, this is called “spirituality” of the level of Ruach. Ruach means that a person already has something he can add. He doesn’t agree to remain on the level of the still nature. If he sees that nothing has changed since yesterday and that it won’t change tomorrow, then for him it is like being dead.

It isn’t just a state of motionless still nature, but a feeling of death, which means that it is the worst state. And so he asks himself, what else he can add. In the meantime, the only thing he can add is his actions. Baal HaSulam says in the article “The Freedom” that a person has no other means to change his state but by choosing the right environment.

A person who chooses a stronger influence of the environment is praiseworthy. It is through this that he can advance and not thanks to good deeds. He cannot do any good deeds, since we are not the masters of our actions. But thanks to having chosen a good environment that can influence him strongly, he begins to move.

In order to start moving by yourself and turning from the inanimate into the vegetative level, to rise from the level of Nefesh to the level of Ruach, to become a spiritual person, I have to constantly evoke those around me and to choose an increasingly stronger environment that will influence me more and more strongly and help me become more spiritual.

By such actions I constantly add from myself to the group and it constantly influences me and I yearn for spirituality, for bestowal, more and more. It turns out that I add to bestowal and finally I attain the next level that is called Neshama.

I act towards all the others and am influenced by them through the group that influences me. Thus, with its help, I constantly influence myself and raise myself. The environment serves as a lever to raise me higher and higher.

I rise through the environment and I want to start evoking myself, to connect to it in the most efficient and practical way. I want to increase my hold on spirituality so as not to be passive under its influence and wait for it to change me, but I want to bestow upon the environment myself, to make it stronger, so that it will influence me more strongly. Then we connect with the environment and raise one another to the spiritual world, this means that I attain the level of Neshama.

The main thing here is not to relax so that “each day is like the other.” There must be constant renewal, every moment, if not, then you will immediately fall to a state of death. It isn’t so easy to rise from the state of death. It is impossible to do it by one leap in order to return to the previous state. It is impossible to return to the same state. We have to make a correction: a new birth and new growth, everything anew.

But if a person doesn’t feel that he has to rise anew, it means that he doesn’t even feel his death, but that he has actually lost his consciousness.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/28/13, Writings of Rabash

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On The Way To Immortality

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is amazing how our conventions gain power from one to another. There is a need to organize them almost every month! And each of them is greater and more powerful. With respect to quality, the difference between the previous and the next one is amazing: a completely new degree, a new sensation!

There is no countdown; we are always moving forward. We are talking about immortality, entering the next dimension, and we are on our way to it.

Of course, our rate of advancement depends on the entire world, but judging by the speed with which the world moves, it is revealing its final insignificance and failure; I am sure that as a vanguard, we will deserve to enter the upper world to reveal the Creator to the entire world.
From the Novosibirsk Convention 12/8/12, Lesson 4

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Individualists Also Need A Group

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is very difficult to understand what the group is.

I have always been a loner, an individualist, non-communicative by nature, preferring solitude and books to everything else: I needed nothing else in life.

At 33, I began to study with Rabash. Then we did not have a group, except six to seven elderly men, among whom I was happy as a child among adults. But Rabash said I needed a group, and I thought: “What could be better than the people who had studied with Baal HaSulam and lived their life along with Rabash?” After all, among them I felt as safe as a baby in the arms of adults.

But Rabash said: “There is nothing to do, you need a group.” And I organized a group of 40 young men.

It was totally against my character. They were much better, friendlier, felt equal. And I always felt like an outsider; moreover, I still had to serve them, to help Rabash organize a group, although by nature, I could not bring myself to overcome it! It was very difficult to understand why a group was needed. The heart did not want to accept the condition that I had to reveal the upper world in it.

I thought that the upper world could be explored with the help of drawings, to understand them, to deepen one’s knowledge and feelings, and to start analyzing. This is known in physics, and I could not tear myself away from such a scientific approach. I drew, made sketches, and did just that until, finally, I started to comprehend a completely different scheme of the universe, from the other side.

I suddenly started to feel that in fact our world is the same upper world, but at its lowest level. It is closely linked with the rest of the worlds, which, being the copies of the higher level, go down lower and lower. In this case, the only change is in the material, which becomes increasingly coarser and at the very last degree turns egoistic, opposite to the material created originally.

But everything that we see in this world is absolutely identical to the upper world according to connection to the root in the spiritual world and its branch in our world.

Gradually, I started to get used to this system, understanding that this is the way it is, and there is nothing else. Therefore, we need to see what is behind our world and above it and that without correction, rising above this world, we will not succeed. This is the only way. By yourself alone, you cannot break into the spiritual world.

It turns out that you are tied by the entire network of this world and must rise together with it! There is no way out. You need to understand this system and become attached to it, although in a new way—for ascending, and then you will be able to realize yourself. This is from one side, if you look at the system from the bottom up.

And, from the other side, it helped me a lot that I began to study this system not from the bottom up but from the top down, from the Creator, as the Creator looks at the world from the top down, as He sees us in the corrected or uncorrected form and acts on us to pull us from our egoistic state to Himself.

These two opposite views, from the bottom up (how we should grow, constantly becoming similar to the next degree) and from the top down (how the Creator looks at us), then joined together, complementing each other. We have to work on them, clearly analyzing the path from the bottom up and the view from the top down.

Then Rabash’s articles about the group became more understandable to me, although at first glance they seem somewhat naïve and even instructive with consequential morality. But in reality, they begin to identify very clear laws that are much more strict and powerful than any natural laws. And all the laws of behavior—I would call them the “laws of commutation”—are based on becoming increasingly similar to the next higher degree, to entering it, to making contact with it, and inclusion in it. This is the basis of all the articles about interaction in the group.
From the Novosibirsk Convention 12/8/12, Lesson 4

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Let A Person Ripen

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature operate instinctively, so humanity, located on the animate level of development, also acts by instinct. And only those who are beginning to aspire to the next level form a community called a spiritual group.

New bodies connect to this group. The “bodies” refer to the desire or the people who begin to be imbued with spiritual ascent, its necessity, its goal.

We are a group, which has a few million people around the world, plus the ones we do not know. They do not have to be in connection with us; it is enough for them to hear and see us on the computer screen. They do not have the inner need to get together and to feel each other closer yet; they should not be disturbed and forced out of their niches. I also was in the same state and understand it completely. A person must ripen.
From the Novosibirsk Convention 12/8/12, Lesson 4

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The Recovery From The Crisis Is In Self-Correction

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Lucrezia Reichlin, professor of economics at London Business School):  “‘The economy is spoken about everywhere after the crisis of 2008. It seemed that things will resume, but in reality in Europe, which is in recession, things got worse since the summer of 2011. …’

“‘If Europe, including Germany, does not address the problem and get into a position to invest in “education,” if human capital will not be enhanced, and if the problem of corruption is not solved, I would be very worried.’”

My Comment: Education and corruption cannot be cured without introducing an integral approach to humanity and its re-education.

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A Constant Care

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should we care more about: a friend’s physical health and his material well-being or the greatness of the goal?

Answer: We have to show a friend as much as possible what you think about his material and spiritual wellbeing. The problem is that we are in a particular state where our resources are limited: We are separated by distance; we are surrounded by a lot of outsiders, and we have different possibilities.

However, a friend should feel that you care about all his material and spiritual life. You are all ready to make him free from any concerns. Then, his egoism dies and there is a state when he feels as if he is on a hovercraft created by your care.
From the Virtual Lesson 12/30/12

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