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World Zohar Convention, “Arava Convention,” Day Two – 01.31.14

Arava Convention Day One, Workshop 3

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Arava Convention Day One, Workshop 4

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My Donkey And Me

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How is it possible to hold onto the balance between the inner concentration and communication within the convention?

Answer: This is a perpetual problem that must be solved regardless of what you are doing. Very heavy or light moments can come, different pleasant or unpleasant feelings, but the person must always be composed of two parts. In one part he feels his beastly body, what is happening to it.  And in the second part, he is like a person riding on his donkey (Hamor), on the egoistic substance (Homer).

Such a split feeling must be with us everywhere, in completely different moments in life; it should be with me when I am alone, with friends, with my family, with my wife and children, or when I am just walking down the street. I must divide myself into two parts: the donkey and me sitting on it.
From the Talk at a meal 1/26/14

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What If I Remain At Home?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What do you recommend for those people who cannot come to the convention?  And how can those who are in the convention support the friends who stayed at home and continue with integral education activities?

Answer: During the convention we must bring everyone together into local centers or in someone’s home, gathering as many people as possible. The minimum of many is two. Even if two people can connect, it is better and worthwhile to do this instead of sitting alone.

During the convention we must free ourselves from all work and be together with us all the time. Follow all that is happening in the convention and join with us heart and soul. And also we must not forget to think about all the friends throughout the world constantly.

But during the convention we don’t think about external dissemination activities in integral education; we concentrate only within us, only in our connection. The convention must be conducted with constant thoughts about our ascent. And only at the end of all of these conventions, from this growth, will we begin thinking about and going out to external dissemination.

During the two days of the integral education convention, we will think about and discuss how to go out with this method, but nevertheless, the focus is devoted to our assembly. Therefore, stop all external activities for these days and join us.
From the Talk at a meal 1/26/14

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Nine Stages On The Path To Unity, Point 1

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order to better understand the process of educating a person, we have decided to present the nine phases that the public goes through with the analogous root in the nine phases for those who study the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Familiarization with the Concept of Mutual Guarantee

The feeling of mutual guarantee appears when a person feels the group and not himself, when the concept of a group seems great to him and dominates him, replacing the feeling of the self. This is exactly how the feeling of the self disappears and the concept of the group appears. This doesn’t weaken a person because the feeling of mutual guarantee is stronger and is actually above us.

This feeling is attained by mutual help, by everyone’s mutual bestowal upon each of the friends. Everyone wants to identify with the group, join it, embrace, and be incorporated in it, to be as one man in one heart and one mind. Everyone feels that he has to dissolve among the friends without a trace. Everyone wants to drown in the group. And all help each other in this.

Each of us turns to all the friends and together we speak about one thing: about how to connect. How to imagine the good mutual connection between us, the way it was before the shattering of the vessels: one vessel, one desire, one thought, one intention, one feeling, where everyone feels the others as if they are one whole.

We shouldn’t clarify the negative aspects because we want to establish the positive ones, Noah’s Ark. We want to rise from this world, so why should we penetrate it even deeper and delve into it?! We only want the good. The Creator brings a person to the good fate and says: “Take it.” What do we need the bad fate for?! We don’t want to know how opposite we are from others. We must unite in order to exit to spirituality. We unite and that’s it, period.

We reach a state, as it is said: “as one man in one heart,” “all of Israel are friends.” Then we complete this action. So the first phase is the phase of mutual guarantee: We become one whole.

At first glance there is nothing left to do afterward, but it is clear that we only speak about mutual guarantee according to the principle of “the end of the action is in the initial thought.” The road before us may be long because we have to establish ourselves. It is thanks to this self-construction that we come to know the Creator.

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Steps To The Path Of Unity

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person comes to an educational course as a result of a certain need. First he doesn’t understand where he is. Then as time goes by, he accumulates different impressions and feels the excitement in connection and unity time and time again, to such an extent that he begins to cry in the circle.

Eventually he feels that he has caught fate by the tail and that he has an exceptional chance to improve his life and the life of those around him. The goal of bringing the world to unity becomes so sublime that he is ready to dedicate his time to it.

A person who begins to study the wisdom of Kabbalah expects a similar process. First he wants to know about the structure of the worlds and has no desire to hear anything about unity. Gradually he feels a growing desire to read articles about the group, but only about the fact that we will feel good together, like in a synchronized society or a team.

We gradually move from the message about the group to the message about unity, mutual guarantee, without clarifying why we need it yet.

Then we yearn to be as one in the group, and we understand that all our yearnings and longings have to bring us to unity with the Creator, according to the law of the equivalence of form.

As we yearn for unity with the Creator we discover that we don’t have the power to do so and we begin to realize that the only way to receive forces is from an external source. Why do we suddenly think about that? Because this is how the system is arranged: When you complete a certain part, it places the next part before you.

We have to achieve this state in our work with the external environment, with the public, so that we feel that these people are like our own children. Then, having no other choice, we will turn to the Creator with a request concerning them.

Once again we understand that as a result of the law of cause and effect, all this is done so that we will be able to focus on Him, so that all of humanity, everything that exists in reality, will focus on Him, yearn for Him, and want to delight Him, so the created beings will go through the process of evolution and will eventually realize that He is actually the One who has created all of creation as the absolute good. Thus, everyone will reach unity with Him.

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Everything In Nature Is Interconnected

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Oregon State University): “In ecosystems around the world, the decline of large predators such as lions, dingoes, wolves, otters, and bears is changing the face of landscapes from the tropics to the Arctic – but an analysis of 31 carnivore species to be published Friday in the journal Science shows for the first time how threats such as habitat loss, persecution by humans and loss of prey combine to create global hotspots of carnivore decline.

“More than 75 percent of the 31 large-carnivore species are declining, and 17 species now occupy less than half of their former ranges, the authors reported.

‘Globally, we are losing our large carnivores,” said William Ripple, lead author of the paper and a professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at OregonStateUniversity. …

“Ripple and his OregonState co-author Robert Beschta have documented impacts of cougars and wolves on the regeneration of forest stands and riparian vegetation in Yellowstone and other national parks in North America. Fewer predators, they have found, lead to an increase in browsing animals such as deer and elk. More browsing disrupts vegetation, shifts birds and small mammals and changes other parts of the ecosystem in a widespread cascade of impacts.

“Studies of Eurasian lynx, dingoes, lions and sea otters have found similar effects, the authors reported.

“Lynx have been closely tied to the abundance of roe deer, red fox and hare. In Australia, the construction of a 3,400-mile dingo-proof fence has enabled scientists to study ecosystems with and without the animals, which are closely related to gray wolves. In some parts of Africa, the decrease of lions and leopards has coincided with a dramatic increase in olive baboons, which threaten farm crops and livestock. In the waters off southeast Alaska, a decline in sea otters through killer whale predation has led to a rise in sea urchins and loss of kelp beds.

“The authors call for a deeper understanding of the impact of large carnivores on ecosystems, a view that they trace back to the work of landmark ecologist Aldo Leopold. The classic concept that predators are harmful and deplete fish and wildlife is outdated, they said. Scientists and wildlife managers need to recognize a growing body of evidence for the complex roles that carnivores play in ecosystems and for their social and economic benefits.

“Leopold recognized such relationships between predators and ecosystems, Ripple said, but his observations on that point were largely ignored for decades after his death in 1948. …

“’Nature is highly interconnected,’ said Ripple. ‘The work at Yellowstone and other places shows how one species affects another and another through different pathways. It’s humbling as a scientist to see the interconnectedness of nature.’”

My Comment: Only if people stop in their headlong pursuit of maximum consumption and switch to rational consumption, i.e., to the extent of necessities, and apply their efforts in everything else to spiritual development in order to achieve, even in this world, eternity and perfection, only in this way they will come out of the crisis. Otherwise, they face a terrible path of suffering to the same goal.

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Variety Of Desires

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Exodus, (Tetzaveh),” (Command), 27:21: In the tent of meeting, outside the dividing curtain that is in front of the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set it up before the Lord from evening to morning; [it shall be] an everlasting statute for their generations, from the children of Israel.

It’s written about human properties, since humans encompass the entire universe, that it’s as if they collect everything there is inside themselves: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking nature. The speaking nature consists of “common people,” meaning the simple desires of a speaking level and the desires that are oriented towards the Creator; they are called “Israel,” intentions focused straight towards the Creator.

Among these desires, there are some that refer to Levites and Cohens; they personify the lower and upper parts of the spiritual Partzuf, a transcendent system. Aaron represents the highest part of the spiritual system, its right side.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of Eternal Book,” 8/19/13

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One Soul

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Exodus (Ki Tissa),” 30:11-30:12: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take the sum of the children of Israel according to their numbers, let each one give to the Lord an atonement for his soul when they are counted; then there will be no plague among them when they are counted.”

“Counting the sons of Israel” means to acquire new foreign desires and intentions, which I had previously rejected. A person begins to feel them as one integral whole.

“Let each one give to the Lord an atonement for his soul,” means that we don’t just connect to one another but that each one begins to work above his ego and to connect to others and discovers our common attribute, the common desire between him and others. It wasn’t felt before, either by me or by others, since it was mutually established between us. This mutual desire resembles the Creator and is therefore called a soul.

No ordinary person in our world has a soul. This attribute simply doesn’t exist. We have to develop it by our efforts, by drawing the Upper Light that creates the general soul among us, not separately in each of us, but only between us.

It turns out that there are seven billion people in this world and one common soul for all, which is the void between us that was filled by egoistic feelings towards one another. We establish new connections above it, by changing the egoistic attitude to an altruistic attitude towards one another, which is our soul.

Thus, the force field of mutual attraction begins to work in which we exit ourselves and live for the sake of others, and by that we acquire our soul. The state in which everyone begins to feel himself outside his previous corporeal egoistic self is the feeling of the upper world, the feeling of the Creator.

This is what the Torah teaches us, as it says: I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah (Light) to correct it. The word “Torah” stems from the Hebrew word “Light.”

First we have to discover the ego in us, and to the extent that we discover it, we should want to change it. When we change our attitude towards the ego, not by despising it but simply by wanting to turn it into an opposite attribute, we understand that it was intentionally created as help against us, and so we begin to draw the Upper Light upon us that corrects this ego.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/2/13

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My Half A Coin

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Exodus,” 30:14-30:15: Everyone that goes through the counting, from the age of twenty and upward, shall give an offering to the Lord. The rich shall give no more and the poor shall give no less than half a shekel, with which to give an offering to the Lord, to atone for your souls.

Every person gives half a Shekel since the person one connects with adds the other half. Everyone should first unite in tens, then to hundreds and thousands.

It turns out that everyone brings only one half of his own and we can manage between us in such correct mutual cooperation. The point is that the individual’s positive attitude to the world, his love for it, leads to nothing. This is the principle of dissemination.

There cannot be one righteous person while all the others are wicked. I have to help all the others be like me in mutual cooperation and must establish a field of mercy, warm welcome, bestowal, and love. It’s only then that the Upper Light descends on me.

No one can advance if he doesn’t help others. Here we need the friends and the group. Half a Shekel is my half that I put into the collective treasury. What is more, it’s considered half a Shekel only when I awaken others to give the other half.

When each of the friends gives his half, the Upper Light, called the Torah, descends upon these efforts and connects them. This is called, to make atonement for your souls, which symbolizes purity, birth, the revelation of the general soul, the general connection between us.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/2/13

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