Life Behind The Walls Of An Aquarium

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe perception of reality is a unique subject because we don’t understand it at all. If we were allowed to have several forms of perceiving reality, we could understand it by comparing them. But we live in one reality so it is difficult for us to evaluate it. What we see and feel is our only reality.

How can we discover where we truly are? Fish in an aquarium also don’t know what exists outside of it; they swim in some kind of limited space and don’t know anything more. This is how all animals and humans live in this world; how are we different from them?

But humans very much want to know where they are. Also of importance is can we change reality if we know more about it? Of course not, humanity has produced a multitude of theories about the nature of our reality, but nobody knows how correct they are. We need an objective scientific approach.

After all, no matter how much we are talking about a perception of reality; it is based only on our feelings and sensations. And who knows what exists outside of them? If I change the range of my vision, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching, then reality would be different.

It is known that even a dog that lives with a person perceives the world completely differently, through scents. Other animals perceive through warmth or cold, or by hearing. It follows that reality is our impressions of the world that surrounds us. Our senses perceive some kind of information about it and convey this through a multitude of filters. They convey it to us after many restrictions and changes. That is how we perceive the world in which we live.

The wisdom of Kabbalah says that essentially we are found in an ocean of the Upper Light; outside of it there is nothing. But in each one of us there is a desire to receive, a desire to enjoy, that imprints its impressions on a background of the white Light. And this impression is what we feel.

The desire to receive has a particular range of absorption, limited to five areas— seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching—in which it absorbs the Light and conveys impressions to us. So we feel the world just like that.

But it is possible to change this perception. It is not about just extending the range of perception for every sense: wearing glasses, putting on absorptive plates, sharpening smells or tastes through some chemical or physical influences. The wisdom of Kabbalah is not involved with the development of our physical senses; rather, it brings us closer to the true form of the perception of reality.

It is possible to approach the truth if we receive impressions not through the five corporeal senses, but through constructing senses from our desire to receive that are similar to the Light. This means that they have the characteristics of Light, the characteristics of bestowal, love, that are beyond us, beyond our ego. If we can rise above the ego that is given to us, then we can create characteristics that are like the Light from ourselves.

It follows that the ego was given to us so that we would build characteristics above it that are adapted to the Light. And then we will begin to feel a reality in which the Light is in control. We will feel it in those new characteristics that are created within us.

Kabbalah is involved with developing such characteristics within a person, helping him to build a new perception of reality. And when a person acquires it, he begins to feel how much his previous perception of reality was limited, temporary, and distorted.

To the degree that he changes his perception of reality, the person is himself changed. In fact the perception of reality is what defines the person.
From the Convention In Chile “Day One” 7/30/14, Lesson 2

Related Material:
Seeing The World As It Is
Above The Matter Of Egoism
Kabbalah, Science and the Perception of Reality

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