Entries in the 'Spirituality' Category

Building Jerusalem Within The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanJerusalem is a spiritual concept, which means bestowal to the other. All spiritual definitions indicate different degrees of bestowal, exiting one’s egoism toward others, becoming included in the others and bringing them closer to serve them. Bestowal for the benefit of others is called the spiritual world of the human being.

Jerusalem is a special kind of bestowal. We bestow through our heart, our desires, of which there are 613. Together, they are all building our new desire for bestowal. One of its steps is called “Jerusalem,” a special relationship with others and the height of love.

Question: Why is this human quality called a city?

Answer: The human being consists of four levels, which are four degrees of bestowal: still, vegetative, animate, and human. Bestowal on the first still level is like a city, our world. Then, there are the vegetative, animate, and human levels.

The vegetative, animate, and human levels suggest changes, in contrast to the still level. But a city is a creation of human hands, and thus it also contains the vegetative, animate, and human levels within itself.

Everyone can find Jerusalem inside himself. In the Ari’s book The Tree of Life, it is written that if a person reaches the revelation of the upper force, attitudes towards others, which are love and bestowal on the degree, called the world of Yetzira, inside this state he discovers a special place that is the quality called Jerusalem.

Inside this property, he reveals subproperties: the Temple Mount, the Temple, the Holy of Holies. All of these are the properties of bestowal of a person as he exits himself towards others. Jerusalem is a person’s special attitude towards people, and therefore everyone must build this spiritual Jerusalem within his heart.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/7/15

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It Will Be A Day Of Rest For You

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Exodus” 35:1 – 35:3: Moses called the whole community of the children of Israel to assemble, and he said to them: “These are the things that the Lord commanded to make. Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to the Lord; whoever performs work thereon [on this day] shall be put to death. You shall not kindle fire in any of your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”

Initially we deal with the egoistic desires of a person or the society.

The Torah tell us that all we need to do is overcome our ego and gather together above it into one single whole. So this Parasha (Torah portion), is called, “VaYikahel” (assembled).

It speaks about the gathering of all the separated, distant, and hostile parts of the collective soul, which are found in all of us and which we need to gather, like a puzzle, into one single soul.

Through the connection of these parts, we begin to arrange them under the influence of the Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light), the characteristic of bestowal and love of the Creator. If we try to be like Him, then to the degree of our efforts, He will influence us and help our gathering into a mutual, integral connection.

Then we will see how our mutual characteristics create something whole, some kind of complete image, which in the wisdom of Kabbalah is called a Partzuf, meaning a block or structure.

This Partzuf is composed of Sefirot: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malchut. In the first six Sefirot, that symbolize the six days of the week, we need to work in gathering the separated parts of the soul. If we succeed in this, then the Light will finish the complete gathering, working on our efforts throughout the six days of work. And then we do not need to do anything more, since on the seventh day our work is finished.

We make it possible for the Light to finish this welding between us in which then the complete unit of the soul emerges from the separated parts we gathered.

We finish a week, and begin a new week. A part and then another part is gathered, and in this way, we gather our entire common soul. Within a particular number of actions like these we attain the spiritual gathering of all the parts becoming one complete unit, the likeness of Adam (man), which means Domeh (similar to the Creator). With this, we attain the complete correction of humanity, which we must reach.

So Shabbat is the holiest day, for on this day the Light acts, influences our efforts, and finishes them. It is as if throughout the six days we create the work to be done, and on the seventh day the Light carries it out.

If on the seventh day we continue this work, then it is as if we are happy about this shattering of the soul of Adam because we are attempting to do the work instead of the Light. This is the greatest violation of the entire system of correction.

In general, we do part of the work and the Light does part of the work. If we do all of the work ourselves, we are adding even greater destruction into the system and even more strongly rejecting the reciprocity of all the parts that we gathered during the week. Generally, it is preferable to do nothing at all than to gather all week and continue this even on the seventh day. In this way, we would negate the entire method of correction of the system and all of its forward progress.

So prior to the seventh day, it is necessary to finish our efforts, meaning that we stop on the sixth day and make it possible for the Light to weld all the parts, sticking them together. It is said, “It will be a day of rest for you.” Basically, the person is doing work and not just resting. At this time, we finally feel the gradual unity of all six parts into one general whole and we finish the correction of the present spiritual level. And after that, we correct the next level and the next, and so on, week after week.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/10/13

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So As To Not Remain A Lump Of Ego

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe whole world is an egoistic state of matter. Everything that is in the still, vegetative, and animate levels exists only in order to preserve itself in the best way possible.

In human matter it is even more exaggerated since I want to sustain myself in the best possible way compared to the rest of the environment of the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels. I have to be in the most comfortable state so that the whole universe will engage in serving my ego. This is a person’s natural inclination. If we could only see how we restrain ourselves internally just because we don’t want to suffer. I ask myself why I should torture myself just because I am not Einstein or Picasso. I don’t want to feel sorry as if I am cutting a part of myself off, accepting that I will not be a Tolstoy or Shakespeare…

The ego has a defensive reaction for every desire that isn’t fulfilled, but wherever I can, I want to grab and subdue everything for my own sake. This is our nature; a person is ready to swallow the whole world.

We cannot change our nature by ourselves. It was created and is sustained in us and in the whole universe thanks to a force called the Light. This force is invisible and not felt in any way by our senses, as it constantly creates, develops, and sustains the ego.

But inside the ego, there is a separate point that doesn’t belong to it, a point that scrutinizes the egoism. The Light that operates on the ego also affects this point. It begins to develop and feel where it is; asking itself, “I’m in some kind of nature? Who am I? Where am I?”

If this point seriously develops in a person (in fact this point exists in everyone, in some more and some less), it begins to ask itself: “What do is this for, why and from where? Why was I created? Was I created in order to suffer? If so, then I curse you as the source that has condemned me to such an existence. If it is for another purpose then what is it exactly? I demand an explanation from You!”

When a person demands an explanation from the Light, the Creator, he comes in contact with Him through the point in the heart, because this point is man and everything else exists in the animate state.

What can actually interest me? It can either be my own nature and how I exist within it in maximum comfort for several years and make as little effort as possible and receive as much pleasure as possible. Or, I yearn for my root, for my source, asking: “Who are You, the one who created and manages me?” This is the highest form of yearning in the dipole of the ego and the point that can develop within it.

The moment the point in the heart begins to develop, it can immediately be given its non-egoistic method of development that is fulfilled only under the influence of the upper Light. If this is what I want it to come to me more often, to have greater influence over me, it is revealed to me in my logic, understanding, and feelings,  in its goals and plans for me because it is the source of power, information—everything.

This is actually what the point in the heart or the human being in me demands. Then I am given the Torah and I begin to work with it. Anyone in whom this inclination is invoked should value it and truly fear that it could disappear and that he will remain a lump of stone of the ego or the beast.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/30/14

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The Wisdom Of Connection In An Era Of Isolationism

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn everyday life we generally hide our egoism. If I depend on my enemy completely, my ego begins to disappear and hatred evaporates. There is nowhere to escape to and I start to look for how to love him and cause him to love me. The self-preservation instinct begins to work, and I cannot hate someone when my life, the most precious thing I have, depends upon him.

But in our case, we are not succeeding. The hatred is being revealed between us more and more and the separatist movements are taking over the world. The more that our world is discovered as whole and mutually connected, the stronger the opposite trend becomes.

Each one aspires to isolation and ultimately we will reach the same situation as in ancient times, where every city and area became a separate nation. The whole world will be divided into such kingdoms.

On the one hand, egoism is growing, feeling its limitations and areas of control with more precision. And in this way, it separates itself from the others. As a result of this, the world in which seven billion people are living will create 10,000 nations that cannot get along with one another.

Even solitary individuals are no longer able to get along with each other. There was a time when families would live in one room: parents, children, grandchildren. And today two people cannot live in peace in the same apartment. This is called hatred.

To the same degree that our interdependence is appearing, the desire to shatter this dependency, separate and move away from each other is appearing as isolationism and separation. These two tendencies will not disappear and will develop more and more within human society, and there is no way to resolve this! Both will grow to the skies and there will be no possibility of solving this conflict.

The art of connection is called the wisdom of Kabbalah. Ultimately the relationships between everyone—children, adults, in schools, at work, in international relations and within society—will reach such a state that we will not be ready to speak to one another and will need the wisdom of connection!

This wisdom will be required simply to be able to arrange normal relationships at work, in school, in the family and in all areas of our lives. People will need this wisdom because hatred, rejection, the inability to speak to one another or even look at others will reach such a threatening degree that we will not be able to bridge this gap.

It will not be possible to overcome the lack of desire to see and feel others. A person will search for isolation so that nobody will be near him, and he will not want to get close to anyone. But on the other hand, he will have to sit in class at school or university and be in connection with others.

Today, one person cannot do anything; even scientists carry out research in large groups. In addition, in our jobs everywhere, we need to connect in teams. But a person will lose the ability to cooperate even with one person who is like him as this hatred will grow to such a degree.

So the wisdom of connection will be very much in demand. The whole world is going to need it.

We need to understand that all of the spiritual worlds: the five worlds, Olam Ein Sof (world of Infinity), the entire ladder of levels, and the Partzufim are revealed in us through the unnatural connection between people. According to nature hatred and interdependence are revealed in us. But if we arrange for a connection between these polar opposites, the hatred and dependence, and communicate with others above our intellect, desire, and all calculations, we will discover new relationships and a new world.

Now we feel this world through our five senses, meaning the five kinds of egoistic connection between us. We see everything through our egoism, meaning that in every situation we search for the opportunity to be confident and enjoy. Thanks to the wisdom of connection, the wisdom of Kabbalah, we will reach new relationships above the egoistic relationships, which are relationships of “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (“Leviticus” 19:18), and within the connection between us we will begin to discover the five additional senses: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut.

Within these senses, we will discover phenomena called spiritual worlds, until attaining the complete connection called Olam Ein Sof. The spiritual world is revealed in the connection between us, in the levels of our relationships that go from total detachment to complete adhesion. This is the ladder of spiritual levels.

To the degree that I try to develop love above my egoism and hatred, I discover the levels of the spiritual worlds. So it isn’t necessary to search for the spiritual world in any other place, such as in books or mechanical actions with the hands and feet. Everything depends only on work in the heart and how much I can connect emotionally with others above the rejection and hatred without wanting to delete or annihilate it.

After all, everything is built precisely above the hatred, as it is written, “Love covereth all transgressions” (Proverbs 10:12). So with love built above the hatred, I will discover a new world called the world of men. After all, we are all within this world and will be connected as one and receive the form of Adam - man  (Domeh – similar to the Creator).
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From the preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/14

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Being Ready To Handle Any Situation

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Can the Elyon (upper) give a Masach (screen) to the Tachton (lower)?

Answer: He can, but then the Tachton becomes his slave and enter sunder his full bondage, or will be by his side like a little child. Once during the Intifada, my teacher Rabash and I entered an Arab village. The local inhabitants looked at us as if they were about to draw out their knives and surround the car.

I was very frightened. “Well, that’s it, it’s over for us,” I thought. Real terror took hold of me. When we went through the village and came out onto the highway, I stopped the car in exhaustion, took out a cigarette and smoked. Rabash looked at me and said, “I wasn’t afraid.”

He really wasn’t frightened and was absolutely relaxed because he was ready to handle the situation. And this was not some kind of boldness, but control of the situation, when all of those who were standing next to the car with knives were in his hands. This is a very high level, a very serious Masach.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/19/14

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The Illumination Of Malchut

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Torah, “Leviticus” 26:18 – 26:20: And if, during these, you will not listen to Me, I will add another seven punishments for your sins: I will break the pride of your strength and make your skies like iron and your land like copper. Your strength will be expended in vain; your land will not yield its produce, neither will the tree of the earth give forth its fruit.

“I will add another seven punishments for your sins,” means that  instead of the right state of ZON, the six Sefirot of Zeir Anpin and one Sefira of Malchut, I get only the darkest Malchut.

Many years ago when I felt this state for the first time, I nervously asked my teacher, Rabash, “What is this?” He entered into my state a bit, felt it and said, “This is the illumination of Malchut.” This felt like darkness, like an abyss under foot, much like a terror that binds a person in darkness and he can’t do anything about it. Everything simply freezes in its place.

This state continued for a few moments, maybe only a thousandth of a second, but the impression that remained was imprinted within me. In spirituality, nothing ever disappears! However, this feeling can be pulled from the memory and partially experienced.

Thus, if Zeir Anpin doesn’t illuminate Malchut, the punishment is 70 times greater. Or, it could be vice-versa: Zeir Anpin shines, but Malchut feels the Light as darkness, an abyss, and as a black body that swallows everything. This happens when the Light enters a Kli that is absolutely not ready to receive it.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/12/14

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Dr. Michael Laitman

The Torah, “Leviticus” 26:14 – 26:17: But if you do not listen to Me and do not perform all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes and reject My ordinances, not performing any of My commandments, thereby breaking My covenant, then I, too, will do the same to you; I will order upon you shock, consumption, fever, and diseases that cause hopeless longing and depression. You will sow your seed in vain, and your enemies will eat it. I will set My attention against you, and you will be smitten before your enemies. Your enemies will rule over you; you will flee, but no one will be pursuing you.

Everything we read about here is inside a person. It is the fear of our own shadow, since if we are not ready for the spiritual ascent, the Creator’s face seems as a terrible darkness to us. The greatest fears, scares, and horrors a person can experience appear when he encounters the attribute of bestowal to which he is the complete opposite.

Everything is based on the fact that we must prepare ourselves for the revelation of the Creator. Otherwise, He turns His face to us, but we are seemingly opposite to it, and so we turn this picture and perceive it as the opposite part, since we are not ready for it. Then, bestowal seems to us as the most terrible punishment, when we are actually the ones who create the darkness through our incorrect internal images.

All the troubles and the afflictions that seem to be sent to us by the Creator are perceived as sufferings because a person wrongly perceives the good states that the Creator reveals to us because the time for these revelations has come. Instead of feeling that they are good, a source of life, and mercy, a person feels them as …shock, consumption, fever, and diseases… .

Because we are not prepared to perceive the Light correctly, we feel the Light as darkness. The Creator never conceals anything from us. On the contrary, He constantly reveals things to us, but because we are totally opposite to Him, the revelation is very painful. There is no greater horror for us than the revelation of the attribute of bestowal and true love because this feeling is worse than death for our ego. It is because we cannot perceive this attribute, assimilate it, and melt it inside us.

Therefore, we are told: But if you do not listen to Me and do not perform all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes and reject My ordinances, not performing any of My commandments, thereby breaking My covenant, then I, too, will do the same to you; I will order upon you shock, consumption, fever, and diseases that cause hopeless longing and depression.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/12/14

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Night Into Day

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Can we say that the whole Israeli nation will undergo the state of the darkness of Egypt, as dark clouds are building up around us and things are getting very tense. Is this the approaching night?

Answer: Of course. Otherwise it is impossible because we have to build the quality of bestowal, which starts with a desire and the desire for it can appear only in a state of night. We must remember that.

Night, sufferings, detachment, weakness, and disappointments are part of our way. We need to collect them all and yearn to advance; otherwise, we will not feel the day. In the Torah there is no day or night. The moment we process everything, we sense the night correctly, we will begin to feel the Light instead.

After all, what do we feel as day? The attitude of love and bestowal unto others. Now, however, we feel it as night, as darkness. It is only the change in our attitude towards darkness that will invoke the feeling of Light instead of darkness.

We don’t move from one sphere of the globe to the other side where the sun shines and fills everything with light. No, we process our negative impressions of bestowal, love, and mutual help internally into a positive attitude, and then night turns into day.

Everything takes place inside us, in our attitude towards these values. There can be nothing else. We always start from night, because the attribute of bestowal is night for us.

When we correct our negative feelings and impressions and change them, we feel Light and day in the opposite state. We are the ones who determine internally what is night and what is day.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 11/12/14

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Together We Amplify The Voltage Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Does it turn out that nothing exists other than spiritual reality?

Answer: Certainly. This is the same reality in which we are now found, and we begin to see how the higher power works within it. There are only two forces: the force of desire and the higher force that clothes it.

These forces are beginning to be more and more noticeable as we see that they are the only forces working within reality, that they have no substance, it is also energy. The physicists claim that the world is a field of forces and matter doesn’t exist.

Studies show that there is energy and power within matter. So matter has no significance, and yet it exists. Only after all the inhabitants of this world are connected to the network and reveal that they are acting in a field of reception and the force of bestowal, will all matter completely fade and disappear from this world, which is called “imaginary.” However, this will only happen in the future, with the general completion of correction.

Question: From where does a person get the power to connect everything together and see the true reality?

You cannot do anything alone. You cannot change your perception, get used to the right picture nor study it. This is possible only if you are found in the appropriate environment that is working towards this, and in which each individual, along with everyone else, together understand that they must build the appropriate network of connection for discovering the upper Light.

We must at all times, work among us to transform into a single Kli, into a single system and constantly develop it, adding to it through more and more interactions. The Light will accordingly be revealed within the Kli  through ascents and descents, which will also become increasingly synchronized together. We begin to feel interconnected and have more influence on each other.

Each one will see how much his character, his soul, his inner potential, becomes accommodated to everyone else, while some of them rise and some of them descend. Even though all of us advance together and go through ascents and descents, each one acts according to his character, like various components acting within a single electrical system. One is a resistor, another is a capacitor, and the third is a coil.

Each one goes through an ascent, but the ascent in a capacitor and a coil are completely different, for in a capacitor this is expressed in changes in potential and in a coil this is expressed in an electrical field. The ascent is expressed in a different form according to the root of the soul, and in principle, all are passing through the same situation.

And since there are so many differences between us, it could be that there is an incessant ascent without descents. For each may be in an ascent or descent in regard to everyone else, but it is considered to be an ascent in regard to himself. An electrical charge constantly moves from place to place, but every change is for the improvement of the ascent, constantly raising the voltage within the system and raising it gradually.

At the moment, there is no connection between us, and because of this lack of connection, each one of us ascends and descends. But if we connect, then we no longer have such descents.  As it is written, …and the children of Israel sighed from the labor, …. (Exodus 2:23). This wasn’t darkness due to a lack of connection, but due to a lack of bestowal. But this was actually an ascent, for by each one connecting with the others, each one took the others’ work upon himself. A minus in one place is compensated by a plus in another place, and vice versa. So everyone is ascending. Therefore, if we are connected, there are no more descents, only ascents!

Since you are connected with the other components within a system, it is as if you are transforming alternating current into direct current. The only thing we lack is connection. We aren’t working on this enough.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/20/14, Writing of Rabash

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Perceiving The Future Together

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Do animals feel nature as one system in which everything is connected?

Answer: Yes, they feel it at their level.

Question: And can they feel the future, for exactly that reason?

Answer: Animals can only feel some kind of threat to their life, but they are not able rise above the worry of their regular, beastly existence. This is called instinct.

Animals feel the connection to the general system, but for them it provides only the information at the level of animate. Animals know what will happen, thus they are more careful than men and their behavior is more logical.

Animals don’t make mistakes! They have all the required information in order to exist, which is called natural instinct. Man is lacking this.

Question: If I had such instinct, would it be possible that my life would be better? Maybe I wouldn’t be overdrawn at the bank, wouldn’t have an ulcer, and wouldn’t be living in constant tension.

Answer: That’s a good question. What is preferable? Since if you had such instinct, then you would be an animal and not a man. Animals have all the information for a good life, i.e., the feeling of connection with the goal of creation. And man doesn’t have this at all. Why? Because at the speaking level one doesn’t automatically receive connection to the goal of creation, but must acquire it through self development.

Every person has this potential, but one needs to advance gradually. You cannot catch the occasional passerby and begin to convince him that he needs to do this. A person needs to be ready for this. If he feels that he must know the future, then I am able to teach him how to do this.

Comment: I am ready for learning! I really must know the future because that will solve all the problems for me, and explain to me how to behave towards my children and my wife and what profession to choose.

Answer: You will know everything! If you have such a burning question that brings you to despair and demands a reply, then this is a sign that you can do this.

At the end of the course for integral education (the wisdom of connection), you will come to the sensation that all people are inseparable parts of the same system, without any difference between them, including yourself. And in the beginning, it is enough to reach this feeling towards a stranger, not towards a family member.

Question: Meaning, if I feel towards a stranger as I do myself, then based on that I will create within me the ability to see the future?

Answer: Yes. You will feel the integral sensation, exit from within your ego, and sense me, for example. You must feel me as you do yourself. If you are able to feel something outside yourself as yourself, then the whole of reality opens up before you. You open your senses and you can see all your surroundings in a real way.

Question: Why can’t I learn integral thought by myself with the help of my intellect, without needing someone else?

Answer: For whom do you exit yourself if not for someone else? This is not abstract philosophy, but it requires a lot of practice and many actions with whose help we examine all the “pros “ and “cons.” It isn’t simple. After all we need to exist beyond the feeling of our “I.” That is the first condition of integral thought.

When I exit my “I,” I begin to feel who is outside of me, and to the same extent, I feel everything else. I open the extent of my feelings, from the level of my five senses to a complete reality.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” 2/23/14

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