Entries in the 'Society' Category

Go Ahead, Ask For A Bicycle!

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen reading The Zohar, every person can ask for whatever he wants. The most important thing is to get used to asking. Even if I want a bicycle like a small child, I can ask for it while reading The Zohar. May we wish to reveal the spiritual world in the same way!

Question: How should we use the period of preparation for the Convention to desire to attain bestowal as much as a child wants a bicycle?

Answer: You have to participate in the preparations for the Convention together with everyone. A person is a result of society’s influence. Spirituality is something we don’t desire naturally, and if we want to attain it, then the way to expand the only spark of spiritual desire we have is through external stimuli. That’s because we are impressed by whatever the society is impressed with.

We have a spark of spirituality inside us, and society outside. Our work and free choice lie only in our ability to unite our spark with the society. This is called choosing the environment.

Everything depends on how much a person desires to be connected with the environment. Does he turn on our Kabbalah TV channel or Internet, does he desire to be together with us while trying not to criticize, to see only the good in order to be impressed as much as possible? His future depends on this, and by doing these things he awakens himself and becomes more sensitive.

Obviously, some things seem stupid to him, but he has to understand that they contain a very strange and special awakening which comes from spiritual qualities of bestowal. When a person discerns this state well, he understands that he has to ascend above his knowledge and acquire the society’s opinion. He has to merge with that opinion, with the importance of bestowal and the Upper Force even though it seems strange due to being opposite to our qualities. That is also why it is concealed. In order to attain that Force, we have to acquire the same qualities and the way to do so is by advancing step by step.

Therefore, one’s only freedom of choice lies in the environment. A person must check himself more and more to see how he perceives the society: Why does he perceive it precisely the way he does and why is he made to perceive it in this form? In addition, he must thank the Creator for giving him this ability to criticize and to see himself from aside so he can tell that he has now delved into criticism.

That is how he can reach faith above reason, the right perception, and the realization that he has no choice, enabling him to agree to all this “nonsense.” He has to make this decision by faith above reason, yet it has to be a sound decision and he has to know why he is making it. He has to be sure that he has taken everything into account.

We think that faith above knowledge does not entail knowledge. However, it in fact entails knowledge and contemplation.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/13/10, The Zohar

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What Can Help Families Stay Together?

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe only thing that can help a family stay together is a strong society that keeps both spouses together and directs them toward spiritual growth. Because they both go through different states, ascents and descents, they have to be a part of this society and to understand that spiritual advancement is impossible without each other. Then they will understand that they need a partner. The society of the future will take great care of marriages, but to do that we need a powerful influence from our environment.

We have already received enough blows from Nature to make us understand that it is essential for us to achieve balance. We have to establish good relationships between all of us. Only this will revive harmony and normalize Nature so that heat, cold, magnetic fields, and a thousand other parameters will come into balance. This world will feel like paradise, even on the material level. To feel this way, it is extremely important to achieve equilibrium. We have to observe a very simple condition where everything stays in mutual connection on all levels (inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human).

One of the prerequisites to achieving equilibrium is the establishment of the right types of connections within a family. Kabbalists rejected unmarried men as their disciples because a man without a wife is only “half a body.” It’s impossible to correct “half a body.” Previously, this requirement was very strict. Nowadays, everything is simplified. Everybody is permitted to study since we are undergoing a transition period and cannot obligate people to marry; it’s beyond our power. However, I hope the time will come soon when the next generation will realize that we have to observe material order and have a family in order to achieve balance with Nature.

Only by aspiring toward one spiritual goal can we preserve a family. Our egoism has grown so much that the usual material connections with children, family, and household cannot connect people to each other any longer. Everybody has a job, can afford a place to live, and be completely independent. A person feels relatively self-sufficient and doesn’t need his wife’s or children’s support. It is different from the past when no one could survive without a family. Now a person has the supermarket, modern-day household appliances, and health insurance.

Therefore, only a higher goal can elevate a person above the animate level and bring him to a “human” level (“Adam” is a derivative of the word “similar”). It is the only thing that makes a person similar to the Creator, reveals eternity, and raises us above life and death. It is the only thing that can ensure internal spiritual connection in a family. However, it is not accessible for everybody yet.

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From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

Unification With The Group Leads Us To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanIf a person’s actions are directed at uniting with the friends, he very quickly discovers the need for direct connection with the Creator who should aid this unification. Every action should lead us to the correction of the breaking, to unity among us, and then the need for the Creator’s influence for the quality of bestowal and love will manifest in it.

Thus, three components of our state – the Torah, Israel, and the Creator – are revealed. The Torah is the force that creates the desire (the world is created through the Torah), the force that corrects the intention of the desire ( the Light that Reforms), and the force that fills the desire (pleasure and wisdom, the goal of creation). “Love your neighbor as yourself” is the general rule of the Torah. Israel (one who aspires to the Creator, the soul) is the common Kli (the unification of souls, Shechina). The Torah is the Light, the force that corrects. The Creator is the inner source of this force.

Together we create the condition for unification and a mutual guarantee. We prepare the place for the revelation until “the sons of Israel cried out from the work,” that is, when we require His help. We see the comparison of the society and the Creator in almost all of the descriptions in the Torah. Without the society, we are unable reach the Creator. Therefore, the group is the means. It is the Shechina, Knesset Israel (Assembly of Israel), the collection of souls which ask not to stay in the dust (egoism). All the articles state this.

A person forgets about the need for connection with the Creator since this goes against his nature. However, this connection will appear in our nature if we unite into a group. If I am not connected to a group, then I am not aiming at the Creator and will not find the direction to Him.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/19/10, Article, “On My Bed At Night”

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In The Beginning God Created Community

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe story of the creation of Adam shows his creation and subsequent division and multiplication. Biologists maintain that sustainable existence of the biosphere is possible only if bio-geochemical cycles are closed. Otherwise, living creatures will quickly consume all resources and will be intoxicated by byproducts of their vital activities.

However, for the cycles to be closed, there must be a community of microorganisms of different species that share bio-geochemical functions among them. Some microorganisms use resources from the environment and supply it with products of their vital activity, while others use these products and return, as their waste products, the original resource back to the environment. No microorganism can close the cycle by itself as it would be a perpetual motion machine.

It is even more obvious in the chemical pre-life stage. There is no single organic molecule that could persistently self-replicate and maintain homeostasis in the environment. Only complex organisms consisting of  a large number of different molecules that have established “mutually beneficial cooperation” or symbiosis are capable of achieving this.

Thus, it is obvious that the first living species was not a single microorganism but a polymorphous community characterized by the active exchange of genetic material. Diversity, symbiosis, task-sharing, and information exchange – rather than the qualities that evolved from a single, organic molecule – are the primal qualities of Earth’s life. Today it is becoming clear that community rather than a single, microbial species stood at the beginning of life’s development on Earth.
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The House Where The Creator And Creature Dwell

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe are yet to discover our need for all seven billion people living on Earth. Society serves as an amplifying force because an individual’s own strength is very small. Thus, the more people in society under whose influence we put ourselves, the greater the strength we receive. It determines the height of the degree in our resembling the Creator, as well as the measure of adhesion we attain with Him.

We wouldn’t be able to achieve this alone on our own. A Kabbalistic group is a place where a person attaches himself to the Creator, and this determines how high he’ll climb to Him. The group becomes the house where the Creator and the creature dwell together. And when we dwell together there is no longer “I”; rather, there is only “we,” which now becomes the person’s “I.”

It is said, “A prisoner cannot free himself from the prison.” However, the friends can free him by providing him with their inspiration and strength. Therefore, everyone should think about helping a friend connect each state that occurs to its importance toward the purpose, along with understanding its necessity and rejoicing when the “sinners” are revealed in them.

It’s not important what states, what ups and downs, we go through; most important is that we progress toward the goal. Then we understand that we have to go through all states, like a patient undergoing treatment that might be unpleasant, but the recovery is already anticipated. Therefore, it is necessary to elevate each other’s spirits, not by acting silly or frivolous, but by giving each other the spirit of life, that is, spiritual life, which brings one happiness.

The mood is so important because it gives us the force of life. However, material life, wealth, or power won’t bring us an uplifted mood. If a person lost the power of faith, the force of life,  if he no longer feels the support of the society, the only means of advancement, then he can be helped only by another person. Only the other person can imbue us with the feeling of how important bestowal, confidence, and a fulfilled life are. In this, everyone has to help a friend. Everyone has to set an example of his burning passion toward reaching the goal at any minute.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/25/10, Article, “They Helped Everyone His Friend”

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The Spiritual Principle

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: Can we take the spiritual principle that you have attained and apply it in a new Internet space?

My Answer: The spiritual principle is the perception of the Creator. You must lead a person to that. To do so means to instill in a person a strong necessity to communicate with the others and thereby step out of oneself. As soon as a person starts perceiving others as himself, he will immediately discover the Creator outside of himself.

Why do we need a society? It is to practice exiting ourselves. The Creator is beyond me, but I don’t perceive Him. The surrounding society, on the other hand, is within me, but the Creator purposefully made it look like the society is something external. In truth, it only seems so; I only feel that everything is outside of me.

However if I “glue” this imaginary picture, both its external and internal manifestations within me, I and the surrounding world become one whole, and in this way I prepare my perception to grasp what is outside of me. When that happens, I immediately and naturally discover the Creator because except me, outside of me, there is only Him.

Then where are these worlds, where is all humanity? I discover that they are all within me and have always been there. They existed externally for the sole purpose of enabling me to tune myself like a musical instrument, as a new organ of perception, to feel the Creator. This is why I was given the sensation of myself, which is divided into two parts: me and the world. But in reality, this world doesn’t exist outside of me at all.

When we find a way to tell this to people and show them the necessity of such self-tuning, they will understand why Kabbalah teaches us to “Love the others as yourself.” It is solely for the purpose of bringing us to the perception of the Creator, the Source of ultimate goodness and perfection.

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What Kind Of Society Did Baal HaSulam Write About?

societywrite A question I received: What kind of “just” social framework does Baal HaSulam write about in the article, “The Nation”? Is he really concerned with organizing a more comfortable, well-fed life within the boundaries of this world? How can this be the concern of a Kabbalist who knows that everything is governed by the Upper Force, and we are temporarily placed within this world only in order to correct our soul?

My Answer: Despite what you say, Baal HaSulam also knew that people will reach a point in their development when they would reveal that they lack the Upper Force to correct their relationships. Then they will need the science of Kabbalah because only the Upper Light can correct the relationships between people. There cannot be a good relationship between people unless they are connected by the Creator. Only through Him can people unite with one another. In other words, life itself will force people to reveal the path and forces of correction.

Two people can never be connected with one another directly, but only through the quality of bestowal, which is called the Creator. Baal HaSulam understood this very well since he possessed the highest spiritual attainment. However, in order to bring the regular reader closer to this, he starts his explanation from afar. When a person understands what kind of unity and connection we have to attain according to nature’s plan, and that this is inevitable, the only thing remaining for him to do will be to reveal the means of implementing the correction: the Upper Light that Reforms.

Of course, Baal HaSulam did not think of socialism or communism as a goal in and of itself in order to create a well-fed life for the average person in this world. Rather, he had great understanding and personal attainment of the goal of creation.

Inner Changes Determine The Outer Ones

innerchanges.jpgA question I received: Is it possible to build a society based on Kabbalistic laws prior to acquiring spiritual revelation?

My Answer: No; these two conditions are inseparable. We want to build a society that will be governed by the force of love. Within our unity we want to reveal the Creator, who will fill all of the space between us and will maintain our love and unity.

Will this be implemented within the framework of one nation? The fact is that all the nations are one nation; this is how they existed before the Babylonian dispersion. Can this happen within one nation? The whole world is one nation. Therefore, we should not limit ourselves with any framework. We should only worry about the internality, and from there, proceed to the externality.

Our unity must happen by virtue of the Upper Force, and not because we want to become “good” and unite on our own. The Upper Force will unite us and will determine our form. We don’t have to invent it artificially. To the degree that all of this will be revealed to us, we will advance. The Light will build everything for us and will obligate us to do everything.

Finding Our Life’s Purpose Through Revelation Of The Creator

Laitman_2009-08_2934Questions I received regarding finding our importance, interest in life outside Kabbalah, and freedom of choice:

Question: I only want to say that in my search for meaning, it seems as though everything leads to the wisdom of Kabbalah . I know there is something I must do, and I do not know what it is. How can the wisdom of Kabbalah help me to discover what my importance or role in life might be?

My Answer: Everything is revealed through revelation of the Creator, because there is nothing else besides the Creator and man. While everything around me is part of me, thus far, I just perceive everything as being external to me.

Question: After a few months of studying Kabbalah, I find it hard to find pleasure in ordinary things that I did before. Whatever I try to do, I hit the barrier of my ego. Either I decide not to do anything, or I break it, but afterward I feel shame.

Therefore I am losing interest in everything besides studying and my job, which I have to do. How can I justify the Creator if there is nothing to look forward to or nothing to take pleasure in?

My Answer: You lack a society that is going towards the Goal with you.

Question: One recurring question many people have who are new to Kabbalah, myself included, is this: Do we have any free will other than the choice between Kabbalah and the path of suffering?

My Answer: No.

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Everything Takes Place According To Our Reshimot (Spiritual Genes)

bestowal1In the material world, a mother knows when it’s time to feed her baby. But when it comes to our spiritual ascent, a baby (a person who is in the initial stages of becoming a Kabbalist) has to ask the mother for food himself. He has to know how to turn to the Upper Level in order for It to raise him up to It and fill him with Light.

Everything happens according to the lower one’s (the person’s) desire to become similar to the Upper One (the Creator). In the spiritual world, all actions take place either according to Reshimot (informational records which determine one’s state), which are realized in us without our choice, or by us adding our desires for correction to the Reshimot. That is to say, we can add our own prayer or plea for correction.

We don’t have to ask for this artificially. That won’t help. If one’s desire is ripe, then it will elicit the influence of the Light of Correction upon it.

The Upper Partzuf (the Creator) is in the state of absolute rest and never changes. Only our inner Reshimot (the data about our state) undergo changes. This is why we feel that we exist in a changing world, but actually, it is changing inside us relative to an unchanging background – the White Light, the Creator.

Reshimot that awaken in us without our participation do not advance us in the spiritual world. We simply tread in one place, until repeated suffering makes us smarter and forces us to look for spiritual development. Our problems are caused by Reshimot that unravel naturally.

However, if you join a society that engages in spiritual development, then you will receive Reshimot from it, which come from your connection with other souls. You will receive these Reshimot by virtue of your own efforts, and they are the Reshimot that you have to correct in order to reveal the Upper World. How? By raising them through your prayer for correction.