Entries in the 'Suffering' Category

From Despair To Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat makes a person suddenly give up and no longer resist suffering? It is the result of the informational genes (Reshimot, “reminiscences”) implanted inside him. An animal will never experience this since it lives mechanically, always fighting for its life until the end and never feeling despair the same way man does throughout his journey in life.

An animal will fight tooth and nail or flee for its life but will never succumb to pain. Since man has the “human” informational genes, he will give up, let it be, and will not act as a machine that is simply programmed to enjoy, not suffer. This peak point of desperation, when a person stops fighting for his life and accepts whatever will follow, defines the entire human psychology.

In truth, all our internal Reshimot are the consequence of the breaking of the soul, and even the tiniest, smallest Reshimo has some connection with the Upper One, the Creator, who broke us from this spiritual level of bestowal. Therefore, some qualities emerge within us unconsciously as we suddenly stop thinking that we may gain something good by receiving, and we begin to think about bestowal.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/10, “Peace in the World”

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How To Break The Wall Between Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can suffering suddenly bring a person to bestowal?

Answer: Indeed, from a corporeal, "commonsense" point of view it’s impossible to attain bestowal in this way. If a person feels bad, then he only thinks about how to improve his situation, to try to fix the problem directly, to fill the void.

That’s how human psychology works: If I feel bad or something is missing, I turn to a doctor for medicine, try to make more money, steal something, or do anything to fill the void. But after all these attempts and a number of blows, I begin to ask: "When will it end?"

A person falls into despair, depression, or starts using drugs, all that only to somehow numb his pain because he sees that nothing he does can help him. So how is it possible to make the transition to bestowal? To that end we have preparations on the corporeal level as well as spiritual genes.

On the corporeal level a person starts thinking about giving because he sees that there’s no other choice. He is ready to give to others so that they will give to him as well, so we will all feel good; otherwise, we would just devour each other like wild beasts.

That’s a simple selfish calculation at the level of our world, and it’s possible specifically because we are not at the animate degree; rather, we possess dangerous weapons that enable each of us to destroy everyone. It eventually brings us to an inevitable conclusion that our salvation lies only in bestowal. Many understand that by now, and only a madman would wish for the next war.

But aside from the corporeal reason that makes us understand that giving may be useful, our Reshimot (spiritual genes, records) from the breaking are awakening within us, from the easiest ones to the increasingly coarse ones. They make us feel that we are moving in the wrong direction and bring disappointment in our development.

Those who are progressing under the pressure of corporeal and spiritual Reshimot begin to come closer. It turns out that Kabbalists who engage their own spiritual development and people leading a normal, corporeal life but are beginning to ask about life’s meaning are coming closer to each other. Although the latter have no point in the heart, they are nevertheless asking very similar questions.

The opinion of the masses is gradually approaching the opinion of Kabbalists. There’s still a wall that separates them, but ordinary people are coming closer and closer in search of an answer, although they are not yet asking how to correct themselves. There will be a time when they will come and ask: "What should we do?" And then you’ll have to be prepared to show them how to achieve perfection.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/22/10, "The Peace"

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A Coin That Is Worth A Lot

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Kabbalists described a solution, and many people in the world agree with and are willing to execute it. What are we lacking?

Answer: We lack the realization of the urgency. Everything that pertains to spirituality can be realized only due to hopelessness, an urgent need of life or death. Like at Mount Sinai: Either you unite or this will be the place of your death. A person is incapable of coming out of self-love by even a jot until he sees that he has no other choice.

Therefore, any decision on the path demands for us to be pushed forward by strong blows: fears, worries, the danger of losing everything, and so on. This is called “the path of suffering.” After all, the Creator represents a universal law of nature which has no protection or compromises.

The other opportunity is to advance with the help of the Light which reveals the situation and shows us the truth. Then each person supports, strengthens, and is willing to help everyone so that the group feels a need and readiness to reveal the true state.

If we proceed toward it together, it no longer seems as horrible to us as in the case where I receive suffering. By suffering, I remain an egoist and I see only danger ahead. However, if I annul myself before the group, a hundredth portion of suffering will be enough for me to perceive them to the full extent.

By lowering our heads before the friends, I intensify my sensitivity to suffering. Now I suffer because I am immersed in egoism. In the group I become more responsive, and now, if a hundredth portion of my ego is demonstrated to me, I experience greater suffering and am ready to get rid of it in the same way as if I had experienced its entire load.

This is what the friends give me: They split my burden with me. It is like in the parable about the king who needed to send his riches to a faraway country. His servants, who were egoists, would steal the jewels. Therefore, he gave each of them one coin. There is no sense stealing a single coin, and thus each servant delivered it to the point of destination.

If we proceed together, bending down before each other, then we don’t need to go through a world war. The fact that we exert effort and don’t achieve anything is enough; it already causes suffering which will do what it is supposed to.

After all, the years pass and I still have nothing. How can that be? What is happening? Unification intensifies the pain caused by futile efforts. This pain will be enough to make us want to run away from it, ascend higher onto a spiritual degree, and deliver our part of the king’s treasure.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/28/10,  “According to What is Explained Concerning Love Thy Friend as Thyself”

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Careful Steps Over The Dark Void

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Where does suffering come from? Am I causing it through my lack of equivalence to the Creator, or does He send it to us?

Answer: Definitely, all suffering is sent by the Creator since “there is none else but Him.” Humanity suffers on the path of its evolution, and the suffering is designated to develop the creatures on the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels so that they would come to need the correct fulfillment and well-being. In the end, one way or another, everyone feels a need due to the lack of a good, fulfilled state of existence.

All of this is necessary in order to complete the picture by correcting the breaking. After all, everything is caused by the lack of unity or absence of Light in the vessel. As soon as we begin correcting the Kli, the Creator becomes revealed to us, and then, following the speaking level, all of the other levels ascend, breaking free from misfortunes and problems.

We are being trained by the suffering sent from Above, until we start correcting ourselves. And there is no one to blame for this except the program of creation. Why then must we suffer on the path to love? Truth said, in the beginning the will to receive (desire) has to feel that it’s empty, and only then will it experience the fulfillment. Herein a question arises: If the Creator has prepared eternal pleasure for me, does it mean I must feel infinite suffering first? In that case, I’d rather remain a beast.

However, in reality, we start slowly and move forward in stages, time after time correcting and filling a new layer of our desire with Light. None of us would be able to bear the feeling of the dark infinite void. We are given the exact portion of what we can bear, going forth slowly and gently. This “feet dragging” is necessary precisely because we are unable to take a lot in at once. The breaking is being revealed to us drop by drop, according to our capacity.

From the lesson on 10/22/10, Rabash’s Articles

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We Don’t Entice With Sweets

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Do we need the screen that would enable us to rid ourselves of all the pleasures prepared by the Creator?

Answer: No. The purpose of creation is to reach the good and enjoy. However, we need to delight in the unlimited pleasures that do not exist in our world. We remain “animals” in this thin layer of reality, but our task is to rise to the human level, where the infinite pleasure originates. And then, after having opened the bestowing Kli, we will enjoy without boundaries.

Suffering is not man’s purpose. We need to understand that we experience suffering in our world only because it pushes us toward the real pleasure. Rabash gives an example of a father who arranges the firing of his son from a factory so he would not stay there for the rest of his life and would move on.

When we encounter unpleasant things, we do not feel that we are being educated in this way like little children. But there is no other path. You cannot always be enticed with sweets because they will become your only goal. Yet without the sweets, you become wiser, you begin to evaluate the situation, and learn to manage it.

Thanks to the environment and the method of correction you begin to always understand what is happening to you, you agree with the “education program,” and go through all of its steps with your own will.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/12/10, “The Matter of Mercy”

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Emptiness Is The Harbinger Of Revelation

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: While reading The Zohar I concentrate on the intention to unite with the friends, yet I feel an empty space. Do we have to fill it with some kind of an awareness?

Answer: No. That empty space won’t be filled by you, but from Above. You should think only about unity and listen to the text through that. You don’t need anything but this.

Everything being said in the text has to become clear inside the unity. It’s very good that you are revealing emptiness. That emptiness will be filled by the spiritual picture that will become revealed through the reading.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/14/10, The Zohar

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Spiritual X-Ray

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalah does not add suffering to a person, but rather reveals to the person his true condition. It is similar to someone who visits a doctor, and an x-ray detects a problem that requires surgery. Obviously, the patient doesn’t blame the doctor, but thanks him for finding the disease.

At the same time, the doctor not only diagnoses the person’s disease, but also informs the patient about “all necessary remedies to cure the illness.” It is because everything exists in the Light, and all one needs to do is clarify what is deficient or damaged. As soon as a person figures it out, he immediately receives a remedy and recovers shortly thereafter.

With the means available to us, we must discover our weak points relative to the Creator (the Light). That is why we need the Light to work like an x-ray, showing us what is wrong and, in particular, what does not conform to it. This is how we should examine our entire body.

If we do so by means of the Light, we will clarify and correct ourselves simultaneously through the Light of AB-SAG (the Light intended to find the evil and transform it into good). Thus, we advance with pleasure and enjoyment. If we don’t have an x-ray available, then every cell of our body reaches a near-lethal condition, and we undergo terrible suffering until we begin to realize what is in need of correction and how to achieve it, which is only from within ourselves by changing our attitude to the world.

The method of Kabbalah reveals our affliction faster, making it possible to correct it right away. We have the device in our hands that helps us uncover our problems which were there all along yet concealed from us since previously there was no hope of a cure.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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To Wish For Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanAt a certain moment after many incarnations (Gilgulim), an initial awakening for spirituality, the point in the heart (Reshimo), is roused in a person. It is comprised of two forces: 1) emptiness that one feels from the worthlessness of this transient, vain existence and despair from being unable to find fulfillment in this world, and 2) some inner “spark” that makes a person seek something unknown that exists beyond this world.

On the one hand (downward), there is despair; on the other (upward), there is a spark. As a result, a person sets his course. Together, these two forces form within a person the Reshimo: a new direction in his existence.

This Reshimo leads him to the teacher and the group who study Kabbalah. Later on, he gradually realizes that he will be able to build the force of bestowal or equivalence to the Creator only by connecting with other Reshimot similar to his. This is his only free choice and act of free will in life.

A person’s success is determined by the degree to which he is able to increase his spark with the help of the group, against all personal obstacles. If he manages to enhance it, he will feel the need for faith (bestowal) and for the others (the means). It is all defined by the luck in reception (absorption) of the effects of the spiritual environment (the teacher’s recommendations and the collective opinion of the group).

The environment is not just the group or the friends, but Shechina (Divinity). My connection with them is the connection with the Shechina, Malchut of the World of Atzilut, the collective soul of Adam. Unity of the friends in annulling their egos and attaining the property of bestowal evokes a response from Shechina and receiving the Light of correction from her, Ohr Makif.

Thus, a person enters interacting with the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) that advances him to the revelation of the property of bestowal (faith) within himself. And within this property, he reveals the Inner Light (Ohr Pnimi). All our work is aimed at increasing the desire for the property of bestowal through the correct environment and the importance thereof. It can’t be learned; this work is described as “we shall do, and we shall hear.”

A person exerts effort in connection with the group despite the fact that he may not feel the need to do so. In return, he receives support and the collective need, the desire, accumulated by the friends in the group: the need for faith and bestowal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/21/10, “Who Testifies for Man”

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Evil With A Purpose

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You said that we can evaluate evil either according to our sensations or the desire to reach the goal. Can evil with a purpose be regarded as an ascent?

Answer: If I evaluate the evil from the point of view of the goal, I say, “It’s okay that my desire to enjoy (the body) suffers” since the suffering that I feel in the “body” (my desire to enjoy) helps me rise above it, restrict it, establish a screen over it, and advance.

Concealment must exist between the Creator and me in any case as I cannot reveal my desire to enjoy to Him. Either the Creator conceals Himself from my desire, or I conceal my ego from His Light (pleasure). To the extent that I conceal my ego, the Creator reveals Himself to me above my desire to enjoy, and then I feel Him. This is how we advance.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/10, “What is the Matter of Sufferings in the Work”

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A Descent Is A Trampoline For Ascent

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur entire work lies in finding the right attitude to the states we receive. While doing this work, we gradually begin to break ourselves up into two components:

1. My desire, in which I perceive various phenomena, such as good and evil,

2. The mind, in which I discern Who sends me my sensations and with what purpose.

To the degree I am able to analyze my states independently of the sensation "good or bad," I am able to understand these states and justify them in spite of my sensation. I can desire them for the sake of revealing the quality of bestowal, the Creator, even though the revelation of every new state means that I will first feel suffering due to the revelation of a new, empty desire.

My attitude to this empty desire can change my sensation of its emptiness. The sensation of the goal, a connection with the Creator, can put me in high spirits that will greatly exceed my sensation of suffering.

That is why we have the opportunity to ascend above the unpleasant sensations in our intentions, in our sensation of the connection with the Creator. We can justify all of creation so greatly that precisely this gap will help us ascend above the unpleasant sensations and even elicit their revelation in order to ascend even higher above them.

We cannot change any state in our development, but we can ask for the understanding of how goal-oriented and good they are, above our will to enjoy.

That is how we can accelerate our development and go through the states of descent in such a way that we won’t feel they are descents, but a reason to ascend. Everything depends on our attitude to what happens to us.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/2010,  “What is the Matter of Sufferings in the Work”

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