A question I received: Today’s economy, and life in general, seem very chaotic. Things are difficult to regulate, control, and predict. What should people do in this situation?
My Answer: Firstly, we should learn from this situation. The crisis and the uncertain state of the world should help us see that we are developing according to certain laws, irrespective of our will. Moreover, we do not know what these laws are.
It would be nice if we could predict things in some way, but all our attempts to predict and change anything do not produce good results. However, if we learned the laws of nature, we would gain strength and wisdom.
Question cont’d: So what are we to do about the situation?
My Answer: All of people’s attempts to fix things have not yielded any positive results. This fact should help people see that all of their mistakes have been programmed by Nature in order to teach them something. This is Nature’s way of helping people to advance.
Question cont’d: Isn’t this fatalism?
My Answer: Nature encompasses everything, even all of people’s instincts, behaviors motives, and actions. The basis of all human problems is that we single ourselves out from nature.
Nature’s goal is to teach man that he should not stand out or try to separate from Nature. People have to realize that we are all part of Nature, that we are “built into it,” so to say.
Man’s task in Nature is to integrate all of Nature using his power, control, and desire. In other words, we need to bring the entire system into harmony and balance. Nature pushes man forward and teaches him lessons in the process. A person may feel bad at times, or he may be scared; and all of this is intended for him to understand that right now, all of Nature is disjointed, contradictory, and prone to crisis for just one reason: because human beings are breaching the natural balance.
Man must do everything he can in order to collect all of Nature’s parts into one, and thus to bring them to harmony. This is something that depends on every person.
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Kabbalah Today Article: “In Nature, Everything Moves Toward Unity”
From Chaos to Harmony: “A Reality of Wholeness and Infinity. Nature Plan”
In the News (from The Daily Mail): “Live together before marrying and you’re more likely to divorce” Couples who set up home before getting hitched are more likely to divorce than those who wait until after the big day… A survey of more than 1,000 married men and women in the U.S. found those who moved in with a lover before engagement or marriage reported significantly lower-quality marriages and a greater potential for splitting up… Psychologist Dr. Galena Rhoades said: “There might be a subset of people who live together before they got engaged who might have decided to get married really based on other things in their relationship – because they were already living together and less because they really wanted and had decided they wanted a future together.”
My Comment: If a person wants to have a lasting relationship with someone, he shouldn’t try to go and change the type of relationship they have. If what you want is to create a family with someone, then that’s exactly what you should do. People should regard familial relationships just as nature had determined them to be.
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Article: “Today, It’s Spiritual Relationship or No Relationship”
Between Men and Women
From Chaos to Harmony: “Obeying Nature’s Law. Life’s Purpose”
A question I received: The G20 leaders, including Obama, Putin and others, will never reach an agreement, except when they begin to be personally affected by the problems in the most physical sense. So, if the Creator wants them to reach an agreement, why doesn’t He make them suffer sufficiently?
My Answer: The government leaders are simply enacted from above to carry out what the people deserve at a given time, and they are not viewed personally by the Upper Governance. This is why the correction must begin and be carried out from below – the people, rather than above – the leaders.
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Kabbalah Today Article: A New Direction
The purpose of economics is to bring the entire world to a state of altruistic globalization, where everything will be interconnected like within a family. Some members of the family are small, others are big; some are old and others are young; but they are all part of one system, where everyone receives equal care, depending on each person’s situation.
Question: The modern economic system works to satisfy needs that are not really essential. It’s actually a machine that produces more and more needs, making people earn money they don’t really need in order to buy things they don’t need, things they can essentially do without. Do you support those who want to partially reduce such needs?
My Answer: Of course. A person who works on developing spiritually feels truly fulfilled, and to him, the material level is only there to support his corporeal existence. Thus, a person separates himself from his body, the animate part of him, and therefore he never eats more than his organism needs. He is constantly engaged in spirituality, which is above the beastly level of existence, and therefore, even without trying, he provides his body with just the right amount of whatever it needs in order to survive. When industry, trade, and other systems will evolve and be based on this approach, they will be reorganized in order to meet the essential needs of people.
Question cont’d: But what is essential and what isn’t?
Answer: This is determined by the ratio between one’s spiritual and material needs. That is to say, it depends on a person’s spiritual level, and that is a consequence of one’s education.
It is the people who must regulate the level of what is essential. And therefore, positive changes will only happen with the right education.
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Kabbalah Today Article: “The Untold Story of: a Consumer Nation “
In the News (from News Bureau): “Those unsure of own ideas more resistant to views of others” We swim in a sea of information, but filter out most of what we see or hear… The analysis, reported this month in Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association, was led by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida, and included data from 91 studies involving nearly 8,000 participants… The researchers found that people are about twice as likely to select information that supports their own point of view (67 percent) as to consider an opposing idea (33 percent)… The researchers also found, not surprisingly, that people are more resistant to new points of view when their own ideas are associated with political, religious or ethical values.
My Comment: Most people will always hear what they want to hear, and you don’t need to conduct expensive studies to discover that. This is because our nature is founded on egoism, or the desire to fulfill our desires, whether we desire fame, prestige, power, wealth, or knowledge. And this determines what we are capable of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding.
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Talk: “Perception of Reality”
A question I received from my student: The desire “to bestow to others” also implies an egoistic desire to receive something for oneself, because “I want” to bestow. So is this really bestowal?
My Answer: The desire to bestow is not related to one’s regular desires. However, “giving to others” as most people understood it today, is not a desire to bestow at all, because this is the same egoistic desire for pleasure, which simply appears as if it is being used for the sake of another person.
This is why a desire to bestow directly to another person does not exist in Nature. It is impossible, because it is equivalent to coming out of oneself.
So what are we to do? We have to try to “come out of ourselves.” If a person makes this attempt, he will reach the understanding that only the Creator can do this for him. And then he will reveal the Creator!
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Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life: “Building the Spiritual Kli (Vessel/Tool)”
Shamati #3: “The Matter of Spiritual Attainment”
A question I received: I am from Uruguay and I am 17 years old. My question is this: people often talk about the environment as if it is something that exists alongside us. How it is possible to make people understand that the environment isn’t something that exists alongside us, but that we are in it and we need it? Uruguay is a very small country, but even here, we encounter a whole gamut of environmental problems because there are so many factories in the country and even more are being built.
My Answer: There are two things that can cause people to adopt a different attitude to themselves, to others and to nature: 1) suffering or 2) the dissemination of Kabbalah. We’ll keep trying to make it happen through the second path.
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My lecture in Arosa
A question I received: What is faith in Kabbalah?
My Answer: In Kabbalah, faith is bestowal. It’s when one is able to bestow despite his will to receive. This is called, “faith above reason.”
A person’s nature is the will to receive, and faith is the property of bestowal that’s opposite to our nature. The only way for us to acquire the property of bestowal is with the help of the Upper Light, because it gives us the ability to rise above ourselves and to act out of a different desire: for the sake of others, or for the sake of the Creator. One then acts out of this desire, instead of one’s own, natural desire. And because of this, one becomes dependent on the Upper Level (one becomes “the Creator’s slave”) rather than on oneself (a “slave to oneself”).
Therefore, if you have faith in me, it means that you act for my sake with all of your abilities. Actually, you become like me. That is because normally, every person is completely opposite to another. But if someone has faith in me, it means he has neutralized his desires in regard to me, and through these desires, he and I are one.
The opposite of faith is knowledge, which is when we act for the sake of our own desires. Faith, however, is when we act for the sake of fulfilling the desires of others. When a person has this quality, he is able to sense things outside of himself, through the desires of others. And what one senses through these desires is the higher, spiritual world. This is why faith is closely related to love (love for another person), because love is the ability to replace one’s own desire with the desire of another person, and to fulfill that desire.
As you can see, in Kabbalah, faith is when a person masters the quality of bestowal – a higher quality. Clearly, this bears no relation to faith as it is understood in our world: believing in what someone else says and accepting it as a fact. With this kind of faith, I may accept another person’s mistake or false belief as a fact, and then use it as a foundation for all my actions and my entire life.
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Attaining the Worlds Beyond: “Faith above Reason”
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Shamati #43: “The Matter of Truth and Faith”
A question I received from my student: Is it correct to say that the Surrounding Light is our thoughts and desires, which influence us?
My Answer: Not entirely. The Surrounding Light is not simply our thoughts and desires, but it is our corrected thoughts and desires. It is the fulfillment that awaits us ahead, and which we have to receive. The Surrounding Light is, in fact, our corrected, good, proper thoughts and desires; it is the heartfelt connection among us that influences us. And the sum total of our corrected thoughts and desires is called “the Creator.” This is why in Hebrew, the Creator is called Bo-re, which means “Come and See.”
The positive energy of bestowal and love that exist in one’s future state, influences a person and his present state. This energy is called the Surrounding Light. Thus, we affect our uncorrected, present state with our corrected future state.
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Shamati #72 : “Confidence Is the Clothing for the Light”