The World’s Marathon Has Gone On For Too Long

insideIn the coming years, the world will slide down to such a sorry state that people will want to understand how they can live differently. This won’t even happen because of the difficult material circumstances, but due to a burdensome feeling deep down in people’s hearts.

But in the meantime, the world is ruled by money, and nothing but money. Yet, this will soon be over and people will feel that it doesn’t fulfill them any longer. They will simply feel bad despite all the comforts and pleasures in their lives.

People already feel bad now, but they are still able to “play around,” to close their eyes to what is truly important, and to chase temporary goals, which they envision in the form of different pleasures such as money, power and fame. Otherwise, what else would people have to do in this life? We look at one another and mindlessly do the same thing as everyone else. If I am similar to those around me, then I feel good. This is why a person chooses a goal that is generally accepted by the society, and chases it, trying to hide from the sensation of emptiness.

The body’s force of self-preservation forces it to search for a goal that will keep him endlessly busy, so he will “know what he lives for.” That way a person’s mind stays occupied with something. Otherwise he will be left without a “safety blanket” in life, like a child who is lost.

And if that were to happen, a person would be scared and intimidated by the eternal questions: why do I exist and what is happening with my life? However, sooner or later, a person will receive an additional desire and he won’t be able to keep fanatically thinking about corporeal things from dawn ‘till dusk. He will suddenly understand that this “marathon” was set up for him on purpose in order to distract him from the most important thing in life.

For a time, he was able to keep his eyes closed and run along together with everyone else, but he just doesn’t have the energy to keep this up anymore. Everyone continues to run the marathon, but he has stepped off the track: it doesn’t attract him any longer, he just doesn’t feel that there’s any meaning to it. His desire has become so deep that it can no longer be filled by the earthly goals:

a) bodily pleasures: food, sex, shelter and family
b) social pleasures: wealth, power, fame and knowledge

And thus, a person begins to look for a higher goal.

The Pomegranate Is A Symbol Of The Soul’s Desires

Building the Third Temple A question I received: You said at a lecture that the soul of a man consists of 613 egoistic desires and that one has to correct them to bestowal by attracting the Light during Kabbalah studies, thus coming to the quality of “loving one’s neighbor as oneself.”

This correction of the 613 desires is called observation of the 613 commandments. You also told that the soul is like a pomegranate that consists of 613 seeds in the same manner as the soul consists of 613 desires. But who checked this?

My Answer: You have described it correctly. There was an article written about the pomegranate which recounts a project where the researchers took a number of pomegranates from different countries and counted their seeds. Each pomegranate had a different number of seeds – some less than 613 and some more, but the average number of seeds was 613.

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The Unity Of Opposites Is Above The Speed Of Light

russia1On the spiritual path, we always advance through states that consist of two opposites simultaneously. This really bothers a person, since he exists in just one quality – egoism, or the intention, “only for my sake.” A person just cannot agree with the fact that two opposites can be together.

However, in the spiritual state, opposites coincide. After all, we are opposite to the Creator and we have to attain adhesion with Him. We are able to attain adhesion with Him while keeping our initial nature; this is called spirituality. We do it by adding the spiritual nature to our nature, by combining the two. We thereby exist in both worlds.

However, right now we only have the desire to enjoy, and therefore we don’t understand how it is possible to have a unity of opposites. In fact, this state cannot be described or conveyed using our earthly language. Our language is an expression of our nature, and therefore it is only able to convey what we understand. But in the spiritual state, even the cause and effect change places: what seemed to be the cause turns out to be the result. This is why spirituality is concealed.

But it’s not because someone is concealing the spiritual state from you. Rather, you simply don’t recognize spirituality because you are built according to the material world, which consists of just one component rather than two opposites together. It’s as if you walk right by the spiritual world, in a different dimension, and you never encounter it. You simply don’t have the sense to perceive it.

Spirituality can only be perceived within two opposites. It’s when the Creator and the creation unite together through creation’s equivalence of form with the Creator. When you create this equivalence between yourself and the Creator, between your intention and His desire to bestow, while your desire to receive remains, then you have two opposites within and are able to perceive spirituality.

You begin to understand it, and you can start researching and measuring it. You are then able to understand how it is possible for there to be something above the speed of light: two opposites together, which don’t contradict one another.

Improve Your Life The Effective Way

mutualIf a person engages in spiritual work, then he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by material troubles, because the sensation of corporeality becomes pacified and balanced when influenced by the spiritual sensation. Our world is a result of spiritual forces, which descend from the spiritual world to our world. Everything that exists in our world is governed by forces from Above. If we bring these Upper Forces to balance, then everything will work out in our world as well.

If we begin building the right connection among us – one that’s similar to the spiritual connection, then our entire world, including our earthly life, will start being balanced out. On the other hand, by acting on the level of our world, we won’t be able to correct or improve anything in our earthly lives, because our world is governed by forces from Above.

So, only when we work on our correction, on becoming similar to the Upper Forces, will the forces descending from Above bring our entire world to harmony. And we will immediately feel this.

What Is The Upper Light?

the-cycle-of-ascents-and-descentsA question I received: Where does the Upper Light reside?

My Answer: The Kli is filled with the Light of Hassadim (love and mercy), the force of bestowal, which contains the Light of Hochma (wisdom). The Upper Light is the Light of Hochma clothed in the Light of Hassadim. This is the Light that is always working.

We are always turning to Malchut of the World of Infinity, for that is the only existing state. The substance of Malchut of Infinity is the will to receive. The creature imparts to this desire an intention “for the sake of bestowal.” At that point the Creator’s Upper Light clothes in the creature’s intention to bestow.

That is how the Creator’s love and the creature’s love are revealed together, inside of our desire. This state is called the World of Infinity. This state already exists, and we only have to apply our efforts to reveal it! This cannot be done individually, but only through our collective efforts, by uniting all the spiritual sparks (points in the heart).

Our collective effort awakens the Light that fills the World of Infinity, and draws It to us in the form of the Surrounding Light, which shines on us from afar. The Surrounding Light, in turn, makes us similar to Malchut of the World of Infinity.

Lighten Up The Darkness

What to Ask for At the Grave of a KabbalistA question I received: What should a person feel if he is advancing correctly?

My Answer: He should see that he is constantly gaining a deeper understanding of the material, and that the Kabbalistic texts he is reading are talking about qualities that he actually discerns within.

Even if he still hasn’t revealed the spiritual world yet, he already has a sensitive system within, wherein he feels a response to what he reads in the book. It’s as if his inner realm of meanings and sensations expands. This happens because while we’re in the state of concealment, the Surrounding Light influences us, exposing our vices. We then see that all our desires are for ourselves, the only ones we love!

A person then discovers an inner space where he senses various phenomena and reactions in response to Kabbalistic texts. And even though this space is still one of concealment, it is such that the person actually senses the concealment! The stages of concealment should be sensed as degrees.

I walk along a path and can’t see anything to my right or to my left, or even a step ahead. There’s a lot I don’t know, and I don’t even understand how to take the next step. Will I be able to take a step forward or will I fall?

Yet, I feel that there is a space inside me where I reveal different qualities and reactions. So, even though I am in the darkness, it isn’t so pitch black that I cannot discern anything. In fact, I receive various impressions from it – sometimes more and sometimes less.

The Light that shines upon me determines whether the darkness – my opposition to bestowal – seems stronger or weaker to me. So, one must find this place within himself and understand the true meaning of “crime” and “sin.” They pertain only to one’s attitude to others. This becomes that dark place wherein I recognize the darkness.

The darkness is one’s lack of connection with others. It is like an electric circuit where the links between the elements are broken, and therefore, the current cannot flow. If we will truly desire to connect, we will turn on the Light!

The Entire World Continues To Feel The Effects Of The Crisis

progressTo all  questions about the crisis, I answer that I have not changed my opinion: I still believe that the crisis continues, and that it will end only when people correct their nature. The crisis is happening due to the disparity between humanity’s global, integral egoism and Nature (the Creator).  The following news stories demonstrate the ongoing crisis worldwide:

The Skies Are Not Clear In Spain
In the News (from The Financial Times):Spanish unemployment rises as tourism suffers” The labour and immigration ministry said the number of jobless claimants rose by nearly 85,000 to 3.63m, 1.1m more than in August last year, with services and construction recording the heaviest job losses.

Unemployed Chinese Have Nowhere to Go
In the News (from SecretChina):Over 24 million people unemployed in China!” The Chinese government indicated on August 23 that total unemployment in the country will exceed 24 million people in 2009. In 2008, many manufacturing plants were shut down, leaving about 30 million migrant workers jobless.

Americans Committing Suicide In The Workplace
In the News (from BusinessInsurance):Employers grapple with rise in workplace suicides” There was a 28% increase in the number of suicides committed in the workplace last year—251—compared with the prior year, according to a census by the U.S. Department of Labor. Those who commit suicide at work may have felt significant stress from their increased work load as well as worries about job security…

Is It The End Of The Crisis Or Just The End?
In the News (from Jumps to 9.7 Percent, as Economy Loses Another 216,000 Jobs” The 10.1 percent unemployment rate for adult men equals the prior post-war high. The number of discouraged workers is almost exactly double the August 2008 number. And the U-6 measure of labor market slack rose to 16.8%. Hours for production workers have been reduced by 8.5% over the course of this recession. This is the largest percent reduction of hours during a recession since the Great Depression.

Asian Countries To Work For Themselves
In the News (from VOA): – “Nobel Economist Says Asia’s Economies in ‘Remarkable’ Recovery” Joseph Stiglitz says Asia’s economies are in a good position to reduce their dependence on exporting goods to the United States and Europe. He said, “You have a robust large economy here in Asia and so you have the basis of developing a regional economy.”

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Kabbalah Is The Revelation Of The Creator To The Entire World

Unattainability in the Mind of a Kabbalist A question I received: In recent years, especially in times of crisis, the study of Kabbalah is offered as the only means to ensure continued existence of mankind in general, and to overcome the economic crisis in particular.

You must understand that this is likely to cause a backlash, because everything that is not a natural human need causes rejection. Moreover, is the science of Kabbalah itself ready to open itself to universal learning? It is clear that spiritual advancement is universal, and everyone will find their path by means of study, however this is what it is, a path, and a distant one. You are already beginning to voice the need for a differentiated approach to learning.

Most importantly, should all of humanity study Kabbalah, or is it enough to reach a certain critical mass of humanity in order to advance humanity? Who then should be studying? Who has need of this? In this case however, the science of Kabbalah, in all probability, needs to come up with different ways to study.

Certainly Kabbalah should be open to all who seek it, but doesn’t such massive missionary work devalue the science in the eyes of those exposed to it? In my opinion, such, excuse the term, “vulgarization” of Kabbalah, that is, an attempt to explain such concepts as “mutual love” or “union of souls,” at a primitive level, is unlikely to succeed. The wish to find a simple explanation of these eternal truths is to every person, of course, understandable. But don’t you yourself mention that such understanding is possible only after correction, and in such case, doesn’t it harm dissemination?

My Answer: One of the easiest answers is the following:  I follow the instructions of my Teachers. Read what they wrote and you will agree with me.

Kabbalah is a practical science that reveals the Creator to every person in the world (definition of Kabbalah from the article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah” by Baal HaSulam). Therefore, there is a need to bring it to each and every person. Who are we to judge who is capable of implementing it, for all will gradually come to this necessity? My role is that of a circulator.

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Who Do We Ask For Forgiveness On Judgment Day?

cancerA question I received: Who should I ask for forgiveness on Yom Kippur, if we learn in the science of Kabbalah that there is no one outside of me?

My Answer: First of all, we have to ask our friends for forgiveness. If a person doesn’t have everyone’s forgiveness, then he won’t have anything with which to turn to the Creator. But what is forgiveness in spirituality?

Forgiveness is the revelation of my current state, which I can correct, in contrast to the desires I couldn’t even fathom being able to cope with and to ask for their correction. I have to discern my desires gradually and advance step by step.

Forgiveness (Slihot) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) mean the revelation of our broken vessel (Kli) or soul. We check it and compare it with the state of the full correction – Purim. This is why we call the opposite, uncorrected state that we reveal, Ki-Purim – Like Puirm).

Therefore, Yom Kippur symbolizes a time when a person truly asks to be forgiven for all his “sins.” But he doesn’t want this because it is written somewhere, but rather because he reveals how opposite he is to the final state, which he is able to envision. This state is the unity of all the souls for the sake of equivalence with the Creator, the force and desire to love and bestow.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 09.27.09

Preparation to the Lesson
The group “charges” me with the importance of bestowal, and at the same time, let me see how far away I am from this quality. As a result, I am able to demand correction.
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Part 1, on Writings of Rabash
“Darkness” is the breaking of the connection between us. When we really desire to unite, we light up the darkness.
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Part 2, on“Preface to the Sulam Commentary”
Being able to enjoy something that isn’t bestowal is just an illusion we have. In reality, pleasure and bestowal are the same thing.
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Part 3, on Baal HaSulam’s article, “Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before”
You have to nourish your egoism, pretending that what you’re doing is good for it. After all, we will need egoism in order to undergo correction.
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