A question I received: What should I do practically during the process of correction?
My Answer: We have to realize that our current state is a result of the breaking of the quality of bestowal within us and the resulting exile from the sensation of the spiritual space (the Creator). This happened due to the loss of the quality of bestowal. Because of the breaking and the exile, we hate each other, yet we depend on each other. Because of this interdependency, I cannot demand correction for myself; I can only demand it for everyone. I have to desire to correct the relationships between all people.
We have to understand the essence of our mutual inclusion in one another. Nobody is an independent individual. But in order to see this truth, we have to correct our sensations. We have to ask the Upper Light for this; only it can help us to acquire the vision in order to see the real picture.
Because of the mounting problems, humanity today has to reveal that it is a broken vessel, and it has to come together. This involves discovering the components of this state: the mountain of hatred (Mount Sinai) on one hand, and the importance of the goal (a connection to the Creator) on the other hand.
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Article: “One Law” – Lesson 4
The Kabbalah Series: What is the true nature of Mankind? (3;29)
If I feel evil forces, it means I am able to understand what good forces are, which are situated across from them. However, I am not under the influence of the good forces; I instead fall into the domain of the evil forces.
For example, I have a home, which is a good, warm, and safe place. But at night I find myself in a dark forest, where I feel scared and miserable because I have something good to compare it to. However, if I did not have a good, warm home, I would not suffer; I would simply accommodate myself to living in the forest. It would not seem dark and scary to me, but would be my regular life. In the same manner, we have gotten used to life in this world – the worst of all worlds.
This understanding should help us avoid being confused by the images that The Zohar describes. When we read about the scary characters, we have to tell ourselves that “all of this exists inside me.” These are my desires, in which I want to receive pleasure. All of these demons, spirits, and hell are right here.
We have to clearly understand this. Otherwise, we will picture all sorts of material images of hell and heaven, which are customary in religions that tell us: you are forbidden to go here, and allowed to go there. This is why Baal HaSulam created the commentary to The Book of Zohar; it was in order to help us get rid of all these made up images and to search for all of this inside of ourselves.
We are studying the inner part of the Torah, which tells us that everything is inside a person and a person is a small world. All of this is me, and there is no one except me in existence. The only thing that exists inside me is the Creator (the Light), or the opposite perception of Him. There is only He and I, and He tells me how to reveal Him from His own concealment. He purposely arranged everything this way, where as a result of my effort and my search, I would reveal Him.
By correcting my desire, I come to know Him, the One who created me in this form. By attaining the Creator, I attain myself – all of my qualities and capabilities. How do I attain this correction? I constantly ask for His help in collecting and understanding some parts of my soul. In response, He comes and reveals Himself to me, and we begin working together and uniting through this work.
This system that we work with becomes my soul, where He and I exist together. And The Zohar tells us about all of this.
A question I received: When reading The Zohar, we are supposed to follow the text as though we are travelling within ourselves. However, don’t we also have to exert effort in order to demand our correction?
My Answer: The Zohar itself directs you to correction and the necessary thoughts. It will tell you what is good and what is bad depending on your specific state and what you in particular need to clarify.
The book itself will provide you with this approach. On our part, we must simply be able to adhere to it and its flow, to “swim” along with it obediently and to go wherever it wishes to bring us. We have to let our mind and heart swim smoothly along with the stream.
Everything is pre-assigned, including my desire, the Reshimot in it, and the Light which realizes the Reshimot. However, everything depends on my effort and my consent to give the Light access to the Reshimot.
I only allow the Light to act, but beyond that everything happens without my knowledge. I just witness everything that happens inside me. My effort is called “Avodat HaShem” – the work of the Creator; I am only an accomplice to it. The Creator said to Moses: “Let’s go to Pharaoh. I will do everything and you will watch how I act toward him.” This means that my point in the heart, the first spiritual Reshimo, brought me to the entrance into a new world, which I know nothing about. And now, through this point in the heart, I am hearing an explanation about this new world. To the extent that I learn about it and connect to it, I will be able to live in it.
Baal HaSulam writes that just like it is impossible for material bodies to live in this world without knowing its laws, rules, and conditions, so it is impossible for the soul to live in the spiritual world without receiving the necessary knowledge about it. Thus, right now we are trying to receive this necessary knowledge. When we receive it, we will feel that we already exist in the spiritual world, because in spirituality, knowledge and sensation is the same thing.
Right now I feel only my animate body – an illusory reality; but I also have a point in the heart which can potentially feel the Upper World. This point that I was given is a tremendous opportunity; however, it is the only thing I was given. I need to develop the rest on my own, which is why I am given The Book of Zohar, which provides an explanation for me.
I learn about the Upper World similar to how a baby learns about this world without knowing anything about it in advance. A baby cannot attain the world with his mind, by performing an analysis and a synthesis. I am the same in regard to attaining the spiritual world. I learn about it only by adhering to the book and attracting the Surrounding Light. This type of study is the most natural. We discover a new world in the same manner as we discovered this world when we were babies.
The Upper Level can never be attained with the mind, since we don’t feel, see, or understand it. However, we have to begin to feel it.
“Preface to the Book of Zohar,” Item 9: As it is written in The Zohar concerning the Second Restriction, The Zohar does not speak of the World of Atzilut in and of itself, since it is regarded as the white background in the book. Rather, it studies only its illumination in the three worlds of BYA, which are like to the ink, the letters, and their permutations in the book, on the background of the World of Atzilut.
Everything happens within the desire to enjoy. All the letters are vessels of perception (Kelim); they are various forms of the desire to enjoy, which it takes under the Light’s influence.
As the Light influences the desire, it leads it through all the stages of development – Shoresh (0), Alef (1), Bet (2), Gimel (3), and Dalet (4). The result is Malchut, which is called the “Kli” – the vessel of perception.
A different way to express this is that there is Keter – Rosh (head), and from there “Taamim” (tastes), “Nekudot” (the dots beneath the letters, signifying the vowels), “Tagin” (the crowns above the letters), and “Otiyot” (letters) expanding downward. The letters are the last Reshimot (recollections) of the “Nekudot” (the disappearance of the Light).
In any case, we are only talking about the desire; this is the only thing The Book of Zohar talks about. We have to attune ourselves to precisely this kind of perception – that we are only talking about the desire and everything that happens in it.
The Zohar does not discuss how the Light plans its actions, how it descends to us, controls us, and works “backstage.” This is not our concern, because we cannot comprehend the abstract form and the essence. We are in a space called “the desire to enjoy”; this is where we live. It is ours, and we are its.
This should help us understand the right approach to studying the whole science of Kabbalah, including The Books of Zohar. Kabbalah never talks about anything except the soul.
The only thing discussed in Kabbalah is how Kabbalists reveal the desire to enjoy, which was created by the Creator, and which is called a soul, as well as what happens in this desire. Our entire study is done expressly for this purpose: to reveal the Creator within the created being, within the soul.
However, a person who studies the Torah or Kabbalah for any other purpose besides revealing the quality of bestowal within the desire to enjoy, is not really studying the Torah; moreover, he turns it into the “potion of death” and draws further away from the truth.
When the Creator revives the sons of Israel and delivers them from the exile, a very narrow, small door to the Light opens for them. And then another door opens for them, slightly bigger than the first. This continues until the Creator throws open the upper gates, which face all four corners of the earth.
Therefore, deliverance does not come to them all at once, but like a morning dawn that blossoms gradually, until the day sets in.
We are guaranteed this deliverance – the acquisition of the quality of love and bestowal that exists in the Creator, leading to adhesion with Him.
And this is what the Creator does to the sons of Israel… Israel refers to anyone who wants to draw nearer to the Creator, because “Isra-el” stands for “aspiring to the Creator,” regardless of one’s corporeal ancestry. After all, The Zohar speaks to all the “Babylonians” – all of us …and the righteous among them. This refers to those who desire to reveal the Upper Level in order to justify the Creator rather than accuse Him.
He delivers them gradually, not all at once. It is like a man who has lived in darkness all his life; if you want to give him Light, you must first reveal a tiny ray, like a needle’s eye, and then a bit more, and so on, gradually increasing it until he is illuminated with all of the Light.
This is talking about the Light of love and bestowal toward others, which can only be revealed when we collectively agree to desire, demand, and request it. This is why it is revealed to us gradually, to the degree we come to understand our nature and how opposite it is to the giving nature of the Creator.
That is how we reveal our soul – from the tiniest ray of Light until the revelation of the complete spiritual Partzuf, the whole HaVaYaH and the three lines, called the “12 tribes of Israel” – the 12 qualities of the soul.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent),” Item 99
By trying to unify everyone within myself and to see the world within myself, I start to understand which desires can be used for the purpose of correction.
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“Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 86, Lesson 36
All the books of Kabbalah and all of our actions are designed to reveal the spiritual foundation of the world – the four stages of HaVaYaH.
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“Preface to the Book of Zohar,” Item 13
I suffer whenever I am able to rise to the next degree, but don’t do so. This is similar to the way a child suffers from not grasping the lessons of the day.
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