The Zohar Is A Spiritual Amplifier

upper A question I received: How can I receive help from my group mates and help them while we read The Book of Zohar?

My Answer: You need to think of mutual responsibility (Arvut). We don’t have any means to advance spiritually except mutual responsibility for each other. I depend on everybody and everybody depends on me. It is like a circle, a closed loop.

We have to grant each other the force of spiritual development, because if we do not, we will be as good as dead. We can start with what we already have – a small force of the mutual guarantee. The Zohar will then expand and enhance this force like an amplifier. And at the same time, we have to exert effort to add to it as well.

The Taste Of Death

cancer The Zohar, Chapter “VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat),” Item 114: There is not a person in the world who does not feel the taste of death at night…

If the Light (bestowal) doesn’t shine on a person and darkness (egoistic desires) come to rule over him, then even the most righteous person with the most powerful screens will feel the taste of death, because in this condition he is detached from the Light, the Creator. Later on he will overcome this gap and correct his desire, but at first, for some fraction of a second he still disconnects from sacredness (bestowal and love) and feels the taste of death. He falls under the power of the desire to receive, tastes it, and declares that it is the taste of death.

We have to sense this taste in order to feel that we are under its influence and power, We must then overcome it with the help of the group, since we are unable to do it on our own. Only another, external power – the influence of the group – is able to help me arrive at the conclusion that the desire to be pleased, which governs me at this time, is in fact, death.

If I don’t receive outside assistance, then nothing will help and I’ll remain under the power of the desire to enjoy and I won’t be able to see that amounts to death. I will feel as if I am living and everything is all right, the way we all do now.

Why Sleep Is 1/60th Of Death

continuetoaspire In spirituality, a dream is a certain way of sensing the Light. It is a state of the desire relative to the Light when I don’t use the desire because it has no screen. This is why a dream is called “one sixtieth of death.”

Obviously we’re not talking about a regular dream, but a spiritual state where I use only the smallest part out of all the huge desires that are revealed inside me. I perceive reality and my relationship with the Creator only in this part.

To “fall asleep” means to begin a new period, a new degree, when an old state ends and I begin to work with new, yet uncorrected desires. For this reason I perceive them as darkness, night, a reclined horizontal state wherein all the parts of the spiritual Partzuf (soul) – its head, torso and extremities (Rosh, Toch, Sof) – are on the same level, and there is no clothing of the Inner Light from above downward.

All of the Light is gone, and there is only a faint luminescence left in the Kelim, which animates them. It is called a dream (Kista de-Chauta). When I cannot feel or understand anything, when I experience the feeling of dreaming, it is called “one sixtieth of death.”

From this state or point, I must awaken and rise to my full height (GAR). And then, together with my new desires, I will lie back down again. And so the states succeed one another, cycle after cycle.

At first I surrender myself to the Upper Force, letting it care for me like an embryo inside a womb. And the more I cancel myself, the more it helps me to grow.

Then I begin to actively cancel myself, suppressing my desire to enjoy with my own strength. And then my Partzuf empties itself of the Light and I fall into a dream, until a new day comes, and with it, a new degree.

Spiritual States Never Disappear

charges A spiritual state never disappears; we just have to find our where it is taking place. For example, by identifying with the text, we can ascend and sense a state called “the breaking” to some extent.

All the spiritual states are constant, like images on an unrolled photographic film that contains all the pictures from beginning to end. If we want to advance along this film to a state called “the breaking” and to feel what transpires there, then the moment we desire this, that state influences us.

It is important to remember that when we read the text, we are being influenced by the Upper Force regardless of whether we realize it or feel it, or whether our perception is correct. The important thing is to expect the Upper Force to come and change us.

The Mirror Of Our Desires

Our I Is Outside of Us! A question I received: When I look in the mirror, I see my own image and it’s clear that I can’t communicate or work with it. But when we look at our reality, we essentially see ourselves, or images of our desire.

My Answer: This is why Baal HaSulam says that a person’s desire is divided into two parts – the part that is perceived within, and the other part that seems to be outside. In one part, a person perceives himself, and in the other he perceives the world. This false, opposite form of perception was created on purpose, so we would transfer the part that is outside into our “inner” perception.

The fact is that everything on the outside, as well as myself, is actually perceived inside of me. There is nothing besides one, single desire, one world.

We are not supposed to correct our corporeal reality or the sensation of this division into “myself” and “this world,” which is reality on its lowest level. Rather, we have to unite both parts of the desire by ascending up the steps of the spiritual ladder. The reality we are in now is the last, lowest level of reality, and it does not change when we ascend spiritually. It will change and disappear only at the End of Correction, when this world will enter the general correction, the unified sensation inside a unified desire – the World of Infinity.

Until then, the picture of our world does not change. The Light does influence it; however, it influences Malchut, the desire, in order to unite both of its parts – the inner and the outer, into one. The Light influences all the other desires as well – our spiritual desires, where we have freedom of will. These are the desires we work with and have to correct. But in our world there is nothing to correct. We only have to correct the connection between the souls. That is where our desire unites into one, and in it, we reveal the Creator.

The layer of desire, where I perceive myself and the world around me, remains until the End of Correction. Even the greatest Kabbalist who ascends to the last, 125th level and attains the general Final Correction will still perceive this world the same way as you. He will have to go to a doctor to heal his body, and he will have to use this entire world and to see reality as divided into inner and outer. Even though he knows that in reality this is not so, nevertheless, he will still see reality this way through his corporeal senses because this level of reality does not change until the very End of Correction.

When The Dawn Comes

Get Through the Night, and Welcome the Dawn The Zohar, Chapter “VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat),” Item 114: There is not a person in the world who does not taste the taste of death at night, and the spirit of impurity is over the body. Because the holy soul has parted from man, the spirit of impurity is over that body and it is defiled.

This means that a person had a screen, the Light of Unity, the Light of Adhesion, and the quality of bestowal reigned inside him. But then everything disappeared. The Partzuf was emptied; all the Light came out of it. This could happen for an external reason or an inner reason, such as when a person’s inner will to enjoy grows and new Reshimot begin to surface in him.

That is when a new, uncorrected desire awakens in him and reigns over him. A person submits to it, and guided by this desire begins to think about his life, about self-gratification and how to fulfill this desire.

Only if he prepared ahead of time for this darkness, for the night, the state when his desires rule over him, then he is able to gather all the forces that enable him to view the darkness as a means to ascend to a new level. Then he makes a true request upward, to Abba ve Ima, asking them to take care of him (this is called “adhesion at midnight”).

From midnight onward, he begins the corrections. A person begins to correct the entire additional desire to enjoy, which he had received and in which he felt the taste of death. But now he sweetens it.

This means that a person advances toward the morning, when he receives from Above the Light that Reforms, the first quality of bestowal. And then the dawn comes. A person begins to feel Light in his state, since he has acquired a screen over his previous desire to enjoy and he is now in the quality of bestowal.

This is why it had been necessary for him to experience the taste of death.

We Have To Live Everything We Read In Talmud Eser Sefirot

book A question I received: During lessons on Talmud Eser Sefirot or Ptiha (the article, “Introduction to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”), do I have to imagine that everything we read is within me in the same way as when we read The Zohar?

My Answer: It’s good to identify with the text and to want to sense it from within yourself. However, while reading The Book of Zohar, the approach and the system that are built into this text embed themselves into us and show us the shapes, pictures, and sequences through which we enter spirituality. On the other hand, Talmud Eser Sefirot works in a different way. Nevertheless, if while reading Talmud Eser Sefirot, a person is able to begin imagining internal actions that are harmonious with his desires or opposed to them, if he starts sensing that the things described in Talmud Eser Sefirot are talking about him, then it will impact him no less than The Zohar.

We have to understand how all of this works and to imagine that the will to enjoy was created, then it wanted to “receive for the sake of bestowal,” and then it broke. What happened to this desire after it lost its screen, and how do all five components of this desire now behave? How does it empty itself of the Light? It doesn’t want to lose the Light, but the Light goes away because the forces of concealment act from Above. The desire’s evil egoistic powers repel the Light.

All of this is talking about me. For example, inside of my corrected Galgalta ve Eynaim, I refuse the Light and place a screen (concealment) between myself and the Light. Thus I remain face to face with the Creator; I connect only with Him, but I don’t receive from Him since I refuse the Light. Thus, I stay with Him since I possess the power to resist my will to enjoy. However, my connection with the Creator (the Light of Hassadim) is very weak.

While I study, I have to imagine all these processes: how my screen disappears, how the Light goes away from me, how I want to resist my egoism and retain the power of bestowal, yet it disappears because my egoistic desire is bigger than my altruistic desire. I cannot cope with my desire because the connection between the desire and the pleasure is bigger than my power of resistance. I have to place resistance between two poles (plus and minus), but my resistance is so small that it burns out. A short circuit occurs and as a result of it, I burn. So, what can I do if I am no longer suitable for receiving the Light?

If a person imagines spiritual states in this way, he will want to read the text over and over again. Instead of perceiving the text as dry technical details about something that happens up above, he will see it as occurrences happening within him here and now.

Misfortunes Are Help In Disguise

A Crisis Is a Crisis The Zohar: Many are the ills that Jacob suffered so as to not cling to the evil inclination. And how many ills do righteous suffer in this world, ills over ills and pains over pains to purify them for the next world?

The revelation of the evil inclination is necessary, because otherwise, how can a person advance? The state of being “righteous” is a state of immobility. It’s when one feels that he doesn’t need anything, that everything is in perfect order, and whatever happens is for the best. However, a person cannot advance while feeling this way.

Precisely the misfortunes that come to us become the “engine of progress.” We need to see them as forms of help which leads exactly to the desired effect.

Yet, everything depends on one’s preparation. If a person prepares himself correctly for revealing the “wicked” (various negative desires, weakness, and confusion), then he is able to accept them as goodness. Having acquired experience, a person sees that as he searches for the way out of these descents, he becomes smarter and stronger, and thus rises above his present state. This is why a person is taken out of the state of righteousness and is confused by foreign thoughts and desires; it’s because this gives him material for advancement.

We need to change our attitude to what happens. It is very important to perceive all the interferences as help on the way to the goal. After all, they force us to ask for the forces that will provide us with support and help in time of trouble. The group, the dissemination, the studies, and a proper schedule are the means that will force us to become stronger and to gather strength, instead of stagnating in the still waters of our own righteousness.

There Is Only One Source Of Spiritual Desire

What Is Mutual Guarantee in a Virtual Group The greatest question facing us is how to obtain a desire for spiritual development, a desire to become similar to the Creator? How can we desire to become “givers”? Kabbalists answer that the best way to develop spiritually is through a means called “the group.”

Natural relationships with people in our environment (including feelings of envy, hatred, love, rejection, and the aspiration for power) can help us to acquire a greater desire for spiritual development. We can simply absorb the desire for spirituality from our friends. In fact, we will desire this despite the fact that it contradicts our own desire, because envy and other “negative” feelings toward others will make us desire this even more.

We are all part of a spiritual system where we are connected as one whole. Therefore, even if the society that surrounds me desires something unnatural and even harmful to me, I will also desire this involuntarily, in spite of my own nature. This happens because we were once connected, and this connection between us still remains. Therefore, I am influenced by others because at some time in the past I received my spiritual life from others, or through them.

This net of connection between us still exists now. I am connected to all other people, but I just don’t feel this connection and therefore there is no flow of life and Light in this net. However, if all of the other people begin to extol spirituality, then even though it is repulsive to me, even though I hate the thought of it and could think of nothing worse than to give to others and love them, I will still be influenced by them against my will. As a result, I will desire this state, which seems unnatural and contrary to my own nature, because there is an inner connection between us that has existed since the beginning of creation.

This desire that I receive from the right environment will, in fact, be the aspiration which I need in order to activate the system which controls and develops me. Therefore, if our friends feel that they do not feel The Book of Zohar, that they are unable to connect to this means of spiritual development, this is a sign that they lack the desire for it. Even though it seems to them that they have a desire for spirituality, it is just another type of egoistic desire.

And the reason they lack a desire to develop spiritually is that they cannot unite. This is what prevents them from receiving the strength and the desire for spiritual development from the group. Thus, the whole group and every person in particular have to work on this.

Initially, no one has a desire for spiritual development, for the quality of bestowal and love. Only the right environment can impose this on us. Our only freedom of will is to receive this desire from the group; this is our only chance to become human. The group should work on providing all the friends in the whole world an awakening for spiritual development, for bestowal and love.

On the other hand, we have to understand that this depends on every person, on every person’s ability to annul himself in order to receive this common desire for spirituality. This desire is present only in the group and can be received only from it.

This brings us to the most important point: that we have The Book of Zohar before us, as well as a ready-made system comprised of the group, the books, the teacher, as well as translations to other languages, television, and the internet. All we have to do is put our inner effort into one point, which is called “freedom of will.” In other words, we have to make efforts to unite with the group in order to receive the force of development from it.

Rabbi Yose ben Kisma said that if a person doesn’t have this force of development, then none of the forces of The Book of Zohar will affect him.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 01.05.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat),” Item 106
The Book Of Zohar is the door into myself. I have to search within me for everything it speaks of.
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“Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 108, Lesson 43
For the lower ones, the division is a step back, whereas for the Upper Ones it is a step forward because it leads to the final correction.
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Preface to The Book of Zohar,” Item 34, Lesson 10
The picture of the external reality is a part of my inner world.
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