Searching For Spiritual Sensations

calm.jpg Sometimes The Zohar talks about things that I already know from studying the structure of my soul, such as the left or right sides, Hassadim, Hochma, Cohen, Levi, three lines, Bina, Zeir Anpin, Malchut. This system is already clear to me and I visualize it as a picture, a chart, or a drawing; and I try to recognize it from within.

To do so, I have to find some emotional feedback within me. Each word and definition, such as “right,” “left,” “Cohen,” “Levi,” and “David” has to be connected to a certain sensation. When we don’t experience any sensations, we should at least imagine them as a certain scheme. When I read about Chesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Cohen, Levi, Israel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Netzhah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut, the assembly of the souls of Israel, and so forth, I have to imagine how these properties relate to each other within my inner space.

At first I visualize them in the form of a scheme showing how these desires and properties exist within me. As I imagine this system in this form, I have to find an adequate sensation to each word and observe how my body, my feelings, and my general desire react to each word in The Book of Zohar.

The same applies in our world: When we hear a familiar word, we immediately react to it. After all, we are a desire; we are ruled by our sensations, not our intellect. Therefore, behind the picture that becomes clear to me to varying degrees, I have to find an inner, emotional reaction to every word.

Everything described in The Book of Zohar is hidden from me and totally tasteless, but by trying to find sensations behind these words, I reach a demand for their revelation.

Time Compressed Into A Point

clip_image001A question I received: If human history is just a movie that exists only in our perception, then why is it so long?

My Answer: It’s not long, since in reality – there is no time. Time is Reshimot creating this movie inside you.

Once you connect to everyone else, you will compress time so much that all actions will happen very quickly, one right after the other. You can either feel time like a star that exists for billions of years, or like a little bug that lives for just a few hours and dies; everything depends on your sensation of time.

We feel time only because our egoism switches on, stretching out time between actions, between Reshimot. If not for our egoism, Reshimot would externalize instantly, without any intervals, and would all be constrained into one point.

A Language Created By Nature

clip_image001Why did Kabbalists choose “the language of branches” to explain their thoughts to others? Let’s assume that I understood the connection between the root and branch on its very first level, while someone else managed to understand it at a higher level, and another person understood it at an even higher level. In any case, a branch will always remain a branch.

A child knows that if he plugs a cord into an electrical outlet, then his toy will start working. I know that there is electricity in the plug and that it comes to my house through wires. A person who is more technically advanced knows that there is a power station providing the electricity, and so on. We’re all talking about the same process, regardless of how well each of us understands the details or how deeply we see “the root.” Roots continue in the direction of their highest source, but a branch in our world remains a branch.

“The language of branches” originates from reality itself. Therefore, we don’t need to invent another language to express spiritual notions; it simply cannot be done. This language was created for us by Nature to be used for communication between us and with the Creator. In his book, The Torah, Moses was the first to use this language to describe the path of spiritual attainment at all levels.

The Book of Zohar explains Moses’s commentaries and adds its own language. It was written by Rabbi Shimon, who went through the same steps as Moses did, which are the same steps that each person will have to go through. His description of those steps provides additional explanations of the connection between a root and a branch. This is why The Book of Zohar is so useful in attracting the Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) from the root to the branch, meaning to us.

Baal HaSulam described the connection between the root and branch in even more detail by adding Kabbalistic definitions and explanations of their connection through the three lines. However, all of these authors talk about the same exact picture and its roots; each Kabbalist just adds his own description of the connection. This increases the force of the spiritual ascent provided by the book and the amount of Ohr Makif that descends upon a person reading it, thus paving the path to the Upper World for him.

Connected By A Common Thread Of The Creator’s Kindness

connect The Zohar, chapter “Shmini (On the Eighth Day),” Item 8: All those who engage in Torah cling to the Creator and are crowned in the decorations of Torah. They are loved above and below, and the Creator offers them His right hand, mercy. It is even more so with those who engage in Torah at night, for they have established that they partake in Divinity and join together. And when the morning comes, the Creator decorates them with a single string of grace, so they will be among the higher and among the lower.

There is no time in spirituality. Therefore, “day and night” refer to a person’s inner attitude to his state.

If one’s desires are still uncorrected and egoistic, with the intention “for the sake of oneself,” then he feels that he is in darkness, in the state of night. He cannot bestow and interprets this as the darkness of the night. However, if he can bestow, he immediately considers it day because this state illuminates him.

These states do not depend on how well or poorly one feels, the way we are egoistically accustomed to saying that the whole world is “dark” for us when we feel bad. In the spiritual world, the ability to bestow is called day or Light, and the inability to bestow is called night.

Some people strive to read the Torah particularly during the night, in states of darkness. In other words, they want to correct themselves while in the dark, since there is no correction during the day. During the day, one only performs an action within a desire that was corrected at night.

It is written that the Torah consists of 613 “do’s” (corrections) and 613 “don’t dos” (states of being filled by the Light for the sake of bestowal). Correction occurs particularly at night, during concealment. Meanwhile, reception of Light for the sake of bestowal occurs during the day, because that is when one gains this ability.

The Creator helps the souls that try to perform all of this work to unite by tying them all together with one common thread. When each soul unites with the other souls, it acquires this common big Kli and is therefore able to ascend.

The ascent from one degree to another depends only on the extent of the connection between the souls, which is increased by continually connecting inside a greater and greater desire or Kli. The Creator unites those who perform such corrections at night and continue these spiritual actions during the day. Then, due to their unification, He allows them to rise.

Prevent Spiritual Fever Before It Starts

A Crisis Is a Crisis A question I received: While in a state of concealment, how does one decipher whether he has advanced and received a new Kli?

My Answer: The presence of a new Kli is indicated by a burdensome, heavy sensation and attitude toward the Creator, the studies, the friends, the work in dissemination, and the connection with the group. One finds it difficult to think about all of this. He is only able to work mechanically, but his heart and feelings are numb to it.

This feeling means that one has received an additional, new, uncorrected desire, which he has never worked with before. An added feeling of heaviness suddenly falls on your shoulders and you don’t know what to do with it.

Now you have to continue the work along with that heaviness, lack of feeling, and inability to think about the future. To do this, you need to raise the importance of the spiritual goal, the Creator. You should immediately turn to the books and the group for help. If you don’t come running to them for help, you don’t make beneficial use of the “night,” the darkness that has come upon you.

We have to learn to foresee the states when the burdening of the heart and the fog suddenly come upon us, when fatigue and disappointment prevail, as though a dreary cloud has come down on us. This makes us inattentive and absentminded; everything suddenly seems to be on the same level of importance; the corporeal things might even seem more important than the spiritual.

We have to recognize when this state is approaching without waiting for it to intensify. There is no commandment telling us to submerge into an abyss and be miserable. On the contrary, we have to bring ourselves out of the descents immediately, such as by listening to the music of Baal HaSulam, watching a lesson or video, dancing or singing our songs, or turning on our TV channel. A person needs to search for all the possible means, like someone who feels his fever rising and immediately begins to treat himself so he doesn’t get even more sick.

Make The Whole World An Open Book Of Zohar

newage A question I received: How can we find the quality of bestowal inside us?

My Answer: I cannot find anything on my own; I only have to try to do it. The attempts I make will attract Light upon me that will change me. But it will only happen if I try to find these qualities inside me.

I have to search for the qualities described in The Zohar, such as oil, wine, Cohen (priest), Levi, Israel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others so that the picture will come through as if emerging from a fog. It’s enough to desire to reveal the spiritual world, similar to how a child does in this world. Even if we don’t act for the sake of bestowal yet and are not connected to others, we will still begin to feel change happening inside us.

I receive reactions like this from dozens of people all over the world. Some of them are in direct, live contact with us, some are connected through the Internet, while others have no technical connection to us at all. They include beginners as well as students who have been with us for years. Some of them attend all our Congresses, while others have never even met us. Either way, The Zohar causes changes in everyone. We only have to continue studying and keep trying to imagine ourselves, all the others, and the whole book inside of us. If we see all of our changes and all of reality inside of our inner world, then we will succeed. Our breakthrough will be called a miracle.

After that we will perceive all the other articles by Baal HaSulam in the same way, since he does not write any differently. And then we will understand that all people act no different than Kabbalists since they, too, carry out Nature’s orders. You will suddenly see the hand of the Creator in any event happening in the world, and will then understand that “there is none else besides Him” – there is not a place in all of existence that is not filled by Him. Your whole world will turn into an open Book of Zohar.

You won’t just imagine everything happening inside you during the lesson, but will also perceive your entire life and every situation in the same way at all times. And this won’t interfere with your mundane, day to day attitude to life; you will not get confused between the two approaches. In fact, other people won’t even understand that you perceive reality any differently because all of your inner perception will still remain inside of you; it won’t be revealed to the outside world.

Therefore, the only way to check your progress is by whether it is easier for you to imagine the whole world as being inside you. However, in your regular life, you will still remain a completely ordinary person.

The Trail To Infinity Is Already Paved For Us

light Why is it written that The Book of Zohar exudes Light and contains a special force? We know that the book itself does not contain any special power – it’s just paper. However, when a person attains the Creator through his desire, he paves the trail from this world through all the worlds, and his soul ascends up that trail to the World of Infinity.

As a person ascends up this trail, he establishes a connection with all the souls, similar to how in our world every organ is connected to all the others. A great Kabbalist is a great soul that wrote manuscripts and left them to us, and we now use them to receive the force of life and the Upper Light.

But why do we receive the Upper Light precisely through these books? It’s because a Kabbalist’s manuscript is his spiritual expression in relation to us, which helps us connect to him. It is a means of connecting with his soul.

Having paved the trail to the spiritual world and established a connection with all the other souls, a Kabbalist then left all of this for the whole world to use. Therefore, when we receive a book from a Kabbalist, we connect to his soul and to the connecting net that he created in the general system of souls. This, in turn, helps us connect with that great Kabbalist and take our own small steps with him by our side.

The Book of Zohar was written by ten great Kabbalists who correspond to the ten fundamental Sefirot, the primordial HaVaYaH. Therefore, they did not just pave a thin trail, but a wide, wonderful, and short path that allows anyone to receive the same forces as they had (to “fuel up” for the path) and ascend.

This is why The Book of Zohar is so special: It is not a book, but a spiritual system that enables us to establish a connection with the goal and provides us with everything we need to attain it. While reading The Zohar, we connect to this system, work with it, and it works with us. We must only desire to connect to it, to understand it, and to belong to it. If we have this desire, then the great souls of the Kabbalists have already prepared everything else that we need. They are able to lift us up, help us, and keep raising us higher and higher.

“Love Will Redeem All Sins”

intuitive When reading The Book of Zohar we should be concerned with only one thing: our desire to reach the next state, which is unity and integration. Throughout all of creation unity currently appears to be split into separate parts. Creation appears enormous and we have no idea where to look for it inside ourselves, as The Zohar tells us to.

Nevertheless, we should desire to see all of this within one general system where everything is connected, where all desires, thoughts, qualities, and actions work in harmony within one common soul. In addition, all of this is within me; the function of this corrected soul is the act of bestowal that I reveal inside myself.

The question arises: What does “bestowal” mean? Is it when the heart gives to the brain, the brain gives to the liver, and the liver gives to the lungs? Can we really call that “bestowal”? After all, how is bestowal possible within one body? If the organs don’t give to each other, they simply die. So how can we call these qualities “bestowal” if we see them as a part of one general soul? As soon as you start seeing them as a single unit and sense them as “your own organs,” it stops being considered bestowal because you cannot really give to yourself.

The answer to this dilemma is that all “sinners” and all “sins” that we reveal as a result of this process stay intact. The “evil inclination” always remains, even while we build connections with other souls above it. Therefore, even though the system of souls is revealed within me, at the same time all of my previous hatred for others continues to be present. However, above it I reveal love and connection between us all.

This is why there is no contradiction between the understanding that all that exists is one general system, and at the same time, that all parts of the system act in mutual bestowal.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 01.14.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Shmini (On The Eighth Day),” Item 76
By studying The Book of Zohar we develop a correct attitude toward life because our attitude to the study extends to all parts of our reality.
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“Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 121, Lesson 50
When the words of Kabbalists evoke an inner response in us, then everything will become easier and the “study material” will turn into a part of our lives.
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Introduction to the Book of Zohar, Item 5
Hatred towards the Creator is also a form of connection to Him, since absolute goodness is revealed only at the end of correction.
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Evening Zohar Lesson – 01.14.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Shmini (On The Eighth Day),” Item 93
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