Do Not Ever Stop

myth A question I received: If I hold the correct intention during The Zohar study, should I feel some results?

My answer: We do not know whether our intention is correct or not. Quite possibly I am in a special mood and feel excited; I slept well and perceive everything very clearly. So it seems to me that my intention is sublime, right on the spiritual goal. And sometimes I can barely keep awake, drifting into sleep and waking up again, or I suddenly recall some past events.

We don’t know how it works; every person is continuously given special circumstances and efforts he has to make. The most important thing is to simply continue, whatever the outcome. One should only try to imagine the spiritual picture that The Zohar describes in every situation. It could be very hard to accomplish this, but even if one is in the most difficult state, he nevertheless manages to catch “the end of the rope,” then he attains a much greater success than if he felt inspired from the beginning.

Of course we shouldn’t disregard the states of excitement that are given to us, but we also should not pay too much attention to the inner or outer conditions we find ourselves in. Whatever the conditions given to a person, are the conditions under which he should try to do everything possible.

Too Much Prosperity?

concept A question I received: What is the difference between the states called “seven fat years” and “seven years of famine”? How do they apply to our world?

My Answer: “The seven fat years” (seven good years) is the time humanity strove to reach prosperity. We wanted to accomplish a good life through the technical, scientific, social, and political revolutions. Just a few years ago, Americans claimed that they were the most successful in achieving prosperity since they were a consumer nation. The more people consume the greater the overall affluence. Now we discover that a consumer culture is not sustainable; we are destroying ourselves and our planet. We cannot continue on the path of consumerism because there are limits to everything.

Forecasts for the future when I was a child painted a much different picture of our current state of affairs. I was told that when I grew up I would work only four hours a day instead of eight, I would use the rest of my time for cultural pursuits, I would have a two month vacation, and children of the future would be well educated and more culturally developed.

However, people today work a twelve hour day and barely take vacation. Education and culture are in dire crises. Families break apart. The majority of humanity exists in desperation and depression dependent on antidepressants and “recreational drugs.” We have come to the state where “the seven fat years” have ended and “the seven years of famine” (the seven bad years) have begun. The “seven years of famine” occur in order to bring humanity to the decision that it no longer wants to continue such an existence.

So now what should we do? The people in ancient Babylon faced the same dilemma when their egoism exploded, as ours has now. And the advice given by Abraham at that time is applicable today.

“There are two possible solutions here. Do you want to spread out around the entire world, while the purpose of creation is to bring us to similarity with the Creator?” “Do not escape your mission,” Abraham warned, “It is inevitable that you will come back to it in four and a half thousand years.” And of course, Abraham was speaking about our time.

Evening Zohar Lesson – 03.08.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 37
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Coming Out Of Exile

moral People often ask, “Why am I studying for so long and putting in effort, but not receiving revelation?” The fact of the matter is that the state cannot change while that is what is still important to us.

People should ask: What is my attitude to spirituality? Do I consider it just an addition to my material life? Am I willing to settle for this life, or do I feel that I am in exile? The feeling of exile is unpleasant, and a person instinctively draws away from it. We don’t want to think that our lives are spent in vain and that time passes without any result. We try to forget about this, or we begin to eat ourselves up without doing anything to change.

However, the feeling of being in exile does not come from feeling bad in this life. It comes from the fact that spirituality is so important to me that I aspire to it in spite of having a pretty good regular life. After all, anyone can criticize his life, but mere criticism has not brought anyone to the spiritual world. It is paramount to realize the importance: of spirituality, of achieving the sensation of the Creator, of merging with Him, of feeling bestowal and love for the neighbor, and of attaining the connection between us within which we can reveal the Upper Force.

In other words, we can only run away from exile if we feel the importance of salvation. The word “salvation” (Geula) differs from “exile” (Galut), as it is written in Hebrew, by just one letter: “Alef,” which means “the Creator.” If we begin to value and desire the connection with the Creator, the force of bestowal, and love for the neighbor, it indicates that we have reached the right preparation and the exit from exile is really happening.

We also need to understand where it is we want to exit to. We prepare for this by correctly imagining the spiritual state. If a person correctly imagines spirituality as bestowal, love, connection with others, connection with all other parts of the universe within which the Creator is revealed, then he becomes worthy of coming out of exile and being free.

Then the exit occurs quickly; we only need to attune ourselves correctly. We can’t just run away from an unpleasant life; we need to work on receiving the correct and clear impression about spirituality and desire it. The exit from exile depends only on feeling the importance of the quality of bestowal.

How To Use The Opportunity Presented By The Zohar

working on zohar We exist inside our egoism, where we imagine the material world. If we want to ascend from matter to forces and reveal the true picture of reality, then Kabbalists have given us a special opportunity, made possible by the language of branches which they chose for their books. As a result, we have the opportunity to make efforts trying to imagine spiritual qualities behind every word of The Book of Zohar.

By attempting to see spirituality in this way, you express your desire to change, your desire for a certain force called the Upper Light to influence and change you. When it does, you will feel your inner qualities becoming corrected and overpowering corporeality. You then begin to live inside your inner world – the world of forces and qualities of your soul, despite the fact that they are described using words of this world, making it seem like they’re talking about regular matter.

All five worlds from the World of Infinity to our world are similar in structure. They differ only by the material of each world, but not the particular details and connections between them. Essentially there is just one system – the World of Infinity; all the other worlds are the same World of Infinity, but with flawed connections between its parts.

Each world consists of the same parts, which are connected by the same connecting threads. It’s just that these threads grow weaker as they descend from a higher world to a lower one. Therefore, when we read a narration that uses words of this world, we have to aspire to transpose this story onto a higher world.

Even if I don’t receive any real knowledge, but simply desire to make out something higher behind all of these words, it is sufficient to attract Light from that higher world. In the higher world, that Light is Inner Light, whereas for me it is Surrounding Light. This Light will begin gradually correcting me and will help me to ascend (in my understanding and feelings) to the world that the Light comes from. This is how it works.

The Miraculous Power Of The Book Of Zohar

hiddenpart A question I received: It’s not entirely clear how the Light that Reforms operates, or the special force (Segula) that is contained in The Book of Zohar.

My Answer: It’s impossible to understand it, which is why it is called a “wondrous quality” (Segula) or a miracle. It’s when you use something that isn’t real.

I am told, “Jump up and down ten times and a light bulb will light up on that wall.” I don’t know the connection between one and the other, but meanwhile, someone might have set up a sensor beneath the floor that causes the light bulb to light up when I jump ten times. I don’t know about it, but obviously, there is a connection between the two. This connection is concealed from me and that’s why it is called “Segula.”

Segula is a law existing in nature that I am not familiar with. Those who have already researched it tell me, “Use it in the following manner and you will cause it to operate. Although you can’t see how, you do set it in motion.”

Baal HaSulam says that if an alien were to come to our planet and compare a human baby with a day-old calf, he would think that the calf will grow up to become Napoleon and the human baby will grow up into a miserable toad. What else could come of that helpless creature?

Yet, we know that if we feed these two creatures and give them everything they need, one of them will grow up into an animal whereas the other will grow up into a human. This is a miracle (Segula). Although we are used to seeing this happen, in reality it’s a miracle. Just think of how a tiny baby suddenly starts to understand, react, and perform various actions. Day by day he starts having new skills, which come from within him. But where do they come from so suddenly? We don’t do anything about it, so why does it happen?

This phenomenon is completely habitual for us and we simply understand that this is how the developmental process works. However, essentially this is the revelation of life’s force, the spiritual force that operates in creation and becomes expressed in this manner.

The same thing takes place in our spiritual development. Spirituality is not somewhere far away, but is a system that is slightly more concealed from us and that we are not used to. However, in a short while people will start to use it the same way as everything else because these are laws of nature.

Kabbalists tell me, “There is a force in nature whose influence you can evoke upon you. How? Pick up The Book of Zohar and start reading. The more you read it, the stronger, smarter, and more sensitive you will become, and then spirituality will be revealed to you. Why? Because this book changes you.”

You might object, “But aren’t there many other Kabbalah books that change me?” Yes, there are, but the other books only work to arrange your inner inclinations, qualities, and abilities. They merely organize your inner system and develop it, whereas The Book of Zohar performs a special change in you because you can use it to evoke a higher influence upon you. The result of this book’s influence is called a miracle because you begin to perceive, feel, and reveal a different system inside you. This, in turn, helps you to open up a new, spiritual world.

The Global Crisis Is Not Fiction

terrorism A question I received: Don’t you think that the crisis was invented by a small group of people who profited from it, while the world keeps turning around as before?

My Answer: It’s exactly the opposite. The financial crisis signifies the beginning of the global crisis in all spheres of human activity: family, education, science, arts, ecology, finances, and so on. This is why it requires a global solution: changing our attitude toward the reason and purpose of our existence from living in order to consume to consuming in order to live, and attaining the highest form of existence.

Our world manifests itself as a single whole. In such a system, all the parts are equal and dependent, and solutions have to be unified, joint, and directed toward the purpose of our world’s creation. The global nature of the world that is being revealed now compels us to become a unified society.

Manifestation of the crisis and suffering is nothing but the manifestation of incongruence between our society and unified Nature.

A question I received: What is the solution to the crisis?

My Answer: We do not know how to resolve global problems. Our mind is created to be ‘discrete,” to solve something within specific limits, concretely. Now that our society became a global village, we witness manifestations of complete interdependence and connectedness in the society, and the world becomes unpredictable to us.

We don’t know how to make calculations in this system with its unlimited number of variables, with the unlimited number of free and freely connected elements that this interconnected, global system presents. As a result, we treat life as fate, without planning or trying to examine it. The inability to perceive is accepted as a fact.

If a person comes down from the pedestal where he put himself above nature, and admits that he is under Nature’s rule, our power over nature will be revealed as a fatal illusion. Will we stop the destruction of the planet and will we manage to restore it?

The current crisis represents the search for the essence of humanity’s existence. The solution lies in humanity’s defining the purpose of its existence.

Being In One Intention With The Light

Every Person Has to Find His Own Teacher A question I received: It usually takes time to enter the flow of The Zohar’s text. How can we speed up this entrance?

My Answer: This depends on a person’s state. It takes me at least 20 minutes, sometimes up to 40, to begin feeling The Zohar and connecting to it, to begin working together with it in one shared breathing, floating on its waves.

One has to keep reading and wait for it to happen. But the time of preparation is not a waste. It is great work, a time when a person must have faith that The Zohar will soon be revealed to him. You already have experience and you know how it happens. You understand that all you have to do is continue and eventually some sort of connection will open up.

By virtue of this connection, we begin to feel The Zohar, to perceive it closer to us. We begin to receive a greater illumination from it as the text “plays” with us, awakening inner changes.

This takes time; the time of preparation is necessary to establish contact with the book. This time is very important and you have to be patient, giving it as long as necessary. After all, it is very important for this to happen, and one has to be certain that it definitely will happen. You have to wait for it and desire it; by so doing you will connect with the book.

Later on you will feel that it isn’t just some picture becoming clear to you, but that you are entering an ocean of sensations and inner changes. You start to experience many ascents and descents as The Zohar makes you shift to the left or the right (with regard to your spiritual sensations). You will feel very clear and drastic phenomena taking place within you and will feel how the Upper Force operates within your matter.

Throughout it all, one’s advancement lies in the fact that one waits for the study to correct him, meaning to bring him to unity, love for the neighbor, and unity with the Creator. It is for this sake that one reads and makes efforts. In that case, one moves along in one intention with the Light.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 03.08.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 1
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“Beit Shaar HaKavanot,” Item 16, Lesson 5 
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Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Item 67
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