A question I received: What does knowledge give us if while reading The Zohar we can’t remember anything a moment later?
My Answer: Knowledge does not give us anything. Today I know something, but tomorrow I forget all about it. Why do I forget? If my desires (Kelim) change, then tomorrow, within my new desires, I won’t remember what I knew before because I am no longer inside my previous desires.
I can convey knowledge from one level to another only through sensation. Our states include a wave-like process: knowledge – sensation – knowledge – sensation. Suppose I have just corrected my desires on some level. According to this level of correcting my desires, I acquire some knowledge and sensation of reality, a realization of where I am, on what level and in what world.
Then a new desire comes. The previous level disappears and I am immersed in darkness. What remains with me? Everyone knows that when the sensation of darkness comes to you, then all the previous sensations disappear and you can no longer work with them. However, if you begin working with this new level, this new darkness, then your efforts evoke a new Light that comes and corrects you. You then go on to a new state where you have a deeper understanding of the previous knowledge based on the new, higher knowledge.
Therefore, you should never take knowledge into account. It will always be there and it will always enter the corrected desire. The most important thing is to correct the desire. Then whatever needs to be revealed in it will be revealed, but there’s no point worrying about that.
This is why the people who study correctly leave the lesson without remembering anything. They just go away with a general impression. This impression is recorded in their senses rather than their understanding. It remains in the sensory, not the mental, memory.
I don’t look down on reason at all. In fact, I am drawn to knowledge and serious study. However, when a person studies through the point in the heart,he does not remember or understand what he studies until his sensations develop sufficiently and he starts to understand with his feelings. He then understands “what he is feeling.”
It turns out that what you study for years disappears and the “results of the study” are not apparent. The results should not show in your knowledge, but in the correction of your qualities by the Light of Correction (Ohr Makif), meaning in your qualities.
This is very different from studying at a university, where a person studies for four to six years and then becomes an expert in some field, and then writes a dissertation for another several years. Where is the clear knowledge of a person who studied Kabbalah for ten years? What has he gained? It seems like he has nothing to show for it. That’s because every day he is born anew, in new qualities, until he attains revelation.
When he attains revelation, then it is recorded on his level. Then, in states of ascent he really has mastery of the material and possesses knowledge. But in states of descent, he is in the dark and only his experience holds him up. (See Baal HaSulam’s article, “What Is Support in the Torah, in the Work.”)
One has to understand that until we reach the Final Correction, the states vary a great deal and we should only consider the height or level of correction. Knowledge will always accompany a person according to his degree.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/10, The Zohar
Laitman.com Post: While The Wheel Is Spinning
Laitman.com Post: Be Ready For Changing Perceptions
Video: Exertion – 5 Minutes Of Light (5:04)
A small child lives among adults, but what does he understand from their conversations and behavior? Does he know their world? No; it’s all a secret to him. We are built by nature like a child among adults: Without understanding anything or being ready for it, a child perceives everything by means of the “surrounding glow.”
This is the manner in which development takes place: gradually, indirectly, from outside, a child begins to absorb everything from adults and tunes into them without understanding what is happening ahead of time. By entering them through his desire, he begins to feel and then to understand. This develops new senses and desires (Kelim) in him, and then the mind.
When we are adults, we don’t develop, but merely fill ourselves with knowledge and sensation. Our senses no longer develop. They can only develop on the condition that a person enters an “area” where even without understanding or feeling anything, he desires to become similar to it. By means of his desire and drive, without understanding or knowing anything, he begins to absorb forces from this area and that develops him.
Adults do not undergo the same inner development as children. They merely fill their previous desires. Both in our world and the spiritual world, new desires can only grow when you want to feel and discover where you are.
When I read The Zohar, I don’t know what it is talking about. But because I desire to reveal this picture, I develop the senses through which my soul perceives. This is why it is written, “The study does not happen through reason” (Lo HaHacham Lomed).
Our spiritual development takes place in exactly the same way as a baby develops in our world. It can only happen when the lower level completely annuls itself before the Upper Level. After all, we are learning to feel a whole new world!
Kabbalists write about this in many articles. Baal HaSulam writes in “A Speech in Celebration of the Conclusion of The Zohar” that a student has to cancel himself before the Rav just as children do before adults. That is the only way you can attain a higher state.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/14/10, The Zohar
Laitman.com Post: Following The Creator’s Example
Laitman.com Post: I Am My Own Worst Enemy
Shamati #40: “Faith in the Rav”
At the end of exile, we’re being given an opportunity to speed up our liberation on our own. Only during this segment of time and for the first time in our long development, there is now a window of opportunity for freedom of choice and our personal involvement. There will be no other chance like this; it only exists on this part of the path.
For the first time in history, we’re situated in this exact stage. Only during this brief interval of time can we realize our free will and development by the good path (Achishena – by hastening time).
Our present state is meant particularly for this purpose. Before it, we were all controlled by nature or by the reverse side of the Light or exile. In a little while, the Light will be revealed with the help of the Creator and then we will be controlled by its front side. In the meantime, we’re situated between these two sides. Only here do we have freedom of choice.
We’ve been given a chance to become independent, and everyone should appreciate the uniqueness of this opportunity. It is being realized right here and now. This has never happened before and it will never happen again.
From the Evening Zohar Lesson 4/12/10
A question I received: How is The Zohar’s influence on us different from that of other books?
My Answer: Other compositions influence us in a more open manner and affect our material feelings and mind. As we read them, we’re able to imagine that we’re in a similar state. For example, the book of Shamati addresses our emotions and feelings while other articles by Baal HaSulam appeal to our mind.
In contrast, The Zohar doesn’t address our external, corporeal mind or emotions; we have to reveal the inner meaning instilled in it. That is, we have to discover what this book points to inside our soul, qualities, and inner sensations. Until a person is able to do this, he feels that he’s not connecting to this book and that it exists completely separately from him.
Kabbalistic books and especially The Book of Zohar are very personal and intimate. When you go inside them, they reveal your soul to you. You begin to feel that this book knows you more thoroughly than you know yourself; the book tells you about your true self. It opens you more and more and explains who you are inside.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/13/10, The Zohar
A question I received: Is it possible to explain to children the spiritual meanings of the words and stories in the Torah?
My Answer: Children are more ready for this than adults. They’re developing their sensations and senses. They don’t have a problem perceiving the language in other terms, because they’re hearing the words for the first time.
You can show a glass to a child and say, “This is a glass.” You can also explain that a “glass” is a sensation of some desire in oneself. A child will perceive these notions because he doesn’t have any definitions of our world yet. Or you can say that a glass is a vessel made of glass that we fill and that it is also one’s inner vessel which he or she wants to fill. A child perceives this naturally and he won’t become confused by it.
This is because children’s perception is not dual like that of adults. Children develop in our world in the same way as we’re supposed to develop now in the spiritual world. This is the same path and the same route.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/10, “Exile and Redemption”
Laitman.com Post: What Can We Teach Our Children?
Laitman.com Post: The Best Education Is One That Forms A Child Into A Human
Interview: “A New Generation of Children Knows Much More than Those Who Are 20 Now”
The Zohar, Chapter “Shemot (Exodus),” Item 40: We open our eyes and see the wheels of the holy Merkava traveling in their journeys, and the sound of singing, sweet to the ears, to Bina, and beautiful for the heart, Malchut, rising and falling and walking, and not traveling.
…and Hochma is obtained only by journeying from line to line in the three points – Holam, Shuruk, Hirik – the sound of singing is heard. This is illumination of Hochma for the ears, which are Bina, primarily through the middle line, Tifferet, called “voice.” And it is imparted from him, from the heart, to Malchut.
A question I received: Singing is an exalted spiritual action that begets “illumination of Hochma for the ears, which are Bina,” the Light of Hassadim. How is this connected to the music put out by Bnei Baruch?
My Answer: I really like the songs written by my students Moti Mor and Arkadi Duchin. They are born from an impression of a person who is already on the spiritual path and aspires to spirituality. The fact that he hasn’t yet attained exalted levels does not matter.
Baal HaSulam writes that even a simple person may intuitively assign correct names and connect corporeal branches to their spiritual roots. For instance, some time ago some person saw the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and thought that it was good for growing olive trees. Thus he named it Mount of Olives. Today we accept this appellation as sacred.
Baal HaSulam explains that thereby the spiritual clothes the corporeal, and the connection between the root and the branch manifests. The spiritual root affects its branch, and the branch as though “speaks” out of the root, naturally, without even knowing why.
Therefore, those who study Kabbalah create the right art even if they have not yet reached the heights of absolute spiritual sensation or attained the true nature of sounds and the deep meaning of words. The depth and richness of the impression they possess is much greater than they themselves realize. Everything that a person creates out of his connection with the Source already carries within it a spiritual spark.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/10, The Zohar
A question I received: It is well known that progress holds us away from the Upper Force, God, and inner cleansing. In my opinion, Kabbalah, together with other religions, has to agree with this approach to progress.
My Answer: Progress is a law of nature. We cannot stop it; it is dictated to us by the growth of our egoism. Its task is to bring humankind to a “dead-end” that has only one way out: transitioning to a new type of society based on bestowal and love. No other solution is possible in a global, interdependent society.
We have to pursue similarity with nature in our behavior and become one with each other and nature in spite of our growing egoism. Specifically our egoism and progress compels us to transform ourselves.
It is impossible to make a natural transition to a new type of society as it is unfeasible to change human nature. Our attempts will only bring us more pain (natural cataclysms, wars, etc.) We can shift from egoism to bestowal only by applying Kabbalistic methodology. Kabbalah teaches us how to use the force that originally created egoism. Only this force can correct and transform our ego into bestowal and love for the other.
We are unable to stop progress. Yet, by applying Kabbalistic knowledge we can bring the world – with its growing egoism and progress – to a benevolent state. This is why dissemination of Kabbalah is so critically important nowadays.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Shemot (Exodus),” Item 82
“Egypt exile” offers good material conditions until their fatality becomes revealed. Today this is true for the entire world.
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio
Beit Shaar HaKavanot, Item 72, Lesson 25
Any spiritual action is coupled with attraction for the force of correction. I need Light in order to illuminate the darkness of my egoism.
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio