Rapid Spiritual Advancement: The World Zohar Convention

World Zohar Convention A question I received: It’s been said that if one goes to a convention their spiritual advancement is about the same as what they would have advanced between that convention and the last convention. Why is that? Why does someone advance so much during that short, little period of three or four days?

My Answer: Because we come together, we are leaving our work places, our homes, and our families, we take vacation from work, and we spend money for that effort in order to bond. We make efforts in order to acquire something that is beyond this level of life, something higher. It is a fulfillment that is beyond this life.

People, who are willing to give up on so many things, in order to bring themselves to spirituality, simply deserve it. Besides that, they come to unite, so everyone absorbs the strength and forces of everyone else. That kind of embrace is worthy of months and months of studying and even then it is impossible to attain it. I don’t think that a person who doesn’t come to a convention like that is capable of achieving a similar result. It doesn’t matter what he tries to do in life unless on the condition that he is, let’s say in prison or in some situation that doesn’t allow him to come. I have a student, for instance, that is in the North Pole; so, he works from there, and he can’t, really can’t come. Some people are really even in prison and they study with us. They are in prison (because of mistakes they made in the past), so they really can’t come.

But because they are incapable, they will receive whatever we receive from that convention. But if a person has the opportunity to come, even if it requires meeting difficult conditions, if he has the opportunity, I don’t think it’s worthwhile to stay home. It’s just a shame to miss this kind of intense opportunity to make such great advancement.

From an Interview with the Learning Center Director 4/5/10

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Through Slavery To Freedom

Laitman_085The Zohar, Chapter “BaHar (On Mount Sinai),” Item 63: “You may use them as slaves forever.” It is a Mitzva [commandment] to enslave a Canaanite slave. They are from the side of Ham, who performed incest, as it is written, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brothers…”

To be a slave is also a correction. A desire that could be forced to obey the power of the corrected desires is called “a slave that is close to his master.” Slavery is the form of its correction, a proper way of its existence.

For the time being, I am unable to be free within a certain desire, nor can I work with it for the sake of bestowal on my own. I can only attribute it to my other desire. Such a desire can also be called “a child,” “a woman,” or “an adolescent;” it is not a “man” yet, not a “hero” who is able to “overcome” (a man, “Gever” is derived from Itgabrut” – overcoming, surmounting).

A  form of desire that is able to work only under the authority of another desire is called “a slave.”

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/25/10, The Zohar

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Preparing Oneself To Be A Sacred Vessel

Laitman_052We work on our desires during the night, in the darkness of the exile, having no strength. While still in the darkness, we prepare ourselves to greet the morning, meaning we find the desires we can sacrifice.

We are not talking about the physical sunrise or sunset, nor do we refer to pieces of flesh of sacrificial animals. We speak only about the use of the Light of correction in which a person can see himself as a sacred vessel.

In other words, a person will reach the Temple, come to the burnt-offering altar, and become ready to work with his desire by raising it to the level of bestowal. The elevation of the parts (“pieces”) of our desire to the level of bestowal is what is called “offering.”

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/25/10, The Zohar

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Prayer Instead Of Sacrifice

Laitman_028_02“Exile” is a state in which a person lacks an anti-egoistic screen and has no contact with the Light. A person is unable to correct himself and perform the act of sacrificing.

“Sacrifice” stands for a corrected desire. Time after time, a person has to take a part of his desire of the still, vegetative, or animate level and elevate it to the speaking level. But while in exile, a person has no strength to correct any of his desires. This is because he is totally deprived of spiritual powers until the Surrounding Light reaches him and leads him out of his state.

Getting out of exile and obtaining the power to withstand a desire, to rise above it and work for the sake of bestowal, means that a person has reached the “desert” (a state in which desires are still small like in a desert) or that he has arrived at the “land of Israel” (a state of higher desires and work on a higher level). Where a person arrives after he gets out of exile is solely dependent upon the size of the desire that he is able to overcome and rise above in order to work with for the sake of bestowal.

After 40 years of its correction and redirection towards bestowal, the desire that previously was a “desert,” turns into a desire that is called the “land of Israel.” It means that the desire becomes suitable to work with for the sake of bestowal.

So far we don’t have the power to correct, and therefore, we stay “away from the land of Israel” (land – “Eretz” is derived from the world “Ratzon” – desire). We don’t have the power to work with our desires for the sake of bestowal; we only imagine what “correct spiritual work” is.  It signifies that instead of sacrificing we pray. We replace the real work with our desires by our request to be granted a power to perform real correction.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/25/10, The Zohar

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The Whole Day Is Preparation For One Hour Of Study

Laitman_013_01A question I received: Should the work on the intention during The Zohar study begin during the day, long before the lesson?

My Answer: One should work on the intention all the time. The world is arranged in such a way that we are in contact with the group and the studies only for a brief interval of time.

Thousands of people from around the world are watching the lesson right now. Many are listening to simultaneous translations. There are those who can barely even understand the translation, since it’s available only in the main languages. However, it makes no difference for their spiritual advancement. With regard to The Zohar, we all are in an equal position. We come to the lesson like to a gas station. We fill ourselves with the Light and then live in it during the remaining hours.

Our world is purposely arranged in such a way that we work for one third of our lives, sleep for the other third of it, and waste another third on various nonsense. Only an hour or two remain, which we tear away from our sleep and use it to study.

However, when we begin to study, we need to understand that our whole life is arranged correctly, and we shouldn’t work just for the lack of a better choice. The Creator purposely organized this process for us. If we come to the lesson even for an hour, this should be enough to remain in adhesion with the goal for the twenty-three remaining hours and to prepare our desires for that one hour of study.

More than 2000 years ago in the Negev desert there lived a person by the name of Bar Bi Yoma (a student for one day). He was a peasant who worked in the fields. When his work was done for the season and he could leave his home, he walked to Jerusalem. After the journey to Jerusalem, he would have only one day available to study the Torah; the next day he would hurry back home to work.

In honor of this person, there is a custom today for everyone to study for one day out of the year. Back then sages said that his studying for one day was equal in value to continuous study over the course of a year because he would aspire to this day throughout the whole year.

Therefore, if we await this one hour of the lesson for the twenty-three remaining hours of a day, all 24 hours are counted in our favor. This shows us how many hours are necessary to prepare the desire for one hour of studying.

Thus everything depends on preparation. We should spend all the other hours preparing ourselves for one hour of the Zohar lesson.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Study 4/23/10, The Zohar

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The Majority Of Society And A Chosen Few

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Works of Rabash, Vol.3, Dargot Sulam Articles, pg. 1774 (abridged): With regard to spiritual attainment, the society is divided into the majority and a chosen few. The majority need to be educated, taught how to mechanically observe the Torah and commandments. The education that a person receives compels him to perform these actions.

A person justifies his actions, why he performs them, by citing the way he was educated which includes the customs he learned from the environment in which he was raised. This is why education, habit, does not allow a person to refrain from keeping customs, since habit becomes a second nature. Therefore, all the habits, words, and actions that a person acquires as a result of education are not difficult to observe.

However, if a person wants to perform actions that he hasn’t become accustomed to in his childhood, his body questions every, most minute action: “Why are you doing this?” or, in other words, “What makes you do it?” If a person does not receive support from the environment, he has to look for it in the Creator.

This is why such a person is chosen and doesn’t belong to the majority. He needs the Creator’s support, as it is said, “One who comes to cleanse himself (of egoism), receives help from Above.” He is unable to receive help from the environment and thus compels help to come from Above.

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Kabbalah Moments: Through The Other

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 04.28.10

Preparation to the Lesson, Shamati #235 “Looking at the Book Again
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Korah,” Item 44
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Beit Shaar HaKavanot, Item 108, Lesson 35
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah),” Lesson 3
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In Spirituality, You Can Only Be Good Or Evil

Dr. Michael Laitman A question I received: What does it mean to cause harm to my friend?

My Answer: If it’s a friend in a Kabbalistic group, then I cause harm just by not worrying about uniting with him because I thereby drill a hole in our common “boat,” our common spiritual vessel. Thus, by being idle I already cause him harm.

If I am not working to increase our shared spiritual Kli, or even if I am just a little bit lazy, I inflict harm on others. However, it seems to us that if we’re not beating someone up, killing them, or stealing from them, then everything is ok and what else can anyone ask of us? We don’t understand that we can inflict harm even while being perfectly “good citizens.” Yet, this is insufficient in spirituality. In spirituality, if I don’t spend every moment worrying about how to create a common spiritual vessel, then I don’t have a good attitude to others. The moment I forget about the worry about the common Kli, I become an offender.

There is no intermediate state, but only good or evil. That is the law of the Upper System of our connection.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 04/27/10, “Matan Torah”

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True Change Versus "Make-Up"

Dr. Michael Laitman A question I received: How can I fulfill someone’s desire if every person likes something different?

My Answer: It has to be an inner attitude to another person: You have to care for them the way you previously cared for yourself. You should demand for the Upper Light to make your friend just as important as you deemed yourself in the past, egoistically, for your own sake.

Don’t do anything artificially. We have to let the Upper Light do all the work. It makes the corrections. All we can do is ruin things! We don’t have the strength or the understanding to do anything. Therefore, if we try to change, we only do so externally and artificially, and that is not correction.

Rabash gives an example using a parable about cats that were supposed to be trained to be noble and important waiters, in order to prove that it’s possible to change one’s nature. But when the cats saw running mice, they threw away their trays and rushed to catch them. We are the same: We perform externally beautiful changes until we blow up and violently jump on each other. These are certainly not the changes that Kabbalah speaks about.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 04/27/10, “Matan Torah”

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