Shame That Is An Exalted Sensation

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How can we come to feel shame and make a restriction on our ego?

My Answer: Shame is a very exalted sensation, which does not come at the beginning of our path. This shame is with respect to the Creator, the Giver. It is precisely because He is the Giver and I am the receiver.

In our world we always restrict our reception in order to avoid feeling shame. We must justify receiving; we are compelled to preserve the feeling of self-dignity as our “I” is even more important than life itself. In fact, we are prepared to die if doing so would stave off humiliation. This is the basis of our nature. People are willing to face death in order to bolster their “I,” their self-esteem.

Shame is when I feel my “I” annul and disappear. If I lose my desire and fulfillment, I don’t feel that I cease to exist. A person dies and doesn’t feel that he completely disappears from reality. He only feels that he loses some part of himself as if shedding something from his past.

However, when the sensation of shame comes to me, it cancels my spiritual existence. It is a kind of inner feeling as though nothing of me remains. It is above our life and death, that is how deep it is. And it is impossible to withstand. Man is willing to commit suicide in order to save the point of his “I.” The body is merely an animal, and we’re not particularly afraid of losing it. We see how people risk their lives.

The Creator continuously plays a game with us by consistently and methodically offending the point of our “I,” and we are left without a choice but to take measures so as to preserve our individuality. The feeling that I must rise above this life, above death, helps me to acquire a second nature. I am prepared to accept it. I am told to bestow, and I am willing to do it. Do I need to lose myself as of today? Sure, I am ready! As long as the point of my “I” is preserved.

This sensation can only be granted by the Light that Reforms. The Light affects us and awakens in us this point that lies at our very core, the initial point called “Esh Mi Ayin” (created from nothing – existence from absence). This is not the material of the desire to enjoy, but something even deeper.

The only way to attain it is through the study of Kabbalah in a Kabbalistic group. In the group we endeavor to build a model of spiritual unity similar to what exists in the World of Infinity. By studying in the conditions of this unity, we draw the Light that elevates us to that very state. There are no other means besides the group and the study in the group.

Shame is a terrible sensation, but it is precisely shame which brings us salvation.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Morning Lesson 5/14/10, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

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The Shame That Gives Birth To Creation

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: What forces the creature to make the decision to perform the restriction (Tzimtzum)?

My Answer: Shame! The creature feels shame in all of its desires. The decision to perform the restriction comes from this feeling rather than from a conscious decision of the mind. The restriction occurs when I feel that I am unable to remain as a receiver. When the Light fulfills me and turns the pleasure from receiving into death for me, it makes me feel that I lose all Light, all fulfillment.

The Light is pleasure. The instant I receive it, I feel like I receive something great. I feel fulfilled and experience enormous, infinite pleasure. However, then I immediately discover that I received this pleasure from someone, which makes me feel ashamed. I am engulfed by the fire of shame. I feel tremendous discomfort because it nullifies my individuality. I burn with my shame and I hate myself and Him.

This is called the disappearance of the Light, and it doesn’t require any intelligent conclusions and decisions. All sensations are experienced through feelings because when the pleasure disappears, I no longer receive fulfillment. The shame of receiving is a very exalted sensation. I wish for everyone to achieve it.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Morning Lesson 5/14/10, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

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Letters Are Qualities

Dr. Michael LaitmanLetters are qualities which our desire accepts under the influence of the Light that Reforms. The Creator has created matter, meaning our desire to receive pleasure. Under the influence of the Light, this desire takes different forms or qualities similar to the Light.

On its own, matter is the desire to receive pleasure, the desire for fulfillment. But with the help of the Light, it acquires higher forms that are opposite to its nature, the qualities of love and bestowal. We refer to these qualities as forms because they emanate from the desire and project to the outside. The desire acquires an external form that can be recognized. If it was simply matter, I wouldn’t be able to perceive it. I recognize it because it has a certain form like a circle, square, or rectangle. I wouldn’t recognize it without a form.

The Light influences the desire to receive pleasure by creating different "protuberances and cavities" in it, thereby enabling it to distinguish itself through the qualities of bestowal which initially do not exist in the desire. These qualities are built over the desire, as if they were beginning to emerge from it. This is why we refer to these qualities as forms. What does a "form" mean? Matter which in a way has become similar to the Light is called the form of matter.

In total there are 27 of these forms: 22 letters from "Aleph" to "Tav" and 5 ending forms, MaNTZePaCH. Why is this so? This is because there are 22 forms of bestowal that emanate from ZAT de Bina (parts of Bina that influence us): 9 from Bina, 9 from Zeir Anpin and 4 from Malchut, as well as 5 end forms (forms of limitations).

This is why we have 27 forms that our matter accepts under the influence of the Light. For this reason we can use these 27 forms in order to explain what the Creator is doing to us, what He wants from us, and how we can become like Him in the 27 forms which we acquire under the Light’s influence on our world. But so far our matter completely lacks form; it is nothing but a mount of desires.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/13/10

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An Exciting Adventure Without Leaving Your Room

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar seemingly tells us a simple story. It describes the same things over and again, but from different levels and degrees, and in various terms and situations. We can’t help but wonder: “Why does it come back to the same thing all the time? How much can we read about the same thing?”

However, we should understand that if a person goes through these states while reading The Zohar, then it is not the same thing at all. He experiences a new adventure each time. It may be described in the same words, but that is because there is nothing in reality except ten Sefirot and three lines, meaning the four letters of HaVaYaH, multiplied by the three lines, which equal twelve parts.

If the desire and the screen change in us, then new qualities are constantly revealed, such as sounds, smells, and tastes. From beginning to end, the picture changes every time, and we experience new impressions and sensations every day.

Therefore, although we may wonder how many times it can be repeated (and the text of The Zohar is merely five percent of what originally existed), every page and every word is a completely unique experience for those with spiritual attainment. Let’s hope each of us will be able to feel The Zohar in this manner.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/13/10

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A Look At Yourself From Above

Dr. Michael LaitmanRegular science is already coming closer to a worldview akin to spirituality. Everything in science is unifying and erasing all boundaries, generating such phenomena as chemical physics and physical chemistry. Scientists continue to discover new forces, as though delving deeper into the picture of the world with a microscope and revealing new elements in it. However, all of these elements belong to one common source.

In essence, each and every form of matter – positive, negative, and neutral elementary particles – expresses different forms of the same idea or force. However, for the time being we are unable to see nature "in the middle line," and we constantly perceive it "from the right" or "from the left."  It seems to us that nothing exists in the middle, as if zero, while in truth there cannot be zero. Consequently, science will come to the eventual conclusion that matter should be examined from above down, rather than from below upward, that is, from matter itself.

This is what happens with Kabbalah studies. A person works hard on examining his or her material, which is the desire to receive pleasure. He tries to fill it somehow, but as a result, comes to a complete breaking and reveals that it is impossible to do anything with oneself. Then a person turns to the Upper degree and asks it to be revealed, wishing to receive the same form as the Upper in order to reveal one’s lower degree.

Modern science is coming closer to revealing the fact that unless we, the observers, raise ourselves to a higher degree, there will be no understanding of our present degree. The science of Kabbalah addresses this problem at the outset. Kabbalah explains that if a person remains on the same degree, one will be unable to reveal a thing. It teaches: "Rise higher, and there you will attain the force that controls you; it is the same force that built and now leads you through all the states you are experiencing.”

Hence, although science has not yet reached its final stage of development (it is only coming closer to this), it will eventually reveal that we have to rise to a higher degree in order to understand something in ourselves. All of reality is contained within our desire, so will we really benefit by revealing thousands of additional phenomena in it or discovering more elementary particles in quantum physics?  It is impossible to unite all of the parts together without understanding the Force that controls everything. This constitutes the entire problem in attaining the higher degree, which moves our whole reality.

Kabbalah, on the other hand, places the goal of attaining the Creator, the Upper degree, before a person immediately. Moreover, it is a completely scientific approach since while remaining submerged in our material we cannot attain this material; we need to rise to the level of forces.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/13/10

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The Eternal Union Of The Particular And The Whole

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYikra (The Lord Called),” Item 20: And one appointee was established on the gate from the outside, and his name is Gazriel. With him, there are twelve appointees surrounding him—three, three to each side, on four sides. The [lower] general Merkava is twelve—Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael—in each of which are three lines, HGT, which are twelve. Individually, each contains twelve.

In spirituality, every creation consists of twelve parts. Every element including the smallest and the entire spiritual reality, has the same structure and the same properties. If we carved out even a tiny portion, it would contain all the properties of the whole structure. Therefore, there is no difference between the general and the particular in spirituality, contrary to our world where parts are added together to form the whole.

In the spiritual world, quality rather than quantity is important; the whole is not created as a sum of its parts. Rather, every part is already the general; however, it is revealed at the qualitatively new degree. The spiritual reality is revealed only in a person’s attainment, within one’s desire. This means that we attain the forms of desire, which are called the soul and the Light, acting inside the desire and giving such forms to it.

It turns out that the entire reality is one soul Adam HaRishon. All of the worlds, spiritual objects (Partzufim), angels, and forms are the four levels of the desire (still, vegetative, animate, and speaking). The entire creation has the same structure. Besides it there is only Atzmuto, the essence of the Creator, which is unattainable. We can only guess that it is the root of everything that we reveal, but we cannot attain Him.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/13/10

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A Wonderful Infusion

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen we read The Zohar, we should expect salvation. Baal HaSulam writes in the “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155:  “Indeed, there is a great and marvelous quality concealed in Kabbalistic books, worthy of being publicized.” In other words, by studying The Zohar we can unite with the Source, the Creator, Who exists in other dimensions.

We exist in our dimension, in separation from Him, while The Zohar creates a connection between us and Him, the higher dimension. From there, to the extent of our aspiration, we receive the Light, the remedy that flows into us one drop at a time, like an infusion.

The Torah does not demand anything unrealistic. After all, the Upper One knows us better than we know ourselves; what is expected of us is measured according to the way we’re created. One is told: “Sit down with a book. You must connect with your environment because that is your spiritual form.”

Currently a person is on his or her own level. One is an egoist and doesn’t care for anyone, wanting nothing except egoistic pleasure. A person doesn’t even know what exactly is wanted, but the Upper One knows it well. It is He who creates these desires, even the most disgusting qualities in a person. And only occasionally do we slightly feel what He does.

Having created all of this in within us, the Creator expects just one thing: “Try to unite with Me just a little bit, based on all the things given to you from Above.” A person has to reveal the present state, and just wish to become like the Upper One.

However, in order to become like the Upper One, one needs to imagine the state when he and the group are together in a state of mutual bestowal, mutual guarantee. Imagining our self and them as one whole means we want to feel this state of the Light already operating between us in a single whole. We want to feel that we’re together and the Light is fulfilling us because we become like the Light to the extent of our unity. This is the state that we need to imagine.

It is clear that we are not together or connected with one another, but we are trying to connect, which means we want to grow spiritually and become like the Upper degree. Thus, to the extent of one’s aspiration, The Zohar creates a connection between that person and the Upper degree, injecting this infusion, which are drops of Light called “drops of luck” (Mazalot) that flow towards him.

There is no other difference between a person and the Upper degree, aside from the fact that one is better connected with others on the Upper degree. Try to imagine this upper state, the inner connection of mutual bestowal with everyone, which is called the “Upper Light.” This force, the Surrounding Light that rears a person like an infant, influences from that same state that one imagines, dreams of, and aspires to.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 5/13/10

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 05.16.10

Preparation to the Lesson, Shamati #140 “How I Love Thy Law
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYikra (The Lord Called),” Item 51
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag “Preface to Sulam Commentary,” Item 1, Lesson 1

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Kitvei Rabash – Shlavei Sulam, Vol. 1, Pg. 11, “The Purpose of the Association – 1,” 1984
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