Introductory Lecture: “The Essence Of Kabbalah” – 07.06.10

Kabbalah for the Nation Introductory Lecture Series, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah
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Man Begins With Experiencing The Breaking


Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the beginning, Malchut is merely a point. Then the Upper Light comes and develops it. Malchut adopts the properties of Zeir Anpin, expands, and thinks that it is able to receive in order to bestow. It receives this Light and breaks. However, as the result of this breaking, the desires of Zeir Anpin penetrate Malchut, and now she contains the properties of bestowal that she hasn’t thought of before.

From that moment on, one can take two different directions. The bestowing desires can be used to try to receive as much Light as possible for one’s own pleasure, in other words, to bestow in order to receive. This is exactly how mankind develops until it begins to reveal that this is a bad way to go. When it comes to this egoistic reception everything is clear: It is bad and people frown upon it. But when I bestow, I need to check if this bestowal is not egoistic. Maybe I give to others only to benefit from it?

At the end, we discover that our entire “bestowal” is egoistic. This requires thousands of years of development. Only now do we begin to understand that the true bestowal is to bestow in order to bestow and receive in order to bestow.

However, the breaking was a necessary preparation for the entire, marvelous correction to unfold. Otherwise, we would never be able to understand that there is something higher than our nature, our egoistic matter. We would forever remain in it, like the entire still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature. But man begins with experiencing the breaking! It cannot be any other way.

At first, the bestowing desires fall into the receiving ones. Egoism can still rule over them for a period of time, which is exactly what happens in our world. We develop sciences, culture, and education, and all this is due to the desires to bestow that have fallen into us. We advance with their help until we begin to see that nothing good comes out of it.

We can use the bestowing desires to bestow, but as soon as we wish to receive pleasure through this, we discover that our desire to receive pleasure is not able to receive any pleasure within. So then why should I bestow? Then the entire development gradually begins to slow down, as we are now experiencing, and ultimately illuminates the truth: We can only operate for the sake of bestowal.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/10, The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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A Comedy Or A Horror Movie?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: It sounds strange to me that we are unable to change anything and that only the Upper Light can do it. Who else can I rely on except myself?

My Answer: You have a few years behind you and should know that it is hard to arrange life as you wish to or change anything in it. Life flows in accordance with its own laws and doesn’t “listen” to us. There is a force that controls our lives and transports us from one phase to another.

If we could only watch life unfold like a movie and see it from beginning to the very end. A regular person cannot do this, but there are people who possess special faculties and “see the movie.” In general, it is possible.

Today, you as though see a movie that I already saw yesterday. For you, the movie hasn’t started yet, for me it is already over and I know everything about it. If we saw this movie, we would understand that our development was completely predetermined. Nowadays, physicists, geneticists, and other scientists write a lot about a human being acting like a machine; it has been proven scientifically.

A Comedy or a Horrow Movie

Our life is a sequence of frames in a movie, and all we do is transition from one frame to another. There is nothing we can do about it! This explains the existence of people who are able to predict the future. They don’t lie to us; they simply see the movie a little bit ahead of us. This faculty is developed in animals considerably more than in people since technologies have dulled our senses.

Currently, I’m at a certain “frame” of this film: My past is behind me, my future is ahead of me. The question is how can I influence my development? What is my freedom of choice? How can I really change something? I’m interested only in this for I prefer not to know about something that I’m unable to change. Tell me what does depend on me!

Kabbalists maintain that I can only attract the Upper Light called the Surrounding Light, which can Reform. I’ll live through the movie anyway, there is no chance I can avoid it. The beginning and the end of the movie are set, and it’s not in my power to change them. However, I can choose to live through that movie with pleasure and delight.

If I am already somewhere in the middle of it and see and understand the ultimate benevolent goal, I begin to anticipate its kindness already. It pleases me already and gives me fulfillment which might be even greater than what I will get later upon achieving the goal since at this point it is not limited by any boundaries! The pleasure I look forward to always seems bigger than its actual realization. So, it follows that I can attract goodness into my life right now and continue to advance in the rays of the Light.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/2/10, Shamati #38

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Souls Are The Connections Between Desires

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How can we relate everything we read in Talmud Eser Sefirot to love of friends?

My Answer: Everything described in Talmud Eser Sefirot takes place in the connections among the souls. The science of Kabbalah says nothing about what transpires in the material, which is the desire to receive. It speaks only of what transpires in the intentions, in the forces above the material, or in the connections between the souls.

There is a system of a general desire divided into a multitude of particular desires, levels, manifestations, variations, and thousands upon thousands of varied gradations of qualities. These qualities of different desires connect together.

The problem lies not in the desire itself. The desire is given to us on inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels because those levels are governed by calculations, thoughts, attitudes, and connections. For this reason, the science of Kabbalah speaks not of desires (material) but of the intentions (connections among the desires). These connections in particular are called souls and form the spiritual world, whereas the desires form our material world.

The connection should be comprised of a Rosh, the head of the spiritual Partzuf, which makes decisions and plans the connection, and a Guf, the body of the Partzuf, which actualizes the act of connection. In other words, both the Rosh and the Guf of the spiritual Partzuf are located in between the desires because the Guf of the spiritual Partzuf is the type of connection that has materialized in practice.

The desires themselves are beyond the scope of the discussion, they as though exist below the surface. It is a certain parameter created by the Creator, on the basis of which we build the connections. Hence the entire science of Kabbalah speaks only of the souls, the connections between the desires.

From the lesson on 7/2/10, The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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If Spirituality Were To Become Our Life…

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhile reading The Book of Zohar, the most important thing is to think about the connection between us in order to become “as one man with one heart.” The Light that Reforms is nearby and everything depends on our efforts to unite with one another in the system of Adam HaRishon.

This Light influences precisely the broken connections among us. If we try to unite and are unable to, then the Light unites us. It says in Item 155 of the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” that a person is influenced by the Surrounding Light to the extent he aspires to know what he studies. What does it mean “to know what you study”? It does not mean to acquire knowledge, as in our world.

In spirituality everything is attained through connection. Therefore, “to know” means to connect, as it is written, “And Adam knew Eve.” Therefore, the more we aspire to connect with one another through the desire for bestowal and love, the more we awaken the Surrounding Light and then the Light of Wisdom (Ohr Hochma). This Light appears and operates only in the place where we desire to unite but are unable to.

Therefore, there is no sense trying to study The Book of Zohar as a science or wisdom since we don’t understand its language or what it is talking about. To understand it, we have to be in the same world.

Therefore, we have to try to unite with one another. Then the Surrounding Light will come precisely into the places where we lack a connection among us. The Light will unite us with each other, and through the restored connections we will feel the quality of bestowal, the Creator, the Light of Hassadim, and then inside it we will reveal the Light of Hochma.

Therefore, our entire study must be preceded by the desire to unite with each other, and we should not forget about this while studying The Zohar. Baal HaSulam writes the following in Item 17 of  the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot“: “Hence, the student pledges, prior to the study, to strengthen himself in faith,” meaning in the quality of bestowal, which he desires to attain as a result of the study, so it becomes his life.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/6/10, The Zohar

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Don’t Burden Yourself With Extra Baggage On the Path

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur inner work is revealed to us piecemeal, in parts that pertain to its execution. We aren’t given the ability to see the entire sum total of all the work we have accomplished, lest it pose an obstacle for us.

A person is constantly consumed by the desire that is revealed in him at the present moment. He forgets about everything he did in the past and constantly feels empty. The more he works, the more the things he has already done become concealed from him.

Even though he has performed many corrections and nothing disappears, he is given the feeling that he has not done anything. This happens so he always has the opportunity to do more, so a new desire can be revealed just like the first time. This continues until he carries out a certain volume of work. Then, in one final action called "Rav Paalim UMekabtziel" he will reveal the entire correction that he has accumulated.

However, along the path we are obligated to forget about all the states we have gone through in order to receive a desire for the next action. Otherwise we would stop and be unable to keep advancing. As long as a person hasn’t completed all the corrections, his entire previous work is concealed from him, as if he has not done anything. Yet, everything will become revealed at once, at the End of Correction!

Everything repeats over and over again, but since a new desire constantly comes to us, it seems like it’s a completely new state. "It is as if we begin everything anew every day." We reveal a new appetite and new tastes in the material world just like in the spiritual world.

Therefore, even if it seems like we have not done anything in spirituality and that we did not attain anything, we will reveal later that this is not so. But until the very End of Correction, we cannot ask or demand for anything that we deserve for the past. On the contrary, we have to be grateful for the fact that the past is concealed from us because this way it does not blind us and prevent us from moving forward. It allows us to begin all the work anew every time.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/6/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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Answers To Your Questions, Part 11

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Attainment of the Purpose of Creation Rests Upon the Whole of Mankind
Questions about the post “Kabbalists On The Purpose Of Creation,” Part 7

Question: Will I be better off if everybody else is well?

My Answer: Yes, because you are part of everybody else, the only way you will truly be well is if all others are well.

Question: How can I stop wishing others well egoistically, and start wishing them well altruistically?

My Answer: Only the Upper Light can do it!

Question: Why is the Creator so selective toward the creations? Why are certain people or nations chosen? Why didn’t He create everybody equal?

My Answer: Precisely so we could help one another to attain Him.

Question: What is mutual bestowal to the Creator?

My Answer: From everyone according to his ability.

Question: I feel that the World Kli has long been trying to unite for the Creator’s work. If this is the purpose of creation, why doesn’t this infinite fulfillment for His sake take place?

My Answer: We are in the process of forming this unified desire.

Question: Quote: “According to Rambam, we see that everybody must come to the state of Lishma, the only difference being the time when it happens.” Why time, and not effort? Why are these types of “mistakes” not entirely uncommon in the Kabbalistic texts?

My Answer: Because effort refers to actions, whereas time refers to the realization of these actions, their result.

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Kabbalists On The Purpose Of Creation, Part 13

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. I promise to answer them. Commentaries in brackets are mine.

Why Did the Creator Place the Burden of Creation Upon Us?

It turns out that the purpose of the whole Creation is that the lowly [existing in egoism and thus restricted and transient] creatures will be able, by keeping Torah and Mitzvot [revealing their egoism as the only evil and correcting it by studying Kabbalah], to rise ever upward [by acquiring increasingly bigger properties of bestowal and love instead of reception and hatred], ever developing, until they are rewarded with Dvekut [equivalence of form] with their Creator.

But here come the Kabbalists and ask, why were we not created in this high stature of adhesion to begin with? What reason did He have to burden us with this labor of Creation and the Torah and the Mitzvot? And they replied: “He who eats that which is not his, is afraid to look at his face.” This means that one who eats and enjoys the labor of one’s friend is afraid to look at his face because by doing so [receiving free of charge] he becomes increasingly humiliated [feels as though he doesn’t exist in the world’] until he loses his human [similar to the Creator] form. And because that which extends from His wholeness cannot be deficient [otherwise the Creator cannot become revealed to the created beings as being imperfect], He gave us room to earn our exaltedness [become equal to Him] by ourselves, through our work in Torah and Mitzvot [discovering our egoism and correcting it].
– Baal HaSulam, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah),” Items 6 and 7

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 07.06.10

Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “And the Lord Appeared Unto Him by the Oaks of Mamre”
Each person will have to go through all the stages described in the Torah.
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out), Item 312
The Kabbalistic books do not talk about our current state. They talk about how we can prepare ourselves for receiving the Light that will correct us.
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 2, Part 7, Item 9, Lesson 4
The Lights that continue to change within us creates a sense of time, when in reality time as such does not exist.
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 10, Lesson 9
We are confused; we’re trying to put together the pieces of a broken puzzle. We don’t know whether to follow the laws of our nature or rise above them.
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