Question: Every time I try to focus on the lesson, I discover that I am distracted by countless irrelevant thoughts. What should I do?
Answer: Everything comes from the Creator and is called the “awakening from Above” (Itaruta de-Leila). If the Upper Force instills bad thoughts in you along with the good ones, it is similar to a flood that carries a lot of filth in it. When you attempt to filter the water, the debris rises to the surface. However, it is necessary for you to filter out the “filth” and realize what you are carrying. Therefore, drawing Light that Reforms brings out the sensation of “filth,” showing you how much you still need to correct.
A Kabbalah beginner does not understand the reason behind it all and gets confused; he yearns for the good but experiences terrible states. He does not yet have the inner power to conquer them, nor does he comprehend what is happening. Why then should he undergo such conditions? It is necessary because “no one is as wise as the experienced.” Through continuous study, a person will feel that all such states are necessary.
It can be the other way around, that a person does not experience “filth,” non-spiritual desires and thoughts. This is a sign of the inability to draw the Light that Reforms, which discerns the uncorrected desires that one needs to acknowledge as “bad” and in need of correction. One must ask for their correction, not their annihilation.
Hence, when we read Kabbalistic texts and feel bad, it is a sign that we are on the right track, and that the Torah serves us as the “potion of life” because it reveals our inner ailments that we need to correct. If, on the other hand, we felt good, confident, proud, and superior, it would be a sign that the Torah serves as the “potion of death,” allowing us to slumber in our egoism and feel more and more satisfied.
Thus, we should rejoice that during our studies, our inner “sinners” become disclosed. This means that the Torah is showing us and correcting our evil; indeed, as it is written: “I created the evil inclination and granted the Torah to correct it.” This is how a person can verify whether he is moving in the right direction toward awareness of his evil egoism within.
The longer we study, the more aware we become that evil resides within us, and our priority is to correct it. With regard to the rest of the world, we should pray for its awakening and basically justify it (“Ladun Kol Echad Le Kav Zhut”).
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, The Zohar
Question: When a person is surrounded by the big group where he is supported and cared for during his downfall, it is great. But what about the others, who are separated and live far away from the nearest Kabbalah group, in spiritually foreign surroundings such as in Europe for instance?
Answer: We think that physical proximity has a positive impact on spirituality, but it isn’t necessarily so. If a person exerts great effort in order to progress and achieve contact wherever he is, he always gains more than when he moves faster and closer to where the others are. It is always more useful to try to connect with the others from a distance for at least six months. We should not focus on the bodies that surround us, but should try to see the spiritual states through them.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, “Introduction in the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
Question: After experiencing such a great inspiration and unification during the recent Mega Congress, now some friends feel separation and indifference. How can we help them?
Answer: It is a good omen. If a person falls from a high mountain into a deep hole, it shows us that the Congress has come to an end, and we have entered a new state. We can help our friends in two ways: through inner and external care.
Within ourselves, we should continue feeling that we are one common Kli, a spiritual vessel, no matter what. Those who descend expose a new layer of egoistic desire in themselves, which is revealed now in our common world Kli. They are the carriers of this new desire (a greater thickness, Aviut).
On the other hand, those of us who do not feel this heaviness of the desire wish to ascend together with them even higher, in a single embrace. Then we all will win. We will bring the screen and the Reflected Light, and they will bring the intensity of the desire (Aviut), and together we will create a ready Kli, with which we will be able to ascend.
Therefore, particularly now, when the Congress has already ended, we can make a considerable step forward. The time of a common meeting simply tallies up our whole previous work, and now, after the Congress, the next stage in unification begins. In this stage each person should desire to raise everyone else.
This is what happens in the common spiritual vessel: One supplies the desire, another supplies the screen, and then they switch places. In this manner movement occurs. This is a very good and beneficial period, and under no circumstances should we view this time as dead and await the next Congress! On the contrary, all the work and advancement consists in this time as we rise above the interferences.
The Congress itself is unification, and no work is required there. A common inspiration of all the participants and annulment of each person before the others are in effect there. At Congresses we receive the strength precisely for the periods of ascent between congresses.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/10, “Introduction in the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
Answer: The spiritual ascent consists of several parts: the development of the Universe, the evolution of Earth, and spiritual correction which began with the breaking of a part of humanity (the nation of Israel from the time of Babylon until the destruction of the Second Temple), the continuing development of humanity to our times, up to the beginning of the crisis between humanity and nature (the Creator).
Starting with this latter stage, the crisis, gradually all people will start feeling a need to rise above the level of our world and attain the purpose for the world’s existence and for everything that happens in it. This will bring them to the science of Kabbalah which was revealed back in Ancient Babylon.
Everything comes down to replacing our nature with an Upper one, to replacing egoism (the desire to receive for one’s own benefit) with altruism (the desire to bestow). This process occurs in stages, by attaining 125 degrees. However, a person goes through an initial period of preparation within the group, through the theoretical study of spiritual qualities, and by examining one’s egoistic nature. When, under the influence of that environment, a sufficiently powerful desire emerges in him to replace egoism with bestowal to others, the common force of nature, the Upper Light, will change him. Then one begins to experience worry (fear) about others, much like a mother does in relation to her child.
But this is still only an ascent above egoism. Subsequently, follows the stage of acquiring the quality of love where a person is willing to give everything to others as they become more dear to him than he is to himself. During this stage a person begins to feel and merge with the Creator because he becomes equal to Him through his actions.
The Zohar, Chapter “Lech Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 153: NR are not two separate degrees from one another. Rather, they are one degree, and they are two that are conjoined. And there is one that is superior who governs them and clings to them, and they to her. And she is called Neshama.
The Zohar tells us how, after achieving the first spiritual contact, we intensify this connection and see the subsequent manifestations of spirituality in it. Then we feel not only the first degree of unification called Nefesh (N), a state of rest (Nefisha), and the ability to maintain ourselves in this connection, but also the common great life, which is revealed from within the point of our first contact as another higher, deeper dimension called Ruach (R).
If we do not reach the first contact, the place of our unification, we will not reveal the entrance to the upper dimension (the quality of bestowal). Yet, when we establish this contact among us, the Upper Light begins to affect it. It reveals it, and we enter a completely different dimension through it: the spiritual world.
Everything that happens within this connection is called the spiritual world. First it seems to us that attaining this universal connection between people promises us a good life, safety, and pleasant sensations. However, that is not all! Within this common point, an entrance into the spiritual world is revealed.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/27/10, The Zohar
The pyramid upon which all of nature is based includes four levels: still, vegetative, animate, and human, and it exists inside every person. It is always inside a person, which means that he always combines all the desires within. Therefore, he should always take into account and realize that he has to build up his desires in the form of this pyramid or according to this scale of priorities.
You cannot detach from reality completely and soar up to the spiritual world. That would be wrong! It would mean that you do not control, see, and feel your desires. You have to see the whole system and know which level every one of your desires belongs to: still, vegetative, animate, or human.
Clearly, I need help from the environment and the Upper Light, but this entire spiritual structure must be “in front of me.” Even if I make a mistake and sin by accidentally making an egoistic calculation, I must be fully conscious of what is happening.
The whole world as well as every person is built according to this pyramid. Through these pyramids of desires we unite with each other. We cannot correct anything in this world until we unite the tops of our pyramids in their highest point by uniting together with each other and with the Creator.
Then everything will balance out and unite into one system. Only inside this higher point of unity will we be able to unite our pyramids of desires correctly. We will discover that all of our desires and qualities are good and necessary when they unite together and we complement each other to become one whole!
The Zohar, Chapter “Lech Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 211: Seven firmaments did the Creator make above, which are the ZAT (seven Sefirot) de Atzilut, HGT NHYM. All of them are in order to know the glory of the Creator and all of them are poised to announce the meaning of the high faith.
Why are the Sefirot called firmaments? A firmament is a screen, and there are many types of screens. A screen that partitions spiritual levels is called a firmament.
We are talking only about desire, and above it there is a screen and Reflected Light. The desire is under restriction. It has Aviut (thickness or size of desire) and to the degree it overcomes it, a screen.
These are all technical terms. However, when we work with desires and the opposition to them, we reveal feelings and impressions. There is a will to enjoy, and inside it various phenomena become revealed. We are talking precisely about the phenomenon and not the actual desire that evokes the phenomenon.
Suppose I am able to give a detailed explanation about a violin, its structure and material, and exactly how I slide the bow across the strings, with what pressure, speed, and so on. Alternatively, I can verbally convey my feelings and impressions of a melody. In both cases I am describing a phenomenon, but I do it in different languages. One is a technical language that is understood by the mind, whereas the second is a language of feelings, understood by the heart.
The Book of Zohar speaks in a language of feelings, and therefore it is clear to those who feel these phenomena. Baal HaSulam added the language of Kabbalah to The Zohar‘s text, which is a description of The Zohar using technical terms (Sefirot, Partzufim, Aviut, and screen). Thus, we have a parallel description in two languages, which helps us to connect these two languages and come closer to revealing and uniting with the actual phenomena.
In order to reveal the text, I must unite with the environment, the group. That is exactly how the authors of this book, the group of Rabbi Shimon, revealed it. It was precisely through the connection between them that they attained all 125 levels of Upper Light and called it “Radiance” (Zohar).
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/29/10, The Zohar
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All the Teachings in the World Are Included in the Wisdom of Kabbalah
They have no scientific solution as to how a spiritual object can have any contact with physical atoms to bring them into any kind of motion. All their wisdom did not help them find a bridge on which to cross that wide and deep crevice that spreads between the spiritual entity and the corporeal atom. Thus, science has gained nothing from all these metaphysical methods.
To move a step forward in a scientific manner here, all we need is the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is because all the teachings in the world are included in the wisdom of Kabbalah.
[While Kabbalah explains everything, it is only for the one who is ready to apply it in practice. This is because only when a person transforms his egoistic properties into altruistic ones, can he realize that the entirety of reality exists only subjectively in his perception, and that his properties define it completely. The whole of reality is the perception of his properties in comparison to the properties of the Upper Light.]
– Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”