Question: It often happens that I understand a lot during the lesson, but later I forget everything I thought about and understood. Is this the right way to advance?
Answer: Forgetfulness is actually the best quality a person has. Otherwise he would not be able to change his states. If one’s desire changes, then the mind serving the desire changes as well.
Memory acts mechanically and belongs only to the desire corresponding to it. Since our task is to change our desire from reception to bestowal, our memory must be cleansed in order to start serving the new qualities and desires.
Therefore, don’t worry about remembering the material you study! You should only worry about feeling it and increasing your desire to bestow. Is your desire becoming more sensitive and uniting with others? Do you understand that you do not want to unite with others? You should care only about the sensations!
Don’t worry, the mind will always develop alongside the sensation. The mind forms in order to serve the feelings. That is how we are built by nature. That is why it is written that “people do not study with the mind.” Kabbalah is not attained through the mind or by having more knowledge. There are no exams that will test who remembered or understood the most. It is the heart that understands.
If a person forgets what he heard at the lesson, does not understand it, and feels that the material disappears to the extent he advances (“I studied so much and heard about it a thousand times, and I still don’t understand it!”), then this is a sign that he is advancing correctly. It means he is demanding a change and correction of his desire, rather than trying to fulfill himself with knowledge in a purely mechanical fashion.
That is why a person must be very careful about what he demands from the study and which changes he wants to see happening within him. Perhaps he wants to become smarter and understand more, which is called “reasoning more than doing”? In that case he acquires more knowledge than correction (because action is correction), and that would be a grave mistake.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/3/10, The Zohar
The Book of Zohar is revealed in two stages. First of all, I need to form the right outlook on the book, meaning to correct myself, the reader. In order to read The Zohar, instead of regular “glasses,” I need completely different ones which allow me to recognize the spiritual phenomena within this book. Therefore I must first acquire spiritual organs of perception (Kelim). Then the book will be revealed to me and it will truly be the “Zohar” (Illumination) which the authors of this book revealed and described 18 centuries ago.
Kabbalists attain the Upper Light that created a desire to enjoy and that gave it the force “to receive” (pleasure). Then the Light gave it the intention to act “for the sake of bestowal,” and afterward “broke” this desire, turning it into an egoistic intention. In this manner the desire to enjoy became a desire to receive for its own sake. And now from our world, we gradually correct this desire to enjoy so that it becomes a desire to bestow, and thereby reach correction.
All these phenomena (the descent from Above downward, meaning the corruption of the desire and the intention, and their subsequent correction) are carried out by the Light since there is none else besides Him. All the changes, everything that happens within the desire to enjoy, are done by the Light. There is no one else who performs any action. And all the actions of the Light are above matter, which is the desire to enjoy. Prior to the Light’s influence on it, the desire to enjoy is merely formless matter. The Light decides what to turn it into and what form to give it, as it is written, “The Light moves the desires.”
Therefore, if we wish to change, we need to draw the Upper Light onto ourselves. This is why we read The Book of Zohar with one intention: for the Light to come since it is the force that will change me. By reading The Book of Zohar I demand my correction. This is the right attitude toward the Book.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/30/10, The Zohar
Question: It is difficult to tear ourselves away from our current state and bring ourselves into the hands of the environment in order to rise to the next degree. Is there some other way that this can this be done?
Answer: This is the only way to ascend the spiritual ladder! It seems to you that the spiritual world is something opposite to nature. However, this is not the case. We are part of nature, and by following the advice of Kabbalists, we act according to the laws that exist in it.
From a higher degree, which emanates Light and brings about darkness, the two opposites, the Light and desire, become revealed. They come and develop from there according to their nature: One is giving, while the other is receiving. In this manner, these two attributes of bestowal and reception spread out from Above downward, intertwined together, until they reach us. In turn, we study how we are arranged according to this two-fold nature (the double helix of spiritual DNA) and how we can ascend by these natural degrees.
So do not look for some other ways. Kabbalists describe indisputable facts that exist in nature. Whether we like it or not, we will be forced to accept them. After all, one who does not follow the laws of nature will be punished by suffering.
An animal, contrary to a human being, never makes mistakes since it is a part of nature and cannot act against it. Meanwhile, a human being is the only creature that has egoism. Yet, egoism raises us above nature. The inanimate, vegetative, and animate parts merge with nature. They cannot think, desire, or act otherwise. There is an additional level above them called “human.” This level is opposite to the Upper nature, meaning to the Creator.
And egoism is the source of all our mistakes and transgressions. It is created precisely for the purpose of showing us our opposition to the Creator. Our whole problem is: What do we do with the degree of “human” in us? The whole potential of our development above the natural level is instilled in it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/2/10, Article, “The Matter of Truth and Faith”
If we want to improve humanity’s condition, The Book of Zohar has to become the primary book for the whole world. The Zohar is not a book, but rather a system. Reading The Book of Zohar activates a positive influence of the Upper spiritual system onto our world, bringing it abundance.
All the goodness that is revealed in our world passes through the communications system of all the creatures, and this system is called The Book of Zohar. Every second of our lives, we instinctively act to achieve goodness. Therefore, this apparatus, The Book of Zohar, which enables the reception of the positive force, should always remain before us.
If we manage to achieve this even to a small degree, we will see improvement in everything: emotions, reason, perception, and action. The whole reality will change, and the world will become entirely different. Suddenly we will feel how the presence of one force, higher and full of goodness, envelops us. We will feel its actions; the air will as though grow thicker….
The purpose of The Book of Zohar is not to activate abundance and goodness; rather, it is a communication system between us and the Creator. Let us hope that we will heed the advice of the great Kabbalists, and use The Book of Zohar to achieve the purpose of our existence.
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The Reality Contained in the Science of Kabbalah
Kabbalah uses only names and appellations that are concrete [attained in our senses and then examined in our mind] and real [revealed to us to the extent of our correction]. It is an unbending [absolute] rule for all Kabbalists that, “Anything we do not attain [clearly, in our corrected qualities], we do not [it is impossible to] define by a name and a word.” [It is because a name explains the quality of the object being attained, and that quality is attained to the degree of similarity to the object’s qualities, according to the law of equivalence of form: Only similarity is attained.]
Here you must know that the word “attainment” (Heb: Hasaga) implies the ultimate degree of understanding. It derives from the phrase, “that thy hand shall reach” (Heb: Ki Tasig Yadcha). That means that before something becomes utterly lucid, as though gripped in one’s hand, Kabbalists do not consider it attained, but understood, comprehended, and so on.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
From Baal HaSulam’s article, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”: Now you can understand their words (Sanhedrin 98a): “The Son of David comes either in a generation that is all worthy, or all unworthy.”…
Indeed, we should thoroughly understand that this matter of redemption and the coming of the Messiah that we hope will be soon in our days, Amen, is the uppermost wholeness of attainment and knowledge, as it is written, “and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, saying: ‘Know the Lord’; for they shall all know Me, from the greatest of them unto the least of them.”
When the Children of Israel are complemented with the complete knowledge, the fountains of intelligence and knowledge shall flow beyond the boundaries of Israel and water all the nations of the world, as it is written (Isaiah 11), “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,” and as it is written, “and shall come unto the Lord and to His goodness.”
Every person has to attain the degree called “Messiah.” This degree can only be attained by disseminating the knowledge of the Creator, meaning circulating Kabbalah in the world and to the nations. This has nothing to do with the power of the nation of Israel, but with circulating the idea of the correction of human nature, the idea which will be understood by humanity and will capture its heart.
This is referred to as the “king Messiah,” the kingdom of Isra-El, the intention to achieve the Creator by the way of equivalence of form, when everybody unites as equals in mutual bestowal, thereby revealing the Upper Force and eternal life. This work must be done by every person.
However, there is an added responsibility to complete it for the group of people that received this method of correction in Ancient Babylon. This group called the nation of Israel has already gone through correction in the past, then fell to the state of the rest of the “Babylonians,” mixed with them, and now must undergo correction first because this group contains the record of its past corrected states.
Circulating the method of correction in the world is called the time of the Messiah.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
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