Nothing Is Accidental

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Kabbalah says that the reason for all the problems in the world is man’s egoistic desire. But what is the connection between me being an egoist who’s opposite to the Creator and the extreme heat in Moscow or the ecological crisis?

Answer: We are all inside a closed system or sphere called “the Creator” where all the parts are connected through mutual bestowal. That is the law of existence of the entire system as well as each of its parts. We can see this on the example of the human body, the ecosystem, and so on. I exist inside this system like an embryo inside a mother’s womb, and I feel good to the degree I am connected and equivalent to the system and bestowing like it. And vice versa: To the degree I am disparate from it and have different qualities, I feel bad.

Proximity and separation are not defined by distance, but by equivalence of form. If I have a small egoistic desire, then even if I am different from the system, I feel small problems. But if my desire increases, then so does my sensation of discomfort.

Since man’s egoistic desire constantly develops, his opposition to Nature’s system, the Creator, also increases, and thus it is inevitable that man will feel worse. This will continue until he begins to understand what the reason for his suffering and problems is.

I will receive blows of fate from all sides until I understand that it is systematic and not accidental. The problems with the ecology are not accidental! I can no longer keep ignoring them. Similar problems will take place all over the world and in all forms. They will shake people up and make them stop and think, “Apparently, there must be a reason for this?”

As the desire grows, it feels suffering and creates a mind by its side in order to avoid the suffering. A person becomes smarter and shrewder. He learns to connect the causes and consequences and inevitably begins asking, “Why is this happening? Where are all of our problems coming from?” Usually people ask, “What did I do to deserve all of this?” And that is already a subconscious question about the Source of what is happening (Nature, the Creator).

People will reveal that what is operating here is the general law of the universe. Call it “Nature” instead of the Creator; either way it requires us to constantly and consciously maintain balance with Nature, which means we have to have the same quality of bestowal as the whole universe since all parts of the universe exist in universal connection and integral unity.

That is why there is no choice about the matter. Humanity is a cancerous tumor inside all of nature, and it is obligated to cure itself. Eventually, under pressure from all the problems, we will reach this realization. It’s already very close.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

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Kabbalah Moments: Divorce

Cutting Off The Past In Order To Enter The Future

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the meaning of mutual spiritual work between spouses?

Answer: A spiritual connection is when a woman is like “half of a man’s body.” A man without a wife is an incomplete part of the desire. This part of the “animate” existence (as it seems to us) and the entire mutual life in a family, which seems unconnected to spirituality, are in fact very important.

It’s not time for it yet, but we will reach the state where men and women will feel a need to find out what the meaning of our lives is and what we are living for? This problem can only be solved on the condition that we are similar to nature, the Creator, and thus are obligated to unite into a couple, a family. That will be our mutual spiritual work. We will feel that we are unable to maintain a family without a spiritual connection, and we are unable to attain spirituality without creating a family!

That is why families are now in crisis or a “breaking.” It’s like the Tzimtzum (restriction). All of our previous lives, ways of thinking, approach to the family, and our entire paradigm of the past are over! They have reached “the breaking.” Our old philosophy and attitude to life, family, and society no longer work. All of this has reached the end, and that is why we are experiencing a crisis today. We are cutting off our entire previous attitude to life and are entering new interrelations.

From here on, a person will once again need a family, children, work, and society, but precisely in order to attain bestowal and revelation of the Creator instead of using them egoistically and trying to obtain a small, comfortable home in order to lead a good material life. That is why we are going through a drastic transition and will have to cut ourselves off from our entire previous life and attitude.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

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A Guide To The Book Of Zohar: The Ocean Of Light And Goodness

Dr. Michael LaitmanExcerpts from my upcoming book, A Guide to The Book of Zohar

It is important to understand why we need all this. The fact is that the Creator desires to bestow to begin with, so there’s no point in asking Him to give us Light and pleasure as we usually do.

The Creator has what we need and He has the will to give it. However, He wants us to not merely be receiving from Him, but to become like Him, meaning to be great, independent, bestowing, and similar to Him in the quality of love and bestowal. Therefore, this is precisely what we have to ask for in order to acquire that which the Creator has: the will to bestow and the quality of love and bestowal.

We are used to asking for fulfillment but what we need to ask for is correction. As soon as we become corrected, the Creator’s Light will instantly fulfill us. In other words, our problem is that we don’t understand what it is we should ask of the Creator. We exist in an ocean of Light, goodness, and pleasure, but we lack the necessary vessel to feel all this abundance within. This vessel is the quality of love and bestowal, and that is what we need to ask of the Creator. As soon as we acquire this quality, the Light of abundance will fill us on its own.

There is only one restriction set by the Creator, only one condition for receiving the Light: We have to become like Him. After all, He desires for us to feel just as much pleasure as He does.

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Double Win Or Double Loss

Dr. Michael LaitmanReceiving pleasure in our desires of bestowal is completely different than receiving it egoistically. First, we need to acquire an anti-egoistic screen, then draw pleasure, reject it for the sake of the Host, and finally gain the capacity to receive pleasure in order to delight Him. In this way we receive doubly. We receive the very sensation of pleasure within us and, most importantly, the sensation of greatness of the Host. His greatness is infinite and depends only on what value it has in our eyes.

The ratio between the pleasure received from direct fulfillment and the pleasure received from knowing the value of the Giver is such that we agree to receive from Him “symbolically”; it is just a tiny seed, a drop that merely defines the point of contact. However, His greatness lies in our eyes, meaning that we expand this point to infinite value.

Therefore, “sinners” lose double, and “righteous” win double by receiving the entire World of Infinity solely because they possess a screen. If we have a source of energy, that is, two opposing forces of “plus” and “minus,” then we can run a device that produces useful work. Meanwhile, trying to connect these two opposing forces without this device will cause a short circuit between them.

If we desire fulfillment, then we have to find the correct way to connect ourselves with the Creator, which is called a screen, the ”device” that brings benefit to the others. In that case, all of the Light will pass through us down to the others, and we will feel as the source, as the Creator.

If we use the vessels of bestowal, we feel the following: 1) pleasures within ourselves, 2) pleasures in Him, and 3) pleasures coming from Him, meaning we simultaneously reside in the past, present, and future, enveloped in all of the existing pleasure, all of the Light of the World of Infinity. This erases the sensation of time, motion, and space.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/6/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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Introductory Lecture: “Rav Kook” – 08.10.10

Kabbalah for the Nation Introductory Lecture Series, “Rav Kook”
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Spiritual Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is spiritual pleasure? Is it simply very intense enjoyment or something completely different?

Answer: The only difference between corporeal and spiritual pleasure lies in which desires I experience it: egoistic or altruistic. My egoistic desires of reception are limited. They gradually reveal their own emptiness, and I am forced to seek greater pleasure. As a result, I am never satisfied.

I have tried to fill myself with pleasure but failed since pleasure is a “plus” and I am a “minus.” When I attempt to receive pleasure, I only gain temporary satisfaction which resembles a “short-circuit” as it quickly dissolves leaving me empty again, and then the feeling of emptiness is twice as great. It has doubled because the pleasure I so eagerly sought has gone, forming the sensation of emptiness in addition to the emptiness I had felt before. So it follows that I’m always at a double loss. As a result, we evolve in our world from generation to generation, augmenting our empty egoism.

Yet nowadays a new problem arises. The ego that once grew, bringing me a sensation of emptiness, stopped growing. Logically this should have made me content, but I feel that I have nothing to gain pleasure from now. This new problem is worse than the previous one since there is no hope for fulfillment. Beside that, I feel that egoism is integral, representing the sum of all seven billion individual, egoistic desires. I discover that I depend on everyone, and everyone depends on me. For this reason, I find that I don’t know what to do with it, which drives me to extreme desperation.

During this period, a person might find solace in drugs, which only postpones the realization of the total crisis for some time. Yet, even this “solution” expires for it makes a person aware that this path is false, and that to disconnect from life means to agree with death. But nature does not allow it! We are faced with the question, “What to do next?” And the answer lies in transitioning from “pleasure from reception” to “pleasure from bestowal.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/6/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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The Soul Leaves In The Night…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does The Zohar mean by, “When a person lies asleep and the soul leaves him and testifies to that person” (Chapter “Lech Lecha [Go Forth],” Item 359)?

Answer: The soul is the Light in the desire (Kli). We can correct our desire to receive only in the Sefirot of Keter, Hochma, and Bina, while correction in the Sefirot of Zeir Anpin and Malchut can only be partial. For this reason, the largest Light that can manifest in us for now is the Light of Neshama, while the Lights of Haya and Yechida can serve only as small supplementary illumination from below upwards.

Therefore, our collective desire is called “the soul” (Neshama), by the name of the greatest Light that the soul can contain within it until the end of correction. If the desire exists in a state where it is able to attain the Light of Neshama, it is called the soul (Neshama). That’s because we name desires by the names of the lights which fill them. However, if the desires cannot contain these lights and be filled with them due to the lack of the screen, there is no soul. It is because the filling is the screen and the Reflected Light, the property of bestowal.

The soul is not my reception of Light from Above. The soul (Neshama), like all of the Inner Light in the desire, is formed by my giving this Light to someone else, by passing it through myself and thereby getting filled by it. This is called my Light, the Light that I receive. I receive the opportunity to bestow, and that’s what fills me.

This is why “at night,” when I am not yet able to correct my desires and gain control over them with the help of the screens (the property of bestowal), I receive a negative impression in my desire called darkness. But what is “darkness”? Darkness is when I cannot bestow and this state feels as “night,” meaning the lack of bestowal on my part. I feel regret and prepare to correct my desires.

I merit the “day”  through my work “at night.” I got up at dawn to attend the Kabbalah lesson and united with my friends; I made various corrections and obtained new desires and screens. In all of these screens and desires I create a new form of bestowal that fills me. This means my “day” has begun.

Hence, “night” is also a spiritual state for it is the preparation of desires. And if a person doesn’t have a desire to attain bestowal, even the “night” doesn’t exist for him for we define “day” and “night” according to our spiritual states.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/5/10, The Zohar

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Kabbalists On The Essence Of The Wisdom Of Kabbalah, Part 19

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

The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy

Philosophy loves to pride itself on understanding all the negatives [does not state who He is, but rather who is not Him] about His essence. However, the sages of Kabbalah put their hand to their mouth at this point [when the Creator Himself rather than His manifestation with relation to us is being discussed], and do not give Him even a simple name, for we do not define by name or word that which we do not attain. That is because a word designates some degree of attainment [based on the perception of the attained object in our senses].

However, Kabbalists do speak a great deal [to the extent of the researcher being similar to the properties of the Light] about His illumination [His manifestation with relation to us] in reality, meaning all those illuminations they [researchers themselves] have actually [practically, in sensations] attained [within themselves], as validly as [our] tangible [world, meaning the reality which we sense from the beginning through our inherent qualities] attainment [of objects and properties].
– Baal HaSulam “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 08.10.10

Shamati #42 What is the Acronym Elul in the Work
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Lech-Lecha (Go Forth),  Item 463 and Chapter “Shoftim (Judges),” Item 1
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 15, Item 19, Lesson 11
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“Kabbalah Today,” A Lesson on Current Events
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