Kabbalists On Kabbalists, Part 13

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.

Following the Paths of Kabbalists

Even though one has a soul, he is not ready to know Him, “Until the spirit be poured upon him from on high.” However, one must lend an ear and listen to the words of the sages [about how to reject one’s egoism], and believe in them [their directions, while annulling oneself] wholeheartedly.
– Baal HaSulam, Igrot (Letters), Letter 19, pg. 70

And since the more developed in the generation is certainly the individual, it follows that when [the time will come and] the public [having no other choice] wants to relieve themselves of the terrible agony and assume [spiritually, in bestowal and love] conscious and voluntary development [rather than by force through the path of suffering], which is the path of Torah, they [the masses] have no choice but to subjugate themselves and their physical freedom to the discipline of the individual, and obey the orders and remedies [the method of correcting the egoism] that he [the spiritual leader] will offer them.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 08.31.10

Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “What Are the Two Actions During the Time of Descent?”
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYechi (And Jacob Lived in the Land of Egypt, Item 123
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 4, Item 63
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 20, Lesson 19
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The Kind Of Question, The Kind Of Answer…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Where was Adam when the serpent was tempting Eve? If he were by her side at that moment, he might have chased the serpent away or have protected Eve from it by asking her not to listen to the evil “seducer.”

Answer: He veered off to the left, to the serpent’s wife.

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The Zohar Is A Source Of Strength

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The more I read The Zohar, the more I realize its power. Is The Zohar truly that deep?

Answer: I will say only this: It’s difficult without The Zohar. You will often feel the need to return to it throughout the day. Anyway you look at it, it’s simply a source of strength.

In the beginning, when a person just opens The Zohar for the first time, he doesn’t know why this book magnetizes and charms him so much and why it is so difficult to go without it. Some start feeling this sooner than others. For some people it can take a long time to feel the power hidden in this book.

Yet sooner or later, everyone begins to feel that they need The Zohar. It’s like water: We need it more than food.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/10, The Zohar

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The New Formula For Success

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The mechanics of the development of desire in our world is simple, and we have accumulated thousands of years of experience in it. What new knowledge does the science of Kabbalah offer regarding the use of desire?

Answer: Kabbalah offers the intention; nothing else is necessary! The Creator created the will to receive pleasure and He drives it to evolve. This desire is egoistic, making us constantly run after whatever might fill it. Such behavior characterizes the still, vegetative, and animate levels of existence. However, in our time, after millennia of growth, we have finally evolved to the “human” level (Adam), which is a totally different state of existence. A human is independent of the still, vegetative, and animate ways of existence.

To a human being, the most important thing is the intention, or the reason “why” do I possess the still, vegetative, and animate levels? What do I live for? He wonders about the purpose of life, and when a person has this question, he comes to Kabbalah. This is a totally new inclination where I don’t depend on the previous evolution of my desire. I have evolved, but what now? Now something completely new, mysterious, and unknown lies ahead of me.

Today’s human crisis is the crisis of the formula of our previous development which doesn’t work anymore! The previous period of evolution has ended where the only operating forces were Light and desire, pleasure and hunger. Now I see that there is fulfillment and I feel a need for it, but I don’t understand how the two are connected.

Previously it worked very simply: the greater my desire, the greater its fulfillment. But today even though my desire is enormous, I grab and enjoy what I want for an instant and then it’s gone. As a result, I don’t even want to run after pleasure any more. However, I still have to fill myself with something. Yet, I have nothing to do it with. Do you realize what a disaster this is?

Mankind does not know what to do with the situation. This leads to wars, crime, brutality, and terrorism because the moment man experiences emptiness and longing, he is willing to do whatever it takes to find at least some small fulfillment even for an instant!

We are now going through this transitional time. The egoistic desire has completed its evolution on the still, vegetative, and animate planes of existence. Now it has to grow as a “human,” which means “similar to the Creator.” This is an absolutely new form where one works in bestowal, the reverse of everything that one did before.

We neither comprehend this action nor where to get the strength for it. We do not have the mind, the desire, and the environment for it. We only have the science of Kabbalah, and even that is available only for those who have already discovered it. That is why we are making such great efforts to disseminate it because we would like to accelerate evolution and offer a remedy well in advance before the next blow strikes.

Otherwise no one will know what to do with this life: neither politicians, nor sociologists, nor psychologists, or any other scientists. Mankind will give up and agree to any sort of existence, hoping to conceal what is really happening and to continue living at least somehow.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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The Middle Line Is The Soul

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter "VeYechi (Jacob Lived),” Item 119: “Only your fathers did the Lord desire.” “Your fathers,” actually three—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It writes, “Only,” really only, that there are no more than these three, and from them all the others branch out and grip, meaning all the degrees in BYA. They rise for MAN to ZON, to crown the Name, to extend new Mochin to the Nukva, who is called “Name.”

The Zohar always brings us to the middle line in all the states. That is its mission: to constantly show us how we can arrange the two lines we receive from Above, from the Creator – the force of bestowal and the force of reception. The Zohar shows us how to build our reality out of them so we are above the force of bestowal and the force of reception. We ascend above both of them and receive them to the degree we are able to include one inside the other. Their mutual combination builds the middle line in us.

The middle line is built out of the sum of two lines, by using the best from both of them. The middle line is formed when the left line becomes included in the right line, and the right line  in the left line, and then you take what is shared between them – their mutual combination from both sides (Malchut in Bina and Bina in Malchut). That is how you make the middle line.

This is the fundamental principle, and the same thing happens to the soul. The soul does not exist unless we build it. Even though it is called "a piece of the Creator from Above," in fact this piece does not come from the Creator unless I build it through the connection between us. This spiritual vessel (Kli) does not exist. We build it in the form of a connecting net between us.

The same thing happens with the middle line because it is the soul. The right and left lines, bestowal and reception, come to us. They are both forces of nature. When I combine them in the right way, then the middle line or the soul is formed out of them.

In our relationships we deal with the forces of bestowal and reception. Based on our reception we build the form of bestowal, and that is how we attain the soul by creating a middle line between us. There is no reality besides the one we build between us. Everything becomes revealed there, in that reality.

The Zohar brings the middle line to us from Above. While reading it, we have to try to become included into that line. Then we are tuned to the same wave through which the Light comes to us and returns us to the Source, the Creator.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/10, The Zohar

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Examining The Correctness Of The Path

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt’s very easy to determine whether the path is a spiritual one: Everything that we agree with does not relate to spirituality! It is specifically the contradictions that our mind and senses do not accept, that are undesirable and repulsive to us, that relate to spirituality. We should work on these in particular.

If I sense that a certain state won’t bring me any benefit either in my senses or mind, then by rising above this particular state, I can start building spirituality. Most likely, in this state it will be impossible to “buy” me, and I won’t look for a selfish profit; rather, I will need the Creator’s help in order to rise above it. In other words, I constantly check myself: How much does my body resist my work? And for me this is the sign of my correct spiritual advancement.

Further on, I need to examine what I’m doing it for. Perhaps I want to overcome myself and pursue some personal goals. Or maybe I want to find love of the Creator which is repulsive to my “body,” my egoistic sensation and mind. And I’m searching for love that is built on hatred toward egoistic thoughts and desires about oneself.

Often, however, we are not trying to transcend our bodies and regret that we are unable to work according to our mind and feelings contained in the body. Instead of looking for a state that is beyond our sensations and mind, we wish to be in it.

First and foremost we need to push the body “down,” along with its feelings and mind, and be above them, not to take them into account. That is, I take them into consideration, but only in order to rise above them. Then it’s called faith above reason. But instead, I regret: Why is everything not revealed within my reason so that I can act as a sensible person and know that I have intellect and personal strength to advance correctly…

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/10, “When A Person Knows What the Fear of God Is”

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