Spiritual Simulator: Questions of the Day
Spiritual Simulator: Questions of the Day
Sometimes the language of The Zohar appears to be very odd, but in fact the story behind it is extremely simple. There is my “neighbor” and “myself.” There is a distance between us that is divided into five parts. The most remote part is felt as “this world.” If I connect with my neighbor completely and attain total unity with him, I will sense the “World of Infinity.”
My drawing closer to my neighbor occurs in five steps: I ascend into the worlds of Assiya, then Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, and Adam Kadmon. Five worlds with 25 steps in each make up 125 steps of us drawing closer together. Before starting this process, while I am still in this world, I have to fully realize that I am separated from my neighbor (the realization of evil).
I perceive myself and the world around me in the connection between me and my "neighbor." The Zohar speaks exclusively about what is happening between us: The still, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels of nature described in The Zohar, in fact, represent my desires of the still vegetative, animate, and speaking levels in relation to my neighbor (other souls).
The entire Torah speaks only about the ways of building the connection between me and my “neighbor.” It is what is called the “method of correction.”
The Torah is the Light concealed in the text, and I can derive it to the measure that I desire to unite with the other. The moment I connect with the other, I reveal the Upper World within this connection and exist in spirituality to the extent of this connection.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/10, The Zohar
In reality, all the worlds exist within one’s “neighbor.” The “neighbor” (or the group) is Malchut of Infinity. I exist outside of her.
At first, the earthly will to receive develops within me throughout multiple generations. Then, in our time (in the present reincarnation of the soul), a “point,” a spiritual desire, starts evolving within me. When I make attempts to become closer to the group, I begin to feel my nature as egoism and evil; that is, I become aware of my evil inclination.
When I study Kabbalah in the group, then to the extent that I realize my egoism as evil, I demand correction by the Light that Reforms that makes me similar to the Creator. All of this happens while I’m still not connected with the other (“neighbor”).
When I come to the decision that I am obliged to reach the connection with the other, it’s as if I come in contact with the group from the outside. Then I begin to connect with the group with the help of the Light that Reforms (Ohr Makif, the Surrounding Light), which shines upon me from inside, from the center of Malchut of Infinity.
All these stages of my connecting with the group and the measure of connection between us are the 125 spiritual degrees or the five worlds: Assiya (A), Yetzira (Y), Beria (B), Atzilut (A), and Adam Kadmon (AK). When my connection with the "other" is truly close and unbreakable by my being in the "center" of this "other" and completely merging with him, this state is called the “World of Infinity.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/10, The Zohar
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There are no merits or transgressions, ascents or descents. We simply need to go through a chain of states in order to build a big desire (spiritual vessel) within ourselves and accept all the goodness that the Creator wishes to give us. It is for this purpose that we go through many different states both in our heart (feelings), where we feel bitter or sweet, and in the mind, where we sense false or true.
We constantly get confused between analyses in the heart and in the mind, between sweet/bitter and true/false. We are thrown in one direction and then the other. However, it is precisely this that helps us build a perfect desire and a clear mind.
A person is not born a hero ready for the mission that is placed upon him. The Upper Light creates only a single point “from absence.” It differs from the Light only in that it has a desire to enjoy instead of the Light’s desire to give pleasure. However, a person needs to develop all the other qualities within him on his own, through understanding and sensation, and that’s possible by him being connected with the Light that acts upon him.
Only then will he learn and feel everything that exists in the Creator, the Light, and will become the same as Him. The state of the Light is perfect, and the plan of creation supposes that the creature will also become perfect, like Him.
In other words, the creature, initially being just a point, has to receive a series of impressions, pleasant and unpleasant, clear and unclear. Eventually, the creature reaches a state where it truly feels and understands everything and is then able to replace the Creator in His work.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/10, Shamati #52
If I don’t have support from my friends in the group, then I cannot advance spiritually. At the very least I must have passive support from the group to the extent every person is able to provide it.
That’s why the great Kabbalist Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma was able to be in a small group of students who, like babies, aspired to him, and this was sufficient for him to advance. If he aspired according to his level, and they aspired according to their level, this was enough for him to attract the Light of Infinity through them.
The Light is at absolute rest. It is the same everywhere and everything depends on the person using it. Therefore, there is no difference between a small group of beginners and a large group of advanced students. Everything depends on a person and how much he really aspires to the mutual guarantee. To the degree he puts efforts into the group, he receives what he needs from the Upper Light. Therefore, he advances and helps others to advance as well.
From the Lesson on 9/17/10, "Mutual Guarantee"
Baal HaSulam was rewarded with very high spiritual attainment. However, he was pleading with the Creator to lower him from his spiritual level in order to pass the wisdom of Kabbalah down to the people. The most profound factor that helped him to accomplish this was the inclusion of the ARI’s soul (Ibur Neshama) in him. The entire method of the wisdom of Kabbalah regarding the last stage of correction descends to us from the ARI. It explains how to exit the fourth and last exile to the complete spiritual redemption.
Therefore, as soon as the ARI’s method was revealed, no true Kabbalist studied any other books written before the ARI. In response to his request, Baal HaSulam was granted by the Creator the revelation of the soul of the ARI within him. This is what allowed him to write the Sulam Commentary on The Book of Zohar and The Study of Ten Sefirot, the commentary on all of the ARI’s works that describe the structure of the spiritual world.
No Kabbalist that came before him was able to describe the method of the “three lines” of the soul’s correction. As it stands, the entire Torah is the middle line; mutual guarantee is the middle line. Our major work and the revelation of the Creator to us lie in the middle line. Hence, exposing the method of working in the middle line is spiritual salvation for us.
There is no Kabbalist to match the ARI who discovered this method, and there is no Kabbalist to match Baal HaSulam who passed it down and explained to us how to work with it. This is why his books are the source of Light for us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/10, Yahrtzeit Baal HaSulam
It is written, "We will do and we will hear," which means that we have the opportunity to work on the connection between us as much as we can in the material world, acting "as if" we want to unite. That is why we are in this illusory, false world. It was given to help us, not to punish us!
We are in a group that moves toward the Creator, and we are lying to ourselves, "playing" the game of spirituality the way children play as if they were adults. We pretend to be drawn to one another and to love each other, while everything we do is a pretense. However, even these external efforts attract the Light that Reforms upon us and bring us closer to the Creator.
As a result, we attain the state of "mutual guarantee," where every person guarantees that his friend will have the necessary inspiration and the forces to awaken upon him the Light of Correction (the reception of the Torah – see Baal HaSulam’s article, “Matan Torah”).This does not mean that I am happy because I have been freed of my worries and am in a society that takes care of me. Rather, the mutual guarantee gives us protection from our evil inclination because it allows us to replace care for ourselves with care for society. To the degree I start to worry about others, I stop worrying about myself.
In the meantime, we are under the rule of the "Egyptians," which is how Kabbalah calls our global egoism. To the degree we attain the mutual guarantee, we will be able to come out of "Egyptian" rule and "come out of Egypt." Then we will stop worrying about ourselves and will replace concern for ourselves with concern for society.
When we come out of our small, inner, egoistic world to the outside, we will start to feel a new reality. Desire determines everything since it is the matter of creation. If we aim ourselves at the common desire through the mutual guarantee, then when we go from our personal desire to the common desire, we will reveal a new place, a new universe. That’s how we go from one world to another.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/17/10, Selected Excerpts on Yom Kippur
Question: Is it possible that some of the friends in the group disrupt each others’ work by saying that we lack unity now and that there are elements that prevent us from it? Could it be true, or is this person’s perception distorted? How long should it take for the accumulative system to operate before our unity is revealed?
Answer: It depends on those who have made efforts to reach this state. It is not the question of how long it takes. It can be done relatively quickly, through intense effort, or the process can be stretched by way of little effort. Ultimately, a certain level of desire (shared with other friends) must surface in a person, and this desire should be "willing" to "unplug itself" from each of them and become common for all of them. And in this collective whole, (called “one,” “united,” or “a point," "a drop of unity”) the Creator will be revealed.
This unification shouldn’t occur under some extreme circumstances, but in a normal setting.
From talks with Vladek Zankovskiy
Answer: Overall we have already studied Baal HaSulam’s method and everything he wrote. We just have to actualize it. We have merited to be acquainted with this person, this soul, and his life’s work. We live with his thoughts, inside the "building" he has built. The science of Kabbalah develops because the souls develop. More and more souls are reaching the final stage of correction and are coming closer to realizing themselves.
The final exile is over and we are now the first to go from the final exile to the full redemption, the revelation of the Creator. To do this, we really need support, help, a great Light, and the teaching that Baal HaSulam left to us. We see how much it helps us to use it, and when we follow his method to the letter, we achieve success and awaken the Light that Reforms.
For now the Light influences us in a concealed manner and the results are not very visible on the outside. However, day by day this force grows, becoming more noticeable and perceptible. I really hope that we will soon start to feel what we read and to feel the same forms, qualities, and images inside us.
All of the pictures we read about in The Book of Zohar and Talmud Eser Sefirot will enter us and we will see that it is all a movie! Right now our desires depict the picture of this world for us, and likewise, later on our desires (which will be desires of bestowal) will depict the picture of a second nature, the Upper World. Then we will understand what Baal HaSulam did for us!
He writes that in reality people begin studying the Torah only after they reveal spiritual attainment. When you reveal pictures of the world to come, you have to know what all of this is for! It’s like a baby who needs adults. Then you will feel that Baal HaSulam and Rabash take care of you, like a baby, by explaining this entire world to you.
With their help you start going deeper and deeper into it, understanding it better and making some independent actions. You are more inspired each time, while these great teachers are by your side, always taking care of you and supporting you at every moment through every step of the way.
We have yet to see how great the enterprise that Baal HaSulam created is and to realize how great the preparations he made are. He built the "kindergarten," the "school," and the whole "university" of spiritual life. He prepared all of this for us. If not for him, no Kabbalistic school could help us. Others can only add something to the revelation that we make by the method of Baal HaSulam as we attain the spiritual world.
I really hope that we will reach this revelation and then we will begin to attain how truly great he is and his love for us. After that, we will be able to communicate on another level and understand each other. I really hope to meet you in the world of truth, where we will be able to discuss everything taking place, look at things from a true perspective, and understand each other.
We are doing all of this together with Rabash and Baal HaSulam. They are helping us, and you will feel how they always support us, surrounding us with care. Let’s try to be worthy of them!
From the talk at the meal in honor of Baal HaSulam’s Passing Day 9/18/10