Spiritual Simulator: Questions of the Day
Spiritual Simulator: Questions of the Day
Baal HaSulam explains in the article “Arvut” that no one can attain the goal without help from one’s friends because otherwise a person won’t have the fuel, the “spirit of life.” A person on the spiritual path must arm himself with a great desire after revealing the breaking between us because the force of hatred between us lays bare the evil inclination. Even The Zohar talks about how the friends in Rabbi Shimon’s group revealed hatred, and only after that did they reach love, level by level, by means of the Light they evoked through mutual study.
The goal is also something we discover inside our interconnection. By gradually restoring the connection between us with the help of the Light, we reveal 125 levels until reaching unity with the Creator. Thus, we attain the Creator Himself, the force of the Light that Reforms. If, however, we don’t base everything on the revelation of the place of the breakage and its correction, then our actions will bear no connection to spirituality.
Indeed, we have just one contact with the spiritual world, and that is the place of the breakage of the connection between us. It is written, “I created the evil inclination.” This is what we have to find and reveal. That is why our entire work is devoted to discerning the quality of connection between the friends on the path to revealing the Creator: myself, the friends, and the Creator (or Israel, the Torah, and the Creator).
We are looking for a connection between us in which the Creator is concealed. This is the key that opens the door to Him. By correcting our attitude to our interconnection, we find the quality of bestowal and love, and that is how we reveal the Creator. This is the only way a friend can help a friend. This constitutes our only free action. All other acts are compulsory, puppet-like. We shouldn’t demand anything from each other besides the desire to help.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/10, “They Helped Everyone His Friend”
Answer: The souls have only one objective: to unite until reaching total adhesion, similar to how separate drops of water merge into one drop. It’s impossible to differentiate between them and a new essence is formed – mutual bestowal.
The material world is the part of the broken desire which becomes corrected only at the very final correction. In the meantime, we reveal love above it.
Wherever there is love, every person loses the sensation of his self. He becomes included in others unboundedly by unifying with them completely. However, the previous hatred preserves its “negative” qualities.
It is similar to the paradox in quantum physics where one particle can be in two places simultaneously. It is not because it moves from one place to another with infinite speed, but it is actually located in two places at the same time even though it is just one particle! How can that be!?
Eventually we will reveal that there is just one particle everywhere, in the whole universe, and it is everywhere simultaneously. If we accept the fact that there is no speed and one particle can be present in two places, then we can also accept the fact that it can be at an infinite number of places.
Besides, it has no form because a particle’s form depends on where we discovered it. So it turns out that there is nothing besides just one point which the Creator created “from absence” (Yesh Mi Ein), and everything else is a derivative of it!
Therefore, the closer we come to spirituality, the more we will see that there is no way of talking about spirituality other than through the language of Kabbalistic books.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/10, “600,000 Souls”
Question: It is written about the holiday of Sukkot: “Come out of your permanent home and dwell in a temporary abode.” Do you believe that a sane person can leave a secure and comfortable home and move to a temporary hut?
Answer: We will be compelled to change our egoistic dwelling despite our wishes anyway. No matter how solid your home seems right now, everyone knows that it is temporary, and we will all move to another, permanent place.
But Kabbalah invites a person to “come out of your permanent dwelling” that seems to be so reliable and move to a “temporary” one in advance. Our egoism pictures our world as permanent, but studying Kabbalah reveals a different relationship between the worlds: The world of bestowal is permanent because a person actually unites with the Creator and attains eternity and perfection in the World of Infinity.
We, like little children, are attached to our current dwelling; we are afraid of moving away from it, leaving our favorite toy. Even as adults we have a problem giving up our current views and looking at the world differently. The difference between a permanent and a temporary dwelling is that with the help of a new environment, I’m trying to separate from the previous environment, our “permanent home.”
In my previous environment, I was under pressure from the media, the opinions of co-workers and neighbors; I was obligated to be and think like everyone else. I was dependent on a multitude of factors that defined my “permanent dwelling”; I owed everyone and ran around like everybody else. Everyone understands and agrees with this.
But then the permanent dwelling turns out to be like a concentration camp for me and I can’t escape! I begin to see outside of myself and how this permanent life is actually temporary, and that it will end soon. Under a new influence from books and the opinion of the group, I gradually leave this “rat race” called life and see the “permanent dwelling” (state) in the Upper Light, in its absolute rest, in this world and the next one, now.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/10, Baal HaSulam, Letter 51
Mutual guarantee is a special space between us, our common desire. All spiritual revelations take place there. And if there is no such space, there is no common desire, but only our individual egoistic desires. We construct this common space to the degree that I annul myself and enter this collective desire, you annul and put yourself there as well, and so does everybody else. Otherwise, it does not exist!
The vessel into which we can receive the Light is not ready-made; we have to build it, we have to aspire to oneness. By cultivating our unity, from 0 to 125 degrees, we perceive, at each degree, a new picture, a greater revelation of the Creator. All “sacred” books (the Torah, The Zohar, etc.) tell us exactly about this: the degrees of the connection we create by turning our evil and rejection of each other into love and unity. Thus, the entire Torah is comprised of stories that describe how we unfold and correct the evil.
We feel our world in the “place of unification” as its absence; we feel our separation and not the Creator, the One. Yet, even this world resides in that very “place” between us with one difference: Here, we reveal the degree of our broken oneness and absence of the Creator.
Meanwhile, unity acts similar to a resistor which connects plus and minus. Inside it, my ego, my rejection of all others, is concealed. But above it, I make an effort to unite. By doing so, I create resistance between rejection and exertion. And the greater the difference, the resistance between them (“faith above reason”), the greater Light is revealed.
The same law applies to electronics and the spiritual world. Ultimately, all Nature consists of “plus” and “minus” or the forces of bestowal and reception. The only way to connect them together is through a resistor, which could be any receiver. This receiver is Adam that we are constructing: our soul.
Therefore, on one hand, we have the breaking force, and on the other, the force of our effort in creating unity. But it doesn’t annul the breaking; we unite exactly above it! As a result, we create a space where the Light that expands from the two lines, plus and minus, is able to work and start affecting us. Through this work, we build ourselves: “human reality.”
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/20/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot
In the beginning, the Light created the will to receive. Then it developed and removed it from itself in order to give it independence, an opportunity to govern itself and to be equivalent to the Light. In this process, the Light was primary; it was the cause, whereas the will to receive was secondary, the effect.
Every action occurs through the impact of the Light on the will to receive (the desire). The desire itself is unable to act. Only the presence of the Light in it gives the will to receive the opportunity to ask the Light for a certain kind of effect.
Once the Light has prepared the desire for independent correction, giving it the ability to become similar to itself, the Light is no longer primary with regard to the actions done by the desire. It remains solely a motivating force. It awakens the will to receive to action, creating all the necessary circumstances for its correction so as to enable its attainment of equivalence with the Light.
The process of the Light creating all the necessary conditions for the desire’s attainment of equivalence with itself is called the descent of the Light and the will to receive from above downward. The desire’s gradual maturity to equivalence with the Light is called ascent from below upwards. During the descent from above downward, the Light establishes the degrees of ascension from below upwards, leaving the desire with free will (freedom of choice and action). That free will amounts to forming the aspiration for similarity or closeness with the Light by turning to the Light.
The Light programmed the stages of ascension to lead the desire through the forms it must acquire in its gradual correction. All we must do is to be able to comply with the form of the specific spiritual degree at each stage and ask for the Light of Correction, which will make us similar to the Light.
In order to comprehend the Light’s work on us and its program of our correction and to desire this program’s implementation on us, we gather in the group, study Kabbalah, and inspire each other to give importance to gaining equivalence with the Light and to not resisting it. In this process, I must first annul myself by making a “restriction” (Tzim Tzum), as if I don’t exist. I have to just let the Light come and do the work. This passive participation allows me to “find the path to the Light.”
After that, I need to actively desire the impact of the Light since by doing so I increase the pressure of its flow with the agreement I received from the group. By agreeing to receive a powerful effect of the Light (by saying, “Let it be”), I gain the quality of bestowal, similarity to the Creator. I put in my minimal desire (agreement), but, thanks to the powerful stream of the Light, I receive an enormous property of bestowal (intention to bestow) at the output, and that is my new “self.”
The Light enters my initial “point in the heart” (Netzotz, the spark) and “blows” it up. By agreeing with its actions, I “grow" until I reach the 125th spiritual degree, the Creator, and acquire the same might.
This is what the holiday of Sukkot symbolizes. In fact, all the holidays in our world are symbols of what happens to us in the spiritual world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/10, “Waste of Barn and Winery”
Right now we have the opportunity to hasten the rate of our advancement by egoistically choosing the lesser of all evils. Obviously, this isn’t free will yet because free will allows me to choose what I want, whereas here I am offered only pain and pleasure, and told: “Choose!”
Baal HaSulam describes two scales of measurement: “bitter versus sweet,” and “true versus false.” We must ascend to the degree of truth instead of falsehood, or in other words, sweetness and bitterness. Everyone sees that there is no free choice here, but only the analysis: To what extent I am controlled by my mind and to what extent by my heart?
Everything is determined by what is revealed to me and what is not, and what is more important: truth or bitterness? Obviously, I will choose according to my perception. However, real free will emerges solely in the group. The group serves as that external factor by which I discern the meaning of the external truth.
Therefore, “truth” means I have to be part of the group. However, there is resistance between the truth and the group, which is my egoism, the will to receive pleasure. It is a complete system and it doesn’t depend on my ability to discern “true,” “false,” “bitter,” and “sweet.” I don’t need to be smart or sensitive. It doesn’t matter who is more intelligent, witty, or farsighted. At the end of the day, we view everything in relation to the group, our unity, and the Creator.
I exist in this circuit, this spiritual transistor where I activate the Light that streams from above downwards to the degree I am united with the group.
This is our free will, found in the middle third of Tifferet. On one side of it there is the ego and on the other side, the group, and I perform an analysis on the scales of “true and false” over “bitter and sweet” in relation to myself and the group.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/10, “Waste of Barn and Winery”
Answer: At first a person gets the impression that he is distracted from the goal only by very important matters which cannot be ignored. However, later he realizes that even petty disturbances lead him astray. Moreover, these petty disturbances offer a much more precise aim.
A person feels like a wimp, revealing more and more of his feeble nature. However, this isn’t happening because he has grown weaker and cannot deal with them. This is his own subjective view on things, while in reality, he is working with much more powerful desires. Previously, only a serious life problem could have distracted him from the spiritual path, but now even a minor difficulty is enough to distance him from the goal.
A person feels that he has become much weaker and discovers that he must now exert much greater efforts than before in order to remain on the spiritual path. A person keeps advancing and therefore he is obliged to take a much more precise aim at the goal.
The group undergoes similar states as well. Any disturbance is precisely regulated by the spiritual degrees and is custom-made for one’s state. Yet I am always given the opportunity to overcome it and to ascend to a new degree the very next moment. It’s a pity that people let these opportunities slip away. In this regard, one very helpful tool to move forward is dissemination. If I don’t participate in dissemination and the life of the group, then the delay may drag on for months. However, the whole advantage to actualizing Kabbalah is to complete the entire correction in this life rather than over several incarnations.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/10, “The Agenda of the Assembly”
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The Wisdom of Kabbalah Does Not Speak of Our Corporeal World
There is a strict condition during the engagement in this wisdom [Kabbalah] – to not materialize the matters [that are described in the Torah and especially in Kabbalah] with imaginary and corporeal issues [of our world]. This is because thus [by imagining that things described in the Torah exist in this world] they breach, “Thou shall not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness.” In that event [such studying of the Torah], one is rather harmed [distanced further away from spirituality] instead of receiving benefit [which is why it is said: “It’s preferable to sit idle and do nothing”].
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”
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