The Shadow For Concealing Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: On the night of Hoshana Rabbah ("Great Supplication," the seventh day of the Holiday of Sukkot) it is customary to check the “shadow,” meaning the screen with which one can then receive the Light. How is this screen formed?

Answer: Each of us is an egoistic desire. When we wish to reach spirituality, we unite into a group. Naturally, none of us desires to engage in exercises of “bestowal,” but each has a “spark” on top of his egoistic desires which pulls us into the unknown.

Kabbalists explain that we exist in a field of “Light.” This field encompasses all of reality and influences us in such a way that the “sparks” awaken in every person. To the extent that they are roused, they interact with the field of Light which orients them, and people gather in one physical and/or virtual place, consequently wishing to unite. This is called a group, a connection of people through their spiritual desires. Egoism is left behind by everyone and they unite through their mutual aspirations for spirituality.

The Shadow for Concealing EgoismIf we begin to aspire to mutual bestowal, we rouse the influence of the Light in the common efforts and begin to change. Gradually, we feel continuously greater egoistic desires, but at the same time, their value drops in our eyes. And we raise the spiritual desire on the scale of values.

The construction of the Sukkah (hut) indicates raising the quality of bestowal (the roof) over the desire to receive. We wish to separate bestowal and reception so that the Light does not enter the egoistic desire through the covering of the Sukkah.

The Light corrects us in such a way that all of our spiritual desires make their way over the roof of the Sukkah, and the egoistic desire remains inside. In other words, we hide the egoistic desire in the shadow. We build a covering on each desire for we do not wish to use these desires egoistically. By creating such a “shade,” we acquire a spiritual sensation in which we feel spiritual reality: the world that we perceive in the quality of bestowal.
From the Hoshana Rabbah Night Lesson 9/29/10, Shamati #8

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Evil Is Intended To Push Me Ahead

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe feel like we receive a “shadow,” the darkness, but this is because a greater Light comes while I am not yet prepared to receive or perceive it properly. Therefore, I sense darkness, the contrast between us. In other words, the feeling of descent is the revelation of new desires (Kelim) where for now I perceive how opposite they are to the Light that influences me.

If I am ready, then a greater Light reveals a greater desire within me. However, as long as the Light and the desire have opposite intentions (the Light has the intention to bestow, while the desire has the intention to receive), I perceive this distance between them as a descent.

Yet, this state needs to be appreciated because, essentially, this is already the opposite side of a higher degree. All sensations of darkness, descents, and rejection come from a new, stronger Light that reveals greater desires (Kelim) in us.

I exist in an infinite desire (Kli); my soul is infinite. After all, there are no creatures besides me; all the others are parts of my soul. The Light gradually increases and reveals greater layers of the desire within me.

The Beginning of a New Degree

The more the Light shines, the greater the desire that becomes revealed. When a stronger Light comes to me, it reveals an even stronger corresponding desire. But every time a new desire is revealed, I perceive it as greater separation between myself and “spirituality,” the force of life, because the properties of the desire are opposite to those of the Light, and so I feel bad. One needs to prepare himself for this state ahead of time so that when it comes, he would understand that it awakens him towards correction.

If I did not feel evil, the fall into separation between myself and the Light, I would not be able to begin correction. The revelation of evil is intended to push me ahead. For this reason, the feeling of a “shadow” of the impure worlds (Tzel de Tuma) is necessary in order to attain the “holy shadow” (Tzel de Kedusha). We should value these shadows.


From the Hoshana Rabbah Night Lesson 9/29/10, Shamati #243

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The Detector Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Do we draw more Surrounding Light (Ohr Makif) if we study in a group, and does everyone receive it equally or to the extent of his individual aspiration?

Answer: All of our efforts get accumulated in the group. When many people unite into a group, we create a special “space” between us where everyone exists in mutual bestowal. It is in this space that the Surrounding Light is revealed. It was there before also, but in a concealed and passive form, and now even if it still remains hidden, it already actively influences our aspirations to unite.

Initially, we are all situated in a field of Light, but we don’t feel it. We rouse the Light’s influence to the extent that we exert effort in the place where we can build a connection between us and become similar to the Light. It corrects us, and when the quality of bestowal emerges between us, it becomes clearly revealed.

The Detector of BestowalStriving for mutual bestowal all together, we reveal the presence of the force of bestowal. However, each person reveals this force or the Light according to his individual qualities and to the extent that he exerts effort in the unification of the group.

For this reason, joint work is required. Alone a person will never be able to reveal the Surrounding Light. His efforts to bestow and to create the place where the Light can be revealed have to be applied in relation to someone.
From the Hoshana Rabbah Night Lesson 9/29/10, Shamati #8

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Feeling Responsible For All Creation

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe first correction of the will to receive is to bestow in order to bestow. This means that I restrict the use of my desire due to its egoistic nature (for my “self”), unwilling to inflict harm to others, as it is said: “That which you hate, do not do to another.” But even this restriction of using my egoistic desire contains a correction since I don’t just halt myself from doing evil deeds. If I get a chance to steal and not be caught, what will stop me?

Correction implies that I not only unplug from all my desires as if they don’t exist, but I go further. I must experience in my feelings how much I harm another person and how much he will suffer. This sensation of suffering has to stop me from stealing, as I am told: “That which you hate, do not do to another!”

I absorb the desires of another. At first, my awareness of the evil inclination seems to keep my hands tied so that I can’t steal. But after that, it releases me and gives me an infinite opportunity to steal everything that belongs to others and even the Creator! You are allowed to do anything, without any consequences!

Yet, I start experiencing the “Shechina’s suffering” or the pain of others as if I have stolen something, deprived or killed someone. I feel the pain of the others within myself as if I am the cause of it. In relation to them, I am like the Creator who created the evil inclination. That is how we become connected. I become like Bina, a mother who feels all the desires of her children and the evil she is imposing if she isn’t taking care of them. But at the same time, she is aware of how much good she can do them if she is nurturing.

Then, the second stage of correction becomes revealed to us: How we can bestow to the others. In this phase, a person is already able to serve as a conduit between the world and the Creator. He feels that only he may channel fulfillment to them and that his crime is not in stealing but in the fact that he is not fulfilling their desires. This is what is actually called love of others as we love ourselves.

A person has to experience these two stages of correction himself: “That which you hate, do not do to another” and “Love thy neighbor as you love thyself.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/28/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Developing A Human Being Within Ourselves

Dr. Michael Laitman“Love thy neighbor as thyself” is the sentence that determines the whole principle of the connection between desire and the Light, the correction of the common soul. In order for the creature to be able to reach equivalence to the Creator, the Creator is forced to first break the creature and bring it to hatred, to a state that is opposite to Him.

Achieving a state that is opposite to the Creator is only possible by creating a creature that is similar to Him and then changing this state to the opposite so that an imperfect form would arise from a perfect one. Thereby, the creature is presented with an opportunity to reach equivalence to the Creator on its own from an imperfect state by scrutinizing its own qualities and those of the Creator: What does it mean to be perfect and how does one reach this perfection.

The creature is searching for a solution, and in this manner it achieves the Creator’s state. In the process it obtains freedom to decide by choosing equivalence as the only perfect state. It is impossible to understand how one can be free from one’s nature. However, under the influence of the Light, which is opposite to our nature, a neutral space is created in our desire, which is absent even in the Creator. And precisely that which will develop in this neutral space will be called the created being.

We ourselves build this creature, the human being, “Adam,” which means “similar” to the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/28/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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The Union Of Hearts Is The Union Of Bina And Malchut

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does the “union of hearts” between the friends in the group mean?

Answer: From the wisdom of Kabbalah, we know that the breaking occurred to enable the correction of Malchut. Unless Malchut incorporates the desires of bestowal (the Kelim of Bina), it’s impossible to correct it. Malchut is gradually being corrected through the mutual penetration of Malchut and Bina, with the exception being its basis, “the stony heart (Lev Ha Even),” which becomes corrected last.

We correct Malchut through incorporating the properties of bestowal, Bina, into the properties of reception, Malchut. In souls, this happens through their mutual penetration until all the souls completely intermix and become corrected through the others (Israel vs. the nations of the world within each person).

Our corrections can only occur by incorporating ourselves into one another. To correct oneself means to correct your mutual incorporation with all the other parts of the common soul. The basis of correction lies only in the correction of the broken connection between us. Everything results from this: the entire group charter and the laws that we need to aspire to fulfill by following the advice of the Kabbalists that are based on their understanding of the Upper World.

All of this comes from the correction of the Kelim which need to be included in one another. This is attained through the effort to connect by attracting the Light which corrects the mutual incorporation.

All the recommendations of the Kabbalists described in their books come from the laws that define the nature of the breaking, correction, and the perfect state. When they speak about it, they say, “Unite, hold gatherings of friends, raise your friends’ spirits.” However, we need to understand that this comes from the need to become incorporated in one another in order to jointly attract the Surrounding Light that will correct the connection between us.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/28/10, The Zohar

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A Paradox Of Giving

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person has to aspire to fulfill himself by pleasing others rather than by pleasing himself. I fulfill you, feel your desire and how it’s getting filled, and thus get pleased myself. I become filled by sensing your satisfaction, which is why I strive to please you as much as possible, like a mother who is happy because she fed her child.

A Paradox of Giving

I am not willing to fill myself directly, only through my neighbor. It is not about how much food my corporeal body has consumed; it’s about the fulfillment of my soul. My soul becomes happy when I satisfy others, when I fill the Creator. Then I become similar to Him since He enjoys delighting us. If we are incapable of accepting pleasure that emanates from Him, we make Him experience the affliction of Shechina.

The Creator feels pleasure from our fulfillment; all we can do is “allow” Him to delight us. We have to reach a state at which this is all we wish for.

This appears to be a paradox: How is it possible “to get fulfilled by giving”? And this is what love is for: to connect all of us together. If there is no love between us, we just cannot be pleased from bestowal. I have to sense my neighbor’s desires as more important than my own.

For a mother, her baby’s sensations are much more essential than her own. A mother feels her child’s pain from within. This is natural love. We have to attain the same type of love with the help of the Light by allowing it to correct us. As a result, we will have the same desire as the Creator and will attain spirituality.

Imagine that you have billions of babies and you are in possession of something that can fulfill them since you have access to a channel of unlimited Light. What bliss you will experience while sensing desires of other people and their fulfillment as your own! You will fulfill yourself 620 times stronger since you managed to build love above hatred.

By fulfilling them, you feel 620 “ounces” of joy instead of the 1 “ounce” that each of them received. I connect their souls to myself and sense them as if they are my own.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 10.04.10

Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “What is the Help that One Should Ask of the Creator”
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYechi (And Jacob Lived in the Land of Egypt),” Item 543
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 15, Item 114
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings,” Lesson 4
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Educating By Truth

Dr. Michael LaitmanEducating a child means bringing him closer to our world and the spiritual world. Over a short period of time, and particularly between the ages of nine until thirteen, the child has to figure everything out.

Education ends at the age of twelve or thirteen because children naturally stop hearing us. They act and attain on their own, not receiving anything from us. Therefore, we have to give them explanations and truth about what is happening in the world.

If we feed them lies, then it’s like poison that can never be removed from their consciousness. It distorts their worldview and to some extent separates children from reality, replacing it with an illusion.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we cannot use analogies and legends when educating a child, but their form and boundaries must be clearly defined. It’s one matter if the child understands you are speaking to him metaphorically, and a completely different matter if he thinks that there really is a forest inhabited by animals he only sees in pictures and that these animals are able to talk to each other.

Everything depends on how you present things: In the first case a person becomes acquainted with the real world, whereas in the second, his consciousness and memory are pervaded by false images. Besides, we have to understand that in many regards today’s fairy tales come from ancient faiths and mythologies, when every object was thought to have a soul, an upper force, and a special influence on a person.
From the Talk on Education 9/29/10

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