The Spiritual World Is Joy And Freedom

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question that is arriving from all around the world now: How can we attain the right connection at the upcoming Convention and receive a good influence from the environment?

Answer: Every person is coming there without any obligations. There is no pressure. The most important thing is to feel as free as possible. I am coming to the Convention having left all my worries behind. When I am there, it’s as if I don’t have any problems. You should prepare as if you’re going on a picnic or on vacation, without a worry in your head.

Of course, it’s good to learn the songs and familiarize yourself with the preparation to the Convention site. But the most important thing is to come there feeling completely free. You should arrive at a place that does not pressure you in any way and promises you only pleasure and freedom. And in fact, that is exactly the state that signifies being close to the Upper Light.

In the spiritual world there is no pressure, problems, or difficult responsibilities. There’s nothing! Therefore, a person has to come to the Convention open to being happy!

Right now I am receiving many questions and letters from people who are experiencing difficult states and feeling stressed. They are unsure whether they should attend the Convention or not and whether it is the right thing for them. Some people get scared when hearing about mutual guarantee, thinking they aren’t capable of it. Some people have heard that it’s the place for receiving “Light” and they don’t know what that is.

People don’t understand that it is talking only about unity, which the whole world now has to reach! We wish to accelerate it before nature’s blows come down on us. The unity between us that we are trying to reach will enable us to reach the sensation of the Upper Light, the Upper Life. This unity will heal us of all the afflictions and problems.

Baal HaSulam writes at the end of the “Preface to the Book of Zohar” that our separation from one another is the source of all evil, suffering, diseases, and misfortunes. And vice versa, when we start to come closer to each other, we will purify ourselves of all problems on all levels, material and spiritual.

Therefore, come to the Convention freely and joyfully; no one obligates you to do anything! You don’t even have to bring a smile; we will organize that for you there. You just wait and see.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/29/10, “The Freedom”

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Kabbalists About Studying Kabbalah, Part 2

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

Concerning the Obligation of Each Person to Study the Wisdom of Kabbalah

The direction of revealing the secrets of the Torah is the ideal goal in life and reality [because in this case a person acts optimally].
– Rav Kook, The Lights of Sanctity, 1, 132

The secrets of Torah bring the redemption [from egoism and, thus, from all suffering]; they bring Israel [those who desire to reveal the Creator] back to its land [desire – “Ratzon” comes from the word land – “Eretz“].
– Rav Kook, Orot [Lights], 95

Precisely at a time of great peril [to solve the problem as usual, by a world war] and crisis [global, complete interdependence] we should take the best of cures [the path of Light instead of the path of suffering].
– Rav Kook, Igrot [Letters], Vol. 2, pp 123, 125

The young, or those who find themselves heavy [from this world] and of little desire [a point in the heart, an aspiration to the Upper world that arises in the heart, the egoistic desires] for the Inner Light [true nature of the world], must, at the very least, make it a rule to dedicate one or two hours a day to the wisdom of truth. In time, their minds will broaden.
Rav Kook, Letters of the Raiah, 1, 82

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About Punishment

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is punishment? Is it the suffering in this world, a lack of desire to unite, or just an unpleasant sensation?

Answer: This always depends on the person. We need to realize that the four levels of nature – the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking – exist by means of the Light that pours on the desire. Out of these four types of the desire, only the speaking (human) level is able to purposefully respond to the Light.

As the desire grows, the Kli (vessel) begins to feel how it does not correspond to the Light. Nature suffers on all of its levels due to a lack of adhesion and an inability to reach it, and, naturally, man suffers the most. First of all, his desire is bigger and more susceptible, but most importantly, the end of the string is in his hands. He has the ability to go towards adhesion and pull the rest of the levels after him.

The suffering of the human degree gradually brings us to the realization of choice. And once man begins to understand that the problems are caused by his inactivity, it will be possible to speak about reward and punishment. Everything that previously happened does not play a part in this because the true categories of reward and punishment always correspond to the goal: the correction.

Man begins to understand that the Upper Governance operates in the world and uses reward and punishment in order to correctly direct him towards the goal and teach him through positive and negative consequences, just like parents teach their children in our world. Then everything that happens acquires a purpose in my eyes. Punishment, just like reward, is a correction, and the way I accept it depends on me.

However, I will only be able to accept it correctly in a group, the place where the Upper Governance needs to be realized. Reward and punishment are inseparably connected to my participation in the group, the mutual guarantee. I scrutinize reward and punishment as precisely as possible and relate to them the same way: I need them both in order to keep correcting the course time after time. Essentially, they are both rewards.

At the end we discover a simple thing: There is no punishment, and every state is given for the purpose of using it to the fullest extent in order to come closer to the Light.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/21/10, “I Am the First and I Am the Last”

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Don’t Lie To Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanWith each step, we must exercise a balanced approach to the occurring events and not deceive ourselves in how we perceive reality. If, right now, the Creator and the Upper Governance do not exist in my eyes, then it is one of the mandatory states on my path of advancement. After all, the Torah is a practical method based on what I see with my own eyes.

In my feelings, I may or may not see the Upper Governance, but I am not required to believe somebody’s word. If a new egoistic desire overtakes a person, then he places himself first, just like Pharaoh: “Why should I listen to the Creator? Why should I listen to Him if He doesn’t exist?”

Without lying to myself, I must admit that I am in this state and examine myself closely. What instruments will allow me to reveal the Upper Governance under these circumstances, to reveal it with my entire being so that the corrected desire will bring forth the image of the Creator inside me?

Then I will see for myself that the Upper Governance exists and that the Creator had given me that state where I felt that I was the only power. According to the law of equivalence of form, the Upper Force will become revealed to me. And thanks to the corrected will to receive, the Upper Force will emerge in me, and the Creator and I will exist in Zivug (adhesion).

Then I will see that He is the first and He is the last, which assures me that I have completed the act and corrected the broken will to receive (desire) that was certainly given to me by none else but the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/21/10, “I Am the First and I Am the Last”

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The Degree Of Spiritual Death

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In his article “The Matter of the Slanders,” Rabash writes that the state of Lo Lishma (not for Her Sake) leads to death. However, we also know that Lo Lishma is a necessary and very important degree from which we transition to altruistic intention. What is going on here?

Answer: In the state of Lo Lishma, my intentions are still aimed at personal gain, material or spiritual. This, as such, is death indeed. I am not moving toward death; I am in it, in the will to receive for myself. Below this state, I reside at the animate level and don’t exist in the spiritual sense. On the other hand, Lo Lishma is a new state which is my relation to spirituality: I want to take advantage of it.

We are talking about the stages of development: this world, preparation (Lo Lishma), altruistic intention (Lishma) in the category of Hafetz Hesed (not wanting anything for oneself), and finally, the level of love.

The intention of Lishma during the stage of preparation is already good. We acquire it starting from zero and end at 100% where we have fully prepared ourselves. At this point, I have to understand that to the extent that I make myself depend upon the group determines how well I progress toward Lishma.

A person by himself will receive nothing that might lead him directly to the correct request, not from the books, nor from Above. After all, Lishma is a request for unity. And only in unity, from the equivalence of properties, a person asks for the contact with the Light, the bestowal, the Giver.

Herein lies an opportunity for precise and specific examination: If we view things through the prism of the group, unity, and Arvut (mutual guarantee), we find in them the Torah, the Light that Reforms. That is the exact place where everyone receives the gift of the Torah, and then a person penetrates deeper and deeper, becoming closer in his properties to the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/20/10, “The Matter of Slanders”

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About Diapers And Eternity

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: While forming a group we have to pay a lot of attention to external things, as if we’re taking care of a baby. How can we keep from losing the inner essence during this process?

Answer: Every group encounters this problem and every member of the group asks this question.

We live in a world of material actions. How many hours a day do I spend on satisfying my natural needs, such as sleeping, eating, and washing? How many hours a day do I have to work, carry out responsibilities around the house, and so on? And how much time do I have left for myself and my spiritual advancement? I have maybe one or two hours a day left if I manage to separate from everything else in some way.

That is how our life is arranged. Who arranged it this way? Could it really be the Creator? Why does He make us drown in this material, animate existence? Why didn’t he make us like angels, unburdened by worries about our bodies, home, and children, so the only thing we had to do is build connections with each other?

Yet, in reality everything is very different. Any work we do, even work unrelated to the group, is pure spiritual work. We just don’t know about it or understand it. By carrying out the responsibilities of an employee, a family man, a citizen, and so on, I correct myself. I may not see exactly how I do it, but it is nevertheless so.

I am allowed to devote just a small part of my life to spiritual correction. As I perform this correction, if instead of studying, I work on organizing the life of the group, I thereby support and strengthen the connection in our common system.

Obviously we also can’t forget about having a fair distribution of the burden among all of us. And more generally speaking, this is a vast topic that we will definitely come back to.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/29/10, Writings of Rabash

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“The Mixed Multitude” In A Person, Nation, And The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “BeShalach (And Pharaoh Sent)” Item 37:  Because of the mixed multitude, they were not called “the children of Israel,” or “Israel,” or “My people,” but simply, “the people.” When they rose from Egypt and the mixed multitude had not bonded with them, He called them “the children of Israel.” When the mixed multitude bonded with them, He called them “the people.”

Speaking of what occurs in a person, the “mixed multitude” (Erev Rav) are the desires that seem to be walking a spiritual path and choose it, thinking that it is the way to advance. However, every time they decide to advance, they intend to use the Creator, the Upper Light, for themselves, for reception.

This is the most treacherous, impure force (Klipa, shell). They wish to use the Torah to satisfy various demands of egoism in their corporeal life. All the problems of the nation occur because of this Klipa regarded as the “mixed multitude.”

It is easy to discern them on the spiritual path if you recognize that it is an egoistic form that has no relation to spirituality. If I desire any pleasures of this world (food, sex, family, money, fame, power, or knowledge), such desires are regarded as the “nations of the world” in me. They want only this kind of fulfillment.

But when I start studying the Torah and want to receive earthly, egoistic fulfillment (the very same money, fame, power, and so forth) with its help, this is called the “mixed multitude.” I engage the Torah, the force of advancement and Light, in order to use it for my egoism.

All this must take place in every person on the spiritual path. After all, everybody consists of everybody else as it is written, “There is no righteous man on earth who has done good and did not sin first.” Everyone will have periods (if they haven’t occurred yet) when, amidst his spiritual advancement, there will arise a desire to make money, have power, and so on. The only question is how quickly and how correctly he will exit this state.

Similar divisions exists in the corporeal world as well. There are “nations of the world,” those who desire to receive all that there is in this world. Their desires are simple, without any yearning for spirituality, for the wisdom of Kabbalah.

There are also people who strive for spirituality and yearn to attain it to the best of their capacity. And there are those who engage in spirituality as well, but not to uncover their “evil inclination,” correct it, and thereby get closer to the Creator, meaning to use the Torah as it was intended. Rather, they study the Torah in order to get all possible wealth, fame, and power from it. Hence, it is written that all problems after the exodus from Egypt took place because they brought with them the “mixed multitude.”

So it is in our generation: There are those in the nation who study the Torah in order to gain from it the Light that Reforms and correct themselves, and there are those who engage in the Torah in order to obtain power and wealth for their earthly life.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/20/10, The Zohar

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What Is A Congress?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How is a congress related to the idea of a form clothed in matter? Isn’t it an illusion of this world?

Answer: A congress is the means with the help of which we wish to create an enormous, powerful desire (Kli, vessel). All who are part of this Kli will take pleasure in the Light that will be revealed in it. To take pleasure means to use this Light for correction.

What is a congress? A congress is the creation of the system where all parts are connected with each other. We hope that we will create such a connection between us, and in it, there, we will discover equivalence to the Light, the Creator. Every person will feel it to the extent of their being connected to this Kli, and that will become his spiritual revelation.

Creation of this collective Kli depends on everybody. It also depends on how well everyone is incorporated into the collective Kli because later, every person receives the sensation of the revealed Light depending on his measure of personal participation.

Everyone benefits from the collective desire inasmuch as they participate in it. This is the law of interaction between an individual and the group, and it is a real action.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/20/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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Spirituality Is The Measure Of My Equivalence To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When I enter spirituality, will I be able to visualize my more advanced states?

Answer: The problem primarily lies in the current states. In proportion to my acquiring the screen, the Light paints pictures for me. The spiritual world is an image of my equivalence to the Creator.

At present, I don’t perceive the spiritual world because I don’t possess an adequate degree of equivalence with the Creator. Between me and Him there is a screen. And on this screen, instead of my equivalence to the Creator, I see this world, my projection, an imprint of my uncorrected properties, and my inadequacy with the Creator.

As I get corrected, a new picture unfolds for me, which is called “the corrected me,” “the Creator illuminating me,” or “the world where the Creator and I are together.” They all are one and the same picture, depending on how we view it.

Spirituality is an image of the form of my equivalence to the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/20/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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