A Speech At The Alternative Medicine Congress, 10.27.10

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll everybody talks about nowadays is finding “alternatives”: alternative energy, food, education, another planet to live on, and so on. Everyday we observe that our egoistic approach to this world and society has “expired” and has already demonstrated its complete failure and downfall.

In spite of individual egoism (“consumer society”) we have gradually arrived at the understanding that the whole world is globally interconnected. We also realize that we are not yet well adjusted to it and have no knowledge of where to go further. The world is mutually dependent and thus forces us to connect through common interests and be considerate towards each other. Hence, we gradually begin to regard our habitual egoism as the enemy.

The exploration of ways to get out of our ego leads us to methodologies of “reduction” of our egoism; they simply return us back to previous levels of development. All such methods are based on suppression of or diminishing the ego.

Conversely, the human ego continues to grow. Its suppression goes against nature, and that’s why we won’t be able to diminish it. Such an approach is totally unnatural, and I don’t see how supporters of alternative medicine could accept it.

This is where a genuine alternative to all egoistic world sciences steps in, the wisdom of Kabbalah. As we reveal that egoism is truly the reason for all the evil that currently exists in this world, Kabbalah offers a method of its correction and the construction of a whole new world. Kabbalah represents a real alternative since it shows how to build an altruistic world instead of an egoistic one.

In any case, in the integral and global world, we have to start observing the laws of connection between us and establish balance between humans and nature. We have to become completely united in the system called “love thy neighbor.”

Kabbalah studies the entire system of the universe and explains that by self-correction we manage to cure ourselves and make the whole of nature (still, vegetative, and animate) healthy. We can eliminate all problems and illnesses because affliction and diseases are triggered by our imbalance with Nature.

We are absolutely egoistic by nature, and thus do not possess any freedom of choice and/or any other modes of behavior. Therefore, we entirely conform to the laws of nature. A person can obtain freedom only by rising above the oppressive domination of our egoism. This becomes available to us only by re-shaping our environment because for our egoism, the opinion of our environment is more important than our own.

That’s why Kabbalah suggests creating a society in which we have to “pretend” that we are already in bestowal and love. We understand that it is just a game, but it can still compel us to act so on the surface, as if we have already achieved this state.

These efforts will instigate the hidden natural power that holds all parts of Nature in balance (the life force of any organism), and this energy will alter our egoistic intention into that of bestowal and love. This is how we can reach complete connection of all parts of Nature: people, society, nature, and its Upper Force. Nature pushes us toward this state, and we are empowered to reach it consciously and easily.

A Subtle Inclination Of A Sensitive Soul

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe have done a great job! In the upcoming days, weeks, and months, it will become clear to us what a substantial leap we have made. Never before have we raised such questions and spoke so openly about unification that has been the theme of the recent convention. For the very first time, we have tapped upon the essence of our correction, the wisdom of Kabbalah, and our soul.

It has been a truly radical change, and we will never be the same as before. Now we are mutually connected, but we must keep working at it harder and harder, until we get to see that the Creator is filling us more and more by the minute and that all cosmos, including this world, is permeated with the Upper Light, and we are dwelling in it.

All of the worlds where we are bonded, mutually intertwined like a grid-net, are starting to clearly emerge. We will come to that!

There is the time of giving and the time of receiving. Giving from Above exists and has to manifest itself; all we need is just a little bit more sensitivity to feel that the Creator is filling the world, the air between us, and the entire reality. A bit more subtlety, enthusiasm, receptivity, and openness toward the others, and we shall see that we are living the revelation.

I think everyone will begin to feel that it is possible, that it isn’t some fantasy. Rather, it becomes true thanks to our individual efforts in seeking and finding the Creator.

Try to bring out your inner empathy. What is faith? Faith is a sensation of bestowal. The book Faith and Hope says that “faith is a subtle predisposition, the attribute of a delicate and sensitive soul.” It is what we need: a subtle inclination of an empathic soul.

We must get to feel that this Upper Force truly dwells among us. It is as if we are trying to see something and when we finally manage to get a glimpse of it, we become convinced that it exists and are surprised at how we couldn’t see it until now. If you withdraw your glance yet again and lose focus, it becomes harder for you to find it next time, but at least now you know that it is real.

The difficulty lies in getting to see it for the first time. We have to adjust our vision or, rather, our heart a bit.
From Lesson 8, World Kabbalah Congress 2010, 11/11/10

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Is There Life Without A Screen?

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Surrounding Lights (Ohr Makif) and circular Kelim (Kelim de Igulim) are the means we use to advance and move from state to state in the spiritual space. What differentiates the circular Kelim (desires, vessels) is that they are deprived of the screen (Masach) and do not perform Zivug de Hakaa (coupling while striking) to the measure of their similarity to the Light. Only the screen brings this similarity, connection, to the vessel, thanks to which the Kli (vessel) defines what direction to take on its own.

However, for the time being, a circular Kli does not have a screen that would arrange its desires in a line, from above downward, to the extent of their similarity to the property of bestowal. And yet, the screen-less vessels also live, move, and transform under the influence of the Surrounding Lights.

As a matter of fact, how would we keep advancing from our world through the entire preparation period toward the Machsom and the entrance to the spiritual reality unless the Surrounding Lights were affecting us? What devices would we use? After all, we do not have a screen. Does it mean we would be left at the mercy of the natural flow of events and fate?

On the other hand, if the Kelim still gravitate to the screen and if their point in the heart awakens and gives them the first impulse to correction, to the truth, they become subject to the effect of the Surrounding Lights. These Lights perform according to the efforts of the Kli, its desires and demands no matter how silly they are. In a similar manner, children do not yet know how exactly to evolve but keep growing and developing nonetheless. All of this occurs due to the impact of the Surrounding Lights.

I was led to the group, and I do what looks good in the view of my friends. Having no understanding or power, I still don’t grasp completely what is going on but feel that it is important to me.

Until a person enters the spiritual world, he does not know whether he is dead or alive, how he lives and what nourishes him. We have no idea what the real status quo is until we have come to know the Creator in the smallest degree.

Hence, we are guided by the Surrounding Lights. We attract them and wish for them to affect us. In the dark, without the screen, the intention for bestowal, in the egoistic intention Lo Lishma that inevitably derives from their breaking, we still gravitate toward Lishma, bestowal. Afraid and unwilling, we nevertheless do not ignore it anymore.

Hence, in such situation, we get affected by the Lights that are related not to a line but a circle: the environment comprised of the friends in which we do our work.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, Beit Sha’ar HaKavanot

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What If I Do Not Understand Anything?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: During the parts of the lesson when we study The Zohar and TES (Talmud Eser Sefirot), I experience tremendous difficulty understanding anything. What is the correct approach to the content so that it would help me strengthen the bond between us?

Answer: Baal HaSulam and Rabash wrote articles, letters, and other similar texts. In addition, Baal HaSulam wrote a commentary on The Book of Zohar, The Study of Ten Sefirot (TES), “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” and the book Beit Sha’ar HaKavanot, all of which are the primary sources we get nourished by.

I drew a dividing line between them for the following reason. We use the above mentioned books as an instrument to draw the Light (Segula). And we read all the other works not only to draw the Light but to also understand the content. In the first case, understanding plays a supplementary role, whereas in the second it is in the lead.

What If Do Not Understand Anything
The Book of Zohar doesn’t leave anything for the mind to cling to. At times, it explains something or provides a hint, although we don’t especially need it. In the end, we need a method called “the Torah” since the Light it conceals reforms us. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how much you understand. It’s not the wise one who learns. Intelligence doesn’t play a role here.

Some people write down every word, which is good for as long as it helps them connect to the source emotionally, in the desire. But if everything is determined by the mind, it isn’t worth it. We are not in the university, and from studies alone you will learn nothing unless you obtain a desire to bestow, connection with others, and love. Only this will allow you to feel the material since man is a desire, a vessel of sensation and perception.

Mind is powerless in itself; it is a mere means to direct and strengthen the desire.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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Overtaking The Management

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is there a connection between the individual and collective governance?

Answer: Yes, there is a two-way connection between them. The collective governance is related to certain parts and, at the same time, affects the entire system of souls, all of which correlates with each individual response.

The souls residing within the circle of the system must ultimately comprise a singular line. In order for all of them to find their own place in it, each of them has to be managed individually. Therefore, there is a program of general and particular management in the system which works from Above downward (marked yellow in the diagram below).

However, this isn’t enough. Now, everybody has to provide an individual feedback: To what degree do I wish to advance and exert additional effort toward the pressure that the management is applying on me? Am I adding my own power to the force of the Light?

Overtaking The Management
The Light affects me “in its time,” pushing me forward by blows whether I like it or not. This process is regarded as “Beito.” However, there is another way: I can accelerate my development and engage in this process before the Light will begin to act. Such acceleration of advancement is regarded as “Achishena.” I align my desire with the desire of the Creator, with correction, the final complete state of existence.

Therefore, the essence of my work is in bringing forth all of my power, thereby neutralizing the power of the Light. I wish to accept the program of governance, understand and implement it independently. This is the reason we received the point in the heart, and, in truth, our sole aspiration is to know and carry out the program of creation.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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Collective And Individual Governance

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the collective and individual governance?

Answer: We reside in reality the essence of which is the desire to enjoy, the force of reception. In addition, the force of bestowal, the force of the Light, acts in this reality.

What is the formula of their interaction? Suppose one force is X and the other Y, and they are equalized by a quotient K. In truth, the formula is this: The two variables, X and Y, are the will to receive and bestow pleasure, respectively, and the screen, K, is between them.

In the beginning of our reality, the desire to receive pleasure (0) opposes the desire to bestow (1). However, in the end, upon the completion of the 125th spiritual action, they become equal (1-1).

Collective And Individual Governance
Hence, the formula is simple: From mutual opposition, we have to bring these desires to equivalence of properties. The will to receive has to acquire the attribute of bestowal.

Now, we know the rule and its result. The point is that two opposing yet interacting forces act in reality, and every instant of their interaction must lead to the final outcome in the most efficient manner.

Hence, Nature operates in everything there is according to the rule of "minimal input with maximal output." This mechanism affects us, and by experiencing the effects of its impact, we regard them as “governance.”

Governance can be individual and collective. The individual one applies to each cell of the organism and defines how a certain part has to advance by acquiring its individual form to fit the advancement of the collective system. We can see this type of governance in the example of the step-by-step formation of an embryo’s organs. Its body grows according to the collective governance that establishes the order of development of all other parts.

Then, from the general governance, the individual ties branch off, which get connected with each part in its respective place in accordance with its role in the process of the collective evolution. Thereby, the common program of development underlies the individual programs that govern us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 11.17.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Hakdama, BeLaila De Kala (The Night of the Bride),” Item 129
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The Book of Zohar — Selections, Chapter “Tzav (Command),” Item 18
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Baal HaSulam, “Beit Shaar HaKavanot,” Lesson 19
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose,” Lesson 4
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A Weighing Scale For Reward And Punishment

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If there is no reward and punishment in this world, where do they exist?

Answer: There is reward and punishment in our world, good and bad people, and everything else that you see and understand. It is written: “The world behaves according to fixed laws.” Within the scope of our world, each society, country, and civilization has their own laws.

If you come to a kindergarten, a school, or some adult establishment, in each place you’ll find specific laws of communication and reward and punishment for their observance. Wherever you may end up, there will be a charter of laws for a group of people, whether a society or a nation.

But with respect to profits and losses concerning the spiritual world, your corporeal actions have no bearing on the spiritual degree. They affect the soul’s future reincarnations, but not on the Creator’s revelation to the creatures, the revelation of the spiritual world, which is described as “see your world in this life.” And, as the Torah explains, a person who has only performed corporeal actions is considered to have done nothing at all.

We study that your only free action in this world is the exertion to unify in the group; all of your other actions are not yours. We are evaluated only with respect to choosing the best environment every time so as to achieve the purpose of creation.
From Lesson 2, World Kabbalah Convention 2010, 11/9/10

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I Want To Cross The Machsom!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When we cross the Machsom (the barrier separating us from spirituality), do we do it together or each of us in our time?

Answer: The Machsom is a potential border. If I aspire to unity with the friends and from separation between us yearn to reach greater closeness, if I try as much as I can to annihilate this distance, but am unable to do so, then I appeal to the Creator, the Light, and break through the Machsom. In other words, my ego remains, but I wish to rise above it despite the fact that at the previous stages, I didn’t especially desire this and was accepting of its presence in me.

This is how it was before the Machsom. However, above it, there are two forms of connection: “to bestow in order to bestow,” the level of Bina, and “to receive in order to bestow,” the level of Hochma and Keter.

Where, then, do I realize the Machsom? I do so in the connection between us. In it, I am not subject to our external actions concerning each other and expressions of personal likes. Here, I need to work solely within.

I have to feel an inner ability to bond with them within myself, in our desires, so that all our sparks of bestowal connect together. As soon as I start desiring it, I cross the Machsom. Yet, all our egoistic attributes remain. After all, we haven’t corrected our ego, but rose above it, eager to unify our passionate desire for spirituality, the property of bestowal.

If our sparks of bestowal are bound together, they form a vessel for the Light of Hassadim (Mercy) because such a vessel already has the attribute of Hafetz Hesed (presiding above one’s egoism). That’s when a person starts perceiving the Upper Light ruling over everything there is.

Below the Machsom, the same Upper Light fills the entire reality, but we don’t perceive it. As soon as our points in the hearts begin connecting, in a bond, density, compression between them I suddenly start feeling the Light that permeates everything . However, the sparks had already “found” the Light and become its “gauge.”

We are now in the same condition, and we don’t need to zoom into another dimension or other galaxies. The Light resides between us, and we just lack sensitivity for it, an organ of perception. The closer our hearts get, the more we discover the Light that dwells among us. We arrive at this in mutual bestowal and desire it to take place.
From Lesson 2, World Kabbalah Convention 2010, 11/9/10

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The Zohar About Arvut

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Where and how Arvut (mutual responsibility or guarantee) is described in The Zohar?

Answer: The Book of Zohar describes it as follows:
שהשפעת ו״ק דחכמה, הנוהגת בקו האמצעי, מכונה עדות, which translates as: Expansion of small illumination of the Light of Hochma that occurs in the middle line is called testament. In other words, when a person develops a capacity to arrange the three lines, the Light within him holds him in spirituality, bestowal, and this is what guarantees that a person will not fall into egoism ever again.