A Ticker Of Correction

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “Tzav (Command),” Item 18: Happy are the righteous in this world and in the next world, who know the ways of Torah, and who follow it on the path of truth. It is written about them, “The Lord, by them they live.” “By them” are the ways of Torah. “Live” means that they will exist in this world and in the next world.

Each one of us is part righteous and part sinner. Perhaps one’s percentage of righteous is still zero, while the sinner in him comprises 100%. Or it may be that he is in the process of transforming the sinner’s part, his desire which is 100% intention to receive for oneself, into the intention for the sake of bestowal. Then that part is called the righteous within us.

Every time, we go through the following process:

1. We pass to the state where we feel ourselves as sinners.
2. We take part of our desires from there and correct them.
3. That very moment we become the righteous.
4. Then, we become sinners again by going back to another uncorrected desire to receive pleasure.
5. Once again, we transfer part of our desires into the intention for the sake of bestowal.

This way, our corrections accumulate piece by piece into one general correction.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/17/10, The Zohar

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Kabbalists About Studying Kabbalah, Part 13

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

The Opposition to the Study of the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Woe unto people from the affront of the Torah. For undoubtedly, when they engage only in the literal and in its stories, it wears its widow-garments, and is covered with a bag. And all the nations shall say unto Israel: “What is thy Beloved more than another beloved? Why is your law more than our law? After all, your law, too, is stories of the mundane.” There is no greater affront to the Torah than that.

Hence, woe unto the people from the affront of the Torah. They do not engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which honors the Torah, for they prolong the exile and all the afflictions that are about to come to the world.
– Rav Chaim Vital, The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part One, “Rav Chaim Vital’s Introduction,” 11-12

The Paintings Of My Ego

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You say that the information that comes into our eyes is reflected on a “screen” located in the hind part of the brain, correct?

Answer: No, it isn’t. Nothing comes into our eyes. There are no eyes, just as there isn’t a “hind part of the brain.”

There is nothing but an egoistic desire to fill itself with pleasure, which is projecting to me that I am “constructed” this way, meaning that I have eyes, a head, arms, and legs. Yet, this is how my will to receive pleasure is painting it for me. Additionally, it paints other objects that seem to exist outside of my body.

Question: So, does it mean that we perceive the Creator as concealment? Is that how our reality is?

Answer: What we see or, rather, feel (we say “see” because sight is our most powerful sensory organ) is the difference between us and the Creator. It is the shadow of our egoistic desire cast on the Upper Light, the white screen.

Therefore, I see only various individual desires, different attributes contained in my egoistic will to receive. In other words, the still nature, plants, animals, and man are the four levels of my desire to feel pleasure (Shoresh [root], Aleph [first], Bet [second], Gimel [third], and Dalet [fourth]), which are presented to me in this fashion on the background of the white Light.

I feel only my desire to fill myself with pleasure. What about the Light? The Light is the background on which I see my will to receive. When this desire becomes like the Light, it will not block the Light from me and I will fully feel the Creator.

In the meantime, instead of Him, I perceive only my egoistic desire. In other words, everything I am surrounded by are parts of my ego.

From Lesson 6, World Kabbalah Convention 2010, 11/10/10

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Higher, Higher, and Higher…

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat is the end of correction? Let us say that I need to fix my car to go somewhere. I take it to a shop, and the mechanic fixes it. Once the car is fixed, this means that I have completed the correction. Now, in a fixed car (or, if it is us we are correcting, then with a corrected common soul) we begin our trip upwards.

However, we do not speak about this. We only speak about the way to attain correction. Kabbalists do not say what happens to the corrected soul. They only hint about the things that await us there, but this is an even higher reality, above all the worlds, above the World of Infinity.
From Lesson 8, World Kabbalah Congress 2010, 11/11/10

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All The Answers Are In The Group

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I engage in inner work and ask for help, how do I recognize the answer?

Answer: In order to give us clear answers and, in general, to talk with us and maintain a constant communication which can be verified, identified, and felt, the Creator has given us a group and resides in it. If you unite with the group, you will find Him there. When you meet Him one day, you will see that He can be found only in very heart of the bond with the group.

The Creator is hiding behind them all and seems to be telling you: “All right, now you’ve united with everyone, and that means that you’ve united with Me.” He broke the Kli (vessel) so that by reuniting the pieces we would finally find Him. By bringing together the broken vessel, we reconstruct and compose the image of the Creator before us.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/12/10, Shamati #26

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The War Against Amalek

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “BeShalach (When Pharoah Sent),” Items 466-467: “And Aaron and Hur supported his hands.”… When he raised means that he raised the right over the left. By that, it meant that when he spread his hands, Israel prevailed, Israel above, ZA. “And when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”

The right refers to Hesed (the quality of mercy), and the Light of Hassadim (Mercy) is what we need most. First and foremost the Light of correction, the Light of Hassadim, must reign within us for that is what binds everybody together.

It reigns inside our desire (Kli), covers it with the intention to bestow, and then, to the extent the Kli is corrected by the intention to bestow, the Kli can be clothed by the Light of Hochma (Wisdom), which is the Creator’s presence, His sensation and revelation.

But before the Creator is revealed, we need equivalence with Him. This is done by the Light of Hassadim, the Light of bestowal and mercy (Hessed), filling us at our request.

Therefore, the entire war between Moses and Amalek (Amalek is an abbreviation of Al MenAt LEKabel, “for the sake of receiving”) amounts to Moses initially demanding the Light of Mercy, the force of Hassadim, which is the force of Aaron who supports him from the right. Then Moses begins to raise his heavy hands, called “the hands of faith.” Why are they heavy? It is because his desire to enjoy is great and constantly growing on account of Amalek.

When the desire to enjoy is awakened in a person, his hands, “the hands of faith,” the symbol of bestowal, are lowered, and the intention for himself overcomes him once more. What follows is the necessity to support Moses’ hands.

Hence, the Upper Forces come out against Amalek: the right, Aaron, and the left, Hur, while the Light descends from Above and clothes one’s desire, corrected by faith, the Light of Bina. Then Moses is able to defeat Amalek, his egoism.

This takes place in many situations in our work: The desire to enjoy grows, and we must wage war against it.
From 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/10, The Zohar

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Now Is The Time!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the foundation of a person’s aspiration that moves him to turn to the Creator?

Answer: Aspiration can come only from the group. When I strive to unite with the friends, I receive additional desire from the exalted nature of the goal, and most importantly, the realization of my own powerlessness, an awareness of our inability to help each other or achieve something on our own.

In my essence, I am a little egoist who always justifies himself. However, when I connect with the friends, I learn from them. Whether I like it or not, I watch them and see that they are all weak. When everybody is weak, it affects me in a different manner, unlike when I feel weak myself.

The sensation of incapacity that I receive from them contains an element of the breaking. Within myself, I don’t feel it since the breaking occurred between us, outside of me, in relation to the others. Having attempted to become one in order to find the Creator in the connection between us, we discover our inability to do so.

This is exactly what we discovered during the recent Convention: the revelation of the breaking. From now on, we have to understand: What are we to accomplish with this revelation that we are facing? We have come to a disappointment, for we have found that we are unable to mutually connect. What do we do now? Should we abandon this path?

We have stumbled upon this wall for the first time, and now we have only one remedy: to turn to the Creator for help. After all, on our own, we are unable to break through it. We have to openly admit that we clearly see the state we are in and cannot fight it.

While trying to unite during the Convention, we found how cold the air became all at once and how frustrated we are on the path. This froze us up and we seemed to have been chained within the will to receive pleasure, unable to take even one step toward oneness. And that is something we have to clearly understand.

Now, we have to acknowledge that “A prisoner cannot release himself out of prison,” and I cannot do it either. This is excellent. The next step after becoming aware of my incapacity is to ask the Creator to do it.

If you ask Him while being in this particular state, you will receive what you ask. After all, it was you who found the place where you are unable to do anything. Before, you had nothing to turn to the Creator with. Now, the time has come.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/10, The Zohar

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How Do You Get Through To The Heart?

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe matter of creation, meaning us, is the will to enjoy. We cannot make any action unless it is necessary for us to experience pleasure. We only act by the demand of our desire, which is called a “place” (Makom).

It is written, “A person learns only in the place where his heart desires,” which means that he learns out of necessity and aspiration. In that case, what is the use of my sitting here and trying to build some kind of intention inside? It’s all a lie. My heart desires something, and I don’t even know what it wants.

So isn’t it better to simply read the text, without hoping to get through to the heart? How can we change the desire if we are that desire? In response Kabbalists say: You have to unite and become included in each other, look for the common desire of everyone, strengthen it, and change it. You have to change your intentions and goals with the help of the environment.

The rest does not depend on you. Baal HaSulam explains in the article “The Freedom” that when we are included in the group, we “flow” together with it and are influenced by it in every way. However, we accomplish what we want because we start to act by the will of our new desire, which we acquired from the group.

Time and time again a person tries to connect to the group and his desire changes. Thanks to this he comes to the study with a different demand and attracts Upper Light that is constantly renewed, which will change him and draw him towards a clear goal and a higher degree.

Even if my desire is egoistic, I want all the benefits from this world and from the world to come. I have no care for others and the Creator. However, in the meantime the group around me talks about exalted things.

From the spiritual point of view, it’s possible that all of my friends are liars, but they speak eloquently and I am inspired by their speeches. As a result, along with my simple egoistic desire, I unwillingly adopt a new direction toward bestowal from the group. I want to become part of it and I start to value unity.

Whether I desire it or not, I become permeated by the values of the group. The friends become a part of me and my intention changes. Now, when I desire the Light’s influence at the study, it obviously comes thanks to the “virus” I received from the environment. I now have something besides my own ego, a new direction towards a goal that I did not desire and could not even imagine previously.

The group obligates me to do this. That’s because in our root we are connected into one soul, and therefore, I am permeated by the desires of the friends and they influence me.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/17/10, The Zohar

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Wanting Is Not Enough

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does it mean to ask the Light for correction, to turn to the Light?

Answer: We need to understand that the actual correction does not depend on us. We are the desire for pleasure, and if we are able to do anything, it is only to evoke the action from Above.

Our entire work is the raising of MAN, the request for correction, but the Creator does all the work. This is why our path is called “the Creator’s work.” We exert efforts in the group and studying only to convince each other of the need to develop a single aspiration described as: “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.”

We should not forget for even a second that we must ask for correction. Everything is only given through a prayer, an appeal, the uncovering of the need. I do not just want something abstract: I want to correct the Kelim (vessels), I want to be like You, I want to be big.

A child looks at those who are older and instinctively wants to grow up. So I also want the same, but I do not just want, I demand it. After all, the force of development comes from the Creator. We will not grow up without asking Him for help.

The problem is that we consider ourselves to be actual participants. We think that we can make things happen on our own. But in reality, nothing depends on us except for the revelation of the desire.

So how do I reveal it? Through uniting with others. They, too, don’t have the strength, but they have desires, and this is all I need.

The desire I receive from my friends is far greater than the one I had initially. Imbued with this desire, I strive to unite with them, and I do not succeed. Now I can finally turn to the Creator.

Through our collective action at the Convention, we have discovered that we are unable to unite. It has never been this clear before. A wall appeared clearly before us, and our efforts broke against it. Now all that we need to do is turn to the power of the Light for it to break this wall. And we really can appeal to it.

We must demand correction while studying, especially when reading The Zohar. You can ask and receive an answer right now, right this moment.

Your ego is in the way; you have frozen like a rock: “Who else should I ask? I don’t see a Creator around here.” That’s true, so demand to Him to reveal Himself and make it clear for you to whom and how to ask.

We are egoists and we will not break the Machsom on our own. When egoism becomes an unbreakable wall, we ask the Creator for strength to rise over it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/16/10, The Zohar, “Introduction to The Zohar

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Kabbalah: Wisdom Or Knowledge?

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen we turn to the works of Kabbalists, we can either study the science or the Torah (the method of correction). “Science” implies regular sciences such as physics, chemistry, history, geography, and so on. This is what academics think of Kabbalah. According to them, The Zohar was written in Spain in the Middle Ages, and not 2,000 years ago in Israel.

Scientists are trying to draw knowledge and information from Kabbalistic sources. They discuss the style, analyze texts, and try to draw a correlation between the text and historic events.

This rational approach has nothing to do with “studying the Torah.” This is because the Torah is a method of correcting our nature and becoming similar to the Creator in our properties. The Creator becomes revealed within us to the extent of this similarity.

The purpose of all the “holy” books is to reveal the Creator to man. However, primary sources like the Five Books of Moses, Talmud, and Mishnah are narrated with an earthly, material language; they describe the Upper World through corporeal images. It is difficult for us to see spiritual actions in these narrations.

But the language of Kabbalistic books helps to avoid deviating from the direction towards correction and similarity to the Creator. This is because it speaks of correcting yourself through unity in order to reveal the Creator.

This is why the language of Kabbalah is most appropriate for the attainment of the goal for which the Torah has been given. It is written: “I created the evil inclination and the Torah because the Light in it reforms.” For us, the Torah is a method of correction; it is not a science, but the Light that Reforms.

It is written that one must bless the Torah before studying it, otherwise he will receive a curse instead of a blessing. This means that one needs to concentrate on correction. “To bless the Torah” means to thank the Creator for giving you the opportunity to correct yourself with the help of the Light that is hidden in it.

The Zohar describes our correcting the connection, that which was broken between us. This is why we must strive towards unity when studying it and wait for the Light, the force that corrects our connection. Only then, to the extent of our unity and the mutual guarantee, the Creator will become revealed between us.

So let us “bless the Torah”: Think about the creation of the collective Kli as we turn to The Zohar.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/16/10, The Zohar, “Introduction to The Zohar

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