Kabbalists About Studying Kabbalah, Part 17

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

Engaging in Kabbalah Requires No Preliminary Excellence

If one is made ungifted, how can he be a wise disciple? His brain is too small to understand the words of Torah. Midrash Rabba [The Great Commentary] says about that (portion, “And This Is the Blessing), “The Creator said unto Israel [those who wish to ascend from the desire to receive to the desire to bestow; only they are called “Israel” or “striving to achieve similarity with the Creator”], ‘The whole of the wisdom and the whole of the Torah are easy. Anyone who fears Me [wants to become similar to Me] and practices the words of Torah [for this purpose], the whole of the wisdom and the whole of Torah are in his heart [in his corrected desires].’”

He explained about it in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”: “Thus, no prior aptitude is required here. Rather, by the fear [aspiration to attain similarity with Him] of the Creator alone is one rewarded with the whole of the wisdom of the Torah [the Upper Light]. This is the meaning of, ‘Everything is in the hands of the Creator except for the fear of the Creator.’ This means that only the fear of the Creator [which we develop through the correct environment, the teacher, and the books) requires choice, and the rest is given by the Creator.”
– Rabash, Steps of the Ladder, “The Ungifted”

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Living In The Creator’s Environment

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn our world the surrounding environment automatically influences a seed that is placed in the soil and the seed begins to grow. That is how everything on the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature interacts with the environment, with no freedom of will.

However, our spiritual development does not work the same way. We have to awaken the environment so it will influence us, so there will be appropriate “temperature, moisture, minerals, and sunlight. We have to create these conditions on our own, and that is called raising MAN. Our environment is the Creator. And if you think that you are influenced by the friends, the sun, the moon, or a sudden change in mood, in fact all of it is the Creator.

On the inside there is my self, my point in the heart, and everything else is the Creator, even though He exists around me in various forms. At the end of the day I awaken Him.

Can the friends really influence me even if they yell and demand? What force of influence do they have? After all, I have to receive the force of spiritual influence. Thus, the environment only seems this way to me, while in reality it is the Creator. That is how I awaken Him, reveal Him, and speak to Him.

Therefore, if we don’t awaken this external influence, how can we grow? We are unable to advance by any other way besides “awakening from below” (Itaruta De Letata). There must first be a MAN, a request, or a demand coming from us. It is written, “A person made efforts and found.” If you don’t make efforts, you won’t find.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/23/10, “Body and Soul”

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Convention Impressions, Part 2

Excerpts from people’s letters sharing their impressions of the Convention:

“In our life, there are two states of existence totally isolated from each other: One is the state of the convention, which begins exactly at the moment when the previous convention ends and is its continuation. The other is everything else that happens in life.

This sensation has been registered for a while, but only now everybody started talking about it, and there is a necessity to do something about it. The state of the convention is a gift we receive from Above, so should we, by exerting our own effort, transfer this state onto the other part of our life?

In order for it to stop being two isolated conditions, but to allow the intensity of the inner life we experience during the gathering to manifest during the time between the conventions, we need to work on our own, as homework, instead of later falling into self-pity….”

“Now, there is a mess in my head; it is frightening to return to daily life, where instead of material simplicity and spiritual fulfillment, everything suddenly becomes broken into multiple small but aggressive material problems, which deafen the internality. The best thing to do after the convention is to start preparing for the next one. How do you envision our further development in general?”

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Parting But Not Separating

Parting But Not Separating

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I feel that we managed to create a new Kli (vessel) at the convention. But soon I will return to my usual egoistic world and will once again be in contact with people who are not on the spiritual path…

Answer: A person cannot advance without creating his own circle. Everyone needs a group – whether virtual or physical – but it has to be an environment that has a stronger influence on him than the external, egoistic society.

He should form an environment that will determine his thoughts, desires, and values. Otherwise he will be lost because he will follow the general egoistic environment. This is our only choice, and if we do not make it, we will be unable to advance.

So now I am coming back home after the convention. Where are my thoughts now? What’s troubling me? I’m afraid of the moment I run away from a connection with the spiritual environment and delve into the material one.

Will I prevent this “click,” after which all my thoughts and desires will be on the other side, in the common swamp? How can I not miss the quick moment of transition?

This is what I should worry about. This has been our mistake that cost us so many years and efforts. The rest is not a problem; the only problem is that I come home and calm down: “Great, the convention is over, now I can get back to normal life.” And then that’s it: Everything you had became Klipot (impure shells).

The only action that depends on me is to attach myself to a spiritual environment, stick to the group so that it is always close and influences me stronger than the material environment. Just like a child, when scared, stays close to his parent hoping that this will save him from all the trouble. Holding on to his parent, he’s sure that now everything will be okay. This is how we should cling to a spiritual environment.

When you leave, don’t avert your eyes from the group, listen to it as if you’ve still got the headphones on, and remind yourself of spirituality with our songs. It doesn’t matter where we are and what we do: There always has to be something dear in the background, something you received from the group. A faint sound of the lesson coming from a minimized window still gets into the unconscious.

And please be sure to visit my blog. I say the most important things there. Even the photos that are posted there I choose with great care. Make sure to read it daily because the following day the materials lose their strength. We’re all uniting around the blog and the morning lesson.

We’re not asked to produce more than the effort. This is what choosing a better environment is. And the Light does its job. Everyone should take care to connect to a strong spiritual environment in order to keep the spirit that you’re taking with you when leaving the convention.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/12/10, Shamati #26

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Almost Good Is Just As Bad

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”: The attribute of goodness is not at all apparent before Creation arrives at its completion, its final ripeness. On the contrary, it rather always takes a form of corruption in the eyes of the beholders. Thus you see that the Creator bestows upon His creatures only goodness, but that goodness comes by way of purposeful Guidance.

The system is designed in such way that in order to reach the goal, the property of bestowal, we must keep uncovering opposite attributes within ourselves. Moreover, as we advance toward the goal, we will be discovering ever greater inadequacies in ourselves. The discrepancy between the positive and the negative constantly increases. I am shown much more of the negative compared to the positive.

The truth is that my matter (desire to enjoy) isn’t neutral. I am not neutral. I don’t wish to be in a zero state; I want pleasure, and that is why even a zero makes me feel bad. I feel good only when I am filled, when I am on the plus side. But what if I didn’t make it to the plus side even a little? It doesn’t matter; I am still unhappy.

The difference between what I desire and what I have immediately stirs up a “why?” in me. It is because my egoism is scorned: “Why am I not filled? I am entitled to everything!”

Almost Good Is Just As Bad

It is necessary to understand that we cannot be objective judges of the states we are going through since we don’t remain neutral to them. Evil is always greater in our eyes than good. Even without a spoonful of tar in a barrel of honey, if the barrel isn’t filled with the honey completely, something is already wrong.

Moreover, before I am done experiencing something truly great, it dissolves. I am already thinking about what new pleasure I am going to feel the next moment. In the middle of ecstasy, the sign of its loss is already emerging on its face, and I start worrying about what to do next.

This is the way our egoistic desire works. Naturally, with such nature, we are unable to attain satisfaction. It keeps consistently ruining us. Desire for pleasures can never remain filled and satisfied. Every second that lacks enjoyment poisons its life.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/10, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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How To Capture The Light Of Correction

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the Light of correction? Where is it, and can we associate with it?

Answer: We exist in a perfect reality that was created by the Creator, but it appears to be different in relation to us. There is everything we want in the true reality: Infinity, Light, perfection, eternity, and the Creator. Here, in this world, we see a completely different reality: darkness, evil, and egoism.

One reality is separated from the other by the ladder of 125 steps where I am to change my nature. The difference is that here, we all only perceive this world and exist in darkness, suffering, and egoism. However, in order to exist in the true reality, I need to attain the intention “for the sake of bestowal,” love instead of hatred.

As long as I exist in the nature of this world, I do not have a chance of escaping into the spiritual world. It is a completely different dimension that I cannot leap to. However, there is a “wonderful force” (Segula) that can help me.

Everyone is connected in the spiritual world, while in this world, everyone is separated. Love is there, hatred is here. Bestowal, Light, and good is there; egoism, darkness, and evil is here. In other words, everything is reversed, as it is written, “I saw a reverse world.”

How to Capture the Light of Correction
We would be completely hopeless if not for one detail which, thankfully, is not opposite. It is given to us as the end of a rope to grab onto and draw closer to it. Each one of us, separated in this world, is given a spiritual spark, “the point in the heart.” This is the end of the rope that descends from the spiritual world. It stretches to every one of us from that perfect state where I exist in harmony and absolute comfort.

However, this is merely a point, and I do not know what I am to do with it. I just feel that I belong to something higher. Besides, I was given a book called The Zohar. The actual book is in this world, but there is also a “book” in the spiritual space, which stands for revelation, Light. The title itself, The Zohar, stands for the Upper radiance.

This means that you want to return to the Upper World, to your root, while being in your physical world together with a book that was printed somewhere in China. This point is pulling you!

Now you need to try to unite with others like you, separated from one another. As you read The Zohar together, strive toward the Light so it would influence all of you and make you like it.

That is it. The rest does not depend on you. These properties, both evil and hatred, are given. On your own, you will not be able to do anything with them. You only have two means in relation to the spiritual world: the group and the book.

When you use them, you attract an enormous Light from the spiritual world, which influences you. It is that Light that is called The Zohar (radiance) or the Surrounding Light that Reforms. This is what changes you. The Light works on you and moves you back toward your root.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/18/10, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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Tea With The Queen Of England

Dr. Michael LaitmanAviut from the side of the Kli is lack of its fulfilment, Hissaron, hunger, or appetite. On the other hand, Aviut that comes from the side of the Light is the realization of the Creator’s importance, the revelation of His greatness.

The Light descends and expands your Kli, making the One who Gives Light appear higher in your eyes. It’s best to advance precisely by virtue of this Aviut.

Suppose someone invites me to their house and wants to treat me to tea and cookies. I don’t see anything special about this. However, if I were to suddenly find out that this person is very important and influential, the visit would acquire a totally different meaning for me! The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Benjamin Disraeli wrote in his memoirs that the Queen once invited him to her palace for tea. Prior to that he had conversed with her many times, but this “cup of tea” meant a lot more to him.

In other words, a person is always impressed by whom he receives from, rather than what he receives. By praising the Creator, you expand your spiritual vessels. You come closer to Him by admitting His importance and greatness. The illumination that comes from Him increases in your eyes and this creates additional Kelim inside you.
From the lesson on Shamati on 11/19/10

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I Choose But I Do Not Rule

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: A thousand times I have chosen the attribute of mercy to rule in me, yet I keep falling back into the property of judgment. I am sick and tired of it. What is the problem?

Answer: The problem is that you are not working by way of the group, but wish to deal with it by yourself. In other words, you wish to exercise your own power in the place of your free will. However, it is impossible to do so because you yourself are subject to one of the two forces: Bina or Malchut, and most of the time it is Malchut.

The middle third of Tifferet is the place of our free will but not our power. Here, I decide who will rule over me. In any case, it won’t be me, myself, but something external. And on the outside, I have only one choice: the environment.

I can be surrounded by the “gathering of scorners” (as it is described in the Psalms) or the assembly of Kabbalists, that is, people who are aimed directly to the Creator. That is what my choice is about. Becoming rooted in the correct environment, I draw strength from it in order to go forth.

This is the limited platform that we have: to choose one of the two possible environments. And this is the place where decisions are made not once, but all the time.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/19/10, Rabash’s articles

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Outsmart Your Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanDon’t try to be “clever ones” or “heroes” and fight egoism using your own powers. Nothing is more foolish than that! Who can resist nature? Is it even possible?

Our work is to rise above our egos, which means drawing the force of the Light and with it, rising above egoism as if it doesn’t exist. This does not mean suppressing the ego and drifting peacefully through life. Our egoism remains, and we realize that it is the Creator who gives us such a large reserve of desire. But we wish to be above it.

I do not annihilate my ego since this is what I rise above. But at the moment, I don’t take it into count concerning my relations with the friends, regardless of how dreadfully arrogant, insolent, envious, and driven by power or honor each of them might seem. None of this matters; all I know is that “love will cover all sins.” You with a gun and me with a knife in hand embrace each other and make all decisions based on love.

Everybody thinks that he is right, yet each nullifies himself. Love means that I accept another’s decision and they accept mine, and in this way we arrive at a common agreement that allows us to make a decision at a higher level. We have risen above our collective hate to our common love.

Try to do this in the group, and you will feel a third component within: the Creator! You will feel that you either lack Him or that He is already present within you.

This is a very practical type of work, as all of Kabbalah is: “Come and see (Bo-Reh)”; “We shall do, and we shall hear” are absolutely practical things we need to implement right now.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/19/10, “The Freedom”

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One Wisdom For All

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why do we need the external mind if all perception of reality is occurring within us?

Answer: The true perception of reality is built externally, in the mind of the environment, that is, in the Upper One, the Creator, and not in my current mind.

Advancing in spirituality, I engage in this environment as in Malchut of the World of Infinity. It is the place of my root from which my soul was born and descended to this corporeal world in a long journey through all the worlds. In this world, I am cut off from my root and keep only a spark of it called the “point in the heart.” And thanks to this environment, which is my system of the World of Infinity for now, I progress back to the initial state of Infinity.

When my environment, the group, gradually joins on its path the entire humanity, we discover that everyone comes to the same World of Infinity. This is why I begin to see with more clarity that my engagement in the environment, looking so artificial, undesirable, unnecessary, and unreal today, is actually “me” entering my own root. I return myself precisely to this initial point I stepped out of in order to come to this world.

Then, I discover that I reside in the system of the World of Infinity filled with the Light of Hochma together with the group. I gradually receive this Light even while being on the way, which is regarded as the “Light of Wisdom” (“Hochma” means “wisdom” in Hebrew). And I use this Light, the wisdom of Hochma, with all the others.

It is our collective wisdom, one for all! This common wisdom, the Upper thought, the Light, is called the Creator (Bo-Reh,“come and see”).
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/19/10, “The Freedom”

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