When I Nullify Myself, I Grow

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe act of annulment characterizes the entire path of spiritual evolution. At each stage, the creature cancels its desire created as existence from absence and uses it to become equivalent to the Creator.

In the beginning, it nullifies itself as a point in order to obtain an enormous need. What for? It’s in order to have a Kli (vessel) adequate to the Creator. At the second stage, it cancels this need and rises above it.

Renouncement of the desire signifies crossing over the Machsom (the barrier separating us from spirituality). Having ascended, the creature breaks free from desire, and consequently transitions to the next stage.

There, the created being renews the desire and even starts receiving pleasure in it not for self-gratification, but in order to delight the Creator who loves it, thereby demonstrating its love to Him. In other words, during its entire ascent on the rungs of the ladder leading to Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction), the creature renounces itself.

When I Nullify Myself, I Grow

It turns out that self-annulment is a means, act, and outcome all at the same time. With its help we advance on the ladder of values until we reach the ultimate value when self-annulment reaches such a high degree that it results in becoming equivalent to the Creator.

Paradoxically, it is through the act of renouncement, when I nullify my point of existence from absence, that I reach the status of the Creator. Using it as a foundation, I constantly grow, affected by the Light’s impact on it.

In our corporeal life, we don’t feel the Creator, nor do we perceive spiritual forces or understand the purpose of creation. Before whom, then, can we nullify ourselves? I nullify myself before the group, meaning the teacher, Kabbalistic texts, and people who aspire to the same purpose as I do. I cancel myself in relation to them, not in relation to the desires of this world that are not connected with spiritual development.

I dissolve in the group as if I don’t exist. I keep only the second part (Ain, absence) of my point of “existence from absence” (Yesh mi Ain) and copy their thoughts and feelings, disregarding my own. By doing so, I enter the spiritual system and start receiving the Surrounding Lights that promote me to the spiritual world.
From Kabbalah for Beginners, “Self Annulment” 12/6/10

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On The Verge Of Hate

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order to reach the Light, I must strongly demand it. However, since I am an egoist, this demand has to be rough, on the verge of hate. I, literally, can’t stand this Light, don’t want it, and blame on it everything that happens to me. Indeed, everything is caused by it.

Then, I feel my complete inadequacy to the Light, realizing that it is the Light which made me opposite to it and, now, instills bad feelings in me. From all of this, I get to know the dark void.

Only after I have experienced complete darkness as an advantage (Itaron), I begin to perceive something greater (Yoter) than darkness; I get to know the Light. In other words, I must be rough, coarse, “a great sinner,” in order to reach the state opposite to the Light. Then, I will be able to attain all of its might.

If darkness is felt to a small degree, it is impossible to attain all that the Light carries in itself. It has to truly be an “Egyptian night,” my authentic egoistic desire.

However, in order to experience such a dark void, I need the Light. A person who doesn’t study, doesn’t enter the dark. It is quite opposite! Thanks to the fact that a person draws the Upper Light during the studies, he will find out to what extent he is in the dark. After all, our entire evolution unfolds under the influence of the Light, and it makes us undergo all these phases. A person experiences the Light and darkness in turns, and, thereby, advances.

The experience of darkness is good. Darkness is a transition period between the spiritual states in the process of my development, like day and night.
From Kabbalah for Beginners, “Light” 12/8/10

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Despair, But Don’t Give Up

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen turning to a Kabbalistic text, especially The Book of Zohar, we must realize the importance of spiritual attainment. After all, at the end of the day this is the only thing we want: not knowledge or scholastics, and not general knowledge of the material, but only pure attainment, which signifies that a person has revealed the Creator. This is the criterion by which we value things.

On the path to attainment the operating law is the law of equivalence of form, which does not make any compromises. On one hand, a person fully and entirely depends on the influence of the Upper Force. Nothing else can help him; he needs only help from Above. Whoever understands this builds the right attitude.

The Torah talks about this when describing the Egyptian exile: “The sons of Israel cried out from the work and their cry rose to the Creator.” In other words, they firmly knew that they will never attain anything by themselves.

On the other hand, spiritual progress is always built on the combination of opposites. Therefore, we also have to participate in the process ourselves. As a result, we make great efforts while at the same time being sure that only a “miracle from the heavens” will lead us out of the land of Egypt into the land of Israel.

It is necessary to reach despair from one’s own ability, and a person should not run away from this feeling. In addition, one must be confident that there will be help from Above and ceaselessly demand it with all of one’s strength.

A person must find himself in the state of the sons of Israel who cried out from the work. That’s when everything inside him along with the external environment fuses into one whole and creates these conditions, bringing him significantly closer to the exit from Egypt.

Therefore, we must try to correctly imagine ourselves in this point. This is where we perform all the necessary actions and later we don’t run away from the despair, but on the contrary, we transfer the entire force of our despair to a cry, a demand for correction.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/14/10, The Zohar

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The Creator’s Presentation

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Light is a certain occurrence in the vessels (Kelim), their reaction. The Light, per se, does not exist, as Baal Hasulam explains to us in the article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah.” We experience only the Kli’s (vessel’s) reaction to something. The vessel’s reaction to the stimulating factor is called the “Light.” It’s namely a reaction.

We do not attain the Light itself. Its essence is out of reach. We get to know only the forms acquired by the Kli after the Light’s impact. We perceive each other in the same manner. Are you truly familiar with and understand me? Do you know who I am? Actually, I am not familiar even with myself; it’s impossible.

Only the following is possible: Everyone perceives another in their own way, putting his image together from their own inner reactions. Therefore, as it is written, “Everyone judges according to his flaws.” Based on this, we can understand that the best we can do is come “to the place.” But what is this place?

Our uncorrected desires face an example, a visual illustration of the corrected Kli. It is called Elokim (God) or ZAT de Bina (seven lower Sefirot of Bina). We are speaking of the desire to enjoy that has emerged in the second phase, Bina, and wishes to bestow, to become similar to Keter.

This is what we call the beginning of the creature, “the Creator’s presentation” which demonstrates what it means to be in bestowal, to receive in order to bestow. This is what the lower part of Bina does by generating bestowal in relation to the others. We wish to reach it, learn from it how to receive pleasure from the Creator, and pass it on.

We can bestow only what we receive from the Creator. To whom do we bestow? We bestow to the others. Thereby, from love of others, we gain love for the Creator by way of that very “place,” ZAT de Bina.

All our actions on the way to it present Mitzvot (commandments) which define the relationship between man and the Creator (“Makom” in Hebrew, lit. the “place”). This is the place of revelation, bestowal, unity, and guarantee.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/9/10, “Introduction from The Book of Zohar,” Article “Mother Lends Her Clothes to Her Daughter”

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My Work Is Part Of The Common Work

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should every person’s concern be at the lesson: The purity of his own spiritual work or just unity?

Answer: It’s not enough to be schematically concerned about unity in general. As Baal HaSulam writes, we have to build the unity of Israel, the Torah, and the Creator.

We are in a state where every person and all of us together decide everything. Every person adds his “penny” to the group’s common desire and from it receives the right aspiration to prayer. Then his personal prayer once again pours into the unity of the common prayer.

The individual work always combines with the common work: A person completes the whole, and also completes himself with the whole. As a result we form a single prayer, about which it is written, “The sons of Israel cried out from the work.”

In order to achieve this, the goal must be extremely important to us so that we wouldn’t trade it for any “achievements” or theoretical knowledge. We are not satisfied by the calming rhythm of the daily routine because at the current rate we can keep “advancing” for another thousand years. We are not satisfied by success in dissemination because this is obviously just a means. No matter how great our achievements are, we cannot consider them the goal of our lives, not even a temporary, intermediate one.

We cannot calm ourselves by the results of our work and efforts, hoping that they will do the job with time. Instead, a person must immediately shift his gaze to the most important thing and place the true goal in front of him: the revelation of the quality of the Creator, the quality of bestowal inside him. We should demand this unequivocally and tirelessly. Any break harms the person and his connection with the Creator. Therefore, this is where the common prayer is necessary, which is able to be constant.

We have to understand that it takes very great efforts to enter the spiritual world, but they are not so difficult to make in the group and depend only on our agreement.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/14/10, The Zohar

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The Developer Of Desires

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You said that the first action of correction is to discern all of my desires in order to understand which of them are subject to correction. Can you give an example of these desires? How do I make the clarification inside me? How do I know what is subject to correction?

Answer: You have to discern this in the group. Start to tune into the group with all your qualities, desires, inclinations, and inner sensations. Then take a look and see: Which of them is for and which is against? What helps you in this work more and what helps you less?

Don’t pay attention to the “taste” you feel in the process, if it is “bitter or sweet,” even though that might help you. Rather, first and foremost pay attention to the “truth and falsehood”: What can you use to connect with friends, and what can’t you use?

Then you will discern it. You will start to reveal qualities and desires inside you that you did not notice previously and did not even suspect existed. These are the desires from the breaking. We do not work with the broken desires or Kelim in our regular lives because we do not aim to unite with others.

Desires from the breaking are only those that helped us be “as one man with one heart” in our root, which then broke and are now present in us. Start uniting with the friends and you will start to reveal that these desires are present inside you. If you don’t feel them, it means you haven’t started uniting with the group yet. That’s why you still don’t feel how many desires you have inside you that oppose unity, or in other words, are in a broken state.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/14/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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How To Gain Confidence And Freedom

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Ever since I started studying Kabbalah I feel so small, as if I’m a tiny embryo, and I feel less and less confident as time goes by. Where will I suddenly get real confidence in this single force that controls the entire universe, sets up all the problems for me, and is my only source of support?

Answer: Usually a person finds confidence in religion when he believes that there is a Creator who is good, who will take care of him, and whom he can trust. This worldview sets in deep inside a person and supports him, which is why Kabbalists do not speak out against religion.

However, there comes a time when a new desire awakens in a person and he can no longer be calmed by the blind faith of the past. He develops and outgrows it. Traditional actions are no longer enough for him; he wants to know the Creator!

Ideally, we should have ascended from religion (Dat) to knowledge (Daat) and realized what is written, “Know the Creator.” However, in actuality this is not happening.

In actuality it is only possible to achieve this by connecting with a Kabbalistic group. There is no other means. The group must be the place where you can attain the Creator, the quality of bestowal.

The sensation of insecurity comes only from a lack of the quality of bestowal. As soon as you are ready to bestow, you will feel total confidence and will acquire freedom from yourself! That’s because bestowal is Bina.

Then you will live without any fear and your only worry will be, “When will I attain the deeds of the forefathers through my deeds? When will I be able to bestow to the Creator?” Or in other words, when will I ascend even higher than Bina?
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/10, “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress”

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Don’t Wait For Any Favors From Nature

Dr. Michael LaitmanLately we have been hearing a lot about various troubles and natural disasters, such as floods and snow storms in Europe, fires in Russia, hurricanes in the USA, and the recent fire in Israel. Experts in the field forecast that difficult times lie ahead for the whole world because the global warming and climate changes that have begun to happen entail very great problems.

Why is that so? It’s because we exist in nature, and the Gematria (numerical significance) of the words “nature” and “the Creator” are equal.

Baal HaSulam explains in the article “The Peace” that we have to view the Creator as the law of nature. We shouldn’t think that He can change if we ask Him for it. The sages of Kabbalah want to eradicate this illusion we have so we’ll stop believing that any change is possible from the Creator’s end.

He is initially Good and Does good; He is unchangeable and so is His attitude to us. Good Light descends to us from Him and grows weaker as it goes through the worlds or concealments. That is how we receive it in our sensations.

When we receive this Light, it passes through our nature, which is opposite to it and aimed entirely at reception. Thus, all of the good that comes to us turns to evil according to how opposite our qualities are to it. That’s because the Light is bestowal and love, whereas I am reception and hatred. Because of this difference, I perceive the Light’s good influence as evil in all its different manifestations.

All of my desires are so egoistic by nature that in order to satisfy them I am ready to use the whole world. Because I use them only for the sake of self-gratification, I will suffer more and more from one generation to the next, from one year to the next as I become more sensitive, developed, and dependent.

In this century humanity has reached a state where it does not know where to keep going and how to get out of the dead-end it has gotten itself into. Since we live in a global world, we depend on each other in every way, while our ego separates us and closes us in.

When the abundance of goodness descends to us from Above, it is not intended for some particular person, but for the common, integral ego. Therefore, we are setting ourselves up for very big disasters.

Even though we are trying to avoid it, as Baal HaSulam writes, nature or the Creator will inevitably win and obligate us to accept and implement the law of balance with Him.

The science of Kabbalah explains this law very simply. It says that the Creator influences us, and there is a system of worlds or filters between Him and ourselves, intended to let the Creator’s Light through selectively.

The law by which this system works from the Creator to us and from us to Him is called the law of equivalence of form or the law of balance. It turns out that to the same degree we receive influences from the Creator, we must correspond to them and bestow back to Him with the same force in order to observe the balance.

Don't Wait For Any Favors From Nature1

Since the Creator constantly increases His influence on us, we too must correct ourselves more and more. This is the purpose for which our ego keeps growing according to a specific formula, and it is according to the same formula that the influence from the Creator’s end is actualized.

However, if we transform our ego to bestowal, we will reach equivalence with Him and then the balance will be observed. Then no matter how much He influences us, we will perceive it correctly. He gives to me and I give to Him.

Don’t Wait For Any Favors From Nature -2

Stated differently, changing our nature, our egoistic desires to bestowal, love, care, and attention to other people, is the very solution to the problem. That is how we will reach the common balance: Nature will calm down and humanity will begin to feel differently.

Besides, we will reveal the Upper Dimension, the Upper World, and will discover that this entire system of filters or worlds exists inside us, while we exist in equivalence with the Creator, in equivalence of form and adhesion with Him.
From the lecture in “Kabbalah L’Am Hall” on 12/7/10

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 12.14.10

The Book of Zohar — Introduction: “The Letters by Rabbi Amnon Saba,” Item 27, Lesson 3
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Talmud Eser Sefirot 3, Part 8, Item 3, Lesson 11
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Baal HaSulam, “Beit Shaar HaKavanot,” Item 79
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress,” Lesson 6
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