Bait For Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I am entirely the will to enjoy, then can I really desire to do anything for the Creator selflessly?

Answer: No, I cannot. I am only ready to do something that will give pleasure to my desire. This is my nature and I cannot come out of it on my own. I act only if it is profitable for me. That is how the Creator made me and nothing can be done about that.

In the language of Kabbalah this state is called "this world." But there is also another state, "the world to come" or "the upper world" where I will exist if I don’t make my calculations based on the egoistic desire for pleasure, but on the altruistic desire of bestowal.

However, I don’t have that desire and I don’t even want it to appear! That’s true, but you are offered help:

1. Your point in the heart is awakened and you start to think about this.
2. You are brought to the group where you can be strengthened with the help of the friends.
3. You are given books and a teacher, who accompanies you on the spiritual path if you desire it.

This way, you are provided with all the necessary means and an explanation of the fact that besides your own nature, there also exists a higher nature, the Creator’s nature, which operates by the calculation of bestowal. The beginning is set: You have a spark, an environment, and books. This is the starting point, the "drop of semen" from which you can develop your future self.

All the other conditions depend on you. The ball is in your court. If you use the means you have correctly, then you will acquire a second nature. Meanwhile, you receive an explanation that this is beneficial for you, that you will feel much better "there," that you will have eternity, triumph, perfection, and so on. You receive an explanation that is clear to your egoism.

However, in reality the spiritual world will not be revealed in your current desire because it will be transformed in the process. It’s similar to how in our world kids grow up on "promises." "If you read this book you will get a soccer ball," I tell my son. He picks up the book hoping to get the ball, but as he reads it, he gradually changes and now he no longer needs a ball, but a bicycle.

After swallowing the initial "bait," a person unawarely enters the path of development and demands an increasingly "progressive" reward even though he does not yet see the final goal. We too should confuse our egoism in this way in order to participate in the life of the group and gradually be "permeated" by the higher state.

We have to become masters of "swindling" our egoism. A person in this world is an intelligent animal and we have to use the ego, throwing it bait so it helps us on the path, all the way until entering the spiritual world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/26/10, Writings of Rabash

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Sweet Suffering Of Love

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I do not fill my desire to enjoy or I fill it incompletely, I feel suffering. You said that in the desire to bestow, I also feel the deficiency of fulfillment, but this does not arouse suffering in me; rather, it gives a sensation of life. Why do I suffer in the desire to enjoy, but in the desire to bestow, I do not?

Answer: Suppose I love someone. I want to be together with him, to unite with him, to spend time with him since I love him, and everything that we love, we want to draw closer to us. But at the moment, he is far from me, and I only long for him. In any case, however, it is still a pleasant feeling, even though it is called the “suffering of love.” You love and you feel pleasure; love attracts you and fills you. But at the same time, you feel suffering because you have not yet realized your love; you have not yet united with the beloved.

In spirituality, bestowal means love since we give to those whom we love. If I love someone, want to fill him, and fill him, it is called bestowal. But since it’s based on love, bestowal is pleasure.

That is why in spirituality, in bestowal, even if you feel a lack of bestowal and, hence, a lack of fulfillment, which makes you suffer, this is the suffering of love. It is sweet as well since it derives from love and the connection with the beloved.

And since there are no restrictions on bestowal, it means that you will necessarily reach the opportunity to give to the beloved because it only depends on you. And that is why the suffering of love definitely comes to its realization.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “Perfection in Life”

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Difficult Work Based On A Simple Principle

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Everyone is asking what specifically do we need to do in order for the Creator to correct us? There is a desire to hear a simple and clear answer!

Answer: Everyone wants to hear a simple answer: “Tell us exactly what to do without these complexities!” People want to work like a robot on an assembly line, to keep pushing on one button, and not to think about anything. It won’t work this way!

You will have to exert effort yourself and “do everything that is in your power to do.” It’s because our spiritual vessel (Kli) is extraordinarily complex and includes in itself 613 (Taryag) desires, 10 Sefirot, 3 lines, 22 letters, numerous characteristic properties, and very different components.

For this reason one simple action is not enough here; it is necessary to study (in a physical group or virtually, through the Internet or television), participate in the gatherings of friends, and come to the conventions. I exist among the fragments of the broken soul and have to restore the connections with them in order to correct the breaking.

In order to feel the spiritual world and the Creator, I need to connect with the rest of the souls, and only in our connection will I feel spirituality. It does not exist anywhere else but in the network that connects us. Only when I reconstruct the collective body of the soul and when it starts working properly, then inside it, I will feel the Light, filling it and flowing from one place to another.

Difficult Work Based On A Simple Principle

I will feel that there is the flow of life and special events in this body, the exchange of energy from one to another. This is what is called spiritual life!

In reality, the task is very simple. There is me, an egoist, with my point in the heart and I have to connect it with others, with the same points as mine. But from this simple principle, thousands of necessary actions arise: collective study, preparation for and participation in conventions, work in the kitchen, and so on. All of this together is called “work in the group.”

But why do I need all this work? I need it in order to reveal the connection and love among us. Based on this simple principle, you will be able to derive everything else, more or less, connected to the goal. But the spiritual life is only in the connection between the souls.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “The Freedom”

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Unity Day – 12.26.10

Unity Day Around the World, Preparation to the Lesson
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Unity Day Around the World, “We Start Connection Between Us”
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Exile From Intention

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I simply help people in this world, can I extract from these actions the Light that corrects the soul?

Answer: That depends on your intention. If you truly have the intention to bestow, then you will surely attract the Light. But if you’re going to be walking an old lady across the street and thinking yourself righteous for doing so, you will only hurt yourself.

There are millions of people in the world willing to help others, and it appears that they do good things on the material level, but for some reason their actions don’t make the world any better. All the deeds of philanthropy do not produce any positive results because it is intentions that change the world, not actions.

The Creator doesn’t need your actions if you’re doing them out of your ego. First, you have to ask whether these actions correct the heart? Before performing a commandment or any other good deed, you have to first arm yourself with the right intention. And if you don’t have the intention, ask yourself whether the action is even worth doing.

If the action is essential to your livelihood, you have to carry it out even without an intention since it pertains to the bare necessities, and hence, is “neither condemned nor rewarded.” But if the action goes beyond what the animal body needs, you cannot do it with an egoistic intention. By performing egoistic actions you corrupt the world since you distance yourself from spirituality and bring misery into this world.

The collective state when actions are done without an intention is called “exile.” And returning to actions with altruistic intentions is called “redemption” for with each such action you reveal the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “The Freedom”

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The Two Principles Of Success

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The Russian experience shows that egoistic unification leads to great problems. On the other hand, we come to study Kabbalah as egoists, and I am very afraid that by trying to unite we may repeat the same mistake.

Answer: First of all, I urge you not to fear anything! There is a song: “The world is a very narrow bridge, but the key is not to be afraid of anything.” On one hand, it is a narrow bridge, but on the other, don’t worry, you will cross it.
There are two principles that lay ground for success:

  • Principle 1: Consistency in studying, connection with friends, and dissemination.
  • Principle 2: Connection with the group in the manner that its inner essence becomes the environment that sustains your spiritual development.

As a result, we will be able to realize all that Kabbalists have prescribed: “to become as one man with one heart,” “to love others as you love yourself,” and from unfounded hate come to brotherly love. If you adhere to these two principles: 1. consistency in studying and effort aimed at unification and 2. the group as the environment for your spiritual advancement, then you have nothing to fear; nothing bad will happen to you.

And all these thoughts will emerge as obstacles so that you stick to the goal evermore.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “The Freedom”

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 5

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

The Essence of the Work in Torah and Mitzvot

These were the words of our sages (Beresheet Rabba 44) when they asked, “Why should the Creator mind whether one slaughters at the throat or at the back of the neck?” After all, the Mitzvot were given only to cleanse [from egoism and unite] people, and that cleansing means the cleansing of the turbid [egoistic] body [desire], which is the purpose that emerges from the observation of all the Torah and Mitzvot.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Revelation of Godliness (Matan Torah),” Item 12

As our sages said, “The Torah and Mitzvot were given only so as to cleanse [unite] Israel [anyone who aspires to the Creator, the property of bestowal].” This is the cleansing of the body [from egoism] until one attains a second nature defined as “love for others,” meaning the one Mitzva: “Love thy friend as thyself,” which is the final aim of the Torah, after which one immediately attains Dvekut with Him.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Revelation of Godliness (Matan Torah),” Item 15

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Wild Humans And Peaceful Animals

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why were Adam’s sin and his breaking necessary? What was so special about it that the Light couldn’t have created in the creature directly?

Answer: The Light couldn’t supply the creature with the Creator’s status or the awareness of “who I am” as it is impossible to pass this on from one to the other. The sin with the Tree of Knowledge is a unique condition where pleasure overpowers shame. At every spiritual degree, state, and decision, bestowal is placed before reception. This is why all these worlds are called holy. But not so in this case; here reception comes first!

“I ate [from the Tree of Knowledge] and will eat more” implies that I am not able to resist this pleasure. I am going to receive pleasure for myself; I don’t care what happens next. Moreover, I don’t care one bit what happens to the Giver.

I can’t resist. The Serpent rising within man unfolds an abyss of unfulfilled desire that constitutes the difference between an animal and a human. Before the sin, Adam and Eve existed at the animate degree. Afterward, they became “savage humans.” Even if sinful, they nevertheless are humans.

Without this, the entire creation makes no sense since the initial plan was conceived as making man equivalent to the Creator. The force that advances creation lies in the revelation of this shame, the gap between the Creator and the creature.

At the still, vegetative, and animate degrees, the creature isn’t separated from the Creator; it follows all His orders and doesn’t oppose Him with any desire. However, in this new desire that unfolds today, in this new emptiness, the creature feels that it opposes the Creator, and that the former is the guest and the latter is the Host.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Who Are You, Adam?

Dr. Michael LaitmanAdam is the collective soul created by the Creator as the inner part in the external part: the spiritual world. Uncovering the AHP, the egoistic desires, led to the fall of the initial state of the soul, GE, as it received for self-gratification.

It resulted in the breaking of the soul, after which every one of us carries its part that needs to be connected with all the others in yearning for “loving others as I love myself.” It is done in the group, the common attribute of bestowal.

Adam was the name of the first man who, 5770 years ago, attained the Creator, the collective property of bestowal (it was the reason behind the emerging year of the Jewish calendar). Following him, all the rest of us have to also attain the Creator within 6000 years.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Eternal Life Has Been Divided Into Tiny Drops

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”: Now we can understand the severity of the punishment of the Tree of Knowledge, for which all people are put to death. This death extends from eating it, as the Creator had warned him, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

… Hence, that eternal breath of life, expressed in the verse, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” had to leave there and depend on a slice of bread for its transient sustenance.

This life is not an eternal life as before, when it was for himself. It is rather similar to a sweat of life, a life that has been divided into tiny drops, where each drop is a fragment of his previous life. And this is the meaning of the sparks of souls that were spread throughout his progeny. Thus, in all his progeny, all the people in the world in all the generations, through the last generation, which concludes the purpose of creation, are one long chain.

Obviously, it is not talking about the ordinary life and death of a person in this world. It is speaking about life cycles of the desire to receive pleasure. Each time it is revealed in us anew, and we correct it further. This is what the wisdom of Kabbalah calls “a new life cycle.” However, if we live an ordinary “animal” life, we do not correct anything and do not go through “life cycles.”

Due to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, a new and enormous void became revealed called shame. This is what we need to correct, but it requires a lot of life cycles. If a person changes, the entire world changes together with him. And if the person does not change, the world cannot change either.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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