Kabbalah Moments: The Ego Not You

Europe: A Common Home, A Common Problem

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There are several dozen of us in Holland getting ready to take part in the European Convention that will be held in Berlin. For most of us this will be the first time attending a Kabbalah convention, and some of the students still don’t realize what the point is of the convention and why is it so necessary to attend. How can we prepare them for it?

Answer: Europeans have to understand that their continent is in a very dangerous state compared to all others. Out of the whole world, Europe faces the greatest and most serious problem, which, if they explode, can escalate to a third World War.

The Europeans are in a very unstable situation precisely because they decided to unite, but on the other hand their union is egoistic. If one egoist separates from another with a boundary, then they are still able to maintain a connection through that boundary according to set rules. But if there are no formal connections and everyone comes to the common market with a common economy, and with the huge problematic reserves that Europe possesses, then I don’t see it having any opportunity to exist and thrive in the world.

After all, how would that be possible? It would go against the laws of nature. Therefore, Europe will face increasingly more serious problems unless Europeans recognize that it is necessary to correct their ego. They have placed themselves in a situation where they simply have no other choice.

Europe is precisely the place that now serves as the practical laboratory for actualizing the method of Kabbalah because it desired to unite, but did so based on egoistic profit. Now from one day to the next, it is bound to reveal that this is the most horrible evil there can be and the worst possibility of all.

That is why Europeans have to attend the convention where we will all unite together, attracting the Upper Force and desiring for it to influence this part of the world in order to correct it. Otherwise Europe might bring suffering upon the whole world and that will become our common problem. I am turning to you on behalf of our entire world Kli: We have to do this.

Europe is the most problematic place in the world, along with all of its disintegrating nations and common currency. I do not see any symptoms there of a good future. Even though Europe has a very good foundation, yet the relationships between all of the countries make that powerful potential precisely the factor that can lead to a huge explosion.

Moreover, besides the social problems, there are also natural disasters awaiting us, and we are completely powerless before them. The climate problems are growing worse and Europe is entirely dependent on the Atlantic Ocean, making it vulnerable from all sides. This is a very grave problem. Humanity does not have the powers or methods to withstand the situations that are now starting to arise in Europe, other than to follow the method of Kabbalah.

Our task comes down to one thing: To bring the knowledge of this method to all until it is implemented. Therefore, I am waiting to see all of you at the convention in Berlin! I have nothing else to add.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/11, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”

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Breaking Free From The “Angel Of Death”

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen we are “pulled by the sleeve” to get acquainted with our egoism, we should rejoice since thereby we acquire spiritual degrees. When a person loses faith in this world and is burdened with questions about the meaning of life, these questions derive from the point in the heart. Then, one is given an opportunity to construct spiritual degrees, the levels of the Creator’s revelation, until the entire Light of NRNHY (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida) is revealed.

Moreover, even the smallest degree gives him a sensation of eternity, of the life beyond the body, detached from the flesh. This is described as: “You will see your world in this life.” At these degrees, a person feels that he resides not in the receiving Kli (desire), but rather above it. Thus, he experiences his life as connected to the Creator; he feels that he has entered eternity.

This is why the Torah is regarded as the means of ascent to freedom from the “angel of death.” We abandon the desire to enjoy for self-gratification, which, in essence, is the “angel of death,” thereby arriving at authentic, endless life.
From the 4th part of the
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/7/2011, Writings of Rabash

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The Intangible Subject Of Freedom

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When I watch how humanity lives, I don’t see any kind of free will. Someone established the initial and final conditions for us, and we just keep running from this starting point to the finish line. Where is our freedom then?

Answer: You are absolutely correct. We can choose neither the states of creation: one-two-three (start-change-finish) nor the stages of our advancement from state one to state three. Everything is predetermined already.

I was born with pre-set characteristics and must actualize the program installed in me; I am corrupted and must come to final correction (Gmar Tikkun). It is clear to what extent I am corrupted and what I will be like once repaired. Furthermore, my entire path to correction has been written out, step by step.

If I become aware of this path, I begin to understand how strictly connected everything is, as if in an engine where each part moves after the other in a certain sequence. The “Torah” derives from the Hebrew word for “manual” (Oraa) which means that you are given precise instructions that don’t leave room for any degree of free will except one! Do you wish to achieve it through your free will, through your personal choice, or do you prefer to be forced into it? Now choose whether you will do it by exercising your free will or by getting beaten until you do it willingly.

And this choice doesn’t imply avoiding suffering. When you choose to evolve with your own will, you walk the path of attainment, development, and you experience the greatness of spirituality, feeling it as something infinitely exalted.

The point you have within that wishes to know the spiritual world, having risen above your material, egoistic desire, is called your “Self.” You can’t avoid this state but it is up to you how you will enter it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/7/2011, “The Freedom”

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How To Break Through Egoism’s Armor

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the past Kabbalah was passed on through the chain of Kabbalists, from one to the next, between selected individuals, special souls. Today, however, the conditions have changed and Kabbalah must spread around the world. How do we accomplish this?

Answer: As we become more distant from the first “man,” Adam HaRishon, who was the first to unveil the spiritual world 5771 years ago, it becomes necessary to simplify this wisdom even more and reduce it to the level of understanding for the masses. We are witnessing the so-called “descent of the generations,” which become much more “material,” meaning that their egoistic desire is getting bigger. We see how egoism grows from generation to generation.

Because of this, today’s souls have greater potential than the previous souls, which allows them to receive, understand, and attain more. On the other hand, it has been more difficult to reach them, that is, have them finally accept and understand it.

In truth, we contain such enormous ego that it clothes us in a bullet-proof armor of egoism of horrific coarseness (Aviut). Hence, we are constantly trying to simplify Kabbalah for the masses even more. In the degree of the ego’s growth, we should lower Kabbalah as well so that we can pass it on to a person at his level. Either way, it remains a mystery to him. By simplifying Kabbalah, we don’t deprive him of his free will; he will still have to exert effort.

After all, if one person is burdened with desire for pleasure valued at “100 pounds” while another at “500 pounds,” then each of them needs to receive this wisdom at the same caliber. He will have to exert an effort in the matching degree in order to break through such a powerful concealment. We won’t steal his free will.

It is our duty to bring Kabbalah closer to a person, or he will keep walking away from it even more. Our ego removes us farther away from the notion of what spirituality and bestowal are. In the past, it was very easy for people to comprehend since it was obvious to them that this was the truth based upon the design of their soul. Today, however, it is completely alien to man with his egoism; he is unable to process even a drop of bestowal even intellectually, not to mention emotionally.

Therefore, our work lies in the field of adapting Kabbalah to serve the people. Unveiling the wisdom of Kabbalah means simplifying it to such degree and forms that would make it enter a person freely and easily, and become as close to his heart as possible. After all, our ego today has grown out of proportion, so much so that people have become totally deaf to perceiving spirituality.

It doesn’t matter that in the past, only a chosen few could study, avoiding all others, while today, there are millions. Increased egoism equalizes all conditions. Today, one can buy Kabbalah books in any store, learn about it from newspapers and television, but people still fail to hear.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/7/2011, “The Freedom”

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613-Dimensional Puzzle Of The Integral Soul

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhere is our free will, after all? It wasn’t my will to come into this world, nor did I pick my life setting: family, country, and ethnicity. I am made of my parent’s genes which define absolutely all my qualities. I was raised by the environment where I found myself: my home, the kindergarten, and school, none of which was up to me. Nothing in me is my own!

By the time I grow up, I am completely formed, a finished product, like a pie from the oven. But this isn’t all! In fact, as the wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us, we are all interconnected cogwheels; we are parts of one integral soul that was broken into pieces. It is as if we became a “puzzle” printed as one whole image to later be cut into small fragments.

So, each of us is assigned a very specific place in which we fit with all our properties and attributes, 613 desires, that make us depend on one person, the second and third, in order to link with them. Everyone depends on all for this puzzle to be complete. And it isn’t just a one dimensional puzzle since we don’t connect by mere contours: Each of us has “613” facets by which one is adjacent to all. Imagine such a 613 dimensional space.

Then what is the freedom that we are talking about if I am merely a tiny piece in the puzzle forced to totally match all the others in my properties? Hence, when free will is being discussed, it doesn’t pertain to a person per se and his personal, independent choice. This is one freedom shared by all; it is determined by all of us together!

Even if a person can make some move, it has to correspond with all the other parts, all the other souls and their properties. If I move in some direction, the movement must occur in the entire system. Now we need to find out: What constitutes my free will after all?
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/7/2011, “The Freedom”

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Entering The Battle Of Opposites

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe purpose of creation is to do good to the created beings. To achieve this, the creature has to be outside the Creator, the bestowing desire, meaning that it has to be in the will to receive. On the other hand, in order to reach perfection, the creature must become similar to the Creator. Therefore, it has to consist of two opposite forces: the desire to receive pleasure and intention to bestow.

It is surprising that the two opposite forces can co-exist inside one person. In truth, however, they are merely seeds. If a person wants them to grow from the smallest level, he has to arrange a correct connection between them. Otherwise, he won’t mature and will remain with a black point of desire that he received from Malchut and a tiny spark of the property of bestowal from Bina.

Growth begins when a person compares these two forces and sorts them out. Thereby he gives the Creator an opportunity to raise him while he combines them on his own: a mutual inclusion of Bina and Malchut so that Bina always stays above Malchut.

It is written: “Man will always turn his good inclination against the evil one.” This means that he himself has to forge this war: to identify the opposites within, force them into battle, and use them to build himself instead of covering them up.

This presents a problem because we avoid self-analysis and try to cover up internal conflicts instead of finding strength with the Creator, the source, so as to defeat the force of reception with the force of bestowal. But if a person understands that everything is sent by the Creator and evokes confrontations within himself, he finds a way to put things in order. He understands that all of his problems and experiences consist of two opposite forces that he must discern and align.

This is possible only if a person employs them in a real action inside the group. In the end, everything he feels must direct him towards love of others.

If it isn’t the case, then it means that a person hasn’t transformed or established a correct connection between the desire for pleasure and the spark of bestowal yet. Only by filling this connection with love of others will he become similar to the Creator in his properties.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/6/2011, “What Does It Mean that the Ladder Stands Diagonally in the Work”

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Separating In Order To Connect

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe further the Partzufim descend, growing more distant from the perfection of the world of Infinity, the more they divide. The difference between the right and left sides, the upper and lower parts, the front and back, the male and female parts, becomes clearer and more significant.

When there is perfection, everyone is perfect in their actions, although of course, each one in his own way. When there is perfection, all are equal. If we attain the total inter-inclusion of souls, then even the tiniest soul attains all the other souls and there is no difference between them. Each one attains the entire Light of Infinity, but in his own way, which is precisely his virtue.

Therefore, the lower spiritual objects descend, the more complex they appear, consisting of different parts. At first all of these parts were in the world of Infinity, and overall it seemed as if there were no differences between them. Then they started to become slightly different: one was a little more to the right and the other to the left (from the point of view of the Light of Hassadim), or above versus below (from the point of view of the Light of Hochma), or in the front versus in the back (from the point of view of the Kelim).

All sorts of differentiating forms appeared, indicating a lack of perfection, which needs to be made up for. In the world of Atzilut these qualities become very noticeable: In Atik it is impossible to detect any differences, in Arich Anpin they are already a little bit apparent, and in Aba ve Ima the divisions are very clear – the front and back sides, above and below (Aba ve Ima and YESHSUT).

However, ZON are already two different Partzufim: Zeir Anpin and Nukva, which require greater corrections in order to complete each other. We, the souls, are completely divided from one another by horrible hatred, repulsion, and a huge abyss between us. There is no more discussion of complementing each other in any way. We must first realize our evil and understand how divided and distant we are, then desire to come closer, and then find a means for it and the One who can help us.

We broke and lost consciousness. All we can do is ask for help, if we can. That is why there is a ladder of worlds, which are degrees of discerning the flaws and separation between all of their components.

And there is a reverse law operating here. If we look from above downward, then the difference between the male and female parts (Zahar and Nekeva), the Creator and creation, bestowal and reception, becomes revealed more and more. But when ascending back up, we reveal this difference more and more, first considering ourselves totally righteous, and then discovering an increasingly greater difference between ourselves and bestowal until we reveal all of it. Thus, we end up with two opposite triangles.

When we ascend, then we reveal an increasingly greater number of details in the worlds, which the Light illuminates for us. The upper level in relation to the lower is like the entire world next to a tiny grain of sand according to the number of constituent parts and their quality.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/11, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 13

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

613 Suggestions and 613 Deposits

We should keep the Torah and Mitzvot so [particularly so that, because] it will bring us into purity [and not so as to receive reward in this or the other world, or because the Creator has instructed us to do so]. Purity means purification of the Kelim [vessels] from the will to receive for oneself, which is called “dirt,” [impurity] for it is in disparity of form from the Creator, who is all about [the property of] bestowal. Hence prior to refining the Kelim, it is impossible to place anything good [exalted] in them [feel eternity and perfection] because anything that is placed in a dirty Kli [vessel] will be spoiled [according to the law of equivalence of form].

Therefore, we must seek good advice [of Kabbalists who have already undergone the path of correction] for things that will purify our Kelim [egoistic desires]. This is called “qualification and preparation to be able to receive the delight and pleasure [prepared for us in the revelation of the Creator].” And because of that, we were given 613 Mitzvot [instructions], which The Zohar calls, “613 counsels.” These are suggestions on how to refine ourselves [our desires since man is namely a vessel of desires] from the filth of our vessels of reception.

It is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (p 242),The Zohar calls the Mitzvot in the Torah, ‘deposits.’ However, they’re also called ‘counsels.’ The difference between them is that there are front and back in everything. The preparation for something is called ‘back,” and the attainment [receiving] of that thing is called ‘front.’ Similarly, in Torah and Mitzvot there is ‘We shall do,’ and ‘We shall hear.’

When keeping the Torah and Mitzvot by way of ‘Who do His words [corrects his egoism],’ before they are rewarded with hearing, the Mitzvot are called ‘613 counsels,’ and they are considered ‘back.’ And when rewarded with hearing the voice of His word [the property of bestowal within], the Mitzvot become deposits, from the word “deposited [felt the Light within].”
– Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “Holiness and Purity in the Work”

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