Kabbalah Moments: Donkey Driver

Bleach For The Donkey

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person who desires to ascend up the spiritual degrees, to go from our reality that is felt in the five senses to the upper reality, has to change himself and his qualities. And for that he needs an external, additional force which he lacks.

He has just a tiny point of desire for spirituality and must receive everything else from outside. The entire sum total of these forces, which raises him from the current state to a more advanced state, is called “the donkey driver.” In Hebrew “donkey” is Hamor, originating from the word Homer, matter. The donkey is our matter, the will to enjoy, and it continuously goes through changes, causing us to ascend and advance along the spiritual path.

The force from Above influences our desire, changing it, and thus our “donkey” becomes constantly improved because the “donkey driver” is always working on him. When we reach the end of the path, our “donkey” really does become “white,” just like in the stories about the Messiah who arrives on a “white donkey.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/11, The Zohar

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Shooting Practice Using The Weapon Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur entire work comes down to a very thin line. We must advance only along this line since otherwise the smallest deviation will eventually lead us very far away from the goal.

This line is described by the formula, “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.” The goal, meaning the Creator, must be our aim initially, from the first step. But what is the Creator as a goal?

This is pleasure from bestowing to Him. The more energy and efforts we have to make in order to please our beloved, the more we enjoy it. Pleasure from bestowal is evaluated by the efforts that you made in order to acquire the necessary pleasure and pass it on to your beloved.

This goal is called “bread of mercy” or “perfect faith.” In relation to it, we can asses the “Egyptians” in us and “Israel” in us. We discern our desire to reveal the Creator more and more accurately in order to give Him pleasure and to enjoy from that. That means we must acquire love for Him because without love it is impossible to enjoy giving to someone.

Therefore, I must discern the goal from the beginning, as well as its reason and the means to realize it according to the vessels and the Lights. How can I make it come true already now without making a mistake? What device can help me to aim?

What weapon should I use to shoot my bullet so it will precisely hit the goal, which I do not see? What kind of barrel does this cannon have? And what is the bullet like? Who am I, and what desire do I use to actualize this?

Thus, in the current state we necessarily end up with a certain device that can serve us as an exercise machine, an experimental stand, a set-up we can use to conduct full blown experiments. We won’t just be practicing to aim, but will know for sure that our efforts do reach the goal, even though it is inaccessible to our eyes.

This device is the group. A person places the final goal into the initial plan and relates to the friends, the group, and work in it as to the Creator. Placing the group in the Creator’s place, he calibrates himself on it, puts efforts into it, and has it before his eyes.

Then he can be sure that behind this set-up, behind this “firearm,” there is the goal, the Creator. This tendency, the intention, the attitude to the goal is what brings a person’s work to the Creator.

Therefore, we have all the opportunities for building a small or great human society so that by uniting through love for the neighbor as for ourselves, we will acquire love for the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/11, Writings of Rabash

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Learning To Live Without Lies

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We learn that the process of correction is internal and must be separated from the external world. But on the other hand, we live in a unified reality and I feel how Kabbalah influences my day to day life. I am a lawyer by profession, and as such I often have to be sly with people, yet I feel that I can no longer keep lying to them! So what should I do?

Answer: Well, what can you do?…If I am a member of a mafia that continues to steal, then how can I remain in it if I’m no longer able to lie?

There are many professions like this. If you are in the system of the egoistic society, then it operates by these laws. That is why Kabbalists usually chose simple professions and did not even think of rising to higher offices.

I understand the difficulties that arise if a person already has this profession and it is difficult for him to alter his living standards. Yet you should try to arrange your life so you will operate within the bounds of justice, more or less, even if it isn’t spiritual justice, but the simple human kind. Be in a position where you won’t have to lie, steal, and harm people because, indeed, you will feel that you are no longer able to do this.

Spiritual progress changes a person so he can no longer tolerate lies on such a grand scale as is customary in business among regular egoists. This is a problem in many professions that are related to human relationships.

On one hand, the method of Kabbalah is aimed only at a person’s inner correction, his attitude to the friends in the group. Yet, he can no longer act unfairly in the external world either. He changes entirely because he is an integral individual. He cannot lie to people with a selfish goal in mind and bring harm upon them. This is a consequence of correction.

Otherwise, why should the world correct itself if everything will remain the same on the outside? In the end we have to attain corrected life on this earth. By attracting the Light that Reforms upon us, we will all begin to feel this way, and in fact, will feel much more so. We will not be able to lie or cause harm to each other.

It’s true that loving your neighbor means loving his aspiration to the Creator. But when you start to change, you will also change in relation to the whole world. That is how the Light influences us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/11, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”

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Not A Moment Of Rest

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Who has to overcome evil: me or the Creator?

Answer: No matter what others tell me about the Creator, I have to work on my own from beginning until end. Then, according to the things that become revealed, I will be able to tell how exactly this takes place: by itself, by virtue of my efforts, or with the help of a certain Upper Force.

We shouldn’t wait for anything to come from Above. Nothing will come. With my forces and efforts I have to reveal a picture that already exists.

Everything depends on how much I yearn for it. I am like a child who grows only to the degree he wants to grow. And I have to add this desire myself. Now just imagine what life would be like for that child.

In our world children develop naturally and we can barely keep up with them. A child runs around all over the place and always wants something. That is how we should do our spiritual work as well. Otherwise we won’t develop and grow. However, what we do instead is take “breaks” all the time and time-outs to stop and think it over.

Does a child ever take a time-out? No, he does not experience a moment of rest. He has to attain the world at every moment.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/11, Writings of Rabash

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Step By Step Towards Pleasure And Love

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is goal-oriented pleasure?

Answer: Goal-oriented pleasure is pleasure from bestowal, and the only way it is possible to enjoy bestowal is when you love the person you are giving to.

So how can I achieve love? By virtue of correction, by replacing hatred with love. Who or what makes this correction happen? The Upper Light.

When does it happen? When I ask for it. So when will I ask for it? When the group obligates me to do so.

When will it obligate me to do so? When I lower myself before the group and in it find the force that obligates me.

So when will I finally lower myself before the group? It will happen when we work on this together with the friends.

And that is where we stumble….
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/11, The Zohar

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Knowing The Creator’s Secret

Dr. Michael Laitman"Introduction of The Book of Zohar," Article "You Will Behold the Secret of the Lines in the Palms," Item 161: When three small lines enter those on the length, he has one black inscription in his body. Also, three hairs hang down that inscription, and that inscription is as a circle, with one breakage at the top of the inscription. Wise-hearted who know these secrets called this inscription “An eagle’s head.” Sometimes, this inscription is seen between his shoulders, sometimes in the right arm, and sometimes on the right arm, on his fingers.

We read about parts of the soul which connect with other souls and by that virtue reveal these images in the connection between them. "The secret of the face," "the secret of the lines on the palm," the secret of all body parts, all of that refers to the parts of the collective soul, Adam HaRishon, the system of connection between the souls.

By and of themselves, the souls contain nothing that we can study because it’s the desire to receive. We attain the connection between them, meaning the forces of their mutual bestowal, which connect them like blood vessels.

The Zohar describes all these forms of connection as the study of "the secret of the faces," "the secret of the palm lines," "the secret of Man’s body" referring to all kinds of internal and external signs, until we gain knowledge of the whole Man ("man" or "Adam" in Hebrew is a derivative of the word "Edome" or "similar to Upper One"), that is, until we reveal the perfect system called "the Creator."

Therefore, we should bear in mind that The Zohar speaks about the connection between us, describing it in such a way.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “Yitro (Jethro)

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The Commentary On All Creation

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Book of Zohar includes many parts:

1. Introduction of the book itself, which is also written by Rabbi Shimon,
2. The weekly chapters or commentaries on the weekly portions of the Torah,
3. The parts commenting on the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Writings (Ketuvim).

The Book of Zohar was a complete commentary on the Hebrew Scriptures (TaNaKh for the Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim). We were left with only a part of this exalted Book, and most likely a very small one since except for the commentaries on the Torah, none other seem to exist. Moreover, as Baal HaSulam repeatedly emphasizes, the Torah commentaries are also missing a lot. We’ve seen how in some places, the text often ends quite abruptly.

But from the upper governance’s point of view it looks like we need exactly the parts of The Zohar that we have received. So, there is no need to feel bad that the whole Book of Zohar has not been found. We should be grateful for what we have of it and use it according to its purpose.

Now we are reading "Introduction of The Book of Zohar." All of the articles in this introduction are very useful and profound. But “The Donkey Driver,” “The Night of the Bride,” and “The Letters of Rav Hamnuna Saba” are the most fundamental articles where the authors of The Book of Zohar explain the basics of creation.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “Yitro (Jethro)

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Children’s Fantasy, Faith, And Reality

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How do we help a child not to fall into groundless philosophy, but rather examine and verify everything practically?

Answer: This is exactly the kind of approach to life that we should be methodically teaching to a child by providing examples thereof. A child tends to trust what an adult tells them. But we have to teach him or her to verify everything.

You should explain to the youngster: “If I told you something, how can you be sure you’ve heard it right? By the same token, how can you be sure that I know what I am talking about and tell you how it really is? After all, grownups also err; anyone can make a mistake! It is your job to verify what you are told, which is a sole basis of your advancement.”

You may ask how will he grow up then if he doesn’t believe what the teacher tells him? But he should believe us only inasmuch as to do the exercise we are giving him. But it is his job to learn from this exercise what is right and wrong. He should only believe that it is worthwhile to do this exercise to make his own conclusions later on.

In other words, we must teach a child to search for answers on his own based only on his own life experience. Otherwise, he will learn to trust everything we say and will think that everything that is written in the newspaper is absolutely true.

We read a newspaper and subconsciously receive everything it says as facts since this is what we were taught in childhood: to respect a printed word. But if we dig into it, we’ll see that everything is dictated by mere greed and is cut to order. We, however, take it at the face value and gain information from this source. We don’t need to teach a child that, do we?

We ought to teach him to use thorough critical thinking skills when it comes to everything life throws at him so that he never takes somebody’s word for it. He must verify everything first! He should accept another’s “expert” opinion but only to make one next, independent step forward.

As to the rest of it, lay down a rule: Make judgments solely based on evident facts for it is written: “A judge only has what his eyes can see.” Children tend to gravitate to fantasy, but all of it should be channeled into verifying it. Each fantasy needs to be checked. It is great that a child has vivid imagination, but it has to be founded on evidence.

The only exception is what lies in the realm of inspiration, art: singing, painting, and culture. Culture has no relation to science and doesn’t have such heavy restriction; therefore, it can work with imagination alone. But it isn’t in any way connected with life principles. Culture is above knowledge and reason since it derives from the search for the Upper One, the Creator. Therefore, art should be separated from egoistic desire.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/2011, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”

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