In The Infinite Reaches Of Emptiness

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur earthly existence has practically exhausted itself. What once seemed valuable to us is losing its previous charm. All the different pleasures related to food, sex, family, wealth, fame, power, and knowledge no longer satisfy us and can no longer serve as the goal. Even while being fulfilled by them, we still feel empty inside.

That is why today we are facing a very serious challenge from Nature, which is showing us that we completely don’t understand where we are. After all, the entire volume of the universe is there, in front of us, but we only perceive a microscopic part of it.

In reality all of matter is emptiness. Matter consists of atoms and every atom consists of a nucleus and electrons. But if you zoom in on the atom so the nucleus is the size of a small coin, then the distance between it and the electrons would be equal to an entire kilometer! An atom is like a solar system where the planets (electrons) rotate around the sun (nucleus), while everything else is emptiness. Moreover, it’s not like cosmic emptiness which nevertheless contains particles of matter, but it is total emptiness.

Thus, overall in relation to us, matter consists of emptiness. But we can look at it differently: It isn’t emptiness, but filled space, and we just don’t feel the filling. However, the filling is the most important part. It is the invisible filling between the nucleus and the electrons, or between all of us. It’s not the material parts that are important, but what is between them.

We will be able to feel it only if instead of perceiving the surrounding nature as an object for egoistic reception, we will feel it through the opposite quality, bestowal.

Nature consists of two qualities: reception and bestowal. All of it is sustained upon the balance between them. But we—all of us together and each of us individually—are receiving elements that aim to fulfill ourselves. We use only the five senses or our small “reservoir,” the receiving desire, which is why we only perceive a small volume, a very limited piece of the existing world, qualitatively speaking.

That is where the science of Kabbalah comes to the rescue, being a science of reception, of perceiving the true state. The gist of this science is to develop the opposite quality in a person: instead of reception, to develop the feeling of bestowal. Then you come out of yourself, out of your inner, closed volume, and start to feel the world outside of you and outside of the dependence on yourself.

In the previous emptiness, inside of its infinite reaches, where matter has a minimal share, you will suddenly discover a volume filled by the force of bestowal —a different, external world. It is absolutely connected with our world, complementing it, being its root and source.

That is when we will begin to understand why we exist, where everything originated, and how it operates. Instead of a measly grain that has no beginning or end, we will see the general, closed picture of the whole universe and it will tell us about the causes and goals, and about what happens to us.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on 1/16/11, Writings of Rabash

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Breaking Down The Barrier

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe problem with feeling the spiritual world, meaning the total volume in which we exist today, is the problem of its perception. Now we are also inside this volume, along with our nature, which is still concealed from us. However, we feel only a small part of it with our earthly, bodily senses.

We have to attune ourselves so we would feel not only what enters our small egoistic desire. After all, it’s enough for egoism to desire something and we suddenly perceive what we did not notice earlier.

For example, when I start a new job, I start working with new materials and new phenomena, and some time later I start to feel what I am working with. We are attuning ourselves to a finer perception, creating inner models of phenomena and objects that we are dealing with. For example, a metalworker feels a metal by its sound and by the motion of the chisel. Likewise, people connected to nature understand it through signs that we are unfamiliar with.

We are created so that the surrounding world is depicted for us in a three-dimensional coordinate system. But is this really so? Other creatures perceive the world in a completely different way: through smells, temperature waves, ultrasound waves, and so on. However, no matter how much we expand the range of perception in this world, we always come across the same restriction: ourselves, our capability to receive or absorb inside.

In this way we limit our perception and do not feel the huge world that is around us. Gradually we begin coming closer to understanding these phenomena, or at least to the sensation that this is really so. However, it is difficult for us to cope with this and to work with this difficult problem because that is how our bodies are built.

Thus, as a result of our earthly development, it becomes clear to us that we are simply blind. We do not see where we are or how to live. This brings us to feel enormous suffering, which accumulates more and more. On one hand we develop, while on the other hand we do not know where and how, or what to do with ourselves.

As a result it becomes simply necessary for us to break down the barrier separating us from the real world. It is necessary for us to understand it because we cannot continue to exist this way. We already see that there is a certain psychological barrier here. Whether it is inside us or outside of us, we have to overcome it.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on 1/16/11, Writings of Rabash

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Why Do We Need Waste In Spiritual Work?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can a person follow the advice of “being joyful” if he feels “the taste of waste” in his spiritual work?

Answer: This is a phase where you still do not understand the importance of waste. Yet, can anything grow without waste, manure, or fertilizer? There is nothing useless in the world; everything depends only on your attitude. We have to go through all of the states and feel each of them. In these states death seems sweeter than life, but you aren’t able to avoid them because you have to understand what the “will to enjoy” is.

I am speaking frankly, without exaggerating: Unless you experience this, you won’t be able to come out of the power of the will to enjoy, even though this also doesn’t help a great deal. This is the revelation of the “angel of death.” Without the group’s support, without a strict daily routine, and without taking on obligations, it is impossible to cope with this feeling.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take on obligations that compel you to carry out a certain task today. It has to put pressure on you like a yoke on a bull. There is nothing worse than feeling free. Despite the fact that you do not see, feel, understand, or remember anything, you start to work because you have to, and gradually you come out of the state of descent and continue your path.

We are controlled by two forces, and the only opportunity we are given is to shift from the rule of one force to the influence of the other. Besides the rule of two forces, there is an intermediate state where you choose what influence to be under. You have to try to control these two forces from the intermediate state, the middle line, as if these are two reins that you hold in your hands.

That is why you have to stick to the daily routine: Go to the lesson, go over the lesson, sing, dance in your room when no one can see you, laugh—do anything you can to come out of a bad state! You have to disagree with and oppose the control of this force! The worst thing you can do is despair.
From the lesson on Rabash’s article on 11/7/11

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The Whole World Is Mine

Dr. Michael LaitmanToday, we have to admit that all of ushumanity, the still, vegetative, animate nature, and the Creatorare parts of a single system. The more we correspond with this system, the better our condition will be. If, however, we don’t agree or can’t harmonize ourselves with it to the degree that matches the level of our development, in that same degree we will experience suffering, including our demise.

In fact, we exist in one integral system that becomes revealed to us more and more. The system per se is constant; however, since our egoism is evolving, we perceive its previously hidden forms. We think that it is nature which changes, while it is we who do. It is as if we are looking out the train window: It is not the platform but the train that is moving.

Until recently, we have been evolving at the levels of still, vegetative, and animate nature, and have not sensed our opposition to nature. These were my inner desires that have been developing (Shoresh, Neshama, and Guf), and everything was aimed at satisfying my egoistic needs.

But now these desires were joined by two additional types of desire that I sense as external: “garments” (Levush) and “palace” (Eichal). I have to accept them as my own internal desires, which means I have to accept that the whole world is mine, that it is I, while I only perceive it as existing outside of me.

So it follows that this entire world, the universe, all of nature, belongs to me, doesn’t it? And it is my responsibility to take care of it all, as I do for myself, isn’t it? So, I shouldn’t use it for my own benefit, but specifically in order to take care of it “as I do for myself” since all of it eventually unfolds as my integral part?

This is what we call a new global world. “Garments” and “palace” (Aviut 3 and 4 of my desires) that I viewed as external become internal in my perception and unfold as my own desires, while I, due to my egoistic nature (in my GE, Aviut 0,1,2), reject them, see them as outside of me, and therefore damage them, thereby doing harm to myself.

And when I begin attaching them to myself, I will be able to feel the upper reality in them. It’s because the reality felt in the “garments” and “palace” that become my parts will turn out to be the spiritual world. In other words, I have to attach all of nature to myself and feel within everything there is, to the very last atom! After all, the universe is the world of Infinity that will be revealed to me when I feel that everything around me is mine.

That is how I am going to perceive it. Instead of the material world that unfolds in my egoistic desires, I will start experiencing the spiritual one.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/12/2011, “The Quality of the Hidden Wisdom – in General”

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Turn The Means Into The Goal and The Goal Into The Means!

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll of the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking nature unify toward one upper force that gives life and governs everything. We are all parts of one plan. This is precisely the reason why our world is global, and all its parts are interconnected. After all, everything is governed by one force, and we are joined together through it. All events taking place in absolutely isolated parts of the globe are connected through the common force of nature.

A direct connection doesn’t exist, so we can’t find it since we see only consequences, manifestations of the integral connection of all parts of the universe. The connection itself is run through this one upper force, the only one which governs us. This is why we can understand the world only by revealing this singular governing force.

As the body has only one brain to which all organs and body parts are linked to, everything is connected to the brain and is governed thereby. So are we connected with one upper force existing in nature, wise and kind, which governs all and is called “One” Creator.

It if weren’t for this upper force, we would have nothing in common. At this time, if this force descends and approaches us, we start feeling “connected” with each other and with it against our will. We feel not the force itself, but rather the result of its approaching us, which is expressed in our even greater interdependence with each other and nature.

It is a problem for us since we don’t want to be tied. We thought that in the material world we would gain independence from nature; we hoped that our home with a full fridge, microwaved food, artificial climate, and virtual connection with the world via the Internet would completely shelter us from nature.

Yet, we feel that we depend upon nature even more since it (the Creator) is drawing closer to us. If we recognize the importance of His approach and revelation, thereby choosing to approach Him as well, we will be able to treat bonding with people as the means to meet the Creator half way. Turn the means into the goal and the goal into the means!

Now as the Creator is coming closer, we feel bad. Let’s turn it around then! As He approaches us, we feel how strongly we are pushed toward each other. Let’s then become so close by our own will that He would descend right into us and fill us!
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/13/11, “The Quality of the Hidden Wisdom – in General”

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“If The Donkey Fell…”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should we do if a person leaves the group? Should we try to bring him back?

Answer: If a person decided that he no longer wants to come to the group, we must respect his decision since there is no coercion in spirituality. This is first.

Second, even if a person says he doesn’t wish to continue his studies, tomorrow everything may change. So, we should have a flexible approach to this. If the group tried to bring him back several times (usually twice), but he still hasn’t returned, he should be left alone. We are not allowed to approach him any more.

In Gemarah, there is law: If a person is walking in a field and sees that another person’s donkey fell under the pressure of the load, he should help get the donkey back up and place the load on it. If this happens the second time, he should do the same: Get the donkey up and put the luggage onto it. If after the first two times the donkey fell again, the help cannot be offered again because the animal is unable to carry the load.

A donkey (“Hamor” in Hebrew) symbolizes matter (“Homer”) that we are comprised of. And its luggage is the load that this matter is able to hold. And if your friend “fell” after you have tried to bring him back twice, leave him alone. It is his choice!
From the Introductory Lecture in North Tel Aviv 12/19/2010

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 01.16.11

Writings of Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “A Prayer of Many”
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