The Effort Comes From Below And The Sensation—From Above

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: As we prepare for the European Convention in Berlin, we are experiencing difficulties trying to receive forces from the environment. While we make the physical actions, how can we avoid losing a connection with the inner goal?

Answer: First of all, it is good that people feel a lack of intention because without the inner component, the intention of bestowal, the external efforts cannot succeed in attaining the Creator’s revelation. So where can we get the right intention for uniting and connecting, inside of which we will act?

We have to try, the way a small child tries to be an adult, with all our might to keep the intention and not forget that we carry out all of the external actions coming from our inner effort. To what extent will we able to do it—that no longer relates to our success.

It is possible that the Creator wants to show us that we really are small and unsuccessful so we would stop being proud of ourselves and would feel that without help from Above we will not be able to keep the intention and will not be able to unite with our own powers. If we were able to do it ourselves, then we would not need the Creator and would not reach the state of “Let us go to Pharaoh.” In essence, a person never has reason to complain about the states he receives. They become revealed as a result of his advancement and therefore at every moment they are correct. The question is how to be able to build the right attitude to them with the help of the group.

In most cases we give ourselves a guilt trip about the past, thinking about how we acted incorrectly, did something bad, missed out on something, were unable to do something, and so on. This is the influence of the impure force, Klipa, which brings us back to the past. The same thing is true about being disillusioned in our qualities: What is the point of blaming ourselves if it is a known fact that we are egoists and continuously reveal just this? We have to form the right attitude above this state.

Therefore, everything depends on the effort. It is impossible for a person to be unsatisfied and to want something different, but that doesn’t matter because the sensation comes from Above. Beginners are shown how successful they are, being encouraged and supported like small children. On the other hand, those who advance are shown their flaws and mistakes not so they would correct themselves, but so theywould demand correction. And all of the reactions are for our own good.

A person’s inner work in relation to the group should be separated from the actions done to organize the studies, the conventions, and dissemination. One does not relate to the other. The inner ascents and descents should not affect the external work. There has to be a daily routine and program, according to which we act independently of desires.

In our inner work we make efforts as much as we can, but the sensation we receive—good or bad—depends on what exactly we should be feeling. If we do not feel inspired, excited, and generally supported, it means that this sensation is being sent to us to help us detach from egoism.

Disappointment with the states that come to us shows a person that the egoistic desire does not support him and thus he naturally turns away from it. Egoism itself helps us to reject it, which is called “help against you.” Our unpleasant sensation in the work is help from the opposite side, until we are able to ascend above our nature and look at it from Above together with the Creator. This is called standing against Pharaoh together with the Creator. That is how one ascends and passes the Machsom.
From the lesson on 12/24/10, Writings of Rabash

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You Cannot Build The Intention Alone

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Can we build the collective intention before the lesson begins? If so, how?

Answer: The collective intention has to be founded on the common goal. Our ultimate purpose is to delight the Creator, whereby we equalize ourselves with Him. In order to accomplish this, we must get to know Him since He wishes that we see His love and kindness. It isn’t our personal need; the Creator wishes for us to know Him.

Getting to know something means to become equivalent in form. Hence, we do our best to aim all our efforts at bestowal. I exert effort not to gratify my egoism, but yearn to step out of myself and desire to find the Creator namely to delight Him therewith.

To accomplish this, I need to possess the Kelim (properties, vessels) of bestowal, and I turn to the aid of the Light concealed in the Kabbalistic texts, especially in The Book of Zohar. The Light can reform me, walk me across the abyss that lies between my properties of reception (receiving Kelim) and bestowal (bestowing Kelim).

However, if I think about it alone, there isn’t sufficient force. It doesn’t even sustain my ability to hold the intention to bestow. On the other hand, if I work with the others as a link in the chain, in one desire where everyone nullifies himself before all the others, then our common spirit gains great power. Kabbalists, who had already passed these stages, promise us that this is the way to success.

Hence, I am happy to be among the friends and to be able to build the intention with them by withdrawing from myself as far as possible in order to finally bring pleasure to the Creator. In this way, we become similar to the Creator in qualities and get to know Him in the same degree; moreover, we achieve adhesion with Him.

Therefore, we must start preparing before the lesson and arrive to it with a fully formed desire. By thinking about it, a person “heats” himself up more and more until he finally succeeds. It is written: “Mitzva (commandment) without intention is like a body without a soul.” You are given a commandment to study the Torah, a Kabbalistic method that is designated to reform the evil inclination. With its help, you will attain bestowal, feel love for all others and, ultimately, for the Creator. The Torah derives from the Hebrew word “Ohr” (light) and from the word “Oraa” (instruction).

But if you haven’t equipped yourself with the necessary intention, you are sitting at the lesson dead and performing mechanical actions deprived of spirit and the Light of life. So it is up to you to decide what you are getting up for at night and what you are doing.

Even if a person is unable to keep the intention, let him at least feel how strongly he lacks it. The heartache caused by the empty, bitter heart is just as important.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/1/2010, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “The Buds”

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Preparation For The Encounter With The Light

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the beginning of the lesson, you usually set a common direction for all of us; you help us focus on a common intention. How important is this directive?

Answer: We need to come to the lesson already prepared, with a particular desire (intention): What do I wish to receive from the lesson? I need to think a lot about this prior to the lesson.

Sometimes I organize an intention for everyone without relying on your preparation, but rather setting an example myself. However, in general, each of us should prepare for the lesson on his own, in his own intention. One’s success in revealing the Creator depends precisely on the intention.

A mother gives to her little child what she thinks is necessary. However, as he gets older, a person chooses things according to his taste, using his own experience and comprehension.

We have come in contact with The Book of Zohar many times already; we have tried many exercises with the intention. Over the course of the day, a person needs to prepare for the lesson and for attuning himself to the studies. We need to give people an opportunity to build an intention on their own rather than gathering them like a nursery school teacher: “Take each other’s hands, and everyone follow me!”

One has to prepare for the lesson on his own based on his present sensations and understanding, based on his current state. After all, the lesson is a time for the realization of desires. Here, being on a date with the Light, a person can receive what his point in the heart aspires for.

Maybe we should sit in silence for 15 minutes before the lesson so that every person could search within. However, I depend on you in this regard: Between waking up and coming to the lesson, you have time to think, attune yourself, and build your intention.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/1/2010, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “The Buds”

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Everyone Has His Own Infinity

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Shamati #4, “What Is the Reason for the Heaviness One Feels when Annulling before the Creator in the Work”: One must know that he will never come to know the true measure of the importance of the connection between man and the Creator because one cannot assess its true value.

A person has to understand that he will never know the true greatness of the Creator and will not be able to appreciate the real level of connection with Him. In general, he won’t be able to measure anything outside of himself because it is always boundless, while he is capable of perceiving something only in his limited desires (Kelim). Of course, they grow constantly, but they are limited in their capacity.

If now something seems to me as infinite or boundless, it is only with relation to me. For instance, if you fill an 8 ounces glass to the top, it will be infinity with relation to this given vessel (Kli). It’s unlimited and infinite since it received everything!

In other words, everything is measured with relation to desire, a person. If I exist in the state of Infinity on my current level, then later I will reveal an even greater egoistic desire, and I will suddenly discover that I lack everything. But where did my previous state of Infinity go? You sensed it in the desire with the capacity of 8 ounces, but now, when your desire has been expanded to 80 gallons, you do not feel any fulfillment whatsoever.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/31/2010, Shamati #4

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 20

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

The Torah Develops the Recognition of Evil in a Person

According to the above, we can see that since he had learned a lot of Torah [in order to draw the reforming Light], through it he was granted seeing the truth about the distance between himself and the Creator, meaning the measure of his remoteness and nearness. This is the meaning of his mind being crude, meaning that he saw the complete form of one who is proud, which is his will to receive, and then he could see the truth that it was he who was most ugly. How did he see the truth? By learning much Torah.

Thus, how will he be able to cleave to Him, since he is such an ugly [egoistic] person? This is the reason why he asked if all the people were as ugly [horrible egoists] as him, or that he was the only ugly one but the rest of the people in the world were not ugly.

What was the answer [that he felt]? “I don’t know.” It means that that they do not feel, hence they do not know. And why do they not feel? It is for the simple reason that they were not rewarded with seeing the truth since they lack Torah [did not attract enough Light that Reforms upon themselves], so the Torah will show them the truth.

To that Elijah replied to him [he heard Elijah’s answer]: “Go to the craftsman who made me” because he saw that he had come into a state from which he could not ascend. For this reason Elijah appeared and told him, “go to the craftsman who made me.” In other words, since the Creator created you so ugly, He must have known that it is with these Kelim (vessels) that the goal can be achieved. So do not worry, go forward and succeed.
Baal HaSulam, Shamati, Article #56 “Torah is Called Indication

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How Do We Get Along With The Law Of Nature?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 4, Baal HaSulam writes: “The Creator puts one’s hand on the good fate…. And one’s choice refers only to the strengthening.” The Creator leads a person to the friends and the study, and the rest is up to him. Don’t expect that someone will do your work for you. It is your job to sort all the tools and arrange them correctly.

“But I don’t understand anything! I can’t study, don’t know how to relate to the friends, and get confused in internality and externality.” You can complain to your mother, but it’s pointless to complain to the law of creation. It is just as pointless as arguing with the law of gravity.

The Creator is the law of nature, which is absolute bestowal. If you are in sync with it, you feel good, and if not, you feel bad to the degree of your inadequacy. As a matter of fact, both the former and the latter correspond to the level of your development. Similarly, in our world, we treat little children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly differently with respect to their age.

Imagining the Creator incorrectly, we attribute to Him some human qualities and feelings that characterize us. We keep trying to “convince” Him hoping that He will change his mind. It is the most serious flaw produced by our egoistic nature.

Since the beginning of time, people have been making the same mistake: They transfer their attributes onto the surrounding world. We demand an expected reaction even from our domestic pets. Generally, we expect to find similarity to ourselves and correspondence to our imagination in all levels of nature, including the speaking level.

This is where the wisdom of Kabbalah radically differs from all religions and belief systems. It is written: “The law is set and cannot be broken,” “I did not change my HaVaYaH.” The Upper Light remains at absolute rest, and all changes take place only in the vessels. I either ask the Creator to change or know that I must change myself.

My prayer is “tied” to myself. To pray means to judge myself and change. This is the only way I may cause a different response from the unchanging law. This is the whole point. Religions don’t talk about the transformation of man; they suggest that I should “bribe” the Creator by performing mechanical actions or passionate prayer. People hope that it will help them, although human history proves the opposite to be true.

Kabbalah maintains that you are the one to change and nobody else. Continue to appeal to the Creator as you did before, but only for a different reason: This is His will, and you are doing it against your own desire.

You stand before the Light. By changing yourself and becoming similar to Him in properties, you begin to perceive His influence that previously remained outside of your senses. You become a vessel for the Light and grow until it fills all of you.

To anticipate the Upper Light doesn’t mean to whistle for the wind. Make an inner move toward Him, wish to change, and it will affect you. All changes that we observe in the Light are changes within us.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/17/2010, “The Creator Created the Evil Inclination, and He Created the Torah as a Spice”

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The Question That Elevates Us Above This World

Dr. Michael LaitmanRabash, Shlavei HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), "What is the Feast of the Groom": Forces of separation bring thoughts which make one feel detached from the Creator.

Question: What are these thoughts? Are they thoughts against the spiritual work or any distracting thoughts?

Answer: Simply irrelevant thoughts have nothing to do with the separation. They mean that I am disconnected from the purpose and am in a state of "this world," at the still, vegetative, or animate level of development.

If the thought of becoming like the Creator is completely absent from my mind, it means that I haven’t yet risen to the degree of human (Adam) and am on the preliminary stages together with the rest of the world. Religion, politics, philosophy, science, business, culture, education, or anything that a person occupies himself with in this world belongs to this world; all of it serves it.

However, if I have a point in the heart, the question of why and for what I live, and it has surfaced clearly and distinctly, carrying me upward toward the purpose, then it belongs to the human degree in me. It means that I undergo the period of preparation before entering the spiritual world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/2011, “What is the Feast of the Groom”

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Learning From The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can I see an example of the Creator’s work? In my everyday life can I tell what He is now trying to show me?

Answer: You will recognize the Creator’s example directly in your sensation. My soul is structured in such a way that inside it begins to feel a certain part of a higher soul that shows it an example. Then I follow its example, looking at it like a child looks at an adult. And when a child receives an example from the adult, he wants to do the same thing.

However, you cannot find such examples in our life because you still don’t have the qualities of bestowal. You will only be able to discern them when you have the Kli that can help you become similar to Him. Then you will see His example according to the equivalence of form.

We have been given just one example. When we experience despair, then on its background we are brought to the group that studies the science of Kabbalah. Then you are told: “Start uniting with the friends and studying Kabbalistic books together.” Only then, with the help of the right study, by building connections with the friends and starting to reject your ego, the Light will come to you and help you overcome your egoistic desire. And only after that will you be able to acquire upper qualities.

However, it is only possible to receive the Creator’s example when you have a Kli in which you can realize it. By proving that you have the opportunity to become similar to Him, you will acquire an image according to which you will build your equivalence with the Creator.
From the lecture in “Kabbalah L’Am” Hall on 12/14/10

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How To Recognize A True Kabbalist

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”: And as King Solomon could not prevent Asmodeus from sitting on his throne, pretending to be him until he arrived in Jerusalem, sages of Kabbalah observe philosophic theology and complain that they have stolen the upper shell of their wisdom, which Plato and his Greek predecessors had acquired while studying with the disciples of the prophets in Israel. They have stolen basic elements from the wisdom of Israel and wore a cloak that is not their own. To this day, philosophic theology sits on the throne of Kabbalah, being heir under her mistress.

Greek philosophers studied from the prophets since Kabbalah was open for everyone from the time of Abraham. However, they could not ascend to the height of spiritual attainment because this demanded huge efforts. That is why philosophers only took the external part of this wisdom; that is, their aim was not to correct human nature, but only to acquire knowledge.

The first sign by which you can distinguish a Kabbalist is to see whose student he is. It is impossible to receive spiritual attainment without being a devoted, close student of a true Kabbalist. Although being a student of a genuine Kabbalist does not yet guarantee spiritual success, at least it is the first necessary condition in order to reach it.

The second sign of a Kabbalist is that the methodology which he is offering must be directed only toward correcting man’s egoism. This is precisely what sets Kabbalah apart from the ancient Greek philosophers (religions, beliefs, spiritual methodologies, and so on). They stole the external shell from Kabbalah (discourses on the upper worlds, the world to come, reward and punishment, and so on) and started to use and develop it egoistically, in order to manipulate rather than correct human nature.

These are the two main signs that differentiate a Kabbalist from a non-Kabbalist. Furthermore, not just philosophy but all methodologies in general, including the scientific ones, employed by man in hopes to correct the world and attain a better, corrected, and more or less bearable life eventually demonstrate their falsity.

It may not manifest in the scientific conclusions themselves, but in the assertion that in this way, it is possible to correct the world and bring happiness to humanity. Until it is as clear as day, regular people in whom a special urge toward spirituality (the point in the heart) has not yet awakened will not treat Kabbalah seriously.

Thus, only a person who studied from a recognized Kabbalist can be one himself. A true Kabbalist also offers a method for correction of egoism, not all kinds of “miracles” or physical actions with the help of which one supposedly receives reward or punishment from Above.

In other words, this is neither religion nor a belief system, neither philosophy nor theology, and not even the natural sciences of our world, but a method for correcting our egoism with the purpose of attaining unity and love. This method can become revealed to the masses only after humanity becomes convinced that all other methods cannot lead it to salvation.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/2011, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”

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