Kabbalah Moments: Be Stubborn

An Online Game With The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanAs we examine the universe, we see that nature together with our world are concealed from us. We are revealing the world over the course of thousands of years, from generation to generation, and we are becoming more familiar with it.

The Creator is the common force of nature, and this is why we will need some more time to attain Him. However, why is reality concealed from us? Why is the Creator hiding from us?

After all, He is not like the laws of nature that conform to Him: the still, vegetative, and animate levels of development or the human level. He is the common law which contains the thought, as well as the beginning and the end of the universe. Everything is included in Him. Then, why did He create everything so He would be concealed from us?

What is so special about attaining His revelation on our own and asking His help with it? What is this game? He conceals from us, and we need to suffer over the course of thousands of years of our development until we come to the question of, “Why is the Creator concealed?” Only then does the wisdom of Kabbalah, the method of revealing Him, become revealed. What do we get from it? So, we will reveal Him, and what will happen then?

People say that we will be happy then because the Creator is Good and does good, and we will exist in love above all the suffering once we attain His revelation. However, if the Creator is the force of infinite love and bestowal, then why did He create us to be so miserable and sordid? Why do we need to work so hard to come to the one who loves us?

We see that everything is also the same in this world. People who have been through different obstacles on their way to attaining love, unity, and revelation value it; they feel how they have benefited and discovered something great, dear, and important.

We also see that every person in our world essentially wishes to be loved for who he is. However, this kind of relationship between us cannot exist. Only a mother experiences these feelings toward her child, and this love is corporeal and animalistic. It has come to the mother from nature, and it obligates her to love her child, give him life, sustain him, and facilitate his further development.

This is the only exception. Since we do not love other people for who they are, we want to have proof of how this will benefit us. All of this helps us to understand, at least slightly, why the Creator needed this game (the concealment).

He wants us to come to this love without expecting it to benefit us. Just like we want to be loved for who we are, He also wants to be loved for who He is without our expecting any personal benefit. This is why we will not be able to understand how to begin to establish a connection with Him before we free ourselves of our ego.

The first thing we need to do in order to develop the sensation of the Creator within us is to rise above our nature. In other words, we need to rise above personal interest, above “How will this benefit me?”

This will be possible when I manage to become absolutely free from it, as if I did not exist, as if I were absolutely independent and objective, and able to see and judge things this way. Then I could begin to perceive the Creator, the force of bestowal, the force of goodness, from that moment on.

Otherwise, if He were to reveal Himself, I would come to Him because this would benefit me. This is because if I were to feel that He only evokes love, security, health, and happiness, I would be forced to love Him because He is the source of everything good. This love would be compulsory and dependent.

This is why I need to arm myself with a screen, a restriction and my anti-nature, and to become free from my own ego. Then, both of us would become carriers of infinite and pure love without personal benefit, and we would begin to understand that it is not the Creator who conceals Himself from man, but man who conceals Him with his ego.
From the Introductory Lecture “Why the Creator is Hidden” 12/14/2010

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The Ten Plagues Of Egypt Redefined

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does a person who has experienced the ten plagues, came into the desert, and entered the land of Israel feel? I think that anyone can imagine blows.

Answer: No, these blows are completely different. These are not the blows that we are used to. A blow is not something that makes us feel bad; we can all imagine feeling that way. Rather, a blow is something that makes me understand that my egoism, my nature, is evil. This attainment is called a plague. Nothing else pertains to the ten plagues.

It is not a blow if I am just feeling bad. I suffer not because I am feeling bad, but because I feel the evil of my desire to receive pleasure, of my egoism. A blow points me to the cause of the evil. It, itself, is not evil.

In reality, these blows are not that much suffering. People suffer much more in our world. What matters most is that a person feels a direct connection between suffering and his egoistic qualities: “You suffer because of what you are. You will not suffer if you rid yourself of these qualities and rise above them.”

A person strives to escape this suffering, but it is not because he just wants to stop feeling it. It is because he feels his insignificance, the evil in him, especially in relation to those around him.

There are several terms here: the Creator, man, Pharaoh, the sensation of evil, and the reason for the sensation of evil versus good. Man does not want to escape the blows. This is not the problem. The blows help him discover the true causes, and he no longer wants to just escape the blows; he desires to rise over them toward the property of bestowal.

He wants to attain a connection with the Creator and to disconnect from Pharaoh not from the bad feeling. In other words, he transitions from evaluation according to the principle of “bitter and sweet” toward examining the principle of “true and false.” He wants to cling to the truth, and this is why the ten plagues lift him and take him out of Egypt.
From the Lesson on the Weekly Torah Portion 1/6/2011

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How To Roll With The Punches

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Does the law of “The general and the particular are equal” mean that one can undergo the ten blows both individually and in the group, or is it an exclusively internal, personal process?

Answer: Yes and no. As a rule, all Kabbalists go through this individually; I know this from my own experience. One feels so desperate in his egoism that he tears away from it and cannot use it anymore.

There is no doubt that it’s easier to do this while being in the group, even if the latter knows nothing about it. It can be a small group in terms of the number of members and level of advancement, but its general atmosphere, its determination and aspiration to the goal helps a person and doesn’t let him escape from this process. A person holds himself intact at the time he is receiving a blow, which is what matters the most, and he passes through it.

However, even if he tells himself, “That’s it, I give up! I can’t stand it anymore! I wish to live solely for bestowal,” he eventually descends deeper into the egoistic desire and gets revisited by those thoughts and internal discernments. He sees that at the deeper, inner level, he is still stuck in his will to receive where he hasn’t yet made a final and irreversible decision that he desires to rise above it all.

The ten blows are not only just different in character, not at all. They differ in their depth since they become more and more internal. Therefore, even if during the previous test a person decided that he wouldn’t be using egotistic desires any more, now he sees that he hasn’t worked on this particular desire yet. He hasn’t become aware and realized that it cannot be employed and that he can’t comply with his egoism.

If a person has a strong and correct environment, he passes through these states with enthusiasm. He is aware that he is undergoing a blow that will help him tear away from egoism and get refined. I don’t think a student can go through it without the support of the teacher and the group.

The blows themselves are very specific, and one should move through them quickly and distinctly. It all depends on our discipline, the interconnection between us, and our willingness to lose interest in our egoism which is our nature.
From the Lesson on the Weekly Torah Portion 1/6/2011

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A Kabbalist’s Function

Dr. Michael LaitmanA Kabbalist has two functions: one relative to the Creator and the other relative to the created beings. In many cases, they are interconnected and one affects the other, but they are still two different missions.

Relative to the Creator, a Kabbalist does a special type of work within the system to which he belongs. There, he is connected with the Kabbalists of all generations who reside in this system as corrected souls. He realizes his designation in the root of his soul, in the place where he belongs within the system. By revealing the Creator, he delights Him.

Relative to the created beings who haven’t yet come to individual attainment, to the best of his ability, he shares the knowledge of the wisdom of Kabbalah and helps them to approach the upper system, consciously enter it, and take part in correction.

To accomplish this, Kabbalists write books. A book is a revelation. Every generation needs new books since with every new incarnation souls become renewed. They are characterized by greater egoism and a new type of perception. Besides, even in our corporeal world, the conditions for the Creator’s revelation are changing as well.

Therefore, Kabbalists have to keep improving the method of Kabbalah. This is the very same method that was revealed by Adam, but in every generation, it has to match the collective desire. As the desire grows, the conditions between the Creator and us change, and this is what Kabbalists write about.

When we attempt to penetrate the depth of a Kabbalistic text, we see that it isn’t simply letters and words, but rather a mechanism that works on us as we speak. The text is a program that is put on a person to work with his desire so that it starts corresponding with the upper system. That’s when the person becomes a part of it.

Through the book, a Kabbalist passes on to the students how to build the intention, how to act and interconnect. Moreover, he passes along the internal force from the spiritual system. It enters the person while he is reading, but affects him only on the condition that he desires to change to be like the Kabbalist whose words he is reading and that he wishes to penetrate the text to reveal that which is being described.
From Kabbalah for Beginners “Who is a Kabbalist?” 12/13/2010

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 22

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

What Is a Prayer?

A request is something that a person feels that he is lacking. It is in the heart. It makes no difference what he says since “a request” means that one asks for what he lacks, and all of one’s wants are not in the mouth, but in the heart. Therefore, it makes no difference what a person says, but the Creator knows the thoughts. Hence, Above, only what the heart demands is heard, not what the mouth demands, for the above reason that the mouth is not deficient and needs to be satisfied.
– Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “What is, ‘A Woman Who Inseminates First, Gives Birth to a Male,’ in the Work”

The Creator hears a prayer, and only awaits a whole prayer.
– Baal HaSulam, Letter no. 57

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Questions To A Kabbalist

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it true that in each generation, there is only one authentic Kabbalist?

Answer: Everyone is necessary since each person works in their own area. Humanity is diverse, and each of its parts requires a special language and approach until people have advanced and become able to hear the truth. Therefore, it’s not worth thinking about who is a Kabbalist. We should strive to learn the truth and come closer to it, but if today or tomorrow a truly great one shows up, we will follow him.

As to a specific generation, it is hardly possible for more than one real Kabbalist to emerge. After all, there is only one head. And all others, who are either near or below him, may be in the tens, hundreds, or thousands according to the structure of the pyramid. If not in this generation, then in the next one, I hope that we will see something resembling the Sanhedrin (Assembly of Sages): a great number of Kabbalists who are at a high level of attainment and together guide humanity on the path to the Creator.

Question: Is there a connection between the “36 righteous ones” and Kabbalists?

Answer: There is not. The “36 righteous ones” is a concept. It means that in this world, there are special souls through which abundance comes into this world so as to sustain the existence of this corporeal reality. It is a unique system, not individual people.

Question: Can a woman be a Kabbalist?

Answer: Definitely so. There were women who attained spirituality: our foremothers, followed by prophetesses, and then the people who before the fall of the Second Temple perceived the upper world.

Men and women are not different in this. Today, I know many of our female students who have been working selflessly for many years and advancing thereby. Their perception and desire are greater than those of most of our men. I have no doubts that they can reach a level not lower than that of the men.

Besides, since all of us are moving toward the revelation of the Creator, most likely it will result in both men’s and women’s revelation of Him. Is a woman not part of the creation? It’s just that she has a somewhat different spiritual job than a man does, but “different” doesn’t mean “not spiritual.”

Question: How do I explain to a child what a Kabbalist is?

Answer: A Kabbalist is a person who reveals the Creator according to the law of equivalence of form. He transformed himself in such way that he became somewhat similar to the Creator. Hence, he has a particle from Above which is called a soul, the Creator’s part. In this part, he experiences the spiritual world, upper dimension, eternal life, and identifies himself with it.

So, when the life of his corporeal body expires, he doesn’t feel a loss. He continues to live and feel spiritual existence as he does right now. Such a person is regarded as a Kabbalist because he received a spiritual life.
From Kabbalah for Beginners “Who is a Kabbalist?” 12/13/2010

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Becoming The Creator For Others

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Suppose I reached complete bestowal and harmony with the Creator. How can I make this state continue and work from a plus to a greater plus?

Answer: The instant you feel that you are neutral and work with the Creator in total tandem, start searching immediately: "Where can I get foreign desires in order to start working together with the Creator, to act the way He does? Let Him show me how to relate to others!" And you immediately witness how He fills them all.

Your eyes suddenly open and you see: Everybody is in the world of Infinity, completely filled. In reality, the poor ones scream that they have nothing, and they curse everything. And you see them as absolutely filled, absolutely spiritual.

That is, on the next stage you begin to work as the Creator, in the same system, being ahead of Him and wishing to act instead of Him. You become His partner. You do it. You even take Him by the hand and pull Him, like a little child pulls a grown-up, asking Him to carry it out. You add your desires to it. You feel the pain of others, and you force Him to fulfill them.
From the Lesson 1 in Moscow 1/14/2011, "Introduction of The Book of Zohar"

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Myths And Reality

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Unfortunately, I was brought up to believe that the Creator is an old man sitting somewhere in the sky. Now that I study Kabbalah, I understand that this is a false perception. How can I get rid of these childhood stereotypes?

Answer: This isn’t related to one’s childhood. Humanity developed such myths a long time ago. It is natural for us to imagine the existence of something in this way. Stories have been told from generation to generation about an existing force which people associate with images that have arms and legs, all according to one’s understanding.

The Creator has no image or form. The Creator is Nature, and since both words have the same numeric value, they represent the same object. The Creator is the general law of Nature, and Nature is a force. We are forces as well, even though it seems to us that images, matter, and nature exists at the still, vegetative, and animate levels. Just as we see various images on the television screen, we see everything in this world exactly the same way. We imagine it in our heads.

The image of the Creator as an old man in the sky is a grave mistake and creates a warped perception of reality. The wisdom of Kabbalah was concealed, and even Judaism didn’t explain to people who the Creator is. This led people to believe these myths. Similar beliefs still exist among the nation.

We associate things with the Creator that we would normally associate with people in our world: If I give Him something, then He’ll give me blessings, or if I give a dollar, then He’ll give me two. We think that if we bribe Him, we’ll get better treatment from Him and life will take a turn for the better.

However, with each passing day it’s becoming increasingly clear that our relationship with the Creator has to be built only in the direction of our correction. He demands but one thing from us: to be one man with one heart and love thy neighbor as thyself.
From the Introductory Lecture “Why the Creator is Hidden” 12/14/2010

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