Question: I would like to know: Where inside me does the evil inclination reside? Is it in the heart or in the ego? How can I find it in order to get rid of it?
Answer: Baal HaSulam writes that he rejoiced about the revelation of new, evil qualities inside of him because they are not new, but are concealed in a person, and it is unknown when all of our evil, not yet revealed, will be revealed in us.
Indeed, the times when the evil becomes revealed are unpleasant. A person begins to eat himself up because he does not agree to it and does not want it. This approach also needs to be corrected.
To tell you the truth, we must only be happy when the evil becomes revealed, but not as masochists. If this evil reaches the necessary measure, then a person will explode and produce such an inner outcry, such a feeling will emerge in his heart that he will receive a revelation from Above.
Then in relation to his heart, he comes out to other people and starts feeling the spiritual world, which cannot be felt inside of you, but only in the desires of other people. However, this is a good feeling. Then a person experiences every moment as a great adventure where his desires and intentions begin opening up the world to him.
From the lecture in “Kabalah L’Am” Hall on 12/21/10
Question: Can Kabbalah help a person find mutual understanding between a man and woman or fix relationships in the family or at work?
Answer: No, you will not be able to create a good life for yourself in this world with the help of the science of Kabbalah. A good life will come as a result of your using all of the evil that becomes revealed in order to attain love for the neighbor and love for the Creator. Then the desires in which you feel bad will no longer emerge in you. The science of Kabbalah does not lie to a person! This is not psychology or charlatanism; it is not mysticism or a magical means to improve our lives!
Kabbalah says that the evil which becomes revealed to you is goal-oriented. It is intended to push you toward correction. You do not have to nullify the desire in which you feel bad, but rather, you have to admit that the desire is bad because of your hatred to the neighbor, and when you correct your hatred to love, you will be able to enjoy love for the neighbor and then the bad desires will no longer become revealed in you.
If you want to create a family or you are already married and a disagreement, animosity, or a misunderstanding comes up between you, that misunderstanding is impossible to correct without correcting your attitude to creation and the Creator. The Creator is between you: “Husband and wife—and the Shechina between them.”
For now the Shechina is still in exile. It becomes revealed as an evil, harmful force, the force of mutual hatred which sets you one against the other. The Creator does this deliberately so you wouldn’t connect on the previous, animate level, the way a female animal unites with a male animal in order to produce offspring, but in order for you to merge with one another as two souls into one soul and reveal the common force of bestowal that will connect you together.
If you are able to correct the relationship between you in this way, you will really become a family. Otherwise you won’t be able to do it. Kabbalah does not give you hints, solutions, or medicine for your current state, but elevates you to a new state where you will be able to be happy, successful, and perfect.
All of the suffering, problems, and blows become revealed in our world not in order to bring peace and perfection into the world, but in order to elevate us above our world. Otherwise it is similar to building communism in Russia. If you do something not for the sake of the Creator, meaning not in order to reach absolute bestowal, then you won’t achieve anything.
I feel bad, I have problems with my family, at work, with my children, and with my health, and I want to succeed in all of these areas. Kabbalah says I will feel good? Then fine, I agree to study Kabbalah! To do that I have to bestow to others? Then I’m even willing to bestow to others—anything to feel good myself.
This is called Lo Lishma (not for the Creator’s sake). This means that you know the method and you want to bring it to life for the sake of everyone so that you would also feel good. Now everything depends on what proportion you are willing to bestow to others in order to improve your state.
At first it is 1% for others and 99% for yourself. Then it’s the opposite: 99% for others and 1% for yourself until you acquire the force enabling you not to want anything for yourself. “I don’t care about what happens to me, I want to bestow to others.” This is called “bestowal for the sake of bestowal.”
However, we will never be able to return to a successful and corrected material life. All the methods that say that they can achieve this are lying, and Kabbalah tells you from the onset that this is impossible because all the evil in this life exists in order to elevate you to a new level.
Therefore, if you apply the science of Kabbalah to improve this life and you begin selling holy water or red strings, then it becomes a deadly poison. We have to understand that the reason for the general state of the world is the need to elevate us, but not to improve our situation. This is the difference between Kabbalah and other methods.
Therefore, if someone promises you a good life in this world, or health and happiness in your personal life, don’t believe it—it’s a lie and goes against nature! Nature wishes to elevate us to the “human” level. And when you aspire to this state, everything falls into place in the most wondrous way!
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/11, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
Question: In spirituality why do we have to form a desire for every new pleasure?
Answer: It’s because in spirituality there is no pleasure without desire. Without desiring, you won’t attain anything. And the desire has to be new every time. These are not the desires you were born with in our world.
When we are born here, our senses do not work yet. A baby practically does not perceive anything. He does not hear or see. He only has some reactions on the animate level. And then we immediately begin pumping and filling him with our programs of perception.
If we endowed this creature that just came out of its mother’s womb with other programs, then we would form him into something completely different. We would be able to build him spiritually. This depends on education, upbringing, and the method of development.
With our attitude from the very first day, we raise a child to be an egoist. Notwithstanding, a baby is open to everything: He can hear and see differently, he can perceive the world in the opposite way. In the end everything depends on the environment.
Now, with the help of the environment, by the same principle we must transform our vision of the world, our attitude to life.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, Writings of Rabash
Answer: It is indeed so, and it is going to repeat many more times. There will be an impression that a collapse is imminent, and then it will seem that everything is going to be okay. Only through such gradual, step-by-step development do we become aware that we must change.
Generally, it is necessary to understand that nature’s goal is not to annihilate us. The collapse must be internal. It has to occur in our consciousness, in our awareness of how wrongly we treat ourselves and the world. It’s not in the fact that I was hit by a hurricane, tsunami, an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or freezing weather.
All of this is necessary solely in order to pull us out of our own swamp, elevate us, and force us to start thinking. As a matter of fact, these particularly consistent acts—a sudden blow and its retreat until the next blow hits, then another blow and retreat—gradually pull a person out of himself.
With each new step, we think it is all the same, but in fact, it is not so. Each new time, we process another type of egoism, its greater part. One blow to the ego, the second, and the third one, but we don’t feel the difference and don’t realize that each time, our egoism processes completely new degrees.
Egoism is diverse, and until it reaches its very last state, nothing will change. This is why we need to pass through so many small blows.
We experienced many of them already while descending from the world of Infinity into our world along the 125 spiritual rungs. These rungs contain billions of various actions and events that we must live through in our world. And we have to work them out during our incarnations, in these lifetimes.
There is nothing accidental; nothing can happen out of the blue, by leaping over the spiritual rungs, or by skipping spiritual states. We have to swallow every pill, which is the only way to learn. There is no other option.
From Lesson 2 Berlin Convention 1/28/2011
There is a very clear, sequential, and gradual movement in the spiritual world. If I don’t have the feeling of hunger, a desire for the next level, then I don’t have a Kli (vessel or quality) in order to feel it, and so I don’t feel it.
A threshold is required. I have to ascend from my present state, from desire #1, to the following state, desire #2. If I have ascended to the next level, desire #2, then I feel the source of Light that is there.
But if I still haven’t attained that desire and am somewhere in the middle, on one of the 10 intermediate levels (called 10 Sefirot), then I do not feel the next state. I have to reach the very last level, and only after passing it do I begin to feel the next state. This is a precise corpuscular method where everything is graduated by degrees just like quantum particles in an atom. And we cannot do anything about this.
Therefore, there is an intermediate state between my initial desire (in which I felt a certain kind of fulfillment and it seemed like the sun was shining) and my second desire. This intermediate state is practically felt as emptiness, hunger, and suffering. But if I know that I am advancing, that this is a cumulative process that will end and that I will reach happiness and fulfillment, then even this process is necessary in order for me to attain a new desire, and therefore it directs me forward correctly.
The sensations of the bad states, confusion, obscurity, and emptiness, drive me forward, helping me to advance faster. If I felt some kind of pleasure and fulfillment in these states, then they would push me away against my will and it would be very difficult for me to advance. I wouldn’t aspire forward out of goodness and all the things that are nice because my egoism would immediately force me to sit and relax.
Therefore, we should relate to suffering the right way, understand its goal-oriented nature, and know how to use it correctly. As soon as I connect it to the right goal, this suffering turns into anticipation of the wonderful fulfillment that is to come.
If we master this method, life will seem wonderful.
From Lesson 1 Berlin Convention on 1/28/11
Question: Although the Internet facilitates connection between people, we still use this infrastructure in our egoistic interests. How can we change this and employ the same system for the sake of bestowal?
Answer: This can be done only by getting to know one’s evil. But in the meantime, we use the Internet as our egoism dictates. And it pushes us into real filth: Look how much sex, pornography, violence, and lies the Internet is filled with. Yet, on the other hand, there is just as much infantilism and rosy fantasies. This opens to a young person the world of adults and generally demonstrates to each of us the whole dark side of life.
I think it serves as a huge and powerful accelerator of human evolution.
From a TV Program “Ask the Kabbalist” 1/20/2011
We are trying to make Kabbalah closer to people and to clarify that it is a wisdom which explains our life to us and helps solve the problems concerning education, health, and everything else. But all of this is only externality.
Actually, Kabbalah speaks solely about the spiritual world and stops at the level of Bina de-Malchut de Malchut of the world of Assiya. Between this Bina and our state of existence in this world, Malchut de-Malchut de-Malchut of the world of Assiya, there is a gap.
We cannot step across this abyss, make it narrower, or fill it in with something. Until you leap above this gap, Kabbalah will always seem an abstract science to you, a philosophy or mysticism, meaning something unreal. After all, you perceive as real only that which you can see and hold in your hands right now. And what can we give you if we don’t sell red strings and “holy water”?
This gap between our state today and the closest Bina is overcome only by intense work within one’s own matter: an egoistic will to receive. I try to accomplish this with the help of environment, albeit also egoistic so far, and the studies that are for my own sake. Like a little child, I make efforts to grow and rise above myself as much as I can.
Kabbalah will never be able to garb itself directly in the matter of our corporeal world; you will always have to keep leaping up with it! You won’t be able to fix this very last AHP (the lowest part of the upper spiritual object, Partzuf) since you don’t have Galgalta ve Eynaim (GE, the upper part of the spiritual object) that you could use to clothe the AHP with.
This is the structure of all the worlds, the entire spiritual ladder; GE of the lower Partzuf is clothed into AHP of the upper Partzuf and as a result can receive from it. Although it is completely dark in the upper’s AHP, I am willing to accept this darkness with my GE and comply with it, in order to hold on to the upper one. I am prepared to choose this dark over the light that I have in my GE at present.
But I don’t have the GE for this very last AHP between Bina and Malchut de-Malchut de-Malchut de-Assiya! In fact, I reside below this AHP with my egoism; I don’t have anything I could clothe into the upper one with. There is nothing I can do. Hence, Kabbalah remains an abstract knowledge for me so far.
Spirituality ends in the last Bina, (at this red mark in the diagram). The upper one’s AHP is total darkness for me. But if I bring into this interval “the group, the book, and the teacher” and start working with them, then I have an opportunity to connect to this Bina.
In fact, this doesn’t mean that the group itself has to be in spirituality. But these instruments (the group, Kabbalistic texts, and the teacher) are endowed with such miraculous property (Segula) that if I imagine them to be above me and wish to partake in them by lowering my ego before them, then I extract from them a spiritual component. Through them, the Light descends on me from GE of the upper one.
I, on my part, contribute desire (an egoistic one!). In response, the Light comes to me, and we meet in this area regarded as “the teacher, the books, and the group.” It is a qualitative definition rather than corporeal people and books: the very place where I reveal the AHP of the upper one, the spiritual world.
Therefore, I must keep visualizing that they are exalted and great, and that the Creator lives within them. Only in such form can I envision the upper’s AHP, a higher spiritual degree, and cling to it. Since I don’t have the GE, there is no other chance to do so.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/2011, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
Answer: It’s a total illusion, an absolute lie. If I think about someone, I think about myself, adding to it a pseudo-connection with another person. In truth, it doesn’t exist; there is nobody else. All my perceptions and impressions remain in my desire, and this is the only premise upon which I can make a calculation.
Question: Why, then, do we sit here and hope that we will wish to bestow? How could such a desire emerge in us?
Answer: This occurs because our desire is able to experience itself as such deep within, while on the outside, it can feel as if it isn’t itself, but somebody else. Nothing was broken but the thought, the intention, the idea that we are all fragmented and disconnected. Desire itself cannot break; it was the intention that broke, the awareness of oneness.
Therefore, we fall into the illusion that the one desire created by the Creator is split, fractured, and broken into multiple pieces. This illusion appears within the desire itself.
We have internal Kelim (vessels, desires), the “root,” “soul,” “body,” in which I experience my “self.” In addition, I have external Kelim, a “garment” and a “chamber,” which I perceive as not my “self.” If I tear my clothes, I won’t scream with pain. I don’t feel the surroundings, despite the fact that it is my desire as well. Simply such peculiarities, the lack of sensitivity, appeared in it.
Imagine, if you will, that you could feel all the Kelim in their authentic form. Then, all of reality would be your own “flesh” for you. More than that, somebody would scratch a wall with a nail, and you would scream with pain.
Our difficulty is the lack of intention. The intention became corrupted, and now we don’t see the desires of “others” as relevant to us. It all depends on what is revealed to a person. Our sole job is to integrate desires within. While they remain unchanged, it is the intention that matters: whether it is to receive or to bestow.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/2011, Writings of Rabash