Kabbalah, the method of attaining the upper world, includes two parts:
1. The first part tells us about how to unite with each other, or how to try to connect and unite;
2. The second part tells us about how to evoke the influence or effect of the upper Light upon us.
Before we begin to study we have to be perforated by the aspiration to unite our desires. Then every person will have a much greater desire than his own. He will begin to be permeated by thoughts, qualities, and desires of other people who also aspire to the same result and the same goal as he. This should be our main intention before the study.
A person who hasn’t prepared for the study in this way misses practically everything because the influence of the upper Light does not come upon the desire of each person, but upon the aspiration that each of us has toward others, meaning on our mutual aspirations to unite with one another, with everyone all together into one common desire.
If I imagine this one common desire and wish to be included in it “as one man,”as before the breaking of Adam into separate souls, then my aspiration receives the influence of the upper Light. Then I really gain spiritual attainment as a result of these efforts.
However, if I come there and listen without these efforts, without making attempts to be included in the common desire, then the upper Light does not have anything it can influence inside of me. I did not provide a surface or basis that it can influence and therefore all of my actions will only elicit purely formal knowledge. That is, I will hear and memorize what is written in the book, but no more.
Therefore, it must be crystal clear to us that the upper Light comes only to our mutual efforts. They have to be mutual! Therefore, the condition for attracting the Light to us is the same condition as was required during the reception of the Torah: “To be as one man with one heart.” Only in this case does the Light come.
So let us try to think this way.
From the 3rd lesson of the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11
Question: Can you please explain what the right way to work with the Light is?
Answer: The right way to work with the Light is very simple. The difference between Kabbalah and religion (and all other methods) is that religion asks the Creator for Him to change and to become better, while Kabbalah says, “The Creator is absolute and only you can change.”
The Creator is Light, meaning the only force in the universe inside of which we exist. This force is unchanging and absolute. Therefore, the only way to work with the Creator is very simple: The more similar you are to this force, the more it influences you, and the less similar you are to it, the less it influences you.
This works by a very simple formula. If you studied physics in school then you have to know it: The influence of any source upon an object that is placed in the field of its influence is inversely proportional to the distance between them squared. When I come twice as close to the object that influences me, then its impact on me is four times greater. That is how things work in the physical world and it is the same in the spiritual world.
Therefore, if you come at least a little bit closer, you will see that the Light’s influence on you is squared. That is how we work with the upper Light.
From the 3rd lesson of the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11
Answer: It’s a very good question. In the very beginning of my path I asked my teacher this question as well: Should I keep track of all my states? “Today, I feel this way and view others that way.” Will it help if I write down each state I am in: my view of myself and the others, how well I understand, my awareness of myself in this world and of the world itself. Should I establish, let’s say, ten facets and try to review them once a day or possibly once every few days (depending on how my states change)?
My teacher said that it’s worth doing so at the beginning stage. It helps a person. For instance, I look back and see that I had already gone through something similar, and nothing terrible happened: I came out of it. Or I use records for future reference.
How much does this help in advancement per se? It is impossible to relive all the details of the past no matter what. After all, you are now living the next state and cannot feel as being in the past. You don’t comprehend it, as it were; it is a completely different person.
We descend from Above downward along the 125 spiritual degrees, and we get inhabited with hundreds of thousands of Reshimot (informational records). Each Reshimo is a spiritual state that contains all of the worlds, universes, and all there is as a whole.
So, when this Reshimo is working in me, I can feel and think only as it dictates. A Reshimo is gone, and I, like after pushing the button “delete,” don’t know or understand anything. A new Reshimo appears, and I act according to it.
We are a system that constantly experiences a Reshimo, an informational gene which unfolds in it. We are living through this gene. A sequence of such genes gives us a sensation of life, flow, and motion.
Therefore, being in some state today and reading about the states you were in a week or two weeks ago, may not aid your understanding of them at all since you are not living them right now. Try and see for yourself. But it is still useful, at least so that you may understand that you don’t even understand yourself.
From the 2nd lesson at the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11
Answer: Our ego is developing not only quantitatively but qualitatively as well. If previously a person was satisfied with having five or ten friends with similar interests in his or her circle so that they could go fishing together, visit bars, play cards, walk dogs, and so on, today it doesn’t satisfy them anymore. A person wants to meet others not by way of dogs or fish, that is, not based on corporeal interests and geographical proximity; rather, he seeks internal similarity, a place where he can express himself or herself the most.
A person searches for a way to communicate where he could even lie. But, essentially, by doing so, one express his “self” even more. After all, when we lie, we expose our inner truth! This lie demonstrates what we want to be but can’t.
It is very much in sync with the principle Facebook is founded on: A person displays only what he or she wishes to show, their "best pictures." But it speaks about one’s inner world. As a matter of fact, due to their egoistic nature, people may be greedy, paranoid, cowardly, or primitive, but they will present themselves as they view their ideal. In other words, a person shows what in his or her eyes is merited as a deeper, internal, attractive form.
So it follows that on one hand, I know what I am (although I may not realize it myself), but to others, I present myself in a more attractive disguise. And sometimes, it’s the other way around: I wish to look worse than I am, playing a tough guy and portraying myself as a belligerent Don Quixote.
Still, it doesn’t matter whether this image is better or worse than the real one because this lie eventually shows a person what their essence is, and he or she comes to know their evil. A person faces a question: What am I compared to the image I present myself as on the Internet, anyway? After all, everybody views me as I depict myself on the Internet, but I myself start to realize that I am far from what I have painted for others.
This brings people to the awareness of their evil, to the need to change, and to become closer to the image they wish others to see. Since if I am not in physical contact with you and you don’t see me, I can pretend to be whatever I want to for you: a new me, my inner ideal, that doesn’t have anything to do with my corporeality. And this image is a more authentic one!
Therefore, our development toward virtual communication will lead us in the direction of spiritual communication, spiritual changes. This is why I am so happy to hear about the development and growing popularity of Facebook and other communication networks.
I am certain that within this social network there are psychologists and sociologists who are doing serious research. After all, it is a global phenomenon now which expands over the entire humanity.
From a TV program “Ask the Kabbalist” 1/20/2011
Question: It is known that Rabbi Shimon’s group attained unity among themselves through the mutual writing of The Zohar. Is this also a correct method for us in our time? Should we try to unite by forming small groups, and together taking an article and trying to develop it? Or will this just confuse us since each of us is on our own stage of advancement, different from everyone’s else?
Answer: The authors of The Zohar were also on different stages of advancement; they were not all equal. Each one of the ten authors of The Zohar corresponded to one of the ten Sefirot, according to their nature and the root of their souls. Yet, each of them completely canceled their egos and were able to unite with the others to the full extent of their nature.
This is why each one was able to attain 125 degrees of the spiritual ladder, meaning his own individual final correction (Gmar Tikkun). And together they were able to connect on the highest level possible of the unification of souls, which is why they revealed all of the Light, the upper illumination that descends to us from Arich Anpin referred to as “Zohar” (a special kind of Light).
Clearly, we are not even close to being near these degrees; we are all “dead,” that is, submerged within our egoistic desires. We are not ready nor do we have the desire to connect with one another. We face many struggles and corrections until we attain some form of unity.
But if we try to imitate adults like children do through the games they play, then we attract Light from that perfect state which already exists. These souls, the authors of The Zohar, have revealed and formed it through their ascent from below upward.
A ladder of the worlds (five worlds, each containing five Sefirot, with each containing another five Sefirot, totaling 125 degrees) descends from Above downward, from the world of Infinity. In this way the Light descends towards us from Above downward: Yechida, Haya, Neshama, Ruach, Nefesh (NaRaNHY in reverse order). This is called a concealment, the reduction of Light or worlds (the word “world,” “Olam” in Hebrew, comes from the word “Alama,” “concealment”). In other words, above there is 100% of the Light, and below 0% of it. This is the system of worlds (concealments).
There are souls in our world in which the desire referred to as “man” or “Adam” (similar to the Creator) awakens; it is the rudiment of man in spirituality. Then, this desire begins to grow. How does it grow? It must connect with another nine like it, even to the slightest degree of unification. In this way, they continue to connect even more strongly, until they attain the greatest degree of unity between souls.
Throughout history there were souls who attained unification with one another and they are all connected with others on different levels of this ladder of degrees. All of the authors of The Zohar attained the highest degree together, and for this reason, the Light they brought to this Book is so great that it influences and shines to everyone. This is because they take the Light from Infinity and are able to bring it to us under the condition that on our part, we at least want to rise a little bit towards them.
The Zohar, the entire Light or a part of it, is always revealed to the extent of the degree of unification, the degree of bestowal, and the similarity between the desire (Kli) and the Light. This is why we need to connect as much as possible, both quantitatively and qualitatively. We will receive this Light according to our ability to attain at least the first rung of the 125 degrees.
After all, what do all the 125 degrees represent? The degree of Nefesh also contains all five Lights: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida (NaRaNHY), and each one of them also has its own NaRaNHY. Hence (NaRaNHY) х (NaRaNHY) х (NaRaNHY) = 5х5х5 = 125 degrees.
Since the Light is divided according to the degree of Aviut (thickness) of desire, we can realize our connection, that is, rise above this thickness and connect despite of our ego. The Light will influence us, correct us, and then fulfill us to the extent of our ability to cancel this Aviut, along with our desire to use it to connect.
There is nothing here besides these two components, the Light and the Kli, and the degree of connection between them called the “screen” or an “intention.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Article “The Donkey Driver”
Answer: It’s because when a person feels pain, he screams. But he does not know exactly what is hurting him. That’s why we invite a doctor to make a diagnosis. Similarly, when a baby feels pain, he cannot say exactly where he feels the pain.
It takes a very long time to go from the inner pain, problem, or disturbance to the sensation, “What are these disturbances? Why are they happening? What is their purpose? What are they about? Where are they taking me? What should I do with them?” All of this is part of the process of one’s inner maturation.
We learn in the science of Kabbalah that the Light has to go through four phases before it builds the right desire for itself. The first thing I feel is something unfamiliar to me. Then I suddenly feel the state opposite to it—that I felt something, but now I don’t feel it. After that I go on to feeling and not feeling at the same time, and that is how an inner comparison begins. Only by comparing these two opposite sensations do I start to reach an opinion regarding what this is. After that, from the understanding of “What is this?” I start to attain the primary cause—from where did this emerge inside of me?
This is an entire succession or sequence of a person’s inner maturation where he can already come and say, “Yet, this is what is hurting me. This is why I feel bad. This is my question. This is what I demand to solve by receiving an answer.” It isn’t simple.
On our part we have to try to help him, like a baby. It doesn’t matter that he’s screaming. That means we have to go to him, pay attention, and try to figure out why he feels bad, even though he can’t even ask for this. Let’s find this common contact.
This problem exists on all the levels. If you ask me, then I go through the same thing. When we move forward, we continuously encounter something that isn’t clear: “What? Why? How? From where? Where is it connected and with what? What are the reasons and the consequences?” As this entire chain starts gradually being born, the question starts to come through. And then, from the right question follows the answer.
After that things become unclear again. I ask, “Why? What is bothering me?” Once again there’s a question and an answer.
Therefore, we have to work on the questions.
From the 1st lesson of the Berlin Convention on 1/28/11
We are currently at a transitional stage, but in the end, it will be possible to offer man everything he can only dream of, but he will not want this fairy tale life. He will perceive it as being cut off from reality, akin to drugs. This would repel him; his internal desire will be such that he would no longer be able to live like this.
Then, life will seem worse to him than death. He will not know what to do with himself. And this will not depend on the person. This new type of yearning arising in man cannot be put out with drugs, alcohol, or any of the pleasures of this world: food, sex, family, or travel, which have become so popular during the past few years. All of this will gradually fade away. People will be over-satiated with all this materialism and will be unable to continue living like that.
Even today, people do not know what else to think of. There is an excursion to the North Pole. You arrive there, you look around, and you leave immediately since there is nothing else to do there. People will no longer want any of this. Then, the wisdom of Kabbalah will come along and say: “Great, we have finally exhausted the opportunities offered by this world; we have reached the limits of corporeality!”
The world is defined by the questions of man. If he is asking about what exists beyond the limits of this world, it means that we have already reached its limits we have bumped our heads against the ceiling. Now, we need to go up to the next floor and go further. Here is where the science of Kabbalah is revealed since only it can raise us above this ceiling.
The law of nature is at work here, and it does not depend either on me or you, or anyone else. There are two paths: the path of Light and the path of suffering. Both of them are now in front of you. You are standing at a crossroads and need to choose one of these two paths. Decide for yourself.
Kabbalah is the only solution here since we will no longer be able to tame our egoistic desire with any other methods. Our egoistic desire has been constantly growing and now has reached the ceiling of this world, like rising dough which has reached the lid and is now creeping out from the pot.
You will not be able to push this dough back in, and everyone understands this well by now. Nobody knows what to do. That is why all of the governments are now gathering at meetings and uniting in their attempts to hide this problem simply because they do not know what to do with it. Here is the perfect time for the circulation of Kabbalah.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/2011, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
Question: Baal HaSulam provides a detailed explaination of the influence that SAG (Bina) exerts on NHY de Galgalta (Malchut), just like a group influences a person who has nullified himself before it. But how was NHY de Galgalta able to reach that kind of self-nullification and restriction?
Answer: The same restriction from the world of Infinity operates in NHY de Galgalta. All of Galgalta is the same world of Infinity. It is a restriction by the force of the Light that rules inside of the desire to enjoy and can do anything it wishes to it because the Light created the desire.
The Light wishes to bring the desire to equivalence with itself, but on the condition that on every step the desire will retain the freedom of will. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a creation. The Light would simply make an inanimate imprint or copy of itself, like with a copy machine, and then there wouldn’t be a living creation, a person.
That is why the Light carries out all the actions, but leaves “spaces” between them for you to add your own participation. For example, you come to the lesson and are given an enormous desire to sleep. That is when you must express your own participation, working against this desire. The states that come to you will be such that you won’t be able to overcome them yourself. But you have to organize an environment for yourself that will influence you and help you cope with these disturbances—not with your own forces, but by the power of social influence.
Things are arranged this way on purpose so I would feel the need to cancel myself before the group because that is the only way I can come closer to bestowal and come out of my petty egoism. Just as you wait for the Light to influence you, so the Light waits for you to use the group as a lever and to start doing something with yourself. The group is like an instrument, such as a screwdriver or wrench: Take it into your hands and start working with it! You don’t have any other instruments.
From the lesson on Talmud Eser Sefirot on 1/27/10