A World Painted On Your Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe read The Zohar and understand none of it. And it’s true, there is nothing for us to understand there. After all, it is for the people who already attained spirituality and feel the spiritual world.

They are already in the state where the force of bestowal, not the force of the will to receive, defines their internal life. In their case, the mind works differently; they have a different kind of sight; they see the spiritual world, and hence, understand what the Book is describing.

In fact, the Book is written for those who live in spirituality, and therefore, a person who enters it can understand it. And someone who lives only in the material world cannot since it describes a completely different world that I know nothing about, haven’t heard of or seen. And hence, these words don’t tell me anything.

What do I do? I can only desire to enter that world, not to understand it intellectually. If while reading The Zohar I constantly think about how to make it effect me and that is my sole desire, it is enough! It is regarded as “Segula” (a “miraculous remedy”). When after all these efforts I will suddenly receive the force of the Light and start sensing what is happening in the spiritual world, I will read or listen to the Book and understand what it is describing.

Then, I will engage my mind as well since at that point I will sense the spiritual world. Using my awareness, I will start working on the sensation. But if I don’t experience a certain phenomenon, how can I work on it mindfully? After all, awareness results from a feeling. In the mind, we only connect the phenomena that fall into the field of our vision and sensation.

Therefore, before anything else, we must start sensing the spiritual world and only afterward start studying it. As a matter of fact, until then we have nothing to feel. Do we have any idea what stands behind each word of The Zohar and what each of them points to: an “ox,” a “whole ox,” a “throne,” and so on? What ox and what throne? These are spiritual forces that carry such names. But it means nothing to me.

The entire spiritual world is the world of forces. The whole material world is a picture that these forces draw on my material screen. Therefore, we should think solely about how to experience what we are reading about. I must ask to feel rather than to understand. And that is possible only if we are together, create one desire between us, and strive for the Light to affect this desire and project a picture onto it.

The integral desire is like a computer screen, while the Light is like an electromagnetic force that draws an image on this screen. I want it to happen! And this is regarded as revealing the Creator to the created being.


From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/18/2011, “Introduction of The Book of Zohar”

Related Material:
Keep Going And It Will Be Revealed
Where Can You “Buy” Aspiration?
Don’t Add Too Much Spice!

The Advantage Of The Light Is From The Darkness

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur spiritual path begins from the state of this world. From here we gradually begin to attain its nature, the nature of creation – the will to enjoy for one’s own sake. We acquire a part of this desire by way of the natural development in material egoism from one generation to the next.

Then we are faced by the necessity to acquire the desire for self-gratification on the human level. We undergo the still, vegetative, and animate levels within their boundaries, but the only way we can acquire the human level is by opposing the Creator.

That is where the spiritual work begins: In conformity with the Light and its qualities, we have to transform our natural quality, the will to enjoy, by the principle, “the advantage of the Light is attained from the darkness.” These two qualities develop in us equally – first one and then the other, through ascents and descents.

It happens in the following way: At first a person receives a desire or impulse to something unknown. Then he is brought to the group and the studies, where he starts making actions whose meaning he doesn’t even understand yet himself. However, they evoke a small illumination upon him. And then he advances.

At this stage the spiritual construction HaVaYaH is also present, and a person develops inside it on the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels of the human level. With time he begins to think about and later, perhaps even to heed the words that it is necessary to acquire the quality of bestowal. He begins to play this game, doing so conscientiously, like a child. And even though it is only a game, it is called “faith above reason.” It’s as if a person ascends above his reason and seems to want bestowal. In the very least, he says that he aspires to love for the neighbor.

Even if it happens “as if,” he is still acting together with the group and is inspired by the friends by virtue of envy, a great desire, and self-love. He talks about the quality of bestowal and becomes permeated by this idea. Thus, he evokes the Light that Reforms upon himself. A person does not know the entire truth about the spiritual development, but the Light influences him and thus, gradually, he changes.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/22/11, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Only The Light Elevates Me
A Very Sophisticated Animal Or A Human?
The Degree Of “Virginity”

The End Of The Affair With The Material Environment

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Egoism is very shrewd, so how can I be sure that my game with it is really leading me forward and isn’t another trick that egoism is playing on me?

Answer: If I include myself in the environment and am permeated by what is important to it, then I advance by faith above reason. I deliberately bend down before the group and adopt its values because they are spiritual. I place myself in front of them so they will raise me.

I never have the forces to ascend independently. At the same time, I am always in some environment that directs me toward specific values. The values of the material environment are also artificial and false. Society motivates me to buy a car, a house, and furniture, but who said that I really need all of that? After all, the body is an animal and all it wants is to rest. Give it a specific number of calories and a comfortable place to lay down. It doesn’t want anything more.

However, society tells me what I have to buy and what I have to aspire to. Otherwise people don’t respect me. Thus, instigated by the environment, I spend my whole life trying to do things to make it like me.

But now, when I am already full to the brim, I no longer want to dance to its tune. Instead I enter a new environment. I choose a society that has a spiritual goal. Now all I have to do is raise it in my eyes and then I will grow with its help.
Thus, I build an artificial environment for my spiritual growth. Therein lies my entire work. The higher I raise the friends in my eyes, the higher I will ascend.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/22/11, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Name Your Price
Above The Logic Of This World
Build Without Ruining The Foundation

The Focal Point Of Freedom

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe key is to find among all our properties, among everything that happens with us in thought or in action, where we have some small degree of personal freedom to form a thought or desire. In other words, are we given any room for an independent thought, desire, or action?

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that everything depends on the genes, hormones, and information that was instilled within a person. And if a hundred years ago we thought that man is free in his life and everything is up to him, today we understand that his behavior is determined by what parents he had and what genetic traits he received.

It wasn’t up to a person when and in what family to be born, with what characteristics, and what education to receive. Since childhood, he or she had been imbued with certain attitudes to life and self, and by the time he reached 15 years of age, his character was totally formed.

A person steps into life having nothing of his own, but only what he received from birth, education, and what he will later pick up from the environment that he will end up in upon reaching twenty years of age and becoming an adult. The environment will dictate all his behavior and the decisions to be made, and whether he likes it or not, he will have to observe the same system of values that is accepted in the society.

Even if a person may wish to go against the society, he will still fully depend on it because the environment determines everything for him and he has nothing unrelated to it. Where then may he get some independent thoughts or desires, from what distant star?

In any case, they would not be autonomous. The only autonomous action was the creation of the created being “from absence” (Yesh Mi Ain). Only the Creator is capable to create something that has no previous history, something absolutely new.

Moreover, if my current state includes all possible preliminary conditions and forces that produced it, then everything that derives from them is an obvious result, pertaining to which I have no freedom. I live according to a certain program that passes through me while leaving me no choice; I act as a machine or a puppet that is pulled by the strings in all directions.

We are the product of all these alien, internal and external causes and various forces merging within and governing us. Even though it may seem that a person can do something independently, it is not an autonomous action either, but merely what these forces allowed him or her to do.

And yet, there is a chance to find free will. If a person evolves by employing the wisdom of Kabbalah, he draws additional force onto him, the force opposite to one’s current nature. And then, between these two opposing forces, a person finds the point of his free will.

On one side, there stands the power of man’s nature and this entire corporeal world, with all there is in it; on the other, there stands the power of the Light that came from Above. And between them, in the middle, we have a neutral point where one can have his say. A person can reach a condition when both these forces get equalized, and then he or she will receive free will.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/18/2011, “The Freedom”

Related Material:
The Era Of Change
The Equilibrium Between Heaven And Earth
Build Without Ruining The Foundation

Open Sesame!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does it help us to read the Sulam Commentary to the Book of Zohar if its explanations carry us away in the wrong direction? Isn’t it better to read The Zohar in the original Aramaic, a language we don’t understand, and remain in the right intention for the goal?

Answer: In that case maybe you could also read The Zohar in Chinese or another language that you don’t understand at all? Or just look at the symbols without knowing the letters like at a picture, without realizing that these letters connect into groups called words, and the words combine into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs? In the meantime, I do not know anything, looking at the page of text as if it were a certain code.

The matter is that I have to connect to the text through my desire to reveal the states of my soul that it describes. The text is talking about what happens inside of me, inside my connection with the Creator. That is why I want to reveal it.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/22/11, The Zohar

Related Material:
Yearning For The Light
A Messenger Between Two Poles
A Marvelous Bridge Into The Zohar

Everything That Matters Is On The Inside

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When separate cells in a common organism of the group lack the realization of the importance of the goal, then how can this importance appear between them?

Answer: First of all, I turn to the group outwardly in order to awaken my friends. This is my duty. However, the inspiration I receive from them in return does not necessarily come in an external, “showy” form. In general, Kabbalists have a tradition to avoid expressing their feelings through artificial love, pretty words, and so on. Everything that matters is on the inside.

And on the inside, I must judge my friends favorably. I value them because the Creator has gathered them and given them the realization of the importance of the goal. How well they comprehend the goal is irrelevant since they are still small. However, the Creator is among them; He awakens and unites them with one another. It was He who unified them into a big world group. And this is why they are as important to me as the Creator. He wants them, brings them closer, and cares for them. For Him they are His sons.

This means that I must treat them accordingly. I do not look at their appearance, but at their inner strength. There, on the inside, the Creator connects and supports them, and I want to join that connection between them, which He actualizes, realizes, and sustains. I want to connect to it.

My friends might not understand or feel it, but I want to seriously join it through my own decision and desire. And when I join their connection, there where the Creator sustains them, it means that I connect to the group. This is the group, and not an external expressions of any kind. From there I receive the strength of the Creator who supports my friends and dwells in them. That is precisely where I receive my inspiration for the importance of the goal, and I acquire the strength to always strive towards it.

And all this depends on me.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/2011, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Name Your Price
The End Of The Affair With The Material Environment
True Kindness

True Kindness

Dr. Michael LaitmanRabash, Shlavey HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), Article “What Is a True Act of Kindness in the Work”: One should begin his work in “true kindness,” which means without any reward, so that everything he does may serve not one’s personal benefit but to delight the Creator.

We are born with the desire that acts in a certain way: “for one’s own sake,” “in order to receive.”  Each of us feels that before and outside of him there is a world that includes four evolutionary degrees: the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. Additionally, we ourselves wish to only enjoy this entire external world in order to feel pleasure.

We could reverse it and say that man will feel good if he uses the world in a certain manner: for self-gratification. In general, all these things are quite relative since we are unable to see anything opposite to them.

But later on, man falls into despair from this tendency to seek pleasure. And then, a new desire, a new approach, awakens in him: “I must treat the entire reality differently. All of it is mine and is similar to me. I can’t enjoy it on my own, but only together with the others.” Obviously, this impulse does not come from man. The desire created by the Creator along with its Reshimot (informational genes) “keep rolling” further and further, unfolding to the person who feels it in this way.

By using the method of correction in the right way, a person starts showing a different attitude to the reality he feels within. In his 613 desires, he discovers that the parts he used to see as external are, in fact, related to him. To the degree that he is able to change his attitude to them and recognize them not as “foreigners” but as “relatives,” “kinsmen,” to the same degree he advances in a different type of perception of reality: a global, all embracing one. It turns out that everything is him.

In that case, when a person begins to link his own perception into the unified desire unbroken into individual parts, he alters the picture of his reality. Nothing is external: neither rocks, nor plants, nor beasts, nor humans. They are all parts of his desires.

A person changes his attitude. In other words, he arranges the unified desire, and thereby reveals the “additional element” as well, a unified force that fulfills this desire, regarded as the Creator. Thus, due to the correction of the desires, a person merits a new attainment and merges with the Source.

This is what is called the “true kindness.” If a person works on his will to receive and corrects himself, his attitude, and perception of reality, he merits a great “addition”: revelation of the Creator and adhesion with Him.

And that is why there is work in kindness, which means correction of the Kelim (vessels), and there is true grace, receiving in order to bestow, when a person reveals reality that includes the One who begot it: the Creator. Thereby, from correction of the created being, we reach its purpose.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/2011, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Everything That Matters Is On The Inside
A Very Sophisticated Animal Or A Human?
The Equilibrium Between Heaven And Earth

A Very Sophisticated Animal Or A Human?

Dr. Michael LaitmanWritings of Rabash, “What Does It Mean the World Was Created for the Torah”: By carrying out each of the 613 recommendations, a person acquires the Light corresponding to the recommendation inside his altruistic desire.

This Light, corresponding to the spiritual observance of each commandment, is called a “contribution” because it corresponds to the assimilation of each spiritual level. All 613 recommendations of all 613 degrees are called Torah.

The Creator created the will to enjoy, but He wishes for this desire to enjoy bestowal rather than reception. Therefore, the desire has to make changes, and it has to do so independently, by the principle “We shall do and we shall hear.”

Where is this desire? It lies in the human species, on the human level of development. As Baal HaSulam writes, after making all the verifications, we find just one advantage of man over animal: a desire to work for the Creator, for unity with Him. One who has this desire is called “human,” Adam. However, if this aspiration or this ascent is not yet present in him, then he is called an “animal.”

Yet it says in the Psalms, “You will save a man and an animal.” Everyone is gradually approaching the awakening toward unifying with the Creator. And once they awaken, they start making actions by the principle, “We shall do and we shall hear.”

“We shall do” means the correction of the Kelim where we carry out the 613 recommendations. “We shall hear” means the fulfillment of the Kelim by means of the 613 orders, or stated differently, contributions, where a contribution, a deposit, or Light enters the corrected Kelim.

By way of correction and fulfillment, with the help of the Lights and contributions, we reach the realization: All our 613 desires become corrected from reception to bestowal and are filled by the upper Light or the Creator. In the end we become fulfilled inside Him; we reach adhesion with Him where He fulfills us.

Therefore, the Torah, meaning the method of correction, was created only for those who want to correct their egoistic desire by the intention of bestowal. Only they really engage in Torah. That’s because Torah is the Light that Reforms. A person who does not exist for the sake of this is not called “human,” one who performs correction.

Looking at our world through the spiritual glasses, we might possibly see several people here. Everything else belongs to the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, including the multitude of animals in the guise of people who have just an external similarity.

If a person hasn’t awakened yet in order to correct himself and attain the height of the Creator, that means he is still on the animate level of development. And no matter what he does, the method of correction was not created for him. He can be very sophisticated and intelligent, and he can consider himself a righteous man, but if he does not care about correcting his evil inclination at every second, then for now he is called an animal. That’s why it says that everyone are like animals.

Therefore, we have to respect the desire that has awakened inside us, which aspires to unity with the Creator, as well as the friends who also have this inner fire burning. We can unite with each other so that the common desire of everyone will enter each person. Then, in response to this desire that every person has, we will attract the Light that Reforms and it really will unite all our desires into one whole Kli that is already corrected. It will be filled by the upper Light, the Creator, and that is how we will become similar to Malchut of the world of Infinity, as it is written, “He is one and the Creator is one.” He is the Light, and the Creator is the vessel, Kli, HaVaYaH.

It turns out that the whole world was created for correction. In the end we will have to correct ourselves and reach unity, which is described by the verse, “All will know Me from the smallest of them to the greatest of them.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/21/11, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Are You On The “Donkey” Or Is The “Donkey” On You?
An Imprint Of Final Correction
Outsmart Your Egoism

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 02.22.11

Writings of Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “What Is Israel Who Do the Desire of the Creator in the Work”
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

The Book of Zohar — Introduction: “The Tenth Commandment,” Item 237
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

Talmud Eser Sefirot 3, Part 8, Item 89, Lesson 50
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Lesson 6
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio