Answer: Correction happens by virtue of an action called “prayer,” which is the revelation of the true desire that demands fulfillment. This work is called “praying,” which translates as “judging yourself” or discerning your inner essence: Who am I, what do I want, do I have the right desires or not, and when will my deeds be similar to the deeds of the forefathers, meaning when will my desires be similar to the ones that Kabbalists described in the prayer book?
This is not simple at all. The prayer book was created by Kabbalists, the sages of the Great Assembly who were on the highest spiritual level. They left the prayer book for us so it would serve as an example of what we have to attain in our demands.
Prayer can only be for unity, and this is called “the prayer of society” or “the prayer of many.” There is nothing else for us to pray for because all the negative events and all problems in general that are revealed in the world come from lack of unity. That’s because unity is the Creator; it is His quality. That is why this is the only thing we should think about.
Unification regards all the people in the world, both men and women. In the end everyone must unite together in one global system, the common soul of Adam HaRishon. When I study, judge, think, ask, and answer, in reality I decide just one thing: Will I bring this entire system to unity? After all, through unity we correct everything.
Besides this force during the study and the desire for this to happen, there are no other means to bring about correction. Everything else only brings more corruption. There is either one thing or the other, and nothing in the middle. All of our actions either bring correction or harm. Even if you spent one moment sitting there and not doing anything, the time went by. You wasted it and did not use it for correction, and that means you brought about destruction!
Therefore, this desire for universal unity must always be alive in us. It is our “inner dissemination.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/27/11, “Introduction to the book Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
Question: Humanity can be divided into three parts: some are unaware of the process that leads them toward the revelation of the Creator; others participate in this process, are aware of their evil, and are using the method of correction; and the third group are those who have already undergone correction. What is the role of and the relationship between these parts in the program of creation?
Answer: All of them are together in an integral system. Regarding those who have already undergone correction, the system is open to them, and now they are assisting with the correction of others, with full understanding and awareness of what needs to be done.
Others are making the effort to become reformed. That includes us, our friends around the world, as well as the souls which are not clothed in bodies since “clothing” into a body is determined by the needs of spiritual work. Thus, we transform ourselves with the help of the upper souls and by bestowing to the lower ones, those who haven’t awakened yet.
This entire picture looks this way only to us. In truth, we can’t say that the system is one third corrected, one third in rehabilitation, and one third dead. It is fully alive. We, however, are discussing a degree in which a person awakens to consciousness and becomes aware of where he is and what is happening with him. Regarding the Creator, everything remains in a state of perfection, and only the souls must become fully aware of it.
This means that they must reveal all their evil, meaning the will to enjoy regarded as the evil inclination, cleanse it of this evil, and keep the desire pure. Then, instead of evil, instead of this egoistic intention, the Light will give them an additional intention to bestow, which is regarded as “good.” Thus the evil inclination will be replaced by the good inclination.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/23/2011, Writings of Rabash
There are many problems awaiting us on the spiritual path, and that is because spiritual development happens in spite of our desire and is aimed at the state opposite to ours. We must “operate” on ourselves in a sense.
But this is completely realistic. It can be done by means of the wisdom we acquire during the study and the opportunity to attract the Light contained therein. Therefore, we have the necessary means and the instruments. That is how we advance.
Baal HaSulam writes the following in “The Nation”: All animals rely on Nature completely. They are unable to develop it in any way or influence themselves without it.
Animals advance forward instinctively to the degree they change from within according to Nature’s inner and outer commands. The still, vegetative, and animate levels have advanced forward throughout all of history. For example, over 15 billion years, even the inanimate matter underwent changes. The vegetative and animal kingdoms, which developed and altered their species, changed even more so. Man, in turn, began developing last, over the course of the last 100 to 200 thousand years. That is how nature leads the world forward.
As human society develops, it is once again going through the same levels: still, vegetative, animate, and human, but already on the human level. And man is once again moving instinctively: pushed by nature, he goes from one state to the next coercively. From looking at history we see how nations suddenly “flare up,” holding revolutions and transformations.
That is how we develop until finally, the Human grows in man. This level is appearing in humanity before our very eyes, and it differs from the previous levels by the ability to take the law of development into its own hands, to become similar to the Creator, and to rise above nature and accelerate it. Nature advances us at a specific rate until the end of the 6,000 year period using the “developmental press” on the path of suffering, while Man takes these forces into his own hands and develops faster by his own desire. He does not see the law of development as evil, but as goodness that he desires. That is how he realizes himself as a Human, one who is similar to the Creator. He takes an example from the Creator, learns what the Creator does in creation, and wishes to act the same way.
At one point people studied the process of how chicks were produced. Then they learned to make incubators and achieved development that corresponds to their needs. As a result, every day we have the necessary amount of eggs and no longer depend on the laws of a chicken’s development.
That is exactly how we have to act with ourselves. This is why Baal HaSulam continues: However, that is not so with man, who is endowed with the power of thought. By virtue of the wondrous quality of this force, he is freed from nature’s bonds and develops it. His function is to observe nature’s actions and do his work in the same way it does.
As we know, “Nature” (הטבע) has the same Gematria as the Creator (אלו-הים).
He does not hope to receive ready-made chicks from nature, waiting for a chicken to arrive and make the eggs hatch, but makes an incubator that warms the eggs and produces chicks for him, similar to a real chicken.
In addition, Baal HaSulam writes the following in the article “Peace in the World”:
There are two powers operating in the process of development:
One is the “power of the heavens,” which guarantees that everything evil and harmful will return to being good and useful, but “in its time,” meaning by a difficult and lengthy path where the “object of development” experiences pain and horrible suffering, being under the “developmental press” which crushes him with unfathomable cruelty.
The second is the “earthly power,” meaning people who have taken control over the laws of development into their own hands. Because they are able to become completely free of the bonds of time, they significantly accelerate the arrival of the end, meaning the final ripening and correction, which is the end of development.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/27/11, Writings of Rabash
Answer: Segula is the basis to start with since the spiritual world is opposite to our world, and thus, is completely detached from it. The spiritual world has no connection with anything corporeal. There is nothing you can do with the spiritual world: neither draw forces from it, nor affect it. Neither cards, nor “miracles,” nor red strings will help you bridge the total gap between the worlds.
A contact by way of which you can evoke spiritual impact upon yourself is formed only by tying yourself correctly to the teacher, the Kabbalistic text, and the group on the condition that you are using them to develop in yourself the intention, the vital need, and the understanding of what exactly you desire to receive from the studies.
And then, by studying with a true teacher, the right group, and authentic Kabbalistic books, you actualize your intention. And if it isn’t for that, nothing will help you. If there were no Segula in this world for us, man would remain a beast.
That is why it is so important for us to assess what these three components should be: the teacher, the books, and the group and how they must affect me together in a mutual guarantee. All of this is focused on the necessity to attain spirituality. And spirituality can be attained due to the study which contains a hidden force. This force has to work on me if I appeal to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/23/2011, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
Our spiritual work is called “the Creator’s work.” But why is that if we are the ones who have to carry it out? This work is difficult, confusing, and demands great efforts. We devote so much time and effort to it, in fact giving away our entire lives…. Yet it is called “the Creator’s work” because in doing our work we take Him or Nature as an example.
Everything moves forward and returns to its root, including the still, vegetative, and animate levels. However, these levels develop by the program inherent in them. It is impossible to change that program, nor is it necessary. Besides, there is no one who could change it because these levels do not have freedom of choice. They are devoid of understanding and the perception of what happens to them and who governs them.
But onwards, beyond these levels, the human being develops. This is not just a creature on two legs, but a being that is able to take the law of development into his own hands and realize it independently. This is the “human” degree (Adam). In order to fulfill his purpose, he must take the Creator as an example, and not wait for the Creator to develop him like is done with the still, vegetative, and animate levels. A human is someone who wants to develop on his own, at an accelerated rate.
That is why he observes the Creator’s work: What does He do to creation? Where is He leading it? What does he want to make out of us? We want to develop on our own, faster.
Baal HaSulam illustrates this with the following example: A person does not wait for a chick to develop from an egg that’s warmed by a chicken, but establishes the mass production of eggs in the necessary quality and quantity in order to satisfy his needs. He does not ask the chicken about what it is able or unable to do, but builds incubators that provide him with chicks according to the rate of development he has taken into his own hands.
The same thing is true for the spiritual path. If a person does not want to sit and wait for the “developmental press” to push him toward the goal, then he discerns the goal and the means of attaining it in order to take those means into his own hands. He also builds an “incubator” or “greenhouse” inside of which he can place himself in order to be under the influence of laws that accelerate his development.
By searching for similarity to the Creator, a person learns how the Creator works on him, and accordingly builds an environment for himself, a “greenhouse,” in order to accelerate the process of his development so the same forces of development would operate in his hands. This is already “the path of Torah,” the path of Light, which is the developmental force. Accordingly, a person then needs Light that is more powerful than the one he receives during the natural course of development.
On the spiritual path we are called “the Creator’s workers” because we take Him as an example and realize this example on ourselves. We build a special environment, a “greenhouse” that enables us to absorb a greater force of development and tolerate its influence in order to develop ourselves.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/27/11, Writings of Rabash
Question: I still don’t understand how the “miraculous force” of the Kabbalistic books works. When I am treated by a physician, I can actually measure how it improved my condition: I can measure my temperature and demonstrate to everybody that the fever is gone. Why can’t we demonstrate how the surrounding Light works and dispel any doubts?
Answer: If I ran after the upper Light with my egoistic desire, in the end, I wouldn’t be able to gain more than a tiny spark, the “thin candle” (Ner Dakik) that fills us with the life force. We cannot invert our nature directly. How could it be otherwise if all I think about is how to receive and am unable to think about how to bestow, if all my life is aimed at how to consume, gain, and calculate what is best solely for me in every situation?! I can see nothing else!
Next to me, there is a spiritual world, but I don’t see it since I feel only what I am able to receive for my own pleasure. And what I cannot use to enjoy, I can’t see or notice! My sensory organs simply don’t perceive that bestowal also brings enjoyment because they see only how I may gain pleasure from receiving. That is how I am made.
I am placed in front of a filter that filters only one way: If some kind of pleasure is passing through it to me, I am willing to accept it. But if it remains on the other side and doesn’t enter me, I am not willing to step out of myself and experience it outside.
But isn’t this method of correction logical? You draw that very Light which created you so that it may also transform you. What is illogical in it? Is it that you are unable to see this Light with your own eyes? You certainly can’t use them to do so.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/23/2011, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
613 Suggestions and 613 Deposits
In several places in The Zohar, he calls the 613 Mitzvot, “613 counsels” [of how to correct the Kli] and in many other places in The Zohar he calls the 613 Mitzvot, “613 deposits” [the Lights that have to enter the corrected Kli]. This is so because at first, one must keep the Torah and the Mitzvot in order to refine his body [himself from egoism] and enhance his soul [the aspiration for bestowal and love].
At that time, the 613 Mitzvot are as 613 counsels [this type of correction] for him, “suggestions” by which to gradually refine and be awarded coming before the King [rising above egoism], and receiving the Light of his face. This is because keeping the Torah [attracting the Light] and Mitzvot [correcting 613 egoistic desires] gradually purify him [from natural egoism], until he is rewarded with the Light of the King’s face [the general, universal property of bestowal and love]. [Otherwise, there is no use of his actions.]
Also, it is written similarly in the Gemarah: “The Creator cares not if one slaughters at the throat or slaughters at the back of the neck [meaning that mechanical actions in and of themselves do not carry any meaning]? Rather, we were given the Torah and Mitzvot only to purify Israel [those who strive for the Creator, the property of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’].”
However, after one has been sufficiently purified [from egoistic desires] and merits the Light of the King’s face [the property of bestowal], one’s eyes and soul [the will to bestow] open and he is awarded the attaining [within himself] the 613 Sacred Lights found in the 613 Mitzvot [corrected desires]. These are His Holy Names [attainment thereof], the ones he can attain.
By keeping each of the Mitzvot [correcting each desire], one takes [receives into it] the part of the Light deposited in that Mitzva since the Mitzva is a Kli (vessel) [desire] where the Light is clothed, meaning a Holy Name [His individual property] that belongs specifically to that Mitzva. This is the meaning of “The Mitzva is a candle and the Torah—Light.” At that time, he calls the 613 Mitzvot “613 commandments (deposits).”
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the book, From the Mouth of a Sage”