Good Environment – 05.08.11

My Good Environment – Dr. Laitman’s Daily Advice for the Week

Kabbalah Moments: Independence

What Are You Thinking About While You Are Studying?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We are looking at the words that are written by Kabbalists and signify a spiritual root. But how can we create an association in our corporeal sensory organs between the words we are accustomed to and the upper reality?

Answer: According to your desire to attain spirituality and your intention, you somewhat correspond to the Light. And in the degree of this correspondence, it starts affecting you, your desire and intention, from afar. It is what we call the “Surrounding Light,” the Light that Reforms.

It illuminates you from a distance since it still cannot come in contact with your desire and intentions, which are not as pure as the Light just yet. But there is still some connection between them since you are striving upward even from your low state.

And the intention emerges if you are connected in a smallest degree with the environment and receive from it the same desire and aspiration to unify together. Only in the degree of mutual inclusion of such intentions, which we are working toward while reading Kabbalistic texts, will you merit an illumination that will begin to affect you.

If you connect your desires and intentions with the others, who aspire to the same unity during the lessons, you draw the Surrounding Light. Now ask yourself: How often do you think about and desire it while you are studying? Otherwise, years will pass by, and you won’t see any results.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/8/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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It’s A Shame Not To Become A Human

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When I see my despicable egoism yet again, how can I not despair and simply succumb to it, thinking that it will never end?

Answer: A person must go through such states. Every time we reach a new spiritual degree, we undergo all of these states yet again, and it is absolutely necessary to come to total despair. But it’s only needed so that we clarify all of the states and pass through them. Every state builds the one that will follow it.

A person must lose faith in his or her personal power! And also, he must lose hope to receive help from Above. One has to go through all this: At each new degree, one relives the entire life anew, meaning that he undergoes all states.

The key is to prepare all the necessary tools for work, studies, and participation in dissemination and the life of the group. If a person adjusts this whole mechanism so that it works like a wind up clock, he won’t fall. I need to build a framework that will hold me as best it can.

I have to feel shameful about breaking this framework. The most powerful tool is the shame: at home, before the wife and children. How can it be that I won’t go to the lesson and won’t participate in a certain project? Let my pride prevent me from acting so.

When we experience a descent, we fall to the lowest, animate level of our “donkey” (Hamor or donkey comes from the word Homer or matter, desire). And I must prepare the kind of defense for myself that would make me feel ashamed even at the lowest degree, where I probably shouldn’t be feeling any shame or care about anything whatsoever. But I should still feel ashamed even at this degree.

The most powerful feeling a person may have is shame before his or her children. They know that parents will always forgive them and accept them just the way they are, and even the wife. But where the children are concerned, they are the ones who make us feel ashamed most—after all, they are our upper degree.

Hence, we should strive to prepare for ourselves conditions that prevent us from abandoning this path no matter what, that do not allow me to justify one claim of my egoism, try as I might…
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/2011, Shamati No. 56

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From The Light Of Nefesh To Yechida

Dr. Michael LaitmanTo reveal the first spiritual degree, we must reveal our unity, “one, unique, and unified,” at least in the smallest degree. The degree of our unity defines the level of our first spiritual degree.

The Lights of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida (the five spiritual degrees) are characterized by a sum of particular details and the power of their unity, despite the fact that they are all in contradiction with one another. It is the only factor that determines the revelation of the upper Light. If we can find unity in the smallest degree, the weakest Light of Nefesh will become revealed as well.

However, why does the Light suddenly become more powerful and is called Ruach? It is because despite the changes and the movement of all interconnected parts, they can still remain balanced and tied. It is as if we keep the boat afloat, while it’s being tossed by waves in a storming sea, and make sure that it keeps stable.

At the first degree of unity, mutual transformations are not yet revealed. Everyone stays in some kind of stationary condition, just as one is, and we seek how to connect with each other. At the second degree, the same unity remains, but every part begins to transform; the cogwheels of the common mechanism as if start spinning relative to each other. And if we stick together despite all these changes and are able to unite, we reveal the Light of Ruach.

These are very limited changes nonetheless: While “staying grounded,” just like a plant, each of us, in our own place, sees the transformation of our individual properties. It is still the same Light of unification but at a higher (“vegetative”) degree. It is followed by a third degree, Neshama (“the animate” degree), where we start moving freely relative to each other, but still reveal unity, “one, unique, and unified,” among ourselves.

This means that the Light we experience in spirituality always depends on the power of our unity, despite any transformation that may be occurring within each of us individually and all of us together. It keeps growing, until we finally reach the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun), while we are experiencing all sorts of changes preventing us from unification in relation to one, single Light, but regardless of this, we are still able to unite.

This is what we call the one, unified spiritual vessel (Echad, Yachid) that receives one Light: Yechida.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/2011, Shamati No. 56

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Come And See What I Have!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does attainment differ in the worlds of Assiya, Yetzira, and Beria?

Answer: There is a tremendous difference, which is truly impossible to explain. It is the same as to live in Israel or some other countries, in the Temple or outside of it, or to be a great priest or a regular person.

The tiniest changes, a small ascent in the worlds, evoke tremendous transformations within our souls. The worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya are internal desires of our souls. We are always present in the three worlds of BYA and cannot disappear from them.

They serve as the “wrappers” around our souls. Just like now, I reside in this world and cannot escape anywhere from it since my body belongs to this world. I live, grow, mature, and die, while still remaining in this world. My body’s entire matter is part of the material world, whether I am alive or dead and disintegrate and return to the earth.

Similarly, a soul, regardless of the state it is in, always remains in the worlds of BYA. In the meantime, we reside only there, where we ask for correction and draw the Surrounding Light. It can pass down to us and illuminate downward, beneath the Parsa, from the world of Atzilut, although the Parsa doesn’t let the Light through. But this is the “surrounding” Light, and it illuminates from afar, awakening and calling us as if from a distance: “Come and see what I’ve got!”

Then I wake up and ascend along with the worlds of BYA above the Parsa. But I can’t rise without them since I am tightly connected with them: They are the closest “to my skin,” clothing me like a dress. I live in the world, but I am wearing “clothes”—they are the very worlds of BYA. And in them, I ascend to the world of Atzilut, which is regarded as “the ascension of the worlds.”

But as soon as I ascend to Atzilut and force the worlds of BYA to rise to it with me, I thereby receive a volume, an enormous empty vessel that I fill with the Inner Light of Atzilut. This signifies that my soul has been filled with the Light.

Desire has let the Light, the Creator, in and is experiencing Him now! Hence, the Creator and I are together, merging one with the other in the degree of our equivalence of form. This is all; there is nothing else in all of creation.

And all of a sudden, I discover where all the friends, other people, the still, vegetative, and animate nature, and this entire universe are. Everything is contained within this very desire; nothing vanished, but rather acquired a different form.

All that I used to see as rocks, plants, beasts, and humans turns out to be my desires that previously seemed material objects to me, which I could touch with my hands. But in truth, they are desires from which the universe is made. And beyond it, there is nothing else.

So it goes that a person ascending to the world of Atzilut with the worlds of BYA starts revealing the true image of reality. He as if gets to see what was hidden inside the computer, behind all those images he was shown on the screen. That’s what is called revelation!
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/6/2011, “Explanation of the Article, ‘Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah’”

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A Puppet Bringing Itself To Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why do we undergo such a long, tangled, and unclear process that contradicts our logic and common sense?

Answer: The point is that ultimately, to the created being made by the Creator, we have to add our own desire, our need to experience Him, to receive the upper Light and spiritual fulfillment. I have to come with an eagerness, hunger, and desire of my own.

And in order to obtain a desire of my own, I need to start at the opposite end, from not wanting any of this! Only by coming to this desire from its opposite end can I say that it’s mine! Otherwise, it is not.

Suppose I want something right now. Where does this desire come from? If I dig into the depth of it, I will understand that it’s not actually mine, but rather derives from some internal causes: genes, hormones, information accumulated in my memory, the environment, and the needs of my body and nature. That means I am being awakened from within, but it isn’t my desire whatsoever; instead, it’s the call of my nature. And, a slave to my natural instinct, I start running to get what I want.

What I presently want is food, sex, family, wealth, power, honor, and knowledge. But do I really want it? No, I don’t! I was either born this way or the environment influenced me every minute by instilling in me these sorts of desires. But it isn’t the “Self” that I am.

So, it looks like I am a puppet and not even aware of it. I think that I am the master of my life and, like a hero, fight to get out of it what I want. But it turns out that it isn’t what I want at all. Who am I then if I act like a robot? I cry, strive, and labor, if only to realize that I am fulfilling someone else’s desires and don’t even know that I am a slave. I am totally dependent on the strings by which I’m pulled and controlled every moment.

If we had a chance to see ourselves from aside, we would see exactly this: We are puppets that have nothing of their own, no personal desires or chances to fulfill them. We are not the ones to define our purpose, and apparently, we aren’t even humans, but rather some dolls made of fabric and tied to the strings that are moving us up and down.

However, when I feel a desire within, isn’t it I who does? It is also a big question since a feeling arises in the matter provided for me. A certain internal disturbance inside the puppet occurs, certain electrical impulses pass through it, and it starts reacting and acting.

If we examine ourselves in such depth, we will see that there isn’t a creature here! This is when we begin to understand what the Creator’s task was: How to create basic, primary desire that didn’t derive from Him. How can He make a doll that, despite it being plastic, would obtain life and start thinking and desiring on its own? Moreover, how to make its desires, thoughts, and actions its own? Otherwise, the whole creation is a mere toy, a total hoax.

We don’t even realize how difficult it is to create us so that we would build something within ourselves independently, something that could be called “man” (Adam), meaning “similar” (Domeh) to the Creator, autonomous and independent in one’s choices, actions, and desires, and not merely a drone.

Therefore, we are destined to pass through strange and unusual states, until we obtain desire of our own. And only when that moment is reached will we be called “human,” Israel. Those who are still controlled from Above are regarded as the “nations of the world.” But those who have already evolved and have their own desire that moves them toward the Creator are regarded as Israel (Yashar El, “straight to the Creator”).

So, the purpose of the created being is to obtain such a desire and utilize it, and that is what the upper Light is leading us to. It can bring us only to the awareness of how necessary this purpose is, whereas to earn this desire is our job. Here, we cannot receive anything ready-made since otherwise, it won’t be our own merit.

Hence, the Creator awakens us once with delight and another time with suffering, using these two particular reins to drive us to creating something new within ourselves.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/6/2011, “Explanation of the Article, ‘Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah’”

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 43

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

Only the Light in the Torah Reforms the Person

Thus, we see that the main [spiritual] work we must do [on ourselves] is to achieve the purpose for which the world was created—[give the Creator an opportunity] to do good to His creations—is to qualify ourselves to acquire vessels of bestowal [desire with the intention to bestow]. This is the correction for making the King’s gift complete, so they will feel no shame upon reception of the pleasures. And all the evil in us removes us from the good that we are destined to receive.

We were given the remedy of Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) so as to achieve those Kelim (vessels). This is the meaning of what our sages said (Kidushin, 30), “The Creator says, ‘I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the spice of Torah [for its correction],’ by which he will lose all the sparks of self-love within him and will be rewarded with his desire being only to bestow contentment upon his Maker.”
– Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “What Is the Substance of Slander and Against Whom Is It?”

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The Force That Reveals The Spiritual World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If the general and the particular are equal, then the group, as well as an individual, should fear a possibility that we won’t transcend our ego?

Answer: If it is really a “group,” it transforms from the general into the particular, into “one whole” in relation to the Creator. And in the degree that the group becomes one particular “individual,” reaches unity and guarantee, one common consideration, this “individual” turns increasingly rich and exceptional, by unifying various states of all its participants within itself.

The Creator is described as “One, Unique, and Unified (singular).” So is the group, if it acts as “one” but unites in itself actions of many people, it is regarded as “singular,” “unique in its right.” And this is what determines the power of “one.”

The group isn’t measured by the number of its participants. It is defined by their unity, the quality of their bond that is characterized by the fact that they unified, having risen above their egoism for the sake of the rest. This is what makes the group powerful since in spirituality, power is determined not by quantity, but rather by quality, and is a result of many ties, specifically due to the fact that they are unifying as one whole.

This is the force with which we discover the spiritual world! If we can reconcile all these meanings together: “One, Unique, and Unified” as pertaining to the connection between us, we will come to the Creator’s revelation.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/2011, Shamati No. 56

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