We are all egoists. So how can we organize regular life in human society in a way where we won’t eat each other?
That is why people have agreed that we can’t manage alone, after all. Other people serve me in one way, and I serve them in some other way. Without that we just can’t manage. Once we understand this, we come to an agreement: Let’s do this without waiting for a disastrous situation. Let’s do it out of mercy: I give a little bit to you, and you give a little bit to me.
Suppose I am driving in a car and someone in front of me suddenly stops. Then I also have to stop. If there is someone standing in front of me in line, then I have to wait. I spend time, gas, and money on others because we have all agreed on mutual sympathy and have to pay for it.
We create funds to help one another, such as medical funds and retirement funds. A person understands that it’s worth it for him to pay the medical fund even if he is healthy because his egoism recognizes how it will benefit from this. That is how we make concessions ahead of time because we need each other. This is “mercy”: We are willing to bestow to others in specific ways because we won’t survive without them.
As a result, people divide into two categories: Some promote “mercy,” wishing for everything to be “pretty,” while others support the category of “truth,” which says: “Mine is mine and yours is yours.” So whose side is truth on? The answer is: neither.
However, if every person clings to what is his, then society is torn apart to pieces, whereas if we add mercy, then we can somewhat soften or sweeten the situation. As a result, human societies throughout history have differed from one another by the correlation of these two approaches.
Society can be softer or harsher. In its pure form, capitalism does not like to play around: If you earned it, receive what’s yours, but if you haven’t earned it, then you can starve to death. Others understand that this is not a solution because hungry people will come and rob you, and maybe will even murder you. So it’s worth it to give them something “out of mercy.”
That is how humanity develops, but it cannot achieve piece on this path. Granted, truth is the lot of the strong, and mercy is the lot of the weak, but justice stands in the middle as the foundation of the scale so our cups could sway to and fro.
That is how society keeps itself back from self-destruction, but this does not bring it any closer to real peace – to conciliation and mutual completion.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/15/11, “Peace in the World”
Question: Does The Zohar talk about our one common soul or about separate souls?
Answer: The Zohar talks about the soul of one person. That’s because there is nothing else in all of reality besides one man, one soul, one creation, Malchut – it doesn’t matter what you call it.
And if it seems to us that there are many people, many desires that are separate and foreign, all of that comes from the lack of the right perception of reality.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/15/11, The Zohar
A Prayer For The Society Is A Prayer For Oneself
See What It Feels Like To Be Like The Creator
The Secret Of The Integral System
Question: Can the “evil inclination” make any autonomous movement?
Answer: The “evil inclination” and the Light work in unison since the “evil inclination” is the other side of the Light. It isn’t some desire that does whatever it pleases. It doesn’t exist in reality.
On the contrary, the Creator, with the help of the Light, awakes in a person all sorts of sensations or the dark states, which are regarded as the “evil inclination.” What personal desire can possibly be there in the world?! Who can possibly have it?! Nobody moves because they wish so!
Only in the degree of a person’s ability to recognize the “evil” and the “good” inclinations and stay in the state of faith above reason does he start to reveal some possibility to be free in that state. Free from what, the Creator? From the “good” or “evil” inclination? To be free means that a person voluntarily agrees to carry out the action that the Creator will perform anyway.
There is no reality that would be occurring on its own volition. The Light works upon everything decidedly and irrevocably, and it can’t be reasoned with. The additional element regarded as “man” is nothing but the fact that a person understands, feels, and agrees with the Creator’s actions. All we add is our agreement, so much so that the Creator demonstrates to us: “Do this instead of me!” and we do what He does. This depends on the level of one’s understanding, the height of his attainment.
What other option do you really have? Everything is predetermined, as it is written: “He that is banished be not an outcast from Him.” Everything is under His total control. Nothing works but the Light. We add our equivalence with the Light, with the Creator. And hence, in order to bring us to this awareness, the “evil inclination” was created so that we had a counter desire to speak against it: “I don’t want to!”
It is intentionally so, in order to give us an opportunity to examine and comprehend this—from the struggle between good and evil, from our unwillingness and disagreement, like a stubborn child who rebels against his parents.
But gradually, we search, agree, and realize how perfect everything is. And then, even if the Creator didn’t exist and neither did His power, I still wish for everything to be done the way He did it. This is regarded as a “complete righteous” who totally justifies the Creator. Let’s hope we will come to it one day.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, The Zohar
In every state of ascent, you should immediately imagine a state of descent. If you are able to do so, you remain in an ascent longer than one instant. And that’s enough!
You already received this impression, made a “record” (Reshimo), and if you continue it further, you start to enjoy this state egoistically. It turns out that you not in control of it any more, you don’t finalize or aim it correctly as you did before, when you entered it. Instead, you simply start receiving pleasure from it, turning it toward your egoism.
If a state of ascent continues longer than one instant, and you have acknowledged it and are not going to add anything to it, you should view it as a descent. In spirituality, if you do not add, but stay in the same timeline, the same momentum, at the same height, you turn into zero. In spirituality, only acceleration counts, rather than speed.
And spirituality is in the group, the place where unity is achieved, since within our unity, we reveal the Creator. So, we need to constantly examine ourselves in reference to this unity. If I contribute in the group the impression of the importance of the group compared to my own lowliness in regard to it, the value of the goal, spiritual work, and the Creator being revealed in our unity, then I act in the right direction.
Suppose I’ve exerted effort in this direction and managed to reach a certain awareness pertaining to spirituality, the property of bestowal; I got to feel and understand something in my current state. But I cannot remain in the same state longer than an instant after I have experienced it emotionally and mentally. After all, the next moment, by realizing that I did understand and feel, that I achieved something, I will start feeling selfish pleasure. It will be serving the ego from that moment on.
Hence, at the very next moment, you have to immediately add more desire yourself and seek even more! But where does one get this kind of need to constantly strive for more? How can one not descend into to his desire to enjoy, by letting himself rest and delay and gaining pleasure from what’s been accomplished?
Rabash writes that if a person has felt a state of ascent, he must immediately seek explanation for it in the books and articles, dive into them with this newly achieved current desire, and attain this state deeper and deeper. A person does so in order to receive from it an additional desire that will allow him to continue ascending further.
In fact, if we don’t ascend, we fall! It’s impossible to crawl on the “straight path”; in spirituality, it doesn’t exist. It is written: “No instant is like another!” I must make it so that the next one is more exalted than the previous one.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, Writings of Rabash
Always Ask For More
Preparing For A Descent
A Descent Is A Joy
Question: If we ascend to Infinity, then it looks like we will never get satisfied and will constantly desire more than we have, won’t we?
Answer: It isn’t an endless but a clearly defined ascent: 125 steps, the Light of Nefesh-Ruach-Neshama-Haya-Yechida (NRNHY), desires of Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, Malchut. There is a limit to which I am supposed to unify with the others, until we become as one man with one heart, which is regarded as Malchut of the world of Infinity, where we attain the Light of NRNHY, the Light of Infinity.
Everything lies within its borders; everything has a measure. When we hear “the Light of Infinity,” it means that the vessel and the Light are completely equivalent to one another and there are no restrictions. From the desire’s point of view, it is the infinite fulfillment by the Light.
If I fill a glass with water to the top, it means that it is infinitely filled. There are no restrictions: As much as the glass can contain so much liquid was poured into it. It is an infinite fulfillment since it isn’t limited by a certain level, above which it’s impossible to go. It received everything it could possibly receive.
Thus, at times, we experience a sensation of total fulfillment as if there isn’t a greater pleasure! This means that you have reached total fulfillment. There were 10 ounces of desire, and all of them are filled. If you don’t need to grow further, then you have reached your infinite fulfillment. But someone else might need the fulfillment valued at 10 tons, and until he has gotten them, he will feel restricted. Once he is filled, he will experience infinity.
Infinity doesn’t get measured by distance since there is no distance in spirituality. But when we reach unity among ourselves and all of us link together in the integral, ideal system, the upper Light, the property of bestowal, can be completely revealed within such perfect connection. This is what is called the Infinity. It is a quantitative notion, rather than a qualitative one.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, Writings of Rabash
Dear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.
Workers of the Creator Who Make the Torah Arid
There is a common opinion that the essence of the Torah is in the observance of the actions, and for this it is enough to study the revealed part of the Torah. … Yet, this is not the case. Our sages have already said, “Why should the Creator mind if one slaughters at the throat or at the back of the neck? After all, the Mitzvot were only given to correct people.”
…Hence, clearly, if the actions are not arranged for the desired goal, it is as if nothing exists. And it is also written in The Zohar: “A Mitzva (commandment) without an aim is like a body without a soul.”
– Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”
The aridity and the darkness that have befallen us in this generation, such as we have never seen before. It is because even the worshipers of the Creator have abandoned the engagement in the wisdom of Kabbalah. … [Hence,] it is no wonder the whole generation is failing because of them.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 57
Those who confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah and do not wish to try to understand the wisdom of Kabbalah… and the flavor of commandments …make the Torah dry. Woe unto them, for with these actions they bring about the existence of poverty, ruin, and robbery, looting, killing, and destructions in the world.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 70
Unity is not equalization, but mutual inclusion. The method of education is based on this idea as well: Everyone is unique, and hence children develop through discussions that allow them to learn other children’s opinions no matter how numerous these opinions are.
Thanks to this method, each child absorbs from the others, becomes imbued with their way of being, and grows to be even more unique. The child receives from everyone else and grows on that, developing his own properties.
This is what we want to achieve with our method of education. People unite correctly, making a contact, communicating with each other, and build a human society themselves, a society which is based on mutual inclusion of each into all and all into each. As a result, everybody’s uniqueness flourishes even more.
To do this, children conduct discussions, which we direct and manage just a little bit. Meanwhile, everybody has an opportunity to speak out, experience the role of a judge and defendant, advocate and prosecutor. We develop a human being in each child only through mutual inclusion.
Then, from year to year, children will grow more different from each other. The difference between them will strike one’s eye every time, but so what? Namely this will give power to the following unification. That’s the entire point: Without suppressing the individual, we build a community from great personalities.
Thereby the method of Kabbalah allows us to use the entire creation. Otherwise, we simply destroy a person, reducing him to a cog in the machine, whereas in fact, each detail, conscious of its indispensability, should put this machine into action.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, “Peace in the World”
Can Different People Be Equal?
Be The Chief Of Unification
Fathers And Sons: Who Lacks Understanding?
Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World”: Thus you find that the attribute of truth has no practical ability to organize the path of the individual and the path of the collective in an absolute and satisfactory manner. Also, it is completely insufficient for organizing life at the end of the correction of the world.
The Creator seems to be playing with us. On one hand, He says that everything needs to be done according to the attribute of truth: Everybody has to give as much as possible and receive life necessities, according to his nature which he did not choose. At the same time, bestowal, even wholehearted, also depends on the innate qualities and differences.
It means that everyone is unique in reception and bestowal. How do we solve the problem and remain in the category of “truth”? What criterion should we use? Working hours or output are not suitable because everybody is different. The Creator created us so that we are simply unable to draw comparisons between ourselves. How can we establish the correct interconnection between us?
For example, I may spend hours to get a smile from someone, while someone else smiles right away. Everybody has his own character, habits, mood swings, and a thousand other internal parameters. How do we work with each other?
Does the Creator “trip us”? “You have to be equal,” He says. But we are different! How is it possible to evaluate a human according to a benchmark? Where would a suitable criterion be found?
It is time for us to build a human society in which all of us will be connected like cogwheels. Nobody knows how he is supposed to rotate in relation to others. What example can be used? How would it be realized? The task seems simply unreal, and this is a very big problem.
All of humanity has to understand the difficulty that lies here and its cause. Today, we already understand that we have entered a new epoch and must unite in an amicable way. There is no other choice: We have to reduce consumption, limit our evil inclination, our egoism, to begin to decrease the standard of living in one region and share the released surplus with the other. But how?
Each of those who succeed in economy, industry, science, culture, and so on can stand up and say: “I have achieved everything with my own hands. I worked on my success, so let them do the same.” And it would sound fair.
In other words, a person says: “Go to the Master who created me. He put me in such conditions, and I have achieved everything.” That is, direct all your claims with respect to our inequality to the Creator. It is He who created people different and requires them to achieve unity, without which it’s impossible to continue our existence.
This is the problem we have yet to resolve.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, “Peace in the World”