Good Environment – 05.16.11

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

Kabbalah Moments: What Changed?

Don’t Skip The Steps, You Will Need Them Later

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why did we need all these thousands of years of development, incarnations, and suffering if the major change is occurring only today?

Answer: The will to receive pleasure is supposed to undergo all these stages and at each of them, no matter how small, to make a conscious conclusion that its current state is bad and it needs to continue the journey, add another gram of desire, and ascend one millimeter higher toward a new quality.

At each new degree, everything seems just fine, but a few moments later you lack something again, and something is wrong. Another evil unfolds, to such an extent that you can’t bear it anymore. First, everything was so great, and now it is killing me, and I have to ascend to the next step.

Thus, we climb a whole lot of steps, delighted in the beginning of each and squirming in pain in the end. Without these impressions, I don’t experience the contrast between the Light and the darkness and don’t acquire a vessel built from these opposite aspects of perception. Without the vessel, I will have nothing to turn to the Light of Infinity with.

Hence, I have to walk this entire path, climb thousands of steps, having absorbed the delight and horror of each of them. Thus we arrive at the last step on the ladder, and even now, in the state of love and bestowal, we still fall, just as Rabbi Shimon did, who turned into a “market merchant” before reaching the final correction.

What kind of state is that? Where did he fall to? At the 124th rung that precedes the last one, he discovered that it is the worst step of all, where he felt like “Shimon from the market.” And then, once he had experienced the difference with the next rung, he ascended to the final perfection.

The higher you have ascended, the worse your current degree makes you feel since it becomes a stepping stone for the next. This current degree feels so bad that you can’t bear it any longer. In the end, having gathered all your positive and negative impressions, you raise them upward. The negative makes the depth of your vessel, while the positive becomes your response to bestowal, and thereby you acquire a complete vessel.

We hope for a certain “leap,” while there aren’t any. A one-year-old child cannot make a leap and become a five-year-old. Can he really skip a slow, gradual process of growth? He would lack those lost years all his life. His perception in all areas of life would be distorted. Preparation of the vessel is necessary, and it cannot be avoided.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “The Freedom”

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Squeezed Between Good And Evil

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can the “evil inclination” exist if there is only the Creator and none else besides Him?

Answer: And who created this “evil inclination” if there is nothing else besides the Creator? The Creator made this evil. And it lives under the Creator’s thumb. The Creator controls it; He begot it; it is His son, as it is written: “I created the evil inclination.”

Question: But the Creator is good that does good, so how can evil derive from Him?

Answer: The good who does good created this “evil inclination,” as it is said: “The end result is in its initial thought.” In fact, if you decided to create someone else besides you, so that your creation could reach your level, and if you wanted to assist it with all your heart and soul, with all that you have, then you wouldn’t have a choice: You must create a vessel in it, a desire that will be exactly as your own in quantity, quality, understanding, attainment, and everything else, but with a reverse imprint. And that is exactly what the Creator did.

Therefore, the “evil inclination” is the entire creation; nothing else is required. We don’t understand it. We think that there are material objects, for example, a pencil. Why not? After all, you see that it exists. It has color, shape, and weight. But in spirituality it doesn’t exist. In spirituality, one exists only if he has an individual essence, something of his own, instead of existing only because someone created him or her.

Let’s say a pencil doesn’t exist in spirituality since there is no action coming from it, no desire to be similar to the Creator. Therefore, it doesn’t exist in the spiritual dimension. All that we see in our world doesn’t exist in spirituality. This world doesn’t exist because this world is a reality which doesn’t have any personal motion toward equivalence to the Creator, in any object or any desire.

For this reason, if we are to create a being, we must program in it an ability to move autonomously, independently. What kind of creature did the Creator create? It was the “evil inclination.” But does this “evil inclination” have its own ability to move? Is it really that independent and respectable? Yes, it is.

The evil inclination is the left line in spirituality, where it counters the Creator, understands Him, and desires to be opposite. That’s where it all begins. The evil inclination doesn’t start with my wanting to gobble up food or sleep.

After we undergo preparation in this world and cross the Machsom, then from one side, we receive the “evil inclination,” the left line, reception, and from the other, “the good inclination,” the right line, bestowal. And it’s our job to restore the middle line in between.

Squeezed Between Good And Evil

On the left side, there is the “evil inclination,” Pharaoh, who claims: “I rule!” and it is only after the Machsom. And right against it, there is the upper force, bestowal. As to us, we are in the middle line.

This is the very “evil inclination” created by the Creator, while all we have during our preparation in this world is a mere animate existence, neither good nor bad. It’s not what we are talking about. And hence, this world doesn’t exist; it is imaginary and has neither good nor bad in it.

The “good” and “evil” inclinations exist only in spirituality. They are the two angels, two forces, two servants. Whom do they serve? They serve man who is building himself, meaning his own desire, his “Self,” from both of them. That is what the Creator desires.

Hence, how can my “Self” be realized if I don’t have these two forces from which I will construct myself in the middle, between “pro” and “con,” by making my own choice? Therefore, the Creator intentionally created the “evil inclination” as a force that opposes Him. After all, bestowal, the “good inclination,” is the Creator Himself. Then, between these two forces, in the middle part of Tifferet, between its upper and lower thirds, there is space for man.

This is the only way you can build a free space or the point of free will. Freedom lies only between two strictly defined states that press on you from both directions, and you must choose between them.

The point of freedom, the point of choice, free choice, is the choice you make in the narrow, contracting space between the blades of the scissors. Imagine this: Two walls suddenly start moving and squeezing us in between them… This is what freedom is. And the higher you rise on the steps of the spiritual ladder, the narrower the space in between them gets and the harder they press on you. But it is from this very pressure, from the horrible tension between them, you find your expression of Self.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/12/2011, The Zohar

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Responsible For The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should we expect from the upcoming conventions? What intention should we build?

Answer: We are approaching very powerful changes due to our unification and I hope that the upcoming chain of conventions will help us to keep the intention together for a whole month without leaving it. Work, family, children, personal problems—despite all of this, unconsciously, in some corner of my mind, I leave a place for the most important thing and constantly worry about our unity, about how we advance from one convention to the next, from one day to the next, in our intentions and our inner solidarity—until there, inside, we will reveal the Creator.

We have been studying this theoretically for a long time already. So let’s truly wish for Him to be revealed. We have heard about this thousands of times—so let’s make the effort.

We cannot fall into doubts, “Again? How many times have we been through this?” We are at the threshold of a breakthrough. And the world is also demanding this. After all, it doesn’t have the slightest chance of finding any solution. In the Internet we see what kind of “solutions” are being offered in response to the modern crises, how people are trying to conceal and silence them because they don’t see any way out.

In a form that’s comfortable, clear, and close to the people, we must inform the world that there is a solution, and the faster we start realizing it, the less suffering this will cost us.

Therefore, our intention at the conventions is to start “permanently living” in the group that is bringing the whole world the solution to the crisis. There is nothing more important that we could possibly prepare or do for the world.

Right now we are at a very important point: There is a sick patient lying in front of us and his illness is almost fatal, but we can create a medicine and cure him. Then he won’t just be healthy, but will rise to the Creator’s level, to a new, eternal dimension.

Therefore, we must attribute the greatest possible importance to our efforts and our status—the ascent we are starting during these days. We have to hold ourselves accountable for what kind of task we are carrying out. Who are we to receive such a great mission—to actually participate in correcting not only the world, but all of reality?

We need to be a little bit prouder; that will help us to feel our responsibility.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/11, “Peace in the World”

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Kabbalists On The Torah And Commandments, Part 47

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear 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

The redemption of Israel and the rise of Israel depend on the study of Kabbalah. And vice versa, all the destruction and the decline of…Israel are because…they have degraded its merit and made it seemingly redundant.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 69

The Creator gave us Kabbalah, the method of correction,… so that with its help we could learn to perform actions with the intention to benefit the Creator. Had it not been for the engagement in Kabbalah for the sake of the Creator,… there would have been no tactic in the world that could help us invert our nature.

…If one’s intention in the study of Kabbalah is not to benefit the Creator, …not only will his nature not be corrected, but rather it will become worse: His egoism will be greater than what he received from nature.
Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar

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Weekly Torah Portion – 05.16.11

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “Behukotai,” Selected Excerpts
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

No Longer Barbarians, But Not Yet Altruists

Dr. Michael LaitmanNature controls us with the help of four categories: mercy, truth, justice, and peace. Of course, the best one is peace, which means perfection, and it can be achieved with the help of the quality of “truth.” However, we are incapable of making this come true because according to the truth, a person must be completely pure of the egoistic desire and be entirely in bestowal. He must receive only whatever is necessary for his life and bestow to others with all his might.

We still haven’t attained these states. Our society is incapable of this. We do not belong to the still, vegetative, or animate levels, which operate according to the laws and forces that nature awakens in them. Unlike those levels in nature, we are egoists and as such, our desire for pleasure desires to absorb and use everything.

As a result, we cannot affirm the category of “truth.” But without it, humanity faces a problem: If we don’t give and provide each other with everything, then society is flawed and therefore experiences all kinds of troubles and disasters. When there is no balance, people feel disadvantaged or, on the contrary, privileged.

Therefore, in order to avoid destroying the environment completely, the category of “mercy” awakens in us. “Mercy” is a sort of compensation, a way for the powerful to make up for things because they have the ability to use all of society for the sake of their own interests and then to allocate a little bit to the weak. That is how we use the categories of “mercy” and “justice.”

Of course, these compensations are inadequate, yet with their help we have been able to balance society out. Humanity has done a lot for the sake of this balancing act: charity and humanitarian organizations, all kinds of revolutions, public health services, education systems, and so on. However, nature demands much more from us. Lately we are finding that it requires us to create a system of mutual bestowal.

According to all the indications, today we have to rise to the level of “truth” and “peace”—in other words, to live by the principle, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his necessity.” On the the still, vegetative, and animate levels, this principle is maintained by nature absolutely and instinctively, whereas people have to come to this by reaching total correction, by ascending above their egoism and establishing the appropriate interconnections within society.

Today humanity is at an intermediate phase. We are no longer animals or primitive barbaric tribes living in a natural communism, yet we are still not corrected either. Right now we are at the beginning of realizing the crisis of our nature, our egoism.

So let’s listen to what Kabbalists say: They explain to us that there is a way and a means that can help us to create the perfect society.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/11, “Peace in the World”

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Being A Cogwheel Doesn’t Mean Being A “Schmuck”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the material world, we have no power over our desires. In bestowal, desires are much greater, so how will we be able to manage them?

Answer: In bestowal, I face a fellow man. By connecting to him, it is I who determines the degree, the power, and the kind of desire from which I form the vessel of the soul. I am the one who makes all the decisions.

On second thought, this is where another question arises: Who am “I”? After all, I have certain predispositions and properties that define what I am. True, certain parameters are not up to me since in the end, I am just a cogwheel in the integral system and can function solely in this capacity. It can’t be argued with, but it is still you who decides how to build a relationship with the others, how to act in a common mechanism, and how to form it in your own view.

Thus, by unifying with others, you take over the entire “machine.” If you stop, the whole system will stop with you. Do you want to switch the engine off? Go ahead! So, it turns out that when you start to move, you feel the entire reality and see which part and what side of it you can connect with.

Despite the fact that you are just a tiny cogwheel, the entire enormous machine depends on you, and you acquire the collective desire, the whole system with all that is in it. You, a mere minuscule cogwheel, become totally identical to the Creator because the entire system hinges upon you.

The integral system possesses a remarkable property we can’t comprehend: Everyone is just as vital in it as the whole. This pertains even to those whose points in the hearts haven’t awakened yet. Such a person may take his or her place at the last moment, to patch a tiny little hole in the common boat, but without them, the system simply won’t function right. And in the end, they too will receive the collective reward.

Why then is he or she the last to arrive? That is so because they were the most corrupted. Only after all the others have been reformed, this last person’s time has come to contribute their part to the collective.

We may have a tendency to despise the “people on the street.” And yet, it is they who will do the most meaningful work. Baal HaSulam explains it to us in “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”: Our forefathers have done tremendous work, but it is we, the lower elements of the integral structure, who carry the Lights to their vessels.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “The Freedom”

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We Know What To Do

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah to the masses whose points of the hearts haven’t awakened yet? How do we withhold the Torah, meaning the method of correction of the evil inclination?

Answer: In the end of “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Baal HaSulam writes that, basically, everybody has this point since after the breaking of the collective soul, its parts have intermixed and become included into each other. However, some points are so big that when they awaken, they start pulling a person to the right place where he can receive correction and fulfillment. Whereas the other points are hidden, and such people are 99% of the population of the world.

We should address them according to their present desires. To those who come to study with us, we tell about the desire to go straight to the Creator and give the method of revealing Him in mutual connection with others. As for the other 99%, they have no relation to it, nothing in common whatsoever. They don’t need spirituality; they look at us in total surprise, unable to understand what we are lacking: There is soccer, there is the Internet, everything is fine.

And still, they do have problems and experience grief. Today, the entire world is sinking into a whirlpool, and it’s not our fault. Because of us, the Creator wouldn’t stir crises, cause disasters, and put humanity under the threat of exhausting our natural resources. He does it because of them.

We advance without needing this crisis since there is a force that is leading us forth. But for them, there has to be a force that will be pushing them from behind. This force is suffering.

Thus, when we address the masses, we have to offer them a method of how to resolve the global crisis in all areas of life, including family, education, drug abuse, depression, economy, climate change, and so on. We possess a method that makes it possible to correct all that’s bad so that we may feel good in this life, in this world.

We don’t say a word about the future world since people have no need for it whatsoever. If they hear anything about the spiritual side of the issue from us, they will write us off as mystics or madmen. Hence, we need to approach them adequately: without mentioning Kabbalah, the Creator and the created being, the purpose of creation, and so on.

We simply have a method, an instrument that can correct the current bad state, the crisis that is consuming the whole world. We have something to offer them; we know what to do. Nobody knows but us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “The Freedom”

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