Good Environment – 05.23.11

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

Reading An Open Book With Closed Eyes

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe ask, “Why did the Creator make us so dark and egoistic, and not otherwise?” As if we understood how anything is possible otherwise…. Nevertheless, if this question arises in us, that means it has a place. Every question that arises in a person, even one that seems like the most stupid or accidental one, means that there is an inner reason for it. That is how a person is built: He asks this question and has to receive an answer or fulfillment to it.

But as long as we aren’t able to feel the answer inside of us, we will have to accept it as a hypothesis that “The advantage of the Light is attained only from darkness.” That is, the sensation of pleasure, the “taste” by which the Creator wanted to give pleasure to creation, can only be felt in us to the degree we have a desire or lack.

And it is impossible to hear about this lack from somewhere on the side. It has to be felt inside of you, as your own need for fulfillment. Then the pleasure will also be yours! You will feel it and enjoy it.

Therefore, this requires a special development of desires, the need to feel the Light in creation, and then the pleasure will dress inside of these desires. To the extent there was a desire, that is how the pleasure will be felt.

If the Creator exists, if He is good and carries goodness, filling everything with infinite Light, and His desire is to delight us boundlessly, it turns out that the only thing missing is our desire to receive all of that! All of the Creator’s abundance is already spilled all around us, but we are unable to feel it or to ask it to enter us.

We shout to Him, “Give it to me already! When will I receive it?” But we have to understand once and for all that we have nothing to ask for besides the desire. The Light is already there—as much as you want! The problem is only the desire, which has to be big and suitable for feeling that Light.

We have to somehow acquire, buy, or steal that desire, manage to receive it in some way, directly or in a roundabout way. It doesn’t matter how; we are obligated to attain it in any case! Without this desire, we won’t feel the Light!

It’s like there is an open book lying in front of me but I don’t have glasses, and therefore I can’t read it! Will I pray for someone to give me the book? No—I will ask for glasses! We only lack the “instrument of perception” (the Kli), meaning the “vessel” or desire.

Therefore, all the actions we are led through are not necessary in order to attract the Light. They are actions forming the desire for this Light in us.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/23/11, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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An Invitation To Rise To The Next Degree

Dr. Michael LaitmanI began to teach a long time ago. Together with the group we studied the wisdom of Kabbalah for many years. However, even though we read the articles of Kabbalists, we didn’t actualize them fully until the global crisis hit several years ago.

Starting from 2005 or so, we began to focus on the correct structuring of the group. That is where we felt the pressure, and we realized that that is precisely what we needed in order to actualize the method and enter the spiritual world.

The fact is that the world had not experienced a crisis until then. We didn’t feel what or who our actions should be aimed at. But along with the crisis, our group felt an acute, even dramatic need to immediately implement the method in practice so that we could be an example to the world.

With each day we must work to strengthen our inner unity and external dissemination. Drop by drop, we must bring the news to the people that there is a method of correction. After all, the crisis engulfing the world is an invitation from Nature to rise to the next degree.

We shouldn’t be like stubborn children who don’t want to listen to their mother. In all that is happening we should see an unprecedented opportunity: The doors open for us to leave this limited, little world, completely permeated with suffering and ending in death, and enter an external existence, a world illuminated by the upper Light. This is what we must explain, illustrating that it could be done in a group, together.

The laws of the group can even be seen in this world. Indeed, the world is revealing itself as an integral system in which all parts are interconnected. Looking at it, we can see for ourselves what is demanded of us.
From the 2nd lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11

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Kabbalists On The Approach To Studying The Wisdom Of Kabbalah, Part 1

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

The Remedy in the Engagement in the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Why are we all obliged to study the wisdom of Kabbalah? It’s because although those who study it do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155

It is written in The Zohar: “With this composition, the Children of Israel [those who aspire to His revelation] will be redeemed from exile [His concealment].” …only through the expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah in the masses will we obtain complete redemption [from sufferings of this world].
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 5

When a person engages in the wisdom of Kabbalah, mentioning the names of the Lights and the vessels related to his soul, they immediately influence him to a certain extent…and time after time during the engagement…bring him closer to achieving perfection.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155

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Shame That Keeps Us From Going Back

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is very hard for us to imagine how a created being that was made by the Light, existed in adhesion with it, and didn’t sense any deficiency caused by being opposite to it suddenly felt ashamed and didn’t agree to stay in this state, restricted itself, and expelled all the Light. What must the creature feel when it sees itself as totally distant from the Light and desires to be identical to it?

The state of adhesion and perfection, which the created being experienced while being in the world of Infinity before the restriction, later on makes it take this road back to Infinity through all the states (1-2-3). And despite the fact that on the part of the Light there are no changes and the Creator never separates Himself from the created being, doesn’t see any flaws or the need for correction in it, the creature itself can’t accept being different from the Creator in any degree.

This marvelous feeling compels the created being to undertake such dramatic steps: to restrict its desire, obtain a screen, undergo the entire process of distancing itself from the Creator, from the Light, and then return back to Him, having completed the full circle. This is how desire acts.

And how can it be that the Light which gives the created being a feeling of their oneness, unity, and the absence of differences between them at the same time evokes in the creature a peculiar type of shame that forces the latter to restrict itself and walk this entire long road away from the Creator?

This feeling of shame has something unique; it becomes a powerful engine that makes the created being withdraw from the Creator, hide itself from Him, just like one person hides from someone that he is ashamed of, to make all the necessary corrections later on. And it’s not so that he may feel proud of himself, but rather so that he could return to the Creator His love that the created being felt emanating from Him when it felt ashamed. These are very exalted notions.

So it follows that it’s worthwhile for the creature to make this horrific full circle, never stopping on this path, giving into nothing, although it could return back to the state of Infinity any time! And still, every new instant it decides again: “No, I am not going to succumb to this infinite pleasure unless I act consciously in it and can feel proud of and respect myself!” Obviously, it isn’t about egoistic pride; it’s about the creature wanting to give to the Creator the attitude that it revealed in relation to itself.

Essentially, in the world of Infinity, the Creator’s love doesn’t commit the creature to anything. The Creator treats it like a father who loves his son infinitely and is willing to bestow everything to him, without any reservation and implying no shame. And yet, the son, while having known the Creator’s love for him, realizes that he himself is unable to love. And it is the only thing that makes him feel ashamed: that he himself is unable to love unconditionally and give to the Creator the same kind of feeling from the point of darkness and separation.

Hence, the son makes a decision to accept from his Father darkness rather than Light and the most horrible blows. He pledges to keep loving Him no matter what, as if he is receiving only the most kindly, true Light of Infinity. The Father’s love is endless and absolute, and hence the son decides to love Him no less.

Therefore, he has no other chance of reaching this state except by walking the path of darkness, which is directly opposite to infinite fulfillment. It’s because above this entire darkness, he can reveal unconditional love.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/16/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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Perpetuum Mobile of Creation

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur will to enjoy is constantly changing and growing. There is an inner engine in it that keeps spinning and thereby unfolding our will to enjoy one layer after another.

If I am not in sync with this engine and don’t correct my will to receive so that it is filled with the Light, this desire unfolds darkness to me, and I feel worse. In the meantime, the engine continues to spin, whereas I, having not corrected my previous desire, am delayed and cannot correct my current state either. This makes my life much more disappointing and difficult. Day by day I am feeling more miserable.

Therefore, if a person understands that nothing is going to come from the Creator and it is the created being who is supposed to provide everything, if he realizes that nature has been arranged so as to reveal to us our entire will to receive and all we have to do is reach correction, only then does he view reality in the right way. It is all up to us. The ball is in our court.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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The Taste Of Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll we need is to develop the desire. I remember when I used to own a clinic, one of the workers used to bring Yemenite food with her. At first I couldn’t come near it since I simply did not understand what this was. That’s how different it tasted from anything I was used to. But with time, I started becoming familiar with this food and tasting it, and little by little, I developed an appetite for it.

It’s the same as how a baby is born into the world without having any tastes yet. Afterwards, depending on the customs and predilections of his society, he begins to get used to food and to acquire a taste for it. Without taste, without the desire to eat precisely some specific dish, we would not be able to enjoy it. Of course, it’s possible to eat so you don’t starve to death, but that’s not the same as pleasure. You can receive the pleasures of this world as a bare necessity, but anything beyond that is admissible only if you desire to enjoy—and that enjoyment has to come from bestowal.

Question: Baal HaSulam writes that this requires only a psychological shift. What is that?

Answer: We do not understand how it is possible to enjoy by loving and filling someone you love. “Someone you love” is not just my child, taking care of whom gives me pleasure naturally. Rather, we are talking about someone who’s a stranger, who is alien, distant, opposite, and even hateful to me. This is like food from a foreign country that nauseates me. So I deliberately start developing the taste for it, looking for an approach to it, for closeness and understanding. Gradually the corresponding desires are born inside of me and then I suddenly feel that I love this person.

A question arises: If I love him, then won’t my bestowal to him be egoistic? After all, I will be enjoying it.

That’s true, but my love does not revoke the hatred I felt before. That hatred remains with me constantly and even increases, just like it happened with the students of Rabbi Shimon who write in The Book of Zohar that at first they hate one another, but then they reach love. We continuously advance in two lines, elevating love above hatred, as it is written, “Love will cover all sins.”

Precisely the hatred and love together create the taste, the “juice,” the might of the pleasure. They are like two reigns. If you nullify hatred, then only a tiny material relish will remain with you from the entire height of pleasure, but if you rise above the hatred, covering it with the screen of love time after time, then you end up with a huge vessel that has a huge pleasure inside.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/23/11, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 14: Thus, we have thoroughly clarified that the worlds, the generation, the changes, and the number of degrees, and so on were said only with respect to the Kelim (vessels) that give to the souls, conceal, and measure for them so they can gradually receive from the Light of Ein Sof in them. But they do not affect the Light of Ein Sof itself in any way since no coverings affect the one who is covered, but only the other, who wishes to feel it and receive from it, as said in the allegory.

Baal HaSulam explains also in “Preface to The Book of Zohar” that the entire perception of reality occurs only relatively to the receiver, person, observer. Everything is relative; it all depends on a person’s properties, and according to them, he or she perceives everything as if existing outside of him or her.

Is there reality outside of man? We don’t know that. It’s known from the wisdom of Kabbalah that the simple Surrounding Light exists outside of us. We don’t have any possibility of sensing it from the outside. We are sensible creatures, meaning that we sense what is perceived inside of us. If I sense that something exists outside, I perceive it in all my senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch). However, I perceive it inside my sense organ, and if deprived of it, I don’t perceive what exists outside of me.

Our aggregate sense organ is called the “will to enjoy.” It’s divided into five parts, according to the levels of Aviut (thickness) of desire. These levels (Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet or 0,1,2,3,4 accordingly) can be called spiritual or earthly sense organs: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

That is, our desire consists of five parts or five forms of perception: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch as in our world. I perceive something that within me acquires the form of desire, vessel.

This is like “manna” that nourished the people of Israel in the desert. I take this “manna” and taste “barbecue”; the other tastes fish, the third salad, the fourth chicken or cereal. Each receives according to his desires. However, all this is called “manna.”

What is “manna”? It’s something from the sky that has no properties. Who perceives these properties? The receiver does. As soon as I absorb this “manna,” desiring to taste steak, I taste steak. I want tea and taste tea. I want saltier food, and the food becomes saltier instantly. I want it spicier, and it becomes spicier. It’s good, isn’t it? “Make your desire like His,” and then “He will make your desire like His.”

The upper Light existing outside us doesn’t have any form; it has only the desire to bestow. If you want to derive pleasure from it the correct way, He will give you this sensation at once, without problems. Therefore, everything depends on the creature. The form of reality depends on our desires, vessels of perception. That is why we have nobody to pray to, nobody to ask, nobody to turn to, but only to ourselves, to the extent of our corruptness and the ability to become a little bit more corrected.

We’ll feel better to the extent we correct ourselves. In essence, this is the entire process we experience.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/13/2011, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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Playing Cat And Mouse With Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Kabbalah has taught me to accept all the troubles that come my way with a smile. Is that wrong?

Answer: The science of Kabbalah gives a person the strength to feel, after all of the troubles, that they have a reason. And it doesn’t matter whether you are crying or smiling form the misfortunes. The most important thing is that you use them beneficially, for taking a step forward. The misfortune has to be perceived as a force that obligates you to advance.

But we have to try to advance even before we receive the blow, just like in the cartoons about Tom and Jerry where a huge cat chases a small mouse. They always show how the mouse runs away from the cat, who is just about to catch the mouse, but the mouse always runs away. That is how we should run toward the goal, while the problems will keep on chasing us, running right behind us all of the time. But try to escape them!

We have to understand that the problems are exactly what enables us to run to the right place and very quickly. We have to try to be that smart mouse.
From the 2nd lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11

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