Shamati #25: Regarding things that come from the heart, enter the heart. …The thing is that when one hears the words of his teacher, he immediately agrees with his teacher, and resolves to observe the words of his teacher with his heart and soul. But afterwards, when he comes out to the world [to a different environment], he sees, covets, and is infected by the multitude of desires roaming the world, and he and his mind, his heart, and his will are annulled before the majority.
…He mingles with their desires and he is led like sheep to the slaughter. He has no choice; he is compelled to think, want, crave, and demand everything that the majority demands. In that case there is only one counsel then, to cling to his teacher and to the books [on the internal level]. This is called “[Being nourished] from the mouth of books and from the mouth of authors.”
A person who is born and lives in this material world develops in an environment that’s far away from spirituality, and obviously he cannot understand anything on the spiritual path. Even if he has an aspiration to spirituality, this point is immersed in the egoistic desire, which is surrounded by the egoistic society. Therefore, it does not have any chance of developing correctly.
Only a person who makes his way into the right environment merits spiritual development. This is an environment which has a teacher and a group that carries out the teacher’s advice. Besides, this group must study the authentic Kabbalistic sources, but this is already a result of how they accept the guidance of their teacher.
Therefore, the bottom line is that the group’s development depends on the teacher, the Rav (which means “big”). To the degree the students are able to cancel their opinion to his opinion, that is how they will develop. That’s because the spiritual environment is based on the teacher’s opinion, thought, and method, as well as the recognition of the teacher’s authority.
A necessary condition for the student is to constantly check who and what determines his opinion. After all, he is under the influence of two forces and must always decide that the teacher’s opinion has greater force than his own opinion. And if he does not feel any struggle and resistance, it means he does not perform this verification at all and instead thinks that everything is fine just the way it is.
Sometimes a student goes against his teacher’s opinion and thinks that he has a better understanding of how he should act from the point of view of his logic and reason. That is, he does not annul himself. But nullifying oneself means that he goes against his desire, against his logic.
If he endures in this resistance, it means he chooses the spiritual path and progresses on it. But if there is no opposition and inner struggle, then a question arises: Maybe he does not even understand that he is always following his own opinion, all the while thinking that he is advancing correctly?
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/11, Shamati
Spirituality Cannot Be Expressed In Words
Who Is With Me?
How To Start Hearing The Teacher
The Zohar, Chapter “Truma (Donation),” Item 4: … Jacob, who was whole, brought love in both worlds, meaning he married the two sisters, Leah and Rachel, the two worlds, Bina and Malchut.
Question: Which of my inner desires are called sisters?
Answer: A person contains the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels of desire. The entire world that I see is my desire, divided into many particular desires, each of which forms a certain earthly image in my perception.
We “see” our desires. We look inside ourselves, into our desire that is divided into parts, the objects of the world. We see the world in three dimensions, as if we are looking through 3-D glasses. And we don’t even feel that we are in this virtual reality because we don’t have anything to compare our sensation to. That is why it seems to us that we exist in the authentic world.
That is, we perceive something inside our desire, but it seems like we see it outside, in front of us. However, if besides this world, we would see a different reality, then we would discover that the reality of this world is relative. Parts of my desire depict images of inanimate objects, plants, animals, and people. However, these are not people who appear before me in this world, but my desire on the human level, which divides into many parts and I see each part of my desire in the form of an image of some person.
I also have desires on the animate level and therefore I see different animals in this world. Moreover, there are desires that are present in me now, as well as ones that were present in the past or that will surface in the future. This is why I see a developing world, extinct kinds of animals, or new species that suddenly appear in front of me. This means they surface in my consciousness and disappear. And the same thing happens on the still and vegetative levels.
There is no world. These are just my sensations inside of my desires when certain Reshimot (informational genes) come to the surface, replacing others, and by perceiving the realization of my Reshimot in this way, I feel that I live in them—in essence, that I live in the world. This is an internal movie that is projected to me by the constant Light, which awakens Reshimot that replace one another.
In the process of the Reshimot’s development (where a Reshimo [singular form of Reshimot] is an informational record in my memory), a part of them depends on my willingness to process new Reshimot, while part of the Reshimot awaken on their own. This entire process of development, which happens by itself, is called “Beito” (in due time). But if I want to accelerate it and am able to, this path of development is called Ahishena (accelerating time).
However, in any case we are only talking about Reshimot that awaken in me, which I perceive as the world, myself, and the entire process of development.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/11, The Zohar
Correcting The Flaw In Your Sight
“This World” Is Not “Our World”
Untwist The Chain of Reshimot
The goal of our development is to become similar to the force of nature, the one great integral force affecting everything. This force includes all the forces of nature that we discover in our sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, botany, geology, and astronomy. All of them are included in this single law.
This integral law that we reveal as a kind, mutual connection unites all parts of reality, which are interconnected by mutual love and bestowal. This entire system is integrated, analog, where everything except humans exists in complete harmony. In this entire system, as if in a huge sphere, there’s a part called “human” or “humanity,” which is imperfect. This is the most important part, the most developed, and at the same time imperfect because it has to realize its nature consciously.
Inanimate nature, the vegetative and animate world exist within this sphere instinctively and obey this law because they don’t reflect on how they should live. They are activated by the forces of nature that leave them no choice, no inner freedom. The forces operate them completely, and they execute nature’s commands by all 100 percent.
Whereas the human being has freedom. He is left with an empty part inside this sphere so that he would fill this emptiness with himself. Like from a piece of dough, he must sculpt a form from himself that would fit accurately in the mosaic of nature, united with all its parts by thousands of connections.
This mosaic is not flat and not even three-dimensional, but multi-dimensional and multifaceted on the psychological, psychosomatic, spiritual, and material levels; it is connected with all forms of nature in myriad ways. In our sciences we discover only a small part of the whole system of laws in this sphere. And we have to know everything.
From the 1st lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11
Question: In “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” Baal HaSulam writes that the will to receive in all its variations was initially included in the Thought of Creation. What does this mean?
Answer: It means that there is nothing new in the world. We merely reveal or discover what already exists. All the forms are initially included in desire; all the Lights are already present in the Light.
So what is new here? What will be born between them is Man. He will appear on the border, yearning to make the right connection between the Lights and the vessels.
But until then he needs them to be different, concealed. He will connect them himself at every degree: a bit of desire followed by a bit of Light, and again and again. It is precisely man who determines the form of their unification so that their union serves bestowal.
I take desire (as much as I can) and the Light (whatever is needed for correction), and through my efforts I create a correlation between them which ensures reception for the sake of bestowal. This is the form that will become the form of Man, comprising the vessel and the Light, the two origins: “existence from existence” and “existence from absence.” This is how man forms himself.
It follows that the great variety of the Lights and vessels is included in the original design. However, their correct connection, which is Man’s form, is not predetermined. Every time we must verify this form and demand that it be actualized.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/2011, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”
The science of Kabbalah revealed itself to us from time immemorial. In essence, it’s the first science discovered by humankind in the form of teaching about the structure of the world. However, much like it is today, in all previous generations, the majority of people didn’t need it because their ego was still evolving. We went through all these reincarnations, developing from generation to generation, and life seemed good. We were constantly striving to new achievements, desiring to fulfill ourselves with greater pleasures.
The wisdom of Kabbalah said thousands of years ago that this pursuit of pleasure is only a race for the internal engine working within us and it doesn’t give us true fulfillment. Everything is false; we are simply playing with our desires, with these fleeting, instantly disappearing pleasures. What’s the point in it all?
Nonetheless, people didn’t want to hear that. Only a few wondered about the meaning of life: What is the purpose of life, this race between birth and death? These few people were developing the wisdom of Kabbalah more and more. They discovered that in fact, this game which our ego, our nature, plays with us is just a deadly game; they discovered that we happened to fall into a meat grinder that grinds us, constantly pushing us to undesirable actions: either pleasures that we cannot refuse or sufferings that we try to escape from.
Thus, under the influence of these two forces, pleasure and suffering, I am constantly running like a small animal. They beat me, I run away to avoid blows. They show me pleasure, I rush to it. I end my life, filling my days with this race.
Observing such development of humanity, these people looked for a way out of this senseless race, until they discovered that this entire process has an end. They realized that we don’t live in an endless flow of life between the two forces, good and evil, in the eternal pursuit of pleasures and escape from endless suffering, trying to improve our lives and avoid evil. They found that finally we came to the completion of this development.
This completion is taking place precisely today, after a long process of human evolution. We are the first generation that, after a number of reincarnations and as a result of the development of all past generations, is beginning to understand what happens to them.
We begin to recognize that we have reached a certain satiation, and many people have become disappointed by this race. Although they don’t realize that during their whole life they are chasing after pleasures and running away from sufferings, they do feel frustration and plunge into depression. Many people are beginning to understand that this is madness, not life: to come to this world because of some race and then leave it as if they entered a casino, gambled, and left having done nothing because they were forced to run from pain and chase after pleasures.
Hence, they come to the understanding that evidently this isn’t so because nothing in nature happens without purpose. Everything in it is precisely determined by the order of cause and effect, and apparently this entire process is dictated by the law of development which should lead us to a certain goal.
Although this process is very long and seems illogical, in truth, a special inner logic is hidden in it: We must recognize the evil inherent in our nature in order to obtain the good from it. The possibility to reach this goodness appears nowadays if we accelerate the recognition of evil.
That’s why the science of Kabbalah has been revealed, so we don’t advance as before by a long and random path, in an endless choice between good and evil, every time encountering problems, solving them, and escaping to something better, but so that after many searches, having been disappointed in the previous path, we desire to see what is awaiting us and advance consciously.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is divulged for such people. The point in the heart awakens in them and doesn’t give them rest. They come to the place where they can gain knowledge about how to lay the right path for themselves, not twisting, but straight, according to the law of nature, becoming like it and using it correctly.
In essence, we aren’t sponsored or granted a miracle; we simply know the law. Instead of reaching the goal in zigzags, we go straight if we want to fulfill this law. This is a closer and easier path, but at the same time more complex. After all, we have to study and realize this law on ourselves instead of the forces of nature that knead us like dough shape us in their form. We ourselves have to participate in this, to carve out of ourselves the form required by nature. If we succeed, we give ourselves the same form that we should acquire at the end, and reach the purpose of creation.
From the 1st lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11
Dear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.
The Importance of the Preparation for the Study
Hence, the student pledges, prior to the study, to strengthen himself in faith in the Creator and in His guidance in reward and punishment…. One should aim one’s labor to be for the commandments of the Torah [his own correction], and in this way, he will be imparted the pleasure of the Light in it. His faith [in such act of correction] will strengthen and grow through the remedy in this Light….
Then one’s heart shall rest assured that from Lo Lishma [for oneself] he will come to Lishma [for the sake of bestowal or the Creator]. Thus, even if he has not been rewarded with faith [the property of bestowal], he still has hope through the practice of Torah. For if one sets one’s heart and mind to attain faith in [bestowal to] the Creator, through it there is no greater commandment than that.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 17
Until now we evolved under the influence of two opposite forces. Today, when the collision of these two forces becomes threatening, our objective is to bring them into mutual harmony.
To do this, we have to create resistance between them, a certain “resistor”(R) located between the plus and the minus. Then, we will obtain a “bulb” or a “motor.” By placing resistance between the opposites, we will receive a certain revelation, which we will feel in ourselves like the manifestation of the plus and minus together.
How can we make such a “resistor”? We want to use both forces, the positive and negative, as a single whole. That is why man is composed of two forces. Until the moment the negative force, our egoism, hadn’t developed in us completely, we couldn’t proceed with this work; we didn’t feel the conflict, the collision.
But today, we start discovering it. Our world, our life, our nature is in the grip of two forces, and we don’t know where to get away from them. Egoism is on one side under the minus sign, and the power of nature, the Creator, is on the other side under the plus sign.
The positive force of nature bestows, gives life, and develops, but the force of our egoism wants to absorb everything for its own pleasure, to break and destroy. We see plenty of examples of its activity in our world. If it weren’t for the power of nature that stops and prevents us from doing whatever we please, we would have destroyed the entire world back in the days when we fought with sticks and stones.
The goal of the force of nature is to lead us forward so that we become smarter, more developed, and more dangerous at the same time. This fills us with fear before using our weapons without consideration.
Thus we arrived at our current state and now have to create resistance between the two forces.
To tell you the truth, this resistance is called a “human” (Adam). It will become our property that includes both forces. We have to form, mold ourselves like plasticine, chisel away any excess material, and leave only the necessary form. We draw it on the border between the two opposing forces, and the wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to accomplish this.
From the 2nd lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11
The entire crisis stems from the fact that the world connects egoistically and the property of integral nature collides with the mutual hatred between all the countries and nations. Thus, if we stand between them like a force that creates a shock absorber and cushions this collision, we abate the crisis. And when these two opposites crash, softened by the buffer that absorbs the impact, they don’t hit each other with full force.
That’s why our place is honorable and located right in the middle between the positive and negative forces of nature. Being in the middle, we have to connect the entire negative force of humanity to ourselves and tie it with the positive nature of the system of creation. Our world group is that very shock absorber, the binding force.
People are talking about the imminent end of the world, but we have to complete our task. On one hand, we must establish a connection with nature, the entire system of creation, through our unity among ourselves. On the other, we have to enter the world with the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah to everybody. We have to connect these two parts.
Our group is in the middle; the rest of humankind is on the left of us, and nature, which is in balance, is on the right. Thus, on the one hand, we have to unite together, and this will connect us to nature, to the system of creation. On the other, we have to disseminate Kabbalah in the world.
This is our predestination, and without it, the world will not reach correction. The perfect forces of nature will not be able to come to this “opposite world,” the world of uncorrected humankind, if we fail to stand between them like a buffer.
The part that we use to unite among ourselves and want to connect to nature’s perfection is called Galgalta ve Eynaim (GE), GAR de Bina. The part that we use to connect with the entire humanity is called AHP, ZAT de Bina. Thus, we unite everything into one system and enliven everything.
The balanced part of nature is Keter and Hochma. We are in the middle, in the middle third of Tifferet. AHP, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut are below us. Only we, the middle part of Tifferet, have freedom of choice. In this way, we connect all the parts of creation into the ten Sefirot.
Thus, everything depends on us. It’s not necessary to wait until the world feels and understands. Out of our love, we must help it come to this realization as much as possible. We must help not only through wide action in the media, but through our deeper understanding of the inner systems of the world and the connection between all the souls. It doesn’t depend on presidents and prime ministers, but only on us.
From the 1st lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11
Question: Kabbalah teaches that the Creator is good and does good, but how does this reconcile with life that is full of problems and pain?
Answer: The Creator is good and does good, but one has to come to this by reaching the similarity of properties with Him. However, if I am a bad, naughty child and don’t want to listen what my mother tells me, she yells at first and then punishes me. And I say that my mother is angry, as a scolded child usually would think.
Her yelling and spanking were purposeful because she wanted me to do well. How can I see that behind everything that happens to me, there is a good attitude towards me, even if I perceive it as bad, as does a child? How can I understand that namely there, where I feel bad, I need to complete myself and my attitude towards nature, humankind, and the group—to correct my ego in order to feel that it was good?
The one who strives to carry it out as soon as possible and is ready to localize the place within oneself that needs correction starts seeing that the world is actually created as good, and the Creator is good. Exactly in the same place where we now find this world, we begin to feel the revealed forces of nature which permeate everything and connect all the parts of creation: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking.
We suddenly begin to see the spiritual world instead of this one! We begin to reveal more and more forces: eternal forces that rule our existence. Then, this world seems to disappear; it becomes transparent, shaky. It’s “virtual” even now and exists in my mind, and it only appears to me that I see it outside. This is how we correct our perception.
It turns out that all your problems and troubles are an indication of your flaws; they point out the faulty spot, saying: “Correct here! And there as well!” If you do it quickly, you will certainly correct the imperfection.
If you don’t know whom to turn to, aim at the group. If you connect with them and are ready to give what they need for unity, are ready to be influenced by them, you will never make a mistake.
From the 1st lesson at the Rome Convention on 5/21/11