Good Environment – 05.26.11

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

Getting Through To The Elites

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How will the changes happen in the education system—by the initiative of the government from above, or pressure from the masses from below?

Answer: Leaders are only afraid for their “seats” and nothing else. If the masses come out to the streets and start shaking those chairs, and they aren’t just setting cars on fire but starting to making more serious actions, then the leaders start listening to their demands. In the end, they will have to agree to them. The question is: Will we be able to offer them our explanation of the necessary measures? We have to try to do that as much as we can.

One way or another, we have to get through to the leaders, but from both sides: from below, through the masses that go out onto the street, and from above directly. After all, we are talking about a global study of the world, about changes in education, and about building a worldwide system of upbringing in which everyone will study while receiving a specific salary for it, the means for sustenance.

This learning will take place instead of work, but in reality it will become people’s work in the spiritual sense. Every person will attract Light to the extent of his forces and capabilities, and this will be his reward. After all, the Light holds all of the abundance there can possibly be.

How many people are required to provide the vital necessities for all of the earth’s inhabitants? Clothing, food, construction, service—everything that’s necessary within the framework of a normal existence? For example, people will work for half a day and will study for half a day. And this will be done by everyone.

However, this can only be achieved through the leaders, or more precisely, through the public opinion, through people who think, including scientists, sociologists, political scientists, and all those who rise above the mass, but not too high. After all, the very top is occupied by the “destroyers,” whereas we are talking primarily about the university circles.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/11, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

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The Formula Of Returning To Goodness

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person who opens The Book of Zohar, opens it in order to reveal the Creator. By definition, the science of Kabbalah is the method of revealing the Creator to creation in this world. Otherwise why would Kabbalah and all of Torah be given to us? The Creator becomes revealed in the desire to bestow and love in a person. This desire is equal to the Creator in qualities, and the Creator becomes revealed in it according to the law of equivalence of form.

Thus, the Creator is the quality of bestowing and loving, the force of bestowal and love, “the Good who does Good.” How, then, can we achieve the desire to bestow and love, the Good who does Good? By connecting with each other in spite of every person’s egoistic forces that mutually repel one another and by building a net of good connection between us above the net of hatred. By building a net in which every person is good and does good, bestows and loves in relation to others.

But how do we do this if each of us is just a small egoist? We read The Book of Zohar, which talks about our corrected states in which we are connected by a good connection between us, and we desire for this to come true inside of us. In that case we receive an impression of those good states, which already exist in infinity. This impression, the influence of forces from our corrected states upon our current state, is called “surrounding Light” or “the Light that returns us to the source of goodness.”

Then, according to the formula, “I created the evil inclination and I gave the Torah for its correction, because the Light in it returns to the source,” we return to the source—the Good who does Good. Thus, we reveal the Creator, the Good who does Good, our root.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/11, The Zohar

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How To Start Hearing The Teacher

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt’s impossible to advance correctly if you are guided by your own opinion because you are entirely in this world. You will be able to grow only if you discover the existences of two distinct opinions: You will hear your own opinion and the teacher’s opinion, will understand the difference between them, and will compare them with each other so as to always go by faith above reason and accept the teacher’s view.

You need to choose and advance all the time, preferring the teacher’s opinion to your own in spite of your increasingly greater egoism and all your inner doubts and arguments, regardless of the supposedly obvious facts and common logic that tells you that you are not going by your reason, but below or above it.

If a person can cope with all these problems, he will be able to advance. If not, he has no chance of success. Thus, only a few reach the spiritual world.

In order to survive such inner struggle and go against our logic all the time, we need the support of the group which always strengthens the teacher’s authority. This means that it’s necessary to lower ourselves before the group to receive from it the strength to defeat our personal opinion and accept the teacher’s.

There are three participants in the work: the person, the teacher, and the group. All this is necessary to reach the revelation of the Creator (who can be revealed from the opposite side as well) so that the opinion of the teacher and that of the Creator unite into one. Then, a person will be able to advance, having understood that the group and the teacher are the representatives of the Creator in relation to him. Thus, the person has to figure out all his concepts, evaluations, and choice only relative to them.

If you are lucky, you will do this and move forward; if not, you will not even feel that you are not making the correct choice and are not moving in the right direction. You will not have any scale on which you could measure this.

When do “words that come from the heart enter the heart?” If you correctly establish your opinion in relation to the teacher’s, you will begin to hear what the teacher is telling.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/11Shamati #25

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Spirituality Cannot Be Expressed In Words

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I need to nullify myself before the teacher’s opinion, is it correct that some friends say that they are only willing to do what the teacher, but not any other management, tells them?

Answer: A teacher shouldn’t be anyone’s personal manager. He shouldn’t be explaining to everyone what it is he wants from them. He can be almost as concealed as the Creator and not say anything at all. Whoever is willing can nullify himself on his own and reveal the teacher’s opinion.

This can be observed from the behavior of the Kabbalists of the past, the group in Kotzk or Baal HaSulam who only gave a lesson to his students once a week or even once a month. A teacher reveals his opinion ever so slightly, and the rest is the student’s work. If the student understands what to look for, how to reveal the teacher’s opinion to help aim himself toward the goal, he will be able to do it. Otherwise, he will not.

Spirituality cannot be expressed in words. How could you possibly explain how to direct your heart toward the goal?
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/25/11Shamati #25

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When In Touch With The Upper Force

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should I do if during the reading of The Book of Zohar I cannot focus on the text as I am bombarded by all kinds of irrelevant thoughts and images of past events?

Answer: Before a person undertakes studying, he must try to see it as more important than everything taking place on the outside. All that occurred yesterday and today, and that will happen tomorrow is nothing compared to studying because right now, I am getting in touch with the upper force that arranges my entire life for me, and I ask for it even egoistically, on the corporeal level.

Hence, it’s worth it for me to be focused on reading The Zohar and stay in contact with the upper force since I depend on it. It’s a purely selfish, external approach; nevertheless, it works.

When you experience various foreign thoughts during the reading, at that point, they are obstacles related to your ego. They are obstacles on the path, and you are supposed to work with them.

However, the narrative itself shouldn’t worry me. First of all, I must remember that everything The Zohar describes is taking place only within me. Even though I don’t understand a word of it, it doesn’t matter. I need to strive to find them within.

The key is that I experience them as external images, while I must see them within. And it makes no difference what exactly that is. What’s really important is to move from external observation to the internal one and correct the flaw in your sight.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/2011The Book of Zohar

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Kabbalists On The Approach To Studying The Wisdom Of Kabbalah, Part 4

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

The Importance of the Intention during the Study

During the practice of  the Torah, every person must..set his mind and heart to reveal the Creator [the property of bestowal and love]. And any person is fit for it, as it is written: “You labored and did not find, do not believe.” …Thus, one needs nothing in this matter except the labor alone.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 97

There is a wonderful remedy to those who engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the great desire to understand, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155

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Correcting The Flaw In Your Sight

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You said that man is nothing but a sensation and a mind, while whatever is happening around him is beyond his control and he merely observes the result. If so, what does it mean to look for what The Zohar describes within?

Answer: Right now, I am reading or listening to The Zohar. As I go along, I picture all sorts of images in my mind: angels, people, and landscapes.

Why do I perceive this as an external image, instead of responding to it in my feelings and thoughts, immediately switching to seeing it within myself? It’s because I am uncorrected and my will to feel pleasure, my ego, splits my perceptions into internal and external ones. It shows me this flawed picture, whereby everything that The Zohar describes is seemingly happening on the outside, not inside of me.

But on the outside, there is nothing at all. All reality is within me. Why, then, do I experience it as external? It’s because I cannot unify all of reality with myself yet; I don’t view it as my vital part. Why is this so? It’s because I relate to it egoistically, dividing all of its parts into internal ones, which are more important to me, and external ones, which are less important, totally meaningless, or ignored by me. Such is my egoistic, flawed form of perception. What do I do then?

This is what I should be telling myself:

  1. The Zohar talks solely about my internal states and properties, and except for what is happening within me right now, there is nothing else. A person is a small world, and everything is in it.
  2. Everything I see as taking place on the outside is determined exclusively by my own flawed perception. If I correct myself, I will see everything within instead.

In other words, the discrepancy between what I imagine while reading The Zohar as something happening outside of me and what I would be able to perceive as occurring within me demonstrates my flawed perceptions. Hence, I must strive to seek the correct form of perception inside, pray and plead for it to arise in me.

This is what we call to attain the content. As it is written in Baal HaSulam’s “Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot,” Item 155, “Although they 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.” I aspire to see this image in its authentic form and gradually draw it closer.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/2011, The Book of Zohar

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Reveal The Zohar In Your Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Book of Zohar, Chapter “Mishpatim (Ordinances),” Item 561: Even to the verse, “And I will send an angel before you,” …Moses did not reply at once. Rather, when it is written, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here,” he replied this to what is written, “My presence will go and I will give you rest.”

A person has to look within himself for all these properties described in The Zohar: Who Moses is, who an angel is, who the Creator is, what all of these inanimate objects, plants, animals, and people are, and how they exist and live inside a person. You must try to find it within, make an effort to move from the external picture appearing in front of us to inner contemplation of where inside me are all these qualities, forces, and desires. These efforts are very important.

In this way, I correct my egoistic perception that makes me think that something happens outside, not inside. Then, I turn precisely to my inner properties and “implant” the Torah in myself, desiring to recognize it in its true place. That’s why we must constantly try to interpret what’s written in The Zohar as our properties.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/2011, The Book of Zohar

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Settings For Revelation

Dr. Michael LaitmanBefore reading The Book of Zohar, we have to prepare ourselves so that this reading benefits us. The Zohar talks about the correction of the soul, that is, about the correction of the connection between us. Thus, while reading The Zohar, we should strive to realize in us the corrected states described in the text. This means that we desire to reveal what The Zohar talks about.

Revelation isn’t understanding in the mind. How can I understand what I have never seen? It’s possible to see only on the condition that new models of sensation form within me because vision is a sensation in our desires, the vessels of reception. A sensation may occur only when my specific internal state matches that described in The Zohar.

This can be achieved only if I ascend to the degree of the giver as The Zohar requires. How is this possible? It’s possible if I connect with the environment, in relation to which I can express the extent of my bestowal. Thus, even before we open The Book of Zohar, we have to strive to join together in such a state, on such a level, with such a force that is suitable for the revelation of The Zohar in the connection between us.

To the extent one cancels himself and we connect together in mutual bestowal and guarantee, to the same extent we can achieve the condition in which we’ll feel what The Zohar talks about, at least to the smallest degree. All this depends on the force of unity between us that has to be at the level of the first spiritual degree. Then, we will feel what The Zohar relates to us.

Baal HaSulam writes about this in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155: A person striving to know what he studies draws upon himself the Light that Reforms. In essence, all our work is to aspire to be in this state, to sense it. Thus, we are required only to have the desire to feel the need for revelation.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/2011, The Book of Zohar

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