A Gift To Humanity

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe science of Kabbalah is special because it allows us to reveal how to control the two forces of nature: the force of reception and the force of bestowal. All of nature is comprised of these two forces. We see them everywhere: plus and minus, bestowal and reception. Their combination is what creates the essence of our lives.

On the still level they build atoms and molecules, dipoles, crystalline patterns, and so on. On the vegetative level the combination of a plus and minus produces life: a plus provides useful things whereas a minus excretes waste, which enables a body to live and develop.

On the animate level a plus and minus become even greater and their interconnection not only causes useful things to be absorbed and harmful things excreted, but also brings about movement, reproduction, and the individual life of a separate animal. This is already a special sum of two influences.

However, as paradoxical as it may be, on the human level only one of two forces was operating to this day. As a result, any pleasure that entered us immediately waned. That’s because our desire is egoistic and we did not have any chance to oppose it, to add a second force against it so we could excrete the harmful things from our desires and thoughts, from our hearts and minds, which belong to the human level.

Now a second force is being revealed in us—the point in the heart, which stands opposite to egoism. It enables us to form ourselves, to decide which thoughts and desires to bring inside and which to take outside. As a result, out of thousands of thoughts and desires, we can gather a new structure and build a special level inside of us called “human” (Adam) or ”soul.” It consists of ten Sefirot and is also called “Partzuf”—a spiritual structure.

This is what we form inside of us by virtue of the fact that two forces have finally begun developing in us. For hundreds of thousands of years, only one force operated in us on the human level. We were constantly activated by the desires and thoughts that awakened in us. That is how we lived.

But now, together with several million people from the whole world, we have received a true gift from above—the bestowing desire in addition to the receiving desire. And now we are forming a new creation inside of us. We must build the human in us ourselves. This is the entire purpose of man’s existence in this world. Otherwise, why does he exist here? What can he possibly do here?

Today we are advancing together with all humanity. We are the first, and others will come after us. From one day to the next new people are awakening and joining this process of building a person inside of each one of us. You and I are learning how to become human in the true sense of the word.
From the 1st lesson at the Madrid Convention 4/6/11

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Defining Vital Necessities

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You have said that in order to solve the global crisis it is necessary to reduce consumption. How does minimal consumption differ from vital consumption? For example, can a watch costing a thousand Euros be considered a vital necessity?

Answer: This question is not simple. I would even say there’s a catch to it. Let me explain it by way of a Kabbalistic parable that’s 2000 years old.

Once upon a time there were two friends. One was rich and the other was average, but they were both on the spiritual level. One day the rich man went bankrupt and then his friend started serving him like a servant, wishing to provide him with the necessary level of existence that he was used to. That’s because previously his friend had serrvants, so when he lost them, he felt like he lost something that was necessary.

This is an interesting example, but it is not suitable for out times because nature obligates us otherwise. We have no choice but to restrict our consumption since otherwise we will devastate the planet earth. It’s not just that we have to reduce our necessities, but we have to reach a state where we would be happy to get rid of our necessities, but are obligated to receive them because we have to exist in our bodies in this world.

I have a big desire, which includes the level of my regular life where I have physical necessities as well as social necessities, such as education, culture, vacations, and trips. No one says you have to give them up. You need an apartment, everything necessary for it, a wife, children, and so on.

The problem is our consumption above the norm. If you study the science of Kabbalah, you will involuntarily consume only what is necessary because the most important thing to you is spiritual fulfillment. Therefore, you are happy that you do not reveal these excessive desires inside of you and you would be happy even to get rid of the normal desires, but you need them in order to support your existence. This is called necessity.
From the 1st lesson at the Madrid Convention 6/4/11

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Know The Secret Of Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: As far as I understand, we have to develop the sixth sensory organ that will enable us to understand the unity between us. Does this possibility exist for everyone? Can anyone develop this sense organ?

Answer: There are people who get an aspiration for this development, wonder what they live for and why, what the meaning of life is, where its source is, how everything revolves in this reality, and what happens in it. They cannot calm down without answers to these questions.

These people come to study the wisdom of Kabbalah because they feel that they simply must understand; otherwise it is not worth living. They are not able to live like animals. But there are few people like this in the world.

Man’s desire is divided into six desires. Three desires are related to our body: the desires for food, sex, and family. And three desires are connected with society: the desires for wealth, fame, and knowledge. These are the six basic desires. If people can find themselves and the meaning of life in them, they do and live in this way.

You are asking about a higher desire to know the source of life. This desire comes only to some individuals in the world, and recently, their numbers are growing.

Around forty years ago, when I began to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, there were few such people, very few. As it is written in The Book of Zohar, from the end of the 20th century and beyond, lots of people will suddenly start asking about the essence of life—what they live for, what the meaning of life is—and will come to study the wisdom of Kabbalah. Indeed, within fifteen years, the number of our students has grown to two million. In fact, there are many more; we just do not know about them because we do not keep lists of people who study with us on the Internet.

I think that in any case, there won’t be many people in the world who really wonder about the essence of life. However, the rest will also have to rise above their egos not because they would rush forward, towards the source of life, wishing to know what they live for, but to escape suffering that is pushing them from behind. Thus, they will join us out of helplessness. So, I hope that we all will reach a good life. Nature will force us to come to an integral society.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

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Whoever Hinders Us Will Help Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If we have to rise above our egoism, then the more we strengthen it, the more difficult it is to rise above it. Thus paradoxically, the flourishing of culture deprives us of the opportunity to overcome our ego, doesn’t it?

Answer: Yes, it is true. But why do we develop in the egoistic form and, and what’s more, exponentially so? This is for us to see inside our ego how much it ultimately destroys us, and yet we are able overcome it.

We have no other matter besides our desire! Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of reception” (“Kabbalah” in Hebrew means “reception”). This wisdom explains how to realize one’s desire rather than destroy it. From our egoistic matter, we are building the form of a human (Adam), “similar” (Domeh) to the upper one, the Creator.

Thus, on one hand, the ego has to grow up to the point when we become disappointed in our real egoistic form which always wants to grab for itself. Then, I will begin to use my ego in its inverse form and each time turn it into bestowal. To the extent I can do this, I will acquire forces for my soul.

Today we have reached a certain “ceiling,” “satiation,” meaning the maximum possible egoism in receiving for ourselves until we consume the last fruit of the Earth. This will lead us to the realization of our evil. Either in a good way or bad, we will understand that we must act in the opposite manner and use our egoism for bestowal.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

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Real Immortality

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Once a person rises above all his material interests and connects with the upper nature, the Creator, does physical death no longer have meaning for him?

Answer: This is true. When I asked my teacher about this at the very beginning of my path, he said that a person studying Kabbalah has to reach a state when he starts to treat the life of his material body like a shirt: It’s as if he takes a dirty shirt off at the end of the day and throws it into the laundry and tomorrow puts on a new one. Our body is exactly like this.

These are real things. They stem from the study of “Self” when I exit the perception of my life inside my bodily desires. Right now, we live for our material body! But if I exit this sensation and connect with the upper reality above it, I immediately begin to feel the eternal flow of life.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

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Anything Is Possible At A Convention!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The more I want to unite with my friends, the more I’m repulsed by them. I have nothing to give the friends but negative emotions. I’m feeling an intense feeling of disharmony. The convention is becoming a big obstacle for me. What do I do?

Answer: Very good! That is precisely the kind of people we need! Because the measure of your desire is expressed precisely in your efforts to establish a connection with others in spite of this repulsion. Thanks to the force of this effort you will acquire the force of the quality of bestowal, which may help you to immediately ascend to the first degree.

Question: I have this feeling that everyone around is ready to hear us, but we’re struggling to pass the Light to everyone else. Can the convention help us shift from this point?

Answer: Anything is possible at a convention. Some can cling to the quality of unification and bestowal for the first time. Others can actively participate in the formation of a collective quality of bestowal. Others yet, who have already received this quality of bestowal, exist in it, and perceive the upper world, can help the rest of the people in this. There is a whole spectrum of people at a convention: from those who want spirituality, to those who don’t know what they want yet, to those who are already in attainment and conscious of what they are attaining.
From the Virtual Lesson 5/29/2011, Fundamentals of Kabbalah Series

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Interviews In Spain

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“Man’s Pride Shall Bring Him Low”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Lately, you have repeatedly said that the group for a person is like a womb for the embryo, and that one has to nullify himself before the group in order to adhere to the walls of this womb. What does it mean?

Answer: “Three days of the attachment of the sperm to the uterus” means that a person cleaves to his or her environment: the teacher, the group, and the books. These three components carry a certain idea, the source and the force to which the person connects himself. He renounces himself on the right and the left lines and, by employing them both, the right and the left forces, he builds the middle line and thereby merges with it.

The right line is the line of bestowal, along which one moves “blindfolded.” To the left line, he attaches the thick coarseness of his egoistic desire (Aviut), while he himself is willing to cleave to the right line. And the middle line comes in play when he acquires a certain permanent level of connection with his environment and doesn’t fall below it.

And no matter what else may occur, he no longer has the thoughts and desires that would disconnect him from bestowal completely, from “there is none else besides Him,” from “the good who does good.” This signifies that one has attached himself inside the “womb”—his environment.

This is the most complex moment. And the key to the successful accomplishment of this act is to lower oneself before the environment. It is written: “Man’s Pride Shall Bring Him Low.”

Question: What does “lower oneself” mean?

Answer: To lower oneself means that without getting in your own way, you are trying to hear and absorb as much as possible of what the teacher is saying and to exalt the friends, to open yourself for receiving the greatness of the goal from them. This considerably expedites one’s spiritual growth.

And if one succeeds (which isn’t that easy), it is as if he finally gets on the straight road, and in this way shortens his trip. This literally saves him years of work.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/25/2011, Writings of Rabash

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Training Camp

Dr. Michael LaitmanComment: As a rule, prophets talk about two options of development: hard and easy….

Answer: Suppose your son is lazy and stubborn. He is smart but has no desire to realize his potential properly. What would you like to see him as in the future?

Comment: A famous soccer player.

Answer: I see. It is the modern dream of a father.

Well, you take him to a soccer school, but he is lazy and does not want to work. He is required to have a daily regimen, exercise regularly, and sleep well at night without any parties. The life of athletes is a hard life indeed; it follows a strict schedule. People sacrifice their best years to become professionals. In this case, the body becomes a machine that is pushed to work at full capacity.

So, your son does not want to practice. What can you do? But you are sure that soccer in particular is his future. Then, you take a belt. Here, the question arises: Whether beating can make him a soccer player? Does this move him in the right direction?

Comment: No, this simply hurts him.

Answer: It means that the belt does not help. But after this “educational work” your son makes a calculation: What should he do? He suffers both from the beating and the training. Where is suffering greater, and where is it lesser? His egoistic desire compares the outcomes, and he decides: If his father makes him suffer more than the coach does, he goes to soccer practice.

On the soccer team, he meets other boys and gradually acquires a taste for the game. If he does not, you continue to punish him until he fulfills your program.

We see from this example that suffering simply takes one closer to realization. How can we manage without it? We are lazy and stubborn, each of us. It is not just about physical activity; we are obstinate in the mind and heart, in perception and sensitivity. Every second, we shrug aside important things, take a smoke break, sleep with our eyes open.

How can we use every moment of our life for spiritual training? To do that, we constantly have to ignite ourselves with our friends’ burning desire. Otherwise, the Creator will inflict blows upon you, and you will come out of your daze because of fear or pain, one or the other. However, you must realize the entire program because without it, you will lack desires.

Consequently, you face only one opportunity: to fulfill the desire of the Creator. You will do it in any case, but you have two options, two paths, leading to this realization. You cannot escape training and awakening; however, you can take the long path of suffering, during which you sleep (although not like a baby). Or, you can take the short path, where you are given a chance to realize yourself quickly by receiving additional desire, additional awakening from the environment. They stir your enthusiasm, and you run to your practice.

It does not matter which way you come to the practice: This is your choice.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/31/2011, “The Peace”

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Kabbalists On Love Of Others And Love Of The Creator, Part 4

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

Love of Others Is the Means to Attain the Love of the Creator

One cannot deceive himself in love of friends and say that he loves them if in fact he doesn’t. Here he can examine whether he truly has love of friends or not. But with love of the Creator, one cannot examine whether his intention truly is “for the Creator” or “for himself.”
– Rabash, Rabash—the Social Writings, “Come unto Pharaoh (2)

The correction of man’s relationship with his friend is more capable of bringing one to bestowal to the Creator because this relationship is changing and irregular, and the questions about one’s relationship with his friend surround him wherever he may turn. Hence, their cure is much more certain and their aim is closer.

Whereas the work on the correction of man’s relationships with the Creator is fixed and specific, and is not demanding, and one becomes easily accustomed to it, and everything that is done out of habit is no longer useful.
– Baal HaSulam, Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah), Item 14

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