Answer: If a person is able to hold on to the truth, then he is very lucky. We see that there are many people in the world who don’t need the truth and who don’t ask what they are living for.
In others this question already arises, but from the point of view of, “What am I suffering for?” That is, this is not a question about the meaning of life, but about how to find the taste in life now that you feel a bitter taste instead of sweet.
And there are other people who don’t ask about a good life, but about finding the truth in it. And there are people who don’t ask about the truth in life, but about who gave us this life, about the Creator. And this question is no longer about myself, because I no longer care who I am and what will happen with my life, one way or another. I want to come to know Him, to attain the Creator, and exist in Him—in the very source, the root.
There are many levels in this attitude depending on a person’s demand, his sensation and attainment. Here everything depends on the root of one’s soul and the current life cycle, meaning, at what stage of development he is on.
But even if in our current state we are still not granted the chance to ask about the truth, then we can develop these desires inside of us by means of the environment, the “teacher, group, and books,” and advance that way. However, this is not easy and it requires you to reveal what lies at the very depth of yourself, inside of your informational genes, Reshimot.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/11, Writings of Rabash
Is it worthwhile to praise love for the neighbor to a person who loves fish? How can you describe to him the pleasure from bestowal? What will he understand? That he has to give his fish to someone else? Is this love?
What does it mean to love the neighbor? It has a completely different meaning. Loving the neighbor means attaching his desire to yourself and working with your desire in order to fulfill his desire. Then we both meld together into one whole, where I fulfill him and he becomes fulfilled. In what does he become fulfilled? In his desire. His desire in relation to mine is like Malchut in relation to Zeir Anpin. I am like the Creator, and he—the creation. That is what my work is.
Thus, “love” is the relationship between the Creator and creation. Only this is love—the creation’s attitude to the Creator. If I can build this kind of attitude to others, or in other words, if I acquire the quality of the Creator, the quality of bestowal, and by means of it I relate to the neighbor’s desire just like the Creator does, it turns out that the Creator is inside of me, and I make the necessary action in relation to the neighbor. This means that I love the neighbor.
We don’t have the right to use the word “love” in any other sense, context, or case. Otherwise we will confuse it with our “love of fish.”
We are talking about the extent to which the Creator, the quality of bestowal, dresses into me. First of all we have to carry out the principle, “Do not do to another what you yourself hate.” That is how I become neutral. After that, I have to acquire his desire instead of my own. Another person’s desire becomes more important for me and therefore he becomes higher than me. I am ready to do everything for him, just like I would for my sick child in our world. I am entirely “short-circuited” on his desire; it is what makes me act.
That is exactly why I am similar to the Creator, like Zeir Anpin who receives a request from Malchut. The more another person’s desire is able to activate me to bestow, the higher I am than him. This is love. Do you see how different this is from our current notions?
The more I can bestow to another person, the more I provide him with the Light of correction. After all, there is mutual guarantee between us. I do not fill his egoistic desire, but I reveal inside of him the desire to be in one system with me so the Shechina would reign between us. So what should I provide for him? I give him my support of the mutual guarantee, which he also provides for me by revealing it in his desire. This is love.
No one is indulging the other’s egoism. I don’t reveal the egoistic desire in the other person, but the desire for mutual support in order to reveal the Creator in the relationship between us. The Creator cannot be revealed in any individual or just in my attitude to another person, unless it’s fortified by the same attitude from him. Love does not work in one direction. It is a two way street. It requires a connecting net through which impulses of bestowal are flowing, a net permeated by feelings of love, relationships of mutual guarantee and mutuality by which we strengthen one another.
In the meantime, egoism remains below, without making any calculations to fulfill it. After all, we rise above it, connected by our mutual intention for the sake of bestowal. And when it reaches a specific level of unity, creating a net above us, then we reveal the Creator, the mutual quality of bestowal and love between us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/11, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”
Lo Lishma means that I’m aware of the fact that I exist in egoism rather than bestowal. I strive to achieve bestowal, Lishma, with all my might, but I’m yet unable to do it and must make a calculation in my own interest. The difference I see between my actual and desired states is called my Lo Lishma.
Suppose you hand me an envelope, returning a loan of one thousand dollars. If I take the envelope without checking what’s inside, this is called “below reason.” That is, I take you at your word from the outset and don’t involve any reason. If I check it, see exactly one thousand dollars, and accept the repayment, this is called “within reason.”
However, if I open the envelope, count the money, and see that it’s short by a certain amount, but nonetheless accept it as full repayment of the loan, to the measure of the missing sum, I work in faith above reason.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/19/2011, Writings of Rabash
Question: Women have many different desires. How can I identify and distinguish the desire for spirituality so it is above all other desires?
Answer: In principle, it is a general question, not only a woman’s but a man’s as well. Everybody has numerous desires. How can we distinguish the desire for spirituality so it becomes the most prevalent? This is possible only when I am in the right environment that inspires me, that builds the correct value system in me. I become inspired by others and envy them. Envy is a good quality; there are no bad qualities, you only need to use them properly.
If I use envy correctly, if I do my best to perceive what the general women’s group thinks, join them, absorb their enthusiasm for the goal, and recognize with their help the value of spirituality above everything else, my desire increases as a result.
From the 2nd lesson at the Moscow Convention 6/10/11
Answer: Every one of us must raise the others above himself or herself. I do the same in relation to the group, the environment: I lower myself as much as possible and become lower than them (-), but on the other hand, I try to receive from them as much greatness of the goal, the group, and the Creator (+) as I can.
I will not be able to receive from the group without lowering myself. Only a small one can receive from the big one. Thus, I lower myself in order to take in their desires, thoughts, aspirations, and the greatness of the ultimate goal. Thus I enrich myself. To the extent of my ability to receive the entire plus from them and make it mine, it will determine my aspiration to advance. But if I do not receive this plus from the group, I have nothing to advance with.
I always receive the desire to aspire forward only from the environment. This is because I am but a preset point, and there is nothing else in it; it is only given to me in order to work with the environment. My entire spiritual vessel (Kli), my entire soul, is what I receive from the environment; it does not exist in me.
And if I do not receive anything from the environment, if I walk around with my nose up and have no desire to hear anything from them, these additional desires cannot appear in me, and I will not have a soul, a place to reveal the Creator. This is very important.
The same pertains to the feminine and masculine parts. The masculine and feminine parts must be tuned to one another. We must lower ourselves in relation to the other part in order to hear and perceive their desires, and then we will receive their aspiration from them. In other words, we must listen to one another and lower ourselves in order to receive the greatness of the goal and the desire from the opposite group.
How do you raise the men above yourself? You simply need to show the men’s group that you exalt them, that you look forward to their achievements, that you believe that they will be able to pick a star from the sky, that you believe in them. Inspire them, and then they will be capable of anything! Be just like a mother who always tells her little child how big, strong, capable, and smart he is and thereby boosts his positive growth. This is necessary for the men because they really depend on women’s approval.
From the 2nd lesson at the Moscow Convention 6/10/11
Kabbalists of all times have studied humanity’s problems and analyzed what separates us from the global, locked, cosmic, harmonious picture: “What makes the human nature so unique? What specific properties does it have? How can these qualities be reformed? What motivates such transformation?”
Kabbalah explains how we should go through these cyclical changes internally, assisting one another according to a certain principle, a particular algorithm, in order to gradually come to greater equivalence with nature, to dive deeper within to discern the qualities that oppose it, and to correct them by following a specific sequence.
Moreover, a person isn’t supposed to make any corrections in himself or herself. We need to correct the connection between us, and only then will we achieve harmony.
At this point, another peculiar detail arises: Basically, I must accept myself exactly the way I am. A great number of people spend time psychoanalyzing themselves: “I’m good for nothing, lazy, greedy, jealous, and so on.” Leave your specifics alone; it doesn’t bother us. All of it will fall into place if you begin aiming at good connection with others: inter-relations, mutual understanding, and interdependence.
If I start analyzing, experiencing, and building our relationships correctly, I will suddenly discover (which is truly remarkable) that all qualities exist within me: the most disgusting and terrifying, such that I am ashamed to admit them even to myself. And I’ll suddenly see that I need them, require them, in order to receive from and give to the others and in this way to be an integral part in this enormous, closed organism.
It turns out that all our desires, such as theft, deceit, envy, hatred, rejection, and taking advantage of others, all these internal impulses we were born with are absolutely necessary to us. Therefore, don’t even think about undertaking such self-correction! It is a big mistake I see our world group making more often than not.
All you need to work on is our interconnection. Don’t criticize a person’s flaws: He or she has none! The flaw lies solely in the connection between us and nowhere else!
This is what we call “guarantee,” a property that the wisdom of Kabbalah so strongly focuses on. When we start studying, we begin to establish a connection between us, and this intention has to precede every endeavor: mutual contact, mutual responsibility to be connected with each other, and the need to discover this inner connection among us.
Parallel to this, we study Kabbalistic texts. We don’t know what is happening to us while we are studying them, and neither do we know what they describe. We simply read about our future corrected states described by Kabbalists. In a similar manner, a little child instinctively picks up a toy because nature pushes him to play and grow. So do we play with each other in the group, as if in this way we are building a correct model.
But as a result, while we are reading about it, we as though draw the higher state upon ourselves, like a child who is playing with a toy car, construction set, or a puzzle. We intentionally give him all kinds of tasks in the form of a game, while he earnestly strives to solve them as his nature dictates him.
So should we motivate ourselves and inspire each other, by being each other’s example and talking about how important it is. In the end, everybody should get stimulated by the others, by their enthusiasm, by their intention to draw closer, unite, and be in internal, well-coordinated harmony.
From the 5th lesson at the Moscow Convention, 6/11/2011
Nature instinctively, firmly, and automatically supports the system of reciprocity, interconnection, assistance, harmony, globalization, and integration, sustaining life thereby. Thus we say that the upper force is the force of love. Yet, the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature have one “little” additional element: man, human society, that doesn’t wish to follow this law. It is intentionally created so as to evolve randomly, pushed by its egoism.
Imagine a gigantic system where one part, which is the most advanced, efficient, and fragile, doesn’t work in sync, in harmony, with the rest of it. Therefore, this entire system gradually reaches a state of complete imbalance. This is what we are beginning to finally realize. Humanity has become a cancerous tumor consuming everything outside itself, breaking the equilibrium, and naturally causing a corresponding feedback.
How then do we achieve harmony? After all, otherwise we will destroy the whole organism. This is becoming obvious. It doesn’t take a prophet to see where the things are headed.
That is exactly what the wisdom of Kabbalah describes: how we must reform ourselves by studying the laws of integral nature. Don’t get into mysticism and start studying astral phenomena; all we have to do is learn the laws of the closed, global, integral systems which are also called analog networks known to us from engineering. There is an enormous amount of scientific, mathematically accurate material which informs us how closed systems support their internal balance.
We have to study ourselves as the elements inadequate to this system in our actions, desires, and thoughts. And if we honestly wish to achieve some kind of normal existence, even at the level of the corporeal world (not to mention what else we unveil when we enter homeostasis with nature), then we bring ourselves to overall harmony.
Today, it may seem a bit unnecessary and unpleasant, but nevertheless, nature is already pushing, forcing, and demanding from us the internal efforts and actions aimed at transforming ourselves. After all, to be aligned with surrounding nature means to consider it and not to simply consume and drain it. How and in what sense can we change ourselves? The section where Kabbalah discusses this is entitled “Mutual Guarantee.”
Guarantee is our mutual agreement (not only pertaining to ourselves but to all of nature) to reach absolutely complete mutual understanding and total balance. In terms of Kabbalah, it is Malchut of the world of Infinity or, in other words, a common, mutual property of love and bestowal.
To obtain the “property of love” means to take into consideration the needs of another as my own. This is exactly how all parts of our organism interact at the biological level. And nature pushes us to reach the same degree in our social interactions by way of social unification with one another. It can force us to do so by causing suffering. If, however, we start moving in that direction, we will be transformed quickly, comfortably, and easily. And this is what the wisdom of Kabbalah is offering to us to learn.
From the 5th lesson at the Moscow Convention, 6/11/2011
Egoism Is Embedded in the Nature of Every Person
Egoism is embedded in the nature of every person, as in any animal [but in man it is also directed at using and demeaning the other and in addition, it constantly develops].
– Baal HaSulam, “The Solution”
One cannot make a single movement without any benefit for oneself.
– Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
“A wild ass shall be turned into man” (Job 11:12) because when one emerges out of the bosom of Creation, one is in utter filth and lowliness, meaning a multitude of self-love that is imprinted in him [and he is not capable of considering the interests of another], whose every movement revolves solely around himself, without a shred of bestowal upon others [and what’s more, by demeaning another. Man always evaluates his success not in and by itself, but relative to another. Meanwhile, an animal is content with natural needs and virtually does not compare itself with others].
– Baal HaSulam, Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah), Item 12
Kabbalists On The Nature Of Man And The Nature Of The Creator, Part 3
Kabbalists On The Nature Of Man And The Nature Of The Creator, Part 2
Kabbalists On The Nature Of Man And The Nature Of The Creator, Part 1