Good Environment – 06.28.11

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

The Catalyst Of The Spiritual Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can people who don’t feel any aspiration for spirituality be able to reach it if this requires a latent memory about it, a forgotten taste? Why do they suffer uselessly?

Answer: People do suffer uselessly, and that is why we have to bring to them the method of development without the blows. Then even if a person does not have spiritual genes (information about previous states), he will receive them from others thanks to the mutual inclusion.

It’s like in our world when you are resting in an armchair in front of the TV with a cup of coffee, watching a soccer game, and you think that you don’t need anything more. But suddenly they show you some commercial that convinces you that you absolutely need some object. You immediately forget all about soccer and start thinking about how to buy that thing. The advertisement takes away your sense of tranquility and awakens your desires.

We do not understand just how dependent we are on the influence of the environment. If we did not have that influence, we would be like animals in a forest. After all, according to the desires of our bodies, we don’t need anything besides the vital necessities.

Everything that is beyond the boundaries of necessity are things we wish for only due to the influence of society, which pressures me and convinces me that I need one thing, and another, and a third, and then I feel like I have to obtain those things.

If from every direction, via all the means of mass information, society now starts telling me that I need spirituality, then besides the simple necessities of this animate body, all I will need is spirituality. This is all we have to do—place ourselves under the influence of the right environment. And I don’t need anything else! It’s not necessary for the spiritual gene to awaken in me because the external environment will perform all of that work.

Spiritual genes awaken in special people who suddenly receive that kind of infusion from above and dash forward. This is special care from above. But others have to develop only by virtue of the environment.

Therefore, if we don’t build the right environment around all of humanity, if we don’t disseminate this knowledge across the whole world, then the world will have to advance only by the price of enormous suffering.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/24/11, “General Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”

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Be Wise And Naive At The Same Time

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What do we need in order to realize that all the problems and blows that we experience in this life are, in fact, the Creator’s messengers?

Answer: We need the opinion of the environment, public pressure. It is necessary to link the two opposites: on one hand, to feel strong fear and on the other, to be a hero, to simultaneously be both very naive and very smart, depending on what is being discussed.

We usually get confused between them. When we should be naïve, to lower our heads, and just trust, we act like a “smart aleck” and take pride in it. When we should be clever, we act like fools.

A great deal of our energy and time is consumed until a person gets straightened out. Sometimes, a tiny little mistake made in only a moment or over a few days costs us ten or twenty years of hard work.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Correction In Word And In Practice

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it that I understand what needs to be done, but I don’t always have the strength to remain dedicated to the goal?

Answer: This is because understanding happens only in reason, whereas a dedicated attitude toward unification and connection must be in the desire. However, reason and desire are two different things. I can say lots of smart and great things with my mouth. My mind would agree with all of them, but I cannot find the desire within to carry out even the simplest action.

The desire requires correction, and in order to correct it, first of all, I have to annul myself before the friends so as to receive through them the Light that Reforms, provided that we study correctly in the right group. Then, in this partially corrected desire, I’ll be able to carry out some tiny action.

From my head, I can talk about the highest possible states even now, but in order to manifest them within the desire, I need to labor hard and persistently. I still need to find the form in which to draw the Light that Reforms and how to accept and use it correctly. Words are not enough for this.

There are plenty of wise guys in this world if you only judge by words. It is said: “Believe the wisdom of the nations,” but the difference between a “nation of the world” within man and “Israel” (aimed “straight to the Creator”) is that the former only understands with reason the entire spiritual world; it doesn’t want to correct itself. However, “Israel,” aimed straight to the Creator, corrects its desires.

These two parts may contradict one another completely. A person may appear to be an angel in terms of what he says by showing thorough knowledge and a strong grasp of the theory.  (Like the “Kabbalists” that Baal HaSulam once met in Jerusalem did who knew all the books by heart.)
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/2011, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Resurrecting The Body Or The Soul?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: It is written that we must feel spirituality to such an extent that “all bones will speak.” But if a person died and no bones are left, how will he feel spirituality then?

Answer: This passage speaks about man’s spiritual vessels regarded as “brain-bones-tendons-flesh-skin,” the five spiritual degrees. We have to come to a spiritual state which can be described as “all bones will speak.”

This is a revelation in a very powerful, internal spiritual vessel of the “bones,” the vessel for the Light of Hochma (Wisdom), which already contains “marrow” (the Light of Hochma). “All bones will speak” is an action when the spiritual vessel, “bones,” which contains the Light of Hochma in it, eventually reveals this Light in the “tendons,” Bina, an even more external vessel.

I wish you this kind of revelation! As to the corporeal bones, don’t worry about them; we know exactly how they end.

Try to perceive the materials we read not in their corporeal, but authentic sense. We read books that talk about the soul, not about our biological body. The body is regarded as “matter” or “a donkey” (Homer), and its fate is the same as that of all other animals who live and die.

But for as long as it lives, we ought to manage to revive our spiritual body: to resurrect it from the dead. If the soul is dead at the moment, revive it! Draw the Light to it that will breathe life into it.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah World 6/24/2011, General Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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The Safest Place On Earth

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The external society is constantly goading me on with threats of humiliation and harm to my Self. Feeling this “knife” pointed at my throat, I cannot stop chasing after material things. Why don’t I feel the same in the group?

Answer: Indeed, in certain predicaments, a person desires to be “pricked” by some external stimulus since he is unable to wake up on his own. But such an approach is incorrect. Only when a person is unable to arrange a necessary “disturbance” by employing the group and the books, only then he will feel the “knife at his throat.” However, if he knows how to arrange it, then he is given some time, then some more, and some more. Besides, the group is also supposed to take care of a person and be responsible for waking him up.

On the whole, there are two ways for us to evolve: through suffering or the power of the Torah. It depends on my interconnection with the group: how much I put in and receive from it in return.

I need to keep receiving guarantee and assurance from the friends. Essentially, I am supposed to feel like a baby in his mother’s arms. There is no safer place in the world than that, is there? A baby calms down in the mother’s arms; he doesn’t want to be placed in the crib or anywhere else, but only to remain in the place where trouble doesn’t exist by definition.

This is mutual devotion; it is natural both in the baby and in the mother. They are programmed by nature, whereas we must achieve this above our nature. Imagine: The group, like a baby, is in your arms, while you, like a baby, are in the arms of the group.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah World 6/24/2011, “The Freedom”

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Kabbalists On The Nature Of Man And The Nature Of The Creator, Part 10

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

The Superiority of Man to the Beast

All animals completely rely on nature and are utterly incapable of progressing beyond nature, meaning beyond the qualities they are created with. Man, however, has been gifted with the power of thought. Using this power, he gradually becomes free of the chains of his nature and develops it from reception to bestowal. His task is to take example from nature and act like it.

He does not wait for nature to give him chicks, for the hen to come and incubate the eggs. Instead, he builds a machine that incubates the eggs and hatches chicks for him, just as the natural hen. Having learned about the purpose of his development, man does not wait for nature to bring him to similarity to the Creator by the slow and evil path of suffering, but rather hastens and betters his development by the power of Light.
– Baal HaSulam, “The Nation

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Where Does The Fear Of The Zohar Come From?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Participating in Hebrew Book Week, I observed an interesting phenomenon: A person walks by the book stand, sees the book Unlocking The Zohar, and his reaction shows that he was waiting for this moment all his life. He looks at the book, not daring take it in his hands, then he walks by, and circles back to return to it. It is obvious that there is an internal struggle.

Many people hesitate to take this book, feeling some fear as they face it, although subconsciously something tells them that the truth is hidden in it. They even walk away with pain that they did not take the book with them. How do you explain this fear?

Answer: This is one of the problems which we have to cope with and to help people overcome this fear. This is correction. Nobody is to blame, as it is said: “Go to the Craftsman who made me.”

We exist in the egoistic nature which has to feel denial, fear, rejection of what is supposed to bring us correction. This becomes dressed in some kind of fear of the book and the results of reading it, as if it can harm us. In essence, this is preparation for correction.

This fear arises not because people were told about the prohibition to touch the book. Nothing happens without a reason. On the contrary, our ego, our will to enjoy, prepared us in such a way that we keep a certain distance from corrections.

There is no choice: We will have to work on it, explain it, and put effort into it. But in any case, do not blame anybody. No one did this on purpose. The very nature of our ego, of our will to enjoy, sets us against everything associated with correction, forcing us to stay as far as possible from it.

It is worthwhile to study this behavior. A modern young man who is not worried about anything suddenly feels an inexplicable fear before The Zohar. This is nature. Even if he did not hear anything about this book, he discovers in himself some primeval, medieval prejudices, as if he is not a modern person any more.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/22/2011, The Zohar

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Preparation For Reading The Book of Zohar

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What can I do during the day to prepare myself for the morning lesson, especially for the reading of The Book of Zohar, to get maximum results?

Answer: It is desirable for a person to always keep a book with selected passages from The Zohar or Kabbalists’ sayings next to him. If during the day a person can listen to a recorded lesson, let him listen; if he can read, let him read; if he can only think, let him think.

There are people who cannot read, listen, or think about spirituality at work because their work absorbs them entirely, and they return to the intention only occasionally. There are different situations.

Rabash always used to say that it was desirable to choose a simple physical job that requires no mental or emotional efforts. But today, we hardly have jobs like that. Thus, a person should establish a definite schedule, for example, disconnect from his work every hour and connect with spirituality for five minutes.

Each person should try to do everything possible in the situation he finds himself in. These efforts are his exertion.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/22/2011, The Zohar

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The Zohar Will Help Everyone

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Can we use the reading of The Book of Zohar to correct very difficult conditions in which many people in the world find themselves today? The wisdom of Kabbalah has been revealed, and everybody may read The Zohar. Would it help a person who does not feel the need for the group, studying, and understanding?

Answer: We have to realize that in reality, the use of the wisdom of Kabbalah is effective only if a person wants to advance towards correction. We see that time passes until people who come to study the wisdom of Kabbalah join the group and begin to understand and hear what is going on. These are very slow, internal, stage-by-stage changes in a person.

Hence, we need to understand that “Segula,” “a special effect of the Light,” starts much earlier than a person realizes that he or she is under its influence. The Light that Reforms works on him or her like on a baby who does not know yet how he is developing, for what,  or to where he should advance. He is attracted by an interesting game and plays with his toys; this is our environment.

We are in the group, and this is our environment. There are people who do not have a group, but it does not matter. The key is that in some way they use the means of attracting the Light that Reforms: The Book of Zohar, the works of Baal HaSulam, Rabash’s articles and letters, Kabbalistic music, songs.

Thus, reading The Book of Zohar in any condition, even if a person is not thinking yet about the group and unity, but wants to improve his life, still helps. If the entire world has already entered the stage of development whereby we must achieve unity among us, then any use of the sources that bring the correcting Light is beneficial.

Not everybody has to sit together with us and thousands of people around the world during our morning lessons. We also have to awaken people who have no connection with us, who have never heard that one should study for the sake of unity among people. Baal HaSulam says that we have entered the period of  the Messiah, and the entire humankind must advance in this direction.

Hence, it is desirable for a person to be connected with the primary sources even without any intentions.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/22/2011, The Zohar

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