Pictures from the World Kabbalah Convention in Moscow, June 10-12, 2011.
Pictures from the World Kabbalah Convention in Moscow, June 10-12, 2011.
The wisdom of Kabbalah is the means that allows us to rise from the animate to the human level. If we do not use this means for transforming our egoistic nature, we remain animals, as it is said: “All are like animals.”
Indeed, in that case, we develop only within our ego; we have nothing to correct it with and nothing with which to rise above it from the receiving desires to the giving desires. Then, we sense only this world; we live and die like animals.
While at the human degree, I become similar to the Creator (“man” or “Adam” comes from the word “Edome” or “similar” in Hebrew). With the help of the tool called “the Light that Reforms.” which I attract to myself by reading Kabbalistic texts and especially The Book of Zohar, the strongest source of the hidden upper Light, I can correct myself and ascend from the egoistic nature to the altruistic one, to bestowal and love for a fellow human being.
Then, instead of the desire to use the other, I bestow to him, and instead of hatred, I feel love towards him. To the degree that I attain this nature, I begin to discover the upper force in my altruistic desires, in my properties of bestowal and love. I sense what fills my new qualities, and this is called “the upper Light” or “the Creator.”
However, all this is attained in the force of bestowal. How can we achieve it? For this purpose, before the lowest level of the world of Assiya, “this world,” was made, the creature created by the Creator, called the common soul Adam (Man), was shattered into many pieces. Now, in order to attract the Light, these pieces must unite with each other in the previous state before the shattering when the Upper Light filled them.
Although we cannot unite with each other ourselves, by desiring this, yearning and striving with all our power, by our efforts, we draw the Light from that state of unity. This Light does not come to us and doesn’t clothe in us because we have not united yet. But it shines to us from afar, to the extent of our aspiration for it—for the Light of bestowal and love for the other.
But do I really aspire for this?…I imagine that I yearn for this Light, for something very nice for my ego. But if I interpret this correctly—as the Light of bestowal and love in which I enjoy by bestowing to a fellow human being and acting solely for the sake of bestowal—then I do not particularly want it.
Hence, first of all, in order to strive for the Light, for correction, in order to become a giver and love the other, I must acquire the importance of this. I can obtain the importance of correction from the following two sources:
One seems to contradict the other: “Bestow and you will receive pleasure! Bestow and you will feel the upper World!” This is called “Lo Lishma (for oneself),” but anyway, this is an intermediary phase of advancement. In this case, I strive to advance by the path of “Lo Lishma,” the path of Light. We all are egoists and have to imagine an understandable self-gain ahead of us; otherwise, we will not be able to do anything.
Therefore, I am in the group, together with people who also want to attain spirituality. It is not important that all of us envision the spiritual world as a good prize: We want to be above others, to earn more, to rise above this short life filled with sufferings, to reach something worthwhile and great.
Even if we promote the importance of this goal to each other, then something exalted, great, eternal, perfect, and worthwhile will be revealed in the connection between us, and we will have strength to advance towards the inner connection between us at least slightly. If in the connection between us, we discover the common internal force called the spiritual vessel, the will to bestow, then in this vessel, to the extent of this will to bestow, we will reveal the Light: the Light of bestowal, the upper Light, or the Creator.
So, before we start reading The Book of Zohar and thus draw the Light, we have to imagine that we aspire to be in the inner connection between us when each nullifies himself and feels only others: everyone together, the whole inner group, where we are connected with each other in our souls. And in this connection between the souls, we reveal the Light, the common force of bestowal and love—and the Creator within it. If this is our line of thinking during the reading of The Zohar, it influences us in the most effective way.
It does not matter how much we understand the text and know the words. It is important to think about one thing only all the time: “Now, I am taking medicine. I want to connect with others, and then, in the unity between us, I will get everything: the entire spiritual, upper world. I am looking forward to this!”
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/24/2011, The Zohar
Baal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1, “Table of Questions and Answers for the Meaning of the Words”: Question 26: What is “above”? Hishtavut ha Tzura (equivalence of form) of the lower one with the upper one is a “rise above.”
There are no rises and falls, nor movements to the right or left. All of this is evaluated only relative to qualities, and we are talking about their transformation, reaching the similarity of properties of the lower one and the upper one.
However, what happens when the lower one “rises” toward the upper one and becomes the same? Does it disappear completely and turn into the upper one, or does the lower one exist next to the upper one?
Each one is left with their desires, aspirations, and natural qualities which do not change. The matter of the will to receive remains unchanged. It is said: “The way their faces differ, their souls differ as well.” Nothing changes in a person besides the intention with which he uses all of his desires and qualities.
If we are the same in our intentions, in their level and strength, then this means that we are on the same level. If one is lower and the other is higher, this means that the intentions of one person are still weaker than the intentions of the other.
The lower one is rising toward the upper one, “becoming like Him,” but not Him Himself. Of course, the difference between them remains.
When I ascend toward the Creator by the 125 steps of the ladder of equivalence of form, I feel Him on each step, even on the smallest one, and I become attached to Him in some form. With each following step, I connect with Him and come to know Him more and more. Nevertheless, the Creator and the creature remain, as well as the connection between them, Dvekut (adhesion)—one does not disappear inside the other.
So, a “rise above” is the equalization in terms of the qualities of the lower one to the upper one. They are equalizing only in terms of their form of bestowal, while each one remains with their natural qualities.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/22/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot
At the end of “The Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 156, Baal HaSulam writes that adopting the right definitions is of primary and paramount importance in the study of Kabbalah. They must be at our disposal, placed in our mind as if on book shelves so that I can pick out the right term without even thinking how I need to understand, to feel, and to picture the meaning concealed behind each word in the text.
Otherwise, I will be confusing myself and generating in myself the wrong impression and perception, which doesn’t correspond to the truth. This is a very important key to studying the wisdom of Kabbalah. If you do not correctly decipher what is written, you will become completely confused.
We are not studying for the purpose of getting to know how many angels there are in the sky and what their names are, and we are not memorizing which spiritual objects (Partzufim) exist somewhere out there. We need to apprehend that everything that has been written about is inside of us, inside our soul, which we have not revealed yet.
Let this spiritual system be concealed from us for now, but it is inside of us and not somewhere out there. We are not talking about angels in the sky, but about man’s inner forces. Everything is inside man, and there is nothing else besides him. It only seems to us that other people exist around us, but in reality, all of them are parts of myself. That is why the phrase of “love thy neighbor as thyself” seems to be speaking about another person until you come to understand that this is actually you, yourself, and everything belongs to you.
Kabbalistic terms need to be known by memory, meaning that you need to be attached to their true spiritual meaning and not to imagine it in your current perception. When I come across words like “sun,” “moon,” “up,” “down,” “entering,” and “leaving” of the Light, all of the most technical terms, and even the ones that are barely related to this world, I still need to check myself as to whether I am keeping to the right definitions. This will eliminate 99% of all confusion and mistakes.
Furthermore, I will not need a lot of long explanations if I adopt the correct definitions. That is why it is so important to study the appendices to each chapter of The Study of the Ten Sefirot: “Table of Questions and Answers for the Meaning of the Words.” This is even more important than studying the main text of the book.
Even though we cannot remember all of these definitions yet, to understand and to feel them, we at least we need to look at how these spiritual definitions differ from those inside of us because we usually already have a certain material picture about each of the words and concepts.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot
Answer: No, the women’s desire must be formed into a collective, aggregate, integral women’s desire aimed precisely at the goal. Each woman must analyze the desires inside of her and aim them at the goal to the maximum, as much as it is possible at any given level, in each state she finds herself in.
However, after these desires are basically formed, they must be felt by the men. And men will undoubtedly feel them since they are built this way; they gradually feel the women’s desire. This is like in a family where the wife may not say even one word to her husband, but he feels how she is quietly pushing on him, as if pointing, wanting, and waiting for something from him. He feels this, and he will not relax until he fulfills her desire. In some way he eventually must resolve it.
In the same way, the men should feel this from the women, and the women must constantly work on crystallizing in themselves a more and more definite desire.
From the 2nd lesson at the Moscow Convention 6/10/11