Let’s Live!

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “Truma (Donation),” Item 432: …all the people in the world know that they will die and return to dust, and therefore many repent and return to their Master because of this fear. They fear sinning before Him.

Question: What is the meaning of “to die”?

Answer: “To die” or “to live” talks about the desire. According to The Zohar, “alive” means bestowing and “dead” means receiving.

In spirituality there is no life or death. We talk about life and death in our world because we perceive only one form of existence and we see that this form seems to disappear from us. We think that life is the body when it’s breathing, and death is when it stops breathing.

But to a person who starts to feel spirituality, this distinction becomes very strange: How is it possible that this is the indication by which we tell the difference between what exists and what doesn’t exist, what is alive and what is dead? That’s because this person shifts to perceiving a different form of existence, and the earthly notions of life and death disappear for him.

If a person shifts to a more important perception where bestowal is considered life and reception death, then he rises above the level of an animal to the level of a human, and then life to him means existence on the human level and death on the animate level. He does not connect life and death to the existence of the animate body.

Then this animate body disappears from his sensation, losing its significance for defining his state, life and death. Even if the body dies, a person is already on a different degree of desire in the sensation of life and death in relation to spirituality, and he is united with them.

Therefore, this world no longer causes him to experience breaks in the process of the soul’s development.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/8/11, The Zohar

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The Long Path To Fear

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Which phase precedes fear of the Creator?

Answer: From the very beginning one works only on attaining fear. Fear is called the first commandment. From what moment do we begin to work in fear? It is a long path until we attain fear, until we begin to feel that fear is all we’re lacking.

In other words, fear is the sensation of being dependent on the Creator for everything. But this dependence is acquired not by simply shaking from fear or believing blindly what someone else said. Rather, one feels it after verifying for oneself in everything that one faces on his path and seeing that he is incapable of achieving the goal, the importance of which he was working on for so long that now he cannot escape from it or put it out of his mind. And then one sees that everything depends only on acquiring the right attitude toward the Creator.

One must receive this attitude from Above, in a prepared form; fear must be born from within. And one doesn’t know what this Kli (vessel) is like. We don’t know what fear is. We may mistake it for the fear that pertains to this world. But in reality, fear is whether or not I will be able to sense His love?

This sensation cannot be felt in our world. We can’t even imagine how it would be possible. That’s how far it is from us.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/6/2011, The Zohar

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The Influence Of The Environment On Decisions And Memory

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (Weizmann Institute of Science): (June 30, 2011) — “How easy is it to falsify memory? New research at the Weizmann Institute, Israel, shows that a bit of social pressure may be all that is needed. The study, which appears in the journal Science, reveals a unique pattern of brain activity when false memories are formed – one that hints at a surprising connection between our social selves and memory.”

“The experiment…took place in four stages. In the first, volunteers watched a documentary film in small groups. Three days later, they returned to the lab individually to take a memory test, answering questions about the film. They were also asked how confident they were in their answers.

They were later invited back to the lab to retake the test while being scanned in a functional MRI (fMRI) that revealed their brain activity. This time, the subjects were also given a ‘lifeline’: the supposed answers of the others in their film viewing group (along with social-media-style photos). Planted among these were false answers to questions the volunteers had previously answered correctly and confidently.”

Study results showed that under the influence of “public opinion,” the participants changed their initial answers and “conformed to the group on these ‘planted’ responses, giving incorrect answers nearly 70% of the time.”

“But were they simply conforming to perceived social demands, or had their memory of the film actually undergone a change?

To find out, the researchers invited the subjects back to the lab to take the memory test once again, telling them that the answers they had previously been fed were not those of their fellow film watchers, but random computer generations.

Some of the responses reverted back to the original, correct ones, but close to half remained erroneous, implying that the subjects were relying on false memories implanted in the earlier session.”

Comment: This experiment proves once again how much people depend on the surrounding society. According to Kabbalah, only by choosing the environment can we correct ourselves by becoming like it. Thus, through the choice of the environment, we can change ourselves to the point of similarity to the Creator. Please refer to Baal HaSulam’s article “The Freedom.”

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The Union Of Egoists Is Evil For The Whole World

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Steven Staples, President, Rideau Institute on International Affairs, Canada): “Economic inequality is growing: more conflicts and civil wars are emerging. It is important to see a connection between these two situations.

Proponents of global economic integration argue that globalization promotes peace and economic development in the Third World. They assert that ‘all boats rise with the tide’ when investors and corporations make higher profits. However, there is precious little evidence that this is true and substantial evidence of the opposite….

Economic inequality between Northern and Southern nations has worsened, not improved. The mainstream media frequently oversimplify the causes of war, with claims that they are rooted in religious or ethnic differences. While such differences are made use of in conflicts, a closer examination reveals that the underlying source of most conflicts is economic in nature….

Globalization is driving a global war economy and creating the conditions for tremendous loss of human life. Many writers and researchers have documented the decline in human rights, social justice, environmental standards, and democracy caused by globalization.”

Comment: Globalization in itself is not a breakthrough but a demonstration of unity in our world, its complete mutual dependence. But a union of robbers (countries-egoists) is evil, both for them and for the entire world. That is why the crisis continues. Globalization shows that there is only one solution: a change of our nature by educating an integral human being. This will lead to changes in the global economy and the entire social order.

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Study With Happiness

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen reading The Zohar, we need to keep the intention and imagine a sensory picture instead of the words. Our sensory picture has to include the following two components:

1. Happiness from embracing the Torah, something very exalted, which we are not yet in the condition to appreciate;
2. The desire, the need, to really connect, merge with it.

This is why I need to experience happiness from respecting the Torah and realizing the importance of the goal to which we are connected. And I also have to feel the desire to become worthy of all of these qualities of bestowal so that they become clothed in me, in my spiritual vessel, and I really become the bestowing one, radiating the Light.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/2011Shamati #5

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I Want To See Myself In Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Shamati (I Heard) No.5, “Lishma Is an Awakening From Above, And Why Do We Need an Awakening From Below”: When one has already accustomed oneself to work in order to bestow, and not examine oneself—if he is feeling a good taste in the work—but believes that he is working to bring contentment to his Maker through his work, one should believe that the Creator accepts the labor of the lower ones regardless of how and how much is the form of their work….

Question: How can one bring contentment to the Creator? What does this mean?

Answer: Our reality has not changed, is not changing, and will not change; it remains the same. Right now it looks to us as darkness and concealment, yet we nevertheless need to imagine ourselves in adhesion with the Creator.

The only one thing that hinders me from this is that I don’t relate to Him in the way that He relates to me. This is the gap which plunges me into the darkness and causes me to not feel that I am with the Creator and filled with the Light. Instead, I perceive my reality in the form of our world.

That is why I constantly need, like a baby, to imagine for myself that I want to be in attainment, meaning in bestowal to the Creator. Am I really thinking about this? If I take my thoughts to Him through the group, through the friends, so that all of the 613 desires of my heart are corrected towards bestowal, if I am ready to implement all of these 613 commandments, then I am preparing the vessel for the attainment of the Creator.

This is what the whole of the Kabbalistic method is about. We need the efforts; we have nothing else to do.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/2011Shamati #5

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An Invisible Alarm Clock

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If the Light and the Creator don’t change, what is the “awakening from Above” (Itaruta de Leila)? What does it mean to be awakened from Above?

Answer: The “awakening from Above” is always there. If you’re able to sit and study at this moment, even for a minute, that’s a result of the “awakening from Above.” It gives you strength, patience, and desire. You study instead of sleeping or chasing after the material pleasures of this world. Instead of all that, you’re listening to the lesson and aspiring to something you don’t even know.

Where does this “foolish” and “unrealistic” desire come from? Would a reasonable, sensible person do this? It’s all thanks to the awakening from Above, whereby the Light shines on you from Above and compels you to aspire to bestowal.

The Light is constant and doesn’t change, but you do. Each time you change, and your sensitivity increases, which is why you’re sensing greater and greater influence. You increase the sensitivity of your perception along the degrees of zero, one, two, three, and four until you reach the complete inner degree (HaVaYaH). You do this with your own effort, thanks to your “awakening from below” (Itaruta de Letata).

However, who gave you the initial awakening and inspired you to exert the effort? It was the awakening from Above! Therefore, it is written: “I Am the First, and I Am the Last.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/2011, Shamati #5

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 07.08.11

Writings of Rabash, “What Is that Every Grass Has an Appointee from Above Which Strikes It and Tells It Grow in the Work”
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The Book of Zohar – Selected, Chapter “Truma (Donation),” “And Behold It Was Very Good,” Item 432, Lesson 18
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Kabbalah for the Student, General Preface,” Item 2
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, “The Freedom, ‘Freedom from the Angel of Death,’ start with ‘I have already brought you'”
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