Question: What does the science of Kabbalah say about the current moment? How can it help us in this important transition period?
Answer: We live in a special time. Our world stands at the threshold of the ascent to a new, inner, spiritual, stage of development of the human within us.
Until now, as the science of Kabbalah explains, we were developing naturally, obeying the impulses of our egoism. It forced us to transform society, change family life, develop technologies, reshape countries and formations, and introduce changes in education and culture. We were always headed in the direction that the natural inner urge pulled us towards.
But today we have reached a certain satiation. The world as though ceases to provide us with pleasures. It no longer satisfies us economically: We feel certain barriers preventing us from moving on. The American theory of the consumer society with infinite growth of exports and imports, with unlimited technological and productive capacity has exhausted itself. Moreover, we have transitioned to the downward trend, to decline, which, according to economists, will be long, and no one knows when it will end.
According to the science of Kabbalah, the way we understand it today, the crisis will never end. At this stage of development, we have realized our egoism, as well as the potential of the surrounding nature, causing terrible distress to it. As a result, we are on the verge of collapse in the areas of human and social development, education, and ecology.
In this situation, we need to consider what has happened to us. Are we going to continue in this manner? We have literally ruined ourselves, having evidently made a mistake in our objectives and goals. Do we want to increase consumption, thereby destroying the environment? Do we want to get stuck in our “mechanical” race?
Having hardly used manufactured goods, we throw them away to buy new ones. And this is our life. Would we want to fill our being with similar games in wealth, honor, and power? Is the meaning of human life in monthly changes of mobile devices and other symbols of consumption?
Today, the process that we are going through forces us to slow down and invites us to reflect on it. Evidently, there is a different program built in Nature, and we have to look into it.
Universal wisdom, general balance, homeostasis, which we discover in Nature, remains outside of man. For Nature, a human being is a foreign element, a cancerous tumor, devouring its environment and itself.
We are destroying human society, spoiling ourselves and our children, distorting everything, and leaving ourselves no opportunity for correct existence. If we look at the world “from aside,” people seem to be blind, moving along a suicidal path. They continue to play power games, to destroy themselves, children, society, and the future, and are not aware of this.
That is why we are in the crisis. In fact, this is not a crisis. This is salvation. Today, when all the systems created by us are collapsing, we get a clear sign which leads us to the point of truth. Finally, we can see that we have no choice but a radical change of attitude towards life.
Instead of continuing to roll down towards self-destruction, what is still wanted by politicians, economists, and, indeed, by the greater part of humanity, all the people, communities, and organizations who already see what is happening must together work out a new approach towards the world and nature, in order to move on in a different way.
Today, we are in a special state, when for the first time humanity no longer understands its desire. A very important change is taking place: All of humanity is shifting from the first, “still,” degree to the second, “vegetative,” degree. For now, this is not clear to us, but it’s only the beginning.
Gradually, we will understand that nature, our desires, the upper governance, and our usual, familiar life, everything is relative, dependent on some factor that is unknown to us, that we cannot feel or take into account. We call this factor society, the environment, the global and integral humanity, a new connection between us that is being revealed today. But in reality, a person is shown that he is completely dependent on all of humanity; we are entirely in its hands.
We are currently exiting the unconscious subordination to the upper governance, under which we meekly existed at the “still level,” believing that this was the only way of life and that we must get used to it because there’s nothing else. But now, we are being shown in this life another component, another factor: the environment. In fact, it’s not an external environment, but the upper force that is being revealed to us. A person begins to feel that he depends on the environment, the environment depends on him, and they mutually influence each other.
In essence, this is the revelation of the Creator’s governance with respect to a human being. And according to this, a person will change to escape impending problems and troubles since he remains in the desire to enjoy. Various phenomena are starting to unfold before him, and he feels that he is a receiver. He sees that there is someone, a big giver, the environment, the world, that he depends on. Thus, the revelation of the Light, the upper governance relative to man, occurs.
And when a person understands that everything depends completely on the environment, he enters the second stage of development: “vegetative.” He has to give to a community which he receives from, realizing that the law of reciprocity exists, and that it won’t be good for him or the society if he only receives.
He no longer rigidly divides the world into two parts: himself and “them,” meaning everyone else. Being at the “still level,” he sought only to receive, but because he was unaware and did so instinctively, it did not count as reception; he was only obeying his nature.
And now, when he rises to the “vegetative degree,” he must perform conscious actions and give in return. That is, he has to change his behavior, which at the still degree was considered 100 percent correct, even though he stole and took for himself since his nature obliged him to do so.
Now, he is given a little bit of freedom from his own nature, and accordingly, he must give to the environment. The whole world must come to this; we must learn to not only receive, but to give as well.
Thus, we fulfill the still degree of our development. All of the other degrees: vegetative, animate, and human will add to the first, still, degree. To the extent that I reveal my egoism above the still degree, to that extent, I will correct my egoistic inclination and return to the still degree to carrying out the laws of nature like a slave, but voluntarily.
Therefore, everything is based on the still level. Inside this HaVaYaH is the entire creation and the attitude of the upper force towards it.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/26/2011, Shamati #115
We are one nation who must unite by the ties of mutual concern in the feeling of warmth and love as one family. We are those who are convinced that the unity of the nation is above all else, higher than narrow party calculations and personal benefits. Are we naive? No, we absolutely are not. We understand that it will take time to achieve the unity we seek, but we also realize that we must act. Therefore, we have founded the Mutual Guarantee (הדדית ערבות) movement, an apolitical, public movement, open to everyone.
Our objective is to make mutual guarantee the central topic of discussion in society. “Mutual guarantee” are not just nice words. Mutual Guarantee is the only way to achieve prosperity in our beloved country. Mutual Guarantee is the only method to succeed in a world that today is being revealed to us in its global form.
The Mutual Guarantee movement has existed for 20 years, but we have lived and breathed these values throughout the millennia. These values, which have shaped our nation, are unity, brotherhood, and mutual concern.
For these 20 years, each conversation, every lecture, and every meeting began and ended with the words “mutual guarantee.” Twenty years ago, we were alone. Our voice was barely heard, but today, our movement includes tens of thousands of people in Israel and more than two million worldwide. We are from Eastern and Western countries, Israeli-born and immigrants, secular and religious, students and professors, homeowners and those struggling to make ends meet.
Question: Both teachers and students are in trouble today. Teachers are helpless: They don’t have the tools to answer the challenges of the modern world. Meanwhile, students are feeling a new, qualitatively higher level of hostility towards the process of education. They have absolutely no desire to go to school….
Answer: I think that both sides are close to discussing these issues together. After all, the dead end, which everyone clearly sees, is beneficial neither to students, teachers, nor to the education system.
I think that in such circumstances we should become a connecting link: We should present our view on the problem to society and make our suggestions on massive changes in the educational system. There should be a book describing our method in detail so that it can be applied in practice.
Indeed, under these new conditions, the Department of Education is losing control over schools. Resentment and ineffectiveness will reach such a level that students will stop coming to classes. Teachers, on the other hand, will be unwilling to follow unrealistic and unfeasible orders coming from above.
That’s why we should offer a book that would present our recommendations on how to change this situation under the present conditions and onward. It shouldn’t be just a list of measures, but an upbringing manual. Teachers need to be taught how to bring up children, how to build reciprocity in a classroom, and so on. That has to be a full-blown methodology, not just isolated pieces of information.
Moreover, this book will be meant for both a teacher and a student. There is no need to hide anything. We are talking about a manual which would prepare them for interaction and mutual understanding.
We have to realize that before, connections in our egoistic world were built from top to bottom. Rulers of the world were forcing their power onto people, and this was the way all the other systems, including the education system, worked. However, the situation is changing: Rulers and parliaments can no longer govern the country, people can no longer receive support from them, and a connection is disappearing.
This is what is happening in the classrooms as well. Before, everyone sat in front of a teacher and received a weekly portion of knowledge and instructions. Everyone had to study to pass exams. The situation is changing now: Both sides are no longer capable of sustaining such a relationship because an integral connection is being revealed, according to which everyone should be equal, just like Bina and Malchut become equal to each other. Only this way a new system will be revealed: Methodology will be passed from generation to generation through equal relationships.
With time, by developing finer technologies, the world will realize that these new achievements are connecting us, and by that we are receiving a new “energy”: the Light that Reforms. By virtue of this Light we will suddenly be able to truly act in a human society, among us, in our interconnection—to such an extent that it will become a new step in a creative process.
On the next level of the world’s development, we will have to use the force of our connection to literally create new things. I don’t want to look like a dreamer, but I will nevertheless give an example: Let’s say we will create a printer that will use positive energy flowing among us to produce prints. These are the heights high-tech industry can reach: By feeding its creations with the force of unity among us, we’ll be shaping matter into different new forms. It doesn’t matter what it will be: houses, cars, and the like…. We still don’t understand to what extent our world is changing now.
Getting back to the education system, it has to join the process of changes before all others. This is, indeed, a worldwide problem today.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/18/2011, “The Nation”
Question: In the beginning of September, we are having a convention in the north of Israel. Today, with all our efforts directed towards external dissemination, what is the importance of such “internal” gatherings?
Answer: One does not exclude the other. As a group, we are studying the science of Kabbalah: the roots of creation and its correction and the spiritual actions of a person that stand behind his corporeal acts. In his interaction with others, willingly or unwillingly, a person activates an enormous mechanism that he is not familiar with. We study this mechanism and learn how to understand and operate our internal actions by means of external acts. Essentially, this is the purpose of our study.
We are studying the system and find the points where we are connected with it, where the spiritual system ends, giving a way to the corporeal one: the bodies and forces of our world. The connection of these two systems lies in my desire: If I cancel it in relation to the other, I see him or her in spirituality. If I lower my head before the other, he or she becomes my spiritual Kli (vessel). This is how I ascend to spirituality.
A fellow human being is above my current “I,” beyond the Machsom (the barrier separating us from spirituality). If I treat him the way I treat myself, I ascend to his level and we become one whole. This is how I cross the Machsom.
I transfer new pieces of my evil inclination, which I have down here in this world, to the other. First of all, I saturate my attitude towards him with bestowal for the sake of bestowal, correcting the so-called “mistakes.” And later on, I switch to correcting the “transgressions.” This way, I move my point in the heart upward, revealing the evil inclination in me. As a result, by proper connection with the other, I raise myself to a higher degree.
The “other” is humanity. The rule of loving thy neighbor as thyself applies to the regular people. It seems like I was given an exercise: to change my attitude towards them. Without their knowledge, I’m transferring my “I” into the spiritual world, realizing the transition stage. The science of Kabbalah explains this using special terms, but to put it simply: In this way, we acquire a good and safe life for ourselves and our children.
Getting back to the question, the benefit of our conventions is in the study and, most importantly, in internal connection and unity. Only when we connect, become closer and closer, and cancel ourselves before one another, only then do we have something to address the world with.
First and foremost, we bring the spirit of unity. This is why we need unity events, when the friends gather together for a few days. We plan to hold such a big international gathering in December. Without that, we won’t have the power of unity to pass on.
I hope that our December convention will take place on a new level. Then, all the friends who come here from around the world will get so much strength that they will be able to lead the dissemination of Kabbalah worldwide as all the events that are happening in Israel now will eventually come to their countries as well. There will be a need for the method: Even if unconsciously, the despair that will overwhelm people will open their hearts towards unity.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/18/2011, “The Nation”
In the News: “Social media have been a potent force in fueling the riots that began Saturday [August 6, 2001] in London’s boroughs and later spread to other cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Bristol. Messages have also been sent via regular texts and on Facebook.
“BlackBerry’s messaging system was popular among youths because it’s free, compatible with multimedia and private, compared with Facebook and Twitter. Its encrypted messages give troublemakers an added benefit: Police aren’t able to immediately trace message traffic the way they can with regular cellphones.” (Source: huffingtonpost.com)
“They [Hacktivist collective] would join forces with other hacktivists with the goal of bringing down the social networking giant, and that the action would be staged ‘for the good of privacy’ – and in order to protect freedom of information.” (Source: b92.net)
“‘Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world.’
“‘The riots are under way. It is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It is a battle for choice and informed consent.’” (Source: dailymail.co.uk)
My Comment: All the revolutions, the current ones and from past centuries, will sink into history. All of them happened under the pressure of a rigid, compelling force. However, recently, we have been under the influence of a new force, the integral force of nature, which pushes us towards unity either by suffering or by the realization of the necessity—and this constitutes our only choice.
Thus, no revolution will bring us a positive result. The former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote that everything that was happening happened only to compel us to unite, to equalize ourselves with the global world of nature. But he could not undertake anything because unity can be reached only by attracting this force upon oneself. And Kabbalah, the science of the correction of our egoism and unification above it, describes how to do this.
The Entire Reality Is Contained within Man
It is written in The Zohar, (Vayikra, Parashat Tazria, p 40) that all the worlds, upper and lower, are included in man. And also, the whole of reality within those worlds is only for man.
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 1
When we see a wide world before us, we don’t see it in reality, but only within ourselves. In other words, there is a sort of a photographic machine in our hindbrain, which portrays everything that appears to us and nothing outside of us.
– Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Book of Zohar,” Item 34