Good Environment – 08.31.11

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

What To Do If You Have Fallen

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I have fallen down, what do I need to do in order to move forward?

Answer: When you have fallen, you are first of all sorry about it, and you want to come out of the fallen state, to rise above your nature, which you can no longer bear. You are even justifying this fall and you understand that “There is none else but the Creator.”

And then, gradually, you forget about this and you return to your usual state, thinking that there is nothing scary about that and that all kinds of things happen. And so it goes on until the next blow.

How many blows like this will be needed depends on the extent to which you connect your mind to it and work on your falls with the help of the group. The group must become your store-room, accumulating the whole of your mind at the time when you are completely under the control of your feelings, in order to balance it.

And on the contrary, when you fall under the control of the cold, dry reason, and when you do not even know how to awaken feelings inside of yourself in order to be inspired by spirituality, then you receive the impression in terms of feelings from the group.

But you will never be able to possess both, the feeling and the mind. That is why the connection to the group is so necessary for us; it can compensate for the lacking opposite and in a way connect both of them. Under the condition that you lower yourself in front of the group and are ready to accept its sorrow. Then you can connect the heart and the mind inside of yourself somehow.

Although, in reality, they do not really connect, because you are not yet really connecting to the group, but still it influences you from afar. And this indirect “surrounding” influence allows you to somehow connect the two opposites inside of yourself. And this is already helping you to understand a little bit about what the spiritual is and what the connection of these two poles means, when you feel and understand the spiritual simultaneously at the same one place.

This is an absolutely special feeling, in which there is understanding. Such things are almost non-existent in our world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/8/11, Shamati

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HaVaYaH: The Phases Of Growth Of The Mind And Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll of the differences and all of the parts of the creation in general are contained in the division into the four levels: still, vegetative, animate, and human. Such a division is derived from the four phases of the expansion of the Direct Light, HaVaYaH, the tip of the letter “Yod” and “Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey,” the phases of development of the desire, called Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut.

When the development reaches the last step, Malchut, she begins to react to all of the stages, located before her; she performs various actions; she accepts them or she does not accept them; she agrees with them or does not agree with them. Everything that happens further is unfolded inside of Malchut; she cannot change what happened before her, the first stages, called the first nine Sefirot.

The whole of the science of Kabbalah is dedicated to the reaction of Malchut (the creation), to what happens to her. If Malchut does not feel anything and does not realize anything, then what is happening is called the zero stage. When she only receives and begins to perceive that she fully consists of the desire to receive, it is the first stage, the still level.

If she feels that she is in the desire to receive, but she does not agree with this, then this is already the vegetative level. A plant already has its own opinion; it is overcoming something; it wants to live its life. But it cannot perform its own movements yet, and it does not understand its internal urges.

When it starts to make movements relative to the environment, trying not to depend on it and to develop in the direction according to its individual character, this is already called the animate level. And such a person differs very much from his environment.

The next level is when he begins to actively use his desire to enjoy. And then he wants to be individualistic, as if the vegetative level does not agree to simply obey the orders of its nature, it searches for something more from life. He wants to come out from the rule of the environment and to become free from it, like the animate level. And if he also wants to come out from under the Creator’s control and become similar to Him, then it means that he has reached the human level.

However, it is also possible to look at the development of these phases of HaVaYaH from another point of view, from the way the upper governance is being revealed to the person above him.

If a person is under the full control of the Creator, it means that he is completely bestowing, just not realizing it. Every person in the world is working 100% for bestowal and is working for the Creator. He is not opposed to anything and he does not even know that he can resist. He is acting according to how the Creator is controlling him, meaning he is in complete bestowal.

Then, his egoism grows and he starts to realize it. And then he understands that he is opposite to the Creator. And the more a person develops, the more his egoism grows, it is as if he is coming out from the Creator’s control and begins to disagree with Him. Of course, he is still carrying out all of the orders from above, but the question is about how much of this he understands, realizes, and agrees with.

It turns out that the whole of our game is not in the actions themselves, and not in how we dispose of our lives, but about how much we agree or disagree with the actions of the Host above us.

The more disagreement is awakened in a person, the more claims he has towards the Creator about His rule, the larger is the growth of the egoism. And simultaneously, with this oppositeness being revealed to him, he needs to want to correct himself in order to agree with Him again.

That is why, “the higher the person, the bigger his egoism.” On the other hand, he is already carrying out the actions of a mature person and comes to be similar to the Creator and towards agreement with Him, completely giving himself up under the control of the Creator, regardless of all of the resistance of his egoism.

Such phases of development can be seen in our desire to enjoy and the desire to bestow: the direct and the opposite HaVaYaH, meaning in the desire and the intention, the mind and the heart. This is how the levels of development are developed in a person.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/26/11, Shamati

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Revealing The Shechina Between Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar reveals to us the Shechina (the connection between us) by describing different situations while using all possible forms, images and different language.

If we wish to connect to what we’re reading, even without understanding what we are reading about, it means that we want to come to know the learned material. We wish to be in this net that connects all souls, which The Zohar reveals. We wish to be among the souls that aspire toward the Creator in the holy Shechina. “Holy” means that this net acts in mutual bestowal, in mutual guarantee.

When reading The Zohar and wishing to reveal the Shechina between us, we attract the Light from the states, which are concealed from us behind the words of The Zohar that returns us to our source—the Creator.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/11, The Zohar

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Weekly Torah Portion – 08.31.11

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “Softim,” Selected Excerpts
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

Getting Acquainted With The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If the Creator doesn’t exist outside, but is revealed within us, then what is the Surrounding Light? Doesn’t it come from the outside?

Answer: There is Malchut of the world of Infinity. Besides it, there is nothing else.

Once it was full of the Light of Infinity. Then a restriction was placed on, and it assumed a different form once the Light of Infinity left it. Then the same Malchut manifested itself in the form of worlds and souls, meaning its parts. Some of them pertain to external orbits, and others to internal ones.

Similarly, in our world the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature represent the external part, and the human or speaking level represents the internal one. This determines spiritual development as well: Man is tasked with the intention, while the other parts of nature only carry out actions. Ultimately, Malchut of Infinity arrives at its final state: the end of correction.

Thus, there are many states, but no matter what they may be, they are all permeated with one desire and one Light. What changes, then? The awareness, the intention over the desire. In other words, changes occur only with respect to the creature’s attitude toward the Creator or desire for the Light. Nothing changes except for my attitude, understanding, perception—my acquaintance with the world I live in.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/26/2011, “One Commandment”

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The Creator Pushes, While The Environment Catches Me

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe are always at the mercy of the Creator, and He fills us, causing us to feel either Him or His opposite. This feeling may be vested in a variety of different images, but in fact, there are only two states.

If a person tries to remain in this assessment of the Creator continuously, while being aware that he is working only against Him, it saves time. Then one understands that during the ascents and descents, during the times when he praises or criticizes the Creator, loves or accuses Him, that all the while he is in the hands of the upper force that either knocks him off the path or assists him on it.

This is considered a success or a transgression only in terms of a person’s point of view. And for the Creator, everything is holy because it is necessary for the clarification of the properties of bestowal, and there is nothing wrong in the process a person undergoes.

But still, you should try to get things clarified swiftly and soundly. You need to play against the Creator the same way He plays with you, to neutralize this game. The Creator raises or lowers you, but you should use the environment so as to soften the ups and downs by giving and then receiving from it.

Amid these ups and downs, you should employ the environment to find some kind of intermediate, stable state for yourself that wouldn’t change. That is, use the environment as a regulator, a spring, a power generator, which helps you maintain balance during an ascent and descent. You use the environment to transfuse from one state into another, the strength, intentions, and desires, when you are at rock bottom or at the greatest height.

Thus, the environment will work like a rectifier of alternating current, and all your ups and downs will come in one state: the revelation of the Creator as one force.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/22/2011, Shamati #62

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The Homework That Is Done Together

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Newspaper “The Nation”: Observing life’s reflections, we see that the process of a nation is very similar to the process of a single individual. The function of each nation is like the function of the organs in a single body. As the body must have harmony among its parts—the eyes see and the brain is assisted by them to think and to consult, then the hands work or fight, and the legs walk.

Thus, each stands on its guard and waits for its function. Similarly, the organs that comprise the body of the nation, the counselors, the employers, the workers, the deliverers, etc. should function in complete harmony among them. This is necessary for the normal life of the nation and for a secured existence.

As the natural death of the individual results from disharmony among one’s organs, the nation’s natural decline results from some obstruction that occurred among its organs, as our sages testified (Tosfot, Baba Metzia, Chapter Two) that Jerusalem was ruined only because of unfounded hatred.

It is evident that our body is capable of healthy existence only if all of its organs are devotedly connected to each other, where every organ knows its role with respect to the whole body. Then, the organ completely provides the body with its work and all the substances; it gives and receives in full harmony, according to the correct laws and the correspondence between them.

This is clear to everyone. However, we still don’t realize that this law operates on the scale of the entire creation, the entire universe. Even though explosions or emissions do happen in some parts of the body, ultimately, it all forms a big, living system. Thus, it’s quite possible that the entire universe lives in harmony just like one organism, and it is only us who don’t understand that!

A human society should live in the same way. Little by little, we are getting closer to the realization that a certain process is leading us to a stronger connection to and dependency on each other. We just need to clarify what in this growing and increasingly evident interdependence and connection depends on us and what is placed upon nature.

Nature is constantly revealing our interconnectedness to us, and our task is to respond to it: to connect correctly. It’s similar to how regular life plays tricks on us by giving us problems and exercises, by pushing us, demanding change, while we have to change in response, do all the exercises, and adjust ourselves to this world.

This is what is happening nowadays. We have no choice but to understand that nature is offering us a new form of relationships, which we can’t discern yet. That’s why it is important to decide how to accept it and do the exercise we received today correctly.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/17/2011, “The Nation”

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The Economy Can’t Be Fixed By Fairy Tales

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion: (Professor of Behavioral Economics Dan Ariely, Duke University): “Gut feelings are often wrong…. Because if you think about it, the conditions under which you could develop good gut intuitions are conditions in which you do the same things over and over with very small changes, and you see an immediate effect. …Much of what’s happening in the market has no connection to what you have done, and there’s so much noise into it that it’s really hard for the human being to observe the market and understand the relationship between what you have done, what companies are doing, and what happens.

“You know all these programs when people come the day after something happened and… say: ‘Oh, I knew this all along; here is the story and here is why.’ You have all these pundits who give you an explanation of what has happened yesterday. Of course, the question is if they can predict what will happen tomorrow, and they don’t go there because they know that they can’t.

“We did an experiment in which we took some events in a stock market: IBM stock went up, IBM stock went down, etc. and we created these computerized pundits… which [sometimes] gave the standard explanation, but sometimes they would give the opposite explanation. Then we asked people how much they trusted these pundits… and would they invest in the next period according to their advice.

“It turns out that no matter what explanation they gave, as long as they gave an explanation, people followed them. I think this comes from our great desire as individuals to tell ourselves a story that explains what is happening.”

My Comment: In other words, we don’t care what the causes of the events are; we just need a story, whether it is valid or not. It gives us solace, like to a child in his mother’s arms who wants a fairy tale just because he hears it from the mother. We are looking for solace, not an explanation! But it doesn’t fix the economy!

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