Answer: To give up everything for the sake of spirituality is to determine that my goal is to reach bestowal so that only this property will reign in me, to such an extent that my “self” will not be felt anymore. Just as you don’t feel the Creator now, you won’t feel yourself. No matter what happens, no matter if people scold you or what they say about you—nothing external will affect you.
Your ego will grow bigger and bigger, but you will constantly rise above it with your power of bestowal. And then you will resemble the Creator to a certain extent.
You see, we can anger Him as much as we want, and it won’t affect Him. How does He manage to do that? Does the upper force have no mind or feelings? No, it is simply the attribute of love and bestowal that is above everything. “Love will cover all sins!” And if we come to it, this means that we are ready for Rosh Hashanah (the New Year)….
These are very difficult situations, and the faster you advance, the more you fall. It is like in sports: The one who reaches the final is the one who is best prepared to reach the goal. The selection becomes more and more uncompromising, and so fewer and fewer reach the finish line. Therefore, it is no wonder that people fall along the way. It is a pity, but this is the nature of things.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/26/2011, Writings of Rabash
Question: I have an unpleasant feeling that even in a hundred years I will not understand the texts of The Zohar. What should I do?
Answer: Just as man wanted to “acquire” this whole world in the past, now he wants to acquire all of spirituality. This desire by itself is fine, but the moment such a thought occurs, a person should understand that there is a paradox here: I reach spirituality when I give up everything.
How can I, with my great desire, want spirituality so much and at the same time, give everything up? This is impossible—unless I receive the second force from the environment, the force opposite to my desire to achieve spirituality without any connection to others: “What do I care about them? Who are they? Do they exist at all? I only have to deal with the Creator! And as far as I am concerned, you can all vanish.…” This is what man is like, and everyone who is greater than his friend has greater egoism.
Yet, despite all this I still reach total devotion, whereby I yield to everyone and want only to bestow, to such an extent that I will get nothing from it, and I will not even know that I bestow. This is because the mere thought of bestowal is already a reward. The environment should enable me to do so.
On one hand, there is the cruel, uncontrollable force within me: the desire to enjoy, and as much as possible. I am simply burning with the desire to attain spirituality. On the other, through the group, the Light has to influence me with the opposite attributes. This is called “Aviut (coarseness) of the desire from the bottom and the screen from Above.” And then I will have the vessel (Kli) for the spiritual revelation.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/2011, The Zohar
Question: Why is the ascent to the first level and the entry into the spiritual world the most difficult thing?
Answer: Childbirth is the most difficult and dangerous act. Today we don’t feel it so acutely anymore since our world has been through many corrections, thanks to the development of medicine in the last century. Before that, however, many women and babies used to die during childbirth. It was very common.
Childbirth is the most difficult act, both in the corporeal world and in the spiritual one. This is why we shouldn’t treat it like in today’s corporeal world, where we’ve become accustomed to relying on doctors and Cesarean sections. We need to understand that it is a matter of life or death, especially when it concerns a developed creature such as a human being.
This is why our spiritual birth is not a simple process. The more refined a creature is, the more difficult it is for it to multiply. The spiritual birth symbolizes the beginning of the spiritual life. It isn’t the continuation of the same earthly life on the same corporeal level. You have to be born on a totally different level!
Now we cannot even imagine what the birth of a new mind and emotion is, of a new consciousness and perception. It is a sensation, a revelation that didn’t exist in you previously! All this is suddenly born, revealed in you; it bursts out from inside in such a way that you didn’t even expect it a moment earlier. Suddenly you discover that it exists, that it can be. Previously you couldn’t even imagine it correctly. This is a true miracle! This is why it is called the miracle of the exodus from Egypt.
Then the process of the development and growth begins. This isn’t such a revolution as birth.
Kabbalsitic sources describe the spiritual birth as a legend about a doe that roams the mountains and meets a snake that bites it where the fetus is supposed to come out. This helps the doe give birth. The story describes the cutting of the “stony heart,” the cruelest egotistic desire that cannot be corrected. Otherwise, it is impossible to be born.
At this point all the opposing external forces in creation come together in order to deliver a new creature that incorporates the two forces (bestowal and receiving). This is a true miracle of the Creator. After all, He is the one Who begets man.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/2011, Writings of Rabash
Opinion: (Vladimir Potanin, the owner of a 30-percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer): “European leaders grappling with the euro zone debt crisis have an unsolvable problem that will lead to economic decline and a loss of manufacturing power to rivals…
“‘If I was a politician in Europe, I would commit suicide…. There is really such a big difference between the interests of different countries, I simply do not understand how you can match the interests of Germany and Greece.’…
“But he said the European Union had expanded too fast and had no mechanism to balance the interests of different members in the euro zone.
“‘The euro zone has two very bad options,’ he said at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit held at the Reuters office in Moscow.
“‘Either exclude a country from this zone, which would be awful politically as far as I understand, or stay where they are and cut expenditure. But not everyone is ready to cut expenditure.’
“Potanin said the global shift of manufacturing to emerging markets was draining the wealth of many European countries which had sought to support artificially high living standards with borrowing.
“‘In business it is much clearer: You have a unit that doesn’t perform, you give the management of the unit time to change,’ he said.
“‘But what happens if the unit does not begin to perform? You close it. But you cannot simply close a country like Greece.'”
My Comment: The crisis will swallow everyone! Get ready for the fact that your industrial capacity will be needed only in as much as it sustains a reasonable lifestyle. Forget about production growth! Business magnates are just playing a numbers game with production figures to see how they measure up.
The economy of the future is aimed only at providing reasonable human needs, and the crisis will bring authorities and managers of industries and commerce (by awareness or suffering) to the understanding of this condition of nature and the need to work only for this purpose.
Opinion: (Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, a French political advisor): “‘The real challenge today is to change our way of thinking—not just our systems, institutions or policies. We need the imagination to grasp the immense promise—and challenge—of the interconnected world we have created. The future lies with more globalization, not less—more co-operation, more interaction between peoples and cultures, an even greater sharing of responsibilities and interests. It is ‘unity in our global diversity.’”
My Comment: That is right, “unity in our global diversity,” meaning to rise above everything that divides us, and unification above our differences, not canceling them, but unifying above them. In other words, egoism is not destroyed; reciprocity, even love, is built above it. The allegory is the ascent to Mount Sinai—above hatred, as it is said: “Love will cover all sins.”
The most important quality that is necessary on the spiritual path is patience, the willingness to suffer, confidence in success. Having patience means being willing to pass through all the phases that await me on the path so that neither my current corporeal sensations nor my reason would throw me off or set the truth for me.
From the start I accept faith in the sages (Kabbalists) who have already traversed this path and advise me on how to act. And I follow their instructions and actualize them. This is not at all about self-denigration, as it may first appear to an outsider. Just the opposite: I intend to attain everything in sensation and reason at every phase of the way.
I realize that I am distant and must achieve closeness, and above these two states I always receive a higher state, a new sensation and understanding, and that is how I advance. The result of all this wavering back and forth is clarification, which I make in sensation and reason, attaining a new state and constantly adding to it.
On the other hand, the process I undergo always involves the bending of my ego. I distance and feel myself in darkness and worthlessness. And that is when I must gather up my pride and say that I feel so distant precisely because I received independence. It follows that I can be proud of being against it and lacking the desire; I can be proud of being distant from the Creator. Indeed, I am lost and in a bad state, but thereby I acquire a new desire.
And now I begin to work on this new desire and draw closer to the Creator, and I begin to fill this period of distancing, confusion, darkness, and unpleasant sensations with the Light and insight, new attainments that aren’t egoistic but are above the ego. And that is how I achieve a new degree.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/2011, Shamati #121
Question: How can a person use his inherent qualities for bestowal?
Answer: There’s no need to think about it because it happens automatically. I don’t have to work against my inherent qualities and inclinations or try to change or “correct” them. After all, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do with myself.
All of our work consists of including ourselves in the correct environment and having it influence us as much as possible. Surely, I must first check and determine that this is the environment I need. But after I’ve checked and entered into it, then all I want is for this environment to influence me.
I don’t know how the strength that I receive from my environment will effect my inherent qualities and inclinations. I don’t hypothesize about what will come from this connection. My only choice and clarification is in determining whether this environment measures up to my understanding and sensation of an exalted and unique society aimed towards bestowal and revelation of the Creator.
However, how it affects me and my qualities and how one influences the other is something unknown to me at the moment. This is something I will find out about later, when I’ll begin revealing spiritual levels and understanding how things really work. More so, this won’t come to me at my current level. Only after ascending to the next level and looking down to where I was, will I be able to observe and understand this process.
The whole of spiritual work is in faith above reason, it is in attaining the force of bestowal above the force of reception. Until this system is built within me, my perception will not allow me to perceive, attain, and understand what is truly happening.
Chaining our inherent qualities isn’t our goal. While one is in bestowal for the sake of bestowal, he has no ability to attain the purpose of his inherent qualities and the influence of the environment. Only when he begins connecting with other souls and receives for the sake of bestowal, only then, due to this connection, he starts learning about himself.
I will never learn anything about myself unless I begin bestowing to others. Then, in relation to them and through my attitude towards them, I’ll begin to understand myself. They will become a reference point in relation to which I can measure. After all, we always need two points in order to measure something. If I’m alone, in relation to what will I measure?
This is why when I establish a correct connection with others and study them, I also study myself.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/23/2011, Writings of Rabash
If the purpose of the creation of the worlds is to delight His creatures, then why did He create this corporeal, turbid, and tormented world? Without it, He could certainly delight the souls as much as He wanted; why did He bring the soul into such a foul and filthy body?
The sages explained it with the verse, “One who eats that which is not one’s own, is afraid to look upon one’s face.” It means there is a flaw of shame in any free gift. In order to spare the souls this blemish, He has created this world, where there is work. They will therefore enjoy their labor for they take their pay from the Whole, in return for their work, and are thus spared the blemish of shame.
– Baal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1, “Inner Reflection,” Chapter 1, Item 6