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The work begins with the question: “What is the meaning of our life?” This point already contains the desire to attain the goal of creation, whose meaning is adhesion with the Creator. This is the final point.
We have no idea what this adhesion means, what kind of understanding and sensation it brings. But it is written that we have to cleave to His qualities. There are qualities of the Creator, which He gradually reveals to us, and we have to bring ourselves to similarity with them.
All of the Creator’s qualities are essentially just the single quality of bestowal, “absolute good.” This is the quality that a person has to adopt, “good that does good.” To the extent the Creator reveals His goodness to him, this is what a person should become like.
This goodness becomes expressed in relation to the neighbor, in order to allow us to attain true bestowal and not to bestow for our own sakes, egoistically. Therefore, we have to go through a rather lengthy preliminary path, advancing gradually, step by step along the chain of cause and effect states.
We begin from the state that is diametrically opposite to the Creator and we move with the help of the upper force, with the help of the Light that unnoticeably acts within us. This is called the Surrounding Light, the concealed illumination that returns us to its source.
By attracting this illumination to us, we correct ourselves and advance. And it can only be attracted by equivalence of form. Just as the Creator conceals Himself from us for now, allowing us to perform the correction and attain the true quality of bestowal, so we have to agree to work in concealment. In that case, we can aspire to His quality of bestowal rather than the pleasant fulfillment it gives us.
Yet the final correction, the goal of creation is to delight the creatures, where delighting is above our egoistic quality of reception.
Therefore, this work takes place in the “desert,” on barren land, meaning we do not feel any pleasant results from our efforts. This was done deliberately, so a person would look for possibilities to work without a reward, above reward. One must agree with this and desire only this because one aspires to the truth, to the quality of bestowal, rather than trying to attain a pleasant sensation this way.
This entire preparation is called the preliminary correction, before entering the Land of Israel. First we receive the force of correction, the quality of faith and bestowal, which is called “40 years of wandering in the desert.” And after that, we begin working with the desire to enjoy itself, and even this desire works in the direction of bestowal. This is called working in the Land of Israel.
Work on correcting our desire and raising the quality of bestowal above the will to enjoy is called work in the desert, the preparation phase. It is described by the commandment, “Do not do to another what you yourself hate.” This is work with the bestowing desires (Galgalta ve Eynaim), the small state (Katnut).
But work in the Land of Israel is already work with the actual desires: not above them, but directly inside of them. This is called “work in three lines.” This work is done with the actual receiving desire, which is called AHP, in the great or adult state of the soul (Gadlut).
When working with the receiving desire for the sake of bestowal, on its four levels, we reveal the names of the Creator. That is, we are already able to express qualities inside of us that are equal to His quality and to impress His name inside of us. The desire begins behaving like the Light, and that’s how a person attains similarity, unification, and adhesion with the upper Light until he goes through all the levels of the soul’s maturation and attains total equivalence and absolute adhesion, which is the goal of creation.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/11, Writings of Rabash
Baal HaSulam, “Mutual Guarantee” (abridged version): The merit of the forefathers is that from the height of their souls, they realized the principle of love for the neighbor without preliminary actions, which they were unable to realize. Thus, only the nation of Israel entered the mutual guarantee.
The Creator made one receiving desire, consisting of four “layers”—four levels of depth or Aviut. We start to discern the layers of egoism from light to heavy. The souls that have already completed the analysis and correction then help to perform the work on the following, coarser layers of desire of the common, single, broken soul.
First the souls belonging to the level of the forefathers are corrected. We also call them “the house of Abraham.” This is talking about thousands of people who attained the spiritual world under his leadership. Their Aviut was very small and therefore they did not need to attract the Light that reforms during the study. It was enough for them to unite with one another a little because there was no repulsion between them as they did not fall into egoism yet on all of its four levels.
The fall happened later, in the Egyptian exile, and only then did Israel start needing the Light that reforms, meaning the method received on Mount Sinai. After all, a person corrects only what surfaces in him. The Torah, the method of correction, is intended for work with the evil inclination. When it became revealed in Egypt, the force of the Light capable of correcting it became revealed.
However, on the level of the forefathers, there was no need for this yet. This is the most “transparent,” purest degree of level zero of Aviut, comparable to the state of conception. At this stage, the Torah and the Light that reforms are not necessary for correction since there is nothing to reform yet.
Next comes the level of the sons, with the Aviut of the first and in part, the second level. And then comes our turn, the second, third, and fourth levels of Aviut, belonging to the “period of the Messiah.” Every generation in this lineage corrects its own layer of the common desire, the common soul.
Thus, the forefathers did not need the study that evokes Light, being in states of “the desert.” It was enough for them to be in the situation that surfaced in Ancient Babylon. Each of them revealed his evil somewhat, which the Torah describes metaphorically by talking about how Abraham and Sarah came down to the Land of Canaan, how Isaac solved problems with Esau, and other issues.
Next, Jacob and his sons came down to Egypt and died there, in this great, receiving desire. Then the sons of Israel went through the burdening of the heart and wanted to work on unification together to rise above hatred. However, first they descended even lower in their Aviut, which is called “visiting the cities of Pitom and Ramses.” Stated differently, by attempting to unite with each other, they did not build wonderful unity, but instead created something petty, sordid, and dangerous.
That is how they reached the need to run away from egoism and then went through the “ten plagues,” meaning unsuccessful attempts to escape. Every time they asked Pharaoh to “let them go,” they were denied, until the sorrow became unbearable. Only then, in the state of pitch darkness, does a person run away from his egoism, ready to rise above it at any price, “Better death than this kind of life.” A person reaches the final decision, really wishing to unite with others, as one man with one heart in mutual guarantee, and then he receives the method of correction.
This method leads him along the stages of the spiritual path: Tme after time, he discovers destruction inside of him and corrects it with the help of the Light that reforms. As a result, he reveals and corrects his entire, enormous egoism.
This process does not occur in all of humanity, but in a small group of Abraham’s descendants. On the path, it goes through breakings, analogously to the spiritual world, and falls down. And only later, in our days, does the true work of correcting the common soul begin.
Thus, even though since the times of the sin of the soul of Adam HaRishon, the forefathers and sons completed their work and attained their end of correction on the level of the First Temple, nevertheless descents followed after that, corresponding to the spiritual breakages. Both Temples were destroyed, similar to the two Partzufim in the world of Nekudim.
Now, after millennia of intermixing, we are reaching the analysis and correction—the self-realization. Precisely now, after all of the necessary “introductions,” the real work begins. The preparation is finished, and all that’s left is to correct ourselves.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/11, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”
In the News (from RIA Novosti): “The experts of the Innovation in Economic Education Center are trying to understand the causes and consequences of the modern global financial crisis. According to the participants of the project, the development of the crisis will be determined by the destruction of the old economic structures and the emergence of the new ones.
“As a result, the current financial, economic, and political institutions will either be restructured in accordance with the requirements of the growth of new industrial and technological systems or cease to exist. The crisis will have a different impact on different countries, depending on the combination of the state of scientific and technological capacity and effectiveness of economic policy. It can be disastrous for some countries and regions and manageable for others.”
My Comment: Undoubtedly, all state and social institutions will change in the near future: Either they will break down or we will cleverly change them into global ones and make them unite us.
Question: As Baal HaSulam writes in his article “Mutual Guarantee,” I have to take care of all the needs of another as take care of my own. I cannot satisfy even my own needs. How can I deal with someone else’s?
Answer: Starting to really care about each other, we naturally let go of “excesses.” After all, if I aspire to bestow to the other, how much do I need for myself? I need just enough to be able to act for bestowal. Basic necessities are enough for me, while I have an inexhaustible source of energy. The Light, not its tiny spark, supports me, and thus all kinds of problems vanish.
The Light provides everything in the corrected system. We think about how to build new relationships, how to calculate everyone’s needs, how to heal the agonizing economy, and so on. And in reality, we first of all need correction. According to Baal HaSulam, a new society should consist mostly of corrected people.
If you are in such a society, if you hold this course, if the upper Light raises you from one degree to another, then you know how to arrange everything. Moreover, everything is arranged by itself. You will not have to carry the world on your shoulders: The upper Light will do everything necessary. It is doing this even now, only without your knowledge, against you. There is no other force but the Light. Just open the door, and everything will be settled.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/13/2011, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarante)”
Question: How did the breaking in the world of Nekudim occur? How could such a mistake happen?
Answer: The fact of the matter is that in the opposition between the Light and desire, there is an element that appeared “from absence.” This is why it is not able to take into consideration everything that can be found in “existence from existence,” that is, the Light.
I look at the Light and it seems to me that I do everything like Him. I am like a small child who takes a plastic hammer and pounds, copying his father. He does not understand what the father is doing, and he thinks he is doing exactly the same thing. He does not feel that his actions are not real! It is because in his state of smallness and little mind, these actions are absolutely equal to his father’s.
And when a calculation in the desires is performed in the world of Nekudim, certain data, which they are yet unable to perceive, disappears from it. And then the breaking helps them uncover the difference between the desired and the actual, as they discover their mistake and the reason for the breaking.
They suddenly see that “Lev Ha Even (the stony heart),” desires that we did not take into consideration, were also present there. I did not even know that something like this exists in me! And now I reveal these desires and am able to correct myself.
The breaking is not ruin, but correction, the revelation of concealed desires. And for this reason, as we ascend the spiritual ladder from below upward, we constantly reveal desires that are broken even more, as it is written: “The higher the person, the bigger his egoism.”
The breaking was final because they bet everything, the entire Light of Infinity, intending to correct it in all the desires. And this is why the entire depth of desire was revealed.
It is no accident that Partzuf Atik is created according to the conditions of Tzimtzum Aleph (the First Restriction). In Atik and even in Arich Anpin, there are a multitude of such systems (“Kruma de Ovira,” dividers in the brain, and “Mocha Stima,” the concealed mind, and so on), with Malchut of the world of Infinity present in them, with the entire Light of Infinity standing against it.
These two forces, “existence from existence” (Yesh Mi Yesh) and “existence from absence” (Yesh Mi Ain), are present in the head (Rosh) of the world of Atzilut. And the fragments of the breaking are under them. And then they analyze one in relation to the other according to an upside-down triangle: Above, on one side, there is the entire Light of Infinity, the entire infinite desire is on the other side, and the breaking is below. The order and the degrees of correction become clarified in this head, by comparing these three components: the Creator, the creature, and the actual difference between them.
Gmar Tikkun, the completely corrected state, is inside Arich Anpin. But on the outside, it is covered with special Partzufim called “hair,” which conceal it from the lower ones. The word “hair” (Searot) comes from the word “storm” (Seara), a restriction. It is because every time it restrains its desire and manifests in some weak form in order to appear before the lower one and give it an opportunity to correct itself.
The correction of the lower one is to become like the upper one. When a mother plays with her child, she pretends to be little and thus gives him an example of how he should relate to her. This way she raises him higher and higher.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/7/2011, TES
Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)” (an abridged version): Rabbi Elazar said that the whole world is included in mutual guarantee, but first, only Israel (those who have an aspiration for it) begins the correction of the world… (while others, due to a big ego) do not agree to exit self-love.
The first ones who are willing to be corrected are those who, besides egoism and usual troubles of this world, also have a special calling, spark that beckons forward. They take the direction straight to the Creator (Yashar-El) and therefore are called “Israel.”
The 99% of humanity develop only under the pressure of suffering from behind. This circle is called the “nations of the world.” And there is also an inner circle, which besides suffering, also has an aspiration to move forward. These people are called “Israel.” Of course, those who have both the pressure from behind and are also pulled forward come to the realization of mutual guarantee sooner. However, the entire world will have to enter the framework of mutual guarantee eventually.
The “nations of the world” also have parts that will connect with “Israel,” by suddenly discovering a spiritual calling or the point in the heart. But others will not enter inside. So one way or the other, the central group must correct itself, becoming a home for those who are attached to it and who support it from outside.
The conclusion is simple: It is our duty to realize correction. Everything is entrusted to us: to correct ourselves and the world. There is nothing to add.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/14/2011, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”
If we wish to attain The Book of Zohar, we must think about how we attain it. We connect our desires directed towards the goal into one big desire and strive to turn it from a receiving desire into a bestowing one.
Even though this desire is for a higher degree, for the attainment of the meaning and purpose of life, it’s still an egoistic, uncorrected desire that strives to receive for itself much more than regular people. And that’s why this desire is the evil inclination, and not the good one.
While the entire world exists in corporeal desires on the animate level, we exist at the origin of the desire that pertains to the human level, meaning the desire to attain spirituality, the Creator, something above this world. But I want it for myself. I don’t care about the entire world, nothing concerns me, I disregard everyone else even more. And other people also notice that I don’t pay attention to anyone or anything; I only care about attaining something exalted. It turns out that in this way I became an even bigger egoist.
On one hand, it’s true that “every person, bigger than his friend, has greater egoism.” But in the end, I am not yet on the next degree together with my extreme desire that already pertains to the next degree; rather, according to the nature of the desire, its essence, I exist in a state opposite to it. It’s because my desire is directed towards “one’s own sake” and does not correspond at all to the next degree.
All my previous degrees (on the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels, where I advanced throughout my life over the course of all my reincarnations) were built on the basis of the constant development of the desire to receive pleasure, and it’s due to it that I kept attaining things, advancing linearly and forward. But now I must change the actual nature of the desire.
I can no longer directly use the desire that arises in me and attain what I want. On the contrary, when a desire comes to me, I must reverse its intention, what I am using it for, and then I attain the desired.
This correction of the use of desire really confuses me. I don’t really know how to use it because correction is not in my hands. It introduces a certain foreign factor into my life, my perception of desire, its realization, and a certain compensation. This factor is the Light that Reforms since I am not capable of changing the desire on my own to make it work for the benefit of someone else.
After all, in my ego I feel that this goodness is not inside me, so what do I need all this for and why? This does not give me strength. I suddenly feel weak, disappointed, and desperate; I’m not able to do anything unless it’s for me. So where can I get the moving force, the “fuel”?
I need to find “fuel” that will also be someone else’s. In other words, a “machine” that works for the sake of bestowal needs a different kind of “fuel” than a “machine” that works for itself. A desire, that works “for its own sake” constantly advances me towards the goal, it sees the future goal and it rushes forward. And here it’s the other way around: If I move another millimeter closer to the goal, I’ll feel even emptier in my desire to receive pleasure. So how can I advance?
This is why there are special actions here called “the Light that Reforms,” which I need in order to feel the importance of bestowal so that bestowal will fulfill me and give me the same fulfillment as reception used to give. How is this possible? It’s opposite to everything I have in this life….
I don’t see that this can be realized as all of nature exists because it wants to attain something, get itself fulfilled. But here I am required to transfer fulfillment towards others, without receiving anything in return, instead of fulfilling myself. But if I acquire love for them, it will be as if I was fulfilling myself, my desire is to express my love for them. In other words, there should be something out of this world here. And this is really the way things are—the quality of bestowal is really out of this world.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/10/2011, The Zohar
To see the spiritual system we are now entering (and the entire world will have to enter in the end), we have to reveal a certain “crazy” desire in the connection between us—we must suddenly wish to bestow to one another, as if having lost our minds: “I feel good when I work and the other receives.” In our world, this would be a sign of madness, of the inability to think, feel, perceive, and act correctly.
This is why the upper Light must influence us and bring us this state. This state is different, very strange, and completely separated from us. It is not in our power to attain it, and we do not feel any reasonable need for it that would awaken this desire in us.
Initially we receive a tiny spark, a small aspiration towards this state of bestowal and not more than that. We must attain everything else by starting to convince each other of the greatness of bestowal. From an external point of view, this work is truly unreal, irrational, and impossible to agree with.
So imagine how disappointed we must become in our egoism, how desperate we must be to wish to free ourselves of it, to exit it. It causes us so much suffering that it is better for us to run away from it, even to a state like this. Imagine the suffering humanity must go through in order to wish to bestow, to rise above everything, and to stop thinking about themselves!
In other words, we first must feel that our life is eternal. You cannot free yourself of it and end this entire “detrimental business,” this enormous despair. You have to feel that your state is eternal, that you really have nowhere to run. This is called to “experience eternity.”
And if so, you find yourself in a state when you feel that life is many times worse than death. Then, to counterbalance all these horrible states and suffering within the ego, you will agree to experience the goodness, the freedom in exiting the evil that causes it.
If we weigh the suffering we have to experience in our desires because of the ego that gives us the sensation of this life, we will understand that this really is a horrible suffering that does not exist in our world. We suffer because the Light comes closer and closer and displays itself as unified, while we see ourselves as distanced from one another and spread around the world.
It is the distance between the two things—the lack of correspondence, inequality, and imbalance between us and the Light, which shines to us as whole while we are opposite to it, broken, and imperfect—it is this gap, this abyss, between us and the Light that awakens all the disasters and suffering in us.
Kabbalists write a lot about the horrible times that may await us in the future, like the “merciful women boiled and ate their own children,” and so on. It is necessary to understand that only Kabbalah can turn this torment of suffering from hatred into a yearning for love. And then we will be able to begin to add reason to our sensations—to stop advancing only under the influence of suffering, which would gradually make us smarter since suffering softens the body, the desire, just like “blows soften the flesh.”
On the contrary, we can precede the blow with a medicine, that is, begin to awaken the Light that Reforms on our own. Then it will shine for us and correct our mind and feelings, and we will begin to understand more and prevent blows. So let us try to think about this when we read The Zohar.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/10/2011, The Zohar