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Question: You spoke about the importance of the last three days before the December convention. What is the best way to organize preparation during these days?
Answer: There is a notion of three days of transition from one state to another. During these three days, one must leave the past state and from a neutral state gradually transition into a new one.
This is why we really advise people, who wish to properly connect to the convention (essentially, convention is our unification), to try to keep this thought, this feeling, to be in anticipation of general unity, especially within the three preceding days. This will help them experience unity with higher intensity and reveal at least a part of the upper world in it for themselves. This is exactly what we expect from our mutual action.
A convention is not a regular event when we gather, sing, attend lectures, dance, and participate in the gatherings of friends. A convention is first and foremost our uniting into a single desire of mutual bestowal. Once we form this desire, we will immediately feel the next level of our development in it, which exists beyond our world. Essentially, this is what we aspire to.
From the Sunday Virtual Lesson Series 11/20/2011
According to our attitude toward the environment, we can see how effectively we are working to raise the importance of the friends in our eyes. We must understand that we cannot estimate their true height, but only the height that we ascribe to them. My estimate of the environment is completely subjective and depends on me alone.
We need to form an image of the group before us in order to advance. They cannot interrupt me in any way, everything depends on me. Then we begin to see that it isn’t an external environment but the internal vessel that was built by my efforts. I use this vessel and bring it to the desired form, designing and shaping this vessel like dough. My whole spiritual advancement depends on it.
The higher, broader, and more important the vessel is within my reason, the greater is my advancement. I will feel that this vessel is mine because I have built and shaped it myself. I could have built it another way, underestimating and humiliating the friends, but instead I built a powerful group, where each member is the greatest in his generation. And now this whole spiritual vessel belongs to me.
I feel all this in my reason because I do all of it myself. Furthermore, I am constantly developing this attitude towards the environment because there are always foreign thoughts and desires that divert me: Envy, lust, and ambition “take a person out of this world,” meaning from the state he is in. This is an invitation for me to develop the importance of the environment and to rise to the next degree. This is the way we advance.
If a person understands that the external environment itself doesn’t exist, but is only an image created of his own world he built, he receives this vessel in order to work with it within reason. In his attitude to the Creator he has to be above reason.
But the environment has only the form a person gives to it. The environment is like a springboard, means to advance, and according to the height a person raises the importance of the environment to, he rises himself.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/22/2011, Writings of Rabash
Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee) (abridged version)“: The Torah was not given to our fathers because the commandment of “Love thy friend as thyself,” the axis of the whole Torah and around which all the commandments revolve, cannot be observed by an individual, but only through the consent of an entire nation. And this is why it took until they came out of Egypt, when they became worthy of observing it. And then they were first asked if each and every one of the nation agreed to take that commandment upon himself. And once they agreed to it, they were given the Torah.
We learn about the structure of the spiritual world, the creation of the soul, which is the only creature, and about the shattering of the soul that got divided into many parts from Kabbalistic sources like “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah (Pticha),” “The Study of the Ten Sefirot“, and the Ari’s “The Tree of Life”. We can say that these parts of the soul also existed before, but they were merged together in one intention, in one thought, in a special state.
In the first state there was the one notion of Infinity, which included the vessel that was equal to the Light. Their equality, connection, and adhesion were provided by the power of the Light. All the souls, parts, and desires were there previously, but the Light held it all together and so they remained imperceptible.
Then the second state was created: the shattered vessel that is totally different from the Light and exists under its own authority—the desire to receive in order to receive. Thus, the shattering of the vessels brought the creature to the state of “this world.”
Finally, as the third state, the vessel once again becomes equal to the Light. We reach adhesion, but by ourselves now.
Eventually, we go through this whole process consciously, we understand and feel it. The descent into our world was prepared from Above, and the present state of ascent is the time of correction. Therefore, today we feel that we are at a very special point in history, which Kabbalists designate as “1995.” It is the border after which the general spiritual ascent of humanity begins.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/22/2011, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”
Spiritual work, the revelation of successive movements, one by one, from the “minus” (what I lack) to the “plus” (the one who can help me) is not easy at all. It seems irrational from the outside. No matter how much we advance, we always forget about that because our egoistic feelings and mind are not built on this principle.
Everything is arranged differently in spirituality. I make efforts and find a completely different place. I get disappointed, reach total despair, and the moment after that, if I do not run away, then I find. And I find something that I absolutely did not expect and didn’t think that this should get.
The spiritual world that we discover has no analogue in our world. A tiny hole like the eye of a needle opens, like a small pupil in our eye, a focused view that requires nothing else. And through it, we break into a new world!
The Creator, the Light of Hochma (Wisdom), opens this hole, and we expand it. This hole is created by everyone compressing their egoism to zero, and all our points in the heart connect together. Having united, these points burn the wall, the boundary between us and the spiritual world. If they unite, they turn into the point through which we enter the spiritual world.
This is why we have gathered here to try to achieve this condition when “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator” join together. It is necessary that everyone reaches the same frequency and sways together, everyone with only one thought, the unity of our points in the heart, above our ego, above this corporeal life.
We have the right to forget about this corporeal life once for 24 hours, disconnect from all the worries, and wait for the upper force that sustains this life to come and meet us. By our desire, we will force it to get closer to us.
From Lesson 2, Arvut Convention at the Arava Desert 11/18/2011
In the modern world, everyone must participate in education and upbringing that are based on the principles of mutual guarantee. Education includes the need for knowledge about the integrated society and the system of interconnections in which we exist. We need to understand the qualities inherent in man from birth: He is absolutely opposite to the integrated connection with others, does not wish it at all, and wants to “get his hands on everything”—these are our natural impulses.
We have to become opposite to our egoism under the influence of society and upbringing. This work that we must do is against our primal, instinctive nature, and absolutely all of humanity has to participate in it.
To do this, a person must be under the constant influence of the environment that would direct him towards a good mutual connection with it. This has to be realized in a good, pleasant manner so that the person feels that by being in balance with the environment, he feels good and free, everyone treats him wonderfully and keeps him in the state of optimal health and best possible relations with others.
At the same time, the forces of nature with which we’ll be in a state of homeostasis will begin to help us. We’ll perceive the whole picture of nature: its net, interconnection, and system. We’ll begin to attain the general thought of the universe, the process and purpose of the entire creation. As we enter the system, we’ll be able to perceive the “inner motor” that activates it, meaning the forces that control us along the path of evolution and lead us forward.
We see that we are going through certain stages of development: consecutive, necessary, and fixed in nature. Today scientists, philosophers, social and political scientists, all agree that there are laws of which we are not aware. They are inside all-encompassing nature, and we are gradually getting to know them.
From a TV Program “The Integral World” 10/30/2011
You have probably heard that the Ari once told his students: “If we go up to Jerusalem today, we will be able to reach the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun). Let’s get together in an hour and go up there, let’s continue this way!”
When the students began to assemble after an hour, one of them said that he couldn’t come for one reason, another for another reason, another’s wife wouldn’t let him go, and another couldn’t go because of the children, or because of some illness or some other problems. And so they didn’t ascend to the state of Gmar Tikkun.
We don’t understand how such interruptions could have stopped the Ari’s students from reaching the exalted state of Gmar Tikkun. But we also don’t understand what obstacles are given to a person from Above so that he will draw closer to correction.
We are neither the strongest nor the most special. We are actually the weakest of all the generations that preceded us. But we are living in very special times, and these times require a great correction, which is possible to carry out! Therefore, even if we are not worthy of it, even if we are not strong enough or don’t really understand what we are doing, the upper force still connects us and pushes us forward.
When we study the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, except for human society, we constantly find more and more new mutual connections between them, such as integrality and globality. We have discovered that all parts of nature, even in space, immediately connect. What happens in one part of the universe has an immediate impact on its other parts, and no million years have to pass for that. It is all one, mutually-tied system.
Inside this system there is human society that has developed independently of nature, not in accordance with natural pressures and laws. Egoism has developed, and we have built different systems among us to match it: public, family, work, state, political, social relationships, and so on.
Now we’ve reached a point in which we discover that we’re just like the rest of nature, tied together. This connection isn’t felt by everyone yet. However, scientists, scholars, philosophers, sociologists, and political scientists are beginning to feel it.
It isn’t by chance that the current crisis is called global and integral. Actually it isn’t a crisis, but our maladjustment to the conditions that we are in. Now it’s like we are in one net, a net of connections between us. We have to adjust ourselves to this connection because we cannot exit it. We have to see ourselves and our future in this mutual integral connection although we may be reluctant to do so. This connection has to be good.
From a TV Program “The Integral World” 10/30/2011