Who Are You Working For, Pharaoh?

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe start off trying to connect. “We” meaning those people in whom the point in the heart has awakened; they were gathered together from Above. And after we are gathered together, we have to fulfill the task we’ve been entrusted with: to realize our yearning and desire, and exert ourselves in order to connect.

And then we will reveal that we’re unable to succeed in this and that our ego will not let us do this. Our egoism stands between us, separating us and moving us away from each other, and doesn’t let us connect. And even if we succeed in this, it can only be in order to achieve some material goals. But we’re unable to connect into a true spiritual vessel.

This is where Pharaoh is revealed to us. In our normal material life he doesn’t give us any trouble and lets us be well-off. You can get pots full of meat and garlic—anything you want, but only as long as you remain under the reign of the Pharaoh.

But when we try to lift above the material, the corporeal, Pharaoh starts raising his objections. And his resistance shows the person the same strength of connection, which he has to achieve in order to reveal the light. As it is said in the article “The Secret of Conception and Birth,” that due to overcoming the resistance of the previous degree, the desire of the next degree is born.

We reveal the Pharaoh, our ego, more and more, and make more and more effort in order to snap out of it, rise above it and reach a connection between us, that is, to make ourselves similar to the light. Thus we reveal that the Pharaoh hinders us and we try to escape and run away from him, maybe not defeat him, but at least separate from him.

It is clear that I will not subdue him and won’t be able to reign over him. But if I succeed in disconnecting from him even for a short moment, this is called exodus. This is how we flee from the first prison and then reveal the real barrier. The same Pharaoh turns into Mount Sinai.

We fled from Pharaoh, but now we have to show how we really overcome him, as without him, we cannot achieve a truly powerful connection between us. If it weren’t for the ego, we would be completely devoid of any powers, good or evil. Therefore, we need Pharaoh so we can overcome, rise above him, and there connect..

Psychologists say that quarrels, which sometimes arise between family members, allow them to reveal stronger connection and love, they sharpen the feelings. It’s like hot pepper and spice, which are added to food so that it isn’t bland, these differences and clashes give flavor to relationships.

That’s why we need Pharaoh in order to understand what mutual responsibility and connection are. Without his resistance we will not find out what prevents us from connecting. Even the feeling of connection that has already been achieved cannot exist without the opposite force hidden inside it that works against it. Because we are the creatures, and we have to include in us two forces: the connecting one and the rejecting one, the Light and the darkness.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/21/11, Writings of Rabash

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When You Start Looking For A Group

Dr. Michael LaitmanNo one comes to a group of Kabbalists because he is looking for it by himself and needs friends. If a person needs company he will look for it in a pub or in some club, but not in a group where people study the wisdom of Kabbalah.

A person reaches this group according to the inner demand. This desire is evoked in the heart and makes a person feel intuitively that here he can find the answer for the inner call. He feels that there is something here, although he doesn’t know exactly what it is, still this is how he feels it subconsciously.

So he comes to this place, when he feels that it is somehow connected to his inner desire. A person doesn’t know why he comes; he is brought there from Above. As it says, the Creator puts a person’s hand on the good fate and tells him, “Take it!”

However, after he studies for a while and goes through different states (which can take months and even years), and he finally understands that he doesn’t have the power to advance by himself and that it may be possible only if he connects with the same desires that are in others.

From that moment on, it means that he is looking for a group, meaning that he understands better that he will not attain the desired goal by himself, and so he needs all the others. He feels that he needs the group, the love of friends. Accordingly, he begins to build a special connection with other people that study with him,so that it will be possible to call them a group.

Until then, it isn’t a group, but simply a number of people sitting together…if you don’t feel your connection with those who study with you, understanding that without it you cannot achieve the goal, then you have no friends and you have no group. You need to build these relationships if you want to succeed.

All this must be clarified and so it takes a lot of time. There are people who can study and listen for 20 years and even speak about it, but they still don’t have the inner desire, the understanding of the heart, that there must be a connection with others, because otherwise you will not be able to fulfill yourself. They don’t have this inner decision, and the goal and the group do not connect.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/20/11, Writings of Rabash

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The New Habit

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it so hard to kick a habit?

Answer: Actually it isn’t hard.  Take smoking, for example. If every time I took a cigarette to my mouth I were to get an electric shock, a few attempts would be enough for me to quit smoking and I would never start smoking again even if I knew that the “punishment” was cancelled. It is because now I don’t identify cigarettes with pleasure, but with an electric shock. This association is already “recorded” in the desire, and so from now on cigarettes don’t exist for me, I am afraid of them.

Question: But what should you do if rather than quitting an old one, you have to start a new habit, for example, starting the habit of getting up for the morning lesson?

Answer: Simple, you have a business, so imagine that each time that you don’t get up for the morning lesson, an income tax inspector comes to visit you. If you get up on time, a stream of endless customers visit you and all your business dealings are successful. This way, whether you want to or not, you associate the success of the business with a certain action, with waking up for the lesson. Then you cannot stop yourself from getting up anymore. This is how a habit becomes a second nature.

We can see it clearly in religious customs to which a person becomes accustomed as a child. He is used to singing certain parts of the prayer. If you suggest that he should just read them, he won’t be able to. He will only get confused, not knowing what he says.

All our life is made up of habits. The desire is just “raw material,” like a computer without software, the “metal” that needs to be filled with data, with software. This is what education is about; it uses the force of a habit.

When I work internally, I also have to “record” in the desire actions that are not natural for it. It takes much energy and I do it reluctantly, and here too there is the game of reward and punishment.

Question: How can it be done?

Answer: Ask your friends to help you. You cannot do it alone. You cannot manage without the environment.

Suppose you decide to lose weight. You go to a place where everyone tells each other how terrible it is to be fat and how healthy it is to be slim. You listen to them over and over again, until you internalize the message. If you managed to put an internal check mark next to it, you are protected from gaining weight again as long as you are not “tempted” by some new pleasure that is on a higher standard than the one you achieved.

The desire is a “piece of metal,” an empty disc. It will play whatever you upload on it. So throughout life you can make yourself get used to what you think is important.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/20/11, “The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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A Ray Of Light Through The Clouds

Dr. Michael LaitmanIf I carefully follow the signals that the Creator gives me in my life, I will see that He brings me to the good fate and says: “Choose this, son!” And it is my responsibility to grab onto this opportunity and realize it.

But how can I see all this? How do I find my fate and the Creator who directs me? How do I understand that it is precisely what I need to execute in my life, and it is in fact the missing piece in the common puzzle? The whole picture is already complete except for this one piece. So how do I see it and where do I find it?

It turns out that I need to search for the place of my free choice. The Creator will bring me there and lead me directly to the place where I need to execute my action. The Creator directs us through a simple and natural path, allowing us to feel some guidance that brings us a sense of comfort in a life that is difficult, full of suffering, problems, ailments, and misfortunes. And since we are a simple desire to receive pleasure, we instinctively run from evil and strive for peace.

The Creator shows us the direction: from evil to good. However, one needs to exert effort from his side since advancement by this path is possible only under the condition that we change our motto, the intention with which one does everything. Either I just want to run away from evil and reach goodness, according to my natural desire to receive, or I advance above my desire, at the level of intention, and I do this in order to delight the Creator.

In other words, I need to separate from my desire to receive, rise above it, perform a restriction on it, and in spite of everything that remains in it, advance with the intent to give joy to Him, rather than me. This constitutes my free choice.

I constantly work with my desire, and it advances me and shows me the path from suffering to pleasure, which shines to me ahead like through slots in the wall or like a ray of light through the clouds. However, advancement toward this ray is only possible if I change the reason for my movement, and rather than doing it for myself, although it is pleasant and nice, I begin to do it for the benefit of the Creator.

He calls me in order to do good to me, and I go in order to do good to Him.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/20/2011, “Introduction to TES

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If You Don’t Worry About Evolution, Evolution Will Worry About You

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What if I have chosen an environment, but I can’t concede to it, can’t bring myself under its influence? Does it mean that I am destined to external suffering because I lack internal achievements?

Answer: Suppose that according to the root of your soul, the time has come for you to develop spiritually. This is possible only through mutual connection with a special environment that will enable you to acquire the attribute of bestowal and to discover the next, higher state. Suppose you have already approached it, that it is your turn in the general system, and you have been given a chance.

In this case, if your personal efforts to be in contact with the general system are not enough, you are behind, and then nature’s external forces, which you didn’t activate by the right work in unity and in mutual guarantee, automatically pressure you. They have already been activated, but it’s as if they are unemployed, and so you feel these forces as suffering until you activate them.

There must be a special connection for each of them: here in love, here in unity, here in dissemination, and here in studying… Put everything in its place and you will feel peace. Otherwise, these forces are left without use, without the right connection, and these discrepancies with your present level of development affect you negatively.

The forces that you should have activated (but didn’t) summon the suffering that you feel. In other words, they make you pay attention to them and to correct the defects, to make the necessary connections. This is the difference between the right path and the path of suffering.

With the help of the group we can discover these opportunities and do our best to include them in the unity. If it’s the opposite, we will certainly suffer, both individually and as a group. This means that I suffer because of my external and internal forces by which I should have already connected to the general system.

No one is stopping me except me. There is the group, and instead of judging its advantages and disadvantages, I have to see it as ideal. So the problem is only in me.

And by correcting myself, I also correct the group. I awaken the friends to bestow upon me even more strongly, but actually I awaken myself to demand more from them. One way or another all the correction takes part internally.

Question: I understand what I have to do, but why is it so difficult?

Answer: Actually, you haven’t clarified to yourself what you should do. This is what makes it so difficult. If you accurately discover what you have to do, you will see that you have to be in a close, inner, and “intimate” contact with the environment.

This contact frees you from all worries. It’s as if you open a small screen, connect one heart to another, and you get everything that you need from the environment. You connect to the environment, and together you become a whole—and the problems disappear: Now all the forces that pressured you in the form of suffering become friendly and desirable.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/2011, “The Freedom”

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Questions About Occupy Wall Street

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the post “Anti-Wall Street Protest In New York” you wrote: “This is still neither the feeling of crisis nor an anti-crisis protest, like in Israel, but merely students’ freedom games.”

No, these are not “students’ freedom games,” Dr. Laitman. The protest has drawn protesters of diverse ages and occupations. These protests are being mirrored in many cities across the U.S. simultaneously and are a perfect ground to plant the Arvut (mutual guarantee) movement.

Answer: You are right, this quickly changes, matures, and evolves.

Question: I feel strongly that we need the force of unity. In the dissemination to the 99% project, many of us write true and even inspiring words. Nevertheless, the public often responds to these posts as if we were dreaming idiots, unaware of the nature of mankind. It isn’t the words that create the change; it will be the unity and the intention behind the words. May we continue to strengthen our spiritual intent and unify!

Answer: You are right, only the force of mutual guarantee between us, the one percent, will be able to affect the 99 percent and will arouse in them an aspiration towards unity.

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The Drifting Button

Dr. Michael LaitmanEvery given moment with all its data comes from Above. Everything in it is predetermined, and I am under its control. However, the next moment is in my hands.

I begin to analyze what is the meaning of life? Can I understand it? Suddenly, I realize that not only can I understand it, but  I can change it as well. Moreover, I not only can change it, but I can attain the highest possible degree of perception, sensation, awareness, and control of the situation.

It turns out that among the thousand buttons, there is the one, the most important one. All the other 999 buttons will not disturb you when you press that single button. It is your free will.

You have to find that button over and over again, to move step by step, each time doing different work and performing different analyses. You can’t just grab that button and hold on to it until the end. No, you have to look for it each time anew, among all the other buttons. Now, it was here, so how can I reach it? On the next level, it is in a totally different place.

This is how you change your life. This isn’t some superficial work. It throws you from one place to another, from one end of your data matrix to another. With the help of this button, you have to activate all others. This button is the access to them.

Eventually, free will merely obliges you to come to the group. It isn’t complicated. Enter the group and bring yourself under the influence of the right environment. Thanks to that, together with the environment, in mutual connection with it, you will find the right button and change your fate.

Reality is much more simple than what we imagine. It says that the Creator created man simply, but people have made many complications.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/2011, “The Freedom”

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Behind Caprices Of Nature

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat does every person want at the end of the day? He wants to know exactly what influences him. Is it one force, or maybe there are two? Perhaps there are thousands of them on each side? “It doesn’t matter. The main thing is to remain connected with these forces and make them good to us. Then, we’ll be fine.”

This is what our egoism demands. As our ego evolved, our attitude to destiny also changed. People began to believe that their lives depended upon various outside factors. It’s on this basis that many creeds and religions were created.

Separation into “good and bad” is subjective. We “enter” an outside picture into ourselves and mark things with “pluses” and “minuses.” If we weren’t doing that, we would consider everything that happens to us “for the better.” However, we perceive any natural phenomena only through the prism of ourselves, and that’s why we’re unable to distinguish between them.

Thousands of details of positive and negative natures arise in our imagination. To the degree that our egoistic desires grow, we feel the need to detect the factors that influence each of its new aspects. We assign some upper divine meaning to them since we depend upon them for better or worse.

This is how our attitude is developed, through the change of our mind-set towards destiny and to who or what gives us birth and then sends us to death by taking us nobody knows where. Eventually, in our eyes all of nature splits into multiple detached elements and forces.

If we stop associating desires, feelings, and powers with these forces, we will see that we are simply talking about nature. In such a case, various factors are not dressed in human attire and do not have desires. They are just “blind nature,” nothing more than that. Nature stops being capricious by manifesting itself as “positive or negative,” but rather acts in accordance with rigid laws.

Because we haven’t learned the laws of nature and don’t have control of the general picture that is being drawn by them, we constantly deal with unexpected situations. The point is that we simply have no knowledge of the objective laws of nature, which don’t depend on anything except themselves.

The problem is that we don’t see the causes of events. Let’s say everything descends to us from the higher level that we are unaware of, whereas obvious things stem out of the laws of blind nature. However, a person is unable to exercise such an approach because he depends upon multiple factors that in his eyes are independent. So, he starts to associate them with caprices of nature.

A person doesn’t trace back his roots and doesn’t see the origin of his actions, judgments and sensations; he doesn’t even suspect that he operates according to a special program installed in him. He only views the observable part; that’s why he considers himself and others to be independent and arbitrary. As a result, he assigns the same concept to nature and starts to erroneously believe that it has a certain willpower of its own that can be altered depending on circumstances.

He trusts that he should treat nature positively, cajole it, pay it, and pay those who possibly are close to nature and can protect him. At this stage, a person stops depersonalizing nature, but rather ascribes his own desires, thoughts, and properties to it. This is the root of beliefs and religions.

Nowadays, we see that our egoistic desires, which have been growing for centuries, lead us through these theories and various attitudes to divinity. In the end, they all collapse. Some are inclined to fanatically hold on to a certain theory by artificially separating themselves from the rest of the world for the sake of alleged stability, even though it prevents them from further growth. This attitude can be traced in religious fanaticism and fascism, meaning in narrow-minded egoistic types of unity that at first bring steadiness to society, but in the end break down since they make further advancement impossible.

To the extent that people’s egoism grows, humans remain “naked” since they lose the opportunity to connect with nature. They feel that they are being captivated by absolute power that embraces all spheres of life, that they depend on chances and destiny, and that they simply cannot form any kind of subjective attitude towards these notions. This becomes a turning point that eventually will refer humanity to the wisdom of Kabbalah.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/2011, “The Peace”

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From Naturalism To Polytheism

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person doesn’t know the world he lives in. In fact, he belongs to nature that throws him from one state to another. During his short life of several decades he doesn’t have enough time to realize what is going on. Interestingly, about 150 years ago, man’s life expectancy was not 70, but 40 years.

Regardless of the near doubling of our life expectancy, we still do not comprehend the essence of life. Humanity still doesn’t know what to look for and where to find it. The meaning of life remains ambiguous. When does life begin, and where does it lead us? Is there a purpose to it? What’s going on with us? The answers are vague.

People are subject to the power of nature. No one gets a book with revelations from Above. We all disclose everything there is within our world. The revelations we make build our understanding and awareness of reality.

Except for the substance from which we are made and our five senses, a human being possesses an inherent ability to discover something bigger. However, it is all in potential, and in reality we build our attitude to life and nature based on what we see. This gave rise to simple theories of creation based on life in this world.

First, man perceived the world as nature. He observed nature as a whole, as a complete picture in which all parts are interconnected. Thus, he felt close to nature. It is an ancient approach that was completely clear since everything was apparent and disclosed.

Later, people began to sort natural phenomena into “good” and “bad.” Man became more egoistic, and stopped sensing himself as an integral part of nature. He figured out that nature had various limitations that seemed positive or negative. He sorted the elements that influenced him into “beneficial” and “harmful” and thus created a notion of good and evil forces.

At first, it was a general opposition of good and evil, which later started to split into numerous independent forces until assemblies and pantheons of deities were created. Thus, our ego distanced us from unified nature even more.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/2011, “The Peace”

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Love Of The Creator: A Development Marathon Finale

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does the law of loving the other give us?

Answer: By means of loving the other we can reach love of the Creator, which is the purpose for which we begin our development. The purpose of creation is to reach love of the Creator.

The Creator initially had a perfect love of the creature according to His nature of good that does good. Bringing the creature to this goodness means bringing it to the point of adhesion with the Creator.

It turns out that love of the Creator is the purpose of our development, its final point. It is reached through keeping the 612 commandments (various preparations in our 612 egoistic desires in order to turn them toward bestowal), which are necessary to reach the last, 613th commandment of love and bestowal toward each other.

Each rule consists of a connection in a variety of details. Following the example of the “holy group,” that is, the society built on the laws of bestowal and consisting of a few people united by one goal, our aim is to reach a higher purpose through giving to each other.

Giving in itself is not a purpose. If we gather together only to give to each other, we build an egoistic formation by enjoying each other. Such a union is advantageous to me because ten of us can reach more fulfillment than one. Everyone will receive pleasure from the other nine.

However, such bestowal doesn’t take us out of the egoistic law of receiving for oneself. Only if we bestow upon each other in order to bestow upon the Creator can we be called a holy group that wants to reach bestowal. Otherwise, we would build an egoistic society in order to mutually profit from each other.

A perfect spiritual structure should consist of not less than ten people, according to the ten Sefirot of a spiritual body. Then bestowal of one toward the other will bring us to bestowal toward the Creator since together, we want to become the full ten Sefirot.

Malchut is included in the first nine Sefirot (Tet Rishonot). Thus, ten Sefirot of bestowal (ten Sefirot of the Direct Light) are formed. And the first nine Sefirot get included into Malchut and form ten receiving Sefirot (ten Sefirot of the Reflected Light). Thus, we come to mutual bestowal. The need for such an action gives us the right to receive the power, the fulfillment from Above, and is called a prayer.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/15/2011, Writings of Rabash

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