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In order to figure anything out, one must either start from the very beginning or the end – from the beginning of creation or from its final goal. After all, what’s in the middle belongs to our work, free choice. By analyzing the beginning and the end, we have to understand what we have to do in the middle.
The difference between the beginning and end of the path lies in acquiring the intention of bestowal. Nothing but this changes in reality. By changing the intention, we attain our difference from the Creator and correct it. Therefore, it is clear that our task lies only in attaining this proper intention.
Every action consists of thought, speech, and action. Thought is the plan preceding everything, which initially includes the result of the action. And in the middle, between the plan and the execution, there is speech, meaning discernment.
And in order to make the proper discernment, there must be concentration. This is why Kabbalists have a custom of being silent, which is also done in this world. When a person is about to undergo an important event and he wants to understand how to do it, he focuses on it, requiring silence, and trying to close himself off so he won’t be bothered by external conversations. He intensely prepares to carry out the action correctly.
That is why we want to spend the weekend in silence, in quiet, and think about how we can attain the right action. Instead of talking, we will make discernments in silence.
From the preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/12
Everything depends on intention. This is like the valve in the internal combustion engine, which opens if I have the right intention. And as soon as the intention is gone, the valve closes. That is how I work all the time: I open the valve and close it. Let us hope that we will be able to start up this engine.
The size of the intention is determined by which desires it can rule over. Maybe my intention is only enough for the still level of my desires, or for the vegetative or animate, or for the human level. And clearly, the strongest, most efficient and powerful intentions also influence the small, lower desires.
Therefore, the most important thing for us is to think about group unity, mutual guarantee, because by virtue of that we can undoubtedly rule over all the other, lower desires we have. That is why the condition of mutual guarantee is so necessary.
I think that the friends are also outside of me, and the whole world, all of humanity, and the Creator are also outside of me. But I have to try to attach all of that to me in mutual guarantee, in the right connection, mutual dependence so these desires would unite: me and the Creator inside of me, and all the external systems will also become mine. I should not see anything else besides this, but just the image of one person, who I assemble and take care of.
And if I come out of this inner perception and speak to other people, I live in this world, so naturally, there is a collision between this inner perception and the external world, which appears to me in my senses. But I will have to accept this duality for now, which is no more than a psychological problem. And gradually, I will begin to see a more internal picture.
It’s similar to how there is the perception of an adult and of a child. A child sees only the external side, whereas an adult understands things deeper and sees the inner reasons for what is happening. Even though this is aimed in one direction, but just penetrates deeper into matter since both our intentions and external behavior are egoistic.
However, by developing a habit and making efforts, we can attain a new, true perception of reality.
Therefore, all discernments of intentions, my entire work is to try to change my vision by means of this inner perception, the inner wisdom called the science of Kabbalah, the inner part of the Torah. Then I will see the whole world as one organism in which everything belongs to me and there is nothing besides me.
Let us try to reach this sensation, and especially while reading The Book of Zohar.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/12, The Zohar
Question: Immunization against various diseases is one of the sensational achievements of medicine. They have saved a great many human lives, but waves of objections constantly arise to the immunizations of both children and adults. Why do things that have already proven themselves invite objections such as these?
Answer: At one time people did not trust medicines and immunizations and now they don’t trust doctors. After all, nowadays doctors are devoted to money, not health.
Medicine has turned into a business and most medicines are produced with the goal of making profits, not healing. Of course our world is egoistic, but in this area, people are especially susceptible.
Life is the most precious thing there is for the average person. But, he can’t entrust this to the hands of a doctor because the doctor thinks not of his health, but about money. Medicine has turned into a huge business.
How is it possible that a person is healed according to his financial ability? After all, bodies are equal, but no, the doctor skillfully examines the thickness of the patient’s wallet and warmly suggests to him what he is silent about in other cases. Everything is rotten in the world of today, and medicine is no exception.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/3/12, “The Freedom”
Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom,” Taking After The Collective: Our scriptures say, “Take after the collective.” That means that wherever there is a dispute between the collective and the individual, we are obliged to rule according to the will of the collective. Thus, you see that the collective has a right to expropriate the freedom of the individual. … And we can see that there is no other arrangement by which to live in society except following the law of “Taking after the collective,” which sets every dispute and tribulation in society in order.
How can such a thing be? The collective doesn’t have the imaginative thoughts that individuals do because they are the masses. The lofty things in the world are not each one’s concepts and are not easily comprehended. The more lofty, delicate, and specific an issue is, fewer are the people who are able to understand it. It is just this uniqueness of attainment that built the human pyramid. Thus the understanding of the collective, according to its definition, is found beneath that of the understanding of the individuals.
So what is Baal HaSulam talking about? From his words, it appears that if in a certain place more people have gathered, then justice is with them? Or is it the opposite, that the special, unique people are not justified only because they are a minority? Are the millions always justified and I should I follow them?
This is a great question since we are talking here of a person’s realization of himself, about how to realize his free choice and to find “the eye of the needle” through which one exits to the spiritual world. Could it be that on the way there I must “take after the collective?” And this was said by Kabbalists, by those who attained the Creator and knew the upper laws of nature.
In order to clarify this, let’s check: In what part of creation do we see the “hand of the Creator” directly? It is, of course, in the nature of the inanimate, the inanimate level. There, nothing resists Him. There are no desires there, not even the weak desires of the vegetative force. In the vegetative level there is already a special development that characterizes it. And at the level of animate, this independence is clearly revealed even more. If the vegetative only grows in the earth, then, in comparison, the animals can already move from place to place. And man can go even farther: He objects to the upper Providence and as if says to the Creator: “Move over to the side a bit, I want to take Your place.”
So it turns out that only at the base of the pyramid, among those that have no understanding or feeling but simply live because they are alive, reigns the undisputable authority of the Creator. Their life flows at the developmental level of the inanimate. [Read more →]
Question: Where can we find specialists who will connect different subjects together, such as psychology, sociology, and so forth? We can invite a psychologist who will tell about his subject, but where can we find people who can see the bigger picture and are able to connect all the subjects together?
Answer: I think that a student who studies these subjects simultaneously will start connecting them into one. However, of course, there needs to be another subject that connects everything into one, especially through discussion.
I think that we can adapt Baal HaSulam’s articles, leaving out everything to do with Kabbalah or religion, so that we get a large amount of material that connects everything into one picture. It contains such inner power that it would allow a person to apply all previously acquired knowledge.
This is the same way that I use all the knowledge I previously acquired even though I studied it without knowing anything about Kabbalah. Now, using the tools given by Baal HaSulam, I see the same principles in electronics, physics, chemistry, and medicine. This allows me to connect all these sciences together. I think that we can achieve this by abridging our materials.
It’s clear that if a chapter in a book about integral education is dedicated to history, we need two people to work on it: an historian, a specialist in this subject, and a Kabbalist, someone who can see the whole picture. All study materials and programs must come from us.
Even a course in physiology and psychology should be studied in the framework set by us because nobody needs to study the human skeleton simply for knowledge. We must extract only the basic, general knowledge from these sciences.
From “Lessons About a New World” 12/1/11
When we read The Book of Zohar, we must clarify to ourselves in every way we can and especially in our thought and intentions that we are now entering a room where we can ask and receive if the request is the right one. A person should feel that he is given a chance to enter and say one sentence only. If you can’t awaken whoever is in the room upon whom your destiny depends, you will miss that chance and will not get another chance again. If a person feels this way, even if he gets more chances, it can help him.
So we must know:
We don’t understand these changes yet, and we don’t fully want them because these changes are towards bestowal and love of others. However, I try as hard as I can. I must believe that if my request is the right one, these changes will immediately take place in me.
So we have to imagine a picture and hold on to it while reading The Zohar while being in the request, in a prayer, in submission and yearning. Even if we haven’t reached the real request, but thanks to our yearning, like a prayer before a prayer, we hope that our request will assume the correct form. If I don’t know how to ask from Him, I ask Him to help me know how to ask.
I can’t tell Him: “I am asking but I don’t know how, so you do it!” That won’t work. He can’t do that, because my request must be correct. Otherwise I have nowhere to receive the correction. This means that I can’t beg with half a request so that He will correct me according to this half request. I can ask Him to correct my half request and make it a full request and only then will the correction come. This is called “a prayer before a prayer.”
Suppose I come to my landlord and have to fill out a request form in which there are many items. Although I have good relations with this landlord and everything is open before me, he still tells me how to fill out the form. When I fill it out, I see the right attitude needed so that I can receive what I want, and he gives it to me.
First I thought that he was ready to give it to me from the bottom of his heart without any preconditions. But this isn’t the case. I have to clarify on this form why, what for, how much, when, how and from whom to receive, and so on. It must all be organized because this is how He correctly stabilizes the receiver in order to receive.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/4/12, The Zohar
Question: Israel is facing the question of free preschool education, which will require great cutbacks in other areas. Each time we are faced with a choice between one thing and another and it is always one at the expense of the other. How can such conflicts be solved?
Answer: We don’t see things correctly. Actually there are such surpluses that we could build another state of Israel, but we don’t see them. The point here is not how to save, but to distinguish where our resources are being squandered uselessly and wasted.
On the whole, we shouldn’t touch the budget and increase the deficit. We only have to find the billions that are wasted, go nowhere, and help no one. It all stems from negligence and carelessness, from the fact that we aren’t concerned about the situation as a whole. Each one considers and loves himself and as a result great wealth is being squandered.
There is no secret here. Observe yourself and how you use electricity at home and somewhere else, how organized and thrifty you are when it comes to your property for which you pay dearly, and how indifferent you are to wasting at the expense of strangers. In another’s place we are happy to splurge, but at home we are happy to save. So if we treat the whole national economy like the home economy, we will find such excess that we didn’t even imagine.
If you really check things in the Ministry of Education you will find such breaches into which not just some but a great percentage of our resources are pouring. Sift everything that isn’t for the benefit of the students, shake the system, and you will see how much will “fall” out.
On the whole, the attitude is that we don’t have to sacrifice one thing for another. No aspect of life should be deprived in order to strengthen others. If our major concern is mutual concern for the state like as for our family, then by changing our attitude and as a result of our desire to be efficient, we sill discover such great surpluses that we will have to think of how to spend them.
But since we don’t do that, the crisis will do it for us. It will “shake” us against our will. If we don’t put things in order, it will be done for us.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/12, “The Freedom”
If we examine human development, it becomes clear that it stemmed entirely from our desire. Time after time, man desired more and more. Long ago we had small desires, like simple village folk: a few cows, a small piece of land to grow food to eat, a spouse and kids, and that was quite enough. The desire was small.
Then the desire began to grow. It pushed us to start selling our goods at the marketplace and in cities. And in return, we began to buy fine clothing and some special items that we didn’t have before. Man arrives in the city, sees some miracle machine for cultivating land, and begins to work even more diligently to acquire it. Or he borrows money from someone to first buy the machine and then returns the loan after he sells the harvest which is larger thanks to this machine. So we begin to develop and establish increasingly tighter bonds between us. Our ego grows and pushes us to develop.
This is the usual story of humanity based entirely on man’s developing desire: We want more and more, but why? Our desire grows. I don’t know why, but suddenly I feel that I want something more, and then more and more. I look at others and I see that everybody aspires to something. And I follow their lead because inside me there’s envy, lust, ambition, and the thirst to rule. I am interested in buying from them things that are useful to me, but I don’t want to be below them. After all, I have an ego of my own, and I don’t want to feel like I’m losing. I want to win!
If we consider human development in this vein, we’ll see that this is what drew us forward. We were always looking around us and learning from others. There were some among us with an active imagination capable of inventing and innovating technology, economics, medicine, and everything that could be used to benefit humanity and fulfill our desires. This is how we developed.
When the time came, we waged wars, conquered new territories and nations. Then the time came to discover new continents, develop technology and commerce. Then we went out into outer space and continued developing, until we found ourselves at a dead end. This is something humanity began to feel around 50-60 years ago.
Starting in the 1960s, intelligent people, engaged in the study of the environment, society, and the process mankind was undergoing, began to warn us that we have come to a dead end and were simply continuing to march in place. Something happened to us, and we could no longer see where to continue developing.
At the time, the space program allowed us to forget about it somewhat. But even the space program ended quickly. So what if we fly around the globe one more time, or fly to the moon again; we’ve done all that already, so what’s next? We’ve seen that it doesn’t help us much; all these things are on the still level, not even vegetative or animate. And we failed to locate any alien civilizations despite our hopes and dreams of finding intelligent life elsewhere.
And here is where we arrive at emptiness. We’ve developed to a point where we’ve got nowhere else to go; we don’t see any future prospects. Our inner nature, as well as the external nature, meaning the world that we feel around us, no longer opens itself for us. Whatever we’ve got, that’s it, and nothing more. And then the people that discovered this, such as sociologists and philosophers (Fukuyama and others) began to warn us and write many books about it, calling it the end of humanity. On the other hand, other scientists claimed that the world develops cyclically.
“Talks About a New Reality,” Talk 1, 12.27.2011
All the work is done by the Light, which returns to the source. But for this I first need to realize my evil, to feel that my desire, my qualities, my state cause me harm. I feel so bad that I am about to explode from this demand called MAN, a prayer.
However, this demand must be properly structured: Why do I wish to rid myself of my evil? Is it only to make myself feel good, or I am not able to tolerate this evil because it is not me that it harms, but others?
When I discover that my qualities are harming my neighbor and the Creator (and this can only be discovered through working in the group), I find myself before two uncompromising facts. On one hand, I value bestowal very much and wish to attain bestowal to the Creator through bestowing to the creatures, as it is written: “From love for the creatures to love for the Creator.” But on the other hand, I feel that I am very far from it, and this causes me suffering.
The reforming Light (the Light which returns to the source) gives me this realization, and this is called preparation, through which I realize my full measure and achieve an absolute prayer, desperation from my lack of the quality of bestowal, participation, mutual guarantee, and love for my neighbor, without which it is impossible to attain love for the Creator.
Man purposefully lacks the need for bestowal so he would feel that he needs it! Because only then will I have an opportunity to someday escape my egoistic desire, and when I attain bestowal, it will be the real bestowal.
But if I could see pleasure and a certain personal benefit in bestowal from the beginning, instead of being bestowal, this would be a concealed reception. This is why it is necessary to advance from the opposite by working in the group and preparing your desire. And until I feel that connection is more important than me and my friend is more important than me, I am not considered to have a desire to bestow and merge with the Creator. [Read more →]