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Answer: This custom of being silent came into the world from none other than Kabbalists. It is used as an exercise in various practices which don’t relate to our path, and generally, in the field of psychology.
When a person wants to understand something new, to focus on something new, he needs solitude. He can run away from everyone to someplace, which would be physical solitude. Or he can find solitude within, where I find a certain space inside and hide there from others’ eyes, although physically I am surrounded by many people. This relates to all levels of a person.
So, we want to carry out a similar exercise, a “silent pledge” where we refrain from speaking. There are special periods when people study the Torah more, delve deeper into the material, observe various fasts. These methods pull a person out of the usual order, the routine, and help him look at the world and himself slightly differently. They allow him to concentrate or focus inside.
“A quiet Saturday” does not mean that no one opens their mouths. But when we do talk, we talk only about the study and what it contains. And we only talk inasmuch as it is necessary. If there is no need, then we think about the same questions instead of talking about them. After all, words lay bare a person’s soul, revealing the innermost secrets of his heart. And therefore, one shouldn’t talk unless it is for the sake of correction.
That is how we will hold this Saturday. All lessons and meals will take place by the regular schedule, and every person will limit himself as much as he can, trying not to speak but only to think.
Concentration in thought, inner focus has a much greater effect in the world than words. After all, thought is a much higher force than speech. This is the highest force in a person, and therefore it is the most effective in the general system of reality. It is precisely the beginning of the chain, “thought, speech, action”.
Our evolution to become “human,” to resemble the Creator, takes place because I change my corporeal mind and feelings into upper spiritual ones. I want to resemble the Creator, to use my mind and feeling to resemble the upper force. Thus I make contact with the upper force, receive an external force, and start developing myself.
This is not the way it was on the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels within a person when I worked only with my mind and heart and nothing but that. But to the extent I yearn for my heart and mind to resemble the upper, I receive forces from Him and I can demand that He change my feelings and mind.
This means that I don’t acquire life experience on this world’s level; I don’t change my desire by using my mind in order to sooner or later gain as the wise do in this world. Actually, I totally change the way I work.
I leave my beastly senses and mind at the level of basic necessity in order to provide me with the basic necessities in life and not more than that, and I start to develop a spiritual mind and feeling inside me. Spirituality means for the benefit of others.
Of course, this is totally different from what I had before and I have to start rising above my old nature. Starting from this decision onwards, I will demand for the upper force to change me.
Before, I didn’t turn to It and didn’t feel anything. But in order to enable me to turn to the upper force, there are people in this world who are in contact with It. They processed and changed their desires, thoughts, and mind, and wrote about the process they underwent thanks to the upper Light.
I read about the process in which the influence of the Light transformed them and I want the same to happen to me. I want to be incorporated in this process, in this action, and to adhere to their story. They tell me about their feelings, about how it works, and about the changes that took place in them. I also want to experience these actions. To the extent that I wish to undergo these changes, I evoke the Light that begins to influence me.
The action of the Light is revealed in the connection with others. Until now I developed my own desire to receive and the mind that helped me use others, but now I have to develop above that in order to connect with others. Only my connection with others will reveal the Light. On the other hand, when the Light is revealed, it will enable me to connect with others.
While reading the book, I only need to acquire a desire so that I will understand and feel that it talks about connection. When the Light is revealed, it is revealed in exactly the same way it is described in the book and will fulfill the connection among us. The book only tells us about this connection and nothing but that.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/6/12, The Zohar
Now we can sweeten and speed up our development through our environment. Both adults and children develop with the help of their environment. Groups like Alocoholics Anonymous, animal rights activists, or weight loss programs are all based on the society’s influence on a person. We have to do the same.
By developing in a good society we’ll be like good children, and in addition we’ll create a similar framework for our children so that they will be good. Ultimately, humanity has but one concern: creating a good environment.
Any parent would be glad to bring a child into a warm, friendly environment, where kids are being taught to unite. This unity provides them with a sense of confidence and rids them of fear of poverty, suffering, pride, and other problems inherent in human nature. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, simply a good environment that provides a “gentle place” for development.
Such an environment allows a person to open up and to better perceive and take things in because he’s not feeling that he’s constantly on the defensive in a hostile environment. We adults don’t even understand what it means to be in a good environment. Just like a newborn baby in the arms of the mother feels nothing except her embrace. This sensation gives him the strength to develop.
We lack this sensation and that’s why we’re facing a global crisis. In all areas where we previously were successful, we now find ourselves at a dead end.
The crisis can on one hand be a catastrophe and on the other hand a rebirth. The word “crisis” comes from the Greek word “krisis”, and means a new beginning. However, we use it incorrectly. Also, the word “crisis” in Hebrew means a place where new life emerges.
We have to explain to people that they need a good environment in order to be happy. The good environment will simply make our lives happy.
Thanks to the good environment for all of us, “I feel confident, I have friends, the whole world treats me well, and I just want to be good.” All are taking care of me, and I care about everyone. We live in a world imbued with warmth, confidence, and kindness. It’s all love.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” No. 2, 12/28/11
If we want to understand what is written in The Zohar, then we have to reach the similarity of desires, the similarity of properties, between us and the authors of the book. To understand means to grasp, to comprehend, as it said: “And Adam knew Eve, his wife”; that is, knowledge is fusion (Zivug), connection. That’s why, we should be in the same thoughts and desires as the authors of The Zohar; otherwise, we will not understand what is going on.
Even in our world, if I want to understand what a person is talking about, I should rise above myself as much as possible and identify with him. This is called to understand the other person. We have to dress into him.
We need to learn a little about the people who wrote this book: what their desires and intentions were, what they wrote about, what they wanted to convey to us, why they described in that particular style. After all, they live within the text.
Baal HaSulam writes in his article “The Acting Mind,” that looking at the table, I see the carpenter’s skills in it and grasp his mind. Indeed, he used his mind in his work, and studying the table, I connect with the mind of the craftsman who created it. Thus, through a material object, the table, we connect mind to mind. So, we are already connected with each other through the idea that emerged in his mind and mine.
The same thing occurs with The Book of Zohar. Only here, I don’t know about the images and properties they wrote about. But if I want to merge my mind with the authors of The Zohar, cancel myself before them, and understand why and for what they wrote like this, if I treat The Book of Zohar in this way, then I gradually awaken forces in it to the extent of my desire to grasp the mind of those who wrote it. And then, I become connected to them, get closer to them, begin to feel their intention, where they were, what they thought about, why they wrote in that way, and what they saw and felt.
Therefore, reading this book is work: how to connect with its author through his story. And thus, to the extent of my understanding, the story begins to open to me, it becomes clear and not otherwise. That is why when reading The Zohar, we must think about its authors, what their inner states and intentions were when they were writing the book, what they saw and felt, thereby conveying their attainment to us in this form, and how I can reach their mind in order to understand them.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/12, The Zohar
It is written that one must begin each day anew. It’s as if yesterday didn’t exist, the count begins at zero. This applies to everything: who I am, what I am, my purpose, my goal, whatever exists and transpires around me. It’s as if I was born anew without any pre-existing knowledge or understanding. Why carry the burden of yesterday with me? Whether I was right or wrong, what’s the difference? After all, that was yesterday, and yesterday must be erased.
But how are we to do that? We do so by reading The Book of Zohar. What’s so special about it? It can grant us the power to do just that. It’s said that this power may be used for good and for evil, and this depends upon the person. The Zohar grants energy, and my “machine” determines how this energy is used, to harm or to benefit me.
We must therefore make a decision: How do we want to use the force that we get from The Book of Zohar? This power can become either the returning Light, a good force, remedy or cure, or the opposite of that, a deadly poison. Everything depends on the person, namely to what it is that he aspires.
When we draw closer to the source of life that has created us, from which all life force is generated, this is what we call “life.” And “death” is when we draw closer to our ego and follow it. Indeed, the ego has been made purposefully opposite to the Creator so that we would have freedom of choice in the middle. Therefore, when reading The Zohar, our primary efforts should be to keep ourselves aimed in the right direction.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/12, The Zohar
Answer: In reality you will not be able to concede anything to anyone. Of course you can sacrifice part of your aspirations if you have no other choice. However, concession is an imaginary notion when it comes to ideas. When I am right and he is not, it’s best for him to acknowledge the fact that I am right and join me. But when he is right and I am wrong, it’s of course best if I admit the fact that he is right and join him.
So what’s a concession? How can you relinquish the truth? It can’t be partial or intermediate. Only one of us is right. It’s impossible to reject a certain part here. If one were to relinquish a part of truth and the other one would cede a part of falsehood, this would not be the solution to the problem. This is not about things that can be shared; it’s about our opinions, ideas.
Question: But there is also something called the collective mind. By listening to different opinions in the group, it’s possible to find a better path than yours.
Answer: You have simply figured out that someone else has expressed a more sound opinion. Now you reject your opinion and join his. But this is not a concession. If after having evaluated everything I discover that he is right, I am not conceding, I am changing my opinion for his.
It’s possible to concede when I am convinced that the truth is on my side, but I chose to not follow it. This is not a good path; it never leads to peace. This leads to a question of whether it’s possible to make similar calculations on a global scale. After all, things are leading towards a war.
We say not. Each is right in their own way, but not according to my way. No one is corrected enough to view the entire collection of problems objectively, separately from the beloved self. So let us agree that there is neither absolute truth nor falsehood. Everything depends upon my current egoistic direction. After all, I hate and despise everyone from the beginning, but I love and exalt myself. Therefore it doesn’t make sense to go deep into details. The actual conditions do not allow us to unravel the truth or give in.
Let’s only concede one thing, the actual superficial squabbles, which always bring us wars and problems. Every time, I unite with someone just to kick someone else, this just goes on forever. Things cannot continue this way, and this is why we rise above all differences. Look at the system and you will see: The only way is to unite above the abyss between us.
Partial concessions don’t lead to peace and harmony even in the family. We don’t reject our opinion anyway, and for lack of any other choice, we falsely pretend. But when the egoistic desire grows bigger, it creates an even greater separation between us. And this is why our only possibility is to constantly be caring for love, which will raise us and cover all faults.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/9/12, “The Freedom”
We have been through similar states at other times in history, although they were not as tragic or radical to justify calling them a “birth.” We regard them as developmental phases in the history of humankind.
However, our current state differs from the previous ones. Thus far, we have striven to reveal and attain new stages; we foresaw potential revolutionary life-changing conditions that were of a social, civic, or technological nature. Changes happened as a result of new breakthroughs: the discovery of new lands, inventions of innovative weapons, and implementation of new technologies such as the Internet that unveiled a totally new level of connection between us.
Nevertheless, those innovations were not global upheavals that addressed all levels of human life in all its spheres. They did not extend to all of mankind, to all countries and continents, to every family and every person, so that today they are universal.
Now, we are approaching this new birth and cannot state with confidence whether it is happening already or not, although we do see that we are coming closer to it. The crisis we are going through is similar to the one that precedes delivery. It presses us more and more with each passing day, both individually and collectively.
We see that people: cannot live in peace within their families any longer, get divorced, avoid getting married, do not get along with each other, have no idea how to raise children, don’t know how to avoid employment problems and economic problems.
In all spheres of our existence, we suffer from an absence of understanding and lack of organization. We can call this situation a total revolution, a universal re-birth of humankind rather than an appearance in one separate state or community because this is happening on a global, integral scale and it relates to everybody. This situation has never happened before. The worse thing is that we don’t sense a future.
Before, upcoming social and economic structures seemed more advanced than the previous ones. For example, when slavery ended, it was followed by a more highly developed society. Although we have to admit that drastic changes triggered new revolutions, religious and civil wars, at the same time, people still anticipated a brighter future to come.
Some societies agreed with what they faced in the future, and some did not. Some countries went through transformations, but others did not. Presently, we all are going through a global process that has never occurred before.
Moreover, at this time, we all are witnessing comprehensive climate and ecological changes. Previously, dramatic climatic changes took place (global warming and cooling like the ice ages) and always caused vast changes in humankind.
Global cooling once led northern nations, like those in southern Siberia and Asia to migrate south to Europe. In the past, all revolutions occurred due to climate changes, new technologies, or countries that could no longer tolerate their heads of state.
At this time, all changes are happening simultaneously: environmental, ecological, and with the inner nature of man who is not able to be at peace with anything, people no longer can reconcile with the world.
Even the systems which we are totally dependent on are dysfunctional: the food industry, job market, families, education, and security, essentially everything that man needs in order to sustain life from generation to generation.
We have arrived at a general state of affairs in all spheres of our life where nothing works properly. And most importantly, we do not see in what form or how to proceed.
Is it possible to view our new stage and move towards it with understanding and awareness? Can we act as people with keen eyes? Are we able to look ahead and make sure that the path we have chosen is correct? Can we calculate our future beforehand?
If the answer is yes, then we can facilitate our advancement and avoid wandering in blindness; otherwise, we will be making mistakes and triggering new troubles.
If we continue acting blindly making global mistakes, things eventually will turn out terribly. We simply cannot continue sightless attempts and continue making errors any longer.
And this is why we started this educational course. Its task is to open people’s eyes and demonstrate to them the situation we are all in and most importantly to show them our future and to teach us how to transition from the existing state to the future.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 1, 12/17/11
The current crisis we are experiencing in our world is not a crisis of economy and our entire life, but the revelation of the absence of the right perception of reality. Previously, we perceived reality completely shattered, divided into separate pieces between which there is no connection, no common nature, no single force, and without a single plan, goal, and process of development. Now, with the help of the crisis we are beginning to become increasingly aware of the connection between all the parts of reality.
This is a sign of a new era, a paradigm shift, the perception of a new reality. Now we are discovering reality to be broken and separated in our awareness: This is called the general crisis. But this is not a crisis of anything, but rather a previously non-existent revelation. Before we lived with the perception of our layer of reality, but now a more internal layer is being revealed, and then we see that nothing is working out and that everything is really broken. It is true that this is a crisis. But this crisis is the revelation of a new state and an opportunity, an invitation for correction.
From here we see that we can correct it only by advancing towards unification between all parts of reality and revealing within this unification a natural law that exists in that system, as well as various forms of relationships and different tendencies. In short, we will begin to see reality correctly.
What do we need for this? Of course, nothing in our world will help us now. After all, it doesn’t have to do with egoistic development but with the correction of the ego, which reveals itself in the form of the crisis. It follows that nothing can help mankind but the Light that Reforms. This is why the wisdom of Kabbalah, the method of correction, becomes revealed. And this is why we must bring this Light to the world through us. Even though for us it will be the Light that Reforms, for the rest it will be the right, new structure of the world, so it will stop appearing broken to us. This is what our correction will be like.
This is why we must understand that everything is determined by this approach: seeing the world as one whole and explaining to others that it is one. But we explain it to them simply from a scientific perspective, similar to the way scientists explain things. But for us this unity assumes a single desire, which includes 620 desires, which we must connect into one. And nothing else exists but the perception of a person, who must reach a state where he will be able to see the entire reality as a single organism.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/12, The Zohar
Answer: It’s because in reality, humanity has not changed. Only now it may come to the realization of evil, and only with our help.
Many critics passionately berate education, but nothing happens. In fact, they simply state that they feel bad, but do not see the real reason. It’s because to see it, they need to be able to compare one with the other. Here, we need the Light that Reforms.
In our world, we reveal only evil, but not its relationship with the good. This is not the realization of evil yet; something else is required as a criterion. Yes, I feel bad, but I cannot detect the reason because to do this we need to attract the Reforming Light.
As a result, people have been talking about the problems of education for at least 50 years, and so far nothing has been fixed. This area consumes huge budgets and resources and involves a vast number of people. Parents suffer, teachers suffer, students suffer—and all are helpless.
In fact, the system itself is rather conservative and unwilling to change. However, even knowing that they need changes, no one can carry them out. There is no clear, accurate, modern program of actions. In contrast, it does not require much to simply destroy what exists. Today, it is clear that it is necessary to raise a child as a human being. To do this there are many different techniques: It seems that we are nearly there, but where are these human beings?
In the end, we cannot manage without the Light that Reforms. But how can a person get it, without having a point in the heart? To do this, he needs to be connected with those who do have it. Therefore, only we can bring a new method of education to the world. Nothing else will help; there must be connection with the Light that acts in desires.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/12, “The Freedom”