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There are many ways we can check our desire in which all the clarifications take place: “What for? Why? Where does it come from and where is it leading to? By what means can I advance? How can I check whether my goal is the right one? What are my true intentions? Could it be that it is simply my egoistic desire and personal interests that naturally attract me, and that everything that is against them repels me?”
A very close and thorough examination is needed here. At the same time we should be careful not to be too absorbed in these clarifications because it is part of my work, only half of the “half a Shekel” that is my part. The other half should be expressed in action. The action is studying together with the group, feeling the friends, and the examination during the study: Is it in the same line of thought with everyone else, in contact with the teacher and the group?
The second half of the “half a Shekel” ends when a person receives the change from Above. All our efforts should end in attaining an open deficiency that waits for salvation from Above, like Nukva, the female desire that opens herself to receive the correction.
This is how we should prepare ourselves for the lesson. Here a lot depends on the greatness of the source from which we receive this bestowal, from the immense height of The Book of Zohar and its authors. The mechanism that operates in The Book of Zohar is the world of Ein Sof because it passes the upper Light from the head of Zeir Anpin, the Light of Ein Sof.
If a person works on all the levels: in his feelings, his connection with the group, with the teacher, with the state of the world, with the systems of the worlds, with the upper force, and connects it all to the one mechanism that he operates now, then there is hope that his awakening and his action will evoke an awakening from Above. And his prayer (MAN) will draw the response (MAD) from Above.
The prayer (MAN) (Mei Nukvin – female waters) is the desire, the deficiency. The response that comes from Above is MAD (Mei Dhurin – male waters), the power to overcome. We have to feel that we turn the weak, meaningless, painful, and defective state into bestowal, power, and correction, and feel inside us how our MAN turns into MAD
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/12, The Zohar
Question: I understand how an infant develops. But who knows what genes exist in human society? No one has ever seen how it develops, nor was anyone able to collect data and assert how it will develop going forward. Humanity is our only child, and this is how it grows.
Answer: We can analyze and examine the past, study the developments in philosophy, sociology, and psychology, and this allows us to detect a consistent process and its driving causes. We don’t see future prospects very clearly, but judging by our present state we can still deduce where it will lead us. As with all things, we’re always extrapolating the past into the future.
Nature demands that we observe its laws. Nature is the general organism, which encompasses the still, vegetative, animate and human degrees of development. Everybody goes through this development. First it was the Earth, followed by the plant kingdom, followed by the animals, and finally humans.
This development began with the Big Bang and has been continuing via increasingly greater unification. In every instance, the unification of various parts leads to the creation of increasingly complex and unique organisms, both in terms of quantity and quality.
At first there was only inanimate matter, but then its parts suddenly began to grow acquiring a kind of life, their own individual development. The development then reached the animate degree at which animals develop even more individually. The animate degree was followed by man. These are the results of Nature’s development.
Obviously, this development has its own laws, which we can see by looking at the past. The question is whether we understand them? It appears that we don’t, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
As a scientist, I study nature and the way it develops, developing me as its component thereby. Indeed, even with all our scientific achievements, man can never be above Nature.
We exist in a certain closed sphere that we call “the Universe,” we study where we are and the kind of laws that act here within this sphere. This sphere is infinite, boundless, and filled with unlimited wisdom. And all we’re doing is scraping up paltry crumbs from this wisdom: This is what our entire science is based on.
We don’t study anything other than nature, and within this sphere we also learn something about ourselves. We see that we cannot take control of our lives, and for this, clearly we must study the laws of nature. It’s good that unpleasant problems push us toward attaining Nature; at least, the motivation is to improve our lives.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 1, 12/17/11
Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”: However, when he achieves the aim of Creation and the Creator receives pleasure from him, since His will is done, man’s essence, which clothes in His contentment, is granted complete eternity, like Him. Thus, he has been rewarded with freedom from the angel of death.
Baal HaSulam explains freedom in the context of the perception of reality. We live in a world of forces. There is no matter; it is only depicted to us under the influence of different forces that stabilize this feeling for us.
I perceive the inanimate nature in all its forms and manners and also the vegetative, animate and human levels of nature. These four categories that fill my field of feeling are forces that are depicted in my desire and that draw, like on a screen, the picture of the three-dimensional, varied world.
This happens because my desire to receive divides the general bestowal, called Light, into many types and degrees of internal reactions. On the whole, it makes up the picture of the world in which I feel and see of all these actions.
So from the start, I was given a feeling for which I don’t have to prepare myself. I already have the desire to receive and in it, I feel the world. Besides that I see large-scale processes in inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature and also in between these levels. Actually it is about our internal world, but we take the names of the objects and the phenomena in it from the lowest level according to the principle of a branch and a root.
The higher I rise, the closer I get to the Light through the layers of my desire. In the lowest place I see the picture of this world. Then I rise to the next level, to the desires that are closer to the Light, and these forces are before me in the form of Partzufim, worlds, and Sefirot. Then I see the connection between the branch and the root in everything, and accordingly I call the forms that I feel as desires and the relations between the forces by parallel names from our world. Thus the language of the branches is formed. [Read more →]
Hastening time, meaning hastening our actions regarding the “past,” “present” and “future,” gives us the feeling of life, the force of vitality. The more we stop and do not exert ourselves in the work on the part of the created being, there is more pressure put on us by the Creator’s work. This is similar to the way a hybrid car is built: if the battery is empty, the engine runs on fuel.
So we have to organize an environment for ourselves that will spur us to advance by our powers and not to wallow in time, which passes leaving no traces, as we lie to ourselves that everything is fine. If a person is not under pressure put on him by the environment and teacher, if he doesn’t feel that he lacks spiritual life, he cannot advance.
This pressure can be felt as good or bad. But we must clarify it for ourselves; we need to gladly accept any pressure that leads to clarification, connection, and more efficient work, and not be managed by pleasant or unpleasant feelings in our egoism.
If we want to advance, be a little more mature, and not remain tiny babies, we need to wake up. The awakening toward the goal isn’t perceived as pleasant, and we should accept this in faith above reason.
Unfortunately we are not kids who have a natural desire to grow, who passionately work building things with blocks, and who do not give up when everything falls down and is destroyed. We have to receive the same force that pushes a child to develop: We obtain it from the environment and studying.
If I feel that I lack this power, I have to come to the lesson with the desire, with the negative charge, with the feeling of everything I didn’t manage to do, and to ask for strength. If you don’t feel enough pressure on you to connect and to advance or to make the demand for this to the teacher and the group, you have a reason to come to the lesson. You have to come with the right demand, with a full list of everything you didn’t manage to do yesterday, and now you come with a broken heart demanding the powers for correction.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/12/12, Shamati #35
Opinion: (Pankaj Ghemawat, economist, strategist, Professor of Global Strategy at the IESE Business School, Barcelona): “DHL released the first DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a comprehensive study of geo-political trade data. The study indicates that economic globalization is still not as deep as perceived and the potential for continued economic integration could represent global gross domestic product gains of five percent to 10 percent per year. GCI ranks 125 countries according to the depth and breadth of integration into the world economy and examines the connections between global connectedness and welfare. The study documents that global connectedness has enormous room to expand, even among the most ‘connected’ countries.
“’Our research shows that global economic integration is not as deep as perceived. Therefore, we see untapped potential for growth for each country and globally. Increasing global connectedness is likely to spur further growth by adding trillions of dollars to the economic turnover,’ added Ghemawat.
“’The positive impact of global connectedness on world prosperity will continue to be of great importance. The misgivings some political leaders have about increasing global trade are unfounded; its benefits far outweigh any potential downside,’ said Ghemawat.”
My Comment: It is true! It’s not only that nature around us and inside us, the external and internal connection of all objects, is manifested more and more, but as the study above shows, a human being becomes more individualistic, more distanced from others because his egoism grows. People in one room, spouses in one apartment, children with parents, and so on cannot get along.
So, it needs to be emphasized what globalization we are talking about: For the time being, the world has become like this, but not us.
Lately, an inner connection between people manifests more and more. But it is in conflict with growing alienation because of increasing personal egoism. Accordingly, group egoism (national, family) manifests less.
This growing difference between the inner and external relations causes the crisis (education, family, personal, social, and finally financial), which is the discrepancy between the two systems:
Hence, the solution to the crisis is to bring humanity as a whole to the realization of its total connection and readiness for this connection. As soon as we begin to get closer, we will discover the beneficial influence of nature on us because we will begin to become in compliance with the law of our similarity to it.
Opinion: (Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, French historian, professor at College de France, from Le Monde): “In different parts of our planet, the global warming will be accompanied by wars, revolutions, and social unrest. Its signs include:
1. Global temperature in the 21st century has increased more than one degree Celsius;
2. Oceans have been warming up for the past fifty years;
3. All glaciers around the world have been melting;
4. Sea level in the 20th century was rising 1-2 millimeters a year;
5. Animals and birds have been migrating north;
6. The ground is warming up deep down, melting the permafrost.
“Just like during the Little Ice Age in the 17th century (1640s), our current period of warming will cause weather catastrophes, migrations, and civil and international wars. The weather aggression plays the part of the main destabilizing factor of religious, political, military, protest, agrarian, and other nature.”
My Comment: Just like a rocket moves towards its target, constantly deviating from the direct flight trajectory and returning to it so as to sense its position, the governance of our universe, like any other surveillance system, has the same macro and micro processes. They reflect on us, correcting the direction of our development from “right” and “left”—towards balance with nature (adhesion with the Creator).
We can eliminate all the unpleasant influences (the path of suffering) in our necessary (forced) development if we actively participate in correcting the course of our development, that is, direct ourselves towards similarity with the Creator: the quality of bestowal and love.
In the News (from The Economic Collapse blog): “For decades we were warned that when the Baby Boomers started to retire that this country would be facing a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Well, that day has arrived ladies and gentlemen. Back on January 1st, the Baby Boomers began to retire and more than 10,000 of them will be retiring every single day for years to come. Most of them have not saved up nearly enough money for retirement. At the same time, private sector pension plans are failing all over the place, hundreds of state and local government pension plans from coast to coast are woefully underfunded, and the Social Security system is on the road to complete and total disaster. A massive wave of humanity is hitting retirement age at a moment in history when the U.S. economy is coming apart at the seams.
“The following are 25 bitter and painful facts about the coming Baby Boomer retirement crisis that will blow your mind….
#1 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
#2 According to a recent poll conducted by Americans for Secure Retirement, 88 percent of all Americans are worried about ‘maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement.’ Last year, that figure was at 73 percent.
#3 A study conducted by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research has found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
#4 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
#5 On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers started to retire. For almost the next 20 years, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be retiring every single day.
#6 At the moment, only about 13 percent of all Americans are 65 years of age or older. By 2030, that number will soar to 18 percent.
#7 Right now, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens. By 2050 that number is projected to increase to 89 million.
#8 Back in 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65. Today, that number has declined to 23 percent.
#9 According to one recent survey, 74 percent of American workers expect to continue working once they are ‘retired.’
#10 According to a recent AARP survey of Baby Boomers, 40 percent of them plan to work ‘until they drop.’
#11 A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.
#12 A study by a law professor at the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.
#13 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.
#14 What is causing most of these bankruptcies among the elderly? The number one cause is medical bills. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#15 Public retirement funds all over the United States are woefully underfunded. For example, it has been reported that the $33.7 billion Illinois Teachers Retirement System is 61% underfunded and is on the verge of complete collapse.
#16 Most U.S. states have huge pension obligations which threaten to bankrupt them.
#17 Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management have calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states. What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds. That is a difference of 3.2 trillion dollars. So where in the world is all of that extra money going to come from?
#18 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system paid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010. That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016. Sadly, in the years ahead these ‘Social Security deficits’ are scheduled to become absolutely nightmarish as hordes of Baby Boomers retire.
#19 In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers. According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now only 1.75 full-time private sector workers for each person that is receiving Social Security benefits in the United States.
#20 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.
#21 The total cost of just three federal government programs – the Department of Defense, Social Security and Medicare – exceeded the total amount of taxes brought in during fiscal 2010 by 10 billion dollars. In the years ahead expenses related to Social Security and Medicare are projected to skyrocket dramatically.
#22 The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is the agency of the federal government that pays monthly retirement benefits to hundreds of thousands of retirees that were covered under defined benefit pension plans that failed. The retirement crisis has barely even begun and the PBGC is already dead broke. The PBGC says that it ran a deficit of $26 billion during the fiscal year that just ended and that it will probably need a huge bailout from the federal government.
#23 According to a survey by careerbuilder.com, 36 percent of all Americans say that they don’t contribute anything at all to retirement savings.
#24 More than 30 percent of all investors in the United States that are currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k plans invested in equities. So what is going to happen to them if the stock market crashes?
#25 A survey taken earlier this year found that 20 percent of all U.S. workers admitted that they had postponed their planned retirement age at least once during the last 12 months. Back in 2008, that number was only at 14 percent.”
My Comment: The crisis has crept up unnoticed, or rather, since we did not want to pay attention to it, it brought us to the critical point where we cannot keep ignoring it and we have to start paying attention to what is happening. We are like children, and this is because everything that happens occurs at the level higher than our development. So, is it not worth listening to Kabbalists who can foresee the future…?