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Habit Becomes Second Nature

Dr. Michael LaitmanThere is a general law in nature, which actually gives us hope for our coming closer to each other and in our ability to overcome our egos. This law states that one’s habit becomes his second nature.

We see this ourselves. Let’s suppose from my childhood and over the course of my life, I become used to carrying out certain actions in order to reach a positive result or avoid undesirable consequences. Due to these actions that are repeated often, I develop a habit. It becomes the same kind of demand for me as the desire to receive pleasure, since I do not receive pleasure in any other form but this.

A person learns this and these actions become a habit for him. Everything depends only on how the environment obliges him to do something, how many people act in that manner, and to what extent it has support from everything that surrounds him in life.

Therefore, if we create an education system and organize an environment that will offer support to every person, one will be influenced by the mere fact that other people care so much about everyone else. He will find out about it from the media from the positive public opinion it forms.

In addition, everyone will know that we do this on purpose: We play with each other and pretend to be kind, as though we think that we all are one family, like we care about each other as we do about ourselves. We will need to play this game constantly. We will act like we already are corrected. And what will this do for us?

Gradually, due to this habit, public opinion, and the influence of the environment, I will begin to think in this direction and receive an impression from this behavior. I will begin to form a habit, and I will not be able to act in any other way anymore. It will become my nature, as though I was born this way in spite of the fact that I acquired this quality, that I was forced to develop it, and that I agreed due to a lack of any other choice.

Therefore, we need to realize the law “a habit will become second nature.” Everything depends on how much a person is situated under his own pressure and the pressure of his environment in order not to forget about this game and to advance in this manner. And we will play this way like little children.

After all, when children play, they imagine that they are doing something important and building something new. But we know that it’s a game, and it isn’t serious, and that there is nothing real in their actions. They make mistakes, build anew, destroy once again, and again rebuild. However, due to such different games they advance in their development, grow up, and become smarter.

Without games a child would grow up like a savage, a small animal that is just growing bigger. Great institutions using the best minds including psychologists create special developmental systems for children to play with using various materials (such as blocks and clay) and taking into consideration their interests (cars, dolls, and so on). They use various equipment and computer programs for this. And due to this, the children advance in their development.

Physical development is also impossible without games. We call it sports, but sports are also games where we use physical activities to accustom ourselves to achieve results that are beyond the power of the common man who doesn’t exercise, train, and play the sport. We see that athletes achieve great results due to their habit of working on themselves.

We also notice that people who live together for many years develop similar perceptions; they understand each other without words. And all this occurs as a consequence of the habit of living under one roof, seeing and feeling each other involuntarily, and reaching mutual inclusion in each other this way.

In much the same way, whole nations and civilizations were formed some time ago by way of people who were different and foreign to each other interacting together until they developed certain characteristics that became specific to that nation.

This goes to say that the law of habit becoming second nature is particularly necessary to us, so that even through actions that we do not desire and forms of interaction that are unnatural to us, we can acquire qualities that we choose against our own nature. These new qualities already exist in us, and it is due to them that we build ourselves.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode #4, 1/1/12

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A Spiritual Viral Epidemic

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If the breaking of the Kelim (vessels, desires) occurred as a chain reaction, then does love have the ability to connect everything back together through a chain reaction?

Answer: There exists a kind of spiritual “virus” that spreads through the group if we are even somehow connected together, even partially. And then this virus “infects” everyone and obliges them to submit to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/23/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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From Within Separation One Gains Completeness

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How do we awaken envy in the group towards the writers of The Zohar in order to want to be similar to them, to reach their level?

Answer: It is difficult. They are very remote and incomprehensible to us. Additionally, we totally cannot understand what it is for a man to understand all of creation and to be in a place that is full of Light where the laws that manage the entire creation are revealed to him beyond the limits of our world, and to have understanding and feeling for the inclusive nature, of the great mind, the great thought, that operates everything, and that knows the same harmony that connects all the parts of creation to each other.

It is especially from this that all our pleasure comes. In spite of our thinking that pleasure is something emotional, and the desire to receive, as it were, only understands the language of feelings and emotional enthusiasm, it is not exactly so since we receive the emotional enthusiasm from the Light of Hochma (wisdom).

This slightly confuses us and we don’t completely understand what this is. But real pleasure is from obtaining the system of the upper providence and governance, where the Creator is revealed. We don’t obtain the abstract form and the essence but the form clothed in substance, the form of bestowal clothed in our substance, the substance of reception.

Thus the Creator (Boreh) is called Come and See (Bo – Reh) since we come and then see, come and attain. But we attain the Light of Hochma, how it clothes the entire system and manages all its parts from one end to the other. We see how different and distanced the parts are from each other by their egos, by the differences in their attributes, and how connected they are through these forms, the revelation and the completeness. We can’t even imagine that it could connect or complete them. It is especially the connection between the contradictions that gives great joy and the attainment of completeness.

It is that way with everything in our lives. Let’s suppose you see a movie or a certain incident. You are especially impressed that in the beginning the people were separated, opposing each other and suffering, and suddenly reconciliation and completeness appears. This is what most inspires a person. Let’s suppose there is some injustice, and then justice wins, or other situations similar to this; on this is built all creativity.

It is derived from the same upper root:In the beginning we see and obtain the great separation that exists between all the parts of the system, and then afterward, we obtain its completeness. From the separation we obtain the completeness, as it is said, “Cover all transgressions with love,” and the attainment comes from this, the understanding and appreciation of the Creator.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/12, The Zohar

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How Can You Resist Love?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot“: “Naturally, one who is imparted this open Providence is certain that he will not sin again, as one is certain that he will not cut into his own flesh and cause himself terrible suffering. In addition, one is certain that he will not neglect a Mitzva without performing it the instant it comes to his hand, as much as one is certain that he will not neglect any worldly pleasure or a great profit that comes into his hand.

We don’t understand this. What does “open Providence” mean? If I reveal the good and the benevolent, it seems that I am free of all my worries, lying in the arms of the Creator like a baby lying in his mother’s arms. Does he try to solve anything, to understand anything?—no, he is simply wrapped with love.

Does this love weaken us? Doesn’t it make us lose our power of self-preservation?

This is the problem. Parents’ love spoils the children. If they treat them only with love, the children have no limits and eventually begin to hate the parents.

Baal HaSulam writes about parental love (in Letter 2): “Come and see a wonderful custom in this love, where apparently if the son is an only child of his father and his mother, he is obliged to love his father and mother more, because they show greater love to him than parents who have many sons.

But it isn’t so in reality, but rather the opposite, that if parents are strongly connected to their sons by their love then the value of loving the sons is minimized, until sometimes the sons feel that “any feeling of love in their heart is extinguished” which is nature’s law that is in the world.

And the simple reason is, that a father’s love to his son is natural…and the son doesn’t fear at all that this love may diminish, and he doesn’t hope that his love will grow, which is called “absolute love,” and then gradually the son grows lazy in showing his father good deeds…and it becomes his second nature, close to hatred…”

Children need two forces; they can’t hold on to one force only. Every person needs two “reins”: the force of receiving and the force of bestowal; a “shell” on the side of receiving and a “shell” on the side of bestowal. Only this provides us with some “coordinate system” and places us somewhere.

But if everyone treats me lovingly, it will confuse and irritate me. I have to decide, to settle down somewhere. My brain can’t stand this and so it may finally come to hatred.

How can I guard myself when the Creator is revealed, so that I can handle the revelation of His love? How can I create borders around me, limits, so as not to lose my independence, my “self”? How can I establish my attitude towards Him too?

After all, I mustn’t conceal myself from the Creator’s love. He wants to reveal it to me to the fullest, and I seem to object; “No, that’s enough. I already see that you are treating me well.” This would be showing contempt to Him.

So the revelation of the Creator brings about many more problems than His concealment. A person has to establish internal systems that will enable him to manage himself under much stricter limitations. This is an ascent up the spiritual levels: stricter limitations, in order to work above the egoism and to build greater Masachim (screens).

At the same time, the stronger the desire is, the stronger the love is. In our world too, we love naughty children more than quiet children. The absolute love is actually perceived in “bad” desires and vessels. It is there that it is felt as positive or negative and from there, eventually it receives a response from the Creator. Eventually when a person’s worst vessels are corrected, he can return the same absolute love for the Creator…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Coming To The Lesson With A Request For Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If we prepare all day long for the lesson like for a meeting with a king, where it is possible to come with only one request, how would tomorrow’s lesson look?

Answer: You would receive a very great Light. You would feel how much it gives you. Through the material studied, you would begin to feel the spiritual system that bestows upon you. Dry lines (of the text) would be resurrected. They would acquire depth and transparency and create inner volume in everything. It would become clear to you that our entire world is flat, like a picture on the wall. And behind it, you would suddenly see a new dimension, a system that moves the whole picture and assembles its parts. When you feel the importance of the goal, you will begin being in it.

But in the meantime, we belittle the goal, reject it subconsciously, thus, of course, it is distant from us.

In any case, we must advance forward, and first of all to be concerned about understanding its importance. Even if we are advancing now, we must always pass over to the left line for critical clarification and see that it is not enough. With each day we must add efforts to the connection, and only to this.

Besides that, we must thank our friends from all over the world who perform dissemination and distribute explanatory materials. We need to support them in their work, it really helps us all very much.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/24/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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I Awaken The Dawn

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe have to understand that every movement we feel around us is given to us as help. After all, without it we wouldn’t be able to move. We also come across very exhausting states that last for days, and it seems to a person that there is no pleasure and no need for them.

There are days when a person sees himself as a beast. But in fact, it isn’t his job to check his state; he only needs to use every state correctly and to make the best of it. He may stay in these states until the end of his life. These states come from Above, but a person’s response comes from himself.

So we must constantly check and assess the essence of the state, not according to the state itself but according to our response to it, and thus decide whether it is good or bad. The states themselves may not change, but a person constantly responds to them differently trying to find different tricks in order to rise.

Although the state itself doesn’t change, he continues to fight stubbornly in order to reach some bestowal, some connection, to come closer to the Creator. This is exactly how he assesses these states, which let him feel even the slightest deficiency to enable him to advance.

He is grateful that he is not totally detached, and that the Creator gave him the desire and urge to cling to the end of the rope, and he expects that at any moment he will be led to the place where he will be able to exert himself. This is enough for him, he doesn’t ask for more.

It is in the most serious work that the slightest grip is required: just not to be detached. From that moment on, everything is already in a person’s hands.

So it is very important for a person to have a fixed schedule in studying, in dissemination, and in taking part in the group, and to constantly keep himself on track, at least several times a day, if he can.

It is all in a person’s hands and he should decide what he considers a “day” and what he considers a “night.” If he holds on to the end of the rope, it is already the beginning of the day. No matter what states are sent to him from Above, what is important is how he evokes himself. As it says “I will awaken the dawn!”

Question: What should my response to the states be?

Answer: If I don’t fall into a state of total unconsciousness, when I totally forget about spirituality and begin to think like an ordinary person, if I am given a feeling that there is the work of the Creator, a purpose to life, a means called the wisdom of Kabbalah, and other such thoughts and desires, at least as a reminder: This is the only thing that I need.

The state can be bad, but it makes no difference. It is enough if I only do my work no matter what all the other conditions are. I only want one thing no matter what happens: not to leave. If I have the end of the rope, I can hold on to it from now on and can advance from any possible state, even in the most difficult states if they are somehow connected to the goal, even in an opposite manner: It is enough.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/12, Shamati #175

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The Commandment: Love Thy Friend

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt isn’t easy to reach the understanding that the most important thing for us is the deficiency and that day and night and good and bad are measured in comparison to it.

If there is a deficiency, it is good and is called “day.” If there is no deficiency, it is called “night.” This is how you should always check yourself. This is completely opposite from what we are used to because it doesn’t match the feelings in our desire to receive but rather in our tendency for bestowal, for holiness.

You should picture yourself standing in front of the King, trying to please Him, to bestow upon Him. But what can you bestow upon Him, with what can you please Him so that it can be considered our bestowal? We should check what He enjoys.

All the actions the Creator enjoys are called Mitzvot, and they can be performed only with the help of the reforming Light, called the Torah. All the Mitzvot are in the connections among the created beings, and so love thy friend as thyself is a great rule in the Torah. It is called the correction of the general desire by means of the Torah because the Light in it reforms. Then thanks to all the actions in which we connect, one great bestowal is created, called the general vessel, the one soul.

This yearning is called day, and the actions of connection are called Mitzvot. The general attribute that is revealed in that is called the attribute of bestowal, or Masach, the Reforming Light, in which the Host’s pleasure is revealed and the Host Himself. The direct Light is revealed in the returning Light according to the equivalence of form. Thus we advance.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/12, Shamati #175

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A Storm In The Desert

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We are nearing the convention in the desert.

Answer: It is still doubtful. You are preparing it, but are you preparing yourselves? If there is the right deficiency, there will be a convention. If there is no deficiency, the meals won’t make the convention.

Question: How can we build this deficiency?

Answer: What are you going there for? Do you really lack something or is it just a trip? A most serious intention is required here. We must conquer this level in blood and tears. After all the word “tears” (Dmaot in Hebrew) is related to the world “blood” (Dam).
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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When The Light Is Present But Doesn’t Correct

Dr. Michael LaitmanOn the spiritual path a person discovers terrible egoistic desires which show him how deeply he is in receiving. Then his attitude towards others is described as mistakes. Baal HaSulam writes about this in the “Introduction to the Study of The Ten Sefirot“: With this we understand the words of our sages: that one who repents from fear is rewarded with his sins becoming mistakes.”

First the egoistic desires are revealed to a person as sins, and now he passes them to the level of mistakes, to an easier level. On the whole, the correction is always gradual: First we raise the desire to the level of Bina, and then to the level of Keter. First, in the level of Bina, we neutralize the desire.

We cannot bestow with it yet, but at least we don’t let it cause harm. At the same time, we are in single concealment, while before we were in a double concealment: “that the sins one makes extend to him from the reception of Providence through double concealment.”

If both the face and the posterior of the Light are concealed, I am in a double concealment. Then I have to sin because I am under the control of my egoistic desire, the desire to receive in order to receive, until a Light appears from Above and corrects my desire.

But there are states in which the Light is concealed. It is present, but it doesn’t correct. This is single concealment. The presence of the Light still makes me fear to receive: it is as if it warns me, guards me, and keeps me on the level of mistakes, but not sins.

But if the Light is totally concealed and doesn’t deter me, then I lose control and am under the domination of my egoism, which does whatever it wants with me.

On the whole, I am between the force of bestowal and the force of receiving. The account is very simple: Which of the two forces pressures me more strongly? If the force of the Creator, the force of the Light, influences me more strongly, then I will undoubtedly bestow. But if the force of the Light is weaker, then I will undoubtedly carry out the orders of my egoistic desire and move on to the level of “sins.”



It is the same with us: If society, the police, or the family hold me and prevent me from doing bad deeds, then I am okay. But if there aren’t such restraining factors, I begin to “go wild.” One way or another, there is no choice: A person is under the influence of one of the forces.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/25/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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