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Weekly Torah Portion – 03.02.12

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “HaShavua,” Selected Excerpts
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Building Blocks Of The First Spiritual Degree

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: It was said that it is impossible to attain the revelation of the Creator without joy. But I do not understand how can you feel joy when working against your desire, against egoism?

Answer: Maybe some feel joyful when dancing in a club. But here we are joyful about working for the spiritual goal. It is written: “Our heart will rejoice at Them.”

Maybe you would like to be joyful, but you do not feel this joy in your heart. There is one advice for this: Try to be joyful! You will see how this will affect the others who will look at you and then they will also start dancing and singing. And you will also feel joy by looking at them.

It does not matter if at first your joy is simulated. If you do not play and remain “sincere,” according to your egoism, you will remain as the rest of the world. The entire world behaves absolutely sincerely:They act as their egoism commands them to act.

But you want to come out of your egoism, and this can only be done by playing. We play as if we really want bestowal, as if we need the group, as if we need the Creator. All this we do “as if,” because what do I really need: to consume the world!

Play is a very serious thing. You see how seriously little children play, and their play helps them grow. No matter what you study, your understanding comes through the exercises. Exercise is also play; you are being instructed to do certain actions, which have no other purpose but to make you learn.

Spiritual work is also play. It is like in the case of a child who was given building blocks to build something. Does anyone really need whatever he will build? But he thinks that he is really building, that he is doing something important. And this is really important because this makes him grow.

And we must do the same now; we must play with the higher degree like children. As if we were already connected and happy, revealing the Creator. We need to play with it! And you will really achieve it by playing because you attract the Reforming Light by playing.

You have no connection with the upper Light, but you awaken it from afar by playing. When a child plays, he also awakens the same Reforming Light, only he plays corporeal games, and this is why the Light influences him on the same level. The same principle applies here.

This is very serious. You think I am just lecturing you, but this is the foundation of creation. We experiment with this world and learn that this is the way things work. Kabbalists do not give us any strange, illogical advice: We only need to make a little effort to try to understand it.

These are unchanging laws, like the laws of physics. And spiritual laws are even more strict and precise that the laws of our world, the laws of physics and chemistry. The conditions for awakening the force that will change and grow you are being explained to you. This refers to the actions which you do to awaken the forces of nature. And you have nothing to object here: The only thing left for you to do is to approach it as seriously as you can and play.
From the Arava Arvut Convention 2/23/12 Lesson #2

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The Influence Of The Women’s Group On The Men’s Group

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Men’s work on integral unity takes 7-8 hours a day. Is a woman supposed to spend as much 
time studying?

Answer: Women have much fewer problems than men because their work begins when they join work 
around the men’s group.

Before that, their work is in theoretical studies, and there cannot be any ties there. This includes discussions, role playing, and dedicating a lot of time to the upbringing of children from the integral perspective, and so on, but not on the relationships between women, which they will feel is a just violation of their nature.

A woman’s group begins to observe the men and their mutual work only once they are ready and the men’s group is sufficiently trained in theory and is already undergoing practical integration among themselves. We gradually begin to teach them the foundations of the help needed from their part to attain the next state: the state of unity, harmony, and the perception of nature on the next level of “Adam” (“Man”), which we can reach through this kind of unity.

The men’s group attains unity with their own strength, as a man attains fulfillment and food.

The women’s group helps them with it, inspires, pushes them, and serves as a very powerful tool for men without which they cannot unite. The women must influence men very carefully without disturbing their sensation of uniting, they must give the men a feeling that they are expecting it from them, they value them, inspire them, and treat them like a mother to a child.

Every woman can relate to men this way, and the men feel the woman’s influence. This is why the women’s group takes on the fundamental role in moving the men’s group towards unity, by influencing it with its inspiration and expectation, like a mother: “What do I expect from my child.” And the child feels that the mother is expecting a certain result from him.

All this needs to be done carefully and gently to avoid causing the feeling of indifference in men or a negative reaction. Everything must be done very delicately, to a certain extent, and always measured.

When both groups look at themselves objectively from aside, they feel that they need each other. I admit to the women’s group that I need its support and influence, its inspiration, its expectation of something of me. This will inspire, support me, and rouse me toward achieving a result.

In general, there is a huge range of influences of mutual feelings and expectations. If all of this is done through indirect contact, from afar, through “induction” from the women’s group to the men’s group, then a result of proper mutual interaction is achieved.

And as a result, the men’s group attains unity with the help of the women’s group. And this unity is passed on to the women’s group.

But these groups do not merge, do not mix; they keep existing as two “circles”: the external – women’s, and the internal – men’s.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #10, 12/16/11

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The Power Of Women’s Support

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I played basketball when I was young, and I remember that our team had better results when there were girls sitting on the bench, quietly supporting us. But when guys were sitting, the inspiration wasn’t there. In groups of integral upbringing, how will women observe men: through video cameras?

Answer: From time to time we organize mutual picnics, trips, and meetings. We know each other, but in principle, this knowledge is pointless. I do not need to know anyone’s face.

It is simply the weight of the women, which shows me that it depends on me and waits for the manifestation of my masculine inclination; this is enough. They do not interfere in our work, but just like the players on the field, we must feel this pressure.

I must feel on my back the gaze of the women’s part, which evokes all these actions in me, not pride or any other egoistic impulses, but responsibility for the  expectation that we will enter a new level. This is necessary.

Women are not pushing us towards individual acts of heroism, but specifically towards rising above ourselves and unity. At the same time, each one of us loses himself, but together we attain the form of “Adam.”
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #10, 12/16/11

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“BRICs No Less Vulnerable To Global Risks”

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (from Reuters): “Risk consultancy Maplecroft said its Global Risk Atlas, which highlights potentially destabilising factors in the world’s key growth economies, found that Brazil, Russia, India and China were no less susceptible to potential security or economic shocks than in previous years….

“For some of them, governance and reform have not kept pace with economic growth, leaving them vulnerable to potential risks such as terrorism or climate change, the survey found.

“According to the report, India and Russia are among 41 countries classified as ‘high risk’, with poor governance, systemic corruption and terrorism identified as particular risks.

“China, meanwhile, is also exposed to security issues, but is classified as ‘medium risk’ due to the unlikelihood of social or political upheaval on a national scale, the report said.

“Brazil, also ranked ‘medium risk’, is considered the least susceptible to global risks of the four BRICs, due in part to the stability of its political structure and record of strong governance.”

My Comment: The crisis will spare no one because it is global and will eventually lead to the need for all countries to change goals and development programs, to replace the material development of society of unlimited consumption  with a society of reasonable consumption, and instead of chasing fulfillment in shopping, fulfilling oneself above our life with what a human seeks subconsciously.

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Income Inequality Is Inversely Correlated With Happiness

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Shigehiro Oishi, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia): “Using General Social Survey data from 1972 to 2008, we found that Americans were on average happier in the years with less national income inequality than in the years with more national income inequality. We further demonstrated that this inverse relation between income inequality and happiness was explained by perceived fairness and general trust.”

My Comment: According to many studies, happiness is measured relative to others, and that is why, no doubt, it will be optimally felt in a society of equal members.

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Distinctive Characteristics Of The Future Society

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You have mentioned that we need to paint a fine, comfortable life in our imagination which we would wish for our children, like a fairy tale, the farthest possible state from our reality, a state of utopia?

Answer: I have omitted many details in my explanation, and I only said that we need to try to imagine this state. But we have not yet discussed the things that are characteristic of that “utopian” kind of life. This is a kind of society where everyone is on the same level of prosperity, every person receives everything he needs for a normal life, cares for others and has the opportunity to fully participate in the life of society.

At the same time we will be able to fully fulfill all human passions. There is a reason we have qualities like competition, envy, fervor, fame, and power. This remains the same but we find a new way to use them for the good of mankind. We’ll have to work with our qualities in a new and very interesting way. How will I be able to use envy, passion, glory, authoritativeness, vast knowledge, and cunningness for benefit and not harm? These are very interesting objectives, which can become fun activities for every person.

No one is saying that we need to remain on a level where every person is only guaranteed food, reproduction, family, shelter, safety, health, and education. We’ll be able to continue raising the level of life around the world, while still keeping balance with nature. And then the blows of nature will stop, and we’ll be able to provide for us all the abundance we want. No one thinks that we need to limit ourselves and only live the life of the physical body, settling for the minimal requirements. This is just our nearest objective: lifting everyone above the poverty line.

It would be interesting to build a model of a new court, which would evaluate human behavior—is a person’s behavior correct or not: what he thinks, wants, does, and how he should live. In other words, this is a part of the same environment where the person is brought up intended only for special cases where we evaluate all these deviations from the rule, and now in our society, we’ll now create a model of this kind of trial.

The reaction of society will help a person judge whether his behavior is correct and whether the society agrees with him. This is because everything must head in one direction meaning that when his intentions are for the benefit of the environment, he and his children merit respect and good treatment, which manifests in different forms, signs of distinction, etc. And when he does not behave well, social pressure will influence him so he will change his attitude and feel comfortable as a result of it. But this is not done by oppressing or imprisoning the person, only through disapproval expressed by friends, relatives, and social stigma.

It is also necessary to figure out what people need in order to feel fulfillment in life. There needs to be a service via a computer network, which collects every person’s requests in relation to his personality and habits and whereby all the needs of the people will be satisfied. Every person will be able to receive his “consumer basket.” He will not need to worry about providing for himself; society will take care of that.

This entire system has many factors that need to be taken into consideration when governing a society. Will the current and experienced systems continue to exist or we will need to create new systems which will be under the constant influence of the same environment and social control? All these things are very interesting. But in any case, we will need to learn how to perfect ourselves and our environment. This is the foundation of everything.

This way we are always building the environment and using it to build ourselves. And the environment must always be somewhat more creative and advanced than me, and then it will influence me, and I will achieve more advanced states. I will always think about what my teacher should be like so that he will be able to educate me in a good and proper manner. What should his image be like so I would be able to learn proper behavior from him? How will this image affect me? How do I shape this image so I can see it before me without losing connection with it thereby allowing it to shape me as an individual? Essentially, this image is “I,” but on a higher level because this is the way I imagine something more exalted. And then I strive to become like it, similar in qualities to the image I have created.

“Similarity” stands for correspondence in qualities according to, “Be as merciful as He is,” which means that I want to feel the same mercy, participation, and love for Him that He feels for me, like a teacher feels for his student. This is called similarity in qualities.

This image is factually a combination of qualities I imagine to be ideal, but they are not a fantasy, they are just a bit better than my qualities. I check to see the manifestation of my bad qualities, which is the degree of my realization of evil and my desire to correct the layer, the section, which has now been revealed in me. And then I see this section in its opposite form in relation to my environment or the image of my teacher. And the image of my teacher and my environment are the same thing.

Question: It seems that my first step is to check my attitude on a scale in relation to my neighbor: whether it benefits him. What do we do next, what is our next step?

Answer: Evaluate how you would like to see yourself if you were to correct your attitude towards others. In other words, you imagine yourself on the plus one level, a more advanced degree of your attitude, for the good of your neighbor and the environment. This is referred to as the “image of the teacher” or the “image of the environment” (the society). This is the way to choose the best environment every time. But now start admiring these qualities and strive to acquire the same principles and values.

Question: How?

Answer: Imagine better qualities every time.

Comment: But then I imagine something that does not exist in me because if these qualities were in me, I would not need to invent them.

Answer: Try to strive towards them every time.

Question: How?

Answer: When you are able to imagine better qualities than you have, you are ready to advance; you just don’t know how to do it. Ask the environment to either shame or praise you. And when you are in the best environment possible, it will give you confidence that you are able to attain the qualities you are now imagining.

After all, how do you manage to feel bad? It is because you are you in a particular environment. I am in a circle of certain people. This circle is called “integral upbringing.” I feel and reveal people and all my faults in this circle, and I also feel what I need to correct in me. This means that I am in the state of realization of my evil in relation to the environment. And then the environment shows my next degree with its attitude; it’s as if I would connect with these people in the tightest and most internal way possible and in absolute similarity in qualities if not for the evil I have just revealed in me.

Question: So I need to imagine my own corrected qualities, or will the society show them to me?

Answer: It is the same thing, how else can you imagine them? Where will the realization of evil come from? It comes to you by being in a society; you need a certain scale. You are able to understand that you treat them incorrectly, in an evil way. What is the right attitude? It’s when you feel your society so close to you that you are ready to connect with them on the inside. I am not talking about a physical embrace but similarity in qualities.

Comment: Then I would treat them well, not like I treat them now.

Answer: They also treat you differently. You compare their attitude with yours and understand how bad you are.

Comment: Not everyone treats me well there; we are not yet in the Garden of Eden.

Answer: Everything depends on where you see the evil, and this is called realization of evil. The realization of your evil happens in relation to them. There needs to be a certain scale, which should be targeted.

Question: This means that I measure according to the way a part of people treat me in different circumstances. Is this my criteria of goodness?

Answer: Yes, it is also your personal criteria. In other words, you determine the society’s good attitude towards you, and also your bad attitude towards it. And then the difference between the society’s attitude toward you and your attitude toward the society is the realization of evil.

This makes you feel bad. By virtue of their influence on you, you feel as if you are inferior to them. If they express a positive reaction toward you, they give you a positive grade. The society treats you well and it tells you that its good attitude toward you is the highest grade; it is the actual goodness. And this has a greater value in comparison to your attitude toward your environment. That is, you are on a lower level, and it makes you feel the corruption of your ego. This pushes you to achieve similarity to the environment.

It turns out that on one hand, you feel that your ego is corrupt, but on the other hand, you don’t have a choice, you are being pushed towards coming closer to the qualities of these people, to become like them. And the environment influences you through examples like these, and you start to become more and more like it out of hopelessness. It’s similar to the way children learn by following the example of their teacher.

For example, my grandson just went to kindergarten where my student works. Now when I talk to my grandson, I see his teacher’s personality manifest through him. You don’t need anything else to understand a person. And when I later saw my student, I told him that I had no idea he was such a character. Of course he was surprised that I know such things about him. And I told him that I see these character traits in my grandson. This is how the environment brings up a person.

However, a person must also use his strengths in order to be more closely connected to the environment. But this is not just his personal strength. Together we must influence every person to strengthen his connection with everyone else, to make him come more often. It turns out that there will be changes in every one of us to the degree of the natural connection.

The main thing is to always test the common inner attitude in a society, to make sure it’s always directed towards unity, interconnectedness, mutual feelings, and love. And then the person will change, regardless of whether he wants to or not. Naturally none of us wish to change, we know human nature. And every one of us knows it, but hopelessness still makes a person enter the system, which changes him against his initial desire (the egoistic nature). But it doesn’t break him; it only changes the use of his ego in him to make it constructive for the benefit of his neighbor, environment, and mankind as a whole. And then every person who goes through this educational system, changes and builds a new world in this way.
From KabTV’s “ A New Life” Episode 8, 1/5/12

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The Creator And I Meet In The Group

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen a person approaches the revelation of the Creator, he feels that he is standing at Mount Sinai. On one hand there is all of his evil desire, but on the other hand, he understands that in order to attain the goal and reveal the Creator, he needs to prepare his desire to receive the quality of bestowal, which is copied from Him. After all, “man” (Adam) means: “similar” (Domeh) to the Creator.

And so, together we prepare our desire to receive for different forms of bestowal so it could accept the imprint. This is the state of the giving of the Torah, about which it is written: “You all appear today…” Not one, but all: Because it is in our common unity that we will reveal the upper force.

Essentially a very simple thing is required to prepare the material of desire. It is true that this action no longer pertains to our world, and this is why it is difficult for us. It is called: mutual inclusion. We all must become mutually included in one another, connect to one another through our desires, and nothing else. Then, just like before the breaking, we will reach the “place,” where the upper Light can enter, and make its imprint.

And for this reason, it does not matter what we do if we just keep the direction to unite, to reveal the Creator; as it is written: “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.” “Israel” is man. “Torah” is the power of the Light that unites us to the point of loving our neighbor like ourselves. And the “Creator” is the Root, which gives us His imprint when we unite.

This way I stand on one side of the group, and the Creator stands on the other. And if He and I are able to meet in the group, then there the revelation takes place.

This is the way we advance. Essentially, all our work is preparing for it. This will happen to us if we all stand together.
From the Arava Arvut Convention 2/23/12 Lesson #2

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An Inverted Imprint

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I start with revealing that I am the Pharaoh’s slave and with time I become the Creator’s slave, then where is my “I”?

Answer: You are still to find your “I.” We are not yet people; we only say that we supposedly already exist. The point in the heart is the beginning of man in me; it is the drop of semen from which I will grow. And I am still to reveal my “I.”

So far I am “nothing”: I do not exist. (When you change the order of the letters in the word “I” – “Ani” you get “nothing” – “Ain”, and the creature is called “created out of nothing” “existence from absence” (Yesh Mi Ain). This form of the Creator, which is being revealed in me to the extent to which I prepare my material to adopt this form of the Creator, will be called my “I” (Ani). In other words the imprint of the Creator in me will be my I, and everything else will remain “nothing.”

This is because the desire is not mine, it comes from Him, He does all the actions. I do not exist as an individual who makes decisions. If I prepare the material to perceive His qualities, which He imprints in me, inside my material, then I will be this imprint. This form is called the soul.

The form of the Creator, imprinted in my desire, is called the soul, and that is what I am.
From the Arava Arvut Convention 2/23/12 Lesson #2

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