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The Last Drop Of Effort

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When you are incorporated in a collective action, you sometimes feel united with the friends even in your thoughts, but at the last moment you feel that something is missing, an effort within an effort, the last drop. How can we achieve this last drop so we can come to the general cry, so that we will be able to open our hearts once and for all?

Answer: That last drop is exactly the point of birth, the point of the exodus from Egypt, and it’s the most difficult. A person is ready to go almost to the end, and then he sees a wall in front of him, something he can’t overcome, and suddenly he has endless excuses. His evil inclination tells him, “You still have to take care of this and that, you haven’t studied all of the Study of the Ten Sefirot yet, you don’t know all the Shamati articles yet, there is still so much you have to do,” and so on.

And it’s the same in relation to the friends, meaning that when you actually reach the point that you can now break your ego and connect, to make the welding point between you and the friends, you can’t do it. To create a point of soldering means that this drop of glue will now fall on the connection between you and the friends, and glue you together in a single adhesion. You can’t do that. At the last moment you suddenly pull back.

Only a general effort will help here. Therefore the prayer of an individual doesn’t help. A prayer should be the “prayer of the many,” when you pray for the friends and not for yourself, and when the entire group or most of the group prays together. But you are telling us about an individual effort. You can tell me about an individual effort for another thousand years, nothing will happen to you. The direction is familiar but it’s wrong because you don’t worry about the connection with the friends.
From the Arava Arvut Convention Lesson #3, 2/24/12

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Open Heart Surgery

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the small effort that needs to be applied by each person in order to open his heart and finally reveal the opening into the spiritual world?

Answer: First and foremost I must include everyone in my heart. You can think it over or keep it in your sensations. It all depends on how you work in the heart and in the mind. You might not want to remain in your sensations; it depends on the person. For me, it helps to add reason because it strengthens my sensation. I absorb everything into my heart and remember that the entire universe is contained within a person, and that he embodies the entire world. I include all my friends in my heart because for the time being I’m unable to include the entire world. If I posses an aspiration toward my fellow friends, then undoubtedly they posses an aspiration toward me as well. We don’t even need to talk about it. I really begin to feel that they exist within me, like a mother that feels her children within.

Thereby I obtain a more accurate perception of reality, which exists within me. Baal HaSulam writes that the picture of the world occurs in the back of our brain and the sensation of the world occurs in our heart. There is no world outside of my sensation.

My heart is Malchut of the world of Infinity, but if I include everyone within me, then I become Adam ha Rishon (the First Man) and the picture of the Creator becomes revealed within me. My material will obtain the form of Adam and when the Creator’s form becomes enrobed in it, it’s called adhesion of the Creator with the creation, or unification of Zeir Anpin with Malchut.

I receive confirmation from every end that all I need to do is absorb all of reality within. I begin this by working with friends because we can influence and help one another. The first opening of the heart depends upon my understanding of the fact that I don’t have another option. I’ve raised my hands in despair, seeing that I haven’t achieved anything. I’ve become certain that there’s no other way to reach the source of life and to attain its purpose. Therefore, I’m ready to open up.

Although it may be that you might decide that you haven’t explored all your options. This is because a person’s egoism always tries to convince him that he can still try to obtain success on his own through different means. Only as a result of becoming totally disappointed one agrees to unite with friends. This is the last thing left for me to do. If I become disappointed with all of my pursuits, if all of my attempts to succeed end in failure, only then as a result of my hopelessness, despair, and extreme pressure do I agree to unite.

This is similar to an infant that would be glad to remain inside the mother, he doesn’t want to leave, but the pressure is pushing him out of her! Do you think that the sons of Israel wanted to exit Egypt? While they were in the desert they already regretted leaving Egypt where they had everything. No one wants to be born into the spiritual world because we’re all egoists. It’s a very difficult transition and that’s why it’s so narrow (Tzar) and it’s called the birthing pains (Tzirim).

It’s said that a pregnant doe goes high into the mountains and until a snake comes along and bites her, the doe will not be able to give birth. The snake represents the worst egoism, and until it becomes revealed in a person, he isn’t ready to be born.
From the Arava Arvut Convention Lesson #3, 2/24/12

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To Get Out Of The Dark, Start To Care About Others

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe prayer of the many means the praying for others. You will come out of the dark, only if you worry about others. This is our only work. But see what we have to go through in this world throughout history in our evolution by different blows and preparations, until we attain this. And what is all this for, meaning science, technology, all these crises, the economic problems, everything? From the negativity of everything around us we’ll reach the understanding that there is no other choice but to connect.

We cannot reach connection directly. Only when a person examines his dealings and sees that they’re futile is he ready to exert himself in the spiritual work. Even then he is not ready, but he comes to the group and is empowered there. He is empowered positively and negatively and then he is ready for connection.

Of course, it is done by blows. The plagues of Egypt are all for connection. We experience disappointments as a group and individually, and this is in order for us to realize our own helplessness and to understand that there is no other way to advance but by connection. Only then will we be ready to exit Egypt. Through all the sufferings, all the plagues of Egypt we read about, all the hard work, and when they wanted to build beautiful cities, through hard, thankless labor, they suddenly discover that they don’t get anything from all that. All the years of hunger they experience, all the plagues are on their ego which doesn’t let them connect.

How many plagues do they have to experience until they understand that there’s no choice but to escape—into the darkness, no matter where or how—only to escape? But this work can be done easily. We are on a different level of development than the level of which the Torah speaks. We don’t have to experience all this physically. They have been through all that already. Every spiritual action must have a copy in corporeality, and this action already took place in history, so now it can take place only in spirituality.

So our path is really much shorter. There is only the spiritual effort left without suffering in material bondage, wandering in the desert, and without going through all those phases. It remains only to make spiritual effort and to connect!
From the Arava Arvut Convention Lesson #3, 2/24/12

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The Barrier Is In Your Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: All the people who have gathered here and the whole world Kli are actually depicted inside me. They all want one thing only: that I will reach the Creator. So why don’t I want that?! It turns out that I draw this barrier, but does it really exist?

Answer: The barrier is in my heart; it is a psychological barrier. What kind of a Machsom (barrier) are we talking about? I have to change my vision from looking at myself to looking at the friends. This shift, this inversion, that I have to make is called the Machsom.

But if we make mutual efforts in order to start treating society this way, to see it as more important than myself and let it enter my heart, then this collective thought helps me. This is called “every man shall help his friend,” and this collective thought gives everyone the power to carry it out. It is as the Rabash says that in every one of us there is a very small spiritual power, this inversion has a very small power, but together, when everyone gets the power from everyone, we will be able to do it.

We will make collective efforts, everyone on his own and all of us together, in the world Kli, in all its parts, in all its kinds, all of us together. That’s how it’s done. And for sure, for sure we will succeed. Nothing will prevent us. It is our only free action. The Creator is expecting this from us; the world is expecting this from us, although it doesn’t realize that yet.

There is nothing here but the fact that everyone should incorporate himself in others or let everyone enter his heart. If we all think about that, you will see what the results will be. We have come to transcend the Machsom, so let’s make an effort. This is what we are doing here and now.
From the Arava Arvut Convention Lesson #3, 2/24/12

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The Audacity Of A Prayer

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalists tell us that the upper Light is in absolute rest and that nothing changes but the person himself. When a person changes, the Reshimot, (reminiscences) in him change, and if he knows how to organize the Reshimot, this is the world he gets. So there is no problem in working with ourselves, among us. If we know how to connect, how to organize our society so that it will constantly be connected the way it should, we will feel whatever we want in it. These are actually all the tools that were given to us and we don’t need more than that.

If the Light doesn’t change and the Reshimot in us constantly advance us towards it, we must constantly be more and more similar to the Light among us. It is simple and it depends only on us and not on any external factor. It doesn’t even depend on the Creator because the upper Light, His force, is in absolute rest. The way you place yourself with regard to it, together with the society, (because otherwise you don’t perceive it, everyone and more importantly all of us together), this is how we receive bestowal and feel it in the form of our world.

Therefore, wanting to connect our aspirations above ourselves so that they will be connected above us and in them we will feel our spiritual reality is the most important action for us. This is what the prayer is for. A prayer is when a person judges himself. To pray means to judge yourself. First a person must be his own judge: “Who am I, what am I in my present state, and who do I want to be?” the gap between what there is now and what is desired the next moment is actually raising MAN, which is a prayer.

We should determine correctly where we are now. This is called “the recognition of evil”: Our present state is still bad. And so at every moment, even in the more advanced states, the present moment is felt in us as bad and the more advanced state is felt as better. So it says: “Stay away from evil and do good.” Why does it say, “Do good”? What is the good I can do if the good is waiting for me in the next state? To “do good” means to imagine, to try, to play with it, to be in it, in this good.

And this is a prayer: To what extent am I in the recognition of evil in the present state, and how much I yearn for the desired state, to attain the good. How do I check the evil and the good? “To bring contentment to the Creator,” “to bestow upon Him,” it is all very vague and no one knows what it means. We don’t understand and don’t attain this, but only reach this attainment after having prepared ourselves.

How should we prepare ourselves? Here we receive a great gift: an environment in which I can aim myself at the Creator, the state from which I can leap to spirituality. The moment I adjust myself to this state with the others, it is revealed among us. Kabbalists prepared prayers for us, a plea from a person to “us” and to the Creator, which are actually very helpful in helping us reach the right approach.

The truth is that no one is worthy and no one deserves this. It is a wonder that it is possible to transcend from corporeality to spirituality.

Baal HaSulam says in letter 56: The Creator measures a person his measure. And so it says in the Bible: “that the sin of the Amorite is not complete yet,” and this is also our issue. The sin of the Amorite is the shell that protects the fruit, called “an awakening from Above,” or the Land of Israel. And this shell will not move even one bit, before Israel fully complete the measure of “an awakening from below,” that is obliged and that is called a “virtue.” That is the exertion and the labor above human power.

Because what is in a person’s power is called just simply work and is not an exertion, and when Israel come to this point, then they complete their measure, and then it means that “the sin of the Amorite is complete.” Meaning that it is clear to all that there is no Land of Israel and the honor of the Creator, the Divinity belongs to them. Then the shell called the “Amorite” is broken and Divinity is raised from the dust, and not before that, not even a moment, as it says.

On one hand, we should really understand that we don’t belong to spirituality. On the other hand, we must be audacious like is inherent in children and their demands. The lower level is always unworthy of the higher level, but makes demands of the higher level. It is written: “My sons have defeated me.” Audacity is what helps here. What audacity? I don’t deserve anything, but I demand it. All this must be included in the prayer.

What is special about a prayer? A prayer cannot be from one individual, but from all of us together. One person who prays is like a shout in the desert; it doesn’t affect anything. We must raise MAN, Mei Nukvin, when Malchut rises to Bina and Malchut is Knesset Israel (the assembly of Israel), which means that it assembles all the requests together. If a request comes from an individual, it is not received; it is not included in the spiritual vessel, in the Shechina (Divinity). So let’s try and feel our prayer, our collective desire, together.
From the Arava Arvut Convention Lesson #3, 2/24/12

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Evolving At The Speed Of Light

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn reality, spiritual work is very short and easy if we rise above egoistic intention and want to check to what extent we exist inside of it. We need only to look from the outside because it’s impossible to explore and experience this while you are inside your ego, as it rules over you and bribes you, depriving you of the ability to study critically.

In order to be an objective researcher and impartial judge, you have to be completely independent of what you examine. And this is a very high degree. But you need to try and begin from small things, to evaluate yourself as critically as possible. This is called the realization of evil. You must constantly check what your intention is to any action, look, or movement. At this point, you can immediately proceed to request to change your nature because our nature is egoistic, but there is another form nature: bestowal.

We see in our history how many billions of years were required to develop the still level of nature, hundreds of thousand years each to develop the vegetative and animate levels. Then we see how fast human evolution was as the last stage of development of the animate level that goes beyond the normal animal. It took only 20-30 thousand years. But each degree has its set stages, called the Sefirot, and we see how much the 20th century has added to our final development in comparison with all the previous millennia.

The same will happen in our spiritual development, only much faster. Everything that unfolded in history for thousands, millions, and billions of years can happen to us in a few hours. There is no time in spirituality! These changes can be instant. And especially because we live in such a time when all of humanity (that is, the whole universe) begins to approach the realization of evil of its egoistic intention, its ego, it’s not a miracle that it will be revealed completely. Many people in the world already need this and more or less understand, but just don’t see the opportunity to do something. They all say nice words, but don’t go beyond them.

This means that our changes can be very fast, and everything depends on us. And that is why “we have gathered here to ascend to the degree of man,” who is the master of his intention whether it will be for its own sake or for the sake of bestowal. We just need to catch this intention “by its tail” and constantly analyze in what intention we are, doing only this all the time. No matter what actions we perform, the most important thing is intention.

The world that operates on the basis of action is called this world because there is only one intention. And the world that operates on the basis of intention is called the upper world. If a person reveals that his intention is egoistic, this is already called the spiritual or upper world, however only from the “left side,” from the side of the impure force, shell (Klipa). But this is already a spiritual level, so we should be interested even in discovering evil and rejoice that we have revealed it.

The main thing is that I approach studying in terms of intention. And whether it’s good or bad, for its own sake or for the sake of bestowal is not important; my task is to get deeper into it and live only in it. Thus, I move into a totally different dimension of my life, meaning I discover the relation to it only according to intention. And I worry about nothing else. If we fully concentrate on this, we will find a tiny, narrow opening into the spiritual world! It’s only in this.

The difficulty is to catch one’s intention each time and to stay in it constantly. Then, we begin to evolve at the speed of light! It will hardly take any time at all; this is already labor pains through which we are born into the world of intentions.
From the Arava Arvut Convention 2/23/12 Lesson #1 

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A Ghost Is Roaming Europe…

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist): “The 130-billion euro aid will not save Athens from default, and ultimately Greece will have no choice but to leave the EU. Politicians are not paving the road for exiting the crisis, but leading the EU to the collapse.

“’Europe is a major threat not only to the US, but the entire world economy. A total failure of European politicians to develop a comprehensive anti-crisis solution… is evident.’

“‘The strategy of cutting back on spending during the crisis does not help.

“‘There is a widespread misconception that a time of saving is suitable for structural reforms because the transformation will make more people unemployed. Structural reforms must be carried out at a time of prosperity of the economy. The Lost Decade in Europe is the end of the EU story that simply will not survive such a weak growth.

“‘The crisis heats up society. The “Arab Spring” can spread around the world, or on the opposite, there might be a slant towards authoritarian regimes, like it happened in Hungary. The example of Hungary is a possible scenario for Europe, and it is very scary. The world is now in the state like in 1934, and the economic crisis creates high political volatility. … I have never seen such uncertainty. Any turn of events is possible in social order.”

My Comment: Again, he advocates expanding the economy, rather than bringing it to a reasonable size, and strengthening the consumer society, rather than against it. The EU will disappear not due to the lack of growth, but due to the lack of unity because it is not the EU by concept. And as for the possibilities of the Nazi regimes in the EU countries, Baal HaSulam wrote about it in his newspaper “The Nation (HaUma)” 70 years ago.

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