Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
From a lesson of Rabash: In the corporeal world we see that the embryo is first in the mother’s womb and then he comes out into another place—into the world. But in the spiritual world there is no place. So what is the meaning of “birth?”
The rule is: What in spirituality is called “near by” or “far away” is a matter of equivalence of form. If there are two different forms, it is two places. Every form is called “a place.”
While the embryo was inside the mother he had no name. We don’t say that he is pregnant but that the mother is pregnant, carrying the child, because he doesn’t have a name yet. An embryo is called “the thickness of the root level.” He doesn’t have a desire to receive of his own yet. He only annuls himself before the upper one in every way, and so he is considered an inseparable part of his mother and he eats whatever his mother eats.
But when the phase of pregnancy is over and he already has the whole Light of Nefesh (NRNHY of Nefesh), the upper one gives him thickness that is called “thickness of phase one.” Although it is small, his desire to receive already has its own entity, which means that there is already a difference in form. They are not the same anymore, and so he doesn’t annul himself before the upper one. This is called being in two different places, or “birth.”
The most important spiritual principle is equivalence of form, and it is the only thing we should worry about. All the other rules we discover in different sciences, in culture, in education, in psychology—all the rules of reality are only different results of this one major principle: equivalence or lack of equivalence of form with the Creator.
All the movements with regard to Him symbolize a greater or lesser adaptation to Him. All the changes are in the created being. The Creator is always good and benevolent, absolute bestowal and love. We, however, move all the time changing in relation to His attribute, and everything that we feel is only our changes with regard to this discernment, although we are not aware of it.
Until we feel so bad that we begin to look for the answer: Why?! And then we discover this law and begin to work on ourselves, in order to reach equivalence of form.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/12, Preface to The Zohar
As a result of the shattering, the one, general soul was divided into a huge number of souls. Each piece of the general soul is called Adam (man, human) and feels that it is separated from the other pieces. These parts feel that they want to receive since at present, their nature is the desire to receive.
Their desires to receive constitutes the same HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey) only now it is broken, shattered to fragments. Thus in this HaVaYaH there are 4 parts: the levels of inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking. These parts feel that they exist harmoniously. This is the form of the desire that has influence on them after the shattering. This is how they feel themselves.
If the desire would rise above, then the feeling of existence for each of the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels would disappear. The inanimate world would disappear and it would feel itself as part of the desire, of the force, which has the intention of how to use this desire. This is the real form of existence, not the previous existence of the inanimate level.
When these parts of the general soul of Adam reach the lowest, shattered point, then each part of it feels that it just exists, without any intention. Everything disappears, is lost. There is no Masach (screen), no Tzimtzum (restriction). There is nothing that will be above the desire. Everything exists within it. And when perception is within the desire, then the desire feels itself as we feel this reality before us.
So, what should we do? All in all, we need to again attach these pieces to each other and to change their intention. We don’t know where each piece belongs, with whom it needs to connect, in what way, or how all the parts need to be connected since for each one of them there is an infinite number of possibilities to connect with others, and all of these possible connections must be realized and carried out. In addition, each piece is connected to the rest of the pieces like a holographic picture since there is no part, even the smallest, that isn’t composed from HaVaYaH and won’t be connected via his HaVaYaH with the rest of the HaVaYaH’s. It is really so.
Thus, we don’t need anything except to bring all the parts of creation closer and connect between them. The Kabbalists say that you don’t have to worry about the joining of the wolf with the sheep, or the stone with the flower. You only need to worry about the unity at a higher level, at the level of speaking, since it consists of all the other levels that are below it, like a pyramid.
You can cause a correction if you change your intention with the help of the Light that Reforms. You are on the upper level, since it is only there that you can execute a correction. A correction is carried out when there is a change of intention. The rest of the levels lost the intention that they had before the shattering. And before the shattering, they were connected with the level of Adam, but afterwards they were severed from it.
Adam in its true and corrected form included in it all the levels of inanimate, vegetative, and animate, that “fell” as a result of the shattering. If man would correct himself, of course, the other levels would also join him since this is the structure. Also in the present, shattered state, a connection exists between everyone, but this connection is not good.
You bring the Light that Reforms to the upper level, and it already joins to it all the lower levels that connect to it. Thus, it is only man who needs to be corrected, and the rest of the levels will be corrected by themselves.
How is it possible to correct man? Only in his yearning for unity. And the connection is realized at the level of man. But what about all the other levels? Man lives among all the rest of nature’s levels and he needs to relate to them in a correct and balanced way as the Torah commands. He should use the world to the extent necessary for life, for the sake of upholding and correcting all of creation. This would be the correct attitude.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/12, The Zohar
Opinion (A. Gilyarov, professor Moscow State University): “Environmentalists say that the pace and extent of the decline of biological diversity are comparable to those that accompanied the major mass extinctions of the past geologic ages. There are five known extinctions: The first one was over 443 million years ago; the last one took place already in the Cretaceous period about 65 million years ago, when 40% of all animal families and 70% of the species were wiped out within 2.5 million years. All five previous mass extinctions were caused by natural disasters. But the calamities ended, and new generations of organisms began to populate territories. They had room to settle, live, and evolve.
“The current situation is fundamentally different. The causes of this extinction are associated with the extraordinary evolutionary success of only one species – Homo sapiens. Their number does not correspond to their size and the characteristics of their life cycle (late achievement of sexual maturity, low fertility, and so on). However, due to his extraordinary competitiveness, owning to the development of the brain, the human being has surpassed not only all primates, but also all mammals.
“The cause of the crisis of biodiversity is the human destruction of natural habitats of plants and animals in order to cultivate their desired monoculture in the liberated territories. But even if measures to protect the remaining species are taken, they have nowhere to settle!”
My Comment: There is no rational solution; however, if we reach balance with nature in an integral relationship with each other, we will stop being a cancerous tumor, devouring everything around it, and nature will be restored on all the lower levels.
Opinion (Andrew Roberts, PhD, British historian and journalist): “Nothing is inevitable. It was the first truth I was taught as a Cambridge undergraduate in the 1980s, and it has been italicized and underlined for me by everything I have learnt since. …The whole of human history is testament to the fact that vast sections of mankind can seem to be progressing towards what looks like an established goal, only to get sidetracked into cul-de-sacs, sometimes for decades, occasionally for centuries. So why do we still assume that an eventual return to any significant economic growth in the European Union is inevitable?
“…the leading thinkers of the Whig and Marxist historical determinist school who infected mankind with the concept that we were ‘progressing’ somewhere, moving towards a fixed, positive future point. In economics, that idea is encapsulated in the assumption of economic growth as a kind of manifest destiny, almost the birthright of the species.
“By contrast the EU is giving off the strong historical whiff of an empire plateauing out into long years of relative stagnation… Birth rates, defense expenditures, bond prices, welfare spending versus wealth creation; everything that historians look to in order to gauge the health of empires suggests that Europe’s fire has gone out.”
My Comment: Following the EU, the crisis will spread around the world. All countries will go through their stages of stagnation. What lies ahead is the realization of the need for a different development, not material, which is limited by our planetary possibilities and tiredness from material achievements. The only solution is to develop on a new, non-material dimension: the revelation of the hidden forces of nature, the discovery of the purpose of our existence and its attainment. Humanity simply has no other incentive to exist.
Most religions consider altruistic behavior the main value of humanity. It is believed that altruism is the basis of virtue. According to Boris Krieger, altruism is selfishness at the level of family, community, kin, and humanity. Our altruistic behavior is dictated by conscience, religious beliefs, habits, and fear of punishment by fate or God. A truly unselfish act that has no moral, religious, or instinctive reason is impossible.
Altruism plays a special role in a group of people. They get the feeling of a “superorganism” (The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, The Superorganism by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson) when everyone is ready to sacrifice himself for the rest of the group. People are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the entire group to prevent a threat from another group. Team altruism is the basis for military training where people are taught to view the life of the country as more important than their own lives.
We can find evidence for this theory in Darwin’s principle of natural selection, under the assumption that “natural selection could act on groups as well as individuals, an idea known as group selection” (James Schwartz, “Death of an Altruist“), where altruism is considered a group’s egoism. Forming a functional unit in which everyone is ready to sacrifice himself for the benefit of the entire group in order to overcome difficulties or threats, usually coming from another superorganism, is the most noble and terrible human ability.
This is the secret of successful organizations working on the principle of a beehive or hierarchy. It is the purpose of basic military training. This is the reward for which people are willing to join militias, rock bands, and fan clubs. This is the dream of fascism. This may explain our love for adherence (temporarily, conditionally, or permanently) to something larger than ourselves.
However, the altruism offered by Kabbalah is born in a person under the influence of the upper Light (Ohr Makif), producing the desire to bestow to and love the friends in the group, the like-minded people, because only with them he can achieve the goal: adhesion to the Creator. It is a completely different method of “faith above reason,” not for the sake of fulfillment, but for the sake of bestowal. Try it and find the difference.
We have justified claims: We are repeating the same thing over and over again when trying to unite. “When will this be over? When will we get what we want?” The answer is simple: When we won’t want it.
Rabash, “Shlavei HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder)” 1989, Article 12, “A Blessing and a Curse”: A person should know that every beginning of the work is called “day,” and a person’s prayer that the Creator brings him closer to the work is called “day.”
Thanks to our prayers and requests, thanks to the mutual relations we build between the Creator and us, we clarify and refine our right request, until it enables us to feel the spiritual world. “A prayer” is the work of the heart: polishing, purification, preparation. If we ask, demand, and scream, our prayer turns into a connection with the Creator, which has gone through the group and become a “prayer of the many.” This is the only way to reach Him.
When we arrange everything correctly, we constantly polish, clarify, and prepare our vessels of perception in order to feel spirituality in them. On the way we demand: “Give me!”, but gradually we begin to fine-tune our desires and demands, directing them towards bestowal, towards unification with the friends, towards distinguishing the form of general bestowal, the Creator, in this unity, who is revealed according to the principle of “come and see.”
And so gradually the mind and the feelings in our vessels reach the right parameters and enable us to feel the spiritual world. It exists here and now, and we are in it, but we don’t feel it.
Therefore, a prayer is a process in which we prepare our vessels for the spiritual perception.
From the Arava Convention 2/25/12, Lesson 7
Question: When you speak about our intention before reading The Zohar, you do not use the language of The Zohar or of the Sefirot. You speak about feelings, but the text that was written by Rabbi Aba in a concealed form doesn’t help us feel it.
Answer: On one hand, this is true. On the other hand, when we study about how Malchut rises to Bina and descends from there, and how AHP rises and descends, and how the souls rise, you can feel that although it is about the attributes on spiritual degrees. We already have some emotional response to words like the rising of Malchut to Bina, restriction, the small state (Katnut), the great state (Gadlut), Yenika, or Ibur. Although it is about the Sefirot, you still can add some feeling to it, even without having these attributes yet.
All these feelings are not real until we cross the Machsom (barrier). There is nothing we can do about that.
However, the writing styles and the descriptions of spirituality are very different. See how Ramchal and AGRA wrote, and how different they are from one another. Look at Baal HaSulam and Rambam. Rashi, who wrote commentary for the entire Tanakh, Peshat (simple) commentary, was a great Kabbalist. See how he expresses himself in ordinary, everyday language that is clearly understood by everyone. How he concealed himself!
You are asking why Rabbi Aba wrote The Zohar in such a concealed way, but he didn’t conceal anything. It says that Rabbi Aba knew how to reveal in secret. This is the revelation in the concealment (Megillat Esther). This doesn’t mean that he wrote anything. It is said that Rabbi Shimon spoke about what he attained, Rabbi Yossi and the other disciples heard and discussed the revelations, and Rabbi Aba heard everyone and wrote.
It isn’t a matter of manual writing. It is about how much each of them dressed himself in the collective revelation that they attained as a group, about how much each of them added clarifications since each one revealed the general attainment in his own personal attribute. And that’s how they eventually composed for us the steps of the ladder which we climb and advance. In fact, this is what the authors of The Zohar did.
There is the world of Infinity, and we have to start from our point of shattering, from the center of the sphere, from the dark. So, where are all the steps of the ladder that we have to climb? It is true that the Light descended from top down, along with the creation of the worlds and the steps of the ladder, and it is the Creator who did all that.
However, the authors of The Zohar fulfilled this process from the bottom up. This means that they wrote The Zohar, as it is written: “Write on the tablets of your heart.” Therefore, they also belong to the level of the forefathers, which extends from Adam to Abraham.
It is as if they paved a path through the forest for you. They have walked it ahead of you and cleared the way for you. They put up signs and carved steps on the steep slopes. They left the means for you to ease your way. This is what the authors of The Zohar actually did.
Then you are following their footsteps—and suddenly a thought from Rabbi Yossi, Rabbi Chiya, or Rabbi Aba crosses your mind. You feel that they were there before you and what they did at every point. This is what it called to write a book.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/12/2012, The Zohar
Answer: I would say the following: I want to explain that you are not unemployed. Today families, countries, nations, the world, the entire human society, all of us are entering a completely different existence. We do not have to work for 10 hours a day, but rather we need to organize our life in a completely different way. Everyone inevitably will come to this; you’ll see that you are not alone.
In China, one million people are laid off daily, and this is escalating. The same happens in Europe and America. In Africa, people did not work and still do not work. In practice, we are approaching such a state when the notion of “jobless” or “unemployed” is erased. A person should create an environment where he will feel comfortable. If this requires work, then he will work; if it does not require work, then he will not. Work is not an end in itself.
Let’s think and discuss what should be the form of humanity if today billions of people are released from their work as something unnecessary, superfluous, and even harmful. I received a letter from my student who works in China. He has a large business selling Volkswagen cars, which are very popular in China. He writes: “We have not sold a single car since the beginning of the month. It is a disaster!” And they used to sell a hundred a day. Do you understand what is going on?
So, what can I do with an unemployed person who is standing in front of me crying? This is a natural trend in our evolution. Let us see where it leads and take the necessary steps to ensure that we do not feel inadequate because we do not work. Perhaps, it is not necessary to work. Maybe, all our work only harms nature, us, and the environment. It obviously destroys the environment and possibly us. What can we do that is more enjoyable instead of what we were doing before? This is what we can talk about.
We just need to show a person that this is an objective reality, and if he understands, then he will see that his life is getting better, not worse.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #13, 12/18/11