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The fact is that by constantly developing, the ego was pushing us forward. We always wanted something new and were always chasing something. But today the ego has become flat; it has reached its maximum and, most importantly, become global. It has retired into its own shell.
As a result, we have become closed between ourselves and totally dependent on one another. We have created a closed analog system between us in which everyone is so dependent on others that through a chain of four acquaintances each of us is connected to all the people in the world. What’s more, today there is no need to fight: It’s enough to cut off a certain country from the mutual cooperation with other countries, and it will immediately collapse because it cannot exist on its own.
This was never the case before. A country could isolate itself and be independent. It could survive on its own. It had enough resources to produce energy, food, and everything the population needed, and there were no special problems.
But today we cannot do anything if we are not connected to tens of other countries. We have to buy, sell, and exchange goods, to constantly receive, send, and so on. We’ve become global, we’ve become closed. It wouldn’t be a problem if at the same time we were changing ourselves.
So, we have remained the same individualistic egoists while the world has become global and closed. Hence the discrepancy between the two systems.
On one hand, there is a discrete system, in which each of us wants to live alone: “I don’t need a family. I don’t need children. I don’t need anyone. I want to be independent and not depend on anyone.” This is how our ego speaks today. On the other hand, nature shows us the opposite: You are totally dependent on everyone. You cannot exist by yourself. You must be connected to everyone, and not only you, but your society, your state, and the whole world.”
This is the contradiction between the two systems: the general system we are in and our personal, individual, internal, system. This is the crisis since the two systems cannot work together. And this is what we feel.
So how can this problem be solved?
From the Vilnius Convention 3/22/12, Preliminary Lesson
In a way, we have always known what to do and where to go. Nature has always pushed us from behind: We wanted to evolve, to do more and to expand, to develop science and technology—everything we could.
Today we don’t want anything. We got stuck, turned silent. Our ego, which throughout history was humanity’s driving force, has ceased to work. It doesn’t evoke any urges or impulses in us, it doesn’t push us forward. We’ve been through many changes in society, we’ve developed, built, created, and made revolutions. Humanity has constantly tried to do something, to move forward. We were searching.
Today there is no search. There is no paradigm of thinking, no accurate, clear plan of what we want and in which direction to develop. This is what characterizes our times.
The main problem is that it applies to everyone. There was never something like this in history. All the countries and continents: Oceania, Asia, North and South America, Europe, the Far East, Japan, China, and Africa, all have all developed in their own way, at their own pace and were not dependent on one another.
Suddenly we’ve become so dependent that this problem has become global. We find ourselves in a world where everything is mutually connected. We don’t want it, but the mutual connection is so strong that it manifests daily and affects virtually each of us. If something happens somewhere in the world, it is surely and immediately reflected on us. We see what is happening in the stock markets in New York, Tokyo, Germany, or Frankfurt, what is happening with the oil or metals.… If there is an earthquake, a hurricane, or a volcano that erupts somewhere, it is reflected on everyone. We are in such a changing world that we cannot even imagine what to do next.
If we draw a simple graph of the development of the ego on a time axis, we will see that we used to develop more or less evenly. Only in the 20th century has our ego grown very sharply. We have made a breakthrough in every aspect of life: in technology, education, and upbringing, in developing the lands and conquering space. Suddenly we find ourselves on a “landing.” We’ve achieved the maximum of our ego, and it doesn’t push us anywhere anymore. We’ve reached this state since the end of the last century.
Now, we are creating a new sense organ. The science of Kabbalah is not just the science of reception; it is the method of developing the highest sense organ in us.
It does not exist in a single person, but is revealed between people when they are trying to create this interaction between them that will reveal the Upper Force that will fill the entire space between them.
Only we can stimulate this detector, this sensor. It can appear only between us, not in every one of us, but between us. To the extent that we strive to get closer to each other and turn into one whole, we will discover this force that fills us according to the law of the equivalence of form, the law of similarity, balance, and homeostasis. This is the method of Kabbalah.
I remember when I started studying with Rabash and did not understand anything yet, he told me a few phrases that I remembered, although I did not understand what he meant. He said: “The most important thing is to develop a sense for the Creator Who fills everything, for this force of nature that surrounds us.”
To develop a feeling? I did not know what it meant “to develop a feeling.” In general by nature, I am a scientific kind of person; I want to understand instead of feel.
It took a long time before I realized that this is achieved not by the mind, but only by developing an additional sense organ.
But the feeling can be developed only if we cooperate among ourselves, turning into one whole, like this great force around us.
We have gathered here to unite, to create these conditions between us so that it manifests itself. To the extent of our connection, our getting closer to each other, this force will be manifested.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/23/12, Lesson 1
Question: We say that due to our unity, the situation in the world has changed: It has become more peaceful; there is less terrorism. If a secret service employee heard us, he would say: “We are working from morning till night, neutralizing terrorists, so the situation has improved because of us, not because you are uniting together.” What can you tell this skeptic or is it better not to contradict him?
Answer: I usually do not enter into any debate with anyone. Let them talk; it does not matter. If they think they are doing it better, so be it.
Besides that, I do not think that we can replace services for safety and security, etc. because humanity is far from being able to advance consciously. And those people who want to do harm must come up against an organized public order.
I have nothing to tell him; he does not see and will never understand what we are doing if he does not come to our courses.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #14, 12/18/11
Answer: The process of correction isn’t slow at all. We simply don’t know all of nature. No one knows by how many billions of ties he is connected to others and what layers are concealed in the depth of his desire.
A person doesn’t feel his desires and attributes at all, thinking that he has nothing but the beastly urges that he feels inside. But the upper Light influences us, cleans us, and arranges all the lower layers of our desire.
Just imagine: You are studying now, but what are you actually doing? You are sitting in your physical, beastly, body, looking at a book and at best studying 1% of what is written there. And in your beastly corporeal mind, in your egoistic desire, you determine how to use it all in the best way for your own benefit.
But at the same time, you have a certain connection with the method of correction (the Torah), even if it is egoistic. It isn’t Lo Lishma yet because you are only thinking of how to gain, how to rise above everyone else. But still, there is already a certain connection between your corporeal, egoistic layers and the Torah because you were brought to study, and now you are looking at the book, even if you don’t understand anything in it.
The connection already exists even if you, in your beastly eyes, are trying to read what is written about another world and to use that world egoistically. Even by such contact with the source, you already receive some illumination from it. This Light begins to change you internally, in the depth of your egoistic desires, not only on the animate level, but even on the still and the vegetative ones. It operates on you and constantly changes you, while you are making efforts which may be totally in Lo Lishma, like a complete egoist.
While the Light operates on those deep layers from which you connect with it, you want something that is totally different: to feel and to understand where these changes are taking place. You want to swallow the Surrounding Light, to receive it inside your egoistic desires, and to enjoy it.
In the meantime, it corrects you from the inside, from the depths of your lowest egoism, into bestowal. For the time being you don’t feel these changes because they take place inside you unconsciously. But gradually by these corrections, you will experience a change in your thoughts and desires, and will begin to think that you really want to reach the love of others and even bring contentment to the Creator.
Therefore, you should not resent the fact that there is no Light now. The Light will come the moment you begin to demand it in full force, the moment you want it to control you and for the attribute of bestowal to reside within you. But as long as you don’t want it, and you don’t even know what you want, what revelation can there be? There is no deficiency for it!
These desires are deeply concealed at the moment, but don’t worry, they are constantly being corrected by the Light. This is such a long path because we don’t make enough efforts. But the whole process could be greatly hastened.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/2012, Shamati #6
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 120: Afterwards, if one adds but a single commandment, the commandment of love, it is considered that he is mostly worthy and sentences everything to a scale of merit. Thus, the scale of sins becomes a scale of merits, too.
It turns out that even if one has a full scale of transgressions and sins, they all become merits. Then, one is as one who has never sinned, and is considered “complete righteous.” This is the meaning of the saying that the world and the individual are judged by the majority.
On the levels of the spiritual ladder we judge ourselves and others according to the current state and not according to what was or what will be. It says, “There is no righteous man on earth who does good and does not sin.” How can one become the righteous if he hasn’t corrected his egoistic attributes internally? Everyone begins the spiritual path from the shattering that was prepared for us in advance.
Therefore, everything depends only on what level of the ladder a person is on. That means that we evaluate this level not according to an absolute scale, but relatively: whether a person had any opportunities here and his attitude to them. Actually, I can never judge someone else because I haven’t reached his place yet. The point is not what level he is on now, but what opportunities he had and how he fulfilled them. No one knows this except for the person himself.
On the whole, everyone can be beneficial to or can harm the general vessel. We are in an integral system, and even if one person or his action is missing, the system doesn’t work. This defect is enough to prevent the connection in the system. It’s either corrected or corrupt, and there are no intermediate or approximate states in it.
Therefore, everyone must participate according to the situation he is given. This is how a person is judged, and there are no half way verdicts. It’s the same when it comes to love and hate, bestowal and receiving, sins and mistakes. There are only two values, like in a computer system: zero or one. From these two “perspectives” you can put together whatever you want, even the finest and highest states.
The schema is simple: Have you fulfilled the opportunity you were given, yes or no? The upper system works according to the same law upon which we base our numerical systems. In every situation there are only two options: There is either, “click,” a connection, or there isn’t one. Even the most complicated situations can be broken down into these elementary components.
Does that mean that the spiritual world is a numerical system and not an analog one? No. We simply can’t perceive it otherwise. A chain of corrections stems from this, which step by step leads through many degrees. We may think how is it possible to advance to integrality by a “digital,” gradual path, by climbing the steps of the ladder? But these steps are divided into very small details that make up the picture of our world. We can work with the ego only by splitting it up into small parts. When there are many such parts, an integral is formed from them.
This is exactly how we use the attributes of our world in technology. It stems from our nature. Here we can clearly see the connection between ordinary traditional science and spiritual science: They have the same approach towards this world and the spiritual one.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/21/2012, “Introduction to TES“
The desire to receive that exists below has to be fully covered by the Light of Hassidim, by mutual bestowal. Then the desire (that is, reception) and bestowal will match one another and together will turn into a vessel for the Light.
This means that I haven’t just received a present, but I also know from whom I receive it. The present itself tells me about His love, but in my vessel there is the Light of Hassidim, and so I begin to feel who He actually is and to what extent the attribute of mercy (Hesed) is typical of Him.
I create such “emotional elements” in my desire to receive that reveal the Giver of the present to me, the Creator, in addition to the present itself. This is all the wisdom of Kabbalah: how to reveal in one’s vessel the ability to understand and to feel Him. A special science, a special wisdom, is required here: I receive a “candy,” and by its sweetness I attain His mind and feelings, until I attain His plan.
Otherwise, I would just enjoy the present like a beast. We are all nourished by and live off the Light of Hochma, but it’s by the wisdom of Kabbalah that we begin to know and to attain the Creator. Therefore, the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the revelation of the Creator to the created being.”
So we should have the desire to receive, and above it the attribute of bestowal, an intention of in order to bestow. The upper Light is revealed according to the right connection between them. There are two sides to it: On one hand, it gives pleasure to the desire to receive and on the other, it enables the desire to perceive where it comes from, meaning from the Creator’s desire to bestow, from His love. Then a person, who receives in order to bestow, feels a state, a phenomenon, called “adhesion.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/21/2012, “Introduction to TES“
Humanity has entered a difficult period and turned into such a state that it feels completely lost.
At the very least, people who are concerned with society, family, education, upbringing, and public, governmental, and social problems; they cannot find solutions to the problems that arise in every individual, society, and government activities. We find ourselves in a state that we cannot understand.
However, in recent years (70-80 years), scientists have been suspecting what was going on. Starting with the 1920s, the first articles appeared suggesting that the world was entering a completely different area of development, that it was rising to a totally different level: the level of integral development. Many researchers wrote about this. In the 1960s, the famous Club of Rome talked about this, as well as by many researchers and organizations.
And today in the process of the crisis, we came to a very deep state from which we cannot find the way out.
Previously the crisis touched only the problems of raising and educating children. We were unhappy with what was happening, but somehow put up with it, although we saw that the schools did not educate children, that our children suffered from bullying, violence, and abuse at school. But we tolerated that.
Then, we began to notice how people suddenly stopped caring about the family and the family started to disintegrate, which didn’t happen 100 to 200 years ago. Throughout human history, it was accepted that a person lived in a family with his parents and then created his own family; then, his children did, and they were all united in a common home, but now everything is undergoing a critical decline. People began to divorce, children to move away from their parents, people don’t want to get married or raise a family. This is also a crisis because this phenomenon is not natural for us, people.
And what will happen to future generations? We are already facing a demographic problem where the elderly outnumber the young. And who knows who will provide for them in old age. What will happen to you if you do not have children? Who will support you?
People do not even think that one generation supports the other. At least, three generations are necessary: the elderly, the parents, and the children so that they support, educate each other, pass along knowledge, care for the household; the young care for the elderly, and the elderly convey their experience and life values. There is nothing like that.
Then, there are problems with drugs and depression, depression that is so strong that doctors today consider it the number one disease of the century, not only the disease in itself, but also its consequences. The cause, the root, of the majority of the diseases in the world is depression, intense anxiety, detachment, and helplessness.
The latest crisis involves a crisis in science, education, in all things. The crisis in science began from the point that we stopped believing in science. Once, we thought that through science we would reach a good life, conquer space, settle on other planets and have unlimited possibilities ahead. And suddenly, we closed all the space programs; we are no longer interested in space exploration; we do not think that we can find anything there. In the end, everything is slowing down. A person feels depressed; He does not want anything.
The latest crisis is the economic crisis. It is the hardest and most difficult because it affects all aspects of our lives. Food, healthcare, heating, security, everything depends on the economy. But the economy refuses to work; it no longer works and we don’t know why. Companies close, financial “bubbles” inflated, and all manner of mishandling of money occur. And everything that was supposed to develop well, to our benefit, turns against us.
But what is interesting is that no one can deal with it, neither eminent economists nor politicians, but we are all willing to help them because we will not survive without the economy. It turns out that we do not know what to do. A huge number of high-ranking politicians, heads of states, the G8, G20 get together and can solve nothing. They do not know what to do.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/22/12, Preliminary Lesson
The science of Kabbalah describes the stages of development we must undergo in getting closer to each other in order to reveal the Upper Force. According to our aspirations toward unity, our nullifying our egoism and ascending above it and uniting, we reach the first level and feel this force at the level of Nefesh (inanimate level). We begin feeling something is between us, but still can’t exactly grasp it. There are some sensations, but they aren’t definable or determinable yet.
Later, with a stronger yearning toward each other, we reach a stronger connection and start feeling how to “penetrate” each other a little and to feel the connection more. From this, emerges a higher sensitivity, the ability to feel. And not just to feel, but to determine and understand how we do it. Thus sensation at the level of Ruach, the level of motion, appears. According to our movement toward each other, we can get in touch with this force with different strength more or less according to the nuances of our encounters. Our movements and understanding of this upper force happen in some sort of a dialog: in our effort and in its response, the reaction of the upper force.
We advance further in establishing even greater harmony among us and start feeling just how to connect, but also what to give and to receive from the other. Then we reach the feeling of the upper force and communicate with it either in bestowal or reception from it. This level is called Neshama the level of Bina, an extremely high level.
Then we get to an even deeper perception of interaction among us: which way to work with them receiving from the other or giving to others through oneself. By giving to others through oneself, we reach the level of the Light of Hochma or Haya.
And finally, we reach the state where we feel everyone as one whole. There are no differences, no communication, no transitions, and no transmission, but everything merges into one drop of water and then all separation fully disappears. We reach the level of Yechida (from the word “unity“)—the complete unity among us and the upper force.
These five levels are achieved only to the extent of connection between us; when our personal egoism, protectionism, and everything personal is removed, a person ascends and lives only by the commonality.
Our time is special because it forces us and moves us toward that, and not only us but all of humanity is moved toward the initial stages when a person still doesn’t understand what it means to “develop feelings, unite, and connect to others.”
It takes many steps before a person finds out: “Why all this? Do I have this?” He acts automatically by looking at others. And only later, something starts gradually “moving” inside as if snapping from inside. He starts feeling something else, something new and absolutely unknown appears there, like an entrance to an absolutely new area, which was completely hidden before.
And the world helps us with that today by staying in an absolutely incomprehensible and confused state. All the people in the world from young to old, poor and rich, strong and weak, nobody knows where they are. Everyone is searching, but doesn’t know where. They act mechanically trying to live the life that used to be, but it is no longer there.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/23/12, Lesson #1