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Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam (The Steps of the Ladder), 1985, Article 15: And the more they afflicted them”: “And the shell of Egypt, is the general shell, where the sparks of Holiness fell, that the People of Israel who were in Egypt, had to correct them. Then there must first be such pain and suffering that they can’t leave their control, as it says “and the Children of Israel sighed from the work, and they cried out, and their cry rose to the Lord from the work, and the Lord heard their sigh.
There must be a feeling of exile, there must be such strong suffering and pain that “it is better to die than to live” if I can’t come out of Egypt, if I don’t achieve what I want. My desire has to be so big. Otherwise it isn’t a vessel; it isn’t a place for the revelation of what we are looking for.
At the same time, my crying out should be strong not only in quantity but also in quality. I have to know what I am yearning for in exile, what I want to discover, what is happening to me.
So the exile is the most serious preparation for redemption. In exile I clarify things, by clarifying what exactly I want and in what way. This is the reason why the exile cannot be less than 400 years, according to the four phases we go through when we build our vessel. Only at the end of this process can we come out of exile and really receive what we have prepared. The upper Light has no form and now too it fills everything, but we don’t feel it. We must acquire the four phases, a whole vessel, and then the Light will be revealed.
So it isn’t about 400 years, but actually about four whole phases of building our vessel. The forms we develop in it totally depend on each of us. Of course, we receive the initial spur from Above as it is written: “The Creator puts a person’s hand on the good fate and tells him, take it.” But later on a person’s fate is in his own hands.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/6/12, Writings of Rabash
We are nearing the exodus from exile only when we begin to understand that we are in it. “Exile” symbolizes my perception of everything that I receive in my desire to receive as worthless and unimportant. Everything that is in my ego belongs to “Pharaoh,” and I am allowed to receive only what is necessary.
This doesn’t mean that I have to limit myself in every way, like a monk living in the desert. I simply don’t see anything material as very important, and accept it as necessary for my existence. All my life is devoted to achieving love for the Creator, the general attribute of bestowal, through the connection with others.
If a person has such an internal necessity and he is included in the group, he begins to aim himself correctly, which means to hate everything he receives in his ego, trying to be satisfied with what is essential. At the same time Pharaoh bribes him and gives him everything. This means that he builds beautiful cities for his ego, Pithom and Ramses.
He feels that in relation to the intention of in order to bestow in which he wants to be in his thoughts and heart, he is in exile, because he has no powers to bestow. Then he feels that he has complaints towards the Creator, for not helping him come out of exile, which means that He doesn’t let him be the one who bestows.
But in the meantime a person’s desire is very small and he has to go through 400 years in exile. This means that he has to raise his desire until he will really want to bestow.
All our work in the exile in Egypt is in a group in which everyone grows stronger and receives from others the greatness of the goal, the pure bestowal, and the nothingness and meanness of his preset state in which it is impossible to achieve mutual bestowal. From a spiritual point of view, this is very bad.
So a person begins to perceive the term “exile” correctly: exile refers to bestowal, the ability to bestow, and so he really feels that he is in exile in Egypt. Until he reaches a state in which he cannot bear it any more. Then the “ten plagues of Egypt” begin.
A “plague” or blow symbolizes the fact that you are offered different good corporeal things, but in spirituality you receive nothing, and a person feels this as a blow.
He feels the hardening of the heart, and the corporeal desires keep growing. He has no choice. He understands that the egoistic desire will continue to grow and to confuse him by distracting him and drawing his attention to different corporeal goals, different clarification in the group, so that he will overcome the corporeal ego by the contact with the friends. Only from them can he learn to appreciate the way and the goal of creation more, the greatness of the Creator, and the meanness of the egoistic filling.
One can receive all these values only from the society, from the environment. Then, despite the difficulties and the interruptions, he still adheres to the group above his feelings and his mind because only in it does he find protection and salvation. He understands that otherwise he is lost. He understands that only when he looks above the egoistic desire because from the point of view of the ego the situation could be wonderful and bring knowledge and other benefits.
When he interprets the whole situation correctly, he discovers that he is facing Pharaoh. This stems from many reasons, attributes, and attempts that he accumulates for 400 years in exile in Egypt: the four phases he has been through in each of his desires to receive when he raised the yearning for bestowal above it, which is called “faith above reason.”
Going through these four phases is called “the time of preparation.” And when it is about to end, a strong resistance to the ego is revealed, called the ten plagues of Egypt, darkness. These are final clarifications and revelations that really help a person exit the slavery to his ego.
Thanks to them he grows stronger and finally escapes in the dark, at night, feeling them in his desire to receive with one point that leads him, called “Moses.” Thus he raises his ego and achieves redemption.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/5/12, Shamati
Question: Lithuania is a small country. There are only 3 million of us. We strongly protect our cultural mentality, our native language, and ethnic roots. That is why we are concerned; will we dissolve in the world if we will increasingly be integrating with it?
Answer: I perfectly understand you. I lived in Lithuania back in those years, when the strong pressure from your big neighbor was being felt, Russia. I understand your worry for your people, for the nation, for the identity and identification.
However, we are talking about the need to feel oneself not as an individual, separated, opposite, hating, far away from the neighbor, but on the contrary, to feel commonness with everyone. We are talking about the fact that man is a part of the common world and must work in it accordingly, like a small organ in one unified organism.
The different organs of the body, the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, each one of them works in its direction, but all of them together obey one fixed law, and that is why the body lives. A lot of opposite processes are happening inside of it, but all of them are nevertheless coordinated by one large controlling action.
That is why, the integral movement forward, which will make us, the whole world, to be global, in no way denies the individuality of a person, a country, a people, a nation, or a society. In no way!
Individuality remains, like the uniqueness of each cell or each organ of the body remains, but this is because they harmonize with the rest of the body, and then this body lives.
Then our planet Earth also has the opportunity to exist, and in turn so do each people, each nation, each state inside of it, which have their own culture, their customs, establishments, and so on.
I often hear that fear emerges in people: “I must completely cancel myself? It is as if I will not exist? I must completely give all of myself to others and the society?”
No, no way! And the same goes for a country or a nation, preserve everything that you have!
When you are working on integration, then you create a healthy normal society inside, and on the outside you come in contact with everyone else with goodwill.
Like the heart and the lungs, they are different, but they work in partnership among each other in order to support the whole of the organism. Meaning, the integral direction, unity, does not lead to leveling out or annulment of individuality.
From a Lecture at Šiauliai University, Lithuania, 3/22/12
Answer: First of all, one needs to look at those who work and those who study as everyone who participates in the same pursuit. There will not be such a concept as “working or not working.” According to our research and statistical data, 1-2% of the Earth’s population can produce all of the necessary food products and an additional 6-7% of the people can produce everything else that man needs. Everything that is necessary; do you understand? Let’s say, it’s 10% of the entire human population, and what about the rest of the people? What should be done with them? Destroy them?
We need to understand that a person shouldn’t be working in the way that he’s working today at all. Except for the past couple of centuries, never has a person been working from morning until night. Work has become the most important for him. And for comfort, kindergartens are being organized close to companies. Work in general has obtained the status of the center of life.
But why should it be this way? Why can’t a person come to work for only two hours a day, and study for the rest of the time? At that, he is working on self-education, integral development. He joins this process and each time, every day, to the extent of his changing, he must bring himself to a greater balance with nature. And this is a constant renewal. We will be obligated to do this. Nobody needs to give up anything; everyone is equal in this.
Today, when you communicate with a person, first of all you find out: who are you, where are you, what is your occupation, how much do you earn? This is all that interests us. But now we are coming to a different society. Neither the earth, nor the natural resources, or the environment (as much as we have already polluted it) will allow us to behave this way any further. We already see this.
In no way are we convincing anyone, like the rest of the scientists, that we need to act this way and not another; we simply offer a possible solution. We will be happy to hear other proposals. We are also constantly searching, supplementing this methodology with newer and newer data. In general, this work is part of the research. If you were to ask me 10 years ago, then you would have heard only a small part of what I am saying today. Besides, we have discovered a lot from our colleagues around the world with whom we are cooperating closely.
From a Lecture at Šiauliai University, Lithuania, 3/22/12
A person decides what to consider the day and what the night: what is good for him and what is bad. Sometimes, he is given awakening, raising of the spirit, great light, and he understands how wonderful it is to enjoy and come closer to spirituality. He calls it day, but in reality, it is light in his egoistic desire. Egoism enjoys, and this is not called spiritual advancement.
Or maybe he feels in the dark, exhausted, but his mind understands that this state is useful for advancement. And although in his desire to enjoy he experiences unpleasant sensations, it is said: “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” The desire to enjoy feels darkness, but the point in the heart—Light. A person understands that this darkness is useful for him, descent precedes ascent, and he needs to prepare even greater desires for this. And the desire comes from darkness.
That is why it all depends on what a person values, what he considers the day and what the night—in his sleeping egoistic heart or in the point in the heart, which is burning and yearning for spirituality.
If a person begins to separate one from the other, then he already has two points, according to which he can aim and direct himself exactly to the goal. One point is his ego. And it is good that egoism does not feel anything good. The darker I feel in my egoism, the greater my desire (Aviut) will be above which the point seeking the goal exists.
The main thing is to separate these two points and all the time hold them correctly against each other, finding out with what I identify myself. Do I choose the direction that leads me to the Creator, although my path lies in the dark, do I consider it good? Then, I can be sure that I move correctly because my egoism is not interested in rushing there, like a thief, running ahead of everybody else and shouting: “Catch the thief!”
My ego does not want darkness, and I rise above ego, above reason, and want my bestowal to be above reception. And this is a good state in which my day and the day of the Creator are the same day.
And if I suffer that I feel bad and have no interest in advancing, it means that I follow my desire to enjoy, my ego. I run there where my egoistic heart, but not the point in the heart, calls me: This is the difference.
We need to try to divide ourselves into two parts: the point in the heart, which faithfully adheres to the goal, to bestowal in any situation, no matter what happens, and the heart itself, which is always eager to receive. Its appetite is growing constantly. Darkness reigns in my heart, and there is a ray of Light in the point in the heart; this means that I directed myself correctly. And I achieve this through the environment, group, external force, which is needed to pull the point in the heart out of the egoistic heart and aim it at the goal.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/5/12
Question: Each time I go to a convention, I feel a kind of heaviness, a burden that pulls us to the ground. You said that this would soon pass and we would feel the unity. How is it possible to get rid of this heaviness? What can help us?
If we work on the importance of the goal so that it becomes the most important thing, we won’t feel that the ego disturbs us. We will begin to feel that the ego is a sign of the places within us that we still need to correct. It shows us where you can still make efforts, where you can still correct something.
It’s like a broken car engine: In the place where something is knocking, the valve needs to be adjusted, in the place where something is whistling, the connections need to be fixed, and where it is heating, water needs to be added or something needs to be cleaned.
Your ego works in the same way, showing what is still uncorrected in you. If you advance towards the goal, if you want to direct yourself correctly, you discover the ego as “help against you. ”It pulls you by the legs, and this means that you don’t have enough strength. Here you must add strength and then advance forwards.
If you didn’t have this indicator, you wouldn’t know what you need to correct, just like in the engine or, for example, in our body. The biggest problem in the physiology of the body is the diseases that progress without us feeling it. During this period they don’t even cause pain or any other negative sensations. While if I feel unpleasant sensations, I immediately go to a doctor and stop the disease in the beginning of its development, and not when it already reaches a state where it isn’t possible to cure or to operate it.
That is, we need to relate to the ego correctly and rationally; we have to interact with it and not just annul it: “I don’t want you! I hate you!” No, the ego is support along our way.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/23/12, Lesson 1
Here are some pictures from the European Kabbalah Convention that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania March 23-25, 2012.
Answer: The ten plagues of Egypt are the ten plagues that a person feels on himself, on his ego, which help him get rid of the ego. If I didn’t feel the blows, I would want to stay in the ego. But because I feel the blows while in my ego, they help me break away from it.
Each blow is stronger in quality than the previous one. Suppose I lost everything that I have in gambling, (although it isn’t about that at all), the next blow can be the loss of someone dear, etc. Actually nothing in the world happens with money and not with one’s relatives and not with anything, but the inner feeling is as if you lose everything.
There is an article in the book Shamati about that, when a person enters spirituality he thinks that he leaves the whole world, his family, and that he is detached from everything. This detachment is necessary. The ten plagues help us rise systematically above certain layers of our ego until we totally exit it, which means that we escape it.
Above the last level we are in total darkness making one more effort. The darkness symbolizes that we don’t know what is expected ahead. But since we are headed towards the attribute of bestowal, the darkness helps us.
If you are moving forward towards the Light, your ego is only too happy about it. But when you are moving forward in the dark, you can be sure that the ego will not disturb you, won’t do you any evil, and won’t take everything for itself afterward.
Question: That means that this is some kind of a trick?
Answer: This “trick” was in Egypt before the ten plagues, when no matter how hard we tried, everything was aimed at the ego. Therefore, “The children of Israel cried from the work” in building the two cities Pithom and Ramses.
Here, however, this is it, here we are headed towards the dark and not towards the Light as we were used to saying. What is more, all these blows and all the advancement are based only on our growing connection, which brings the group to this state where on the one hand the ego is revealed, the great internal hatred, and on the other hand, the clear recognition that only mutual guarantee can lead the group forward. What does that mean?
When you see that there is great hatred, you are ready to connect with everyone in order not to ever worry about anything for yourself, but only about others. All your enemies are also ready to care about one another. This readiness is revealed despite the great hatred, when you can’t even imagine how it is possible to wish these people good, and that you now have to think about them as the most important thing and in no way think of yourself. A serious, juicy detachment from the ego is taking place here!
From KabTV’s “Foundations of the Integral Society” 4/1/12