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Rabash: “Angels” who go up and down the ladder are people who say that they were sent into this world to perform corrections, and that is why they are called angels. If they see that they are in a state of descent, darkness, they should “descend.” But first they were in an ascent, otherwise it is impossible to feel that one is in a state of descent.… So only as much as you aspire to do good will you see how much evil is in you.
It mainly relates to the work in the group. The more a person tries to do good in it, the faster he discovers that he is not able to and he has no chance to advance. To discover the real darkness, we must rise first. It’s just like it says: “The advantage of the Light is from the darkness.”
First you need to rise, to receive new attributes and discernments, and to be closer to bestowal in order to later see what is going on in you. Then you will always see greater darkness inside you.
Of course, the darkness wasn’t created now, you simply didn’t notice it before. By rising above it and being able to compare different attributes and values, you can now see that you were in the dark, in your egoistic desires.
This is why we should aspire only to the good and the evil will be revealed by itself. There are people who are looking for the evil, digging into it, and drowning in it. However, the real evil is revealed only by ascending and experiencing joy, by understanding how good it is that the evil has been revealed. Even when a person reveals the evil, he is happy. It is a sign that the evil is purposeful, that is revealed along the way, and that an ascent is constant.
But if a person falls and despairs, if he tortures himself, it is a sign that he isn’t on the right track yet. A person should advance by the left line too, and not only by the right line—by walking on two legs forward. But he shouldn’t sink into the left line, into a descent.
If a person receives support from the environment and the books, if he listens to the teacher, learns, and understands that he must only think about the positive advancement that is awaiting him ahead, and not about anything bad—only about the greatness of the Creator, then he saves time and advances constantly.
On the way upward there are dark and bright moments. And specifically where everything first seemed totally bright he now discovers the darkness, and more and more each time. This means that he discovers the left line in an ascent.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/2012
The Zohar, Chapter “BeShalach (When Pharaoh Had Let the People Go),” Item 11: And she said, “I dwell within my people.” What does that mean? When judgment is hanging over the world, a person should not separate himself from the public, and he should not be distinguished from Above, and he should not be known separately.
Because when judgment is hanging over the world, those who are known and registered separately, although they are righteous, are caught first. And so a person should never detach himself from the people. Because the Creator’s mercy is always with all of the people together. And because of that she said, “I dwell within my people and I don’t want to separate from them, like I did until this day.”
It relates to both the external, corporeal perception and to the inner, spiritual one. Let’s start with the latter.
A unified soul was divided into many parts. “Within my people” means within the commonality that was created from the combination of the disconnected parts, which correct themselves by connecting with one another. They overcome their individual ego that repels them from one another and form “the Creator’s people.” After all, these parts share the intention of in order to bestow and by that they resemble the Creator. That is why they are called “My people.” It refers to a collection of individual, shattered vessels that gather with the intention of in order to bestow, which the Creator also has.
These parts connect with a mutual intention of in order to bestow in order to become the support, the vessel for the revelation of the Creator as the general attribute of bestowal. And of course, the phenomenon called “Creator” (Bo–Reh), which means “come and see,” is revealed in this assembly. This is the formula for the revelation of the Creator in the corrected vessels: “I dwell within my people.”
On the corporeal plane, it means that the great masses of people are under the general Providence, which sets them in motion.
Later on The Zohar speaks about judgment that “depends on the world.” “The world” means concealment, an egoistic connection, in which the general collective ego is revealed. And “a person should not retreat from the collective.” We may ask why? If the attribute of the ego, “judgment,” is revealed in the people, then why shouldn’t I escape it?
The fact of the matter is that looking through the spiritual prism, I see a totally different picture. I see all my desires that depict the imaginary “external world” for me. If I discover the attribute of judgment in them, I have to correct them by the attribute of bestowal and lead this rule to the attribute of in order to bestow. This is the mission of Israel: Instead of running away from the collective, I should be inside it trying to correct it.
The Zohar continues, “when judgment is hanging over the world, those who are known and registered separately, although they are righteous, are caught first.” Why? Because if a certain attribute of a person is aimed at bestowal, it is “caught first” and begins to operate in order to receive as the source of the Light lies specifically in it.
It is the same in our world, as Baal HaSulam says at the end of “Introduction to The Book of Zohar” that “judgment” strikes the best of us. Therefore people who reach the heights of attainment live in distress.
“The Creator’s mercy is always with all of the people together” because this is where correction is performed. So if we want to be corrected and to advance, we mustn’t detach ourselves from the public. We must do everything possible to be in it, to feel it as much as we can although it isn’t pleasant, and to worry about people, introducing knowledge, sensation, and everything possible to them just to make sure they advance. They are the Creator’s real goal and He is revealed only in our connection with the people, like the spark in the desire to receive.
Therefore it says, “I dwell within my people and I don’t want to be separated from them, as I was until today.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/11/2012, “The Role of Israel and the World”
For thousands of years, our development continues on the inanimate, vegetative, and animate stages, which are not simple at all since they are based on the shattering of the first spiritual entity (Man), meaning the split souls. Since the moment they were shattered, each broken element includes all others in it. Each particle acquired a chance to live: to receive and to bestow, to consume and to discharge.
All forms of existence emerged from two forces, receiving and giving. The desire for pleasure in its pure form cannot subsist on its own. It needs some force that acts against it, meaning that it requires the desire to bestow.
This is how matter (desire) develops until it reaches a human (speaking) phase, which in its turn also starts to progress. The human level of advancement needs special “treatment” in that it requires a higher intensity of spiritual power. That’s why a specific group of people called “Israel” transpired; the direct translation of the word “Israel” is “Yashar-El,” “straight to the Creator.”
After exiting Babylon, this group of people descended to Egypt in order to absorb additional, powerful desires while still being in a state of immense aspiration; it was called the “Egyptian exile.” After getting an additional portion of the desire to receive, this group was granted a chance to work with it in order to transform it into the desire for bestowal.
While in Egypt, the group acquired additional desire, and along with the additional desire, the group exited Egypt, received the Torah, and rose to the level of the First Temple. However, it ws destroyed and fell; the Second Temple was constructed, but it again was destroyed. As a result, the group descended to the depth of the last (current) exile where we are all at this time.
The degree of the fall that happened during Egyptian slavery equals the level at the time when the Temples existed. All of the above happened to make us drop from our prior height and reach the final shattering (exile) that continues to this date. The downfall we are currently in is so deep that we simply cannot fall any lower. From here, we can rise together with other nations and complete our correction.
Each spiritual action triggers material consequences in this world. Thus, we are obligated to continue working in this material realm during the whole period of exile. Exile means separation from spirituality and the inability to produce any spiritual actions. However, since we act materialistically and pursue egoistic desires through our bodies rather than souls, we still fulfill preparatory work that is associated with the period of exile.
The last exile is coming to an end and we all have to transition to freedom. The difference between exile (Galut) and deliverance (Geula) is only in one letter “Aleph,” which stands for “revelation of the Creator.” This means that we have to attain the upper world to reach the state at which the Creator fills the whole universe.
The reality we live in today will stay intact. All we will do is add the upper Light, the power of bestowal, to our prior sensations and thoughts. They will fill the whole world in which we will discover the upper reality since we will obtain different corrected properties.
At that point, we will understand the essence of the preparatory work that we did previously by fulfilling material commandments since we were incapable of doing anything else while we were still in exile. Thus, after we manage to return to the physical land of Israel, our present day task is to rise to the spiritual land (desire) of Israel.
It is said: “Each action leaves a mark.” This applies even to material actions since we build spiritual acts on top of them. Prior generations were supposed to fulfill material work in this world, whereas our duty is to pursue spiritual activities. That is why we concentrate only on spiritual work: human intentions and desires, attitude to concealment and revelation, and the property of bestowal that we’re about to acquire.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/30/12, The Zohar
All of our many years of study (we have people who have already been studying for 10-15 years) are only intended to make you reach a state when you begin to work in the group, as you realize that there is nothing else. And everything that you have done over the course of many years was only intended to finally make you understand that the only thing that can change you and reveal to you that what you want is right in front of you, even though it is the very last step.
We usually take a very long time to get there, convincing ourselves and trying to somehow wriggle out of it, go somewhere aside. We study Kabbalah, do anything we need to do in regards to dissemination—anything at all—just to avoid working in the group.
And even once we already understand that there is no other solution, still, at the very last moment, we escape finding reasons to not participate in this process. We cannot allow ourselves to close our eyes, throw ourselves into the group, like in water, and completely disappear in it. A lot more time passes, months, sometimes even years, until a person finally enters the group.
But we can shorten this time with our joint effort, and we will try to do it.
The length of time a person has been studying does not matter, neither does his knowledge, whether he is smart or not, strong or weak, persistent, stable, or lazy. When you enter the group and join its common force, we “disappear” in it, you dissolve in the common qualities of your friends to such extent that you acquire the integration of all their abilities, and they all become yours.
No need to come up with excuses for yourself, such as I am still young, I am not yet ready for this, maybe after some time, at the next convention. Now! There must be no other thoughts! There is nothing else beside this place and this action that we must take.
And the action is very simple—try to perform the so-called First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph), rise as much as possible over our egoism without taking any of its persuasions, reasons, catches, and quirks into consideration; we must understand that this points to the faults in our aspiration, our intention.
When my intention and aspiration are not strong enough, I will feel something distracting me. And this every disturbance points to what I need to add to my intention to seriously direct it and make it strong enough in its size and vector. In other words, I need to be aimed straight towards the goal and to have enough strength to direct me towards it.
The main thing is to have patience towards our friends, like we are patient with small children, our favorite small child. There is nothing we can do about it; it is also our egoism, which does not allow us to connect with others and shows us where we must bring ourselves closer and position ourselves.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/23/12, Lesson 2
1. When the friend and the group are greater than us, in other words, we regard our friends and the group as higher than us in order to feel their greatness;
2. When friends and the group are beneath us;
3. When they are equal to us.
If I perceive them as being smaller than me, then I am able to give to them like a big one gives to the small.
I have a certain kind of communication with them in either case, when I either receive the greatness of the goal from them, or ignite it in them by introducing my might, my investment into the greatness of the goal, the greatness of unity. And all this is in order to reach a state of being equal to them. And then we will really be friends.
The comparison must always be the goal. And the state of being below or above them is the state when I adjust myself in relation to them.
From the Vilnius Convention 3/23/12, Lesson 2
In relation to our friends, we take into account not their personal properties, but rather something that belongs to our spiritual path. I don’t care about their everyday problems. We sweep all of this aside and forget everything that exists around us. We are interested only in one thing—their aspiration upward! This is their point in the heart and I am dealing with it! This is my tuning point!