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Answer: You probably know that in the 18th century it was popular among the wealthy class to buy their own seat or box in the opera or theater. If a person wanted to hear his favorite aria in an opera, he could come for just those 15 minutes, enjoy it, and then go back home. Back then there were no tape recorders or recordings so people had to come there in person to hear a symphony or opera.
Later tape recorders and televisions were invented, so why haven’t theaters closed down to this day? For example, a ticket to an Italian opera performed by a famous singer costs a lot of money. I once went to an opera in London and the cheapest seat at the top of the gallery cost 40 pounds. But people still go there because it is impossible to transfer an impression through the screen.
To get a full impression, you have to be at that place in person. “A place” is a spiritual notion, which also exists in our world.
And this is even truer for a Kabbalistic convention because we get together to unite! And for that it is not enough to see it on the screen or hear it through the microphone. If even a recorded opera does not give you the same impression as a live performance, then it is even more so with the feeling of unity.
The entire purpose of the convention is unity. All the events, seminars and discussions are devoted to this. This is one, single, living process, which cannot be conveyed in any form. For this I am willing to travel to any group, to any point in the world, even though this is quite burdensome for me. But there is no choice; I cannot carry out my mission in any other form and you cannot attain the goal in any other way.
Only if someone lives in a very remote location and has no opportunity to attend, and really cannot (and he will have to prove that to the Creator, not to us), then apparently there is a personal, special calculation with him. But I would not let the opportunity to take part in a convention pass me by for anything.
There is a famous example of a person who lived thousands of years ago in the Negev desert and worked in agriculture, and once a year he travelled by foot to study in Jerusalem. He was only able to stay and study there for one day because the road there was so long that he had to immediately set out to go back so he could return in time to start working in the field. But to this day there is still a special day during the year that was named in his honor (“a student for one day”) when everyone sit and study.
It is impossible to pass energy from one person to another without personal, physical contact, when we are all together. That is why we exist in this world! This world is special because we are all egoists and are therefore able to begin our connection only in this way.
After all, we are not connected with a spiritual connection yet. And therefore, another, lower level has been given to us, called “this world” – an imaginary reality in which our connection is born. And after that it already begins to grow in spirituality.
It is like a flower that does not grow until the grain rots in the earth and a sprout grows out of it, which then grows to become a flower. That is how we must plant the beginning of our connection. And even though we are in the egoistic world, our grain must rot in this egoistic soil and a new sprout will shoot out of it.
However, this preliminary phase, this physical connection between us is necessary, and that is why this entire world exists.
I think that after these words, an explosion should occur and everyone who hasn’t registered yet will rush to register to the convention. If I was a person living in America, I would not stay home.
You can place a television with the biggest screen in front of you, and set up the ideal, most comfortable conditions, take a vacation from work so no one will bother you from watching, but this still won’t give you real contact. You will miss out on the most important thing: the inner sensation, and will see just the external picture.
From the lesson on 5/9/12 in America, Shamati
Opinion (Michelle M. Duguid, Washington University, and Jack A. Goncalo, Cornell University): “Height is an oft used metaphor for power: Powerful people ‘feel like the big man on campus’ and ‘people look up to them.’ Development psychologists have suggested that a metaphorical association between power and height may take root very early as, for instance, children are confronted with taller parents who have power over them and during adolescence taller children use their strength to physically coerce smaller children. This association continues to be reinforced as taller people earn higher salaries are more likely to be found in higher status occupations to emerge as leaders and to win presidential elections.
“This stream of research suggests that social perceivers judge the tall as more powerful than their shorter peers. For instance, when people expand themselves to take up more space, observers assume they are dominant, whereas when they constrict themselves, they are perceived by others as submissive. …
“In sum, there is strong evidence of a well learned positive association between power and height. An obvious prediction based on this research is that observers might use a target’s height to infer its power; not an unreasonable assumption given the robust correlation between height and power in naturalistic settings.”
“Here, we consider a more counterintuitive implication of the power-height association; that the psychological experience of power may cause individuals to actually feel taller than an objective measurement would indicate they really are.”
My Comment: In our egoistic world everything is measured quantitatively, the measure of egoism being “how much you get” (height, weight, distance, time, salary, etc.), while in the spiritual altruistic world, everything is measured qualitatively—the measure of bestowal. The difference is that receiving in our world is in the desire of a person himself while in the spiritual world it’s in the desires of others. Accordingly, there are no earthly sensations in the upper world, and that’s why the feeling of the gradual “disappearance of the body” is achieved there.
Opinion: (Dr. Alexei Yablokov, member of Russian Academy of Sciences, Center for Environmental and Ecological Policy): “The key implication of Professor V. Vernadsky’s biosphere concept is that the Earth is a peculiar living organism, in which the slightest fluctuations in its thinnest layers can trigger severe geological consequences.
“Later, British scientist James Lovelock also spoke about the Earth as a living creature. He stated a concept called “Gaia theory” or “Gaia principle” (“Gaia” stands for ancient Greek Goddess of Earth.)
The Earth (Gaia) might “cut off” humanity as a dangerous cancerous tumor. The population of Earth does everything to force it to get rid of us: over usage of irreplaceable natural resources, over-extraction of land, wood and water, pollution of the biosphere by chemical and radioactive substances….
“Ecologists’ approach to our planet’s resources takes into consideration long-term consequences, rather than merely present-day day “benefits.” As for economists, they look only 10 years ahead. Politicians’ thinking is limited to the time interval between two election cycles (4 – 6 years.) Discrepancies in calculation of time cause contradictions of various points of view. Politicians cannot agree with ecologists’ argument that “20 years from now it will be much worse,” since the main thing for them is to get their voters’ approval in the nearest future.
“Consumption-based society has to understand that at some point its development will exhaust itself. Common people give their votes to politicians who make ecologically dangerous decisions to attract voters. The only way to eliminate the environmental menace is to spread ecological information and knowledge as widely as possible. The worst thing that can happen to us is missing “the point of no return.”
“Ecologically oriented thinking should lead people to act conscientiously, to keep the environment safe and, to find our place in the magnificent biosphere we live in. Ecology is a science about keeping our home safe and sound. So far, the vast majority of earth inhabitants have not realized that the entire planet is our home.”
My Comment: For dozens of years, ecologists have been appealing to us, but since politicians and financiers are the ones who delineate our life, nothing ever changes. They will never invest in any endeavors that don’t bring immediate visible political or economic results. Is there a way out of the loop? The answer is to educate all layers of our society paying particular attention to widening the horizons of common people, since the upper layers of society will never voluntarily allow integral upbringing, because their goal is to keep the masses in front of TV sets.
We hope that we will gradually reach a level of agreement in society, the state, and between people when people begin to understand that no one else can change them but they themselves, and they will not be able to change the world without changing themselves, that the world is a person’s perception, his own reflection, and this is why it is necessary to play as if in the future so this future would become the present. As Kozma Prutkov once said: “If you want to be happy, be happy.” In general this is how it is.
This is why an instructor must also sort of be a psychotherapist. He must understand people very well and know all about this. Instructors must finish courses and have a lot of experience. They need to study exact formulas of behavior, change, and human reactions. In other words, the foundation of their experience must contain specific scenarios with proper inputs and outputs. They must understand what they are doing with people and the kinds of reactions that people might have, and they need to know exactly what they need to achieve the output.
Moreover, when working with a group of adults, we must also turn them into instructors while working with them because every person, in general, is his own instructor. And when he interacts with others, it turns out that everyone is instructing one another and themselves. In other words, this work is two-sided, it is the work of partnership between all the people.
And even though, in the beginning, there are instructors, educators, teachers, and methodologists working with the group, the group takes the entire method from them, the entire chain of changes that it must experience, the entire program, all the exact laws of behavior, the laws of influence and commutation between each other. At the end, everyone in the group comes to a point when they can apply this method to themselves and others, and actively interact with the rest, having exact understanding of how to change themselves under the influence of the group.
In other words, when a person ends up in any, even an accidental scenario, he feels exactly how to behave and how to fix this situation so he could influence it and make it have the right influence on him. This way he will always be able to work properly with the environment and simultaneously make it into an instrument for himself and the group that he influences.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 2/27/12
When I am included in society, I want to bestow upon all the other souls, all the desires that are outside me. But what can I bestow upon them? Then I (I) receive a very great Light from the Creator, the Light of Ein Sof (Infinity) (∞) that passes through me to others.
Eventually, each of us becomes similar to the Creator in his relation to others—the One who bestows, who feels everyone and fills them.
At the same time, we are all different and no one can take the place of another. Everyone has his own special abilities that allow him to join others and to give them something that only he can give them. It is this ability that makes a person similar to the Creator in his attitude to others.
The wisdom of Kabbalah tells us that a person shouldn’t be pressured or oppressed. The education should be free: We teach people about mutual guarantee, mutual connections, mutual help, and mutual fulfillment, but without coercion. If we dictate anything besides this to a person, we will deprive him of the ability to connect with others correctly and to bring his unique contribution for the benefit of all. He will not be able to be like the Creator in is attitude to the world and will not be able to raise himself to the Creator’s level, to the level of the One who bestows.
“Bestowal” is when I receive from the Creator and pass the Light that is meant for others through me. In order to enable a person to do that we have to give him the right education, without any pressure or oppression, according to the principle of: “educate the child in his own way.” In other words, develop his attributes, but don’t pressure, don’t oblige, and don’t break.
This is a special method and we have to learn how to use it. If we educate our children this way, they will become whole and successful people. This is because we will teach them to easily connect with others and thus provide them with the means to come closer to the Light. Thanks to this it will be easier for them to identify the general force that is concealed in nature. This is the uniqueness of our education.
A person in this world actually lacks only one thing, to know how to connect with other people. By learning how to connect, he will undoubtedly succeed in everything. This is the correction of the world. All our other dealings are only lies. We confuse ourselves by imaginary successes after which there are always disappointments, and crises and our troubles only keep on growing.
From the Brazil Convention 5/05/12, Lesson 4