Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Baal HaSulam, Shamati, Article 30, “The Most Important Is to Want Only to Bestow”: The most important is to want only to bestow because of His greatness, because any reception is flawed. It is impossible to exit reception, but only to take the other extreme, meaning bestowal.
We are present in a single state: in the field of information belonging to the property of bestowal. There is only this force field, and its force is the force of bestowal. This is how it is revealed to us.
Within this force lie its foundations, which we do not attain: abstract form and essence. What we attain, as the Kabbalists tell us, is the force field whose force is characterized by bestowal.
In order to exist independently within this field, we were created from the opposite force, the force of reception. If a person simply experiences whatever was determined by his or her nature and does not change himself, then within that unified field he feels the reality called “this world.” Each one can personally absorb this picture in oneself and live through it. This world is called imaginary because we don’t feel what really exists outside us and it is as if we are existing in an unconscious state and seeing a dream inspired by the vibes of imaginary perception.
Within this dream we are developing more and more towards awakening and awareness. Our entire evolution, our whole history fit into this process.
How can we feel the external, true reality in which we actually exist? How do we probe for this field of upper force that created us, sustains us, influences us, and constantly develops us in order to attach ourselves to it?
There are two paths:
1. The first is called “the path of suffering”: Whether we want to or not under the influence of the field of bestowal, we will keep developing and still come to want to know the One who governs us, influences us, develops, and guides us. Suffering will compel us to get to the root of its cause and we will discover that we suffer because of Him, because this is how He affects us.
Then we will have to come to know Him, to draw closer to Him in attempts to change His governance. And, like the first Kabbalists, through suffering, we’ll discover that this field, this Force acting on us, wants us to become similar to it by uniting with each other. This is called the law of equivalence of properties.
Why is this necessary? The fact is that through this, we will be the same as Him: eternal, whole, and perfect, and at the same time will remain independent. After all, if we were within Him, under His complete governance, then it’s as if we don’t even exist. However, our development contains a polarity: Inside us, a force grows which is opposite to the field of bestowal, and at the same time, we need to work on ourselves in order to become similar to Him.
2. If we do not want to go through the path of suffering but by the path of Light, through the good influence of the field of bestowal, then we reveal a simple law: In order to remain independent, we need to demand from this Light all the changes that accompany our growth. If I demand and the field executes it, then there is no problem with remaining independent while at the same time being similar to Him. After all, I myself, against my own desire, ask for it to change me.
In this way, during the course of development I include two forces in myself:
Inside of me is a force of reception, the cruel egoistic desire yearning only for personal gain, while on top of it I clothe the opposite form, the force of bestowal and love. But how can I know how to ask for the force of bestowal? After all, I don’t know what that even is. Whatever I may be imagining, all of my speculations are based on the force of reception and won’t allow me to truly demand changes in myself. Anything that I ask based on my own nature will always be directed at reception, sometimes concealed or camouflaged, but reception nonetheless.
How can I ask this field to give me a true force of bestowal so that it would start to be revealed in me like the force of reception, so that I would have two forces opposite to each other?
For that we were given a special existence: We see ourselves as living in the world filled with people just like us. And if I want to obtain a desire aimed at bestowal, a request for bestowal, then I can unite with others, with at least one other person. After all, the minimum plurality is two. But Kabbalists say that it is better if there will be at least ten of us, since this is a whole quantity. I need to start uniting with them in order to reach the desire for bestowal.
How do we unite? The Kabbalists who discovered the method explain this also: I need to sit together with them, eat and drink, study among them, and most importantly, maintain the intention: What do I want to achieve through all these actions? It’s important not to forget that my intention is to obtain a desire to bestow. This is what Baal HaSulam writes about: “The most important is to want only to bestow.”
It turns out that I work with people who desire the same thing, we are together in one group, and someone teaches us. How all this came to be, we don’t know, as if by accident. But in reality, that very same field drives us in the same way that an electromagnetic field places iron filings along the lines of equilibrium. In the “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Baal HaSulam writes that the Creator brings a person to a group and says: “This is for you, take it. Here is your free choice.” And the choice is only to be strengthened together with the friends on the path to the desire to bestow. We cannot achieve the desire itself, because that desire is the Creator. However, we are obliged to want this desire among ourselves, and then, feeling the need for it, I will feel in my heart that I am lacking bestowal and that I want to be a giver.
Why? I don’t even know. It happens on its own after a long time, five, maybe ten years. This is why we were given this life. Little by little, in the heart of a person, a desire and need for the property of bestowal appear.
Everything here is subject to simple “physics of forces”: The more acutely my heart experiences the need to come to bestowal, the more powerfully the field of bestowal affects me. This is how we come closer: I according to my need for it, and it according to the force of bestowal directed at me. As a result, we begin to feel each other, and I obtain internal changes: In addition to the natural force of reception, a force of bestowal appears in me.
This is how a correct form is developed: A receiving desire inside and a giving desire on the outside – a form of man (Adam), similar (domeh) to the Creator. His receiving desire, the “material” of creation, remains, while on the outside it’s covered with a garment, a “wrapper,” a desire to bestow.
So first and foremost, I need to want to bestow, and when this desire reaches a certain degree of tension in the heart, the field influences me by induction, introducing into me the force of bestowal.
Finally, it clothes in me and I become a sort of a sentient “probe” or “sensor” for this field. Suppose I received inside me ten grams of desire to bestow. First of all, through this, I was born; in other words, I begin to sense the field that surrounds me, I feel that I exist within it, I feel its properties, its attitude toward me, and my attitude toward it. In addition to the current material level, I enter into a connection with this field on a new level that is called the spiritual world, and this, in essence, is how we attain the Creator.
This field contains all the information about the past, present, and future, about everything that happens to me and to the whole world. A person who maintains connection to this field begins to understand how to make contact with it correctly, what to ask of it. Through this, we find ourselves in an enormous flow of information that fills all of reality. Here we learn who the Creator is, what this field is, how to establish contact with it, and how to operate the entire system. Thus man ascends higher and higher, more and more is included in the spiritual world. And all this only from the desire to bestow that he received in himself from this field.
Returning to the desire to bestow: A condition is embedded in it—one needs to want to become a giver. And who would want that? Special people with a point in the heart, that is, with a small charge that directs them for the field of bestowal of which they are a part.
And what of others? Others cannot strive for that. Like the first Kabbalists, they can reveal this field through the path of suffering and misfortunes, anguishing, not understanding the reason for what’s happening and in general, what they live for.
To the measure that this state is becoming formed, we are arriving to the present, singular point in history. The path of suffering of the world has more or less been revealed today. Many people, even if not all seven billion, are already asking the questions: “What do we live for? What is the meaning of life? What are we suffering for?” This question, coming from them, cannot receive an answer. Moreover, they don’t know where and how to direct their suffering. After all, they don’t understand and don’t feel anything except for this world.
Here comes the turn of the people with a point in the heart: We are obliged to become for others what the Creator is for creation. After all, it is we who are able to connect them to the field of bestowal, and this is our purpose, what Baal HaSulam describes in the article “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee).” This is why we awaken en masse toward the upper force, while others receive this awakening from us. This is our work.
Thus, “the most important is to want only to bestow.” We are able to desire it with consciousness and awareness, because we were given a particle, a spark of its field, and with its help we can aim our course, and aspire towards this field in order to reveal it. By uniting our sparks, we will be able to demand from it the force of bestowal. While the others aren’t capable of this, they need our guidance.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/21/12, Shamati #30
Question: The integral method is unnatural to human egoism, and for that reason, people try to dodge it. People need proof.
Answer: Proof can be twofold. Either we show a person a good future that truly shines to him from afar if he becomes an integral element of society and reaches harmony and balance with it, or he experiences the suffering that is not far ahead.
At the same time, we need to show people that suffering is necessary only so that one will realize the need to develop socially. In essence, these are the only two forces of development: suffering that pushes us from behind and benevolent aspiration ahead. That’s it!
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/24/12
Question: On one hand, the phenomenon of world wars includes horrible suffering and millions of dead or bereaved people, but on the other hand, they lead to a new degree, a leap in the development of sciences and psychology in particular.
Answer: This is natural. Suffering reveals previously hidden resources in society and in individuals. Thus, completely new systems of interaction and revelations of individuality have begun to come about that are then immediately examined by scientists.
In addition, we need to view wars not only as a system of destruction and conquest, but also as a revelation of an enormous explosive charge of suffering that condenses time. After all, if in one’s everyday life a person exists on a tiny flame of development so to speak, let’s say that over the course of five years of war, a huge leap occurs not only technologically, but also in the relationships between people.
Everything changes: a person’s view of the world, social relationships, and the government. We can say that the war itself is a result of a need for a rapid advancement of society, although certainly it is a dramatic event. However, this is precisely why a need arises for it.
If society develops normally at the speed where people will be connected harmoniously to each other and the outside world, nature, then, of course there no longer will be a need for such periods when the development of society occurs through a leap experienced as tremendous suffering. However, if this will not be achieved, the state that we are in right now may lead to war.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/24/12
Answer: You need the Light for that. Don’t we sometimes feel that we cannot stand ourselves? Don’t we torture ourselves when we see that we are wasting our lives by using everyone for our own benefit? Don’t we condemn ourselves for wanting to rest and for looking down on everyone?
However, we cannot bring all these feelings together. The problem is that a person thinks that he can do something by himself. A person is successful and is very lucky if he understands that without the Light, he can do nothing.
A person should not search himself, but, on the contrary, he should say, as it is written, “Go and tell the craftsman that made me.” Let the Light correct you; this is the only option.
The Creator wants to evoke you and spur you on to contact Him by every bad feeling he sends you. This is the reason He created evil: so that we will use the Torah, the Light, as a “spice,” as a means for correction.
So any bad thing that happens to you gives you a chance to turn to the Creator. However, if you don’t turn to Him, if you look for help elsewhere, this is called “other gods,” as if it weren’t Him who sent you these troubles.
This is where the group comes in, in creating a consolidated perspective, a clear understanding that everything we receive is from the Creator. The moment we feel a flaw or a defect, we must turn to Him. If this is the general approach, then I will certainly not forget this.
We forget these simple facts in our spiritual work because we don’t make sure that it should be the common, general protocol, the general atmosphere in the group. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t waste our time.
Question: However, I turn to the Creator not so that He will solve my corporeal problems, but so that He will help me demand a greater connection since the connection is the solution.
Answer: Yes, the solution is indeed in the connection among us. The Creator sends you a problem in such a way and on such a level that you will identify it as a problem.
If he sent you a problem in its true form, as lack of bestowal upon the friends or lack of love, then at that moment you wouldn’t feel sorry about it. So, instead, he presents it differently to you.
You didn’t exert yourself as you should have in working on the connection among us, and this corruption is depicted to you as a totally different external problem such as a flat tire, for example. You come out in the morning and see that you have a flat tire, so you curse life and the Creator, and change the tire with the spare tire if you have one.
Thus, the real problem takes on a different form that enables you to feel sorrow and pain. Now, besides the necessary external actions, your work is to understand that the Creator has called you since you are not connected to the friends and do not reveal the Light. Otherwise, what do you need troubles for?
Question: So, how can I turn to the Creator now? After all, the Creator is a force, the law of nature; it is useless to pray to Him and to ask from Him.
Answer: “Praying” doesn’t mean to ask something from Him the way we see it. By praying, I discover a deficiency within me and a need for the Light so that it will come and influence me. Praying means to discover a deficiency that is aimed at correction, at the right filling, by the force of bestowal, by the Light. It is the attribute of bestowal by which I want to be filled. This is called praying.
However, I never discover such a deficiency. Instead, I feel that I lack something. How is it possible to turn the egoistic deficiency, the fact that I lack something, into a deficiency for the attribute of bestowal? This is our internal work called “God’s work.” When, together, with the friends, I switch from a corporeal deficiency for my self-benefit to a spiritual deficiency for the attribute of bestowal, I summon the Light that Reforms, and my desire is fulfilled.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
Answer: If you see the environment as important, it will convey the importance of the goal back to you. Don’t pay attention to how this environment behaves. What you see is irrelevant since you don’t see anything in its true form.
You must simply, constantly, invest in your environment as if it swallows everything. Your job is to make the environment feel that the goal is important, that the Creator is important, the spiritual path and the studying are important. In response, you may see that they all disrespect one another and that they disrespect you since this is also something the Creator has arranged for you.
You must understand that you are working vis-à-vis the Creator who is depicted to you in the form of the society. The Creator may present the environment to you as totally corrupt, but this doesn’t matter. You still must make efforts and bestow upon it in one direction.
The other direction is your receiving from them, which is meant only to teach you how you should improve yourself and, despite everything, impress them with the greatness and the importance of the goal. Leave all the calculations of how much you can get from them. All such accountings are egoistic. If you begin to think about how they offend you and how they treat you, it is all ego.
You should see the group in such a way that you don’t care about anything that is in regard to you. No matter how they respond to you, you only need to give in return, just as you treat little children and wait until they grow up.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/26/12, Writings of Rabash
To get a sense of the Light, we must practice, and exercises are possible only in the group. For example, a dance teacher begins to perform various movements with me: a step forward, a step backward, a spin, and so forth. The group is in front of me, and I can feel it, work with it, and thus advance.
Yes, this is very unpleasant to my egoism because, every time, I must give primacy to the group, not me, but it leads me in this “tango.” Friends express their desire, and I should follow it. As it is written, “Nullify your desire according to His desire.” I am learning how to bow my head, to accept the desire of the group as my lead partner, and come to cooperation, unity, with friends. I begin to feel their desire. It turns out that my dancing partner is reliable and close, devoted and faithful. I act for him, and he acts for me. Then, our unity turns into a real group.
The “group” means a single desire of friends to be united with each other. There is neither “me” nor “them” in this desire that is being born between us, but there is one whole, a new reality, not connection itself, but its result.
This is the spiritual fruit that came out of the mother’s womb. In it, we perceive the One and the Light; the Creator is revealed in it, in that desire to which we gave birth and created, which we have achieved by becoming one whole. There cannot be a divided multitude, but unity reigns in it.
Baal HaSulam writes about this in Letter 13: Besides the great power hidden in it, you should know that there are many sparks of sanctity in each of the friends. And as you collect all of these sparks into one place, as brothers in love and friendship, certainly you would have a very exalted degree of the level of sanctity at that hour.
A person can be included in the group in different ways, can come and go in waves, wholeheartedly or half-heartedly. Nonetheless, each of us has a unique particle of the Light that pulls him out of the bottom of this world, and that is why we must appreciate everyone. Moreover, this applies equally for men and women.
Our sparks are a true gift from above. A person is called a human (Adam) if he has this spark pulling him toward becoming similar (Adameh) to the Creator. If he does not have a spark, he still belongs to the “animate” level.
We are not speaking about some inadequacy. Some merely get a “dual” task to be born earlier than others and help everyone else to be born spiritually. They are similar to the head of humanity and must lead it forward.
That is why we need to understand that every friend has received a special attitude from above, from the Light that dressed into him. In his soul, in his spiritual root, there is something very special placed in him, so he is close to the light and receives this assignment.
Of course, he does not rise egoistically above humanity. We respect the friend because he was granted a special role to serve. We don’t treat others with disdain because this mission doesn’t depend on us.
That is why I must respect each friend. He was chosen from above, by the Light to become my partner. I cannot be born without him, and neither can humanity.
From the Miami Convention 6/23/12, Lesson 1
In the News (from The New York Times): “The report, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is the largest yet to tease out the impact of loneliness on people in their later years. Geriatricians at the University of California, San Francisco, asked 1,604 adults age 60 and older how often they felt isolated or left out, or lacked companionship. The researchers were attempting to quantify the feeling of loneliness — a sense of not having meaningful contact with others, accompanied by painful distress. …
“Lonely older adults also were 45 percent more likely to die than seniors who felt meaningfully connected with others, even after results were adjusted for factors like depression, socioeconomic status and existing health conditions.
“The emphasis on meaningful connections goes to the heart of what loneliness is and is not. It is not the same thing as being alone: 62.5 percent of older adults who reported being lonely in this new study were married. Nor is it simply a paucity of social contacts. As has been observed many times, people can feel lonely even when surrounded by others if their interactions lack emotional depth and resonance.”
My Comment: Man is created as a social being and cannot provide himself with everything necessary, especially in old age, so anxiety fills his existence. But we can correct this only through changing our nature, by creating a friendly society that will affect everyone so when the time comes, a person will be in a healthy old age peacefully falling asleep in his last sleep.
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Opinion (Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF): “At a meeting with eurozone finance ministers, the director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, spells out plans for more centralised economic control in the 17 countries using the single currency. She says the IMF’s preference is for recapitalisation of banks to be done directly from European bailout funds, rather than via states.”
My Comment: Our egoism closes our eyes and blunts us so much that it did not even let us realize that it is impossible to create a single EU state without centralized control. But it will not work without unifying the entire EU control in one hand, treating all members of the EU as one nation and people.