Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Baal HaSulam writes to his students that the problem of the group is neglecting the love of friends, which means the mutual help necessary for the spiritual birth.
How can you reveal love and unity? By taking a desire from every friend who wants to fulfill it; with the help of my attributes, my desire becomes an assistant, a “midwife” for the friend’s desire. Of course, I take the desires that are aimed at spirituality and constantly try to empower him and to raise him. Thus, mutually, we help one another according to the principle of “each one shall help his friend.”
To love the friend means to receive his desire instead of my desire. I constantly look for an opportunity to fill him and to empower him, to help him and to push him forward, to make the goal seem important to him, to give him energy and help him be in a good mood.
I explained to you in every possible way (in seventy languages) that this merit is enough to fulfill all your needs.
In other words, he used all the attributes, all the possible types of bestowal. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the upper Partzuf with regards to the lower Partzuf is like Zeir Anpin with respect to Malchut; Zeir Anpin has seven Sefirot while Malchut is one Sefira. Overall, ten Sefirot multiplied by seven is called seventy “languages,” which means the types of bestowal that Zeir Anpin can bestow upon Malchut. And besides, it also means the pivot that determines how the scale will be tilted.
This is what Baal HaSulam speaks about: “I constantly try to convey the feeling that it is up to you to raise the positive force above the negative force. So fulfill it, exert yourselves, it is in your power and it is enough in order to complete everything that you lack. Even if you are callous and lazy, even if you are egoists and individualists, it makes no difference; everyone has received his own nature. What matters is that you make an effort.”
And if you cannot rise to Heaven, I have given you those who walk upon the earth.
To “Heaven” is the level of bestowal, Bina, and we shouldn’t think that it is unattainable. Of course you cannot do it, but try and then your efforts will summon the Light that Reforms, the upper force. By trying to come closer to the Light, you draw its influence upon you that matches the tension you display. It is a law of nature: You receive the force to be born, by your efforts.
Why did you not add to this work at all?”
Because you are only required to try and the Light always completes the other half of the work. In our egoistic world we don’t see the beginning of our actions: where the desire stems from? Why do I want this in particular? Why am I drawn in this direction? Suddenly I feel an urge, suddenly a thought is evoked, but I don’t know where it comes from. The Creator says, “I’m the first.” But this initial factor that spurs me is concealed from us. I suddenly yearn for something, exert myself and see a result as in the case of success and in the case of failure. I don’t even see that it is the actions of the Light that are aimed at the goal that have brought about this result and not my own actions.
I don’t see the beginning of the process nor its end, and in the process itself I don’t pay attention to what motivates me. I am like a baby instinctively responding to the different stimuli.
There is no such thing in spirituality. The spiritual revelation that we want to attain is the revelation of the Creator’s actions, the actions of the Light. This means that with all our efforts I demand Its overt participation. I always fulfill my first half of the work by wanting to discover his second half. Thus I find my partner, the Creator, create a vessel for His stimulus, and thus advance time after time.
Now at the beginning of this process we don’t feel it and don’t understand it. In the meantime we have to discover the second half to such an extent that we can learn to work with the Creator, just as a horse and its rider operate mutually, like two dancers dancing arm in arm. Eventually I will discover that the Creator is dressed in me and fulfills everything, but only if I agree to it, if I want to discover His leadership, His control over me.
Then it is as if I disappear by filling everything with Light. My self and the Light become one whole if I rise above my ego and exit myself.
The whole Kabbalistic method is about that: how we can exit ourselves and feel the movement of our tango “partner.” The main thing it is to follow Him harmoniously. In order to do that we need to know His attributes, and the steps He wants to take with us.
The first step is called “submission”: We only try to annul our ego, that wants to go wherever it likes to, and create a place for the actions of the Light. Thus, we help it give birth to us; we enable the “force of midwife” to pull us out of this gloomy world.
From the Miami Convention 6/23/12, Lesson 1
Human evolution occurs as a result of the development of the ego. By existing within inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature, a person constantly and dynamically develops under the influence of the egoistic desires that overcome the simple primitive desires and become more and more complex.
The desires are divided into physical ones for food, sex, and family, and into human ones for wealth, respect, control, and knowledge, and spiritual needs.
If we divide the time axis on which humanity develops into sections, then since about the 5th century BC until the 5th century AD people aspired for wealth. Of course, the exact time is debatable since it all depends on which civilizations we are looking at.
From the 5th century until the 15th century, the desire for power and respect grew. The Middle Ages isn’t just a period of time in which humanity froze, but a period of deep internal development that is typified by very serious events, such as the Crusades, etc.
The next stage in the development of the desire is from the 15th century until the 20th century and it is typified by the yearning for knowledge.
After that, everything began to wane and from the beginning of the 20th century we started a new era, the era of the conscious necessity of attaining the meaning of life.
Although we come across the first psychological quests in the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, Plato, and the ancient Greeks, it was all on a level that doesn’t yet touch the inner essence of man, since it wasn’t revealed in ordinary people yet and not in great personalities that could be studied.
Only after fulfilling the physical desires and the human ones did we enter the area of the spiritual needs that belong to a person’s soul, which means not the way he lives, what he invents, and how he manages in life, but the essence of his existence, his personality, and the meaning of his development. Then the serious question regarding knowledge appeared. Here psychology was born. It happened at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, but on the whole it all leads to our times.
After the first phase of the development of psychology, its gradual waning and the disappointment in its abilities began. The shift from research and new discoveries to mere psychological work made people feel tranquil instead of showing them the process of their development and raising and developing them.
By understanding how much we don’t understand this process, by perceiving to what extent we don’t perceive the goal of our development, psychology seems to have turned to a narrow practical area, shrinking and limiting itself to practical applications, limited by the training of different experts, by publishing different articles, and by calming people using different methods. The result was that psychologists began to serve people instead of taking people and raising them to the next level of development, which was actually expected of psychology.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/24/12
In the News (from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada): “Using scientific theories, toy ecosystem modeling and paleontological evidence as a crystal ball, 21 scientists, including one from Simon Fraser University, predict we’re on a much worse collision course with Mother Nature than currently thought.
“In Approaching a state-shift in Earth’s biosphere, a paper just published in Nature, the authors, whose expertise spans a multitude of disciplines, suggest our planet’s ecosystems are career[n]ing towards an imminent, irreversible collapse.
“Earth’s accelerating loss of biodiversity, its climate’s increasingly extreme fluctuations, its ecosystems’ growing connectedness and its radically changing total energy budget are precursors to reaching a planetary state threshold or tipping point.
“Once that happens, which the authors predict could be reached this century, the planet’s ecosystems, as we know them, could irreversibly collapse in the proverbial blink of an eye.”
My Comment: The process of destruction has begun and was recognized a long time ago, but it is accelerating, and, indeed, it may be a sharp abrupt deterioration due to the complete interaction of all ecological systems, until they collapse.
Opinion (from AlertNet, Thomson Reuters Foundation): “Speculation on food prices played out on the trading floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and other commodity futures exchanges are to blame, critics say.
“’People are starving because the markets are out of equilibrium,’ said Yaneer Bar-Yam, director of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), a research institute, which has analysed the impact of speculation on food prices.
“’Food prices have nothing to do any more with the real price of food, or the availability of food,’ Bar-Yam told AlertNet. …
“’Deregulation of commodity markets has led to increased volatility and contributed to food price spikes that have caused massive harm to millions across the world facing hunger and poverty,’ said Christine Haigh, campaigns officer at the World Development Movement (WDM), an advocacy group.
“Before deregulation, agricultural futures markets were mainly used by farmers and food buyers to protect themselves from risks such as bad harvests. A futures contract provides protection by locking in a price for a promise to deliver a crop at a future date.
“But in recent years, investors have poured unprecedented amounts of money into agricultural commodities – spurred to hunt elsewhere for profits after the dotcom crash of 2000, the U.S. property market meltdown in 2006 and the 2008 financial crisis.
“They have become major players – in the past five years investment in food commodities by banks and hedge funds has risen to $126 billion from $65 billion five years ago, according to a report by WDM.
“A 2011 study by UNCTAD concluded that the commodities market had stopped to function ‘properly’ in a way where prices are shaped by supply and demand.
“’The activities of financial participants drive commodity prices away from levels justified by market fundamentals,’ the study said. …
“Wheat prices, for example, rose 46 percent between January and February 2008, fell back almost completely by May and increased again by 21 percent in July before falling again in August 2008. …
“There are signs some banks are listening to arguments that food price speculation harms millions of people. Germany’s DekaBank, last month said it was pulling out of investing in basic food stuffs, such as wheat, soya, maize and meat.”
My Comment: In the world, there is an excess of everything, including food. It is only the speculation of the “fat cats” that leads to the unequal distribution and hunger. The crisis, destruction, famine, and environmental catastrophe will compel us to decide to curb our egoistic nature. And the question of how to do this will lead us all to the method of integral upbringing.
Question: In the last few years, we have seen a very interesting phenomenon in some European countries: 60% of the women set a physiological orgasm as a goal in sexual intercourse, which means that by and large they don’t actually don’t care who they are with, as long as they learn to experience this pleasure. This leads to the fact that men are afraid of behaving naturally and of cooperating with women, and the rate of divorce has increased sharply. Can integral education solve this problem?
Answer: The need for sex is one of the basic human necessities. And so in daily life, people are constantly drawn to it. This need is evoked in them, it motivates them, and people assess things and they form the basis of this need.
In principle, the need for sex is basic, not because it is “beastly” and allows us to give birth and ensures the existence of our species, but because it enables us to come in contact with one another, which brings us to a very unique state because this state is both our starting point and our ending point; we look at its final form, we see it as the moment of highest pleasure. I will call it sexual pleasure, but actually it is the fusion of all the people together into one unique desire and its fulfillment.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is called the upper coupling, intercourse. Different religions also speak about that, and many things are based in this. This refers to the maximum connection of all the parts of creation that complement one another, of all the parts that bestow and receive that are called masculine and feminine.
Now, the phase in which our previous, relatively small, mechanical and beastly connections and sexual desires that have provided us with certain attitudes to communication, connection, family, and in which people have played with one another or used one another reasonably well, is now coming to an end. It doesn’t exist today since we are moving on to a totally different level of need.
On one hand, people are losing the natural need for sex the way it used to be. On the other hand, the desires of the next level are revealed, and it doesn’t matter if they are sexual needs or other needs such as food, everyday needs, and so on. New needs from the new level appear, and people don’t understand them and cannot fulfill them. They think that they will manage to fill themselves by using the old methods.
This will continue to grow. These desires will always manifest in a more and more exaggerated form.
We must explain to people that it is the connection with others that will help them understand that they can be filled by everything, including the desires we call “sexual.” It very well may be that they will not take the form of sexual acts anymore and will have nothing to do with that. The greatest pleasure for a person will be his integral connection with others, and it won’t matter that it isn’t a sexual act. The emphasis will be on adhesion, while our sexual relations will gradually descend to the ordinary, beastly level since we actually are not worthy of anything else. However, the pleasure, the filling, will be felt clearly in the connection among us, and it will be called the coupling of opposites.
Question: So, this means that different deviations, not necessarily sexual deviations, but also overeating and overuse of other luxuries, are the result of a person’s inability to move on to the next level of fulfillment?
Answer: Yes, he tries to fill the new desire by using the old means. It is actually impossible to fill these desires with the same old methods, but only by using new, round means. This is the crisis.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/23/12
Answer: Yes, but how can I be sure that I have done everything correctly, and that I am not deceiving myself? If I support the physical actions in this world, I can be sure that my intentions are correct.
Otherwise, I can tell you how much I love you, but how can you believe if this is true or not? And it isn’t about the fact that I may be deceiving you, I am not sure that I am not deceiving myself. What can I do so that it will be the truth?
It is for this reason that we are in a group, in a physical world. If the action and the intention go hand in hand, it proves that we are acting correctly, honestly, and that we are not lying.
If I cannot perform any actions and only intend to bestow upon the friends, it means that my intention is false. If I only act without the right intention and do not intend to reach the Creator through the friend, the action is false, and we are actually doing it for our own benefit. So there must be a state in our world in which we have to perform physical actions that can be accompanied by the spiritual intention of bestowal.
When we are in a group, we have a chance to check ourselves. Therefore, this world was created on the lowest level on which we can perform false actions: smile at one another, help each other as if we bestow, but it is all for our self-benefit. If we begin to work on our intention in the group and to draw the Light, as we want to reach bestowal upon the Creator through the group, we begin to see our true intentions. There should be a combination of the two worlds here, this world and the spiritual world.
So we reach the world of Ein Sof (Infinity) when we climb all the 125 degrees, only if we exist in this world in a physical body as we do that. If we haven’t managed to go all the way up during our lifetime, we return to this world. After all, we must constantly exist in the two worlds: in the intention—in the spiritual world, and in physical actions—in the corporeal world.
This is why the situation today is so special. We’ve reached such a state in the corporeal world that pushes us to develop the intention to bestow. Otherwise, we will not be able to survive. People call it a crisis, and we call it a new path, a new phase in human development, in which we have to discover the spiritual world and to connect it to the corporeal one.
Only a person who studies Kabbalah can do that. This is why we have to develop as fast as we can in order to teach the world. The world won’t be able to it independently since it is only possible to reach a connection with the upper world if you have the “point in the heart,” an aspiration to rise spiritually. Therefore, we have to think about the whole world and to hasten our development.
From the Miami Convention 6/23/12, Lesson 3
Answer: It is impossible to become confused in actions: It is obvious if I do something to benefit others or myself. All the clarifications are in intention and are realized with the help of the group.
If you are in the group and perform actions in it as it is said: “Make yourself a teacher, buy a friend and try to justify every person” and all this with the intention to reach the Creator, then you cannot go wrong. If you separate yourself from the group, then certainly you are no longer on the correct path.
That is why all our freedom of will is only to choose the best and strongest environment. Otherwise, all our actions will be carried out at the subconscious animal level, and there will be no freedom in them, as if you don’t exist as an independent person, but completely obey your inner impulses and instincts.
Only if you give yourself to the group and agree with its influence on you, can you advance in this form.
From the Miami Convention 6/23/12, Lesson 3
Answer: If a person is immersed in his ego, in his desire to receive, then he certainly cannot be happy because it will only bring him pain. But if he rises above his ego so as not to worry about what goes on inside him, but to live on a higher level and to identify with the attribute of bestowal, with the world, with everything that surrounds him, he can be happy constantly.
It can be to such an extent that he won’t feel what is happening with his body at all. The body can die, but a person will not feel that he belongs to his body any more.
Now we totally identify ourselves with our body. But if we can develop so that we will gradually draw further from it, we will eventually stop feeling that we are tied to it at all. It is as if I float above this body, and it is indeed so, because I identify with the attribute of bestowal and I live in it, and this is the key to advancing in happiness.
I can attain this if I am incorporated in the environment and together with others form one general group force that is not egoistic, but that is formed from all our spiritual sparks that are connected above our ego. Our ego loses its value and we raise the sparks and see them as the top priority. As a result we begin to live in these sparks that are connected and create one harmonious group force.
Besides, by developing the force of mutual bestowal, which means that we can demand this force of bestowal from the upper force field, from the Creator, we will constantly feel happy. It all depends on how a person aims himself regarding the group, and how the group aims itself regarding the Creator, regarding the field of bestowal and love.
This is the only factor that determines everything. I have to detach myself from my “self” and to rise to the level of “we”; everything will be accepted happily! It isn’t simple, and there are ascents and descents, but this is how we advance. Each time we receive an additional ego, an additional desire to enjoy, so that we will grow stronger and connect more tightly to the field of bestowal. This is the only way to advance.
If a person identifies with the goal, he accepts everything that happens on the way happily because he understands that it is a means for reaching the goal.
But if a person thinks only about his stomach—absorbed in himself, unable to rise above himself, then he will certainly walk around with a sour face, will suffer in life, and will always have complaints about the environment, about the group, the friends, the Creator and the teacher—it all depends on how a person aims himself.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/21/12, Shamati #30
Question: A man must structure the work time in his life very clearly. Today, this is a problem since most adults spend more of their time being idle than they do working. How do we bring up young people so that their day will be correctly planned?
Answer: The problem is that a person is bored today. He cannot captivate himself with work. Everything in life seems to have no meaning for him. This is a problem for all workers, especially office workers, up to the managers. The manager locks himself in the office, “I’m busy!” But actually he is languishing.
There is the same pretending to be busy with the employees and officials of all levels at work. This is natural. People are losing the desire to create, produce, and do something. They cannot force themselves to work. A person is lying around, sitting, fiddling with something.
It’s good that the Internet is there today. It is simply a panacea against boredom because people are busy with something at least; otherwise, there would be a more rapid degradation. Although in this case, it would have been much easier, we would quickly feel like a wilted plant. All of this is a consequence of the evolution of our desire, which has grown to its maximum and can no longer be fulfilled with anything.
This started back in the sixties of the last century with the generation of “flower children,” “Beatles,” the hippies who “went” into meditation, used drugs and so on. This was the first signal.
Now, working on integral communication with people, we are using quite a simple tactic. First, you must see how much the society works on a person; how much it excites, captivates, and rules over him; how much his personality begins to become inspired by the opportunities, desires, and goals of the environment; how much the environment influences his personality, and that is why, depending on the games we carry out, we begin to awaken in everyone, good or a bad relationships, all kinds of changes, transitions in perception, in thoughts, in decisions, in evaluations and so on.
The point is that if we correctly include a person within the surrounding society, then his desire, being the base of all of his existence, the desire, which earlier was very small (because he did not want anything, he could not move a finger) now becomes ten times greater because it is in a group, which is beginning to stimulate him, constantly shaking him up.
Finally, he becomes permeated with the desires of everyone else and, most importantly, he is awakened, he gets some kind of a small internal stress. And this takes him out of the state of indifference.
I think that this should be adopted by all work groups if they do not want to sleep throughout their lives. After all, they do actually have to do something for the good of the society. Therefore it is necessary for them to come and unite, so that even though one may be sleeping, they would be mutually stimulated by each other. And then they will have additional desire, the urge, and growth, and they will begin to live and work effectively.
It is the same with children. Meaning that the environment performs such a tuning on the personality with which it begins to receive the desire of all of the surrounding people and becomes much more energetic than before.
In addition, such a strong desire creates the environment for the person for further development. This is not simply heightened attention, but the possibility to rise above others and to lower oneself before them, to absorb information from the surrounding people and most importantly, to achieve coming out into the center of the circle and feeling the commonality through which we would be looking at the world and solving all of the problems correctly.
It is a higher desire, higher thought and mind, which does not relate to me or others. It is something, which we have created now by our own effort and incentive. And this common thing, which was born between us, is our next level, which is more developed. Looking through this level, approaching the world through it, each one of us brings himself to the correct solution.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/23/12