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Steps Along A Great Road

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 14: Thus you necessarily find that on the whole, there are three states to the soul:

The First State is their presence in Ein Sof, in the Thought of Creation, where they already have the future form of the End of Correction.

The Second State is their presence in the six thousand years, which were divided by the above two systems into a body and a soul. They were given the work in Torah and Mitzvot in order to invert their will to receive and turn it into a will to bestow contentment upon their Maker, and not at all to themselves.

The Third State is the end of correction of the souls, after the revival of the dead. At that time, the complete correction will come to the bodies, too, for then they will turn reception for themselves, which is the form of the body, to take on the form of pure bestowal. And they will become worthy of receiving for themselves all the delight and pleasure and pleasantness in the Thought of Creation. And with all that, they will attain strong adhesion by the force of their equivalence of form with their Maker.

We are going through the phase of preparation now. Then comes the phase of fear, Bina, Hafetz Hesed, to bestow in order to bestow. Then comes the level of love, to receive in order to bestow.

On the whole, we go through these three levels. Along the way, our desire to receive is increasingly revealed to us, and accordingly is corrected, first by “restriction,” and then by the attribute of Bina, then by the attribute of Hochma, until it reaches the level of Keter.

Now we are about to start the second phase Baal HaSulam speaks about, the system of the worlds of ABYA in order to eventually reach the third phase and to return to Ein Sof (Infinity).

In the meantime, however, we are in “our world,” which means on the lowest level of perception of the shattered desire that was created after the descent from the world of Ein Sof. We can say that this reality is imaginary; we can say that we are living in a dream, but one way or the other, it is from this reality that we begin to wake up.

When we wake up, we don’t discover anything new, but only what is inside us. By working correctly on our desire to receive, we discover deeper and more internal layers time after time, and thus we grow. These layers are divided into the levels of the worlds of BYA, Atzilut, etc. all the way to the level of Ein Sof. They are all revealed in our desire to receive. Now our desire to receive is small, like a baby’s, but then it begins to grow, is dyed in different colors, and takes on different attributes regarding the inner force called the Creator that revives us.

I don’t know who He is or what He is, but I want to attain Him. After all He is inside me, He is the source of all my powers and I want to attain this root inside me. In order to do that, I have to resemble Him. Since I don’t really attain the Creator himself, since it is impossible, but rather attain His attributes, His attitude, the actions He performs on me. If I perform the actions that He performs, I will understand Him, according to the principle of “from Your actions we shall know You.”

This is the attainment. I cannot enter the Creator, but I can perform actions that are identical to His and by them I understand who He is, how He thinks, and what He wants.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/28/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Simple Way To Boost Marital Happiness

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from LiveScience): “Saying ‘thank you’ may be a simple way to boost marital happiness, new research suggests. This cycle of appreciation may also make for longer-lasting relationships.

“‘Feeling appreciated by your partner influences how you act in your relationship, and how much you want to stay in that relationship,’ study researcher Amie Gordon, of the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience. ‘Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship.’

“‘What goes wrong in a lot of relationships is if you start to take your partner for granted,’ Gordon told LiveScience. ‘You get used to having them in your life and forget why you chose to be with them.’

“They [the researchers] found that, the more often a participant acted understanding, validating and caring toward their partner, the more appreciated their partner felt, and the happier both were in the relationship. These behavioral displays — leaning in to your partner when they are speaking, making eye contact, giving comforting touches — are important ways that people show gratitude.”

My Comment: There is nothing new in these suggestions. The question is how to overcome pride, enter into the feelings of the other, and to think not about one’s own fulfillment, but about good fulfillment of the other? How can we transform egoistic love into altruistic? This should be taught in a short Kabbalah course because it is the method of correction of our nature from reception to bestowal!

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A Vessel For The Light Of Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the creation there is only a Light and a vessel for it. The vessel for the Light is not the desire to receive that the Creator created, but the yearning for the upper one that stems from the created being itself.

The Creator evokes the created being by a spark of the Light so that the created being will be able to develop this yearning inside. The created being has to use this spark correctly by turning to the environment, which means to an external force since inside it only has an initial desire and a spark.

The desire is on the Creator’s account and it cannot become a vessel for the Light; it is just a general desire to receive. The spark directs this desire to an external force, to an external factor. If by this external factor the created being develops and the additional factor inside, this desire that is created by the created being itself will become a vessel for the Light.

This additional desire can only be bestowal, because the desire to receive is in the created being’s nature, something that is different from this desire can only be a desire to bestow.

It seems as if the Light of Hochma is the Light of the mind that fills all the desires with understanding. But it isn’t so. The Light of Hochma is the Light of life. It is the Light that created the desire to receive opposite to it. Thus it fills this desire and gives it vitality.

The vessel for the Light of Hochma is the measure of Hassadim, the measure of bestowal that the created being can develop in him. Therefore it says; “He gives wisdom (Hochma) to the wise,” which means that the Light of Hochma enters a vessel that is especially for Hochma, the desire to receive that yearns to bestow, which means to resemble the Giver. Then the Light of Hochma is dressed in such a vessel.

The more the created being exerts himself in order to attain a deficiency for the Light of life (life symbolizes bestowal), the more the Light of life, the Light of Hochma, is dressed in it and revealed in it. The Light doesn’t come from a distance, it is revealed within the created being since it has always been in it and only now is revealed.

So we only have to try not to be foolish and not to hope to receive the Light in order to receive, but to understand that the spark we have received was given to us so that we will develop the attribute of bestowal inside us with the help of an external force, meaning with the help of the environment. This external force will convey the yearning for bestowal to us, which symbolizes “life” and the “Light of life.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/28/12, Shamati #145

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The Region Of Goodness

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If we create an international institute of integral education with centers in various countries, won’t it enter into conflict with already existing institutions, for example, with science academies?

Answer: No. I think that it must simply be a parallel system of upbringing, because nobody has of yet worked with the upbringing of society and humanity.

In this case, nobody can disturb us in this work: We are not crossing into anyone’s territory; we are not taking anything away from anyone. Basically, this is an absolutely empty space since nobody has ever wished to work on the upbringing of humanity.

What can we say about the adults if we are not even bringing up children? We only give them an education, but not upbringing. So there can be no competition. The first thing that needs to be done is coming out into the wide world with the explanations about the need for upbringing.

The second is the creation of a major international center that could become an example for everyone.

It is not a scientific, research, upbringing, or an educational center, but a whole town, area, or region that would live by the new socio-economic laws, using the economics of sensible consumption, correct interactions between people, and so on.

This would be a very serious step forward. By the way, Baal HaSulam, a great researcher of the integral methodology, wrote about the need to create such a place where people would live in the framework of a new society that would become an example for everyone, where this methodology could be worked on and brought out to the world.

On one hand, this place would be attractive for everyone. While on the other hand, it would provide the possibility of completely developing the integral approach for humanity and for individuals.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing”, 5/24/12

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“Respect Matters More Than Money”

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from the Association for Psychological Science): “New research suggests that overall happiness in life is more related to how much you are respected and admired by those around you, not to the status that comes from how much money you have stashed in your bank account.

“Psychological scientist Cameron Anderson of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and his co-authors explore the relationship between different types of status and well-being in a new article published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“‘We got interested in this idea because there is abundant evidence that higher socioeconomic status – higher income or wealth, higher education – does not boost subjective well-being (or happiness) much at all. Yet at the same time, many theories suggest that higher status should boost happiness,’ said Anderson.

“So if higher socioeconomic status doesn’t equate with a greater sense of well-being, then what does? Anderson and his colleagues hypothesized that higher sociometric status – respect and admiration in your face-to-face groups, such as your friendship network, your neighborhood, or your athletic team – might make a difference in your overall happiness. ‘Having high standing in your local ladder leads to receiving more respect, having more influence, and being more integrated into the group’s social fabric,’ Anderson said.”

My Comment: Kabbalah says that the desire to receive constitutes the matter of the world. In general, it can be divided into four groups: still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. In the human being, it is divided into bodily (food, sex, and family) and social (wealth, respect, and knowledge) desires. Thus, psychologists concluded that the most important thing, besides satisfying the desires of the body, is how a person feels himself in society. That is why Kabbalah believes that after satisfying the basic needs of the body, if integral education gives people the correct skills in social relations, everyone will be happy in the end, and humanity will come into balance with each other and with nature.

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We Are Not Equal…

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from ScienceNow): “To test peer influence, Sinan Aral and Dylan Walker, economists at New York University’s Stern School of Business in New York City, used a Facebook app that allows users to rate and recommend movies. …

“[Results:] Reality seems to fall somewhere between influence and susceptibility. Both are important, but contagion depended on the personal traits of the people, the team reports online today in Science. For example, people older than 30 were more influential than those who are younger than 30, and people of the same age had the most influence on each other. Women tended to influence men more than they influenced each other. But most surprisingly, influence and susceptibility almost never occurred in the same person. At least in the Facebook network, there are only trendsetters and followers.”

My Comment: We are all different, and that is why there cannot be equality; it can be only relative, when everyone gets what he or she wants. The distribution of the fruit of collective labor will be realized by society with love for everyone. Only then nobody will feel deprived, controlled, or exploited.

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Raise Taxes On The Wealthy Instead Of Cutting Public Expenditure

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)): “There is growing concern that the restrictive approaches of budget consolidation currently pursued in many European countries may not reach their objectives, but risk further exacerbating the crisis. Austerity measures applied across Europe are viewed increasingly critically by international experts and organisations as they can undermine democratic and social rights, in particular for the most vulnerable categories of the population.

“The Parliamentary Assembly should send out a strong signal by calling for a profound reorientation of austerity programmes, ending their quasi-exclusive focus on expenditure cuts in social areas such as pensions, health services or family benefits. Future national action should also include measures aimed at increasing public revenues by taxing higher income categories and property wealth more strongly, by shoring up the tax base and by enhancing tax collection, the efficiency of the tax administration and the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax havens, corruption and the underground economy.

“Current budget consolidation programmes should be further supplemented with measures fostering sustainable economic growth, including the creation of new quality employment and special support to be given to the young generation in the transitional period between education and employment.”

My Comment: The nature of egoistic society is such that if we check the implementation of these good intentions, we will find out that in the end, the wealthy become wealthier and pay less, while the poor become poorer and pay more. This occurs everywhere in all countries and at all times. Not the calls of the authorities, not the direct instructions from the government, not the wishes of the rich themselves will change this trend.

Only the change of the basis of the egoistic society through education can transform it to a more equal one. After all, the development of society on the egoistic foundation is obliged to bring about, involuntarily through sufferings, or consciously and willingly, the change of human nature.

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Desire And Adhesion

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Baal HaSualm says that the souls “become worthy of receiving all His goodness, the delight and the pleasure that is in the thought of creation, and along with that will be given strong adhesion.” Why do we do we need the goodness and delight if adhesion with the Creator is much more qualitative and sublime?

Answer: I have vessels, meaning desires in the heart. In these vessels, I receive in order to bestow and by that perform an action of bestowal. Just as the Creator bestows upon me, I bestow upon Him.

But why do I perform the action of to receive in order to bestow? Because I felt shame, a gap between Him and me. This evoked me to bestow in order to bestow, and then also to receive in order to bestow, in order to resemble Him. By acting in order to resemble Him, I fill my vessels with the pleasure of bestowing upon Him and at the same time fulfill the shame, the gap between us, and thus attain adhesion.

Two deficiencies are part of this process:

  1. The Creator created deficiency in me to receive and enjoy. I fill it so that He will receive and enjoy.
  2. The second deficiency is a result of the shame. I restrict myself and fill my desire with the attainment of the essence of the Creator Himself. I become equal to Him and attain adhesion.

Desire And Adhesion
The Creator is depicted to me as a spiritual Partzuf that is made of a “body” and a “head.” Below we become equal to Him in the “bodies,” in His desire to bring goodness to the created beings and my desire to receive pleasure. Above we become equal in the “heads,” which means in the intentions. So the adhesion is actually formed above.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/28/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Beyond Time

Dr. Michael LaitmanEverything Kabbalists describe is inside us, in our roots. My desire to receive begins to discover new horizons, showing me the present, the future, and the past according to its level of development. The time axis doesn’t exist by itself, it is a component of our perception, part of the picture that is depicted within the desire. Therefore the chronological process that we study is actually a chain of states. Since we have no choice, we speak in terms of time, since it is an algorithm of the feeling of our world.

The past, the present, and the future are states in which I can move back and forth if necessary, if I manage the desire and the Masach (screen). Thus, there is no time and no distance. It is merely feelings within my desire: One type of attributes stands for the concept of time and the other for the concept of distance.

The way we feel time now is an illusion. I am actually in a certain desire on the level of “the inanimate of the inanimate,” and this desire depicts pictures of my existence in this world, pictures of life and death. Although the “pictures” change before my eyes, the desire itself doesn’t change. It is a replica of higher desires, and so it depicts phases within my feeling that are similar to the spiritual levels. I feel that I am alive, but in fact it is only a reflection of spiritual levels and the changes in the “matter” of the egoistic desire that is considered “dead.”

Of course, there is no intermediate state regarding the Creator. The upper Light is in a state of absolute rest, and it created only one state to begin with, which we have to perceive. I cannot perceive it today, because I am not prepared for it. Therefore it was restricted by 125 degrees and each time I discover the next higher level. This allows me to advance along the ascent to perfection.

But one way or the other, everything is inside me, in my desire to receive. Now I see time as an external factor: The earth turns around the sun, the minutes and the seconds go by…but in spirituality there is nothing external; there we approach the desire to receive and perform all the actions in it.

This chain of actions is what determines time. Even if it takes ten years to reach the next step, in the spiritual dimension only a second goes by. There the feeling of time is not external, but only depends on my actions. What is more, there are no gaps between the actions since each one summons the next. So when I rise to the spiritual dimension, my actions are performed sequentially and time disappears.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/28/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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