Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio
Question: What counts as our efforts?
Answer: The main effort is in the work against one’s indifference, against disregard, the sensation of the unimportance of bestowal. The main and permanent war should be carried out against the disrespect for bestowal. In it, we always have to look for things that would make us stronger.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/12/12, Writings of Rabash
There is only one desire that was created—to receive pleasure and delight—and there is nothing else that can be attributed to the created being. Everything else is the correction of the creation, the external form the desire to receive can take on as the Light influences it.
There is the upper one, which is bestowal and there is the lower, which is receiving. The lower can receive such bestowal from the upper that will change its external form; like a wolf that is in sheep’s clothing, it is still a wolf! This is actually what we do with our ego, with the evil in us, by trying to give it a form that is similar to the Creator.
We should understand that everything takes place within the desire to receive, since this makes us face the fact that everything depends on us and everything takes place in us. There is nothing on the outside; all of reality is inside us, in our desire to receive.
The desire always remains a desire, and I mustn’t try to change it. I shouldn’t increase it or decrease it, torture myself by fasting or beat myself. I only have to demand that the Creator change the form of my desire and make it similar to Him.
There are no other actions, except turning to the Light, by which I can attain a real change. I will only harm myself and distort nature by any other way. How can I do something with my desires by myself? It is even ridiculous to expect this. If a person acts this way, he distorts his whole way, his perception, his understanding, and his approach.
This is what all of humanity does, by hoping to achieve something by different actions like revolutions in science and in society. All our actions so far, starting from the time we came down from the trees, became human, and began to develop, were only meant to show us that all these actions were wrong.
Now we are on the verge of a change, and by examining all our evolution we see that it is the egoistic desire that forced us to follow this whole way. Everything that we have done so far is one big mistake.
It was impossible to avoid it since it is impossible to advance without the revelation of evil. But the mistake was in trying to deal with our desires, to limit them or to fill them, and to change them by ourselves. We always hoped to reach a better life by that, but every time we were wrong and received blows instead of pleasures.
Now we have to weigh things: Is it worthwhile to go on this way? It is now impossible even if we would want to. We will not be able to move forward in order to go on corrupting our desire to receive; there is nowhere to go! All the systems have reached a dead end and cannot be fulfilled any further.
If we continue in the same direction, the only thing we can expect is a world war as the last definitive blow. We can either start by conscious changes or summon terrible afflictions upon us. But the whole process was necessary in order to bring us to the recognition of evil, to our approach to correcting ourselves and the world.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/02/12, The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Question: Which requests reach the Creator?
Answer: First, we have to understand that if a request doesn’t come from a collective request, it is not accepted at all. People cry to the Creator from the bottom of their hearts when they break down and at the point of death, but nothing helps. Why? It is because their prayer doesn’t go through the filter, which is the only way a request is accepted. It is only through the system, only through the connection between us, no matter if it is good or bad, it is only with regard to the connection that the request is accepted.
Question: How can I tie my desire with someone else’s desire when I don’t feel it at all?
Answer: Try to feel or at least cry because you cannot feel. After all, you do understand that your single, individual desire cannot act in any way. If two arrive, that’s great! Well, what do you want? To establish a connection, to unite? You quarrel? But you are two; do you clarify the relationship between you? That’s good!”
Why is it time for correction now? It is because people begin to feel that there is something wrong in the connection between them. But was it okay before? Before, there was no connection. Today, we feel that there is something wrong and that we have to correct it; so the correction begins from our time onward.
If we don’t take into account the connection between us, no matter what it is like, then there is nothing with which we can come to the Creator. Personally, I cannot do anything; there is nothing to correct in me. The only thing we have to correct is the connection between me and others.
Question: You told us once about the system that converts an unreal request into a real one. Did you refer to the request of the individual or of the general?
Answer: There is no request of the individual! The fact that I cry out by myself doesn’t mean that my request is individual. The main thing is what I cry about. This is what determines whether my prayer is a prayer of many or not.
People think that if a Minyan (ten men) gathers, it is a prayer. It can be one person who asks for connection, for the correction of the system, and then it called “a prayer of many.”
So, when we approach the study, it is very important to come with the right request. Otherwise, the study distances us, and, instead of the elixir of life, it becomes the potion of death. We see that people run away, escape, and fall. Why does that happen? It is because the same Light that operates in the wrong way brings you darkness, which means that it leads you to the goal through the long path.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/12/12, The Zohar
Opinion (Laurence Brahm, lawyer, global activist, international mediator, political columnist and author): “The UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 held June 20-22 was intended to reaffirm political commitments made during the Earth Summit of 1992, and to frame a roadmap of principles to address climate change, food and water security, and the crisis of our global financial system. In the months leading to Rio+20 anticipation of some positive outcome was high. There was some reason for hope.
“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself had declared, ‘We need to invent a new model — a model that offers growth and social inclusion — a model that is more respectful of the planet’s finite resources. That is why I have made sustainable development my number one priority.’
“But unfortunately, that is not what happened at Rio.
“The truth is Rio+20 failed us. Executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo summed it up. ‘The Rio Earth Summit will not bring about the Future We Want, it will provide a stark and distressing reminder of the present we have. A world in which public health, human rights and sustainable development are subordinate to private profit, shallow national interest and business as usual.’…
“Rio+20 was a UN orchestrated theatre aimed to give people hope that global leaders can construct a framework to assure our planet’s future. For those on the ground it was just the opposite, underscoring political inability and lack of will to address financial crisis, poverty, income gap widening, food and water security, and imminent disasters of unmitigated climate change. …
“In the corridors and streets activists and youth recognized that the problems of our planet are not in trying to create more consumption, but rather in over consumption.”
My Comment: Reducing production and saving will solve nothing! This is only the next mistake of humanity, distracting it from the only solution: to correct its egoistic nature, to unite like all parts of nature, but consciously, according to the level of “man” (speaking).
Since our egoism (help against you, the Pharaoh, approaching the Creator) must lead us to correction, then it will not let us reach agreement at any conference, and this will push us so that we will not remain in it, in exile, but we will be forced to come out of it (our Egypt).
Question: In discussing child education two to three years ago, I brought up a book by G.B. Oster, Bad Advice. In this book, the author teaches good things through a paradox, in a deformed way, such as hit the grandmother, take the candy, and so on. Why is this method considered wrong from the perspective of integration?
Answer: Because people who hear and absorb the negative information paint the images inside themselves against their will. Negative fragments remain in them, which later enable them to act. It does not matter that at this moment the person disagrees with it, this fragment, this image, this action still registers in them. I think that this is not the way to work.
It is very difficult for a person to work from a negative example. This requires a special analysis, the strength to ascend, overcome, and recognize evil, to bring goodness opposite the evil, to understand what needs to be done to rise above evil, and to build a good attitude, which is opposite to evil; in other words, to completely invert it in the opposite direction. This requires a great effort and mind. A regular person cannot just do it.
Let him try to do something positive instead of doing something negative, not just in colors but in expressions and poses. Let him “transfer” not just the smile or an evil expression from one image to another, but also with postures, gestures, correspondence between the bodies, and so on.
A person does not understand how comprehensive the difference is between the positive and the negative. Naturally, when a person is shown a strict negative scenario, he rejects it because he does not fully like this scenario. But it becomes stored, registered somewhere in him, and the person will still use it! One cannot be taught good actions through negative examples.
Comment: There are authors in Russian society, like Mikhail Zhvanetsky, to whom people listen; they are considered to be very wise. Zhvanetsky bases his works on negative examples. He takes a certain negative situation, and, every time, he finds a funny solution, a way out of it.
Answer: With all due respect, I do not think that Zhvanetsy and other “philosophers” like him create a revolution in society. He brings out the faults of society, shows them to the people, and they like it.
This resembles the cartoon where a wolf who is not hungry eats a bunny and then sits and picks his teeth. You explain his bad action to him, and he agrees, “Yes, really…”
The audience sits and listens to its faults, but there is no result. Even though there is a certain need for this and a social demand, this is not education.
Comment: The entire underground culture of Russian intellectuals, for example, the writings of Igor Guberman, is based on the comparison of good and evil.
Answer: Between us, this is purely a Jewish approach. Raykin and everyone else also used this. This is how the Jews preserved themselves. They laughed at themselves. In this way, they defended themselves by turning everything that was negative into something positive, a joke. They made the situation better with positive emotions in order to survive everything.
I do not see this same, humorous approach among other nations. This is a consequence of exile and suffering. This philosophy belongs to an exiled, degraded people who were hit in the face and are trying to turn it into a joke because otherwise the situation would be very painful to them. In other words, this philosophy does not lead to a change in the society.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/28/12
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 33: And you must know that any contentment of our Maker from bestowing upon His creatures depends on the extent that the creatures feel Him—that He is the giver, and that He is the one who delights them. For then He takes great pleasure in them, as a father playing with his beloved son, to the degree that the son feels and recognizes the greatness and exaltedness of his father, and his father shows him all the treasures he had prepared for him.
Question: Why is it so important for the created beings to feel that it is the Creator who brings them pleasure?
Answer: The created beings can feel only that in which they have an equivalence of form. If they want to feel the Creator as the one who bestows, they have to understand what it means; they have to be included in bestowal and actually rise to that height. Then they will receive that pleasure, the same level of existence and power of vitality that the Creator possesses.
Question: There is the example here of a father playing with his son wanting him to regard him as the source of all pleasures. This seems to be a very egoistic act.
Answer: But there can be another example of a similar attitude: A father had the son not in order to enjoy him, but in order to bring him goodness. The father does everything in his power until the son grows in order to bestow upon him. Then when the son grows and receives all the father’s treasures, in understanding and feeling a whole eternal existence, it brings the father contentment. This means that if the Creator enjoys, it’s a sign that I have reached perfection. This is how you should see it, that it stems from His love.
On our part we have to try to bring Him contentment and to bring full and infinite bestowal to the upper force. We receive deficiencies from it, empty desires, and from it we receive the Lights that correct these deficiencies by turning them from in order to receive to in order to bestow. Thus we advance towards resembling the Creator. This is the only correct and desirable way by which we can advance. Accordingly we feel the force of the spiritual life that fills us, called Light.
This process is described in our language, in corporeal language, and so it seems that the Creator cries and feels sorry if we don’t act as we should or if we don’t keep up with the desired pace. Thus Kabbalists convey the reactions that we summon in Him by our undesired actions. However, if we succeed, they say that He is happy.
In one way or another, “the Torah spoke in the language of humans.” This is where the example of the father who intentionally changes his expression towards his son, thus expressing dissatisfaction, desire, or happiness, comes from in order to allow the son to establish the connection with him. But it’s only an expression, since the father himself summons different states and moods in the son, and he is the one who creates the circumstances that accompany his growing up. The child totally obeys his father internally and externally. Therefore, different images appear before him: he either sees that his father is serious, laughing, dissatisfied, or satisfied.
In general, my whole inner world and my environment are all the Creator. Inside it’s totally concealed from me, and on the outside I can attribute the major role to fate and even to the upper force, although I don’t see it yet. The goal is to understand where the “cut,” the difference is, where the self is here.
It says: “There is none else besides Him.” The Creator sends me everything that I feel internally; He controls my thoughts and desires and everything that happens to me, how I receive it, and how I respond to what is going on. In an x-ray, I could see that I have no control over anything, that He manages everything.
So what am I? “I” is the point that wants to reveal the Creator, that’s all. It’s a point that is outside the Creator, the point of separation, of the shattering, the point of my “self,” my basis from which I must discover the Creator and His uniqueness.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/11/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
Answer: Part of the Creator that is in still nature turns it into the vegetative level. Another part turns the desire of the vegetative level into an animate one and another part raises the desire of the animate level into the level of the speaking. Each time another qualitative force is added: Malchut of the upper turns into Keter of the lower. The Creator’s force that is concealed in it erupts upwards and gives birth to a new lower level.
The form of the new level is determined directly from Above, while its content, the filling, the essence of the level according to which the level is determined, comes from the Creator. So in all the four phases of the Direct Light there is the same typical matter of the desire to receive, but they are totally different, since each phase has a new supplementary part of the Creator.
The level of still nature can only preserve itself the way the Creator created it. It is called “an embryo in its mother’s womb.”
The vegetative level doesn’t totally annul itself before the upper; it already wants to add something of its own; it receives food only when it wants to eat, etc. It can bring the mother contentment, and accordingly it suffers when it is away from her and happy when it is close to her.
The animate level already comes closer and draws away independently. It already has a mind and it can be opposite or similar to the upper one. Shuddering by the oppositeness, it resembles it again, thus bringing more contentment. It isn’t by chance that we love naughty kids more than quiet ones. It is because you sometimes don’t feel a quiet child, while a naughty child, who causes trouble, makes you feel the discrepancy between the states, and you love him more and feel closer to him. He spurs you and changes your mood and eventually summons love. He constantly carves a “notch” in your heart and sometimes “spreads” something good on it.
As for the level of the speaking, it can take the Creator’s place in the creation. It takes care of everything and sees all of creation as a chance to bestow upon the Creator.
This is what is typical about this development: The more the created being is adhered to the Creator, the more clearly he discovers his oppositeness from Him.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/11/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
For example, once, Baal Shem Tov told his assistant that he wanted to set out for the Holy land immediately. They boarded the first departing ship. On the way, they encountered a storm, and the ship was swept off course. On the third day, the storm subsided and sea calmed.
They stopped on an island, and everyone went to explore since this island was unfamiliar to the sailors. Bal Shem Tov and his assistant wandered away and got lost. Suddenly, they were attacked by bandits who tied them up and began sharpening their knives.
The assistant asked Bal Shem Tov to do something immediately. His response was, “Right now, I don’t know a thing. All of my strength was taken away from me. Maybe you remember something that I’ve taught you? Remind me.”
The assistant answered, “I don’t know anything either. All I remember is the alphabet.” Bal Shem Tov yelled out, “Why don’t you recite it to me?”
The assistant began reciting the letters of the alphabet, and Bal Shem Tov repeated them out loud with great inspiration until he gained all of his strength back and ripped the ropes apart.
They heard a bell ringing and saw the old captain appear along with soldiers. He scared off the bandits and freed the captives. Then, he took them back to the ship and soon delivered them to Istanbul.
Question: At the turn of the 20th to the 21st century, society chose a certain form of suppression as a way to defend themselves against the growth of linear egoism. This is the way we raise children: We forbid them to speak loudly, express their feelings, and so on. The majority of methods of psychotherapy are based on helping people rid themselves of these barriers and at least begin with freeing a person’s reaction. In the integral method, can a person actualize himself when he rejects this level and aspires toward unity?
Answer: During a class of integral upbringing, we offer the students: “Friends, let us sit in a circle and play a game. Let us be like children because this is a new level where we need to be born. Let us hold hands, touch knees, and look kindly at one another. We are the first to discover this next level. Let us try to pretend we are there. A child grows when he plays, we also want to grow, and, if we will feel all important and so inflated, we will have no other choice but to explode. We will not find anything else.”
In other words, you introduce a very positive, childish learning environment where people can allow themselves to say foolish things, to search, and the main thing is that they really will be able to find completely new relationships and solutions in this new kind communication. What else do we need?
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/28/12