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Question: Current studies show that the neurons in the brain become flexible when they connect. The “matter” remains the same, but the mutual connections in it change. Is it possible to draw an analogy between the “matter” of the brain and the “matter” of the desire to receive?
Answer: We will never be able to understand the way the brain operates by using the standard “corporeal” scientific tools. I suppose that scientists already understand this. The brain depends on its current state, and so the data in this field hardly allows researchers to arrive at any statistical rules, or to find some consistency. The brain isn’t just “a kilo and half of gray matter.” It constantly changes and although we classify the functions of all its parts, they can still perform totally different functions.
At the “head” of the spiritual Partzuf, where the decisions are made, there is a Direct Light and a Returning Light, the connection between the Creator and the created being. It is the same in our brain, but on a different level. So if we don’t discover the Creator part in us, we will not be able to discover the principles of the brain’s work. This is because half of the picture can hardly be seen in the fog and we don’t know what operates it.
On the whole, we can compare our brain to a detector, to a receiver that receives signals from space around us. So there is no great significance to examine it detached from this space. If we study only the brain itself and leave its connection with the source of the data out of the picture, we will never know anything. This is because our brain perceives important external information from some field.
We are built in a definite way: Our nature is divided into the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels, we divide ourselves into Partzufim, Sefirot, to parts according to the thickness of the desire and the purity of the Masach (screen), but actually in spirituality it is all one, and everything is one wholeness where we exist. It is where the past, the present, and the future are, the three stages of our development, everything is there.
The brain activity is like a receiver or a mutual activity within a system, which I perceive only to the extent of my own bestowal. We may say that the brain is part of the general system. But actually the brain, the mind, is spread over all of Ein Sof (Infinity), which a person has to actually attain. In the meantime we only feel bits of it.
I don’t think that science will continue to follow the old approach. There will come a time when scientists will stop, change their approach, and begin to discover an upper level, just as in the past humanity moved from using a steam engine to using an internal combustion engine. Brain researchers will want to rise to the “layer of information” that is above our world. It is only from there that they will be able to carry on with their studies, whereas the current approach will lead to nothing.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/16/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
Answer: It says: “Wisdom among the nations—believe.” The point is that all the cultures and religions speak about our egoistic world, trying to insert into it a method that would help us avoid pain in our life, our ego, and that would provide an answer to the current problems and even some hope for the next life, although this part isn’t expressed so strongly in Chinese culture. But the religions and other cultures have developed whole methods by taking the idea from the wisdom of Kabbalah.
One way or another, it is about an egoistic method, about how we exist in it, hoping for a better life in this world and in the next world. All this has nothing to do with changing human nature. There is no method that calls for and sets its goal as loving others as thyself. By this, the wisdom of Kabbalah differs from all the other methods, and it is the only method that speaks about changing man by the use of the upper force and it explains how to do it. All the other means are closed within our ego and using them is like pulling yourself by the hair out of the swamp.
Besides, every method is suitable for the people it was created for. I suppose that it is impossible to understand Confucius if you are not Chinese. His teachings are very deep, but other nations see it as superficial because it is not suited for their nature and character.
It isn’t by chance that there are seventy roots for seventy nations. Every nation has a spiritual root of its own which in our world gives birth to its replica. This is where all the differences stem from, including cultural differences. Suppose opera is for the Italians and you cannot think of the Spanish without thinking of bullfights. This is especially true when it comes to philosophy. It is impossible to understand Dante detached from his culture and his times.
We only pretend that we understand masterpieces from the past. Can I really learn Japanese philosophy if I am not Japanese? I will simply not be able to feel it and to penetrate it. I can only study the material and perceive the dry letters, but not the spirit.
I will not understand Confucius because internally I am not built like him. I will also not be able to understand the Native American Indians. You can visit them and imitate the externality, but I won’t be able to connect their studies with my soul.
At best, I can feel another nation, but not be part of its root. Therefore our world is full of rubbish: We have castrated ourselves and have deprived ourselves of the inner filling from rich cultures and deep philosophical perceptions by leaving only the externality.
The seventy roots are kept until Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction) and only then do they disappear in the general Keter. And so there cannot be any mutual penetration except for dry doctorates. There isn’t an ounce of truth in them.
What is more, the modern Chinese look at Confucius from a distance, and they also don’t understand him in depth. But they can still join him and somehow connect to their root, while no one else can do that.
We have to connect in mutual love above all our roots, without confusing them. The source of the seventy roots is Zeir Anpin, but even there they don’t mix, but rather connect by the Masach (screen). On the whole, in spirituality all the differences are kept and even grow as they ascend, since our attributes become more powerful. At first we are close and hardly differ from one another, but later, the spiritual levels split up like a cone, since “whoever is greater than his friend, his desire is greater.” We connect mutually above it, above all the details we perceive.
You are asking “how?” When I place your desire above mine and you place my desire above yours, I begin to penetrate the teachings of Confucius, and you the teachings of Moses. But in order to do that, we need a Masach and at first we have to work together.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/16/12, The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Throughout the process of creation there is a constant fixed connection between the Light and the desire. The Light created the desire, tied it to itself, and it is thus tied to the Light forever. We cannot break this connection.
The created being can restrict himself and by that it’s as if he stops receiving the Light; he can do all sorts of things, but he can’t want to stop desiring that Light! This is the foundation of creation; this is the nature of the desire to receive that was created by the Creator.
So with regards to our desire to receive, the Light is always in absolute rest and we always want it! No matter how much we restrict ourselves, how many Masachim (screens) we have, we do all that above the desire to receive. The desire never disappears and always yearns for the Light. No concealments and revelations, partitions or degrees will change that; the desire exists only if it feels the Light and yearns for it. If there is no Light there is no desire.
So we can perform different actions only above the desire, since this is our nature and it’s impossible to escape from it. We can’t do anything with our desires, but only above them, meaning different coverings and corrections. The desire constantly remains since it’s the fixed matter of creation. We must understand this so as not to fight the desire to receive and try to correct the world naively, but instead we must rise above the desire and use it differently.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/2/12, The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Opinion (Paul Krugman, the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University): “In an exclusive interview, Paul Krugman – who just published a new book titled End This Depression Now! – tells us how the Euro crisis will end.
“He basically sees two possible outcomes, both of which are ‘impossible.’
“One possibility is that the ECB aggressively buys peripheral debt and caps the borrowing costs of Spain and Italy, while simultaneously making it clear that they’re going to promote ‘expansionary monetary policies’ that boost inflation in Germany and help restore competitiveness between Germany and the periphery.
“’That can work… it’s still going to be extremely painful,’ he says.
“’Any solution is going to come out of Berlin and Frankfurt… Frankfurt will do the actual lifting, but has to have Berlin’s permission.’
“But would Berlin actually sign off on an ECB-based debt monetization, pro-inflation scheme? That’s very un-German.
“That gets to Krugman’s other possibility … Basically, eventually the ECB stops propping up all the banks (as they are now), and you get bank runs, bank holidays, and currency redenominations. That would mean the end of the euro system, which would then bring ‘cataclysmic’ effects, both economic and legal.
“You look at that scenario, says Krugman, and it seems impossible that the Germans would let the entire project disintegrate like this.
“So what happens?
“’I say it’s 50/50 … Either the Germans have to accept something they consider unacceptable, or they have to accept something, the breakup of the euro, that they consider something unacceptable.”
My Comment: The future has never seemed so threatening, but as economists’ think, the path to recovery lies only through the aggravation of disease. But the issue is, that the recovery will not follow because the disease is an indicator of disorder not in the economy, but in people, and what should be treated is the relationship between people rather than the economic system, which is its consequence.
Answer: An act with a stronger intention. An act without an intention for the sake of others is empty because it isn’t the physical act that bestows, but the intention that accompanies it: “Why was it performed?” or more precisely, “to whose benefit, mine, or others?”
Thus, if we perform all kinds of good acts and deeds, as benefactors, “the beautiful souls,” but without the correct intention in order to bring humanity to one identity that the Creator (nature) determined from the beginning in the root of our advancement, then all of our actions will completely fail because they won’t have the force of the Light, the one force that changes everything. If we make efforts without this force, we are performing only mechanical movements.
Thus we must, before performing any action, learn to perform the correct intention so that the action will invite the force of correction and in this way reach the desired result, which is the correction bringing betterment for humanity. But if we do something without an intention, then for that act there won’t be a correct and good result, and then it is preferred not to do it at all.
For example, protest actions, even though in the beginning it seemed that they would attain something, like lowering prices, etc., as the year continued there wasn’t a trace left of the lowering of prices, and people were just more and more disappointed and didn’t want to fight for themselves.
Thus we need to learn to perform acts that produce correct and desired results. This is what integral education is designated to do.
Question: It’s common in a family that the woman will always insist on wanting things done her way; however, the man also wants to prove that he is right. The conflict begins with small things and ends up in divorce. How do we find a compromise between man and woman?
Answer: Before solving the conflicts between men and women, give them the upbringing! How can you solve anything with what there is today? We see that nothing is being solved.
Until you “drag” them through integral upbringing courses, having placed the hardest conditions before them and with them needing to overcome them, they will not receive the reward and various benefits. It’s impossible to solve anything with anyone, since everything is being solved in the old way.
If you want to alter social and family relationships, then you need to change people, their interrelationships. And how can relationships change if their players are not changed? They will be left in the same thing. Of course, you can supress them and then possibly externally the relationships will not be demonstrated in such an expressive way.
Begin to gradually educate people, to explain to them what the system consists of. Include them into the roundtables, in the discussions amongst each other. During the roundtables, gradually raise them above the solutions of the problems, raise them into the commonality, into the dream, play with them as if with children, open up the child in each one of them. They are suppressing all of this inside of them, they are behaving like bullies on purpose, in order not to reveal themselves; it’s a protective instinct.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/28/12
Question: A principle difference, let us say, between the Israeli and the Russian societies is that Israelis are more likely to say “yes” to any new proposition and express interest in it, while in a Russian society, due to oppression and the fact that people have become accustomed to being threatened and forced by the outside world, the first thing people say is “no.” We have done these experiments on the streets.
Answer: I arrived in Russia after many years of being away, and the first time I went outside, I was surprised by the external appearance of the people. All the women had their chests proudly parading in front of them, while all the men were hiding their heads in their shoulders. This is a statement against the pre-existing threats from all sides.
I think this reaction is only inherent in Russian society because I have never seen anything similar anywhere else. I have traveled, you can say, throughout the world; this does not exist anywhere else. This is a very somber quality.
This defensive reaction is unwillingly cultivated by mass media to make it easier for people to survive, defend themselves, continue to exist, provide for themselves, and so on. We need to understand how to approach this because people are tired of aggression, and they do not wish to hear anything about unity and integration of which they have heard plenty, but have had very unfortunate consequences. So, we need to look for an approach.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/28/12
Baal HaSualm, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 26: That means that their excessive will to receive, which had already been eradicated and rotted in the second state, must now be revived in all its exaggerated measure, with no restraints whatsoever, meaning with all its past flaws. Then begins the work anew, to convert that excessive will to receive to be only to bestow.
We have to discover that the desire to receive is entirely bad, in the worst degree. We will see not only the size of this evil, but also its evil essence in its current form, without a Masach (screen), that it is evil not only to us but also to the attainment of the goal of creation. It turns out that the desire to receive without a Masach isn’t suitable for the attainment of creation and so it is called “evil” and also “dead,” since we cannot receive the Light of life and feel the force of vitality in it.
When we understand all that, we will reach a turning point and begin to revive our desire. It is called the “resurrection of the dead”—thus we begin to correct the desire to receive so that it will be in order to bestow. We need this turning point on the way, so that we will feel the corrupt desire and decide that in this form it is “dead.”
Today the desire to receive doesn’t seem corrupt. What’s wrong in wanting to enjoy the things I love?
I have to discover all the desires inside me and to understand that when I enjoy them in the ordinary way, I prevent myself from bestowing upon the Creator. This is because bestowal is when I stop using the desires the ordinary way and enjoy each of them only when I bestow upon the Creator. I connect my desire to Him in order to understand how to bestow upon Him and so that He will enjoy the use of such a desire. Only to such an extent, for such a pleasure, when I yearn to bestow upon the Creator, do I act—receiving the Light inside me in order to feel that I bestow upon Him by that.
Thus we reach the corrections. It is impossible to reach the final state (state three) from the initial state (state one) if there are no “dead” desires on the way that are revived.
Question: How can we understand that the desire is actually dead and it is time to revive it?
Answer: It is a different type of work: Each time I kill more and more of my desires. It is impossible to know in advance that I have passed the whole way. It always seems as if there is nowhere to advance to, but the next day a new layer is revealed.
Yesterday, for example, we reached a peak; we discovered a bit more unity, impression, and excitement, we felt a special state that was a result of a new and stronger connection, which we have never felt before.
We attained it thanks to the illumination that was created among us. We evoked it and it filled us. In phase one we feel excitement and elation, but the illumination continues to act inside the desire that we managed to tie to it. It expands its activity to phases two, three, and four and the full depth of that desire is revealed to us, the new layers in which we have not reached connection yet.
Today, however, we feel heaviness. If we acknowledged that this heaviness comes from the Creator; that he sent it to us on purpose, and that he makes us feel sleepy on purpose, we could do something, we could resist the heaviness.
It is true that I feel like sleeping now and that I don’t feel like doing anything—but it comes from the Creator. He wants to develop us, and He is revealing a new vessel inside us now. How do you immediately wake up to life within the fogginess, within this sleepiness, the indifference and the confusion?
My sleepiness was caused by the weak Light. The moment it gets stronger, I will immediately wake up, like a flower that turns in the direction of the rising sun. It isn’t about lethargy; we are speaking about spiritual states that are determined by the level of the Light. The correction of the desires at midnight, before dawn, doesn’t depend on the time.
So if we woke up now to a stronger connection, and it were a truly serious internal effort, and not just singing songs, we would discover what we have gained thanks to the extra desire that we received in the convention. The whole point is to come back to life after the first surge of awakening has been replaced by the dark thickness of the erupting ego.
It doesn’t matter whether the new ascent doesn’t seem as special as the one we felt in the convention. There we were like kids and we were impressed in clean, pure desires—today our reaction is becoming deeper and we understand things in “thicker” vessels. This is how the idea of “an opposite value of Lights and vessels” is expressed.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/8/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”