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Learning The Art Of The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is the first phase after the root phase the still nature? Why didn’t it all start from another phase?

Answer: Because this the lowest phase that includes everything in it. There are no internal differences in it and so it cannot differentiate anything on the outside. We are speaking about the upper Light only with regard to the created being’s vessels. Therefore, still nature is the first phase in which the created being’s desire receives only the force of restriction that doesn’t allow it to discover more that it discovers now.

The force of restriction operates on the vessels and on the Lights that can be revealed in them. It operates on everything. The question is: What does this force influence? Does it influence the center of the created being or his limits? In other words, on what do I operate by the restriction—on my desire to receive or on the Light?

Of course, I influence my desire. I can never operate the Light.

I restrict the desire to receive and keep it. Thanks to that it doesn’t “jump” on anything. Thus I limit myself in order to receive the Light only in this manner. It is because I know that I don’t have the power for more than that, and so I constantly “keep the limits,” keep my ego in a neutral state.

This is the still phase: The ego is constantly developing, and I constantly keep it on the same level of the still. Actually, it is a great and positive work that takes place in different forms. But by its nature, it belongs to the still level: By myself I put my desire into the regime of the still, where my desire stays the same.

Within this desire I work in relation to the Creator. What can I do? I annul myself inside Him. Thus, I can be in the Creator and adhere to Him, I can be incorporated in Him, which is the attribute of the still level. I don’t allow myself anything except for self-annulment. Imagine that you are inside a great force and you have no other choice and this is the only way you can hold on.

On the other hand, it prepares me for the next level of the vegetative. This is because there are constant changes taking place inside me, which grow according to the five phases of the still level. We may think, so what if instead of a tiny pebble I become a large precious gem? But this isn’t everything yet: The changes I have been through have taught me what it means to grow. The ascent in the phases of the still level has given birth to a mind inside me, since I had the chance to compare things and to get used to the actual fact of instability.

I have restricted the growing pleasure time after time, but at the same time I followed the changes, until I understood that I can really change, and then I moved on the vegetative level.

Thus, we speak about a qualitative development and not about a quantitative development: At the end of the still phase, in its last fourth phase, I already understand from the experience I had that I can change by myself, consciously and purposefully. Then the opportunity to move from the last phase of the still to the phase of the vegetative is born. It is here that its initial point is created by the changes in the desire.

Every such change comes from the Creator in the form of the reviving force. I could never find the preliminary conditions for growing inside me. Therefore the Creator doesn’t just develop me; He inserts His force of creation inside me so that I will resemble Him. As a result of this development, we and the Creator become partners in the creation. His goal is not to increase the desire to receive, by putting it through a series of changes, but rather to teach me His art. What is more He teaches me in a qualitative manner.

Thus, thanks to everything we go through, we attain His actions, according to the rule: “From Your actions we shall know You.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/17/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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The Only Gift From The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We know that we can only receive pleasure from the Creator if it is important to us. It turns out that even if there is a wall in front of me, it all depends on how important it is to me.

Answer: Both Rabash and Baal HaSulam bring the example of the bride who is satisfied if someone she considers important agrees to marry her. By that, it is as if he “buys” her. But he didn’t pay anything; he didn’t give her anything, so why is she satisfied with that? Because he is important to her.

What does our desire receive from the Creator? Nothing. But He is great, and we are ready for the “wedding”; we agree to adhere to Him with heart and soul in infinite, absolute adhesion. The Creator “buys” you only with His importance. It is the only thing that you acquire as you develop, and this is what fills you.

Our desire—which grew thanks to the Light, which received bestowal from the Creator—what does it want to enjoy? Actually, it wants to enjoy the greatness and nothing else. We cannot enjoy the pleasure itself; this only happens in our world with imaginary pleasures that come from the Creator to the point of something from nothing. The pleasures of this world are only available to sustain us until we begin to understand the Creator’s greatness. All the spiritual levels are the recognition of His greatness, and with His help you enjoy if you want to bestow upon Him.

On the other hand, the evil inclination, Pharaoh is the attempt to enjoy directly, but again only the Creator’s greatness. This is called spiritual pleasure.

It seems that the greatness is necessary only in order to overcome our ego and afterwards we will be able to enjoy in order to bestow, but this isn’t so; all our work is to raise the Creator’s greatness in our eyes. By that we develop new desires, and the emphasis moves from receiving direct egoistic pleasures to receiving pleasure from His greatness; thus, at least we reach Klipot (shells), and this is not simple at all.

The Creator’s greatness overtakes us, and it is very difficult to get out of this captivity. After all, all of creation is the essence of the steps of the ladder. When someone from a higher level shines upon me some of his greatness, then I surrender, I become addicted to the root and from then on it is my “boss,” the “king.”

But I want to operate differently, consciously, and intelligently. I want to resist the advantage the upper has over me; I don’t want to be bribed by His importance and His power.

This means that it isn’t about receiving from Him, we are struggling over the level of importance. I don’t want to work just for the benefit of the upper one simply because He is great. By that I simply annul myself naturally.

Question: Does this mean that all the Kabbalah books and all the ages of development were dedicated to only one thing, to the independent recognition of His importance?

Answer: That’s right, and it isn’t by chance that the modern world is so confused and that no one understands what is going on. After all, everything evolves only around one point of adhesion.

Question: But still, there is nothing more important in this world. I’m not trying to raise the importance of something artificially. Are all the worlds and all the levels meant only for that?

Answer: They were created as a result of the Light that filled the desire and gave it different forms. What does the Creator fill us with? What pleasure does He get by having created the created being so that he will only want that? What’s more, does the Creator have anything but the force of bestowal? No. He created mechanisms of perception in the created being, levels specifically for this force of bestowal; we develop only according to this importance.

Where are the pleasures that He has prepared for me? Where are the refreshments that the host has prepared according to the famous example?

There isn’t even an ounce of pleasure the way you imagine it. There are no refreshments, although it seems that way, it is only an illusion. In our world you settle for a false pleasure, you swallow delicacies, but you are not filled. So get rid of the illusions and start discerning the levels of the greatness of the Giver. It is then that you will begin to calculate things within the limits of your perception.

Now we may understand what happened in the first restriction. Malchut started to restrict itself when it discovered that it receives in relation to the Giver; it discovered the gap between the receiver and the Giver and not between the hunger and the delicious refreshments. It is the greatness of the Giver that pulls me out of myself. I don’t calculate this “pleasure,” but rather the pleasure from the Giver. When I discover the bestowal on His part and the reception on my part, I am filled with shame, but not because of the refreshments that I enjoy, but shame when I see His greatness compared to my lowliness.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/17/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Studying Myself In The Mirror Of The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn our world we are in contact with physical bodies, and it seems to us that we have free choice, independence, and that we ask and receive answers and responses. But afterward, we discover that we simply were standing in front of a mirror and there were no others. My attributes seems to be as humanity, as a great world around me with which I, as if, work.

Therefore, we need to understand that what we do to others, we do to ourselves. It doesn’t just come back to you in roundabout way, but you directly act against yourself. Everything that you see around you are your own internal qualities extended outward.

And this is the only opportunity to gradually discover yourself. Since if we would discover within us that same desire that the Creator created us with, we would constantly be stuck within it, then we wouldn’t try to examine it, but we would grasp it as a good thing, and we would only think of how to fill it. We would care about it like a loving mother who is not worried about anything, only that her child will be fat and healthy. She doesn’t criticize his personal attributes.

Thus we are in this special reality. It is said, “A person is a small world,” and everything that is inside, he sees outside. All the world that surrounds you is you, yourself, inversely as if it spilled out. And now, since you view everything existing as if outside yourself and relate to it egoistically, you can try with all of your egoistic attributes to attain love.

The result is that everything was created only for the purpose of its correction. If all of these attributes would stay within you, you wouldn’t be able to discover them and correct them. And thus you wouldn’t receive the Kli (vessel) for the disclosure of the Creator. But because all of this appears to be outside of you, you are able to see it and clarify the relation to it, to discover it 613 times greater, and in this way to discover the Creator. Thus, within you, only the “point in the heart” can be discovered.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/9/12, Writings of Rabash

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Kabbalah In The USA

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I live in the USA and 100 miles away from a Bnei Baruch group study center and cannot be there every day or even two to three times a week, am I your student, a member of the group, a member of the leading group, and can I come to the unity convention in the North of Israel?

Answer: You must be virtually in the group of those like you, study with them virtually, send Maaser to Bnei Baruch America Treasurer Beth Shillington via the Education Center website, take part in dissemination physically or virtually; in this case, you are my student and a member of your group. If in addition to this, you regularly attend the lessons and meeting of friends, you will be considered a member of the leading group.

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Doing Good For One’s Own Sake

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (from the Association for Psychological Science): “According to lead researcher Benjamin Converse, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Psychology at the University of Virginia, the research was inspired by the kinds of deals many of us seem to make in which we promise ourselves that, if we can just make it through some trying situation, we’ll be better citizens in the future. …

“The researchers hypothesized that waiting for an important, uncontrollable outcome may lead people to do good deeds with the implicit expectation that the universe will return the favor, a phenomenon they refer to as ‘investing in karma.’”

My Comment: This attitude towards the upper force is called bestowal in order to receive and represents a more refined egoism, such as with religions in which, besides it, there are also upbringing, habit, and the support of community. No earthly methods can help us come out of egoistic intentions.

True altruism, that is, actions not for oneself, is possible only under the influence of the upper Light that can be attracted only by the correct study of authentic Kabbalah. Obviously, selling amulets, red strings, and holy water are doubly egoistic methods both from the seller’s side as well as from the buyer’s side.

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Egoistic Rivalry

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe problem in our life is that we are in a constant egoistic conflict between us as to who will “devour” the other, throw the other on his back, trample him, bite, steal, and so on. Subconsciously, we constantly are measuring ourselves this way in comparison to others, and so we have to make constant efforts to even falsely hold on to this feeling.

If we don’t feel ourselves as higher than others at least in something, we become depressed and feel powerless. We must revenge, destroy and lead the world to any kind of war if we see that we don’t succeed.

This means that the world is not important to us and neither are other people. All we need is our little, personal, individual, egoistic success. Everyone basically understands this, but it is for this reason that we naturally feel a constant inner tension. This is our biggest problem.

When we think about success, first of all, we think about how we have to trample someone on the way, step over someone who is in my way, and so forth. These may be people, organizations, inner personal problems or whatever, but I constantly have to overcome some obstacles.

It all stems from the fact that our movement forward is based only on an egoistic struggle, on conflicts with each other. This means that I am in a constant struggle by encountering another ego, anther opinion.

No one cares about justice. I just need to win, and all the rest can come later! If I need to change something in order to succeed, let’s say, my perspective, I am ready to do that since winning is now more important to me than changing my perspective. This means that there is an inner calculation, to put it bluntly, “switching a bull for a cow,” to what seems more important at present, but nothing more than that.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/29/12

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Open Your Eyes: You Are Harming Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanToday, we speak about a totally different attitude toward the world, toward people, and toward ourselves, as an integral system, which nature brings us to; it reveals our society in a crisis of relationship and mutual connection.

If we really look at things carefully and analyze this fact, we would discover that by acting against others, I actually act against myself with even much more intensity than my negative influence. I influence the environment, its management, its powers, and opinions, and it comes back to me like a boomerang from the whole system that I currently face.

I am like a gear that is now stuck and stops the movement of the entire mechanism, but the resistance I feel is the general movement of the whole mechanism, and I have to oppose it. Eventually, I feel powerless, empty, and with no motivation in the face of what I see: that I cannot succeed in anything and that the world is increasingly against me in every aspect, especially in the social and ecological aspects. Thus, I don’t succeed in anything.

If we could see this closed system, if it were revealed to us like in a science fiction movie where you suddenly see the whole picture in depth and to what extent we are mutually connected to one another like cogwheels, then, from this picture, we would start to behave differently. We lack the feeling of closeness, of connection, and of integrality. If we had this feeling, we would be forced to change because no one would harm others when he would be affected ten times more negatively. The same ego protects us from that.

If I see a bully on the street, I don’t start fighting with him, but cross the street. In the same way, I don’t try to act against a rich, powerful person because I know he would grind me into dust, and no one would know about it and help me. That is, a person chooses the field in which he can express himself, win, and make a profit, and he doesn’t try to jump above his level since he sees that it is doomed to fail.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/29/12

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A Wife Should Not Disregard Her Husband

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: According to statistics, 85% of women share all their secrets with their female friends, and about an equal percentage of men share all their secrets with their wives. Let’s imagine for a moment that a man comes with his problems to his wife and constantly talks about his friends’ wrongdoings and the negativity in his surroundings. This leads many women to think very poorly of her husband’s environment.

Answer: This woman is not sufficiently trained; she is not a psychologist. In order for a family to exist in balance, the woman should be like the family psychologist.

A man comes to his wife the same way that he once came to his mother; we can understand that. In this regard she should feel like a mother in relation to him. He has a need, a necessity for this. Therefore it is written, “May one leave the parents and adhere to the wife.” This isn’t simply because the woman personifies a force that gives birth and develops. Man, as it were, is tossing the wood on the fire and everything else is going on through the female force.

People should understand this. If this doesn’t happen, then of course the wife will begin to disregard her husband. We need to reach a state where men and women will interact correctly with each other, and for now it isn’t the case.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/28/12

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