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Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Item 53: After he purifies the animate part of his will to receive, and turns it into a will to bestow, “until He who knows all mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly”…
What supports a person if not the Light that breathes life into him? Without Light, the opposite form, “existence from absence” could not exist either.
Bina, which is present between all Sefirot, is the turning point, the point of transformation. At the degree of Bina a person purifies himself from the receiving desire and then once again begins using this desire, but already with the intention for the sake of bestowal. If until now, a person constantly fought the receiving desire, now he turns to it for help.
Thus, at the stage of Bina, a person acquires support from the Upper Light, which lets him turn his desire into a partner.
The degree of Bina is a transition from childhood to adulthood. Until now a person was corrected in relation to what is more important for him. He rose above egoism again and again, preferring the Creator over it. But now that he has acquired the degree of Bina, the Light firmly holds him on that degree and a person will no longer return to his folly, will not fall into the bondage of the receiving desire. This “promise” is given to him from above, being the “testimony of He who knows all mysteries.”
That is when a person receives the permission and capabilities of working with his desire in a new way – by receiving for the sake of bestowal. Previously I couldn’t even look at this “bait.” I just turned away, trying to stay as far away from it as possible, until I rose to the level of Bina. Here I receive the Creator’s support and guarantee – He testifies that nothing bad will happen to me. Then I carefully look back on Malchut, looking for a chance to turn her into bestowal, with the help of the Creator, who constantly keeps me from falling.
This transition point from altruistic bestowal to altruistic reception is very important. Here a person needs a covenant with the Creator, firmer support from Him. After all, he will have to work with egoism for the sake of bestowal…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/1/12, “Introduction to the Book of Zohar”
The world is ruled by one force of bestowal. This force is called the Creator since He created the quality opposite to Himself, the desire to enjoy, in order to raise it to His level. In this way, this desire can bring itself to perfection.
That is why all of our work consists of reaching the quality of bestowal. However, we do not disappear into that, but we change the form of our desire, the initial material, to bestowing. It continues to act with all of its fierce strength and power with which it used to think only of itself before and is revealed as an unclean egoistic system, opposite to bestowal, but now this desire corrects itself and the form of its action. Now, instead of receiving, it desires to bestow.
Such a change happens due to the Light that Reforms. However, until such a change happens inside of the desire to enjoy, it absolutely does not understand what is being talked about here since it is completely located in egoistic qualities, meaning in thoughts and desires for oneself.
The change that it undergoes is truly a new birth, similar to how something develops from a drop of seed in which there is nothing besides internal information about a future person, and in the end, it finally turns into an independent personality which thinks, understands, feels, and answers for its deeds. Where does it all come from? Is it simply out of emptiness? However, in exactly the same way, our own spiritual birth happens.
This process is incomprehensible to us and hidden from us. Until we experience serious changes, we completely do not understand how all of that is being realized on matter, how the Light works, how it changes our qualities, and what is left for us from each of the levels from which we have ascended.
Man becomes confused and does not understand where he really is. It is said that the Creator is the first, and He is also the last. So, where is the human in this? Perhaps he is at least in the middle? There is an initial state of the world of infinity, and there is a final state, the return back to Infinity, and we are on the path somewhere in the middle between the former and the latter.
In addition, what can we add from ourselves to the Creator’s actions, with whom everything begins and ends? We only can speed up our development to show that we want to move toward being similar to the Creator and to not to be pushed from behind by suffering.
The Creator has created a desire to enjoy inside of me that feels the good and the bad in relation to itself, and, now, with the help of these good and bad feelings, He can control me! However, if I am controlled only by my pleasant and unpleasant feelings, then I am acting like an animal. If I want to move forward to that same goal through my own efforts, then I need to feel its importance, to receive the strength for development, acting against my nature.
I must rise above the egoistic perception of good and bad toward the perception of truth and falsehood, and consider them as the good and the bad. These forces must pull me forward, having replaced pleasure and suffering with themselves, by which I am being pushed from behind. This is called the level of a human, not an animal.
That is only possible to achieve by the means of an environment that instills into me such values, such an importance of truth and falsehood that provide the strength for my development. However, in order for that to happen, I must listen to the environment, meaning that all of my work on the attainment of the Creator and toward reaching the goal of creation—to rise from the natural feeling of good and bad toward reason, from the animal level toward the human level, from the perception of pleasure and suffering toward the perception of truth and falsehood—all of that is work with the environment.
My goal is to find an environment that has these goals and values, and to be impressed by it. Thanks to that, I will receive the strength to develop as a human and not as an animal since an animal moves only because it sees a sack of grain in front of it or if it receives blows from behind. However, a human considers pleasure and suffering to be the approaching or distancing of the quality of bestowal, the truth and the falsehood.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/27/12, Shamati #13, “The Eighteenth Prayer”
Baal HaSulam, Letter 38: In former times, an attainment of the Creator had to be preceded by all seven external sciences and horrible self-torture. And despite all of that, a few have found favor in the eyes of the Creator. However, since we have received the teachings of the Ari and the services of Baal Shem Tov, it is truly equally available to everyone and the above mentioned preparatory stages are no longer necessary.
We don’t know how and to what extent a time of the material world corresponds to a spiritual time, the processes of descent and subsequent ascent when the vessels, the desires, begin to gather into one whole. But of course, the closer we get to completion, the more people are able to open the gates of holiness, the gates of bestowal. They resort to the help from ancestors who thoroughly explored the spiritual system, established themselves and fixed connections in it. So, step by step, going in circles one after another, generations ascend the steps of the wide staircase. Each of them goes farther, and some people make generations ascend a few steps in a row. This is a complicated process.
At the current stage, the thrust towards disclosure of the Creator embraces the whole masses. However, we must understand the immutability of spiritual laws. The Creator doesn’t sacrifice them, and thus, we also need to comply with the terms of ascent, albeit at a different level, according to the current state. Here comes the mutual guarantee, rejection of egoism, and striving in the right line in order to rise above the left line in unity and cohesion, thus trying to build a model of the higher world to the extent we are able to understand it. So we’ll move forward.
Baal HaSulam brings an example of a king who needs to move his treasury from one place to the other. All of his subjects are egoists; they wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation and certainly would steal any amount of money exceeding their ability to resist. Therefore, the king gives a penny to everyone, which doesn’t make sense to steal because royal prestige in their eyes is more valuable. Thus they move the treasure without losing it.
And we are the same. Though it is not the most worthy “fact of our biography,” nevertheless it is a fact. Let’s hope we will be able to bring our penny, and first of all, recognize it as a start. The majority of our work is dedicated to that—to figure out what our goal is and what it means to “find favor in the eyes of the Creator,” which means bestowing to Him, and how to come to such a request, raising it above all the others. After all, by overcoming them, we create a longing for the Creator and build His image.
All of that is done by many ministers of the King who carry pieces of His treasury through many intermediate stages like circuits, from one state to the other. In fact, it is a great way to go if we accept it as a precept of the King. After all, He enjoys every little step we take, each state, as parents enjoy seeing their children’s efforts.
It is necessary to stay on the course, but to remember about the King’s joy and to try to please Him at each stage, here and now, even in the smallest detail, on the lowest level. Indeed, there is nothing low in His eyes. He sends me all the states. And if I somehow try bringing pleasure to Him, that is enough.
That’s why people going in the right direction on the path always feel joy and ascent. We need to check ourselves: Where do descents should come from if everything is arranged from above? The Creator creates each state, and only one thing depends on me: to respond with understanding and feeling or at least with the awareness of the Creator standing behind the current circumstances. Then I can assert myself in giving to Him every second.
In fact, there are no despicable and unpleasant states in our work, if I take them internally from the hands of the Creator who teaches me. Just like the slave, from another parable by Baal HaSulam, who fought a war against the king’s minister who deliberately presented himself in different enemy disguises. Here we have the same story, and most importantly, do not forget that all our states at every moment in life come from the Creator. If we attain this level, then we will be able to perceive what is happening and react to it properly.
Let’s try to unite with the spirit of our ancestors: Ari, Rabash, Baal HaSulam, and others. Let’s not forget about that and help each other in devoting every moment to the service of the Creator.
It is possible. You are already capable of many things. You’ve made some great steps, and now the question is in something else—in pride. Of course, it comes from the Creator as well, and yet, how do we not indulge in it?
From a Conversation During the Meal Commemorating the Death of the Ari 7/25/12
There comes a special period, leading to the correct understanding of the crisis around the world. So, what we talked about a few years ago, today finally gets on the pages of newspapers. Hopefully, people will feel the seriousness of the situation.
We do not want them to suffer, but we want them to understand. And it depends on us. An empty stomach and an empty pocket, and the oppressive anxiety for the future of the children, all this we have to translate into understanding. After all, the state of crisis comes from great mercy; it comes from the Creator who wishes only thereby to raise us to the good and abundance.
We are entering a very unusual state and must conduct aggressive dissemination without a second thought. Today, we take off the white gloves and do not compromise. Of course, we must act respectably, as it is customary in society, and at the same time, as openly as possible, using all forms of delivery and opportunities.
This will save us. We need to push the word, so that it pulls us forward, and our success is founded in this. All of our past efforts have been the preparation for the attack that begins today and continues tomorrow. And then we will succeed.
We must unite in order to become a powerful force and pull the world with us. It is easy to escape from responsibility, but we should not allow any excuses for realizing what, in total, Baal HaSulam writes about in all his articles.
The past, present, and future should be linked into one. We ourselves, our center, the groups in Israel and around the world, as well as the general population need to be joined into a single system and given a sustained momentum, having connected them all together. This is the only way we will succeed. This is our work, our purpose.
Today, what we talked about has come true, but not in dramatic forms. Let’s hope that we can avoid this drama, that people will sweeten what is happening with their reason and feelings, will understand the situation, will not immerse themselves in great physical suffering, and will sort out through the spiritual analysis and will go the quick, easy way, instead of a long and heavy one. This is what lies before us.
That is why we need great anxiety, great care about the world. We are not happy that the troubles of others confirm that we were right. We are pleased that this state has come, and now we can turn it into a remarkable path, a wonderful ascent.
It is in our hands. We must not lose focus. We must take the world by the hand and rise together with it to the Creator.
From A Conversation During the Meal Commemorating the Death of the Ari, 7/25/12
In the News (from The Guardian): “Although the world was hoping for a good US harvest to replenish dangerously low grain stocks, this is no longer on the cards. World carryover stocks of grain will fall further at the end of this crop year, making the food situation even more precarious. Food prices, already elevated, will follow the price of corn upward, quite possibly to record highs.
“Not only is the current food situation deteriorating, but so is the global food system itself. We saw early signs of the unraveling in 2008 following an abrupt doubling of world grain prices. As world food prices climbed, exporting countries began restricting grain exports to keep their domestic food prices down. In response, governments of importing countries panicked. Some of them turned to buying or leasing land in other countries on which to produce food for themselves.
“Welcome to the new geopolitics of food scarcity. As food supplies tighten, we are moving into a new food era, one in which it is every country for itself.
“The world is in serious trouble on the food front. But there is little evidence that political leaders have yet grasped the magnitude of what is happening. The progress in reducing hunger in recent decades has been reversed. Unless we move quickly to adopt new population, energy, and water policies, the goal of eradicating hunger will remain just that.
“Time is running out. The world may be much closer to an unmanageable food shortage – replete with soaring food prices, spreading food unrest, and ultimately political instability– than most people realise.”
My Comment: I have repeatedly written that according to the program of nature, revealed by Kabbalah, we face a general crisis. Nature must lead us to a change—the correction of ourselves from individualists-egoists to altruists who strive to unite everyone like in one family—because this is the entire system of nature, and we have developed to the state when we must match it consciously. That is why the blows of nature on society and individuals will not stop, but on the contrary, they will increase to the extent of our resistance, not wanting to understand and accept a different path of development, the path of mutual bestowal and love instead of individual receiving and hatred.
There is no doubt that a person has to overcome his egoism, but it is possible to acquire new properties easy and quickly under the influence of the correct environment (a group, society). Otherwise, nature will force us to do this by immense suffering. See Baal HaSulam’s article “The Freedom,” chapter “A Path of Torah and a Path of Pain.”
Answer: Because free bread—in a mousetrap—means that there is a loss of something else, often invisible in the beginning. Just like with the windmills, we will discover how dearly free wind power costs us.
Nature is “round,” everything is interconnected in it; you cannot receive without giving, gain defines a loss. The law of balance of all parts of nature dictates that. Only an understanding of this law at all levels of the universe will lead us to the true gain.
To do this, we need to learn the second part of the world, hidden from us and working on the property of bestowal rather than receiving. Using the two forces, the properties, we will be able to exist optimally without bringing the world to a crisis. The world is beginning to realize how much “clean” energy pollutes the world, and only appears clean and profitable on the outside.
Answer: It is partially true, and partly because it is so clearly evident that the world is in crisis, about which I was talking 20 years ago, that it is time to stop talking about the obvious.
Kabbalists have reached the finals. What they said about the program of our natural development is already manifested in the world, and unfortunately, in a bad way.
But it is still possible to change everything to the better, quickly and easily, within a few weeks, subject to the acceptance of the system of integral education and upbringing as mandatory for everyone. Otherwise, as Kabbalah indicates, under the impact of every possible kind of suffering, we are facing the inevitable “fall” of humankind up to open cannibalism.
Apparently, it is only natural that people today cannot get along. Nature has prepared an opportunity for us to coexist and live together, provided that we understand from the beginning that we enter into family life in order to rise above our nature, and that is what will help us succeed in everything and prepare us to enter into the world revealed before us now.
The family, married life, will become the school that prepares us for life. As a little child, brought up and taught in kindergarten, in the family, and at school is prepared to live in a large, adult world, so today, at home, in the family and marital relationships, we prepare ourselves to enter a new life.
There is no other framework that would be so natural and adapted to this purpose. If you explained this to all of humanity—which is in a ruined, torn state and sees so little happiness and joy in the family—then everyone would see the benefits of family life, and this would encourage people to marry.
After all, today, no matter whom you talk to, you would hear that people initially do not want to start a family, or they have tried to create it, became disappointed, and are on the verge of divorce. That is why we must explain to a person that, in such a way, through correcting the life in his family, he will achieve life in the corrected world, and without this, there is no way to reach a good life.
It is no accident that, in all ancient cultures and societies throughout the millennial history of humankind, the family has occupied such a huge and lasting place. Only in recent years has family life suddenly become destroyed. This is one of the signs that we have reached a condition that is obliging us to correct it ourselves.
We have never corrected the human being. We corrected our environment, society, and nature, building all kinds of support systems and developing technology, but today, we have evolved so much that we need not continue to improve it. This will not help us and will change nothing. Now, it has come to people themselves, and thus, today the family is collapsing.
In the old days, in many cases, unmarried people often were not accepted in responsible positions, including the studies of Kabbalah, but only those who lived a corrected family life because then they had to correct themselves constantly in this small internal laboratory and from this, the requirement stemmed.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 7/11/12
Question: How can we maintain the connection that we have achieved during the process of integral education?
Answer: We constantly need to maintain the state of unity of people. In no case should we stop training people because they cannot just take a course in integral education and end there. They will see that they need this. They will feel it as the source of life force.
That is why we don’t need to force them. They will attend the courses in integral education with pleasure. The same circles certainly will appear on the Internet, television, and so on. In general, we will come to a state where this will become a necessary public action just to behave correctly and correctly relate to the world. This is general re-education.
In addition, we are now in a state of crisis when millions of people are becoming unemployed. Everything gradually is collapsing, falling apart. All social, family, commercial, and industrial relations—I am not even mentioning banking and economic relations—all these will gradually unravel, and then people will see that the source of life, understanding the processes where they are and how they can escape from all troubles is in integral unity. That is, they will feel and recognize unity, not as some relief or psychological workshop, but as the transition from the current state of the world to the next.
From a Fundamentals of Kabbalah Lesson 7/15/12