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Question: What can help me during the reading of The Zohar to see the point in the heart of my friends?
Answer: Ask! The Zohar is like electricity in the outlet on the wall: If you want, you can heat with it, if you want, to cool, plug anything into it. It is energy. The Zohar is the simple Light. You decide how to use it.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/7/12, The Zohar
Answer: First by the efforts a person makes in the group, in the study, in using all the options, he should value the attribute of bestowal very highly. A person goes through many states of giving and bestowal that he isn’t aware of at all, as he feels himself as “dead.” He can be in opposing states, wanting only to receive, or feel disappointed about the way or the opposite, meaning to be in high spirits. But a person should rise above all these opposite polar states. There is the state itself and I rise above it. The state was sent from Above by the Creator who thus wants to check how we respond and rise above every state.
A person usually feels indifference and disrespect. But if he says that he doesn’t want to believe what he sees and starts doing something about regaining his inspiration, the sensitivity, the feeling of vitality in bestowal, his special attitude towards his correction, meaning above the indifference and the disrespect, then he will gradually draw upon himself the Light that Reforms.
I begin to value the attribute of bestowal, the advancement towards the Creator, towards His revelation, the states that are above this world. If I already value this and aspire to bestow, I have a vessel. I want to feel that I’m lost within the attribute of bestowal, that I value it more than anything. Why did this suddenly happen? This is how the upper Light bestowed upon me and now I want to have this attribute too.
The question is also why do I want it? I may feel that I’ll feel better with it, that it will free me of all troubles and worries. Is it bad to feel that I don’t belong to this world? Many people want to detach themselves from it.
So I should check the reason why I’m doing this. The upper Light stimulates me and inserts the appreciation of bestowal into me, but what kind of bestowal, perhaps egoistic bestowal? I check myself with the help of the group and the friends, to see whether I can, with the help of my apparent aspiration for the attribute of bestowal, attain it and feel it. Do I want to bestow in order to bestow upon others, or am I doing this in order to receive something: respect or appreciation? I check all this within the group.
Why do I do that? So that I’ll feel good? No! So that others will feel good? Yes! But do I know that it’s so and that inside I don’t actually hope to get something in return? I check it by asking whether I aspire to bring the Creator pleasure through the friends. Here my true distant goal has to be revealed. I suddenly discover that I want to direct all my actions of bestowal towards the Creator.
But here too I still have to clarify things, since to bestow upon the Creator is undoubtedly worthwhile. After all, He will certainly understand, discover and pay me for my loyalty, and if I reach this, my whole life is filled with different priorities. But no! I want to bestow so that the Creator knows nothing about it and only in order to be in the attribute of bestowal.
I examine my actions according to the extent that I can rise above my egoistic desires. If I don’t constantly examine myself as to how to raise bestowal above receiving, I’ll not be able to hold on to bestowal under any circumstances. I must constantly check what I have gained and what I have lost and whether I can ignore my losses. This means, whether I can receive a filling and be above this.
I have constant calculations in my desires to receive as to what extent I can remain in true bestowal. One is based on the other. After all, there is no way to assess whether or not you are doing this for yourself, in the vessels of bestowal, in the aspiration to bestow, but only if under all this there are desires to receive which I restrict to build upon them a Masach and the Returning Light, which means my actions of bestowal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/5/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: With respect to the general public, our method should be the means by which they will be provided with basic needs such as food, safety, and health. How does it help them reveal the spiritual world?
Answer: They reveal the spiritual world more passively than we do.
We become connected with the upper one to bring the Light that Reforms and to resemble It. This Light we pass on, carrying the method of correction to people. And they perform only the necessary steps under our direction, not caring about the Light, and this practice of connection is enough to bring it to their environment. The Light will affect and advance them towards the understanding and feeling, and then they will want to receive it themselves to move towards unity and the revelation of the Creator, as it is written: “All shall know Me, young and old.”
Thus, we must carry the method of unity to the people so that they feel good. We cannot explain what “good” actually means; however, the Reforming Light lies in these activities, and due to It, people will move further and further in the interpretation of their benefit until they come to The Good and Who Does Good.
Question: How is it combined with people’s simple needs, for example, for cheaper food?
Answer: We explain how to unite so that food becomes cheaper. Of course, no one wants to unite, but this is the condition if we want to achieve something, and that is why a person pays this price. And then, continuing to act in the same direction, he discovers that unity is a treasure in itself: not as a tool to help you achieve something, but as a state. This is how the Light acts, giving us a new understanding.
So, we explain to people that united together they will have many advantages. Mutual support will instill in them a sense of security; their life will become better, safer, etc. Of course, you have to pay for it by a measure of personal convenience, by a share of your egoism, but it is easy and attractive with overall participation. The strength of the masses does the job. And then, having approached realization, people will see that it really brings them benefits, that the solution to the problems has been found.
There will be no repeating of the scenario of Soviet Russia or Israeli kibbutzim; the script of unity is just for the sake of a better life. After all, today we are engaged in the process, and only through our participation people come together so that it is good and useful for development. Suddenly, they will feel that unity attracts them because therein lies a higher root, a higher state, something that fills them with the spirit of life. So, they will go ahead.
Question: Where do we need to start our explanations to involve them in the process?
Answer: We need to develop an approach that would allow properly explaining to people that unity can greatly improve society, to achieve discounts and mutually beneficial exchange, learning to help each other, instead of paying someone money, etc. Someone will voluntarily take on a children’s club, others will also contribute, and we will be able to live a normal life without money, discounted by the crisis. We will feel the need for and the benefits of reciprocity.
Of course, without the Light that Reforms, not intending to unite seriously, people would “run away” after having used each other. But here, thanks to our leadership, people will feel the need for internal growth. Time after time, they will discover higher desires that require fulfillment, for the time being egoistic. And then, gradually, people will come to the altruistic intention from Lo Lishma to Lishma (not for Her name to Her name).
Thus, everyone goes through the same process; only their starting point lies below our point. We begin with the state of “Yisrael,” with the aspirations “straight to the Creator” (Yashar-El), we have the urge to reveal the spiritual world. And they do not have this attraction, and that is why we have to pull them along, to be what is called the “Light for the nations.” We conduct the Light in the actions of unity, through which we train people. These actions benefit the people, and meanwhile, the Light hidden in them develops people.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/5/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
Question: What is important at the convention: that a friend is in a permanent cancellation of himself before the general flow or in the constant internal scrutiny of his state, in search of new sensations?
Answer: No, he has nothing to scrutinize his state with! He does not have the inner Light! He has nothing. He draws the inner Light by being included in the others, and the Light reveals these states in him. Otherwise, he will think with his mind and come nowhere. He must give way to the Light that will show his next inner, higher states.
From a Virtual Lesson 7/29/12
In the News (from The New York Times): “Political scientists are defensive these days because in May the House passed an amendment to a bill eliminating National Science Foundation grants for political scientists. Soon the Senate may vote on similar legislation. Colleagues, especially those who have received N.S.F. grants, will loathe me for saying this, but just this once I’m sympathetic with the anti-intellectual Republicans behind this amendment. Why? The bill incited a national conversation about a subject that has troubled me for decades: the government — disproportionately — supports research that is amenable to statistical analyses and models even though everyone knows the clean equations mask messy realities that contrived data sets and assumptions don’t, and can’t, capture.
“It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money. The most obvious example may be political scientists’ insistence, during the cold war, that the Soviet Union would persist as a nuclear threat to the United States. In 1993, in the journal International Security, for example, the cold war historian John Lewis Gaddis wrote that the demise of the Soviet Union was ‘of such importance that no approach to the study of international relations claiming both foresight and competence should have failed to see it coming.’ And yet, he noted, ‘None actually did so.’ …
“Alas, little has changed. Did any prominent N.S.F.-financed researchers predict that an organization like Al Qaeda would change global and domestic politics for at least a generation? Nope. Or that the Arab Spring would overthrow leaders in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia? No, again.…
“The political psychologist Philip E. Tetlock began systematically quizzing 284 political experts — most of whom were political science Ph.D.’s — on dozens of basic questions, like whether a country would go to war, leave NATO or change its boundaries or a political leader would remain in office. His book “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” won the A.P.S.A.’s prize for the best book published on government, politics or international affairs.
“Professor Tetlock’s main finding? Chimps randomly throwing darts at the possible outcomes would have done almost as well as the experts.
“These results wouldn’t surprise the guru of the scientific method, Karl Popper, whose 1934 book The Logic of Scientific Discovery remains the cornerstone of the scientific method. Yet Mr. Popper himself scoffed at the pretensions of the social sciences: ‘Long-term prophecies can be derived from scientific conditional predictions only if they apply to systems which can be described as well-isolated, stationary, and recurrent. These systems are very rare in nature; and modern society is not one of them.’”
My Comment: Indeed, our time is a time of insight, although, unfortunately, of gradual understanding and often belated. It remains to realize the biggest misconception, “the future is entirely predictable if we know how to build it.”
Humanity is inside the environment called “Nature.” Both Humankind and Nature are systems that have their own laws of behavior and development. Their mutual influence can and should be studied, and most importantly changed, by changing humanity.
This is possible by introducing the methods of “Integral education.” Even the limited application of this method will produce a clear positive response, both in society and in the surrounding Nature, and thus will become a distinct example and proof of the correctness and effectiveness of the “method of managing the future.”
Question: In the middle of the twentieth century, a phenomenon called a “Swedish family” has appeared. Its meaning is now somewhat faded. A Swedish family is, in essence, a relationship, which is not officially registered. In Sweden, such an economic situation was formed that made it not beneficial to officially register a marriage, and many people lived in families without a marriage registration.
Many times, you have talked about the fact that it is very important to observe all of the conditions, customary in a society in order to fully realize the condition that husband and wife are one whole. Why is it so important to register your relationships, even if on a religious basis?
Answer: A human is, after all, a psychological system. And probably, there is no way out here. Since even a religious marriage, even in our society, which is far from religion, still binds you to something. Call it fear, prejudice, whatever you want, in any case the young and the old people do abide by it.
That is why I am for any culture, any religion to take part in marriage. That, nevertheless, gives a wider psychological base, not spiritual, but psychological, and a person is obliged to uphold the requirements of a marriage. In our memory, in the subconscious, there are such dark, hidden places, which remind us that marriage was entered into in front of our relatives, in the presence of a large number of people, that it has been validated in a religious sense, which proves that we are a family, and so on.
I would even give this event much higher publicity, not glamour, so that it would not mean that we are talking about material costs, but publicity. I would show these families on local TV, meaning that I would basically make it much more fundamental, so that there would be as much internal, psychological obstacles as possible against separating.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 7/8/12
Answer: Nowadays, the family rises from the animal level to the level of the human. If people understand this, then they will need to create a completely new kind of family that comes in contact with each other, and in that creates a correct integral family cell. This cell isn’t based on animal connections, and not on shared money, even not on children, since for this purpose institutions and systems were created, which in principle, take all of this upon themselves.
Today, within a family, people are not able to stay together since the couples are not mutually bound in any way from their shared inner level. The previous level remains far behind: We are no longer materially dependent on each other, we don’t have to be together; I am not tied to the family or the home, not to the children, not to religion, not to my village, not to my work, etc. Today a person is free: He bought a ticket, and flew somewhere, and you don’t even know where. He can disappear until the end of life in some corner of the world. Who knows!
In Moscow there is a popular TV program called, “I Am Looking for You” where people look for each other. This is, in principle, the call of the times. People disappear, leave, and don’t even try to give notice about themselves! A person finds something completely different, and he, as if, discovers a new life.
We must understand, that the family rose from the animal to the human level. If we are on that level, there is no reason for them to be together, to compromise, to connect. They don’t see the benefit or the profit from it and don’t see what form of spirituality they need to create between them or how to give birth to spiritual children and not physical ones, to create that same cell that will be called “spiritual family,” and not just a cell that is connected because of shared property, an apartment, or car, etc. If we don’t bring a person to this, then there won’t be a family. This is absolutely accurate!
We need to teach people to create a spiritual family now, meaning to be mutually connected at the next level, not at the corporeal level where each person can get along on his own.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 7/8/12
Question: What does it mean to ask the Creator?
Answer: Asking the Creator means that you are aware of the power that operates in the entire creation, you realize that you depend on it, and no one but It acts. You begin to feel that indeed this power exists, operates, and manages everything; then you have whom to turn to and with what.
To do this, you need to reveal that it is not you who acts, but He, for good or for evil, in which He acts, He does what you need that He would do. And He causes you all possible evil, so that you pay attention to who you are, to what extent you are not capable of anything. This is what is revealed to the world in the current crisis.
And then you start to advance in this awareness and to learn on what you really depend until you reveal Him, firstly, as the evil because you feel bad. Then, you move slowly forward, you begin to grow wiser and realize that all this is for your own good, and even if you feel bad, you know that He acts on you in order to lead you to the good, as a teacher. And although in the earthly feelings you don’t think it is good, you start to recognize His properties, become aware of his actions and understand that they are good.
You identify with Him despite the bad feeling. And this gives you a new mind and feelings, the spiritual rather than the earthly ones. And although the body is suffering, you want to adhere to the plan of creation, for this purpose more than to your body. Then you ask Him to raise you, you are performing such acts, that this upper one gives you new values so that you adhere to His mind and feelings, to His plan, to everything that He does instead of remaining in your desire to enjoy. To the extent you are asking this, to that extent, the value of bestowal and love becomes higher than reception and rejection of others. Thus, you are advancing further and further.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/1/12, The Book of Zohar
At first, we attribute all of our vices and virtues to ourselves. When some bad quality is revealed within a person that is unbearable, then he begins to be sorry about his past or current actions. He especially regrets the past, either the immediate past or that farther away. However, because of this he doesn’t lower himself; it doesn’t make him humble although it may seem so to him.
Instead of regretting the past, he must decide above this feeling of regret, which is given to him by the Creator, that there is none else besides the Creator. After all, everything that happened in the past was done by the Creator. And man has no reason to regret it.
On the contrary, he must not give into his egoistic feelings supposing that he is now a righteous person if he repents for his bad deeds, his bad attitude toward someone, his mistakes, weakness and anger. After all, the Creator arranged everything this way and it is He who is showing man that he is not able to connect all of these events with the Creator.
That’s why one needs to regret not about the past or what happened, but about the fact that you are currently unable to attribute everything only to the Creator. And if that’s so, then where does the vanity of a man lie? Not in the fact that he was once bad, but in the fact that he can’t determine above all his perceptions, that there is none else besides the Creator. This is what his lowliness and weakness lies in.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/2/12