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When reading The Zohar, we are facing the Light that is capable of everything. The Creator makes Light and He makes darkness; He raises and lowers. He does everything. If so, then the problem is only us: We are unable to ask Him for the right thing. The Light has no problem bringing us anything we could possibly desire, even in our greatest and most exorbitant fantasies. It has no problem. It is a force that contains everything and its possibilities are infinite.
So what should we really ask for, coming from our desire rather than deception? And how can we form that desire? Say, I come to a toy store and, like a small child, my head starts spinning: I want this, and that, and a third and fourth thing.
How do I choose the only, best, most useful and necessary thing from everything I see before me? How do I entrench myself in my desire in order to ask precisely for this, and to do it in such a way that I will receive it? If I demand the right “toy,” then I will receive it. But if I ask for something else, which is not entirely for my own good, then I won’t receive it. Let us ask for this from the Light as well, for it to help us choose.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/13/12, The Zohar
Question: You say that in the current extraordinary circumstances, we need help from the women. What kind of force is this, which we will not be able to manage without?
Answer: Someone once said that behind every successful man stands a woman. Apparently, the greater his success so, to put it mildly, is the more serious her approach.
So, I would like to ask all our women, those whose husbands study with us and the single ones, at every opportunity, show the men that women expect unity and correction from them. Let them see that a great anxiety about the existing threats lives in every woman, so that we rise above the current state and correct it.
Every woman needs to show this. And in the family, of course, the maximum effect is achieved when the husband feels that his wife is expecting real spiritual actions from him.
It is important that every woman applies efforts. After all, women have a special talent that allows, even without words, at the level of feeling, awakening men to bring in a desire and send them in the right direction. This is not just a woman’s, but a mother’s property.
A man, not being able to give birth, remains somewhat of a “child” and thus has the opposite tendency—to obey. So, we, men, really need female support.
Question: By nature, a woman feels a characteristic need. What should it be aimed at today?
Answer: The world is in crisis, and this crisis has arisen for us to correct it through unity. First, we unite in groups, then in the people of Israel, on the “territory,” from which comes the Light that Reforms, and then in the whole world. We should take care that correction is spread in this order. A wife requires this from her husband, and, in general, every woman from every man, gently but persistently. They know how to do this…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/12/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Answer: One should see solidarity and a good attitude toward others, above self-love. Indeed, the work is precisely in rising above the ego.
In life, typically if I’m at odds with somebody or if I don’t care about them, I don’t even notice them. I couldn’t care less about my coworkers—my relationship with them doesn’t extend beyond a friendly greeting. In light of the above, if we want to escape all the troubles, we must extend deliberate bonds above our ego. On the level of this world we perform the same work as in the spiritual: We begin to express a slightly warmer attitude toward one another. Why? Because our duty is to establish a connection. After all, therein lies the special power that is capable of mitigating our problems.
Such must be our approach: above the isolation and indifference we form—perhaps not love—but a mutual connection, so that we could feel as one nation.
It’s no accident that the crisis is demolishing borders and clearly demonstrating that all people are interconnected as though we all live in the same country. If we were to combine all our systems into a single whole, we would rise above the crisis.
It follows that I must find strength and direction in my environment, which must convince me of one thing only—that our unification will neutralize all problems. Everything that’s fraught with negativity today will instantly turn positive, as if by the wave of a magic wand.
Question: So all we’re talking about are positive relationships?
Answer: Yes. That is sufficient. I don’t care about anybody else, but together we start working on building a better society through the connection between us, one that’s brimming with life, prosperity, and optimism.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/12/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: How do we really address the Creator without making an idol for ourselves?
Answer: Man makes an idol for himself instead of the Creator because it’s easier for him that way. Egoism is always trying to switch the goal, the means, and the values with which it would be much simpler for it. He searches for some kind of fulfillment for his pride, a quick fulfillment or compensation.
Our ego is unconsciously avoiding suffering, which is imperceptible to man who is incapable of catching it by its tail. And if he has already gotten stuck in it, he can’t make correct conclusions.
This is a problem. Only if man receives the correct definitions from the environment, friends, and books, and listens to the teacher’s advice, then possibly, he may be able to keep safe from the “evil eye.” It’s written that in most cases death comes from the evil eye, meaning that when man looks at the spiritual, he does not look with a kind eye, but with an evil, egoistic one, turning it to his benefit. This indicates that he is unable to cleanse himself from his self-interest and thus “buries” himself.
So how does one save oneself from the evil eye, which kills man? Try to look at the world with the eyes of another, meaning, with the eyes of the friends. And then you will see it objectively, regardless of your ego.
From the lesson on a letter by Baal HaSulam, 8/8/12
In the News (from Business Insider): “The global economy is in the worst shape since the dark days of 2009. Six of the 17 countries that use the euro currency are in recession. The U.S. economy is struggling again. And the economic superstars of the developing world — China, India and Brazil — are in no position to come to the rescue. They’re slowing, too.
“The lengthening shadow over the world’s economy illustrates one of the consequences of globalization: There’s nowhere to hide.
“Economies around the world have never been so tightly linked — which means that as one region weakens, others do, too. That’s why Europe’s slowdown is hurting factories in China. And why those Chinese factories are buying less iron ore from Brazil. …
“For now, few foresee another global recession. Central banks in China, Britain, Brazil, South Korea and Europe have cut interest rates in the past month to try to jolt growth. European leaders have begun to focus more on promoting growth, not just shrinking debt and cutting budgets. …
“Many fear that Greece and perhaps other countries will default on their debts and have to abandon the euro currency, which could ignite financial chaos across Europe. …
“In the latest wallop to the global economy, China said last week that its economic growth fell to a three-year low. The world’s second-largest economy grew 7.6 percent in the April-June quarter compared with the same quarter last year. That was the slowest growth since early 2009. Countries like China need fast growth to serve growing populations and millions of people leaving farms to seek work in cities.
“Brazil also has a U.S.-style problem with consumer debt: Since 2003, about 40 million Brazilians have entered the middle class and brought a strong appetite for consumption. Brazilian leaders credited those consumers with invigorating the economy in recent years and helping protect it from external shocks.
“But most of the buying has been on credit. And those bills are adding up. In a report last week, London-based Capital Economics estimated that debt payments now eat up 20 percent of household income in Brazil. …
“Similarly, the outlook has dimmed for India, the world’s fourth-biggest economy. Its growth slowed to a 5.3 percent annual rate in the first three months of 2012, the slowest rate in nine years. …
“The slowdown in the developing world could make it harder for the economies of Europe and the United States to climb out of their ruts. And the weaker the rich countries get, the harder it will be for developing economies to regain their old fast pace.
“’In today’s interconnected world, we can no longer afford to look only at what goes on within our national borders,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said earlier this month. ‘This crisis does not recognize borders. This crisis is knocking at all our doors.’”
My Comment: This is how the “Law of our natural development” teaches us; evolution teaches us through small sufferings; it teaches us that the world is round and we are interconnected in it, and that is why we need to think not only about ourselves, but about everyone like in one family. If we continue to be stubborn, suffering will increase and in spite of everything lead us towards unity, in the bad or good way, depending on our behavior.
Question: Why despite knowing the basic Kabbalah principle “if you want to change the world, you should start changing yourself” a person still wants to start changing the world? How can he save himself from this?
Answer: When you connect yourself with the world you see that in reality this is one and the same system, and therefore there is nothing to change here. Only your attitude towards the world changes everything. The upper Light, the upper energy starts flowing through you into the rest and you will see how everything changes.
I am confident that after a successful convention, we will see how much the entire country and everything that exists there will suddenly receive some spiritual rise. Many problems will simply go away, will disappear from people’s sensation. Instead the people will receive the support of the upper energy and everything will begin to unfold in a much simpler and better way, especially for those people who will be participating in the convention together with us.
This will become obvious. At least all problems that were in the past will be seen as smaller, easier, and much less important.
From the Virtual Lesson 7/29/12
Question: I am confused by your suggestion to keep back one’s criticism regarding others. I am afraid that if I will not be releasing this, I will eventually explode or develop an ulcer.
Answer: But why does one need to look at every person with a critical eye? And if such a negative evaluation occurs automatically, it means that every second you have an opportunity to rise above your dissatisfaction higher and higher in order to see virtues in others instead of shortcomings.
It is as if you are constantly turning your initial impression around. You see how some wretched rascal is being naughty and suddenly you look closer and you recognize that it is your own son. Oh, what a mistake I made, since I thought it was the neighbor’s kid that was misbehaving. When I see that it is my son, I am only touched by his mischief.
Try to work it out well. You won’t be able to achieve anything on your own, but come to us for courses and seminars. You need to study, to train, and to get support from the environment where such an attitude is valued.
And then, you will not be accumulating any irritation inside of you and developing an ulcer, but on the contrary, you will feel pleasure! You will look around and will not see any shortcomings in anyone. Since all of the flaws in others that are irritating you today, belong to you. And then you will see a perfect world.
Question: But I will only reach such an attitude at the end, how can I live through the transition stage if I cannot make any critical remarks to my wife because she is my mirror? I must transfer all of that negativity onto myself. Not a word throughout the whole day, then I will simply explode! It is well known that it is much better for health and family relations to speak one’s mind immediately and not to be accumulating irritation inside yourself. But I must be silent?
Answer: You must hold a continuous workshop among the two of you, to exercise, just like at the family relationships courses where you were taught to speak with each other correctly. Discuss how you see each other and that it is a mirror, which shows you yourselves. Talk about the influence of the environment, about human egoism. If you will be discussing this continously and experiencing it, doing exercises, clarifying, how you see each other and why, then this will become a habit, which will become a second nature.
Such an attitude will become rooted inside of you, and the environment will help you not to forget about it. And in the same way, you will continue this at home. You never leave the seminar. You participate in it during the courses in order to later continue it for the rest of your life.
The workshop is not something occasional. It is like a diet, which once you have started, you cannot quit. And if you quit it, then all of your efforts have come to nothing. The seminar’s purpose is to give us a push for moving a little deeper inside into a more accurate clarification. However, we never fall out of this discussion, but we continue it. From seminar to seminar, we only raise the record ever higher with each time.
From a Talk About New Life 7/12/12
The solution is primarily in the organization of the environment in which everyone would be able to fill up on the fuel for working above reason, that is, egoism. In order to do this, we begin working with a few married couples and conduct exercises and discussions.
It’s similar to how people come into a specific society, for example wanting to lose weight without having any clue about how to do it, but only having a big desire. In the same way, we gather 10-20 people into groups and influence each other. From that, each one feels the strength, the importance of the goal, and pressure.
`We are united by a common goal, to build good family relations. All couples look at your family and impart to you the force to stay above mutual egoism, in mutual love and bestowal. They are constantly feeding you with energy, importance; they supply you with the means to remain above the ego. The more couples in such a group, the better and stronger they are. Besides that, it’s important how connected they are with each other.
We have not yet come to the realization that our nature is the most important obstacle on the path towards the good life. If you still don’t understand what your egoism is, ask your wife and she’ll tell you about who you are. Likewise, you can tell her about all of her shortcomings.
However, the shortcomings that everyone wants to change in the other are actually their own egoism. We see the negative qualities in a partner as a reflection of our own egoism, just like in a mirror. Everything bad that I see on the opposite side belongs to me, beyond any doubt. Even if I am sure that such qualities are absolutely not characteristic of me, rather the opposite side has inherited them from their mother or grandmother, in actuality, all of them are my own flaws.
However, we understand that we have no choice and we must get rid of our criticism, to rise above it, above the entire negativity that we see in our partner. While at the same time she behaves in exactly the same way towards me, rising above her criticism, and we relate to each other as to complete perfection. My spouse is really ideal and my only wish is to make all her wishes come true, I am ready to do everything for her. And in exactly the same way, she wants to do everything for me.
If we have the necessary fuel, then we’ll realize all of that. And then we won’t be demanding proof of slavish devotion from each other day and night. On the contrary, we’ll see that by the virtue of our love, we demand almost nothing of each other. I am happy to do everything for my spouse by myself, and she for me. It turns out that we enjoy the smallest, simplest things, and from this get great mutual pleasure.
I won’t need to buy expensive gifts; just an internal feeling that fulfills us in such a way that we no longer need anything. We feel similar to how newlyweds feel, ready to live in a small flat in the most modest of conditions, only to be together. This is what “love covers all transgressions” means. There is no transgression or shortcoming, which cannot be filled with love.
From a Talk About New Life 7/12/12
The next level of our development is called “Human” but the human level isn’t our physical body and it isn’t the level that we’ve created in our civilization. After all, our civilization is built only upon serving our animal desires: food, sex, home, family, wealth, fame, power, and knowledge. None of these desires extend beyond the level of serving our corporeal needs.
It’s crucial for us to elevate above these corporeal needs to a spiritual level and to obtain the essence of a human. This is the next phase of development that humanity is now facing. The ease of this transition depends upon the extent to which we help ourselves to be born in this new realm, on this new level. Otherwise all of humanity will experience terrible birthing pains, which will be bloody and violent. Ultimately we will still be born on the next level. However, if we advance toward this consciously, then we help the birthing process just as the fetus does: The mother pushes him out and he helps her.
Today nature is pushing us toward being born through pressure and crisis. In its translation from Greek, the word “Crisis” means “birth of something new.” It’s not a downfall; rather it’s a revelation of something new, which is, of course, accompanied by birthing pains. This is why we must help ourselves to be born.
It truly is a birth and it’s a special one. In the past we weren’t consciously involved in our advancement, we were simply pushed by nature and we advanced egoistically. Now we elevate above our animal egoism, above our level, and consciously enter the next level where we will represent an integral humanity. This is being revealed today as nature is invoking us, pressuring us, and showing us our interconnection. Through this we obtain a total balance and harmony with nature. This truly is a healthy and conscious birth of humanity.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 2/29/12