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We are not able yet to provide each other with the constant force of mutual guarantee, and sometimes we enter this condition and then exit it. However, we must try to minimize the state of exit, those moments when we again become preoccupied with the care of ourselves and are drowning in the desire to enjoy. Try to get out of this state quickly, and find support that will help you rise above the worries about yourselves.
Taking care of oneself seems quite fair and justified to us. We feel insecure, uncertain, and unsure about receiving our necessities. However, above that feeling, there should be the force of confidence called the force of faith, the force of bestowal.
Perhaps, a person will find himself in very dangerous, frightening situations. They should not be glossed over. Instead, one must demand the force of covering above them from himself, the group, and the Creator so that there is a void that needs to be filled with the necessities and the things beyond necessity, and a person builds this cover, the screen, above this feeling of lack and emptiness.
He should try to do this as quickly as possible in those situations, in those moments of life when the force of mutual guarantee, protection, disappears. We can show our dedication to the goal in those moments.
We are not responsible for the moments of descent, and you should not regret that you fell, lost confidence and faith in bestowal and mutual guarantee. The Creator builds new voids in us because no single moment is like another.
We must give thanks that, now, above your feelings of insecurity, you can build an even greater connection and bestowal to strengthen these concepts so that they become strong, protective screens for us. The final correction is to fill all the moments of descent, all the voids that open due to the revelation of greater egoism, with the force of mutual guarantee and confidence originating from bestowal, adhesion.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Three conditions of a prayer are the conditions that enable us to unite with the next degree: GE of the lower with AHP of the upper. They demonstrate the loyalty of the soul that is required and disappointment in one’s own strengths, dedication to the upper One, faith in the greatness of the higher degree, and the feeling of one’s worthlessness that allows one to cancel himself.
This refers to the faith in the greatness of the upper One, which fully depends on the influence of the environment. A person is unable to reach it on his own. The need for the upper One only depends on the environment because a person is not able to develop a need to bestow on his own. This is an abstract goal that contradicts his nature, and this is why it can come only from the environment that rules over him.
Only the environment can give me the strength that will allow me to rise above my body and decide that death is better than a life without the quality of bestowal, without a spiritual sensation, so that I would agree to bestow instead of receiving, no longer wishing to continue living in my egoism. The ability to carry out these three conditions depends on a person’s loyalty to his environment, on the environment’s ability to convince him of these values.
He is unable to develop this attitude on his own, and, even if he mentally and logically understands that the books state that such are the conditions of the spiritual world, he still will be unable to come closer to them. The environment was given the power to influence us in order to help us attain the perfect system, the quality of bestowal, to come out of ourselves and connect with other broken souls.
It is a known fact that when getting into the wrong crowd, a child who was formerly good and well-mannered in a short time becomes a criminal, and he even becomes the worst of them all since he uses the education he has received for the worst. Conversely, a good environment can correct a former offender, even though this is more difficult to do.
What is special about an environment that strives toward a spiritual goal and connection is that the Light from a higher degree helps it. It performs the actual action of lifting us from the plane where we now exist.
We wish to connect in order to become like the higher degree, and this is why we attract the Light that Reforms. Similarity to a higher degree represents a great connection between us, and, when we wish to connect with the purpose of pleasing the Creator, to materialize His desire to reveal Himself to the creatures, our connection receives an unnatural power from the higher degree.
This power depends on our drive to connect despite the fact that we are unable to attain it. In regular life, it is very easy to connect for the sake of an egoistic goal. There is absolute unity and loyalty in a criminal mafia, but we are unable to accomplish it, and, naturally, we will not be able to do it until the Light corrects us.
However, we attract the Light that Reforms with just a single desire to attain this. The group becomes the source of the upper force, which has an indirect effect like the Surrounding Light. This is not yet the Direct Light of a spiritual degree, but, time after time, when the Surrounding Light influences us in response to our attempts to connect, it helps us bit by bit, gradually building our connection.
In this way, through our mutual efforts when we operate from below and the Light operates from above, we finally attain the first contact with Him. This Light robes in our vessel, and we reveal our first spiritual degree.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/23/12, Shamati #209
1. Believing that He can save him although he has the worst conditions of all his contemporaries, still, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short” from saving him? If not, then “the Landlord cannot save His vessels.”
2. He no longer has any counsel, he has already done all that he could, but saw no cure to his plight.
3. If He does not help him, he will be better off dead than alive.
These three conditions sum up many other conditions, which a person has to gather inside him in order to reach a true prayer, an outcry. The outcry is the desire in the heart. It is born the moment we reach a desire that is adapted to the revelation of the spiritual world, the revelation of the attribute of bestowal, the moment we are ready for it even though we are on this side of the Machsom (barrier), which means that we expect to get something from this discovery.
It isn’t a pure request yet and it cannot be pure since there is the shattering between the levels.
We always pray in Lo Lishma (not for Her name), for ourselves, and from that we reach Lishma (for Her name), bestowal. It says: “I have labored and I found.” But still, our desire has to be adapted to the level we are about to reach. It is impossible to rise to it without keeping the three conditions.
Suppose I kept two conditions and understand that I have done everything in my power, but there is no salvation. How can I determine that I have done everything in my power? Even if I suddenly decide that it is so, it is only for one brief moment and then the next moment I already begin to search for something else that I can do. After all, how can I be certain that I have tried everything?
So there is the third condition “better off dead than alive.” A person reaches absolute despair and cannot go on this way. Then the third condition seems to increase the second condition by bringing a person to such an extreme level that he cannot wait any longer to check and see what else he can do, but he cries out with a prayer.
If I don’t get what I want then I am better off dead than alive. Then the second condition helps me, since we operate in two systems: the mind and the heart. So I can always say in the mind that I didn’t do enough in the heart. Emotionally I can always admit that I haven’t attained in the mind the necessary examination and clarification of my feelings.
So eventually, all the conditions add up to these three conditions, which add up to one condition: one prayer, raising MAN.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/23/12, Shamati #209
Question: How can we use the lesson in order to tighten the connection between us? How can we enter the channel that you open and hold one another?
Answer: We have to feel that we are mutually connected to one another. If you don’t feel that we are connected in our hearts a bit more today than we were two days ago, then you haven’t attained anything at the convention. This is the index for the success of the convention. We feel the connection a bit more, the warmth and the closeness among us; we have been through a certain process, we have experienced a certain event that connected us and has created a common understanding, feeling, action, power, investment, and general knowledge of what we had. All this has built a connection and now the feeling of connection has to develop further.
We have to feel this especially during the lessons, since during the lesson we actually develop our connections more deeply, and so I have to keep the way it feels inside me and thus to advance. Step by step, from one lesson to another, from day to day, I have to feel, just as I do now after having grown a bit closer to one another after the convention.
It isn’t felt in the mind and not in the heart, but in the feeling of connection, as we all become closer to one another. A few more such efforts and we will begin to feel different phenomena among us—that something is beginning to move, to shake inside, and this is already the spiritual embryo.
So we should want all our desires and thoughts to be around that and they will be part of our mutual connection. This is called the “center of the group,” the collective feeling that is built by similar actions.
It is impossible to hold conventions everyday; it isn’t good; we would immediately feel that it is useless. But we have to renew our connections during the morning lesson. Of course, there will still be the daily problems, difficulties, and the hardening of the heart as usual. But this is what we have to do: We have to check daily and assess the point of our connection and with it advance forward.
I think that today it should be clearer to everyone than it was before.
Question: Is the morning lesson a group work?
Answer: Yes. We know this from Rabbi Shimon’s students who also came to the morning lesson and discovered the mutual connection between them and wrote about it in The Book of Zohar. First they felt the evil among them, the hatred, a burning fire among them; they couldn’t look at one another or connect to one another. Then they overcame that state and attained the connection: love, unity, mutuality, and described these levels in their book. This is how The Book of Zohar was created.
There is nothing more than that; only the closeness among people when we clarify and discover among us the levels and the types of the connection. This is the spiritual world. If instead of receiving, instead of the desire to gain from one another, we reach bestowal, when everyone wants to give to others, then the corporeal world changes into the spiritual world and there we find the transcendental reality.
We should understand that only in this direction will we discover the sources and understand as described by the Kabbalists.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/23/12, Questions and Answers
In the News (from CBS News): “Two new studies say Earth has more than enough wind to power the entire world, at least technically. … The first line in the [first] study says it all: ‘There is enough power in Earth’s winds to be a primary source of near-zero-emission electric power as the global economy continues to grow through the twenty-first century.’…
“The studies are by two different U.S. science teams and were published in separate journals Sunday and Monday. They calculate existing wind turbine technology could produce hundreds of trillions of watts of power. That’s more than 10 times what the world now consumes.”
My Comment: First, we must study all the side effects of heat and air changes that windmills create. Then, they need to attract businessmen who make profits on other sources of energy, as well as the governments who depend on them. Of course, without changing people, we will not be able to approach the implementation of pure energy and the protection of the environment because it is contrary to our egoism to think about something but ourselves.
Laughter during the discussions in integral groups is a good state that brings people to the understanding of the fact that we are all animals. We can open up completely to everyone. I did not make myself this way, nature did, and if you have a problem with it, then this problem is in you because you fail to understand that we are all nothing but animals. The only thing I should be ashamed of is that I am not fully using my opportunity to ascend toward the integral state, the things that are in my power on the “human” level, and everything else is not “I.”
In general, “human” is the spirit above the “animal” because it lacks a corporeal manifestation. The human in us is our inner content. For this reason, for as long as my inner content, called human, does not prevail, process, and include all my animal instincts, functions, desires, and thoughts, I must, somehow, slightly restrain them.
However, overall, I must reveal and examine them in a group because I do not have another instrument. The group is a lab where we can open ourselves up completely, like an infant laying before his mother. Who is he and what is he? It’s just a piece of flesh, but she does everything she needs to do with him for his proper growth and functioning. The same must happen in the group.
When we have a sober and sane understanding of it, and have an adult attitude toward what is happening to us and what we need to do with ourselves, then we already are in a state where nature is working with us, guiding, growing, and developing us down the path of evolution. So, this is necessary.
I think that a person can open up in the group completely, and, naturally, the group needs to be ready for this. If they constantly interact this way between them, they will achieve it. Shame will disappear. There is no state of “shame!” You must only be ashamed of one thing: failing to rise and raise others. Internal reconstruction of the entire scale of the importance of thoughts, feelings, desires, and revaluation of values, it all happens very fast.
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 3/5/12
Question: There are discussions in a courtroom-style format in integral groups. What are we to arrive at as a group at the end of this kind of trial?
Answer: The trial should be based much more strictly, precisely, and more clearly differentiated so that later you can categorize it as a trial record that you understand what happened, what we have now, and what will happen.
Every person would evaluate the group and himself from the “human” level and the level of his egoism, that is, from the perspective of a number of roles such as the judge, the defense, the jury, and an observer, a listener, and the victim, the injured side.
There are many roles in every one of us because every person consists of everyone else. For example, there are five parts role-played in a group. This means that every person must find these five levels within him, and, on every level, he must feel how he regards this situation as he separates from everyone else.
Then, he reaches the conclusion that, in general, there is no one to judge and nothing to judge. He understands who can judge and who can justify, and everything we do only has the right to exist when it pursues a single goal: a connection.
When a person is able to softly change ranges—like a regulator, to go from one level to another—then he really becomes internally soft and integral. He activates absolutely all of his qualities, beginning with the lowest, animal qualities, and ending with the highest qualities, which are originating only in him, and, this way, he advances.
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 3/5/12
In groups of integral learning, people experience serious changes during the course of discussions. It’s possible to tell just by looking at them, the wild development they are undergoing. After all, the material they are studying is not just simple material. When we work with it, we evoke the forces of nature concealed in us. When we speak of the next level, the forces of this level, this field, interact with us and constantly evoke strong reactions and turbulent changes. People undergo very serious inner processes.
And when they separate, they feel how much they lack this kind of communication. This is why it’s necessary to keep this virtual connection they manage to create between them. This is very important because it’s similar to parting with something great, something that gradually becomes somewhat more important than life itself.
When groups begin to live this inner life, they connect to a new source, the next level of existence. And then this separation from the group might be perceived as something very dramatic by a person, and we must also think about dampening the process of his separation or giving him a replacement, otherwise the person will feel like he is dying.
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 3/5/12