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Italy Convention, Day Three, Lesson 2
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How do we reach the next degree on the path to the revelation of the upper world? How do we enter the next, more corrected state? It is clear that every next state is us, but only more corrected, and thus, it is until we return to Infinity.
Rabash writes about this in the article, “The inclusion of the quality of mercy into judgment”: It is known that the most important thing in work is choice, as it is said, “Choose life.” “Life” is the union that we strive to achieve, in other words, a return to Infinity.
By adhering in the intention Lishma, a person is honored to adhere with the Source of life. And there is no choice in this obvious management. And that is why the upper raised Malchut, that is, the property of judgment to the “eyes.” Thus, concealment emerged, and the lower one noted a lack in the upper.
The upper is the next degree. So, why is there concealment? What would have happened if it were revealed?
Let’s suppose that I now reveal something great, powerful, and beautiful. It captures me completely, and like a baby, I cling to it, unable to let it go. However, by this, I reach nothing.
The great one conquered, captivated me, and I become full with the pleasure of belonging, but nothing more. After all, I cancel the gap between me and it, the gap that would have allowed me to understand what is happening, feeling and attaining it independently and not “being bought” by bliss.
How can I ascend to the next degree? How can I grow to its height, rather than cling to this mass like a grain of sand?
That is why the upper does not show itself to the lower. In other words, our next degree is not revealed to us, but emerges in concealment.
On the one hand, it exists, and we relate to it, and, on the other hand, it is not revealed. Instead of this, it brings us all sorts of negative phenomena. As a result, I supposedly want it, and at the same time, not so much.
For example, I go to a dealer to buy a car. I look at new models. I want them and don’t want them because the price is high. Then, I begin thinking, “Is it worth it or not? What do I gain if I buy or not buy? What is preferable?”
Through this, I learn something new. I grow and now understand, feel something, not just giving money if I have it.
It is the same thing with the next degree. I want to attain it, and, at the same time, I am afraid; having problems, I hesitate in this gap between the desire and the inability to achieve spirituality, and it helps me grow.
After all, I go forward myself. I must imagine the next degree without understanding it, but by means of what? Who will help me conceive the right idea? How do I prepare, “format,” myself with the help of this picture in order to enter it? All my hard work consists of imagining the next degree as much as possible and putting myself in the framework that becomes the “support” to rising to it.
From the Convention of Unity, Day Two 9/21/12, Lesson 2
The only way to survive a descent is to prepare in advance. If the descent already has occurred, there is nothing that can be demanded of us since what can you demand of the dead? As it is written, the “dead are free.”
You are asked only why you haven’t prepared yourself for this situation. You must fill all the reservoirs and charge all the batteries. When a descent occurs, there is nothing we can do.
It is like the phases in alternating current that change like waves, one time up and one time down, and one part is filled on the account of the other part. One time, the vessels are revealed, and one time the Lights are revealed.
It is an excellent situation as the Creator has taken our ego and has helped us. It is written that the Creator created the evil inclination, but you have complained that it is evil, so He takes it away from you.
So, go ahead; act now! However, you can’t take even the smallest step without it, not even lift a finger. If your ego were to be taken away from you, you would lie like a corpse unable to move.
So, where can you find the power? Why aren’t you asking for it, and why doesn’t it come? It is because you haven’t prepared yourself for such days in advance.
If the newspapers write that there may be a food shortage, everyone stocks up with three months of food supplies at home. So, why don’t we think about storing energy in advance in case of a descent? This is exactly how we must act in accordance with reasonable, sensible logic, but it is difficult for us to do that because it is following the path of correction.
There are people who enjoy the fact that they have fallen so low and think that by their suffering they will achieve something, but this is a total lie. We only advance by exertion, by labor, and not when I have been thrown into a swamp and peacefully sink into it.
So, any moment that a person delays his ascent it is a sin. How can one ascend? Suppose you begin to sing a cheerful song in front of everyone. While you are singing, everyone wakes up, and then they must constantly try to store the energy, everyone’s power, the power of our unity, but not from the fact that I woke up by myself.
If you think, “How good it is that I have woken up now and how good I feel,” you will fall immediately. However, if you think about how we all have woken up now toward bestowal, toward the Creator, it will remain. Then, you will begin the new level, the next state.
The power that later can lead us to redemption is accumulative, and it is stored in the general desire. None of us has the vessel to store energy.
Now, when you have managed to feel an awakening, at least a physical one, think about how to worry about the friends and not let them descend. Everyone should worry about others. That way, there is no need to think about oneself.
The shame must burn in me for not worrying about my group. This means that I am betraying it. This is where the feeling of responsibility comes from and where the mutual guarantee stems from. I only need to think about how to provide the group with everything that it needs, as if it were my baby and I only worry about its wellbeing, so that it will keep on rising and growing.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/12, The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Opinion (Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, 1887): “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
“From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.
“During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”
In the News (from Technology Review): “The world of game theory is currently on fire. In May, Freeman Dyson at Princeton University and William Press at the University of Texas announced that they had discovered a previously unknown strategy for the game of prisoner’s dilemma which guarantees one player a better outcome than the other.
“That’s a monumental surprise. Theorists have studied Prisoner’s Dilemma for decades, using it as a model for the emergence of co-operation in nature. This work has had a profound impact on disciplines such as economics, evolutionary biology and, of course, game theory itself. The new result will have impact in all these areas and more. …
“Until now, everyone thought the best strategy in iterative prisoner’s dilemma was to copy your opponents behaviour in the previous round. This tit-for-tat approach guarantees that you both spend the same time in jail.
“So the news that there are other strategies that allow one player to not only beat the other but to determine their time in jail is nothing short of revolutionary. …
The new approach is called the zero determinant strategy (because it involves the process of setting a mathematical object called a determinant to zero).
It turns out that the tit-for-tat approach is a special case of the zero determinant strategy: the player using this strategy determines that the other player’s time in jail is equal to theirs. But there are a whole set of other strategies that make the other player spend far more time in jail (or far less if you’re feeling generous).
The one caveat is that the other player must be unaware that they are being manipulated. If they discover the ruse, they can play a strategy that results in the maximum jail time for both players: ie both suffer.”
My Comment: Recently, more and more discoveries are happening in the field of human interaction. This should lead us to the realization of our absolute integrality as a unified system in which there is no individual freedom in thoughts, feelings, and actions. And only dissolving oneself in everyone makes one free. For the time being this seems incredible, but we will outgrow this inertia and the limitations of our understanding of the great unity of nature.
A very strong congress has just ended; we feel tired, indifferent, sleepy, as if a heavy cloud embraces us and converts us into pessimistic elderly people.
The Creator took our egoistic desire away, the fuel that pulled us ahead. Before, we were burning with desire; we strove to get spiritual rewards and were ready to fight to attain spirituality. Each one of us considered himself a hero, although we felt like “supermen” only because our egoism was quite “hot” and was pushing us towards new achievements.
The Creator wants to help us; thus, He takes our egoism away so that we replace it by another power. Now, instead of being pushed from behind, we get inspired by the greatness of the goal and are hauled forward by it.
Now, we really have an opportunity to move ahead, but instead we complain that we do not have any energy or desire any more. Do you remember how “hot” and huge your desire was? However, it was not yours; it was given to you from Above. You were simply pushed from Above, and as a result brought to the group of Kabbalists.
At this time, your desire disappeared and you think that it’s better to leave the group and drop Kabbalah since it doesn’t attract you any longer. Do you really think that if it doesn’t appeal to you any more, it means that there is something wrong with Kabbalah? Everybody judges to the extent of their own corruptness. It’s obvious that without motivation one cannot advance. Even machines cannot work without fuel.
One should turn to the group, the books, and the study; he should demand help from them! Plead to the Creator!
If you have no power for this kind of appeal, it means that you experience deficiency of the general force, mutual guarantee. If there are friends of yours who lost their “life-force,” you should at least cry for them; it’s as if you are at their funeral; mourn over the wonderful friends that you lost! Look at the heavy tombstones that lie on their chests, that is, the stony hearts that they cannot rid themselves of.
At some point they were shining with a desire, but now we can only cry for them. Soon, you yourself will descend into the same pit. However, if we are ready to help each other before it happens, we’ll be able to rise from any kind of downfall. Not only will we be able to overcome our indifference, we will cope with genuine hatred should it arise among us.
Only the power of the group can initiate a desire out of “thin air.” At this time, we don’t have this kind of desire, nor can it emerge from anywhere. However, we have to “ignite” it artificially, as if we are starting a new business and advertise our new goods. It should become our common spiritual business; as a result, it will trigger such a strong need in us that we will simply be “burning” with desire. Underneath this desire, there can be nothing at all!
People are waiting all night long at the doorsteps of the stores to buy a 5th generation iPhone. Learn how to advertise your “goods” by escalating artificial needs. After all, the goal that we pursue also seems “artificial” to our egoism.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/12, The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Once there was one vessel and in it a person felt one world, one reality, himself, and nothing but that. The Creator, which means the force that revives him, was also inside him. On the outside there was nothing and there was no such concept as “outside myself.” This is the correct perception, which we call “Malchut of Ein Sof (Infinity)”; everything is inside me and nothing is divided by boundaries, there is no boundary, it is infinite.
Then the vessel was broken into two parts. Now in order to attain Ein Sof and to acquire the true, deep perception of the upper dimension, there is only one thing we can do—go through infinite states of preparation, which is what we are doing now.
The world of Ein Sof divided into two parts: “I” and “outside myself,” and all my work is in connecting the two parts. This is why there is the condition of “love thy friend as thyself,” which I have to keep so that I will attach the external part to the internal part that I naturally feel as mine. If I could do that, I would return to Ein Sof.
Loving what is outside myself just as I love myself egoistically means to bestow, and that is the love of others. These words confuse us, but in fact it is about understanding that just as I love myself, I should understand that everything outside me is mine. It only seems to me that the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature and also people exist on the outside. I even discover the upper force internally, as it says, “You shall not have a foreign God.” Everything is inside me.
Baal HaSulam explains this in the “Preface to the Book of Zohar,” saying that there is a kind of “camera” in our consciousness, which depicts the outside world to us. This means that some of my desires are the inner feeling of my “self” that is divided into the “root,” “soul” and “body,” while the other part is the external picture that is divided into a “garment” and “temple.” According to another terminology, I divide myself into “mind,” “bones,” “tendons,” “flesh”, and “skin” and the external world into the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking nature.
There are different sayings regarding the perception of reality used by Kabbalists, such as: “Don’t do onto others what is hated by you,” “Love thy friend as thyself,” “unite in a group,” “you have whom to unite with,” “help them and they will help you,” since eventually it helps a person acquire the right attitude and to return to what he was before the shattering of the vessels. There, there are no “I” and “others”; there this whole world disappears; there we don’t feel the bodies, but only parts of the individual souls that connect more closely until they merge into one soul.
Baal HaSulam explains that in fact there is only one soul, which means the world of Ein Sof, one desire that is full of one force. It is the only thing that exists.
But by our exertion and by attainting this perception, we begin to feel what is happening in the world of Ein Sof in depth; we attain all its ten Sefirot with all the Lights of NRNHY. After attaining the initial state of a created being, through the second state, through the shattering, we arrive at a third state. Then we attain the root and all of reality and become like it, understanding and feeling like it, equal to it in every way.
Actually the point isn’t even in the equality; there are no words in our language to express this state. We are simply in it: There is no “I” that attains “Him,” that is somewhere on the outside. I am Him. This is called adhesion.
From the Convention of Unity, Day Two 9/21/12, Lesson 4
Question: This convention seems to have opened a new door for us and everything that we do seems tasteless from here, as if we have lost all its previous juiciness.
Answer: So why haven’t you asked for it?! You are constantly saying: “We! We!” so why didn’t you all ask together?!
Question: I feel that this is a new state in which I still don’t know how to ask. It is as if we’ve touched something, but we haven’t processed it enough yet so that we can actually fulfill it.
Answer: You are not asked to put your request in nice elaborate words. A father understands a simple cry.
Question: So why haven’t we asked?
Answer: Because you cannot unite and support one another. There are still different calculations that control you: shame, lack of readiness; in short, there is no true decisiveness yet, when you simply break through without any calculations.
Question: Where does the shame that doesn’t let me break through come from? We speak so much about closeness and unity, but I know that there are still locks in my heart, limitations that dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden.
Answer: It is because the Creator is still far from you; at the moment you don’t feel that He is close. You have to try harder to imagine Him in the form of the unity of the group, which is actually what we have started this week. The “Creator” is the essence of the outcome of our unity. This is what we have to pray for and turn to.
In any case, we need an outcry, a prayer, a request that is free of any calculations. If you cannot reach that it means that you are still far from the Creator or that the Creator is far from you.
But all the complaints are also justified and helpful. The more you complain the better. They will lead to the right and accurate calculation.
I think that this time we’ve taken a big step forward. It isn’t just a step; we’ve actually stepped inside and delved into clarifications, opening our hearts wide, although we haven’t scraped off its peel with an “iron brush.” It is indeed a good clarification: We have begun to sense, to feel, where this unity actually is, how we discover the AHP of the upper, a higher level, how we identify it, how do we all adhere to it so that it will raise us, and what is the relationship we have with it.
We’ve been through many things that relate to connection and unity, and although they seem very sublime, distant, and abstract, they will gradually come together in our feeling. Then it will be easier for us to turn to them and to fulfill them.
I think that this convention is very deep and has brought us the deepest most intensive clarification. It is meant for people who are actually only two steps away from entering spirituality. I am very happy that thanks to the feeling in the group here and throughout the world I can speak in a way I never have before.
Question: What should the right request be?
Answer: “Open the gate for us!”
It is at the time you feel that all the roads are blocked, that all the gates are locked, that you cry out. This is the 50th gate, the desirable state we spoke about and read so much about. Now you are feeling it in practice, and only the collective prayer is missing, the pressure, the persistence. Try, make an effort, it will come…
I am very happy about the states we have been through.
From the Convention of Unity, Day Two 9/21/12, Lesson 4
The created being’s correction is to connect with others, since this is the correction of the shattering that took place as a result of the great bang that shattered the one created being, the only desire that was created, into many parts.
All our work is to connect all these parts. Of course, we don’t have the power to do so, but we can shift this state around. At a certain point in our adhesion we arrived at separation and now by feeling that we are separated we want to return to the state of adhesion.
The previous adhesion is recorded in our Reshimot (reminiscences), and if we turn them inside out and instead of receiving for ourselves and rejecting others we will reject ourselves and accept others, we will attain adhesion.
We can do that thanks to our existence in this world where we can act even against our will. In this world I can hug someone without feeling any love towards him and even while hating him. This is a lie, of course, but if I know in advance that I am not lying to him, but rather to myself, it wouldn’t be a lie. I know that I am performing actions that are hated by my desire, but I do it in order to attain a state in which I will actually want this. So whom am I lying to except to myself?
We have to act this way in order to connect, although initially we don’t want to connect and don’t need one another. The harder we try, the clearer it will be to us to what extent it is against our desire. The students of Rabbi Shimon, the great Kabbalists gathered to study The Zohar and discovered a burning hate, a true shattering in the root itself.
But if at the same time we perform actions that are aimed at connection, by understanding and trying to rise above our nature, above the shattering, and by physically doing everything possible, then it is enough to gradually approach unity.
These actions are called Lo Lishma (not for Her Name). Our intention is to attain Lishma (for Her Name), bestowal and connection. We account for not being in this state yet although we are trying to advance in every way we can.
From the 1s tpart of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/20/12, Writings of Rabash