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Question: It isn’t enough just to know that everything comes to me from the Creator. After all, in such a case, I may be enjoying this “picture,” without asking any questions. On the other hand, if I have a question, I overcome all the obstacles since I look for an answer.
Answer: That’s right. A person must check himself constantly.
Baal HaSulam writes about it in the article, “Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator”: One prays and gives charity for one’s troubles, but is not answered whatsoever…
A person checks himself and sees that he doesn’t succeed in anything. However, he is still connected to the Creator since otherwise he wouldn’t pray to Him and give charity.
And precisely when one stops praying for one’s troubles, one is answered. Whenever he overcomes, believes in Providence, and betters his deeds, luck turns away from him and he mercilessly falls back.
A person can make serious inquiries, try to do everything the right way, and see the opposite results. This state is called “double concealment.”
And when he denies and begins to worsen his deeds, he becomes very successful and is greatly relieved. One does not find one’s sustenance in proper manners.
A person can advance in devious ways and be around successful criminals. Then, the good environment seems like a poor, stupid, deprived environment.
When Providence arranges things in this manner for a person, it is called “concealment within concealment.”
However, he understands this and is aware of what is going on. So, after all the inquiries and the attempts, a person, himself, determines clearly and accurately which concealment he is in with regard to the Creator: whether it is a single concealment or a double concealment.
We must do that every minute and in every situation. It is possible. Baal HaSulam gives us clear instructions as to how to arrive to the real state, to the real connection with the Creator.
When Providence arranges things in this manner for a person, it is called “concealment within concealment.” This is because then one collapses under one’s weight and cannot continue to strengthen the belief that one’s pains come from the Creator for some hidden reason. Finally, one fails, becomes heretic, and says that the Creator is not watching over His creations whatsoever.
This isn’t even double concealment since the Creator is totally absent from the picture of the world.
And all that transpires, transpires by fate and by blind nature. This is not seeing even the back.
Therefore, the moment I wake up, I immediately begin to check myself and the state I am in. Clearly, one can say a couple of blessings automatically or sing a song, but, on the whole, the scale should not be the tunes or the blessings other people have composed, but my own.
Thus, I gradually understand that, eventually, everything depends on the influence of the environment. Then, I discover that I must submit myself to the environment because this is what pulls me forward through the double concealment and the single concealment toward the revelation of the Creator. Only self-submission before the group brings me the Light that Reforms.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/3/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
No matter what happens in my life, I must understand that it all comes from the upper force that undoubtedly controls everything. But so far it isn’t revealed to me that way, but in concealment, and so I suffer.
The Creator is good and benevolent, but He is revealed to me after going through a “filter” that turns all the good into something bad and unpleasant. I call the thickness of this “filter” “single concealment.” In addition, the Creator can place another “filter” and send me to a “double concealment,” which is much worse.
So how can I get rid of the veil that turns the goodness of the Creator into evil? To do this I ask: “Correct me! But not so that I will get rid of the unpleasant feelings, on the contrary, they help me, and spur me. Without them I wouldn’t even think about something else. They focus me on You, on the source of something that seems bad. Therefore, I am asking for help in order not to feel that something bad stems from You.
I don’t want to be behind the “filter,” but in front of it, in direct contact with you. Not in order to feel good, but in order to know you better. I want to bless you, but now because I have no choice, I curse you. My body screams because of that; “I feel bad and I curse the source of evil. But You gave me the feeling that the evil stems from You. You are playing with me by using hints, half revealed and half concealed. But I don’t want to curse You anymore.”
Question: Where is the group here? I can also ask for all that without the group.
Answer: Try. If you start, you will be confused and you will discover that the true plea is only possible in the group. There you are protected from making mistakes; there you really turn to the Creator for correction despite your good and evil desires. Eventually the group allows you to see clearly what to ask for, what it is that you actually want and whom it is that you actually turn to. That’s the whole idea.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/2/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam, “Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator”: In this manner, of course one does not see the good face of the Creator; that is, if he believes that the Creator is the one who does these things to him, either as punishment for transgressions or to reward him in the end. This follows the verse, “whom the Lord loves, He corrects,” and also, “the righteous begin with suffering, since the Creator wishes to eventually impart them great peace.”
Yet, one does not fail in saying that all this came to him by blind fate and by nature without any reason and consideration. Rather, one strengthens in believing that the Creator, with His Guidance, caused him all that. This is nonetheless considered seeing the Creator’s back.
This is the single concealment, the state a person who is in the process of spiritual advancement is found. He has not reached revelation yet, but he feels a certain process and attributes his problems to the Creator.
The problem is that he cannot justify the Creator and the feeling of suffering is the indication for that. On the one hand, if a person could justify the Creator, he wouldn’t feel suffering. On the other hand, it is impossible to feel suffering and to be grateful for it. If you suffer, it means that you feel bad. In our world it is possible to feel one thing and to say something else, but in spirituality there is no such thing: What you feel is what you “say.” If you suffer internally then no theatrical gestures and external smiles will help you.
This is why I feel bad and this state is called single concealment. So what ties me to the Creator? An unclear feeling that it is Him operating behind all this. It isn’t clear, because that would negate the bad feeling. If the Creator is revealed, I receive pleasure, and if he is concealed, I receive suffering. But in this case, the suffering isn’t so great that it can detach me from the Creator and I can justify it.
Our vessel is divided into two parts: GE and AHP. As a consequence, we are affected by two types of Lights: Hassadim and Hochma. So it turns out that I can still justify the Creator although I feel that He doesn’t treat me well. I attribute this feeling to the account of previous sins or to the account of the future reward, and so for the time being I accept the suffering.
There is a whole set of mutual relations concealed here. The good seems bad and I suppose that I deserve it because of my previous sins, or that I will receive a future reward for these sufferings. In my mind I justify the Creator as much as I can, and although I feel suffering, I still acknowledge that they come from Him and not from some external factors. No matter who trips me, I depict the Creator behind it.
This is quite a high level and if a person holds on to it, it becomes a springboard to something much greater. I wish we could permanently be in this state by perceiving that everything, both the good and the evil, come from the Creator, and that there is none else besides Him; that no foreign force controls us and neither does blind faith. His Providence may seem bad, but I justify it by my previous sins or the future reward. The Creator is like a good father who teaches and raises me correctly.
On the other hand, the concealment here is also since I expect some reward for my suffering: that they will either detach me from my previous sins or that they will help me acquire the future pleasure. The Creator doesn’t actually need these sufferings, not as a way to atone for my sins and not as a reward for my good deeds.
Still, in this state a person wants to reach bestowal, appreciates it, and holds on to the right direction towards it. At the same time two forces operate on him: The concealment that stems from his uncorrected desires and some illumination from adhering to the back side of the Light.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/2/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
In the News (from Council of the European Union): “The European Union will launch next week its seventh Crisis Management Exercise. Multilayer 2012 (ML12) is organised by the European External Action Service (EEAS) from 1 to 26 October under the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. It will involve for the first time the different layers of EU crisis response and management, from the political-strategic level to the operational level.
“Multilayer 2012 aims at exercising and evaluating the crisis response and management structures of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and their interaction with the full range of EU crisis response mechanisms. ….
“The exercise scenario focuses on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in a fictitious region involving 11 countries, and where the states of ‘Nusia’ and ‘Recuria’ face the challenge of post-conflict transition, as well as issues such as border delimitation, security of public infrastructure, landmines and maritime piracy. The goal of Multilayer 2012 is to exercise the EU’s crisis response system in a fictitious crisis situation requiring both a military operation and a civilian mission in the framework of the CSDP, as well as their interaction with other EU crisis response and management structures.”
My Comment: That is how we, in our enlightened age, after so much suffering, deliberately accustom ourselves to the idea of the inevitability of a war!
Rabash, “Association of Mercy with Judgment”: … when there is open Providence, there is no room for choice. For this reason, the Upper One raised Malchut, which is Midat Ha Din (the Quality of Judgment) to the Eynaim (eyes). This created a concealment, meaning it became apparent to the lower one that there is a deficiency in the Upper One.
On one hand, the Upper One is elevated, and on the other hand, the lower one doesn’t find Him appealing; there is something repulsive. On one hand, a spark in the desire (a point in the heart) is anxious to attain spirituality. Moreover, the external world presses on us and concocts numerous negative circumstances; it does not promise any pleasures except the ones that we might receive in the future. On the other hand, we have to compromise, since we clearly see a deficiency in the upper.
What kind of deficiency is that? The upper one is not as bright, attractive, or beautiful as we thought.
In that state, the qualities of the Upper One are placed with the lower one; that is, they are deficient. It follows that these Kelim (vessels) are equal to the lower one: as there is no sustenance to the lower one, there is no sustenance to the Higher qualities.
Here are the sensations that the lower one goes through: At first, I really aspired to the next stage, I rushed to it more and more, and then I discovered what the meaning of my next step is. It turned out to be unity with and love for my friends. It turns out that I have to feel them all as one heart; I also have to give up a lot of things; moreover I should be applying lots of exertions and be happy with what I do. And, I don’t feel happy at all…
A place between the two gaps is in fact a point of choice. Every day, each of us senses an endless number of these points. If we happen to clasp them and select the right one, or at least try to do so, then we would discover the upper one within the shortest time possible. We should never miss them! Although, when these moments happen, we don’t feel any need in anything at all; we simply surrender to our sensations and continue to live our miserable lives.
While analyzing our next, higher, and more advanced state, we discover that it is full of concerns and that it brings lots of problems to our current egoism. One has to love one’s friends, serve them, think of them, and take good care of them, treat them better than oneself.
“Who needs it? Are we capable of this kind of behavior?” Doesn’t it mean that we sense a deficiency in the upper one or that we don’t find enough energy or life sustenance in Him? Sometimes, for a couple of minutes we feel a nice sensation, an inspiration; however, as a rule it is the other way around.
It is called a descent: One neither feels life in the upper one, nor does one find it in the state of bestowal, love, or unity. One has no desire to correct oneself.
In that state, there is room for choice.
This is exactly a state that offers us a choice. It’s a very important moment of self-acknowledgment: I don’t want anything, I have no needs, I am getting weak, and am ready to surrender unless the state I am in modifies itself without my participation. There is nothing that attracts me, neither in material nor spiritual life: I feel hopeless in both worlds.
… the lower one must say that all this concealment that one feels is because the Upper One restricted Himself in favor of the lower one. This is called, “when Israel is in exile, Divinity is with them.”
In such cases, we should come to an understanding that the upper one deliberately “plays” this game with us. He cannot do otherwise; He cannot embrace and elevate me as if I were a balloon. If He did so, I would never attain anything and would remain a baby in the adult’s hands forever. Of course, a baby feels good and safe; he can even play at the height he is elevated to, but he doesn’t grow.
The lower one grows only if he strives to reach the upper. One cannot abide without personal exertions. The upper one should not raise the lower one if the latter doesn’t partake in the process. Otherwise, the upper one simply would “destroy” the lower one by not letting him grow and advance. It’s similar to a situation when parents do their child’s homework for the child.
So, we have to realize that the upper one helps us absolutely every given moment. There shouldn’t be even one second of waiting for something to happen on His behalf as if He ever hesitates. From the point of view of the upper one, we are always in the optimum state for our further advancement. We should keep paying attention to various signs through which He addresses us by His intentionally descending to our current state.
…whatever flavor one tastes, one says that it is not his fault for not tasting liveliness, but that in his view there really is no life in the Upper One.
Although, one has to clearly understand what is going on.
And if one becomes stronger and says that the bitter taste he finds in these nourishments is only because he does not have the proper vessels to receive the abundance, because his vessels are for reception and not for bestowal, and regrets the Upper One having to hide Himself…
So, our vessels, desires, are corrupt. In fact, if the upper one would descend to us, we would sense Infinity since each of our next steps is the world of Infinity for us. That is why it has not been disclosed to us yet: We don’t recognize it in our vessels. We perceive it only within a very narrow range; whereas, there is something enormous and multi-faceted in front of us. We simply don’t see the higher level; it covers up everything around from one horizon to another; there are no boundaries that define the space for us.
As a result, the upper one descends to us in the form of a depressed, unsafe, and corrupt world. Moreover, we approach states and sensations that will be even more devastating for us. The upper one lowers to us in order to let us sense Him. The lower He is, the worse we and the world around us will look in our eyes, since our properties are opposite to His.
That’s the reason we are currently experiencing a crisis; the upper one approaches us, thus making us unconsciously sense the difference between Him and us. The “crisis” is a gap between our current state and the state of the upper one. We have to come to balance and stay in harmony with Him, and that requires integral education that will help us understand Him better.
In general, this is a point of freewill. We have to realize that each thing that we sense as being less than Infinity is a state that was specifically formed for us by the upper one in order to give us a chance to choose.
It means that we should feel sorry not about the fact that the world we live in is bad and that we are miserable here, but rather about the point that the upper one had to lower to us, to diminish Himself and present Himself as being smaller than He really is, and that He even had to look unappealing and evil in our eyes.
…this allows the lower one to slander; this is considered MAN that the lower one raises.
On one hand, we notice that the upper one is low; besides, the higher level doesn’t look attractive to us yet. On the other hand, we recognize that it only seems so to us in our sensations. If we perceived the world through real vessels, we would regard the upper one as the Infinity within us. This discrepancy is the core difference between this realm and the world of Infinity.
So, at this point we raise MAN: our request to be corrected. We look for possibilities to justify Him, nothing but validation of Him. Let our states stay the same; let them not bring us any pleasant sensations anymore: All we need is to justify His actions and thank Him for acting so. Consequently, we don’t ask for our own sake, but rather for the sake of the upper one. We request power and understanding, but we don’t ask for sensations; all we should care about is the justification of Him no matter that we continue feeling bad. If our sensations improve, we will egoistically praise Him. No, that’s not what we need. On the contrary, we want our sensations to remain the same, but rather that our understanding and perception be altered. Thus, we grow.
We consist of two parts: intellect and emotions, aspirations and desires. We go forward using both of them as we use both legs while walking. Let’s say, I want to stay in my current sensations, and by “leaning” on this “leg” I make a step ahead with the other “leg”; that is, I stop being blind, see my current state, and justify it, or let’s say I want to expand my brain, then if my sensations remain intact, I really advance since I justify my emotional state although I continue to suffer, but I realize that I grow due to my affliction. I am not sold out to or bribed by a good sensation.
Later on, when our minds expand, we will lean on our new intellect, and if it stays the same, we will ascend to the next level of sensations. Besides, our emotions will not overshadow the intellect, as it happens when pleasures force us to lose our mind.
It’s the other way around; we make one step with one “leg,” while at the same time leaning on the other “leg”: When we fix our emotions, our intellect rises; when we fix the mind, our sensations rise. Consequently, we go through endless changes in both our minds and sensations.
From the North Convention of Unity 9/20/12, Lesson 2
Question: Why don’t I keep the Creator in mind at all times?
Answer: You don’t remember the Creator because you don’t need Him. When you need someone, you keep thinking about them. Our ego easily does this.
Question: To what extent should it break me to make me actually remember Him? No matter what I do, nothing at all helps.
Answer: That’s not true. There is always a chance to add efforts to unite or to take care of friends in the group. I am talking about internal exertions here, the ones that do not depend on how busy one is or how much physical energy one has. Here is a sensitivity: We need to constantly try not to distance ourselves from the friends, keeping them in mind and disclosing our own future through them.
Question: At the congress we had an environment conducive to our internal work. We were given a taste from Above and now all that is left is for us to imprint it in our minds.
Answer: Isn’t it enough to wake you up?
Question: No, not at all, since we succumb to our desires.
Answer: Really? Now, you still remember the state you were in and feel a little sorry that it is gone. So, can you make yourself take certain actions? Can’t you obligate each other to enter into a union and begin mutual guarantee?
What will happen if you don’t? You should try. Then, you’ll see that you are helpless and will realize that you need the Creator to be your partner.
Demand Him! It was only after Moses reached the bottom that the Creator told him, “Let’s go to Pharaoh.”
Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s house, was brought up there, he was a beloved prince; he was very successful through his strong egoism.
Now, he wants something opposite to it. He acts as if he doesn’t even know his grandfather and approaches him as if they were complete strangers, “We have nothing in common. You are the Pharaoh, and I relate to you as the Pharaoh, not as my grandfather.”
Question: But, the desire rejects such an approach. Even if we realize that we require a third factor, the desire won’t let us appeal to it.
Answer: Make a few more efforts, and you’ll discover that you really need the Creator. At this point, you don’t feel a necessity for Him; you don’t believe that He is capable of helping you, that He exists and has governance over everything there is, that He arranges everything in your life, that He hardened the heart of Pharaoh. You don’t connect one with the other.
Question: How can we fill this gap when our mind understands, but our desire still strives for a completely different thing?
Answer: Only your experience with this work with persistency and consistency will help you. If you are desperate, it is ready to go; if you can afford to sit and do nothing—primarily in your mind and heart—turn to your friends for help. Find someone who is still alive and hot, those who are ready to come to the rescue. Seek your guiding point, Moses, who is connected to the Creator.
Nothing can be done; it’s impossible to go against desires. However, we have to mobilize such a force and means which seem to support the desire, but in the way of turning into its opposite.
Question: How do we do that? Theoretically, it is very clear, but in reality?
Answer: There is not enough clarity. We must continue to work to destroy our desire, to break the desire. Why would we even want to break a wall? When bashing against the wall, you will suddenly become smarter, and you will understand how to approach the Creator and ask Him to help you.
Rest assured that He will destroy the resistance, although, at this point, you are not referring to Him, nor do you understand how important it is, even though you apply certain efforts to unite with your friends. So far, your losses are not big enough to make you scream to Him.
Instead, you step aside as if you have poorly invested a hundred dollars, and even though you are not happy about your loss, you still are ready to lose this much money. What would you feel if you had invested everything you have, all your property? Then, you wouldn’t be able to step back and would do everything in your power to regain success.
It’s not about quantity, but quality. Suddenly, after you knocked on your friends’ hearts and made every possible effort to connect with them, you find out that you cannot continue your exertions any longer. And yet you go on more and more, and when it’s really unnerving, in this very point, you reveal the Creator: “Now I demand for Him to connect us. I already feel the overall system and the evil inclination, mutual hatred. And there I want to reveal the Creator. I can see Him; he arranges it all, it is He who deliberately hardened the heart of Pharaoh. And now I will oblige Him to act.”
Even if you understand what I’ve just said, you still won’t be able to oblige Him right away. It’s essential that you line up your desires and intentions in a more or less correct order. The Creator wishes you good, doesn’t He? However, He needs a complete vessel full of corrected desires.
Question: Does it mean that I just have to keep hitting the same point over and over again?
Answer: It’s not that simple, the point that you are pursuing constantly varies. Each time it’s a little bit different, more profound, more interconnected with all the other points. After all, you are constantly advancing.
Question: What do I do with the harm that I bring to my friends while I pursue my path?
Answer: You only bring good to them since you try adding something that is above your desires to the unity. So, why do you call it harm?
Question: It’s because, in my thoughts, I don’t take care of my friends continuously throughout the day.
Answer: It happens this way because the Creator intentionally brings up all sorts of obstacles on your way. It’s He who hardens your heart, the Pharaoh’s heart, although you still apply effort on top of it, like Moses who disagrees with the Pharaoh. It’s your effort, whereas the hardening of the group’s heart comes from the Creator. So, why are you upset? Everything is fine!
Question: I know that I must give my friends much more, but I can’t.
Answer: Everything—including the Pharaoh (the evil inclination), hatred among friends, and the group with the potential to love in the future—is the Creator. He presents Himself in various shapes to attract you and make you connect with Him.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/25/12, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”
Question: How should we realize the obstacles correctly in order to strengthen our connection and hold on to this state in spite of them?
Answer: We need to overcome the obstacles. Undoubtedly, there will be problems and also obstacles, but it depends on how one looks at them. If you are ready for them beforehand and understand that by transcending them, you actually rise, then you don’t create them on purpose, but accept them prepared and prepare the group, the environment, for it in advance.
I remember how I prepared for an operation. They didn’t promise positive results, but I went into the operation with inner peace as if I studied myself from the side. It’s very interesting. It all depends on how you prepare yourself for the obstacles. After all, they give you an ascent, and without them we wouldn’t be able to rise.
What is an obstacle? It’s that same egoistic force that constantly pushes me forward. And here the Creator decides to help you. He takes back this ego and you are left completely without energy. There is nothing to do now, nowhere to turn, nothing is attractive; there is no motivation for anything. It would be good if it were possible to go to sleep and not wake up. But no, that isn’t an option either.
It is a feeling of complete helplessness, and not just helplessness, but a complete lack of desire, inner emptiness, and it is given to you only to fill the emptiness with the force of altruism and not egoism. The strength that motivates you forward is taken from you on purpose—thereby you are given a gift.
Now the group needs to give you some kind of push forward, at least a little, and then you will go forward. This means that you need to work with the group in advance, to help, to invest in it like in a bank, and then when you have no strength, you can take from it and advance.
From a Virtual Lesson on Fundamentals of Kabbalah 9/23/12
Preparation to the Lesson
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Writings of Rabash “Dargot HaSulam,” Article 298
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The Book of Zohar – Selected Excerpt “Aharei-Mot,” Item 230, Lesson 17
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Shamati #3, “The Matter of Spiritual Attainment”
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Preface to The Book of Zohar, Item 37, Lesson 14
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