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Fundamentals of Kabbalah – 11.04.12

A Virtual Lesson on Fundamentals of Kabbalah

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Hurricane Sandy: What For And Why?

Dr. Michael LaitmanDuring these days, I am constantly asked questions about the hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast of America. Everyone wants to hear the answer as to why it happened and how we should look at it.

Baal HaSulam writes about this clearly and openly: We are in a single system of Nature and have come to the state in our development when it can no longer tolerate us. As soon as this system begins to show itself as integral, “round,” as soon as overall interdependence is manifested, we must behave accordingly. Otherwise disasters become much more qualitative because they originate not from the animate, but from the human degree.

In the course of history, we were evolving on the still, vegetative, and animate levels. Our egoism was growing, sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker, but more recently at an exponential rate until it has become satiated and “round.” So far, everything went as usual: The more egoistic a person was, the more he could earn and succeed. We thought that this trend would last forever. We were so obsessed with this idea that it obscured the limits of natural resources from us.

However today, when Nature shows itself as “round,” requiring us to become “round” as well, we have found ourselves in a completely different situation. Now it’s not enough to simply reduce our ego and be polite with each other. Today, we have to unite.

We are talking about a very different quality of relationships. If in the past, humanity could bend its ego slightly during wars and disasters, today it won’t help. We need an entirely new unity, and it can come only with the help of the Returning Light because this unity is against our egoistic nature and thus does not arise by itself. So, if our actions don’t help at least indirectly to bring the Reforming Light, then they bring only harm and misery.

Here we see the task of the people of Israel. It possesses the method of Kabbalah—the only means of attracting the Light that allows all of humanity to unite. This is a truly fateful, decisive situation. Today, humanity needs only the Reforming Light. If it doesn’t begin to integrate, it will cause disasters much worse than Sandy.

And the people of Israel are responsible for this. It determines the way forward. If it doesn’t have time to form itself into a connecting link between humanity and the Reforming Light, if it doesn’t carry out the task of Galgalta ve Eynaim, if it doesn’t become a “mediator,” then all evil can turn against it.

Therefore, from a selfish point of view and from the standpoint of the purpose of creation, we must please the Creator. From His side, this means to do good to His creatures, and from our side, to do good to Him. Let’s hope that our studies will help bring the Reforming Light that will correct us and flow through us to all of humanity.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson, The Zohar

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How Long Will Man Live?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We get sick and die because the force of vitality runs out. By studying in integral groups, people will constantly have an infinite source of the force of vitality, they will be able to connect to it and be nourished by it, doesn’t this mean that all diseases will disappear and life expectancy will increase?

Answer: The fact that people will gradually stop feeling their body and will see a collection of forces that depict the form of a body and also the form of this whole world is very close, there is no doubt about that. At the same time all the diseases and problems associated with the body, with the family, and with all others will gradually disappear, since everything moves to another level of solution, to the level of forces.

Our world disappears because the infrastructure upon which these forces depict the picture of the world is disappearing, and so eventually it disappears, we will see how together with the world all the problems disappear.

Question: But nevertheless, will people in integral groups live longer?

Answer: I don’t know about intermediate states. A person, of course, will feel that he exists both eternally and wholly to the extent that he feels the upper Light through the group.

It may be that the same thing will happen on the way, according to the levels of approaching these states. But we will undoubtedly feel fewer bodily-related problems. Food and clothing and everything else will be necessary only as much as we need them and not more than that. This means that fashion and advertising will all disappear. Our world will become totally different.

Life expectancy will certainly grow, but I don’t think that it will much more than 100 years.

I have visited Switzerland many times, especially very small towns and villages. There it is quite common for people to reach the age of 100. It is one thing to be 90 and another to be 95. You look at them and you see an ordinary person, a strong old man cutting the grass in a steep field. I can’t imagine how he can stand on the slope and what is more cut the grass.

So today, leading a normal lifestyle a person can easily reach this age.

But I don’t think we need more than that. The Bible too, by the way, speaks about the “70 years of a man’s life.” If life has a special purpose, then it will be until 100-120. So generally speaking we will not cross these limits by much and there is no need for that.
From KabTV’s “Talks with Michael Laitman,” 03/10/12 

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The Morning Lesson: According To The Call Of The Heart Or A Time Table?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt says that the temple was destroyed because the children of Israel didn’t bless the Torah first. They studied the Torah without a blessing. What does that mean?

There are blessings in the Siddur, for example: “Blessed are You Lord, the giver of the Torah.” But what is the Torah? It is a means for correcting the evil inclination. It says: “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.”

How is it possible to bless the Torah? Only if there is such a deficiency when my initial inclination is revealed as evil. I feel that my desires are evil; I have to correct them, I can’t bear them. This is called the revelation of the true evil, when I cannot agree to it, when I have to get rid of it, to get it out of me as something that is very harmful.

Then I discover the means that can get these evil desires out of me, a special instrument that is called the Torah. It turns out that there is a special method for studying, a special book, special conditions, and all this is called the Torah. It isn’t the title of the book that says “Torah,” not the number of people, and not the place of study, but simply the fact that in answer to all my actions there comes a special force that changes the force that is inside me. It is because the desire to receive is actually the force by which I identify the evil and I want it to become good, as it says: “Since the Light in it reforms.”

So I determine that my desire to receive is the evil inclination and decide that I must make it good. What is “good?” It can only be the opposite of my current desire; there are no other options. Thus the concept of the Torah symbolizes my efforts, the group I work in, the books I study from, the teacher who teaches me this method. On the whole they are the ones who summon that force from Above that corrects me. “From Above,” since the force of correction is higher than me and stronger than the current force. Thus I acquire it and heal myself from the evil, which becomes good.

But if I study without this preparation, the Torah becomes the “potion of death” for me. In this case, I reach self-fulfillment by a long and difficult path. Along this path the Light also operates on me, but from its posterior and not in the desire that dresses and not in the desire that is dressed. I reach the recognition that I don’t discover evil the way I should, I don’t recognize the poison in it. This, of course, also leads me in the right direction, but along a long indirect path of sufferings.

So if a person is not in the direction of recognizing the evil, he is in “exile.” And when he recognizes the need to correct the evil in him, which means the desire to receive, he feels that he is under the domination of Pharaoh. The deeper this feeling is, the more he wants to get rid of the evil, which means to get out of “exile.” Then he uses the Torah correctly in order to draw the Light that changes the desire in him, which enables him to use the desire not for his own good but for the good of others. Thus the Light reforms him and changes him to the good.

As long as we don’t want to exit our desire to receive and enter the desire to bestow, from evil to the good, it isn’t considered exile. We don’t even feel that it is exile. Only the need for a means to turn the desire to receive into a desire to bestow indicates that we are ready to leave the exile. The exodus itself is that we begin to use the Torah correctly.

This is what we have to aim at while reading The Book of Zohar: Do we open it with the right deficiency? If not, then we don’t bless this action, but simply follow a timetable. This is a wrong and undesirable approach. We have to think about it the whole day before the lesson, to add the discernments that stem from different states, from the desire to receive that dominates us, into one picture. We want to ascend above it towards the friends, towards the Creator.

Then we will have something to bless in the morning lesson since we want to receive “the water of life” from the study, the healing force, and this means that we are truly studying the Torah.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/01/12, The Zohar

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The Letters Of The Torah Are Born From Descent

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we attain such a strong desire for spirituality that will reject all the other bodily desires?

Answer: There are “613” desires in each of us, which we have to aim at the greatness and importance of bestowal, love, connection, and mutual guarantee according to our understanding. Everything that is external to my own interests, external to the interests of my skin, should become more important to me than my bodily egoistic desires.

If a person divides his external and internal desires this way and aims himself outward from his body, it is enough for the time being. We should constantly check ourselves and try to remain in the same line of thought.

Eventually a habit becomes second nature, and by the efforts that I make, the Light comes to me. Then I make some more efforts, and some more Light comes. I begin to build myself from these moments because “there is no correction for a person except to direct all the present moments and the future ones so that they will be dedicated and served for His great name” (Baal HaSulam, letter 18) a bit more each time. It is from such exits (Yetziot in Hebrew) (from “Zion”) that the Torah comes out, as it is says: “It is from Zion that the Torah shall come.”

After all, when I feel that I have exited the right intention, I feel a deficiency to return, and then I demand the Light that Reforms, called the Torah. So it turns out that it is from Zion, from such exits, that the Torah is born: not from the ascents, but rather from the descents, from the exits from the right intention.

Thus I constantly add one “letter” after another, until the whole book of the Torah goes through me.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/29/12, Writings of Rabash

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Where To Get A “Plate” For Spiritual Revelation?

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhile reading The Book of Zohar we have to want to reveal unity and to attain what we are learning. In this book I read about spiritual states, but where are these states? If I would prepare a correct desire while reading this book, then I would reveal what’s written in it. This is called “attaining what is learned.”

All of these states exist. However, my problem is that I can only reveal them in according to the perception of my vessel (desire, Kli.) This is why while reading The Book of Zohar, which tells me about various spiritual states, I have to think of how I can position my vessel, my “plate” in order to receive the revelation of the described states.

What constitutes this vessel? What type and what shape should the desire be in order for me to receive and to reveal that which we read about in The Zohar? I have to think about this. That is, I have to take care of the Kelim, the vessels, the desires. Can I influence it in anyway? What depends upon me: the type of vessel, involvement of various desires and intentions in it. What do I need so that the “plate” where I’ll reveal the spiritual wouldn’t be broken, but empty and whole.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/12, The Zohar

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Not Knowing The Laws Of Nature Does Not Exempt Us From Mutual Guarantee

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does the Creator demand that we keep laws that we don’t even know?

Answer: Today we are on the levels of material nature, the still (s), the vegetative (v) and the animate (a). Here we exist; here we have science and many other means.

But it is about laws on the speaking level that belong to the spiritual nature. We don’t know it, we cannot do anything with it, but we still have to ascend to it. This is why we go through sufferings that push us forward. This is why the sufferings come from the highest level that is now gradually being revealed in us, but in a negative form.

On the animate level you had everything and felt good about it (+!). Everything was great. Suddenly, however, the opposite is gradually being revealed, a great minus, sufferings: what can we do? We don’t know.

Not Knowing The Laws Of Nature Does Not Exempt Us From Mutual Guarantee
Baal HaSulam says, and we also know it from history, that sufferings are revealed in every state so that it will seem unbearable and so that we will rise to the next level. This is how we advance.

So today the sufferings are also meant to push us to the next state. Do you want to wait? Then they will be much greater. After all, it is about a qualitative gap here and not a quantitative one. Before, when there was a shortage of food, we could invent some agricultural machine, and when there were not enough means to build windmills we used to borrow money from other people or from the bank, and thus invest my part in developing the economic system. But today we don’t know what to do. You are right about that.

But there is no other way; the laws of nature will not be revealed on the current level. The only way is to reach a state of balance with nature. In other words, we have to be integral, “round.” We need unity and equality among people—everything that is related to integrality. In addition we need equality and balance with nature.

Otherwise each of us would want to be a billionaire. But it isn’t enough to just make people equal, we also need to discover such equality among us on the corporeal level of necessary consumption, so that everyone will unite equally in order to reach unified mutual guarantee. Thus we will discover the fundamental force in nature from which all the other forces are derived and all the other laws.

If we don’t do that, the sufferings will increase until they reach an atrocious extreme. The prophets tell us about it; it is a law. Nature will do everything in order to compel us to reach the predetermined goal.

Question: So if we take the hurricane in America as an example, should we understand that the problem is with us, with those who understand all this?

Answer: We are to blame since we don’t disseminate this message to others, and so they don’t understand it and don’t change. We are the guilty ones.

It is true that we are “improving” and getting closer to one another and thanks to that we are still allowed to study and to prepare. In the meantime we advance and even close the gap a little, but if we lag behind, we will feel terrible blows.

The key is clearly in our hands, and therefore we are more vulnerable to problems and troubles. All the problems in the world are our fault. We have to understand that it is a sign for us. If we don’t stop the negative global trend, the troubles will reach us.

The only means is connection among us. External dissemination is minor; the main thing is the work among us. If we were totally immersed in connection with the right intention and dedicated all our actions to disseminating our materials in the world, it would be an ideal implementation, the best possible. The intentions should be internal and the actions external. We must only yearn for that along the way, otherwise things will be bad.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/12, “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

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Every Day Again With An Empty Cup

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll of our work is divided into small parts that we need to join together. They appear in the sequence of the Reshimot (informational genes) that are revealed, which we must realize. A man’s role is not to forget that and to try to organize his environment so that it will constantly arouse him and help him to overcome more and more severe obstacles.

One needs to understand that in every moment we execute a new action, and we never repeat the same act. Although, it can appear to us that the same problems repeat themselves, it is because in the meantime we don’t feel the new distinctions in each awakening.

But it is said that no moment resembles another. Thus we need to believe that each time we work on new properties and correct them. If with each moment we join them to the group and within the group they are directed to the Creator, to adhesion, and correction via connection, then in this we realize our Reshimot.

And all of this work is done through strengthening and clarifications, which are opposed to our feelings and mind, through constant strengthening of the environment to make it more strong, pressing, and demanding. If we always prepare for the new conditions to overcome, it will take us to the next moment, then all of these moments will connect and join together into a great amount.

All the pennies eventually add up to a great treasure. Like the Kabbalistic parable where a man enters the King’s treasury many times with a small cup, fills it with gold coins and goes out. But the guard standing at the entrance spills his cup of coins each time and leaves the man with an empty cup. Again he returns to the treasury and again the guard spills the coins that are in the cup.

This is repeated many times until he completely despairs. It is not that he despairs from the work itself, because each time he enters the treasury, he believes that it is the last attempt and that it will be successful. But simply the time allotted to him is over and it wasn’t up to him, and suddenly he was told, “All the gold that you took out and spilled, now belongs to you.” All those pennies, all the strengthening, joined into one big Masach (screen), and all the drops of Light merged into one big Light.

Thus our work is done in parts; otherwise, we wouldn’t have the strength to execute it all at once. Thus, penny by penny, it adds up to a great amount. And the main thing is the environment that constantly stands on guard and reminds us of our commitment to join all the moments into one goal.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/12

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Self-Correction As A Major Occupation

Dr. Michael LaitmanDue to our internal and external work, we go through very rigorous changes due to internal and external work. And one should not interfere with the other. After all the work, we go outside with the speed with which the world is moving, turning to them with what they are ready to hear. As it is written, “Educate the child according to his own ways,” and this “child” is the whole world, and it requires the same attitude on our behalf.

As to our internal work, we should be oriented toward one goal and stick to very rigid definitions. Even when our perception alters, we still must collect all impressions into one general picture that continually acquires visible contours, thus becoming more and more accurate. We must permanently sharpen our focus and see the goal in front of us more precisely.

It’s impossible to change our “profession” and look for other ways to earn a living. Any changes that happen to us must retain similarity with the model of the group and be based on our unity.

One must be consistent in one’s exertions and activities in order to positively accept various images of the world that constantly fluctuate and be ready to consent to obstacles that perpetually show up in our way. One must understand that all of them are sent from one higher source and that there is nothing at all but this source. The purpose of all difficulties that we go through is to direct us toward the goal.

If we have this kind of attitude to everything around us, then we won’t drown in troubles and problems. We will accept them positively, rise above them, and above the problems, we will connect. By doing so, we can check ourselves constantly.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/29/12, Writings of Rabash

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