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Egoism pressures us, holding us in its slavery and not letting us rest. Every moment we continue doing selfish calculations in its favor with no end to it. How can we escape from this slavery? By all means of establishing ourselves stronger in this demand, that we are in the group, study, and participate in events, dissemination, workshops, gathering of friends, and festive meals only to obtain the force of bestowal. This is called faith.
A person experiences the suffering of Job which is the symbol of unbearable human suffering, revealing all of his egoistic nature to the deepest level and discovering that he can do nothing with it. No matter how much he checks himself, he won’t find a single grain that will bring forth something good. This is called the suffering of Job that can’t be overcome and somehow healed because in fact it’s impossible to find any clue in our nature from which correction could begin. That is, we have no power by means of which it would be possible to perform the actions of bestowal.
But it’s said that the Creator created the evil inclination and the Torah as a means to correct it. That is, there is a remedy: the upper force, the Reforming Light that comes to a person on condition that he requires correction. All that we need is to discover our plea, and then the Light will affect us.
A plea is a desire, the need to be corrected. It’s not just an egoistic desire to enjoy, but a regret that one was born an egoist. This requires preparatory work carried on from generation to generation, the influence of the environment, of the Surrounding Light that reaches a person even unconsciously and without his knowledge.
Even without studying Kabbalah, a person begins to get to know his evil. As in our current state of crisis, humanity is about to do this in order to discover that we are all egoists, and there’s no way out. Everything is heading towards this, and we’ll just devour each other, and will it be the end of civilization on the earth? What are we to do?
There’s a general and personal preparation period in which a person’s evil nature is slightly revealed. He feels that there’s no escape, and it needs to be corrected. And if the point in the heart awakens in him, he begins his correction. But those in whom the point in the heart is not awakened, they feel the true suffering of Job, with no hope to change themselves. Any actions that seem altruistic to us, any charity and noble impulses will nonetheless turn out egoistic in the end. Becoming more aware, a person begins to understand that throughout everything, egoism is manifested, acting only for its benefit. No matter how nice charitable organizations and actions look, they do not bring any correction.
The world is built in such a way that if we act according to the law of the correction of nature with the help of the Reforming Light, then we correct it. And if we don’t follow this law, all our best actions are turned into harmful ones. And with these best intentions, we cause the most damage, not bringing any good. That’s why Rabash writes that when he looks at all the suffering that the world experiences, he has nothing to help other than to pray for their correction.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/18/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”
While reading The Zohar during this special time for Israel, we think about corrections so that they will occur in a special way, meaning in accordance with the needs of the current times in which we live. This is so that they will affect us in a way that will bring us to perfection, which will lead to peace.
Let this cloud, this “Cloud pillar” become the clouds of glory. The difference between the two is that it isn’t the cloud that comes over us and conceals the upper force from us, but we ourselves conceal it with our screen, with our constriction, with the reflected light, and thereby elevate above the clouds.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/18/12, The Zohar
The Book of Zohar is the source of the upper Light that illuminates from the top of the world of Atzilut. It’s a system of the upper Providence and leadership that operates on us, so that when we study The Book of Zohar we actually connect with this upper mechanism. The closer we want to get to the upper leadership while reading The Book of Zohar, the more strongly it influences us. But what does it mean to get closer to the Lights, to relate to the system of leadership and Providence correctly?
It means to be like it. It’s total love and bestowal and its law is the law of love. How can we check that? We do so according to the principle of “from the love of the created beings to the love of the Creator.” The Creator is nature, the essence of the upper system. So the word “God – ים-אלה” is the same as the word “nature – הטבע” in Gematria.
So if we want the upper force to connect us, to bring us connection and correction, it matches its plan. On our part there can’t be any other intention or inclination, according to this system with the upper Light. That is why it is called the Light that Reforms: When we want to connect mutually in “love thy friend as thyself,” which is the great rule of the Torah, that is Light, then it comes and corrects and fills us. Actually this is the only action in nature and this is the only thing that can help, save, correct, and bring good to us and to the world.
The current global crisis is meant to show us that only the action of connection can save humanity. Accordingly, the current “small war” in Gaza is meant to evoke us to the same inner action that is aimed at connection. So let’s try to connect all our inclinations in mutual guarantee and understand that we have to become “as one man in one heart.” In fact this is all our work.
We hope that the Light that comes while reading The Book of Zohar will fulfill the connection among us. Then there will be no enemies and there will be no wars. By trying to connect above the situation, we drive away the negative force. If in the past the leadership operated on us through the posterior of the Light because we were opposite to it, now it reveals its face. Let’s try and focus so that it will all happen this way.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/12, The Zohar
All the exiles the people of Israel have been through were all exiles from mutual guarantee. And each time, the sufferings increased to such an extent that the group of Abraham reconnected again. But eventually the desire to receive grew so much that the brotherly love turned to unfounded hatred. The Temple was destroyed, the mutual guarantee was broken, and the people found themselves in the last exile that continues until the present day.
Today, as Baal HaSulam tells us, the people of Israel are like a sack of nuts, who are together only because of external circumstances. The hatred of other nations compels them to connect to a certain extent, but this connection doesn’t exist in the inner connection or in natural connections that are typical of other nations. Among the people of Israel, there was only the connection of mutual guarantee when their recognition and understanding, and their efforts were aimed at being together.
Any other nation is united by a natural “instinctive” force, while the Israeli nation has to work on its connections, since otherwise this work is done by the hatred of those around it, leaving it no other choice. In such a case, the nation of Israel is connected only on the level of the still nature; it doesn’t develop and remains in exile since it doesn’t advance towards connection by itself, of its own initiative; it doesn’t yearn to discover the quality of bestowal and love, that is, “the Champion of the World” (אלוף); the Hebrew letter Aleph (א) makes the difference between exile (גלות – Galut) and redemption (גאולה – Geula).
The children of Israel leave the exile, when they yearn to discover bestowal and love in the connection among them. So today they are still in exile and are not a nation yet. Only a series of troubles keeps them together, so that they will not disperse, so that they will be able to fulfill their role and to pass on this message to the whole world, and eventually bring contentment to the Creator.
This is the current situation. This means that the children of Israel should invest all their power in that, in order to move from the external pressure to the internal pressure. If the internal pressure obligates them to connect more strongly than the missiles and other revelations of general hatred, the external pressure will stop. The people of Israel must constantly obligate themselves to connect by overcoming the pressure of external factors.
But today the people are ready to speak about connection and it is simply a shame. It is the wrong situation when the Creator evokes it to connect by enemies from the nations of the world. This isn’t the real work of the Israeli nation and there is nothing to be proud of. People don’t establish good and desirable relations between them and external forces do this work. In the meantime, we must develop our inner powers by turning them into connection and then all the external pressure will stop. It will simply disappear.
It is very easy to test this since the internal mutual connection doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t require anything except for a desire and a decision. So let’s try and see what benefit it will bring. There is no doubt it will heal society, be helpful to the country, and beneficial for everyone. The number of car accidents and crime will be reduced. At the same time, we will follow and see if it helps increase our sense of security and whether it affects our enemies. I am for testing.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/16/12, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Answer: It is a huge difference.
Suppose I don’t want to go to school and so I am “beaten” by my parents. It is the same here: I break a leg, my country is at war, there are natural disasters; the “parental attitude” is felt but more realistically. By these problems I will still do what I am required to do. What is more, if I sometimes managed to escape punishment at school, here there are no discounts, there is nowhere to run.
I am between the “path of the Torah” and the “path of suffering” and this choice changes my life. In fact it is a matter of life or death, although we feel it as different kinds of sufferings. If someone wanted to win a million dollars in the lottery but won only a hundred thousand and someone else is bedridden for 15 years, both cases are felt as sufferings.
Question: But still, do I actually have to break a leg?
Answer: If this is the only thing that will change your attitude toward the goal of creation, then yes. But you can follow the path of “hastening time” and correct your attitude and then you won’t have to break a leg, since you will transcend the sufferings from the animal level to the level of the speaking.
The Lights and the vessels need to be opposite one another. On the animal level it is expressed, let’s say, by breaking a leg or losing one’s salary, or a fire, a serious illness, etc. But if you raise the sufferings to the level of the speaking, if you experience it and feel sorry about the fact that you cannot bestow now, it is your problem and this is what you suffer from. The Light that Reforms gives you this feeling and then there is no need for corporeal disasters any more.
Furthermore, many more corporeal troubles are required than spiritual ones. For example, to be sick for a thousand years without getting out of bed is like experiencing a moment of pangs of love: “Why don’t I love the Creator?” This is the difference between the levels, what can a small child do compared to a grown up if the lights go out at home? It is incomparable.
See how the crisis is spreading: No one is protected and safe from it. The world is threatened by terrible sufferings that are meant to break man, just to put a small switch through his common sense. Then, after a third world war he will discover that he is under the influence of nature. Then the fourth world war will replace another tiny switch: “Ahh, I have to be balanced with nature.” A fifth world war will show him the necessity of bestowal upon others, in order to reach harmony with nature, and so on.
Monstrous disasters, years of troubles, will only help to switch on what the Light could switch on in a couple of months. Through correct studies, a person could understand in a month that there is no other choice. So we have to bring our message to the world as quickly as possible.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/15/12, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah“
In the News (from DailyMail): “Now, in a provocative theory, a team from Stanford University claim we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes which endows us with our brain power is particularly vulnerable to mutations – and these mutations are not being selected against our modern society because we no longer need intelligence to survive. But we shouldn’t lose any sleep over our diminishing brain power – as by the time it becomes a real problem technology will have found a solution making natural selection obsolete. Also, recent findings from neuroscience suggest that genes involved in brain function are uniquely susceptible to mutations.
“Dr Crabtree argues that the combination of less selective pressure and the large number of easily affected genes is eroding our intellectual and emotional capabilities.
“But the loss is quite slow, and judging by society’s rapid pace of discovery and advancement, future technologies are bound to reveal solutions to the problem, Dr Crabtree believes.
“He said: ‘I think we will know each of the millions of human mutations that can compromise our intellectual function and how each of these mutations interact with each other and other processes as well as environmental influences.
“’At that time, we may be able to magically correct any mutation that has occurred in all cells of any organism at any developmental stage.
“’Thus, the brutish process of natural selection will be unnecessary.’”
My Comment: Reading such a presumptuous opinion, I involuntarily agree with the fact that humanity is really becoming more stupid; science itself has not yet convinced us that everything in nature and our development is provided many times more wisely than we realize, so wisely that we don’t even realize why and for what purpose these or other changes occur in us, especially at the cellular level and its mutations.
Humanity becomes more stupid because the world is changing; its structures change from linear to integral, global, but we think in the old way, egoistic, linear concepts, and that is why as this world is being revealed, uncomprehending, we look less smart.
In the News (from Infinite Insight): “A global poll of perceived hunger shows that 12% of the world say there was a time during the last 12 months when they did not have enough to eat. Among them are 3% who report acute hunger and say that they often did not have enough to eat. According to the latest findings on felt-Hunger, 88% of the world claims to be free from felt-Hunger.
“If these percentages are projected on a global population of 7 billion persons a shockingly large population numbering approximately 840 million world-wide suffer from felt-Hunger. …
“It was expected that very Rich and Rich group of countries would suffer less from felt-Hunger, compared to the group of low income countries. However the survey finds no such relationship. The level of felt-Hunger in all three groups is almost identical. …
“Only 14 of the 57 countries claimed to be 95% free from felt Hunger. The data show that some countries with very high per capita income score quite low on the index of ‘freedom from felt hunger’. Conversely some of the poorer countries score quite high.
“Tunisia tops the list of countries which despite low income score high on freedom from felt-Hunger. It is followed by Vietnam and Azerbaijan. The national income of all three is less than ten thousand US dollars. Tunisia scores 99%, while Vietnam and Azerbaijan score 96%.
“The United States tops the list of countries which have failed to provide freedom from felt-Hunger despite high national income. Despite its annual per capita of over 45,000 US dollars it scores only 78% on freedom from felt-Hunger, meaning that 22% of its population claims it did not have enough to eat on occasions during the last one year.”
My Comment: This is the state in 2011. But nature will force us to unite, and hunger will also. It influences us together with all the negative effects on our desires: food, sex, family, wealth, fame, and knowledge. These are our main types of desires. All the other desires are included in them. Food (hunger) is the most effective, and perhaps we will soon feel the punishment for disobedience to unity, especially by it.
Question: If I understood you correctly, Kabbalah is a science that helps us advance. Can we say that everything is in our hands and what happens tomorrow depends on us? In other words, life doesn’t depend on chances, but rather on our efforts, intentions, and work.
Answer: There are no accidents in life! The more we penetrate into this world the clearer we see that nothing is accidental. As little children, we simply don’t know the laws of nature when we exclaim, “Oops! It suddenly fell and broke!” It’s not an accident; it’s a lack of knowledge since we are unaware of the circumstances that caused this occurrence.
So, there is no such thing as an “accident” in nature, starting with the smallest particle and ending with the most complicated structures. Everything is predetermined and compliant with the laws of nature. We should learn and follow them and then everything will be good.
There is a very simple solution to this problem. Nature shows us the problems of our imbalance with it in the form of crises. Problems! Let’s say, I have high blood pressure; it’s a problem. There is a normal condition and there is an abnormality that I can measure and compare with normality and balance them out. We call it treating a disease or regaining balance, even if it is done artificially.
Same applies here. We are in a state of imbalance with nature, which we regard as various crises: in science, culture, finances, economics, human society, terrorism (you name it!), including the ecological crisis. We have to balance ourselves with nature, it’s absolutely the same system: “What is inside, same is outside.”
Kabbalah teaches us how to stay in balance with nature. We certainly observe harmony in nature, but Kabbalah helps us learn faster, nothing more than that. “Cutting” off (getting rid of) afflictions is the only problem being solved here. We’ll arrive at this point anyhow. However, the problem can also be resolved in a very dramatic way that’s much more intense than the hurricane we just survived.
Imagine that a hurricane happened in some other place, not in New York, but let’s say in one of many underdeveloped countries. How would that country cope with its aftermaths? It would be thrown back to the middle ages and it would be impossible to help them. Maybe they would get a couple of airplanes with flour, that’s it.
We should think about these issues. It’s a pity that people do not realize how effective “spiritual medication” can be in fighting serious symptoms of the disease.
From the Georgia Convention 11/5/12, Lesson 1
In the News (from Sciencemag): “During the 1980s, thousands of infants in Romanian orphanages spent up to 20 hours a day lying untouched in their cribs, deprived of human contact. As they grew up, neurological and psychological tests confirmed a haunting phenomenon observed in other species, such as mice and rhesus monkeys: Early isolation and neglect can produce lasting cognitive damage, ranging from severe emotional instability to mental retardation.
“Now, researchers say they have discovered a possible explanation for why early neglect wreaks such havoc—isolation may stunt the growth of the brain cells that insulate neurons, resulting in slower communication between different areas of the brain. …
“Children who’ve experienced early neglect show reductions in their white matter—particularly in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked to decision making, working memory, and social function, Corfas says. To track how isolation might affect the development of the myelin-producing glial cells, called oligodendrocytes, the researchers bred mice in which those cells would glow: They added green fluorescent protein to the creatures’ oligodendrocytes. …
“The team’s findings have ‘important implications’ for how isolation affects the brain on a molecular level, with a mechanism that is likely to be the same across different species, says John Cacioppo, a social neuroscientist at the University of Chicago. Although this study focuses only on the effects of isolation in early life, he notes that for humans, even the perception of being alone can seriously affect long-term health. Loneliness isn’t just angst, he says—it’s an emotional signal we’ve evolved that motivates us to repair and maintain relationships, which are vital not only to our health and well-being, but to ‘the survival of our genes.’”
My Comment: A human being is a social creature, and the extent of his evolution more and more needs the right environment that defines his worldview, and thus his behavior and fate.