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Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 42: Indeed, you should know that the reason for our great distance from the Creator, and that we are so prone to transgress His will, is for but one reason, which became the source of all the torment and the suffering that we suffer, and for all the sins and the mistakes that we fail in… “lack of our understanding in His Providence over His creations,” that we do not understand Him properly.
If we could understand the upper Providence, we would discover the upper force and learn what it wants of us, by clarifying the relationship between ourselves and the Creator, and then: Clearly, by removing that reason, we will instantly be rid of any sorrow and pain. We will immediately be granted adhesion with Him in heart, soul, and might.
But we don’t reveal the Creator Himself as people mistakenly believe. Any attainment is only possible by the comparison of attributes, and so the attainment of the Creator refers to resemblance and equivalence to Him according to our attributes. I can only check, measure, and feel Him in relation to myself.
If I want to reveal the Creator, I have to be equal to His attributes in some way, since otherwise I wouldn’t be able to feel Him. But the moment I draw close to Him according to the equivalence of attributes, I begin to discern Him, and then from that moment on I definitely make fewer mistakes and will necessarily change faster.
Even in order to advance towards the very first revelation, to the first feeling of the Creator, I have to change, so my whole way is divided into stages, the first of which is in the “dark,” when I operate and carry out Kabbalists’ advice, believing that by that I will get closer to the Creator. I believe what the books say, and incorporate and participate in the group, taking an example from the friends, and eventually I begin to feel and to discern the upper force a bit.
A kind of inner feeling and an inclination towards the Creator is revealed in me, and then it develops even more. Then I already begin to understand what the books say and what Kabbalists mean. Until then, it may well be that I have just been reading for a decade, but only now do I begin to somehow taste every word.
This text becomes close to me, as if part of me. I understand that it speaks about what is happening inside me.
It is for such moments, such situations, that we should yearn in order not to make mistakes and to understand what the upper force wants of us.
From the 1st part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”
Question: If I am totally dependent on the environment, how can I influence it?
Answer: If you look closely, you will see that indeed everything you will be in the future is totally determined by the environment. This means that you are like clay in the hands of a craftsman, which is the environment, since the upper Light comes in an abstract form. The environment stabilizes you and then the upper Light goes through it and influences you, and then you can somehow imagine what the environment is like, what is should look like. Since it is your future, you want to look for this future form on the environment and thus relate to it. Then suddenly you begin to discover that your future attributes and the attributes of the whole world are in it, since the individual and the general are equal, and even if you delve into an individual person, you will see the whole world in him, all the way to the end of correction.
So when you look at the environment this way, you want to become dependent on it, and then you begin to discover that in all the friends there are the correct future states, although they don’t identify them yet. Thus the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma learned from his new students, as it written, “I have learned from all my students.”
This is the way you should relate to the environment, since it is the same wrapping that affects you. The more corrected you imagine it to be, the more it impresses you. It has no form of its own; everything depends on how you see it.
You may ask, so why does it say: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” (Psalms 1) It is good for the person who does not sit among the wicked and certainly good for a person who sits among the righteous.
Of course we refer to wicked and righteous in the right and good environment that advances to spirituality. But the point is that a person himself shapes his environment. By the way he treats it today, he determines if it is an “environment of wicked” or an “environment of righteous.” And accordingly he determines how this environment will affect him.
It is because we don’t know who is wicked and who is righteous. At first people yearn for spirituality—this is what I reveal by my corporeal senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch). I see in my mind and heart that everyone yearns for spirituality more or less. The way I perceive them from now on depends on me. The different qualities I attribute to them and the more sublime and respectable they are, is how they will impress me.
I build my environment, the envelope that affects me. Then it determines not only this affect but also the form of the Creator. It is because the Creator has no form. The relationship between me and the environment stabilize the Creator’s image for me, and since He has no image, I simply imagine Him that way.
Later this environment becomes an external vessel for me in which there is the Surrounding Light, and this process continues until the end of correction, until this vessel unites with me and becomes my vessel, for my whole “self” that is filled with the Inner Light.
From the 2nd part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12, The Zohar
Those who have the point in the heart—which they received back in ancient Babylon and have gone through many reincarnations until today or in whom it awakens only now—are actually the only ones who have freewill. It is because there are two forces in them: the force of receiving and the force of bestowal. In all the others, there is only the force of receiving, the desire to receive, which totally manages them; the spark of bestowal is dormant for the time being and doesn’t show itself.
They don’t have these two forces between which it is possible to judge themselves and the whole to one scale or the other. But if the sparks of bestowal awaken in people, they can change their fate and the fate of the whole world. Such people are called Yashar—El (straight to the Creator) since by the attribute they received from the Creator they can choose and judge themselves and the whole world to the scale of correction.
They are very different from others even in their corporeal nature as a result of the spark that operates in them. Only those who have the spark of the force of bestowal, have freewill. Therefore, they are the innermost part of the world, since they are close to the Light that is everywhere. Through them the Light can reach the whole system, all the other vessels, all the other people we see in this world.
They have to perform the correction and they are responsible for the state of the world, the way the world is advancing towards the general correction. Therefore, we have to gather all the people in whom the point in the heart has awakened and try to form them into a strong and unified group. This union will be called the inner center, the heart of the world.
By coming together and annulling our ego, we come closer to the Creator, to the Light, to the force of bestowal. On the other hand, the influence of the Light will spread through us all over the world. This is all our work. All these efforts are only to bring contentment to the upper force. By that we discover the upper force and identify with it, which means that we attain the goal of creation.
The most important thing is the connection among us in order to increase the force of bestowal and to raise its importance, to become as close as possible to the Light, to its attribute, and thus to advance.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/12
Answer: The Creator doesn’t advance us. There is the law of the Lights and the vessels, and the Creator doesn’t participate in this mechanism, “He has given a law and it shall not be broken.” He is not the one who fixes all the troubles and the problems—we summon them upon us by ourselves by not using this law correctly.
Suppose I take a jar with a sticker on it that says “poisonous acid” and drink from it. Who fixed that? The Creator or me? In fact it is I who caused myself harm, and although the Creator made the acid harmful to the human body, I am to blame: I counted on something exceptional, on a miracle, and there are no miracles.
Even the exodus from the exile in Egypt is called “a miracle” but only with regard to those who are in the 49 gates of impurity, in the last phase of the exile. They really don’t understand how it is possible to move from this state immediately to the revelation of the Creator. When a person discovers that he is evil in every way, redemption seems like a miracle to him.
But in fact, it is only the law that always operates everywhere. We only have to learn the laws of reality, the laws of nature, and to use them correctly. Both our corrections and the whole world are subordinate to these laws. The system of laws surrounds us unexceptionally.
Question: So how do we solve the problems and the suffering that are revealed?
Answer: First we are grateful for them: “Thank you for reminding us what is important, we need to hold on to the right direction and think about something totally different.” When my parents punish me, I shouldn’t think about the punishment or about my parents, but about one thing: What did they mean, what do I have to attain by the punishment? If I don’t think about it, the blows won’t help, and I won’t be able to soften them either.
In the meantime, we are trying to soften the blows in Israel today by building different systems against missiles. This, of course, is also necessary, but in fact, the state, like a small child, wraps itself in something soft just so not to feel the parents’ blows. Taking such measures will only provide us with a temporary solution that will help the people choose the right way and to follow it. But it is the correction and nothing but that, which will eventually remove all of the threats. When we receive blows, we have to think about what caused them.
From the 4th part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/28/12, “Exile and Redemption”