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Question: Baal HaSulam writes that while in the state of concealment we remain in the world of Assiya. How is it different from our material world?
Answer: In corporeality, none of us ever can tell the difference between giving and receiving. We never associate ourselves with either Lo Lishma (for one’s own sake) or Lishma (for the sake of others), nor do we feel the difference between good and evil.
It is said that the world of Assiya basically consists of evil, the world of Yetzira is half good and half evil, and the world of Beria is mostly good. When one is present in any of these worlds, one is able to differentiate between the giving and the receiving, whereas in our realm, we cannot see any dissimilarity between them.
At this time, we are at the lowest level of the world of Assiya that doesn’t have anything in common with the spiritual world of Assiya. We try to place our world on a general scale of spiritual worlds, since there is nothing except spirituality. However, our realm doesn’t have a place on the spiritual worlds’ ladder; it is an illusionary reality that is placed at the lowest level possible, at the very bottom of the world of Assiya; it is an illusion that produces the erroneous impression that it is possible to exist within the rigid boundaries of the desire to receive, in the pure egoism.
By no means is it possible. Although, the upper force maintains life in this corporeality to give us a chance to stay alive until a spiritual spark breaks out of us into spirituality.
In this world, there is a drop of spiritual semen, although it is “imprisoned” in this material realm and has no freedom to get out of it. Due to exertions applied by this drop of semen to free itself, it eventually breaks out of this world into spirituality. When it gets there, this spiritual spark begins to develop further in a new realm.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/10/13, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot“
Question: What do we correct: actions or intentions?
Answer: By correcting the intention, we alter the action. It is similar to a situation when it is enough to apply a good intention to a car that is broken and all of a sudden it starts to work fine.
In this world, we are “given the freedom” to do whatever we want until we completely destroy it. In spirituality, one’s actions are allowed solely to the extent of the correctness of one’s intention.
All depends on the screen: If you happen to correct it, you can use it.
In this world, we are given a chance to play as children and do whatever we want in order to educate ourselves. We won’t be allowed to enter spirituality until we learn how to use this world correctly. That’s why it is said, “This world is similar to an entrance-hall to spirituality.”
There is no action without intention. Only in this realm can one act without a good intention. By acting so, we lower ourselves more and more until we finally realize that we really need to bring up correct intentions. In spirituality, no actions are possible without good intentions. Besides intentions, there is nothing there at all.
For example, before I go to see a doctor, I need a correct intention. Only in this case will I cure myself completely: I will correct my soul and body. However, if I don’t have a good intention, I only treat my corporeal body.
So, it means that we haven’t taken advantage of the possibility that was granted to us. The reason we fell sick was to rise due to the illness we got, rather than just cure our physical bodies. If we continue acting this way, we won’t achieve correction, and the Creator will have to “shoot” us in some other places and cause new disturbances for us.
If our actions are accompanied by incorrect intentions, we harm everybody around us. It is all about the mutual guarantee. If we fail to have a correct point of view and develop a positive attitude, we will continue making mistakes.
Anything that happens to us has to be regarded through the prism of the group, through the unity. I see the world as either corrected or corrupt to the extent of my connectedness with others. Any deficiency that I come across depends solely on the level of my detachment or my unity with friends. It is the only thing that I observe and that is revealed to me in this world.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/1/13, The Zohar
Answer: There is a desire to receive and it is full of Light. This state is called Ein Sof (Infinity). There are no bounds, no limits; no matter what size the desire is, the Light fills it to the fullest. This is why in spirituality everything is measured not by qualitative parameters but by qualitative ones. If there is “one gram” of desire, there is “one gram” of pleasure to match it, and this is already Ein Sof, no limits—the Light and the desire are equal.
At the same time, when the desire to receive gets to know itself more deeply, it discovers in it a greater qualitative intensity until it reaches the central circle called the soul of Adam HaRishon. Inside my desire to receive, in my Malchut, I attain where I came from and for what reason. Then I really want to unite with the Light, and to receive the soul of Adam HaRishon.
– Well, says the host, I will do that for you.
Then the guest eliminates the Light, but, in fact, he acts against the host and begins to draw away from him in search for a state in which he can prove to himself and to the host that he can be like him in order to show the host his true bestowal.
In the same way, Adam HaRishon wanted to taste from the “tree of knowledge” using every means possible, which means to receive the Light in his vessels of receiving with the intention to bestow. This was the “sin of the tree of knowledge,” which is similar to the “shattering of the vessels” in the world of Nekudim, but in a more revealed manner. There are already details here like: “snake,” “Eve,” “the Garden of Eden,” and “Hell,” which means there are whole parts of the desire to receive whose essence and goal you already understand. Thus you penetrate into the depth of the desire that was created by the Creator. It becomes more detailed, more clear, more ripe, just like a fruit that ripens on a tree.
This fruit promises wonderful flavors and evokes great passion in you. The first taste was really in order to bestow: Adam and Eve received the whole Light of Ein Sof, but they didn’t have a whole desire yet with Reshimot (spiritual genes) aimed at this pleasure. But later, when the new Reshimot, the new tastes, penetrate the desire, it cannot relinquish the egoistic intention in the second attempt, or more accurately, it couldn’t avoid being tempted. After all, there are no “restrictive circumstances,” in spirituality. There everything is solved within the desire, and if I want to steal, I steal.
Now we have to correct these desires, the vessels. When we correct them, we return to the corrected soul of Adam HaRishon.
Why is it one for everyone? It is because everyone attains unity with everyone else. After all, the correction is actually the connection with everyone, thanks to which I attain the united vessel and in it receive the only Light of the soul. You cannot correct yourself separately and let them remain “evil.” There is no such thing. I will not correct myself if I don’t connect with everyone and correct everyone.
This is why eventually I come to a state in which everyone is corrected, and then I am called a “complete righteous,” which means that I justify and judge myself and the world to the scale of merit.
Imagine that someone next to you, speaking from his pure heart, says that the whole world is good and the Creator is good and benevolent and that there simply can be no evil. You look at him and you don’t understand where he is coming from: “Perhaps we should call an ambulance? Doesn’t he see what is happening in the world?” You don’t understand him, but he understands you; since he has already climbed the ladder of the spiritual attainment, he attains the whole soul of Adam HaRishon and sees everyone in Ein Sof. Although you feel our cruel world in your corrupt vessels, you are actually there too.
What should we do in order to feel this? Just one thing—correct ourselves. The world doesn’t change, you change, and then you see it differently. It is only your inner personal perception. Today you are looking at everything through the prism of your flaws so you don’t see the actual reality, but you see yourself the way you are today…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/8/13, “600,000 Souls”
In the News (from Financial Post): “The widening income gap between the rich and poor and burgeoning government deficits are the risks most likely to have a global impact over the next decade, according to experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum(WEF).
“Climate change, water shortages and aging populations rounded out the WEF’s top five risks.”
My Comment: When it is projected as a chronic state of the next decade, it is a threatening state not just global risks. Each of them will develop into a system failure. Any of them can result in a terrible conflict. We must look for a common cause of what is happening to humanity to find the solution, which Kabbalah talks about.
In the News (from the Max Planck Society): “Many processes in the brain occur automatically and without involvement of our consciousness. This prevents our mind from being overloaded by simple routine tasks. But when it comes to decisions, we tend to assume they are made by our conscious mind. This is questioned by our current findings. …
“The researchers found that it was possible to predict from brain signals which option participants would take seven seconds before they consciously made their decision. …
“This suggests that the decision is unconsciously prepared ahead of time.”
My Comment: A decision is made outside of us, above, but not only in our case, but in the case of all the objects of the world according to the principle: glass begins to break before the bullet hits it. Everything in the world happens in a way opposite to what we think; our thoughts, decisions, and actions do not come from us to the world but in the reverse order, they come from “somewhere” to us… The Creator passes through us a series of sensations, and we have to learn to respond to them correctly, recognizing Him in each of them… and then our life will become conscious!
Answer: This kind of change happens in a person only with the help of the Reforming Light. Roughly, it can be divided into four stages:
1. We don’t sense anybody outside us; they seem so “lifeless” to us. They live some place near us, but we have nothing in common with them. We communicate with them, hug them, sing songs with them, but we still regard them as “puppets” that exist next to us.
2. Later, to the extent of the level of the affliction we go through, which is triggered by our concern that we are not advancing well enough, we start worrying: “What will happen to me?” At this time, we continue suffering and applying efforts, but we still don’t understand the ways to connect with others. This doesn’t “penetrate” our ears; they are only beautiful words, I have heard a lot of times…
The reality, the learning process, and everything we do become more and more important to us; although, our concerns about the relationships with our friends are still not quite clear to us. We don’t yet feel that our connection leads us anywhere. It seems to us to be just a sort of “morality” and even reminds us of the religious commandments.
3. Then, we begin neglecting everything that our friends do in the group: connections, dancing, singing. We are not capable of behaving this way. In our eyes, it seems very frivolous; we agree to act this way only because it creates a good and pleasant atmosphere and we know that we have to inspire our friends and stay together. So, we meet at joint meals in order to connect a little and maybe even attract new people to us. This is what we think.
4. At this point, we acknowledge that no matter what we do, it doesn’t work for us. We start noticing that at this time other people look much smarter in our eyes. We start thinking: “How do they do that?” We begin to re-evaluate our attitude and come to a conclusion that the unity is important.
No doubt, it is the result of the Light’s impact rather than a consequence of the mutual activities among friends. Although, since we still continue to participate in joint activities, the Surrounding Light descends to us. We start considering our activities oriented towards unity as useful, but still think that they are purely theoretical. We keep talking about them and continue reading and listening about group work more intently than before; previously we didn’t even pay any attention to the articles that describe these things. We thought that “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” “The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” etc. were worth reading, but the article “The Last Generation” reminded us of communist ideas.
Gradually, under the influence of the Surrounding Light, we start realizing that we have to work against our egos and overcome them. Then, we notice that overcoming our egoism and connecting with our friends are actually the same things; it’s impossible to achieve it differently. It’s feasible only while being in the group and exclusively through connecting with the friends.
Before, we never valued external actions and neglected them to the extent that we wished they would never exist. “Why do we have to unite with others? “Love thy friend sounds repulsive…Have you ever seen it happening? What are you talking about? I am embarrassed that Kabbalah books talk about things like that…”
All of a sudden, we notice that the internal content of our actions is totally oriented towards unity, the merger of our internal particles, rather than corporeal bodies. We keep neglecting our physical connections. If it doesn’t lead us to joining the points in the heart, we continue to despise the “tricks” and “slogans” like: “Let’s unite! Let’s sit together at meals and talk!”
We start changing our attitude to unity. All of a sudden we realize that it’s about connecting “the points in the hearts” with the help of the Reforming Light. That’s why we have to stay in the group. It’s different from spending time in the bar where people hug each other, sing, and feel good. Here, we also sit together, we can have a drink and hug although our intention is not to unite our bodies or some earthly egoistic ideals, but rather to try to bring our points in the heart closer and to ask the Light to impact us and connect them together. The Light influences us sufficiently to the degree of our mutual efforts and to the extent of our desire to unite.
This is the way we advance. Going through these stages is essential. As a result, we become confident that our presence in the group and the group activities are necessary to connect the points in the heart with the help of the Light. From this point on, we stop neglecting unity. We already know that spiritual realization is all about unity and our further advancement becomes more obvious to us. At the same time, we discover a new difficulty on our way: We have to figure out the way to detach our “self” from the point that we contribute to unity; we have to be concerned about giving “externality” more weight than to our own “self.” For that, we also need the Light. However, it’s the next stage and it also consists of four sub-phases.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/7/13, The Zohar
As Baal HaSulam says in his article “600,000 Souls,” there is actually only one soul, one desire, Malchut of Ein Sof (Infinity). The Light that enters by the Creator is stamped in the desire to receive and this gives it its different qualities but in an opposite form. Then the desire has to rise above its form that is opposite from the Light and resemble it. The oppositeness remains; it actually creates such intensity, such a connection, which enables the desire to enter the Light, to conquer it, and to absorb it. Now there is room for that.
So there is only one desire, and if it comes out differently in words, it is because we attain it in parts, and not even in parts but in tiny grains of self-attainment.
It is like a holographic picture where each of its parts includes all of it (M), but on a smaller scale (m). All the details are kept, but they lose the initial accuracy. There are the first ten Sefirot here, but the clarity is different.
It is because the point in the heart is actually above the desire to receive, in others. It is the spiritual root of the individual soul, while the desire itself isn’t worth anything by itself. On the other hand the “others” is the same concept for everyone, it is Adam HaRishon (first man). Thus we all attain the same thing but from different perspectives, until they connect. This is done so that we can help one another in attaining the attribute of bestowal.
Question: If I don’t lift a finger without a command from Above, what can I do to help my correction, where is my freewill?
Answer: We have no free will with regard to our correction. Our free will is only in hastening the correction. You don’t need to delve into the states you go through. The more you delve into them, the more you will linger and delay your advancement.
The only beneficial act you can do is to hasten your correction. This doesn’t depend on the states that are revealed to you at all. It only depends on your actions of incorporation and your connection with others.
So our work is very simple, and we might say even primitive. All you need to do, no matter what happens to you, and above it, is to constantly yearn for connection. As a result of this work, you will discover that you have a new mind, wisdom, and feelings only thanks to the fact that you advance persistently in this one direction, as “an ox to the burden and a donkey to the load.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/8/13, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”
Preparation to the Lesson
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Writings of Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam, “Article 12”
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The Book of Zohar – Selected Excerpt, Parashat “Shlah Leha,” Item 63, Lesson 5
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