The Stages Of Love Of Others

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How do the gradual changes happen that eventually lead us to a state where my neighbor becomes more important to me than I am to myself? What do I feel at each stage?

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

Related Material:
Are There Limits To Loyalty And Love?
Stages Of Ascent Toward The Creator
Happiness From The Point In The Heart

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