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Baal HaSulam, “Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“: Thus, even though the Creator has delivered the land from the hands of the nations and has given it to us, we have not yet received it. We are not enjoying it. But with this giving, the Creator has given us an opportunity for redemption, to be purified and sanctified and assume the work of God in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma.
Question: Humanity is entering a new era of evolution when the desires are changing and people are beginning to look for meaning in life, does that happen in Israel too?
Answer: It is hard to say. In the Torah it says that the Jews are a “stubborn nation.” This nation does not develop like the other nations. Today according to external factors, you cannot say that it is bothered by the lack of meaning in life. But it is actually the other way around: It is indifferent to current problems that relate to our security, health, and the economic situation. There is a lot of talking but no real involvement. As long as this continues, so will the indifference and the imperviousness grow. If two years ago we could bring hundreds of thousands of people out to the streets to demonstrate during the social protest events, we cannot do that today, not even if things get worse.
Question: So why did Baal HaSulam say that the current era is our chance for redemption?
Answer: It says in Jeremiah 12, “It is a time of trouble for Jacob and from it he will be redeemed.” Even in the worst situation, when the door is totally sealed, it suddenly opens. But for that to happen there has to be enough pressure, which for the time being does not exist. It is a sign that the fruit is not ripe yet and still needs time to ripen.
Here everything depends on us. On the whole, the nation is never ready for an ascent until Moses, who will pull (from the same root in Hebrew) the nation upwards, is ready. Even the troubles and the blows called the “plagues of Egypt” are not felt by the Israeli nation, but those who feel them are Pharaoh and the Egyptian people. It isn’t by chance that it says that the Creator has passed over the doors of Israel. The plague of the death of the firstborn came upon Egypt but did not touch them.
This was all meant so that hearts of Israel will grow even tougher. As a result a person doesn’t feel any troubles although things are not going so well, but it is much more difficult for others.
It is a very big problem, and we mustn’t wait until things in the world and in Israel get worse. It doesn’t go along with nature’s plan at all and doesn’t stem from love of others. We need to do our best, using all the means we have to publicize the method of correction and at least the message that it is now time for the correction of the world. If people don’t feel any need for that, then they should at least know about it, like students who graduate from school and only have a general idea of what they have learned. Later, this idea will become an essential foundation for them.
From the 4th Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/17/13, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”: Anyone can see how a large society such as the state of Russia… second to none in wealth in raw materials…and practically abolished private property altogether, where each worries only about the wellbeing of society…instead of rising and exceeding the achievements of the capitalist countries, they have sunk even lower… that all this precious and exalted work, namely bestowal upon others, which they have begun to perform, needs to be for the Creator and not for humanity…
Question: What is the addition of “for the Creator” that they were lacking?
Answer: It is not enough to work for the sake of the society so that it will be rich, beautiful, and good. It is not enough to evoke people to be beautiful and strong so that they can take pride in their achievements before the whole world. Even that didn’t help, although it is very important for the Russians, and they have an innate need to prove to everyone that they are the best. On the whole it exists in every nation, but especially in the Russian nation.
Oppression didn’t help either: hunger, terror, and murders designed to force the people to work for the society where a person didn’t see any profit in his pocket and that he didn’t bring home more than others. One worked hard and exerted himself and another didn’t work so hard, but they both received the same wages. So where can a person get the “fuel” to work harder? No means of oppression will help and not even national pride. What haven’t they tried during the decades of the Soviet Union? It all led to nothing in the end.
If I don’t focus my efforts on bestowal upon the Creator, and get the “fuel” to work against the ego, I have no other sources. Even if I fear that I may be killed, I cannot work without reason. I am basically a “machine” that needs fuel, a filling. Let me be paid for my exertion, or at least given food and a place to sleep, like a salve. But to give up my ego of my own free will? A creature like me cannot do that “by definition.”
But the Soviet leaders believed that it was possible, they didn’t understand Marx who put things simply: In order to achieve such an ascent, there has to be an advanced developed society that has reached technological progress in other fields. If such a society practices what we call “integral education,” then a few people who are connected to the initial idea by their point in the heart can lead everyone else. There is no other way but that. At least some of the people have to aim at “for the Creator.”
But the communists had nothing in common and nothing to do with this, and so they couldn’t hold on to the direction they decided on, despite all their natural treasures…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/15/13, “The Peace”
Today the trend that has accompanied us throughout the ages of our development is coming to an end. The ego forced us to climb down from the trees and to start human evolution. We have been through many phases and many forms of life: slavery, fictitious freedom, the Middle Ages, and capitalism. We have constantly worked in order to make a profit, to succeed, and to advance. But today our “partnership” with the ego is coming to an end.
There are several reasons for that and one of them is that the ego itself doesn’t feel satisfied any more. We receive all the goodness, but it doesn’t fulfill us. Even the wealthy increasingly feel they are as if left with nothing, since filling without the deficiency for it brings no pleasure.
On the whole, the elite treat the world as their own property and build a “whole world” for themselves. Through the media, they confuse us, convincing us we should work from morning to night, follow new fashion trends, buy products and services, and then work again. There is constant confusion, wars, and riots like the “Arab spring.” Why? So they can quietly dominate the world and make billions in profits for themselves. This is a never-ending job of governments and other channels controlled by a small handful of people.
However, they already are beginning to feel that they are losing control. According to the laws of egoistic evolution, the world in its current form is coming to an end, facing a global crisis. No one wanted this including the elites who are interested in maintaining and indefinitely continuing the consumerist society. But this doesn’t work.
Now we have to decide where we are headed. So on the one hand, Marx’s books are being reopened, and on the other hand, the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealed.
Today there are talks about a different use of the desire to receive. The next phase is building a united society in which people work about an hour a week because we don’t need everything that we are currently producing. Today unity is the essential model for human society. Without it we will not even be able to receive our daily bread. If we don’t connect, we will not have the basic necessities. But humanity doesn’t know how to connect, although this is what it is required to do. As a result, when faced with a seemingly impossible task, it is going toward annihilation, seeing no way out.
This is exactly where we take the wisdom of Kabbalah out of its hiding place and “wave” it on the background of Marx’s Das Kapital, hoping that we will be heard.
Question: What proof can we bring?
Answer: We have two ways to prove this:
On our part, we try to reach people before the blows do, but it isn’t easy. We don’t control the media. The elite have built an army of economists and financial experts and other experts whose goal is to confuse people and to cultivate the great lie. This is all so that the people who are at the top of the pyramid will be able to rule. Rule what? Today, even they don’t know exactly. It is not under their control at all…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/15/13, “The Peace”
In the News (from Delovaya Gazeta): “During the financial crisis, consumers are not only buying fewer goods, but also returning to barter – the exchange of goods, which allows customers to save money. In addition, social networks influence the behavior of European consumers. Considering the expenses of Europeans, they increasingly resort to alternative ways to get the desired goods, exchanging things. …
“Sharing accommodations, wholesale purchase and mainly purchasing second-hand goods are increasingly helping customers make profit. …
“At the same time, there is a growing awareness of social responsibility. 55% are trying to reduce the consumption of water and energy for the sake of environmental conditions; the demand on organic products is rising.
“These changes in people’s behavior are influenced by the Internet. Today, it plays a significant role in the development of social consciousness and behavior. A quarter of respondents also believe that people’s views are shaped by the social networks (Facebook, Twitter), where they look for reviews before buying.”
My Comment: Under the pressure, egoism will be forced to yield and look for new opportunities for fulfillment. This gradually trains people by pressuring them. It is much easier and faster to become adjusted to new conditions by the method of integral education.
When I try to imagine what my spiritual level really has to be and whether I can rise to it by my feelings, my knowledge, and my efforts, I see that I cannot. If I come to the right conclusions, I discover that without the Creator’s help I will not manage. After all, I have to correct my intention in order to bestow upon the Creator and I can reach that only through the love of others, by connection with the friends.
Here I see to what extent I work in the opposite direction, forgetting all about the love of others, unable to constantly think about mutual guarantee, about connection and about the love of friends.
It seems that love of friends and the correction of my desires are two different things. I have to love the friends and then I will be ready to do them a favor and to get a bit closer to them. But the correction of my desires and the revelation of the Creator are intimate personal things that belong only to me. I cannot connect these two conditions, and this is our main problem.
So we have to constantly work on the connection of “Israel, the Torah and the Creator.” The Torah is revealed only by the Light that Reforms, which connects all these components. After all, the important rule of the Torah is “Love thy friend as thyself.” The Torah is all the vessels and all the Lights in which love is revealed—from such a strong connection that turns to love.
We have to imagine a common vessel called the “Torah,” which is all the desire to receive that was created and that is shattered to pieces that are very far from one another filled with mutual hate. I want all this to be covered with love; I really want this! So I need the Creator and I focus on Him through this collective desire.
In that case I really need the Creator. I summon Him not just so that He will bring me pleasure, but as a result of an unbearable pain that is caused by my inability to connect to the general love in the relations between us.
This love has to be expressed towards the group in some way, towards the friends, even if it is not openly but more internally. This already depends on a person, on time, on the height he is on. The Kabbalists of Kotzk used to express an opposite attitude externally; we follow the instructions of Rabash to display love and concern for the friends openly.
We have to constantly worry only about the general vessel, about the general connection that draws the Light that Reforms and the Light that fills the vessel. The Creator is revealed only in that vessel, as the one who builds and sustains, heals, and fills it.
All this takes place in that state; the trouble is that we don’t imagine it correctly, but think that the Creator can be revealed inside us, will enter our individual hearts. This is how every egoist thinks, since he is used to drawing all the goodness and all the achievements to himself.
This is the whole problem. Only by mutual guarantee can we support one another in order to remain focused on the center of the group, the nation of Israel, and the whole world as one system in which everything takes place. There is nothing but that.
Otherwise we are simply not living in reality. All the other perspectives except this one are called “an imaginary reality.” It isn’t even as imaginary as our world but actually fictitious and totally egoistic.
So we have to discover the snake that stands in our way that constantly takes us back into our impure heart. In that case, it is impossible to manage without the group’s decision that this has to be our only concern, and only through the help of the friends can I remain focused correctly on the group in order to see my correction in it.
This is the reason we cannot think about the Creator’s benefit, about true bestowal; it all depends on one another, and our thoughts are aimed in the direction of receiving and not bestowal. The revelation of the Creator seems like a sweet candy.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: Humanity has already experienced serious economic crises, but it has always found a solution. It even managed to overcome the Great Depression of the 1930’s. But today we claim that we have to correct man. This doesn’t sound rational…
Answer: I see it differently: the cause for all the problems we encounter today is man. In earlier days there were different external causes of the crises, but in the modern age it has become clear that the source of all the trouble is man who doesn’t find the right way and doesn’t understand where he is. The human is the worst being; he cannot get along with others, and he is the one who blows up this bubble, and it is beyond his powers to fix the system.
It would seem that the flaws of human society are evident, and we just need to correct them, but we don’t know how. New problems keep appearing and when we cannot solve them we feel that we are weak as we confront them. This means that the main problem is in us.
We cannot, for example, unite Europe so that it would become a true united alliance of countries that will not deceive one another or humiliate each other but would work as one unit. But nothing happens; each country pulls the blanket in its own direction instead of giving it to another, and as a result no one gets it and everyone is in trouble.
What is Europe actually missing? It has agriculture, industry, different services, relations between countries, transportation systems, trains, planes; everything is there. For a good life, the only thing missing is the right connection between people and nothing more. Everyone lacks this: the tycoons, the poor, those on the right and those on the left of the political spectrum.
So is there another means for correction besides educating people? With the proper education, Europe could arrange a paradise. But instead, despite the material wealth in Scandinavia, the rate of suicide is higher than in the southern countries fraught with high unemployment and unrest. In Greece the situation has become a humanitarian disaster—people literally cannot feed their kids. Babies are abandoned on the streets so that the state will take care of them, and the poor are so desperate that they break the law so that they’ll be put in jail.
So what can we do? Correct man!
After all, the natural resources are enough for everyone; someone has salt, for example, and another has meat, and another has fire, and someone else has vegetables, but we cannot come to an agreement so that we can cook soup for everyone. Everyone holds on to what he has, and eventually everyone is left with nothing; after all, you cannot be satiated by salt or by raw meat.
This situation will only get worse since this is nature’s plan, until we understand that without the right connection we will simply die.
As for earlier crises, they are not comparable to the current crisis. Today’s crisis depends on the correction of man and is the most difficult with regard to its solution.
In the 1930’s, capitalistic evolution was still burgeoning with ambitious plans and hopes and the sudden collapse did make people feel terrible. Today human beings are disappointed in their own desires and are prepared for the worst in advance. We don’t feel “new heights of consumerism” are ahead of us, only deepening gloom.
This happens so that we will realize the essence of the modern crisis is different than the earlier crises; it is developing on a totally different level, in another field. It develops in man, and so it isn’t about the banks and about other external symptoms of the illness. If we fight the symptoms, we will not be able to cope with the crisis. The only way is to correct the relationships between people.
We will die of hunger unless we unite and “cook the soup” together. This state is profoundly different than what it was in the past. Once people wanted more and were left with nothing, which brought about despair, unbearable sufferings, and often suicide.
Today a person has no such ambitions and he already knows that soon there will be nothing to eat. It’s as if he is shown in advance how he gradually will enter his grave. This is being shown so that everyone will gradually understand where we are headed. Nature teaches us step by step and reveals the current state to us, explaining what we should do.
This process won’t end at once; it will last for another year or two, until people feel that there is no end in sight to their troubles, until they find themselves at a snail’s pace of not sinking into grave conditions.
We aren’t completely aware of the results of the crisis. We don’t pay attention to the plants that are being shut down, to the decrease in business activities, and the collapse in various areas. Gradually, however, the world will fall into a deep dark sleep before our very eyes. Until people acknowledge that the problem is in them, it’s not in their power to “stir” the world despite its great abundance.
“So why don’t we get anything out of it? Here is the meat, the water, the fire, and the vegetables—so let’s cook a delicious soup…” it will take time until they finally agree to that. We haven’t had such a crisis yet.
From the 4th Part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/14/13, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
Unfortunately a person often defines exertion incorrectly and wastes a lot of energy doing things that don’t help him advance towards spiritual revelation and to bringing contentment to the Creator. He initially takes upon himself different difficult tasks, but by that, only fights windmills, fighting imaginary enemies and unreal forces that stand in his way.
It is not easy to unveil the forces that stand in a person’s way. They are very close to a person, and he cannot discern them since he thinks that they are him, himself. They cling to him so strongly that they force him to think as if they are an inseparable part of him. He cannot keep them away from him in order to see that they are his enemies, as it says, “The enemies of man are living in his own house.”
The main thing is to locate the enemies that stand in your way to the Creator. When a person begins to locate this and gets closer to the real discernments, he sees that all he has are his enemies. He has nothing of his own, no allies that he can trust and count on for support along this path by relying on their help in a pure correct way. It is because all the close forces are revealed as opposite from him.
Some of his desires, thoughts, and attributes laugh at him now; others intentionally place obstacles along his way, making his future path more difficult, but at the same time they disguise themselves so cunningly that he believes that they are doing him a favor. Others weaken him by holding him back, putting spikes in his wheels, thus inserting a force that operates against him and makes him stop. Thus they operate against a person under different masks, disturbing him in different manners both directly and indirectly, cunningly and by using terrible tricks.
Eventually a person discovers that he cannot count on any of his attributes, desires, or thoughts. So on whose help can he count, with whom can he advance? It turns out that there is no one! Only if he turns to the group from the point in the heart will he be able to come up with the right thoughts and forces on which he can rely along the way.
He turns to the group from his point in the heart since it is the only pure point in him, and he tries to use it only with regard to the friends, realizing that there is nothing more he can invest in them except this spark. He is careful not to turn to them with all the other thoughts and desires, like a person who is ill and is afraid to infect people who are close to him with his virus.
Then he receives from the environment everything that the others have for advancing towards the right goal. By his self-analysis he has already clarified what his real perception should be, which includes only the right attributes that were received from the environment. By that, the environment becomes a “burial society” that helps him bury all his natural egoistic thoughts and desires and receive from the environment, and actually from the Creator, new attributes.
By lighting the spark in his heart with their help he begins to build his spiritual vessel. This means that he absorbs the powers and desires of the society, of all the others, and thus attains his first correction.
Unless a person totally changes all his attributes to the attributes of the society, he will not be able to build the vessel of his soul. We should understand this since we know that the desire to receive is not refined and does not change, but a person restricts his initial desire to receive and its natural form.
When he receives a desire from the environment, he acquires his first ten Sefirot, the attributes of bestowal. To the extent that he annuls himself, he receives from Above attributes that come instead of the ones he has stopped using. Thus instead of a restricted vessel he receives a new vessel.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/11/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: Our main instrument is our inner changes that we go through and our desire to reveal the Creator to others. How can we convey this from our Kabbalistic group into the integral education we conduct for the masses?
Answer: By no means can we do this since the masses don’t have an internal desire for the Creator, they don’t need it. For example, at the Arava Convention, we saw antelopes. If you had a desire to talk about them, I would gladly discuss their beauty and grace with you. However, you don’t have this desire, so I don’t work on it.
If you have no desire that stems from within, from your genes, hormones, and Reshimot, if you don’t have even the slightest aspiration for the upper, spiritual world, I shouldn’t be talking with you about it because I will never get any response from you.
Question: But don’t we go to the 99% wishing to reveal the Creator to them instead of just improving their material life?
Answer: This is wrong! A person is a set of desires. If one lacks the spiritual level of desire, meaning this kind of desire still sits very deep inside and is not yet revealed, then I shouldn’t try to wake it up. I won’t talk with this person about the Creator at all. All I want is to make him connect with others.
Being inside of this material egoistic union, he will eventually sense that it works well: “It’s good that we are together!” Then, he will start sensing that being “together” is great in general, irrespective of the material profit he gets out of it. It will become clear to him that this “togetherness” has a certain flavor, which all of a sudden starts fulfilling him.
You should constantly send a message to the masses about connection and unity; they will get it through you. Without you, they won’t be able to do a thing. You should work as transmitters of the Light from the Creator through the group to the masses. You are valuable to them since you have the group, and inside it, you can receive power and channel it to AHP, meaning to this mass.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing,” 1/20/13
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Igrot,” Letter 8
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The Book of Zohar – Selected Excerpt, Parashat “Balak,” Lesson 4
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol 3, Part 10, Lesson 4
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