Audio Version Of The Blog – 03.05.13

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Becoming A “Rag”

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 5: Therefore, common sense dictates that we grasp the opposite of what appears to be on the surface, and decide that we are truly noble and worthy creatures, of immeasurable importance, actually worthy of the Worker who had made us.

Question: How does this go along with what Rabash once said to you: “Now you are a rag like I am?”

Answer: There are many discernments and elements in the term “rag”: I am incapable of anything, I am dependent on the Creator, and I am happy about having discovered this fact. By that I see the beginning and the end of my actions, and in every action I have to make efforts in order to attain the concept of a “rag,” and then adhere to the Creator and by that obligate Him to do something.

So the state of a “rag” comes after all the exertion, according to the principle “I have exerted myself and I have found.” It’s the final stage and it’s a very important level in which I understand better that I have nothing, that I am totally “squeezed,” powerless, lacking energy and motivation which I must receive from the Light.

I can’t fulfill the correction, I can’t accumulate the necessary discernments, but I can attain the necessary desire to exert myself that I get from the environment. I could stay on the “animal” level forever, if the Creator did not let me rise to a higher level about which Baal HaSulam writes.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/3/13,”Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Borrowing A Bit Of Wholeness

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we reach an equivalence of form with the teacher, meaning to share his perspective and to acquire his values?

Answer: It all depends on how well you understand what is said by the teacher because you can’t understand his perspective in any case. It isn’t about an external equivalence of form, but about a person who annuls himself and acquires the vessel of the other, in this case of his teacher. To the extent that the student connects to the desires of the teacher, he can advance.

He uses the wholeness that the teacher has, since the teacher’s state is certainly more whole than the state of the student, and the teacher is on at least a level higher than the student. So the student can receive the Light of Hassadim by adhering to the teacher, which will help him rise higher above himself in faith above reason, to be incorporated in the group, and to see the study in the Light of bestowal. By adhering to the teacher, the student receives spiritual vessels by which he can already start feeling internal actions, spirituality.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/1/13, Shamati #25

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Connecting With The Upper Through The Connection With Equals

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we prepare the right “vessels” internally so that we will be able to hear what the upper says?

Answer: In order to hear the upper you have to connect. Malchut of Atzilut is called Knesset Israel (the assembly of Israel) since it assembles all those who yearn “straight to the Creator”-Yashar-El (Israel).

Then they all connect in Malchut of Atzilut and then Malchut of Atzilut raises a prayer (MAN) up to Zeir Anpin, and together rises as with a big brother to father and mother (upper AA). This is what happens in all the levels until the world of Ein Sof (Infinity).

So the connection with the upper is only possible if I am connected with those who are equal to me. First we have to create an “assembly,” a connection, a gathering of friends. The main thing is to annul yourself at least before one person, and by that you are ready for the connection with the other.

The term “upper” exists only inside us. Who is a teacher—“rav” (great in Hebrew)? He exists only in the center of the group. If you think about a teacher outside the center of the group, he is not called “rav” but simply a teacher, a scientist, or a wise man. He doesn’t become a guide.

A guide is someone who shows you the way. It is someone who is in the center of the group and who says, “You all have to connect around this center.”
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/1/13, Shamati #25

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Shocking Statistics Of The Eurozone Stuck In Crisis

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Euronews): “Only a few weeks ago, EU officials were patting each other on the back and declaring that the euro crisis is over.

“Now the European Commission’s own forecasts published on Friday say the continent’s economic woes will continue. …

“Their latest study predicts the eurozone economy will shrink by 0.3 percent this year.

“That’s revised down from November’s outlook, which saw growth of 0.1 percent.

“If politicians and bankers think the single currency crisis has been consigned to the history books, try telling that to unemployed people in heavily-indebted EU countries.

“Greece has an employment rate of 27 percent, whilst Spain is closed behind with 26.9 percent.

“One economist says the EU needs to rethink its economic policies.

“Hans Martens, chief executive of the European Policy Centre, stresses that Europe has taken the wrong way to recover.

“’This is a disaster not only for let’s say the European institutions but also for member states because this is a reminder that they have not done enough they have simply not done enough to stimulate growth and jobs,’ he told euronews.”

My Comment: It is necessary to agree psychologically to the new state of the world (integral, united), the new economy (only reasonable consumption and equal distribution), and new social relations (equal rational consumption). This is what awaits us, regardless of our desires. In this case, ladies and gentlemen, the statistics will not shock you every time.

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Retirement Is Not An Option

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“: This environment will help him obtain the greatness of his rav through love of friends who appreciate the rav.

Question: How does the love of friends help attain the greatness of the rav?

Answer: The term “rav” includes the Creator, and in general everything that helps a person rise to the next level. The friends are those who help a person not in rising to the next level, but rather in the recognition of the greatness of that level. A person doesn’t see himself on the next level, but with the help of the group and thanks to the influence of the friends, he begins to imagine the greatness of the next level.

We use the “fuel” of the group, although no one has attained the highest level yet. The general spirit and general atmosphere are enough because it is our nature: A person appreciates what his environment values and considers it to be important. It’s according to this principle that we grow.

Question: So why should I love the friends, isn’t it enough to simply appreciate them?

Answer: Love of friends is already the fulfillment. And the first step I should take is accepting the path and the goal, and agree to accept the system and the idea of the upper force to which we connect and attain. Then how can I raise these values above myself? Through the support of the environment that will help me feel the greatness of the goal.

The “environment” is the Kabbalah books, the friends, and the teacher. Together they lead me to the Creator. This means that all these factors must constantly be important to me, above my self-importance. Only then will I be able to advance.

Question: But still, in ordinary life the environment influences us even if we don’t think positively about it…

Answer: True, whether we like it or not, the environment influences us by using our ego, our desire to receive which is always ready to enjoy. It is simply shown different types of pleasure; it perceives them like bait and swallows them.

On the other hand, I am not attracted to the goals that the group presents. On the contrary, because of them I have to give up things and to aspire to receive pleasure from bestowal, which I don’t really understand. I don’t understand it to such an extent that I even feel repulsed by it. The whole way is made of concessions, of self-annulment, of annulment before the group, although nothing in me is attracted to anything like that.

So it turns out that I don’t like the group and teacher’s message about the Creator. There has to be mutual work on the part of the individual and on the part of the group. The friends have to work together so that everyone will feel that these things are obligatory and desirable, so that every person will see how essential and important he or she is and that the general enthusiasm will flood his consciousness and his soul.

If we don’t create a kind of “brainwash” here, we will simply not be able to advance. External impressions will not help us here and neither will nice words or the friends’ actions. Internally, a person will still reject the idea of bestowal if it isn’t reinforced by the group’s serious attitude where everyone is ready to invest in it and to spur one another on.

People who hold on to their externality spin around the goal, around the system for decades. Some of them become Hassidim, some become involved in dry studying, and others deal with dissemination, but they don’t implement the method in the correct efficient way.

All this happens when the environment is not strong enough to sweep a person towards the goal. After all, by that we fight our nature, our desire to receive, which we have to neutralize and to even draw towards bestowal. This is extremely difficult, but this is the key. If we succeed, we will break through to the upper dimension, and if not, then as we say “we will retire”…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/21/13, A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

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My Favorite Grain Of Sand In The Creator’s Universe

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In his letter No. 29, Baal HaSulam writes that “prohibition is the same as permission, since the key that is good for locking is also good for unlocking.” What kind of “key” does he mean?

Answer: The key is the Light of Hassadim, the intention to bestow. On one hand, we can lock ourselves with this key and thus bar the Light from entering our egoistic desires. On the other hand, we can open ourselves for the Light that dresses in the intention to bestow. Under this condition, the Light is allowed to enter the desire to receive. Bina refuses to receive; therefore, Bina is against the Light of Hochma. How does it open itself for the Light of Hochma after restriction occurs? It turns itself into a “garment for the Light,” into a condition. We are ready to receive treats from the Host’s table under the condition that He allows us to think about Him, rather than our stomachs.

If we keep thinking of the Creator while we continue receiving pleasures, if we feel Him and understand that He enjoys us, then our sensations become a million times bigger than those that we get from direct self-indulgence. We multiply the pleasure because we understand the significance of the Host and feel love for Him. And that is how we become ready to accept the treats.

So, Bina blocks only a small amount of the Light (Nefesh de Nefesh) that it could have received directly in the desire to receive. It opens itself to the Light of NRNHY, the infinite Light of the Creator. This implies that the key that locks the door also unlocks it. As it is said: “Open a tiny space the size of an eye of a needle for Me and I will open gates through which carts and chariots enter.”

We can’t receive directly more than a thin ray of Light that supports life in all of us and revives the entire world. The intention to bestow multiplies a tiny live spark and expands it to the size of the Creator if we strive to bestow to Him.

We “use” the Creator as a magnifying glass and amplify a thin ray that formed all of creation, all of matter. We increase both the matter and the pleasure proportionately to the greatness of the Creator in our eyes. This opportunity is granted to us by a “tool” that is called “the intention to bestow.”

It is called “bestowal,” but due to it we receive the opportunity and acquire the ability to increase our desire to receive that was shaped by the Creator “out of nothing.” It’s similar to a tiny grain of sand, a tip of the needle that we can multiply proportionately to the Creator’s “scale” so that it can be filled with the Light that is as powerful as the Creator Himself.

It happens because we begin working in bestowal “on the tip of a needle,” on a “tiny grain of sand” of a desire to receive that was created by Him. We receive one gram of delight and simply cannot “fit” more into this small desire that is as little as a grain of sand. However, if we manage to expand it for the sake of bestowal, it is crucially important for whose sake we do it. Thus, we multiply our desire and the delight proportionately to the scale of His love for us, as an infant who smiles at his mother and thus causes huge joy in her.

It’s the “patent” we use, a miraculous opportunity granted to us by the Creator. We use its power and the strength of His love for us by expanding ourselves with its help. Otherwise, we would be the lowest creatures in the world. All other levels of nature (inanimate, vegetative, and animate) fulfill themselves directly, whereas by the mere fact that we are born as people, we go through all prior levels (inanimate, vegetative, and animate) and there is only one thing left for us: a point in the heart that is completely empty of any fulfillment.

Because we are so unhappy, a tiny spark awakens in us. It’s a desire to receive pleasure at the speaking level that now still remains empty in us. If we fail to receive the Creator’s power and won’t take “advantage” of His love and His kind attitude toward us by using it to “magnify” ourselves by this quality, we’ll be left with a scanty and hollow desire. Even death is better than such kind of life…

Luckily, we are given a chance to receive the power of the Creator if we treat each other in a correct way. That’s why the shattering and all other kinds of preparations from Above happened, so that people can feel a need to love or at least realize the necessity to unite.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/25/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Letter 29”

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Who Smoothes Conflicts In The Group?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the most critical point in the group work when friends’ egoism breaks out in the group?

Answer: I think that here women should go to the forefront.

When there are serious problems between men, women should somehow subtly try to smooth the conflict, to indicate, as a mother to a child, that all this is temporary, that these relations are manifested between them on purpose and they should not be carried away, like children, and forget about the cause while being entangled in the consequences.

If it happens that men are not in a position to resolve a conflict themselves, then the women help them.

And on the other hand, men should restrain women if they start criticizing each other, gossiping, and using an “evil tongue.”
From the Virtual Lesson 2/24/13

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Frankness Helps

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I have a problem with someone in the group, how should I behave in the group and outside of it?

Answer: It is best to speak openly, not during the lesson, but while talking with the friends.

It is necessary, in spite of everything, to say what you think about your friend and why. Ask for an explanation of whether your attitude towards him is correct and what can be done.

This will strengthen the group. Thus you set a good example of how it is possible to turn estrangement into friendliness. This is exactly a spiritual action.
From the Virtual Lesson 2/24/13

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