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Men’s Convention “The Next Step” Day One – 04.26.13

Connection Convention Day 1, “The Next Step,” Lesson 1 

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Connection Convention Day 1, “The Next Step,” Workshop 1 

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Connection Convention Day 1,  “The Next Step,”  Lesson 2

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Connection Convention Day 1, “The Next Step,” Workshop 2 

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The Embryo Of The Next Phase

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does spiritual advancement always come through feeling a greater burden, although we work in the group and on fulfilling the method?

Answer: How can you advance if you don’t feel a greater burden, if you don’t have the ego, if you don’t feel that you must correct something? How will you ascend? Where is the mass that you must correct, the mass of which you must sculpt your form that is similar to the Creator?

This means that the ego that was given to us at birth and that grows on every level is the matter from which we form the soul. The soul is the same ego that is made in a form that resembles the Creator. If instead of swallowing everything into the ego, I try to pass the upper Light through me to everyone else, the ego becomes spiritual matter, a Masach (screen) and the Reflected Light. It is then that the soul is formed from it. We learn about this in the “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” and in Talmud Eser Sefirot.

The Creator created desire so that we can work with it correctly. The desire falls into the egoistic intention. By changing the intention to the opposite, altruistic, intention with the help of the Light, we use this desire in order to bestow. It must constantly develop in us so we ascend all the time and become more similar to the Creator. So, without the constant “falls” into the ego and the corrections that follow them, we cannot ascend.

Just as we walk on two legs, stepping alternately on the left foot and on the right foot, there is also an action and an opposite action in our work. It cannot be any other way in our world. It is because the one force and the other force can only be opposite to Him. How can it be made similar to the Creator, meaning to bring the created being to a state to which it is on the same level, of the same status, as the Creator? This is why the created being was created from matter that acquires the Creator’s form, His image, from the form opposite to Him. A person’s descent is the same as an ascent; it is already the embryo of the next level.
From the Virtual Lesson 4/21/13

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To Undergo An Operation Willingly

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 45: And that Light of Nefesh is called “the Light of the holy still in the world Assiya.” This is because it corresponds to the purity of the still part of the will to receive in man’s body. It shines in spirituality like the still category in corporeality (see Item 35), whose particles have no individual motion, but only collective motion, common to all the items equally. So it is with the Light of Partzuf Nefesh of Assiya: Although there are six hundred and thirteen organs in it, …these changes are not apparent in it, but only a general Light, whose action enfolds them all equally, without distinction of details.

The still level is willing to give up its desire and to be under the Masach and restriction, in darkness, in concealment. It’s as if it doesn’t exist at all, holding on to one thing only: adhesion to the Creator, adhesion that it is capable of, meaning minimal one.

Above this state there are the levels of active self-annulment before the Creator that the still level cannot implement. However, it’s capable of passive adhesion within the limits of its abilities, and it’s not after self-benefit in any way.

As we all know, there is a wide variety of different forms on the still level: from the simplest forms to the most complex ones, like corals that are the link between the still and the vegetative levels. There is a difference between gold and diamonds, a diamond is different than copper…. Moreover, the vegetative level belongs to the soil, in which the plants grow. Where do all the differences between these forms of matter come from? The difference is in the levels of Aviut (thickness), in the “layers” of the desire, which one has to give up in order to stay in adhesion with the Creator.

This is how the pyramid of matter is built in our world: There is no shortage of “gravel,” but there are few “diamonds.” Coal burnt in power stations and diamonds are actually made of the same material, but they differ in quality. The difference is in the desire to receive of the still level, and when we relinquish it, we adhere to the Creator on a minimal level.

It’s not a simple level in any way, and it begins from self-restraint, self-annulment, restriction. This is the quality of the first spiritual level.

Question: The still level also develops and evolves in our world. How does that go along with absolute self-annulment?

Answer: Evolution occurs as a result of an external force and not from within. On the whole, the still level “lives” its life. The atoms, molecules, the crystals, and the special vibrations—the whole universe is in continuous motion. “Still” doesn’t mean “balanced.” The ultimate balance is achieved only at the end of correction.

In the meantime, the imbalance evokes movement in the still matter: It doesn’t grow, but it “holds on” to the stable state, according to the program of self-preservation. Thus, the movements and changes on the still level are meant to keep it on the still level.

Take the example of radioactive radiation, which certain matter needs in order to remain static. The wind blows, volcanoes erupt, and the still nature needs all that in order to be more balanced and preserve itself on a level that is as still as possible. The action in this case is not in accordance with its goal.

Question: Is there “recognition of evil” on the still level?

Answer: In the still level of the spiritual world there is everything. It’s a whole unique plan, part of Malchut of Infinity. Everything happens and develops from here. Without the still nature there would be nothing; it’s the basis for everything. Everything that happens on the next levels, the vegetative, animate, and speaking, happens thanks to the special connections of the still elements.

Life itself is built on the contact between still parts. They cannot connect independently, but a force comes from Above, and thanks to this addition, a collection of separate materials becomes a metabolism that we call “life.” Similarly, an addition of Light creates the animate level above the vegetative level and the speaking level above the animate level.

Question: What is the main condition for the ascent from the still to the vegetative level?

Answer: A person ends his development in all the 613 desires of the still level, covers them by restriction, by annulment, and remains in adhesion. It’s just like a drop of semen adheres to the mother’s womb while on the still level.

In this state you are ready for the Creator to join you and to perform a “surgery” on you, which we call “the transition to the vegetative level.” Additional Light is necessary for that, and it’s very hard to bear: “Do anything but not that…” In order to receive this additional Light and to enter spiritual life, you have to relinquish yourself, to rise above the concepts of life and death that we can imagine today, and to start a new life that is totally disconnected from you.

Question: So does the original matter that the Creator created remain the same, and what determines everything is the additional Light, an additional bestowal? Is the level of development higher if there is more bestowal? Do we have to summon the Light consciously and willingly on the speaking level?

Answer: This is called raising a request for correction (MAN). This is the only thing we lack. I am ready for the Creator to “operate” on me, I agree to that and I want it. He simply carries out my desire so that I will adhere to Him.

Question: Do we want to enter our first level, the still level during the convention this coming weekend?

Answer: You will not be able to enter the still level with regards to the Creator if you don’t do that with regards to the friend. No way. I repeat, the main thing here is self-annulment.

Then, on the vegetative level we will rise even higher and will learn to annul ourselves in motion. For example, on the still level I annul myself before the friends a “thousand dollars’ worth” and hold on to this standard, and on the vegetative level I gradually add to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/13, “The Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Trusting The Group Without Reserve

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does it mean to “put oneself completely into the hands of the environment”?

Answer: It means to feel, to realize that my future is bound up in the group. I have to establish relations with the friends, I have to integrate in them. Whether they want it or not, I have to be inside, at the very center, and that’s it. I have to dissolve among them, and even if they don’t feel that, it does not matter. I have to be like an embryo in the womb, a baby in their hands—in any way and at any cost that they will ask. There is no question about a price: Whatever they tell me, I will do.

Thus, I am beginning to realize what self-annulment is. And this teaches me how to reach the point of Machsom.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Mutual Guarantee”

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A Question That Brings You To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”: “When all of Israel became responsible for one another.” [In other words, each individual is completed by others.] “Because the Torah was not given to them before each and every one from Israel was asked if he agreed to take upon himself the precept of loving others in the full measure, expressed in the words: “Love thy friend as thyself.”

Here we see the description of the situation when everyone feels that the main question surfaces in him. Everyone asks himself: “Do I really agree to love the other?”

This is a principal question and it determines my whole life. After all, I don’t want to go on living in this “interest club”; I am here in order to attain something. I’m here all the time, and put a lot of money and energy into it, although I could succeed in many other areas. In fact, there are many very talented people here who can have everything the world can offer, but they have given up the rewards of this world, and sit in the lessons motionless. Is that right? Is this the way one should live his life?

So, we have to ask this question about love persistently: “When will it finally surface?” “When will the need of loving the other as myself grab me by the throat?” Why do I need to analyze the current situation as to how much I love myself now and how I relate to others?

After all, I see myself as part of the nation of Israel, which means those who want to reach Yashar-El (straight to the Creator), to be similar to Him by actions of bestowal. This is the only way we can reach adhesion with Him, which is the purpose of creation. What can I give Him? The only chance I have to learn the attribute of bestowal from Him is to be like Him in my attitude to others. I have to discover that He loves everyone and bestows upon them. Then by operating in the same way towards others, I become like Him, I am in adhesion with Him, and I evince Him in my action that realizes the love of others.

This means that each and every one in Israel would take it upon himself to care and work for each member of the nation, and to satisfy all their every needs, no less than the measure imprinted in him to care for his own needs.

This is already the measure of my attitude towards the friend: to care for him as much as I care for myself. It’s similar to how a mother constantly worries about her baby. Until I reach that, I don’t fulfill the goal of Israel, don’t have the minimal equivalence of form with the Creator, and I remain on the “animate” level. But if I care about others more than about myself, I am called “human.”

Question: What is the “nation of Israel”?

Answer: These are people who have to reach adhesion with the Creator. Practically, I identify them by their ability to act mutually, to make mutual efforts. With whom can I stand before Mount Sinai? With all due respect, it isn’t with members of parliament and not with my neighbors, but with people who understand me and who are ready to step forward with me on the path of mutual concessions and mutual connection in order to discover the upper force in it and to bring Him contentment. They are my “nation” for the time being.

Later this concept will expand and envelop the whole world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Arvut (The Mutual Guarantee)”

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A Person’s Connection With The Sefirot

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe spiritual body is the lower part of Bina, ZA, and Malchut, that is, the AHP, the receiving desires. We are there all the time, only the depth of the desire (Aviut), the Reshimot, changes. Depending on this Aviut, sensations also change, and thus it seems to us that each time we are in a different place, in a different world, in a different reality. Everything changes: I and my environment. I was a child, now I am already an adult, and accordingly, the environment changes: work, friends, wife, children, a big world around me, and the entire universe.

This entire picture appears within Reshimot that are awakened within my desire for pleasure, and my task is to interpret this picture correctly. But how can I feel, grasp, separate, and evaluate these properties? Where can I get such mind and heart?

In the name of this, I try to separate and become distant from my feeling and intellect, to be able to relate to them as only to the auxiliary instruments and not my own essence. I feel myself as a point that observes from within this feeling and intellect, behind the thoughts and the heart. It looks at the world through them.

If a person tries to draw this picture of his world, he gains an ability to influence it, to change it. It’s impossible to change the Reshimo I’m in. It’s only possible to hasten development and realize it so that the next Reshimo will come faster.

But it’s not just about the speed. I have ti realize the current Reshimo in such a way that it will maximally approach the world that is revealed in me in the external form. All that is now revealed in my mind and heart, meaning in my internal vessels, and all that is revealed outside of me in external form: the still, vegetative, animate, and the speaking levels of this world, all this is governed and advanced only by means of the Light that influences the Reshimot, that is, comes from the Creator, from the one Source.

And even though I feel that the inner and outer forms are in opposition, in confrontation, cancelling each other, I have to organize them so both conditions are preserved. On one hand, “a judge has only hat his can eyes see,” and the world in front of me is the true world. But on the other hand, I know that “there is none else besides Him,” and only He manages the world.

I feel the gap between these two forms as a real battle, the strongest internal conflict. Baal HaSulam describes this struggle in one of his writings, in the metaphor of the faithful servant of the king that fights with imaginary thieves and robbers seemingly attacking the king.

We have to understand that all the problems are revealed against the principle of “there is none else beside Him” so that I will clarify my characteristics, desires, and thoughts, which disclaim the oneness of the upper force and which cause me to think that there are other reasons for the imperfection of my picture of the world. This form comes from the Reshimot so that I will attribute everything to the Creator, to the Light.

But we can’t do this. The more we advance, the images become more contradictory, shattering the heart and mind of the person. The human mind is not prepared to reconcile these opposites. In the beginning, this contradiction doesn’t seem that terrible, but afterwards it reaches such degrees that a person simply is not prepared to agree with this. He can’t unite the behavior of the Creator, who is the Good who does Good, with the evil and complete injustice that he sees in front of him.

Only a third partner can resolve between these two contradictions, as it is written: “The one who makes peace in His heights, He will make peace among us.” It follows that a person absolutely needs the Light that Reforms. He truly needs this so that the Creator will rule over him and will change his mind and heart.

And so he “connects with the Sefirot,” discovers within himself, within his receiving desires (the lower part of Bina, ZA, and Malchut), the Light coming from GE. Thus he identifies with the upper force and feels in what state, in what world, the Light of NefeshRuachNeshama, he is.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/19/13, Shamati #68

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