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Question: Sometimes, a strong group begins to block a person who is a leader and an organizer as it tries to make him equal to everyone else. What should we do in such a case?
Answer: In the past, people used to say: “If the head stands out, it should be taken off.”
A group cannot and should not allow someone’s head to be above the others. Everyone is equal, in everything! The group is all about commonality, and there should be no doubts here.
If you see that there is a person with special qualities in your group—a person who has special skills such as working under pressure, patience, desire, and so forth—give him something to do outside the group. Test him through that, and then take him out of the group. Let him engage in something external that is detached from the group so that there would be no gossip or trouble in the group. However, as long as a person is in the group, he must not stand out. It is also a kind of a test to see if he has the will power to constantly restrain himself so that the group will be homogeneous.
Speak to him separately: “Although you stand out, look and learn from the others. This is your mission. You have to behave like the others and under no circumstances be above them. This is the only way you can express yourself. This is not the place to spill your heart out.” Thus, he will train himself.
Question: When should he be taken out of the group if he cannot be equal to everyone, but still tries to be?
Answer: The group cannot tolerate any such attempts. If he can control himself, leave him in the group, but let him develop his organizational skills. However, if he has no organizational skills but just likes to make noise, then he gradually will get used to not standing out in the group. There are people who cannot accept this and who think, like children: “How can I sit together with others?” Such people should be taken out of the group.
From a Talk on Integral Education 4/4/13
Question: How should we work with the integral education teachers who, being leaders by nature, begin to focus their listeners on themselves, without even noticing?
Answer: This is unavoidable no matter how much we try since those who listen to them, sitting in front of them, are usually on a lower level. If there are organizers among them, similar in qualities, they will get closer to the teacher, not as students but as assistants, and then they should be noted. Just like a professor notes a talented student and gives him additional tasks, the same should be here. We have to find people in the group whom we can make our assistants.
Of course, the group will worship, praise, and note its teacher to some extent since he also leads them to a different way of life.
Why do I say “worship?” We imagine the Creator as the source of goodness, as the source of something that is sublime, so we begin to see the person who shows us how we suddenly can feel good and live better as having descended from the godly level. It is natural.
On the other hand, we must follow the course of the training since there are always problems. However, if our teachers keep learning constant self-control in our workshops, there will be no deviations.
From a Talk on Integral Education 4/4/13
Baal HaSulam, Shamati, Article 52, “Transgression does not Put Out a Mitzva“: One must know that one does not need to uproot the evil, as this thing is impossible. Rather, one must only hate the evil, as it is written, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”
It is about our choice. There is a plan that leads to the purpose of creation that must be fulfilled. We cannot change this plan because the contrast between the Light and the vessel has existed since the beginning of creation, and it must come to an end so that at the end of the process, they will not oppose one another, but will merge into one whole.
Therefore, this process should include the three following states: the initial state of the created being, the process of correction, and the state of the end of correction. The only thing we can do is to hasten time, to perceive all the states correctly—that is, to manage to justify them and want them in advance. Thanks to this, we acquire the understanding and the feeling of who the Creator is, and how we can connect to Him and become similar to Him.
We learn about the choice from different examples. However, the basis of the choice is in the following: If I want to get closer to the future states that are expected along the way, to hasten my development, I must get away from the past and come closer to the future according to the timeline of the plan of my development. This means that I draw further away from my egoistic desire and come closer to the desire to bestow.
This coming closer depends on my hate of reception and my attraction to bestowal. On nature’s part, the Creator pushes me to it by the force of the Light when it reveals to me more and more blows from my ego each time. Therefore, I feel suffering, evil, and thus I hate my ego. In contrast to this bad feeling, I begin to love the acts of bestowal, the connection in which I believe that I will feel better. Thus, nature, the Creator, the force of the Light, advances me.
This is where my freewill lies: to what extent I can increase my recognition of evil that is expressed in my hate of evil. I can do that with the help of the environment. If the environment begins telling me about evil more, which I have attained by my personal blows, I will draw away from my egoistic desire much faster and yearn for bestowal. Therefore, I have to receive endless examples from everything that surrounds me which prove to me how evil the ego is and how good bestowal is.
Those around me have to let me see and feel this, to brainwash me. Eventually, the hate of evil will burn in me and I will advance much faster to what is opposite to it, to the good. Therefore, as it is written, “O ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” By that, I will know what I must do: How I can turn my desires, which do not disappear, to their opposite form by using them in a new way.
I want to feel good! And if I have to bestow in order to feel that way, I am ready to do so. If I have to treat others more nicely, I have no choice and I agree to treat them more nicely so that we all will feel good. Just as in times of war or in other difficult times when people get closer to one another since they feel that it will be best for everyone, a person feels that, eventually, he will be better off.
So, from Lo Lishma (not for Her Name) we arrive at Lishma (for Her Name). First, a person acknowledges the advantage of a good attitude egoistically when he understands that we have no choice but to connect, to be compatible with nature, and to stop harming one another. Eventually, he begins to feel that there is a special power in connection, a special new state that he has never experienced before.
Just as when two people connect, trying not to harm one another at the beginning and to bring each other pleasure, and then they suddenly begin to feel that there is something greater between them—a feeling that they have never experienced before—so, from Lo Lishma we arrive at Lishma. It is all thanks to our increasing the hate for the egoistic desire to enjoy and to separation.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/3/13
And Baal HaSulam said that wherever the sages say that it is forbidden, it means that it is impossible. Since “the Torah only exists in those who kill themselves for it,” which means that a person annuls his “self” and wants to annul before the Creator, and then the Creator gives him the Torah as a present.
Therefore, a person should know that the Creator has chosen only the phase of Israel in a person, and it is only with regard to this phase that it is written, “You have loved us and wanted us.” Thus, a person who says, “You have chosen us,” must respect and regard the phase of Israel in him and annul all the other desires of the nations of the world in which he is incorporated.
We must make sure that the qualities which bring a person closer to spirituality are always prominent and speak within him, whereas all the other qualities should be repressed. Then, a person’s inner structure becomes similar to the spiritual Partzuf in the attributes that he receives from the environment. It is only in them that he can receive the Torah since they are the desires that were made as a result of the connection, the bestowing desires that stem from unity.
However, if these are a person’s own attributes, then they certainly will be egoistic. He never will be able to feel the truth in them and, so, it is impossible to advance by them.
If a person makes a decision that only the desires that he receives from the environment are the desires of his soul, he understands that it is impossible to advance any other way and that everything in him except for that spark is crooked (in Hebrew “crooked” sounds like “idol worshiper”) and not straight. This way a person arrive at the formation of the right vessel in him by understanding that all his personal desires are flawed.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/13
Answer: I will receive a soul for these efforts.
I either live or die like an animal, just don’t end up as prey for wild beasts, but rot in the ground, or I acquire a soul and live an eternal life. It is not after the animate body is gone but actually now, while living in this world.
Plants, for example, don’t feel what animals feel. Animals live a much richer life than plants. It is exactly for this reason that a “two-legged animal” doesn’t understand that eventually, it lives a physical life although it could acquire eternity.
It is impossible to explain that eternal life is unlimited: I am not limited by my physical body, not by my desires, not by time, and not by motion—not by anything at all. I transcend all these limitations and exit my boundaries.
How? It is very simple. Everything is prepared for me. A whole was broken to pieces. Each of these parts feels its boundaries and limitations. However, if it wants to come out of it, it can do so. This exit of one’s boundaries is the connection with others.
I work against my animal desire and, above it, I acquire a human, a higher desire; that is, I acquire a new vessel. I live in it and feel the unlimited life in it. It has no boundary that is determined by time and space, and there is no current “self.” It is because the spiritual world is not my “self” at all. There, the competition is over the greater connection, over the greater bestowal that leads to unlimited, infinite dimensions.
Everyone must reach that. It is impossible to settle for less. The goal of creation, its plan, the current crisis, and our entire life obligate us to do so. The only problem is how to organize this. All the necessary forces for that are ready, so use them. However, we don’t want to draw them to fulfill this goal.
Still, whatever the mind doesn’t do, time does. So, it isn’t a hopeless situation and a Human can emerge from every “animal.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/5/13, “The Mutual Guarantee”
Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)” Item 18: Therefore, the Tana (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai) described the Arvut as two people on a boat, when one of them began to drill a hole in the boat. His friend asked, “Why are you drilling?” He replied, “What business is it of yours? I am drilling under me, not under you.” So he replied, “Fool! We will both drown together!” (VaYikra Rabba, Chapter 4).
We are all interconnected in a global, total, integral network. However, according to the program of creation, this network is discovered gradually.
It was first revealed on the still level during the process of the formation and evolution of the Universe, until the Earth was formed. Later, this network was revealed in a stronger form on the vegetative level, and then, as it is written in The Book of Zohar, “The flower buds appeared on the earth.” Eventually, vegetation covered the planet and the network was revealed even further, passing to a new level, the animate one.
This process is derived from the four basic phases that appear one after the other. The network is revealed more and more. Some species become extinct, others are born. Nowadays, we see the disappearance of some species and revelation of other species all the time. All this is a revelation of the general network which, in its last phase, compelled the apes to come down from the trees and turned them into humans.
Gradually, the connection between all parts of reality has been manifesting slowly, directing those who were apes not long ago to new relationships of mutual exchange, driving them to kill each other, which doesn’t happen with other animal species. Animals only test who is stronger to discover who is the leader or who owns the territory, but in humans the impulses are stronger…. Ultimately, all of our evolution is discovery of the network that links all parts of reality.
Today, on the final level of this world, having passed through the three phases of the speaking level— the still, vegetative, and animate—we have reached the level of the “speaking of the speaking,” and we need to attain this height.
In the general network, the category of Israel is the key one and it establishes the entire process. This category includes those who already have a connection with the force that manages reality, with the upper governance. And among them, there are the “righteous” and the “wicked” who affect each other.
All this is inevitable because the network is being discovered more and more, thereby revealing a comprehensive and general integral nature in which everyone has great importance for the system. Therefore, it is worthwhile for us to publish this knowledge about the Arvut (mutual guarantee) between everyone. After all, everyone necessarily influences everyone else. Ultimately, his influence turns back on him, doubling the damage that he has caused to the society as a whole.
Meanwhile, it is difficult to notice this. The truth is revealed only in exceptional cases, under the pressure of major disasters. However, in spite of all this, we can draw a picture of the general system for the person from which he can derive that he belongs to everyone and that everyone belongs to him. Today, the world has become sensitive enough to listen to this message and feel this condition.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/6/13, “The Mutual Guarantee”
Question: Is it necessary for those who are engaged in the method of integral upbringing to have a certain image and possess specific knowledge, or is their ability to correctly unite with others the only thing that matters?
Answer: In the nearest future, all of humanity will become unemployed. Even now, if we wanted to limit ourselves with what’s necessary for life instead of producing numerous useless things just to buy them and then throw them away; if we lived in harmony with nature and created a normal, balanced society, we would figure out that there is no need for us to work at all.
There is a huge amount of resources to satisfy everyone’s needs. If distributed among everyone, it will be sufficient for life.
No matter what, we are approaching this state. We see that, with each year, unemployment grows and the need for working people drops. Society will feed the unemployed, dress them, build apartments for them, and so on. However, on what will these people be spending their time? They will be “tuning up” communities and all civilization, thus making it integral.
This explains why the method of integral upbringing speaks not only of the ways to attract people to groups and conduct seminars on city parks’ green meadows, but also focuses on the fact that people will be working as reformers of the world. It is a very serious job that will take all of their time.
They will be in charge of a correct distribution of social labor products among everyone and serving each other. All these processes will be saturated with the right social relationships. Before anything else, we must teach people this method from the point of view of the integral laws of nature that maintain correct collaboration on the still, vegetative, and animate levels. It is the sole responsibility of humans to embrace this nature and treat it like an essential integral element.
Explanation of the peculiarities will take a long time. They must be explained in detail with concrete evolutionary, historical, and psychological examples. Moreover, we have to continue developing people culturally since even harmonious feelings that are built in accordance with the rule of “golden section” still need a good tune up so that they are oriented toward unity and a more profound mutual understanding. We have to be on the same wavelength and understand great scientists, poets, writers, musicians, and so forth.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we need to make sages of everyone and expect them to be similar to the great medieval writers, poets, musicians, doctors, and scientists who managed to combine these great features in one person. At the same time, everyone will have to advance in numerous fields such as drawing, dancing, music, science, and so on since it broadens people internally. They begin to better understand the world and acquire a chance to connect with others. They become much more developed and rich, thus having more in common with others. They will have more topics to discuss, more common points of interest, and a bigger desire to share their opinions.
It’s not about a narrow existence when one earns, buys, and throws away or, in the morning, takes a child to kindergarten and, in the evening, rushes back home, having the same scenario repeated every single day.
We must turn people into Humans. For the last one hundred years (since Charlie Chaplin’s movies showed the mass production conveyer-belts and through to today) people have practically turned into robots. Consequently, we are facing an enormous amount of work which is not only about bringing people up but also about educating them.
There is no sense in gathering people for seminars and persuading them to say beautiful words while holding each other’s hands as if they were little children. First, we must bring up a human being within them; that is, to “deify” them and raise them to the level of a Man. Adam derives from “similar to the Creator,” alike with nature.
So, just conducting seminars is not enough. It should be a very serious job throughout the entire day. Partially, people will spend time attending to themselves and to others and taking care of everyone around. For example, our youth study for half a day and, for the rest of the day, they participate in creating special educational materials.
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 4/4/2013