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The Reward For Spiritual Effort

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: This comes up all the time that we need to work for the sake of some reward. How is it possible to correct this intention? Which actions must we pass through and how many? How can we really act opposite to this?

Answer: You will gradually change your assessment of the quality of the reward. Essentially you conceive the reward to be—either the state in which you feel yourself to be good, the state when others feel themselves to be good, or  the state where the Creator feels himself to be good due to your deeds.

That is, the reward must be constant. Everything depends on its quality:  What is my reward? If the friends become fulfilled as a result of what I do, this is the reward. Would it be impossible to enjoy this?

I only need to check myself, what is the cause and what is the result? Am I doing good for the friends for my own enjoyment, or do I behave like this because it will be good for them; and because of this I enjoy it? That is, my fulfillment is detachment of the feeling of joy from my Kelim (vessels) and its presence and feeling is in the Kelim of the friends.

Question: Is this a static process or is it possible to run it all the time?

Answer: This is a gradual developmental process of the person within a group. By blindly carrying out everything that the Kabbalists say and write, we can reach this rapidly.

After all, we can never see the next level of our development. Yet the Kabbalists give us advice, how we can make ourselves similar to the next level, become ready for it while being on the level where we are found. How can I be ready for it if I don’t see it and don’t know anything about it? Therefore, they give us advice and recommendations. And without these I would not be able to do anything.

So there is no reason to be alone in the desert to sit there and begin trying to get in touch with the Creator. The method for reaching the upper world was discovered once and we know exactly how this was done: ten generations, ten teachers, ten Kabbalists from Adam to Noah, ten generations from Noah to Abraham, and so on, and so on in a chain.

It cannot be that someone will suddenly discover it in some other form. A person can somehow feel the upper world but not consciously, only temporarily, and then it disappears. I have met people like this. And in order to be found in the spiritual world, clearly, realistically and correctly, and to work with all of our Kelim, which is to say with all the desires and thoughts, we require this method. This already came from Adam so he is considered to be the forefather of all people, all belonging to the level of Adam (Man).
From the Convention In Krasnoyarsk 6/14/13, Lesson 3

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True Gratitude For The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You say that “it is impossible to thank the Creator when I am crying.” What does this mean?

Answer: I cannot cry from pain and simultaneously thank the one who causes me this pain. The sensation of pain suggests that you cannot thank Him, i.e., you might be doing this but superficially. You understand and are aware of this in your mind but not in the feelings.

You need to work on your feelings so that you can feel pleasure instead of pain while correcting the egoism. If the obstruction comes from the Creator, then it should be turned into happiness, joy, and pleasure. This is what we are engaged in. This is the correction of our Kelim (vessels).

But as long as you feel at least some flaw in your state, it is not called that you thank the Creator. In principle, He does not need to be thanked. When you feel good, this is your unconscious gratitude to Him. And if you also attribute this to Him, then it is complete gratitude. It’s very simple.
From the Convention In Krasnoyarsk 6/14/13, Lesson 3

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Condemned Because Of A Vicious Ego

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does it say that if a lie is small we cannot see our real condition?

Answer: Suppose I am investigating a criminal act and I have to prove that the person sitting before me is a liar and everything depends on the evidence I have against him.

If the evidence isn’t clear and is doubtful and I am not sure that this person is guilty, he can deny everything. The court cannot make a decision when a case is so vague. But if we bring a long list of a person’s offenses along with evidence and testimonies of eye witnesses before it, then there is no doubt that he is guilty, he cannot deny it anymore.

This is the state we should reach when we have irrefutable proof of our ego. We must discover that our attributes are so bad that their crime and outcome are evident not only to us but to the whole world.

We must have irrefutable proof of our lie and it wouldn’t be just cries such as “you are lying!” that I can deny counting on my nature. All my crimes must actually be revealed, as it says: “A judge only has what his eyes can see.”

I must attain such a level of the revelation of the lie that I will really want to leave the lies. It will be very clear to me that the ego is lying to me; this is called a real testimony of a witness, I have to actually see all its crimes on the deepest level Dalet de Dalet (fourth of the fourth).

Then I will have no arguments left, and will not be able to deny it anymore. I will have no power to remain in this state. I will escape from it just as you escape a feeling of great shame.

Imagine that some electrode is connected to your ear and everyone can see your thoughts and your feelings. You would rather die than feel such shame and it is true with regard to each of us. So we have to be impressed by our work this way in order to actually want to die of shame because of my ego. Only then do we reach the truth and agree to change. Remaining in the ego will be worse for us than shame, since our “criminal” thoughts will be revealed to the whole world.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/11/13, Writings of Rabash

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The Driver Of My “Donkey”

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator drives our “donkey” (hamor – חמור), which means that he manages our matter (homer – חומר) (which has the same root in Hebrew), our desire, by the Light that Reforms.

Since the beginning of creation He develops the desire to receive as something from nothing through the four phases of Direct Light (the structure of the first HaVaYaH) and so on. The Light always operates everywhere, as it says, “I am the first,” and at the same time, “the end of the act is in the initial thought,” so the goal of our development is predetermined to make the created being independent.

The Creator has performed the first act, which is in fact the only act called “creation.” He took something out of Himself. This is why it is called Beria, creation in Hebrew, which means bar – outside one’s self. On the other hand, He brought the desire to perfection and this was done immediately.

In the created being’s perception, there is a whole process that he has to discover by himself: who he is, what he is, in relation to whom he exists, and why it happens this way. He has to accept it based on his nature.

The main thing is that as a result of all the feelings and clarifications he goes through, he reaches a state called adhesion; this adhesion is a result of knowing, as it says: “Know thy Lord.” Thus the created being attains the middle point, the Sefira of Keter or the Sefira of knowledge, which is the mind of the upper.

Thus we perform different actions in order to discover where we actually are and in which state. The states that we go through are divided into levels of the worlds: this world, the worlds of Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, and the world of Ein Sof (Infinity). This is what we call the states that were prepared for us in advance during the descent from the top down until the moment that we feel that we exist and begin to ask ourselves: “What do we do now, what can we do? How can we fulfill it? What is expected? How are we managed and how can we manage ourselves.”

There comes a time when I ask myself: “Who am I?” I see a kind of a reality before me and my feeling is divided into two:

  • The internality, which is the feeling of the self, my body, my desire, etc.
  • Outside myself, which is the still, vegetative, and animate nature, and the speaking, the whole world, and the different feelings of the other worlds that Kabbalists talk about, which are all inside me, in my spiritual vessel, which I have to unite.

So what is that upper force? Who is the “donkey” driver?

We cannot of course speak abstractly about the Creator, about the upper Light. We have to “clothe” Him in some revealed form that we understand, and so in The Book of Zohar in the article “The Donkey Driver,” Rabbi Shimon wants to convey to us the points by which we can perceive the upper force that guides and manages matter. We, however, have to try and feel this as much as we can, both in our heart and mind, as much as we need to.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/21/13, The Book of Zohar — Introduction, “The Donkey Driver

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