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Answer: We will never know the next state even when we are already on spiritual degrees. Let’s say you are on the 80th rung of the ladder. This is a wonderful degree, believe me. But before you get up to this degree with the previous one, you are in a state a million times worse than it is now.
You have no desire, no interest, you do not hear a single word of what we are talking about now during the lesson, you are sitting just like a piece of wood, even worse, like an impenetrable rock. You cannot think at all about spirituality, you cannot even remember when it happened to you, where and how. What is the spiritual world anyway? You cannot recall a single feeling, any word from there.
Instead of this, you are overcome by the most primitive thoughts: What is in my belly, in my bank account, in the fridge. You are turning into a real animal. How can you get out of this state to rise to the 81st degree? Only through very gradual and difficult movements.
No one from above will give you energy, the importance of the goal, so your eyes will open wide and sparkle. On the contrary, you are totally deprived of the spirit of life. You will fall into egoism, will hate the friends. Now, you start getting out of this inner state if you even remember what it is about. They talk and you do not even hear. It is not that you are “for” or “against,” you just do not react, it’s as if you are made of stone.
It is written about this, “Everything in your power, that do.” The greater a person is, the more egoism he has. Therefore, he experiences a terrible burdening of the heart that leaves him no opportunity to do anything. Now, you do not depend on anyone: You have neither a good nor bad connection with the friends. And then you will fall together because of your connection and the fall will also be global, of the group.
What can you do? Take advantage of the mind? But there is no mind; you have turned into a stone. Playing artificially does not work either. Bow to the environment? But you have nowhere to bow; you have already fallen so low and you cannot fall from the floor. Turning to the group? But you do not see it in front of you. What can help you? Only a prior preparation! If you have approached a spiritual state without the necessary preparation, you have no chance to advance.
And if you still were not able to prepare, the only thing that helps you in this situation is a daily schedule. If you are accustomed to a particular routine, a habit becomes a second nature. You need to use it and make it a habit as much as possible because a habit enters your nature, and if you feel that you are even dead, habits revive you. You must get up for the lesson because your body is used to waking up at this hour. You must perform certain habitual actions. It does not refer to the soul, the body got used to the physical activities that you do at the same time and under the same conditions.
Therefore, it is very important for a person to accustom himself to a daily schedule. Nothing will help but habits. Since I have included in my nature habits related to spirituality, then now, when I am doing these physical habitual actions, they remind me of spirituality. I developed them in myself because of the spiritual goal, and now when I have to abide by them in the physical form, they bring me back to a spiritual state.
From the Talk About the Preparation for the Convention in St. Petersburg 6/26/13
Question: Why do we need a timetable that we are accustomed to? After all, it isn’t so good when the work becomes a habit and doesn’t require any efforts.
Answer: Of course a habit frees us of making an effort, but it saves us when we fall and puts us back on track. Then we continue to make efforts in order to acquire the next level.
I move in a form of a minus and during a descent I reach the lowest point in which I lose everything, it’s the zero point, zero life. I cannot exit it by my own powers. In mechanics the movement continues thanks to the force of acceleration and in electronics we use capacitors, conduction coils, by which we accumulate energy that we can use later.
When I descend during the work, I charge a certain capacitor, and when it’s charged I can use it and ascend. There are such cars today that operate on both fuel and electricity. When I drive on fuel, I fill a battery, and then I can use it and drive without fuel.
So when I descend, I have to make sure in advance that I will be able to exit the lowest point. If I don’t prepare myself, I will be stuck there and that’s it. I will have no power to continue my advancement. We prepare ourselves in different ways in order to exit this state, we prepare in the group, but eventually we don’t see that anything helps since I am totally dead and don’t respond to anything and don’t see or hear anything.
In that case only the habit that has become a second nature helps me. I have prepared it in advance, like a capacitor that was charged. This habit is already imprinted in me and is part of my nature and by it I can rise from the descent and carry on.
From the Talk About the Preparation for the Convention in St. Petersburg 6/26/13
Everything in the world is made of two attributes: receiving and bestowal. It’s like fire and water, plus and minus, the North pole and the South pole, etc. These two polar states are the two attributes of nature which operate on matter and there is nothing else but these two attributes.
Matter is a desire to enjoy, to receive, to be filled. It’s the natural basis of matter. Every atom, for example, wants to preserve its form: A big atom wants to keep its form and weight in the periodic table, with the number of particles in its nucleus, etc.
Since everything is made of plus and minus, the plus and the minus have to be separated by some adaptor, like an engine that they are connected to and make work. What’s more, it has to be a beneficial charge. If it’s a harmful charge, like in an atom bomb, it leads to a collision and mutual destruction, as we sometimes say, a short circuit. When the two opposite attributes meet a great amount of energy is released since it’s directed outwards and not towards mutuality.
Every level of power, every attribute a person has, has its level of adaptation, which means the right resistance that can be between the plus and the minus. If the plus and the minus are small, the resistance can be small, and if the plus and the minus are big, the resistance has to be big too since otherwise there will be a “short circuit.”
All of a person’s desires to receive are graded with regard to the attribute of bestowal: the root level, phase one, two, three, and four, which means the five levels of Aviut (thickness). Accordingly, there are five levels of tension or five levels of the upper Light (bestowal) and the resistance between them.
The Torah tells us how they are graded. If I am in this state when I am opposite the Creator, which means that the attribute of receiving is opposite the attribute of bestowal, then the attribute of “Moses” in me can be one level below the Creator, which means standing next to Him, “face to face.”
The more tangible, thick, coarse levels should accordingly be removed. Therefore it says that Moses is closest to the Creator, then Aaron, the Levites, the men, the women, the elderly and the children. Then there are different herds, etc. This means that they are in a form of pyramid, or in circles around Mt. Sinai, “around” is the contact point with the upper attribute.
Why does it say “around the mountain” and not in a straight line? Because they have not acquired a Masach (screen) yet; they don’t have the line, and everything is still managed in circles.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/4/13
Fear is a very good attribute. A person understands that he cannot get closer to the Creator and is very careful of that. It’s like a person who has been released from prison and who knows that stealing is bad and thus makes sure he is two streets away from the bank. He knows what distance he has to keep in order to stay away from the temptation to steal. This is what it says here, since a person doesn’t have a Masach (screen), any protection yet.
So fear is essential and it’s the right thing. However in spirituality it’s called “awe.” Awe is the fear of disrupting the equivalence of form with the Creator. It’s not fear of punishment, there is no punishment! The disruption itself is the punishment without any implications. The only implication is the disruption. This means that a person has to be on such a moral level that being away from the Creator from the attribute of bestowal is the greatest punishment for him. So awe is the parameter for this feeling.
Question: You used to heal people’s fears. You have a table of about 800 different types of fears. Why do we think that fear is an illness?
Answer: I used to heal inner psychological states. On the spiritual level fear is a result of imbalance between the attribute of bestowal and the attribute of receiving. It’s the same root in every person but on a lower level. The study is in order to attain balance and then the fear disappears.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine simply represses fear by medicines. You see less and then you sleep better. Here, however, you don’t put a person to sleep but rather balance him.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/4/13
The Torah, “Exodus, Jethro” 20:16: And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.
Question: What does it mean “seeing the thunderings?”
Answer: We perceive everything through the attribute of Bina. Bina is hearing and so we perceive the sounds by hearing. But when there is also the Light of Hochma in the attribute of Bina, the Light of life, sight appears in it, revelation to the eye.
Some prophets say “I have heard,” and others say “I have seen.” These are already prophets that draw the Light of life and are closer to the Creator. So the revelation of the Creator is the uppermost level, not only hearing but seeing. These are two levels of understanding, yet it doesn’t refer to corporeal seeing but to inner insight.
Question: It seems that the radio and television were also discovered according to these states.
Answer: First we discovered the lowest level of connection, by hearing through a cord, and then through electricity that runs in electric wires, and then through radio waves. But it took a long time until we discovered television; now seeing replaces reading and hearing and every other means. We receive most of the information in our world, 90% and more, by seeing, and it’s the same in spirituality since the Light of Hassadim, (the Light of Bina) is merely the infrastructure for the Light of Hochma.
The Creator is the Light of Hochma, and the Light of Hassadim dresses only on the Light of Hochma. To the extent that the created being wants to resemble Him, he receives the Light of Hassadim. This means that we prepare the vessel and the Light enters it.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/4/13
Rabash, Letter 40: Each gift….that he gives to his friend is like a bullet that makes a hollow in the stone. And although the first bullet only scratches the stone, when the second bullet hits the same place, it already makes a notch, and the third one makes a dent.
And through the bullets that he shoots repeatedly, the dent becomes a hollow in his friend’s heart of stone, where all the presents gather. And each gift becomes a spark of love until all the sparks of love accumulate in the hollow of the stony heart and become a flame.
The difference between a spark and a flame is that where there is love, there is open disclosure, meaning a disclosure to all the peoples that the fire of love is burning in him. And the fire of love burns all the transgressions one meets along the way.
Question: They say that love is acquired through good deeds. When a person gives a gift to his friend, every gift is like an arrow that strikes the heart of the other and makes a hole in it. Ultimately, arrow after arrow, the wall in the heart of the other is breached and emotional unity is created between them. What is meant by “gifts” in relationships between partners? Is this a ring that is bought at a store or something else?
Answer: First of all, before buying the ring it’s necessary to check if this will really make the woman happy. Or maybe she needs new shoes or maybe instead of a ring or new shoes she would prefer to go out with you on vacation for a few days?
The meaning of a “gift” is that first you check to see if she needs it. I would close all the gift stores because they are full of absolutely superfluous things that nobody needs. On the contrary, it’s necessary to check what the woman wants and to bring her something which is exactly according to her desire and then this is called a gift.
The gift doesn’t have to be material; the main thing is to fulfill the desire of the partner. Even a nice relationship is acceptable as a gift if it comes from love that doesn’t require compensation. Through a relationship like this I don’t demand anything from the partner in exchange since I enjoy the activity and I don’t expect compensation in exchange. On the contrary, I am thankful to him for the opportunity to give him a gift, which is pleasure for me.
I see how much my wife enjoys buying a gift for a grandchild for his birthday. She should thank him for having a birthday for it was a pleasure for her to look for a gift for him and to think of what exactly to buy that he would like. This is an example of a gift coming from love.
It’s the same thing regarding relationships between partners. I need to be integrated into the desires of my partner and to imagine what would make her most happy. And after this I go and carry this out with the goal of fulfilling her desire. And in no way or manner do I need to expect any compensation in exchange for the gift, for here an inner estimation is made without any personal benefit.
For if I require a payoff in exchange for my gift, this is no longer a gift; rather it’s just a business transaction. A gift is made completely from non-egoistic motives rather, only from love. My partner doesn’t owe me anything in return on the contrary, this was a pleasure for me.
When we talked about mutual concessions, then there it was the opposite; I made a concession and required an action in response to this from the partner. But a gift is above all this.
With the help of the right use of gifts, we receive the opportunities to build good relations between us, to begin a “new life.” For by means of the gift, we convey our love towards the partner and through this we acquire him.
In real life sometimes the opposite happens, the gifts that we bring to the partner or to children destroy the relationships between us. But this is only because these gifts were not from absolute love but from an intention to bribe the woman as compensation for my behavior. In a circumstance like this it’s not a gift but compensation. When I promise my son a gift if he will finish the school year successfully, this is not called a gift either but simply a payoff.
I need to show my wife that I am bringing her a gift without any egoistic intent but only from love. It is said, “Someone who gives a gift to his friend must let him know.” That this gift is for no reason! For everything else there are reasons, and in this case there isn’t, therefore I must let him know. A gift like this without a reason awakens mutual love from the other side. This is not compensation, not a payoff, but needs some kind of response, reciprocity.
First of all it’s up to me to find out what my wife wants. And after I have checked this, I bring her a gift and tell her how long it took me to think about what would be best to buy and that I even saved the money for this purpose, how long I looked for exactly what she needs. That is, I double this gift because I thought about it a lot; I searched and wanted to fulfill her desires.
By satisfying her desire, I gave her fulfillment, because I love her absolutely without any calculation. I enjoyed bringing her a gift so much and am sorry that my effort has ended; I was so happy to search for a gift for her that would make her happy. This is what is called a gift.
As it is said, every gift is like an arrow that strikes the heart of the other and makes a hole in it. This is talking about strangers, about egoists who are found in a conflict. But if we are talking about partners, there it’s easier to melt the heart of the partner. Therefore it’s easier to begin to build relationships like these within the family and only after this in other places. In relationships between partners, they are not separated by strong impenetrable walls as there are between strangers. Therefore come, let’s start from the family!
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 8/1/12
Therefore the student is committed to strengthen his faith in the Creator before the study, which means that he is headed towards bestowal. He must be sure that he has done everything possible to prepare corporeally since he has the environment that the Creator has arranged for him.
The Creator has brought a person to the environment and now he has to strengthen himself in it and to establish the right relations with the friends. Accordingly, he will at least have the powers to perform corporeal actions and this is already enough to evoke the influence of the Surrounding Lights. Thus, he begins to fulfill himself correctly.
If a person has doubts about the reason that he studies and why he comes to the lessons and gets up in the morning, then by setting for himself the goal to acquire the Light of faith during the day, which means the force of bestowal, there is no greater Mitzvah (commandment) he can perform. It already includes everything and there is nothing else we can acquire during our whole lifetime. This is the purpose we were created for, this is why we exist in this world, and our whole life revolves only around it.
Everything is ready and waiting for us and so the preparation for the study is an essential precondition in order to receive everything that has been prepared for us. We have reached a stage in which we have to pay attention and to focus all our powers, our thoughts, and our persistence on this one thing; we have to see that we are united around this one goal understanding that the preparation for the study and the preparation of every action we make is actually what determines its quality and its height, which means whether it will have a positive or negative impact, whether it will be good or bad for us.
We may perform an action that seems good from a corporeal point of view, but if it’s accompanied with the wrong intention, the quality of the actions will be the opposite. We know that before the destruction of the Temple, the position of the great priest was sold for money. Did the great priest do something wrong in the corporeal sense during the Yom Kippur ritual? He did everything correctly but his intention was to receive respect, fame, and wealth in return and so he entered the Holy of Holies and died.
This means that everything stems only from the intention. We are ready and can work on it consciously together in a special united manner so that it will be the main issue and goal every moment in our life. We should use every moment correctly!
We have already reached this point and especially now when we are before the convention in St. Petersburg, all our actions to get there should be with the right intention. It’s very important, it’s the guarantee for our success.
So like Baal HaSulam says: The student is committed to strengthen his fate in the Creator before the study. This means that we are committed to strengthen our yearning only for the force of mutual bestowal in every action in our life. And it makes no difference if during the day we have to do our basic daily chores that are not directly related to attaining the goal, to attaining the spiritual force, since that’s the way our life is arranged. These actions, which are very far from the goal must also be done with the right intention, since after all, we do them in order to reach the desired state. Every action should be done only in order to attain the force of bestowal, in order to exit the current desire and to acquire a new desire.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/23/13, Talmud Eser Sefirot
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155: Therefore we must ask, why then, did the Kabbalists obligate each person to study the wisdom of Kabbalah? Indeed, there is a great thing in it, worthy of being publicized: There is a wonderful, invaluable remedy to those who engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.
Many ask why we should study. Not everyone is attracted to the study and most people don’t even like to study. It’s especially difficult when you have to study the same thing every day not seeing the spiritual world before you, not feeling this material. All this is true but we study in order to draw the Surrounding Light upon ourselves.
It’s the only means that has been prepared for us by the sages in the time of the Talmud, who gave us the power of the Torah instead of sufferings so that we will be able to correct our ego, the evil inclination. Thanks to this we gradually weaken the powers of our ego, time and time again, through ascents and descents, by discovering additional layers each time and neutralizing its powers.
Thus, we advance thanks to the right preparation until we correct a certain part of our nature which is ready to accept the Surrounding Light that already arrives as an inner Light, thanks to the Zivug de Haka’a (mating of beating) and the right intention, the Light spreads into the spiritual vessels. A vessel in the spiritual world is the intention of in order to bestow, the Light of Hassadim. Thus we already begin to receive the Light.
Kabbalists wrote books for one another, which means for people who understand the spiritual meaning and who can use these texts in order to draw the inner Light, so that they will discover the connection between the corrected souls of people who lived in different generations and in different periods and thereby bring more Light, the awakening to all the corrected desires. They also thought about us, about those who yearn to discover the upper Light in order to bestow but who cannot do so in the meantime because of lack of the right intention and organization. If a person can exert himself with the right, pure intention, and yearn to understand what he doesn’t understand at the moment, he evokes upon himself the influence of the Surrounding Light.
There is no need for the right intention and the right overcoming, the restrictions of the ego, a Masach (screen), and the Returning Light in order to bestow this way since the Surrounding Light responds to every slight awakening of a person to bestowal. So Kabbalists give us the advice to connect among ourselves first. We receive a shattered vessel and we first have to work on connecting it, on attaining mutual guarantee, self annulment, on being incorporated in one another, and on awakening, strengthening, and supporting one another without falling or escaping from this work that doesn’t seem to lead to any results.
To the extent that we perform the simplest physical actions we evoke upon ourselves the Surrounding Light. It’s because the spiritual worlds and the corporeal worlds do not exist separately, and there is only one reality. So we constantly evoke the Surrounding Light in every action that we do instinctively or on purpose whether it’s on the level of the animate for improving my health or on a higher level with an intention.
We live only thanks to the Surrounding Light. Even the worlds of the still, the vegetative, and the animate live thanks to the Surrounding Light, which automatically becomes the inner force of vitality that provides matter with the energy to exist. But a person lives only thanks to the Surrounding Light, which he evokes by his desires. So everything depends on the preparation.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/23/13
Question: Among my acquaintances who went through the war in Afghanistan, very clear memories of the war remain. There was death, blood, and mud there, and suddenly they have memories of these things. Is a class, a platoon, or a company a kind of Kabbalistic group in which they pass “crimson balls” among the friends?
Answer: Among people there are those who are connected with these kinds of relationships. It’s when they see that they don’t have anything to think about except their mutual salvation in common, when each sees he cannot save himself but is completely dependent on the others. So feeling each other, they have become in some way a form of a Kabbalistic group.
It doesn’t matter that they don’t know and don’t understand the spiritual method. Some kind of transformation happens here, a detachment from the ego which no longer has a place, and you understand it’s either you or someone else, it makes no difference if you are better than someone else. Those who experience extreme moments like these recognize the feeling of self-sacrifice that appears due to interdependence.
They experienced pleasure through rejection of the ego and therefore remember this kind of warmth from it. This kind of freedom, this kind of respite is impossible to feel in everyday life, we go back to it and it clicks with us again.
From the Conventions in Krasnoyarsk 6/16/13, Lesson 5