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Question: Does it make sense to add new groups interested in integral education to a group that already includes five couples and has gone through a few integral trainings?
Answer: This is a delicate question. When people are in contact with one another, they internally tune to the common harmony. It is just like in a musical instrument where there is a big difference between the sound of each individual string and the common accord.
Therefore, I don’t know whether we can join such groups together. Their development and taste must be the same type. You certainly can try to introduce one couple into a group, and then another couple after some time. However, you should not break a group and mix it among others. Otherwise, people will leave. It will be like a breakage for them.
It is better to form a multitude of small groups and later on, organize a picnic for everyone in completely different conditions. It should not be in the same center, but rather in a park so that people could break all conventions and habits. Then, you will be able to create something new and different. They will feel, within this, very useful, new phenomena and additions, instead of digging into their relationships. A lot of feelings and solutions that were new and unknown until this time will appear in this area.
From the Talk about Integral Upbringing 4/4/13
Question: If, let’s say, an integral group includes five married couples, would it make a woman’s spiritual fulfillment stronger? Does she receive this fulfillment from her husband or from other men as well?
Answer: In a group, couples are learning only how to perceive one another correctly. Other married couples are like examples that give me different variations of relationships. This way, I grasp at once quite a few different problems, solutions, approaches, and so on. I become more bendable, soft, and flexible. For example, a wagon wheel can be made of wood or iron, and there is rubber. A wheel made of rubber does not break. I need precisely such softness that I acquire when I see others and observe their relationships.
I learn to be not only with myself. Inclusion into the integral society allows me to be prepared for everything that can only exist in the world.
From the Talk about Integral Upbringing 4/4/13
In the News (from Reuters): “Angela Merkel’s summit on youth unemployment in Europe is an attempt to paper over the economic consequences of the austerity policies she championed in the region, a leading member of Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) said on Tuesday.
“With unemployment in the euro zone at a record high above 12 percent, Merkel will gather the leaders and labor ministers of more than 20 EU nations in Berlin from about 2 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m. EDT) on Wednesday.
“The stated aim is to agree efficient ways to spend the 6 billion euros ($7.82 billion) EU leaders have allocated to fight youth unemployment in 2014 and 2015, as part of a new ‘Youth Guarantee’ to provide jobs, training and apprenticeships.
“In recent months, as unemployment in southern Europe has soared, Merkel has adjusted her rhetoric, emphasizing the need for growth and jobs.”
My Comment: If these funds were directed at establishing a network of integral education courses, we would see changes in people and their lives within the first month of studies. Otherwise, it will be the usual European budget “cutting.”
Shamati #225, “Raising Oneself”: One cannot raise oneself above one’s circle. Hence, one must suck from one’s environment. And one has no other counsel, except through much work and Torah. Therefore, if one chooses for oneself a good environment, one saves time and efforts, since one is drawn according to one’s environment.
This is in the power of man: Either he gives himself to the power of the environment or nature, the Creator, rules over him. It’s one or the other.
Why am I called a man if I choose the power of the environment? It is because it is my choice that I make in spite of all the obstacles, in spite of my inner resistance, problems, and troubles. I determine who reigns in me.
Thus, I choose only the force that will act within me and I have no control over it. Either I am driven by the Creator, the individual force, or a good environment, the integral force, behind which He stands. And then, the integral force will become the head of the Partzuf that we depicted on the drawing as a “car.”
In fact, a person realizes nothing but this choice. If he chooses correctly, the group affects him, if he chooses incorrectly the “body” reigns over him, meaning the direct dictates of the Creator. One way or the other, the Creator acts in everything, either through the environment or personally.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/13, “Principles for Building a Better Environment”
Question: How can we prepare ourselves for the convention in St. Petersburg to a new state so it really comes? How do we prepare now, while there is still time?
Answer: The thing is there is no time. Preparation is the condition in which the main thing is to happen right now. Preparation means that I am acting just in this moment, and if I assign some future date or a future state for myself, it is only to spur my “donkey.”
Preparation is everything. And the results do not necessarily show up on the appointed day, they can come at any moment and even before. So let them come, let it happen sooner. Why do we need a convention if we can already reach the “first date,” the revelation of the Creator? Why should it happen on a fixed day? Let Him be revealed now and we will finish the current stage.
Are we going to St. Petersburg because the Creator lives there? No, if we are preparing properly, we want to get the desire now and we are not waiting for any date. What are we to do with the calendar and geography? Unity is what is most important. If I want to be a giver, there is no tomorrow, only now.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/8/13, “They Shall All Know Me from the Least of Them to the Greatest of Them”
Question: It is written “You shall love your friend as yourself.” Who is “your friend” for a person who has the point in the heart?
Answer: In general, we give the name of “your friend” to each person in the world who was a stranger to us and becomes close, your friend.
For a person with the point in the heart according to the hierarchy, “your friends” are those people who are with him on the path, friends in the group. We can be open with them, we can be involved in connection and unity, in mutual support, to realize the system of spiritual connection. We don’t find ourselves in this group by accident, we belong to one inner upper system, so we come together. Thus, first and foremost, we need to create between us conditions like “love for others.”
“Love for the other” is determined according to this: I begin to feel the desire of my friend, his needs above my own.
The concept, “Love your friend like yourself” means higher than yourself, much more than yourself. Today, I love myself more than the whole world. This means, also in regard to my friends, that I need to relate in this way, that they will be more important to me than anyone. It is acquiring the attribute of bestowal when I grasp their greatest desire—reaching the goal, revelation of the upper system—as my personal desire and help them in that. If, for me, the spirituality of my friends is higher than mine, then at that moment, I reach revelation.
We mean by love, not what is thought of usually as love in this world, but specifically helping those who are with us on the path so that they will reach their goal. Love is called filling the desire of the other.
From the Preparation for the Convention in Krasnoyarsk 6/13/13
Answer: All these conditions are for the 1%, not for the 99%:
1. Groups are divided into men’s and women’s parts and isolated from each other. Due to man’s weaknesses, women distract men from the goal. It is better for the men to spend all three days together. You need to prepare everything in advance. Usually, the men gather at their center. Their older sons from the age of 13 who have gone through the preparation can be with them.
2. Women can gather in homes or in a separate room in the center; they can come and go (women are freed from the actions that depend on time).
3. Don’t invite strangers and even former students who have not participated in the preparation for this convention. We have studied that preparation is most important!
4. Those who are engaged in the preparation should feel what it means to be in a collective intention and what factors may become a hindrance to success, which we all hope for.
Good luck to us all,
Dr. Michael Laitman
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 4: The Creator Himself puts one’s hand on the good fate by giving him a life of pleasure and contentment within the corporeal life that is filled with torment and pain, and devoid of any content. […] there is no greater placement of one’s hand by Him than this.
And one’s choice refers only to the strengthening. This is because there is certainly a great effort and exertion here before one purifies one’s body to be able to keep the Torah and commandments correctly, not for his own pleasure, but to bring contentment to his Maker, which is called Lishma (for Her Name). Only in this manner is one endowed with a life of happiness and pleasantness that come with keeping the Torah.
However, before one comes to that purification, there is certainly a choice to strengthen in the good way by all sorts of means and tactics. Also, one should do whatever his hand finds the strength to do until he completes the work of purification and will not fall under his burden midway.
How can we understand this? In fact, these words paint a terrible picture: The Creator holds me “by the ears” or “by the shoulders” and directs my every step through pleasures or suffering, that is, He can do with me whatever He pleases. And besides that, there is something in which I have to “strengthen” myself above that which He sends me.
As a result, I have no choice in everyday life because I am relentlessly driven by pleasure and suffering. My nature automatically obeys their dictates, and there is nothing I can do about this. Some mechanism in me always turns my face towards pleasure and my back towards suffering. The “car” can only dodge evil and turn towards good.
In what can I strengthen then? How can I gain power over the “body”? How can I resist the “orders” of the Creator Who directs me from above on the “animate” degree? Is this possible?
The fact is that apart from the will of the Creator, there is another factor that I can use: the influence of the environment. Thus, I go against the Creator, against His nature, obtain something above the “animate” degree, and become something greater.
Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”: Therefore, he who strives to continually choose a better environment is worthy of praise and reward. But here, too, it is not because of his good thoughts and deeds, which come to him without his choice, but because of his effort to acquire a good environment, which brings him these good thoughts and deeds.
Hence it is clear that we have freedom to build, above the “animate” level, the human degree—the human being, who will saddle an “animal” and will manage his nature. To do this, a person will also use two forces, but they will be different: Now he will define good and evil by means of a good environment that fulfills him.
Thus, the Creator controls a person at the level of “reason,” but self-management is realized “above reason.”