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Baal HaSulam, Letter 57: There is no happier situation in man’s world than when he finds himself despaired with his own strength. That is, he has already labored and done all that he could possibly imagine he could do, but found no remedy. It is then that he is fit for wholehearted prayer for His help because he knows for certain that his own work will not help him.
It says here about the decisive factor without which we will not succeed. Before I come to the group and, being integrated in the friends, through whom I will draw the Light that Reforms, I need preliminary correction that is also realized by the Light.
Thus, its influence on me is divided into several stages:
Question: How can we attract the Light that Reforms?
Answer: It comes in response to the efforts that you make in order to enter a spiritual state. And this is already a solution: You are required to perform actions, which you are capable of, and the Light will bring you back to the source.
Even if you do not feel much for unity; however, you still follow the advice of Kabbalists and work in the group although your heart tends to something else. Moreover, even if you are in descent and the friends seem repulsive to you, if you nonetheless remain among them, the Light affects you. This force “works” in any of your states, no matter how they are manifested: “mechanically,” physically or internally—no matter what they affect—spirit, nerves, etc. The main thing is that you, at least a bit, strive for bestowal, unity, and self-nullification, despite your own resistance.
Some come to the group, as they say “on autopilot,” some fall asleep in class, and the Light that Reforms still acts. Even if a person dragged himself almost on all fours, but he apply efforts, the Light responds.
Question: How can I know that it responds?
Answer: So far, you can only believe the Kabbalists. In the same way, a kid believes his mother who tells him what to do. In life, you first need to listen to the adults and then the results are seen. We learn from schoolteachers and university professors, initially believing their words. So, I also believe people who are wiser than me and I gain their wisdom in order to verify its truth later.
Otherwise, it is impossible: We need guidance, instructions, on every stage of development. The wisdom of Kabbalah is no exception. It turns out that you come to study in its standard format, the same as at college or anywhere else. There is nothing “supernatural” here. The tips that you get are achievable. They can be realized; all you need is a spark, an inner urge—and everything is open before you.
We are always seeking where to extract the maximum benefit with minimum investment. Here we act egoistically; you are not required to be better than you are. So, it is possible, and everyone is capable of this.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/13, Preparation to St. Petersburg Convention, “Principles for Building a Better Environment,” Lesson 4
Question: Is it necessary in the remaining days before the convention to focus on the thought that it is forbidden to ask for oneself because then you damage your soul or to come there to raise our collective prayer?.
Answer: Before the convention it is necessary to focus on the thought that a prayer can be only collective, as well as on the simple principle that we will eat there what we have prepared for the convention. As it is said, “One who did not toil on the eve of Shabbat (the Sabbath), what will he eat on Shabbat?”
You should not place your hopes on me—not a single percent! It all depends only on your vessel, your desire.
Question: Do I have to imagine now how I am connected with the friends there?
Answer: Start doing it right now, why wait for the beginning of the convention! Preparation does not mean that you are ready to cry out there, but that you are crying right now and that during this cry you are better discerning your desires. If you leave this for tomorrow, what will happen to you today? We should aspire to unity right now!
Preparation for the convention means that you are already now with all your strength striving to unite all our desires, vessels. Then, you will arrive at the convention more consciously and will ascertain the desires. And if so, then why do we need to start thinking about this today, a month in advance? We would have thought it over in advance, and that is enough.
The task is not to wait for the desired moment, counting down the remaining days on the calendar. Preparation is that at every moment, the entire time before the convention, every day, to advance in unification, understanding, feeling, care, inspiring the friends more and be inspired by them. Tension is building and building inside you with each day so you will come to the convention and explode there! Or maybe we will achieve everything what we desire on the way.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/8/13, The Zohar
Question: In The Book of Zohar, “The Night of the Bride,” we read about how the bride (Divinity) decorates herself before the meeting with the groom (The Creator). What jewels have we prepared for ourselves in the group in order to decorate ourselves before the coming convention?
Answer: The bride’s decoration is the wedding crown, Keter. It is the upper Sefira that has nothing to do with the other Sefirot, and is actually their source. The term Keter (crown) means bestowal and it has no concrete form and no attributes. This is all that we should know about bestowal, and everything else are expressions of the Sefira of Keter that Malchut receives.
A crown is bestowal without a definite form. It is actually what we should yearn for, as it says: “a crown on the righteous’ head.” A righteous is the Sefira of Yesod (basis), that connects the other Sefirot in it. If we want to connect, we feel the need for a crown on the righteous’ head, on his thoughts, his desires, and his plans. This is where the the crown should be and where it is.
A righteous, the Sefira of Yesod is the place of coupling with the Light. After the second restriction there is no room for coupling in Malchut itself, but only in Yesod. (This is because the children of Israel didn’t want the coupling in the Sefira of Yesod, in Joseph, and so they went down to Egypt). The righteous are those who gather in them all the discernments that they can work with, except for Malchut. All these discernments connect in Yesod. Malchut that ascends to Bina is called Yesod.
All our work is to be incorporated in every way possible in the group, with all our heart. Before the convention I prepare to totally annul myself, which means to feel that my motions are together with everyone else, with all the thoughts and the desires.
I should remember that I cannot turn to the Creator with a personal prayer! A person who raises a personal prayer destroys his soul. He actually destroys everything even if he wants to bring contentment to the Creator. So the incorporation in the group precedes every other action. This is called Yesod since it is the basis for the work and because it is the Sefira of Yesod that we work with instead of Malchut.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/08/13, The Zohar
Answer: In every moment of my life, I need to assess my state not by how it is perceived in my senses, but to think how the Creator acts within me, as the hand inside a glove or a puppet. This would mean that I connect myself with the Creator, the slave with the master, and want to reveal the force that acts in the slave. This upper force is the Creator.
I strive to reveal Him not from idle curiosity, as a researcher, and not out of greed, as a thief. I want to make sure that He acts in everything for my benefit. And if I think that something is not so, then I have to correct my attitude there. Thus, I come to adhesion with Him.
We need to be constantly inside the two principles simultaneously, “No one will help me but myself” and “There is none else besides Him.” I perform all the actions, and there is none else besides Him who is inside me. His controlling hand moves me from within and directs in everything.
But at the same time, while I obey Him in everything, I am like a horse that is as one with the rider, performing my work myself. I have many questions, thoughts, and doubts that toss me from side to side, but we with the Creator, I have to reach the state when we do not interfere with each other. He will manage me with His hand the way He pleases, and I will feel myself completely free as if He does not control me.
We find it hard to understand how this split is possible, but there is no distance between these two concepts. Hence you should understand what unity means. I act 100 percent on my own, and the Creator acts 100 percent on me, and at the same time, we do not interfere with each other and participate together in every action, ideally synchronized. This is called adhesion.
I am not giving up my senses and mind, but use them fully, all my critical judgment. I do not cancel myself so that the Creator does with me whatever He wants. Only then it is called adhering face to face.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/8/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
He who fatally strikes a man shall surely be put to death. If he did not do it by design, but it came about by an act of God, I will assign you a place to which he can flee. (The Torah, “Exodus,” 21:12-21:13)
Question: There is a great debate on the corporeal level with regard to killing a man and as to whether to sentence the one convicted of killing to death or not. Every state has its own laws. There are states that have a death penalty and there are states that don’t. The Torah says plainly, “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.”
Answer: On the corporeal level you must first prove that a crime was committed intentionally, whether it was a premeditated murder and whether there is evidence that a person actually died of a certain blow, etc. Perhaps there was room for such cases in ancient times since it is an indication of the moral level of a society and that, in principle, shouldn’t happen and cannot be.
There were no such cases in which a person was forced to kill someone and as a result both the murderer and the victim had to be sentenced to death. In this case, there has to be such a big egoistic desire of the two sides so that the Creator should arrange this for them, and as a result they would both be put to death. If there was a death sentence once every seventy years, it was considered a horrible thing.
In spiritual terms, in our inner replica, it means that one desire nullifies another desire since they cannot coexist in their current form and complement one another in a spiritual act. Therefore they should both die.
One desire kills the other desire, nullifies it, and also disappears, and there seems to be a destruction of the two. Nothing disappears just like that. The mutual nullification of the two desires is making room, since they cannot coexist being so opposite from one another. On the next level they are born in the form of one unified desire and they grow together. This is a correction. We should understand that every action is an act of correction. It is not bad in any way as we perceive it egoistically. If on the corporeal level one person kills another by chance (as we perceive it egoistically), a certain action takes place and he is punished accordingly.
On the spiritual level, however, it refers to two opposite desires between which there cannot be a middle line and so they have to mutually nullify themselves. But this nullification is the beginning of the next level, of the middle line, and it grows from there.
These two desires are inside me so that I cannot destroy one without destroying the other. I want to kill the egoistic desire inside me and I do that with the help of the altruistic desire, which also disappears in this desire since it cannot exist if it isn’t compatible with the egoistic desire; the plus doesn’t exist without the minus.
There is an altruistic desire in contrast to every egoistic desire and the movement towards the middle line that is between them is always in such pairs. But it is impossible to connect in the middle line itself in this state, and so they destroy one another and turn into a vacuum that the next level stems from. This vacuum is physical; it is a physical state, a size, an object.
Question: Are you for or against a death penalty in the corporeal world?
Answer: I believe that we can correct the world: everyone! By the way, this is the law the Torah speaks about. If you can correct a certain desire then under no circumstances should you kill it. Death, murder, including our death is one of the actions of correction.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/11/13
The Torah is only about the correction of the desires. Slavery is when one desire belongs to another stronger desire that can correct it. So in ancient times people lived a collective, social life.
“My daughter” is the desires that I discover but which I cannot correct by myself. I cannot marry my daughter; I cannot give birth to the next levels of my offspring. So by developing my desires, I don’t connect to the desires called “daughter” as a father, I don’t come to her with my Masach (screen), since another Masach has to control her, another desire. This means that she belongs to another. I sell her so that she will belong to someone else.
Therefore it says that “she shall not go out as the menservants do,” since the female desire should belong only to Bina where it is.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/11/13
When everyone annuls his ego and tries to connect to the others, it means that everyone is trying to be incorporated in one another. Of course, we discover on the way that it is impossible to be incorporated and attain connection by ourselves, and then a prayer is born in us.
Everyone must reach a certain degree of bestowal upon others and be incorporated in them, but eventually, everyone must reach the level of “Jacob” that is called the middle line. Thanks to our collective efforts, we attain our root, the network that connects us all. This is called wanting to bestow upon Malchut from Yesod.
When we reach this state, we raise MAN, a prayer, so that the Surrounding Light will connect us correctly. Then, under the influence of Yesod on Malchut, we attain Keter, and then the Creator is revealed in our vessels.
In this process, we connect into one Sefira of Yesod from all the different Sefirot that represent each of us as everyone annuls himself. Through the general annulment, we reach Malchut and bestow upon it, and by that become a vessel for receiving the Light of Keter, which means that we reach the attainment of the level of Keter.
This process includes all of reality until the end of correction, but our mission now is for each of us to try to ascend above himself and be incorporated in others. By that, we are incorporated in the collective effort. This should be our preparation now before the convention. In this collective effort, we discover the prayer of many in which everyone is aware, understands, and feels the effort of the friends who want to connect, and I want to help them.
I feel what a great desire they have to connect in order to bestow upon the Creator. Therefore, as it is written, “For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say: ‘Peace be within thee.’” This means that I ask for the friends so that they will reach the corrected vessel in which they will be able to bestow upon the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/04/13, Writings of Rabash
Even if we know that there is only one force that acts in our lives, in spite of all this, if we see something we don’t like, experiencing something undesirable, we immediately forget that our vision, our thoughts, our desires, and our emotions are managed and shaped by the Creator. On the contrary, we think we are independent.
Some feeling, action, or thought that is exceptional and does not meet my expectations is sufficient for me to no longer be ready to link the event to the Creator. I can maintain the connection with Him only if I think well of Him, and conversely, the moment that I think ill of Him, this separates us; so I think about another force and attribute this to other people, to myself, to nature, but not to the one and only Source.
However, later I again return to thinking about the only power that acts within everything. This is how we learn to connect all states and everything to the Creator. He awakens various unpleasant states within us so that, despite or above the separation, we connect ourselves to Him so that we will not be dependent on our feelings, our understanding, but will want to connect to His emotion and power.
A person has no other correction, but to attribute all moments through which he now passes and in the future directly to the Creator. In this way, he justifies the creation because all worlds and all times were created only to give form within him to a feeling of the Creator. Everything is designed only to direct us toward discovery of the Creator.
We suppose that the present reality conceals the Creator from us. However, this is not so, for if we relate correctly to all that is happening, instead of a reality that conceals, we see a reality that reveals. Everything depends specifically on our relationship to this. It is precisely through the help of the powers of repulsion that we can advance.
Accordingly, the wisdom of Kabbalah divides people into the “wicked” and the “righteous.” Wherever the wicked one rejects, there the righteous one advances because he wants to justify that everything that happens to him is done for his advancement.
The main goal of a person is to reach the feeling of the reality of the Creator who fills everything, the single force that acts in the whole system, in the entire reality. It is up to a person to invest all his energy in this without involvement in anything else, without being confused by other goals.
To feel the Creator means to acquire the force of bestowal. So, it is not worthwhile to think about anything else because the reward for all of our efforts throughout life is that at every moment in this reality we will be privileged to be with the power of bestowal through which we begin to understand and feel the Creator. We see Him as the bestower.
In order for a person to approach this question correctly, he doesn’t exist alone. Instead, he is found within the framework of social systems that will help him. It is no accident that, throughout history, people gathered in villages, cities, and nations; and today are mixed in certain social units.
However, there exists one type of connection that we must build artificially. Unlike the other forms, it is not derived from the natural evolutionary process, yet without it, advancement is impossible. This is speaking of a unique society or group that, specifically within it, we need to see the changes through which we pass on the way to the Creator.
In addition to this, Rabash writes that, even though I see the faces of people around me, I must believe that, behind them, stands the Creator who does all these actions, compelling them to do what I am seeing. Someone smiles, cries, screams at me or laughs at me; it is not important. It is up to me to see the Creator in all this, presenting Himself to me in this form. In normal life, through the environment, I must penetrate through them to the source that runs them.
The Creator does everything, writes Rabash, but the person judges according to what his eyes see, according to behavior, according to faces, according to the laws of nature, and so on, and not according to his belief.
Being among billions of people, I must understand that everything that is happening, from the world news to the smallest events around me, are a presentation of the Creator toward me. That is what I need to understand and accept, to try to discover the good will behind the “curtains,” to bring me closer to Him, to discover Him in spite of all this “theater.”
Rabash continues and says that someone who sees the face of his friend is, in fact, seeing the Creator. Outside his body, only the Creator exists. So, accordingly, the person is a true created being.
Specifically, I am the created being and everything else is a part of the Creator who wants me to feel detached from His reality through this. However, besides me, only He fills everything. In this form, I see before me the Creator, the upper Light, and all the forms that He receives are drawn by my ego, dividing Him into parts with various shapes and sizes. In the end, they portray before me the various parts of nature: the still, the vegetative, the animate, or humans.
Other than this, the Creator fills everything, and, therefore, if I am lying to a friend, I am lying to the Creator. If I hurt a friend, I hurt the Creator. If I relate to the friends substantively, I can advance quickly to a correct comprehension. The entire world will be seen by me as whole, perfect and subject to the one higher guidance, that everything is directed toward bringing me to the Root.
If it is so, then there aren’t really any other people in the entire reality. There is only me and the Creator. All the other components act in the capacity of a transition link, a “buffer,” an adapter between us.
Therefore, Baal HaSulam writes that, before every action, I must say to myself that I am acting independently and success depends on me, and after the deed, I must realize and account for what happened. I must try to understand that everything was constructed from the start by the Creator. The result was known from the start. Therefore, it is up to me to accept everything wholeheartedly, for it was established this way from the start.
However, it is forbidden to declare that everything was known from the start and that there is no need to do anything. If we accept the conduct of the Creator without carrying out actions only because it is possible to attribute them to Him, then we don’t change. So, we see the same result in a different form, for if I am not changed, I sit with my hands folded or do something without connection to my independence and follow the “redirect” of the Creator, following, then I advance through suffering and blows.
However, if on the background of the conduct of the Creator, I dedicate time to acting on my own, and after that, I bring all that back to the “supreme authority,” to the Creator, if I act in order to equalize my participation to His participation, then in this way, I am changed. In a leap, I raise myself to a new level by the way of “I will hasten it.”
This is the entire difference. The world endures much suffering because it wants to change something on its own. The change is necessary, but the other half is lacking, and this is what we want to explain to humanity.
From the Convention in New Jersey 5/11/13, Lesson 3