Audio Version Of The Blog – 08.27.13

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Moments Of Responsibility

Dr. Michael LaitmanEvil forces have no free will. It seems to us that some people or nations intentionally cause us suffering, having committed crimes in history. But all of this is a direct consequence of the system’s work, which in addition to the Creator has only one element able to influence the system—us, the ones who have the opportunity for independent work, free actions, thoughts, and intentions.

So, don’t blame anyone. The Creator is good and brings good, and the laws that He has established work in the world and cannot be transgressed. It turns out that in the whole system of worlds, in the entire universe, just we alone have the power to change something in reality.

We are in the vast ocean of Light, reason, wisdom, and the program of creation, like on a tiny raft. And we can influence this ocean so that we would feel confident in it, safe, and calm, but we can also cause a violent storm in this ocean. Everything depends on us!

All the other parts of creation, except us, do not change. The Light is in a state of absolute rest, and the vessel, desire, is completely dependent on the Light. And only we in the middle between them have freedom of choice. Therefore, apart from us, no one can change anything because they fully obey the higher management. It is the system through which the Creator influences us in order to straighten our paths and bring us closer to Himself.

It is said that “Pharaoh brought the children of Israel closer to the Creator.” Each sacrifice (Kurban) brings closer (Karov) to Him, and it depends only on how we use our own free choice.

So, we cannot wait and waste a moment; we are obliged to do our work as much as possible. In reality nothing will change, except what we change by our own efforts.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/20/13, Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Updating The Action Of Creation Every Day

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we hold on to the group if we get a new form, a new burdening of the heart, and it is difficult to justify the Creator?

Answer: Anyone who is included in the group, from time to time gets new forms, passes through ups and downs. And between them, he passes a breakpoint on the top of the wave crest and on the lower, the point of rupture, breaking. It is possible to stay in such conditions only if you are connected with some kind of support that will hold you. If you have nothing remaining of the old form and you have no new form, but only one Reshimo, then you are as if suspended in the air.

There are several such moments in the states of ascent and descent, when a person loses any orientation, completely breaking away from the old form. It’s like he begins his life anew, from a drop of semen, he starts from the state that he has nothing, from “nothing” (Ayin) because our material is being updated, “emerging out of nothing” (Yesh mi-Ain).

The Reshimo is a pure information gene, without any material. When the material, emerging out of nothing is updated, you seemingly go through an energy barrier. As if you come with your material to a wall, run into it, but only the Reshimo, energy, can pass through that wall. And behind the wall, the Reshimo acquires material again—up to the next wall. Only some information passes through another wall, and so you advance.

When you turn into an information gene, it is no longer you, but the very Reshimo that “emerged from nothing,” created by the Creator in the original act of creation (Maase Beresheet). Now, a part of this initial action of creation is happening to you, and the same thing with any other. It means: “Every day updating the actions of Creation.”

A new form is a new life, new heaven, new earth, everything anew. Even a person just starting out his path feels the first such change in himself, as if changing his clothes—10 Sefirot. This is a new perception, a new sensation, a new attitude. Sometimes this transition takes a long time and the person gets in a vague state, as in a fog. The main thing is to understand that this development is typical for the human, unlike animals.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/2/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Cling To The Higher With All Your Heart And Soul

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe must learn from nature in everything because nature resembles the Creator. Perhaps I bring too many examples from nature: from infancy, childhood, and the period of embryonic development. Yet the revelation of the Creator is expressed in our world in this form. And only if we rise from this physical form to the spiritual form will we attain everything.

Confidence must be solely and only by our dependence on what is higher—only the Light—and all clarifications are through it. Meanwhile we only nullify ourselves in its presence. After we attain more advanced states, our desire to receive will grow to the next level, then we can become more actively nullified before what is higher through practical actions. I mean, I myself carry out actions similar to what is higher.

Yet first of all I need to grow. The embryo doesn’t know what actions its mother is carrying out. And the infant doesn’t understand at first what that which is higher is doing with him. He doesn’t feel where he is. After that, gradually he begins to absorb what is happening, he reacts, smiles at his mother in response. These are levels in the discovery of what is higher by what is lower.

When we were in the “embryonic” state, the embryo doesn’t yet feel this in and only needs to be nullified in relation to what is higher. With this we provide ourselves with a level of confidence.

Confidence, like all phenomena in our world that are felt due to a desire for pleasure, is aroused through the Light, through illumination from above. But if I depend upon what is higher, there cannot be any insecurity in me; on the contrary, I am sure that I am found within Him. And if I am not found in it but near it, then this is an even higher level of confidence, since I am sure that I am already prepared to go out from Him and become like Him.

From this we need to understand, that all of our work is carried out in conditions of darkness and detachment from that which is higher. And the more we advance, the more we feel detachment from the upper, so that we will attract illumination from it ourselves, which is called “confidence.”

The more a person advances with the descents that the Creator sends to him, the more he will feel himself detached from the upper, more empty, foolish, dependent, lacking understanding and feeling, becoming more like a “beast.” And suddenly all the previous knowledge and feeling that he had before disappears. In moments like these, a person feels terrible, yet we must understand that specifically states like these are most useful for acquiring “faith.” In them, we are completely cut off from the upper, are on the level of the “beast,” and therefore we require the Light of “faith”— like every life form in our world, like an infant who wants to cling to his mother. Otherwise, he will feel lost and will not know how to live and what to do with himself.

Indeed, when we later rise from a state like this, the Light gives us a bit of confidence and a little understanding of what needs to be done. And then it’s up to us to pass from the level of the animate to the level of the “speaking.” We no longer want such a degree of confidence like an infant, lacking understanding, or like an animal completely dependent on its owner. We want the Light of confidence so that we will give ourselves over to the higher power, so that we will be attracted to it, so that we will depend on it, not out of our weakness but the opposite. Even though I have the power of confidence and understanding, in everything I still nullify myself absolutely in relation to the Creator!

I require confidence not so as to feel sure and good with my desire for pleasure; rather the opposite, I want to feel more insecurity and dependence on the Creator. This is so that I will cling to Him more and more. Not in order to gain peace of mind, rather to show Him how much I value His position, His height, renouncing all egoistic fulfillments.

I renounce these pleasures and only want to cling to what is higher with all my heart and soul. I want my confidence to become clothing for the Upper Light, and not use it in the name of my personal pleasure. It is in this form that we grow to even higher levels in the spiritual worlds.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/09/13, Shamati #72 “Confidence Is the Clothing for the Light”

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Wolves Help Grizzly Bears…And Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Discovery): “Wolves and grizzly bears would seem to be archenemies, but a new study shows how wolves are actually helping grizzly bears to obtain tasty, nutritious berries in Yellowstone National Park.

“The discovery shows just how tightly woven ecosystems are, and how the domino effect can both hurt and benefit members.

“The situation began to unfold back in the early 1900s, when officials had the short-sighted idea of moving wolves out of Yellowstone. It was called “predator control.” By the 1970’s, scientists found no evidence of a wolf population in Yellowstone, a verdant place that had previously been home to wolves for ages.

“In October 1991, Congress provided funds to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to start wolf restoration efforts at Yellowstone.

“The new study, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, examined how the re-introduction of wolves is affecting other wildlife in the park.

Lead author William Ripple, an Oregon State University professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, and his team found that, during the period with few or no wolves, elk herds expanded and over-browsed berry bushes. This was bad news for grizzly bears.

“’Wild fruit is typically an important part of grizzly bear diet, especially in late summer when they are trying to gain weight as rapidly as possible before winter hibernation,’ Ripple said in a press release. ‘Berries are one part of a diverse food source that aids bear survival and reproduction, and at certain times of the year can be more than half their diet in many places in North America.’

“Now, however, with wolves hunting elk again, there are more berries. Yellowstone is berry central for bears, with numerous types that they love: serviceberry, chokecherry, buffaloberry, twinberry, huckleberry and others.

“The new plethora of berries is additionally producing flowers of value to pollinators such as butterflies, insects and hummingbirds. Birds are eating the berries, as are other animals, both small and large.

“Since berries help bears put on fat before going into hibernation, it’s then predicted that grizzly bear populations will strengthen, adding a second avenue of control on elk and other wild ungulates, especially on newborns in the springtime.

“Achieving the right balance is important, though. Elks are critical to the ecosystem as well, so if their populations drop too much, more problems will surface. Taking a cue from history, however, park officials should probably let nature handle such matters on its own.”

My Comment: This conclusion can be extended to all human actions without exception: the construction of dams, drainage of wetlands, and many other interventions in nature. What can we do? After all, humanity has to develop. Against this, there is no objection, only that the development should be harmonious, without tragic consequences.

First of all, we need to correct our egoistic nature, attain the ability to feel and understand the surrounding nature and higher Nature, and then, based on the acquired feelings and qualities, mind and strength, intervene in the surrounding nature, preserving its balance: This will mean ascending to the levels of similarity, knowing, and unity with it—that is, with the Creator.

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Why Suffering?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee)”: But because of the descent of human nature to the lowest degree, which is the self-love that unrestrictedly rules over all of humanity, there was no way to negotiate with them and persuade them to agree to take upon themselves, even as an empty promise, to exit their narrow world into the wide spaces of the love of others. The exception was the Israeli nation because they were enslaved in the savage kingdom of Egypt four hundred years in horrible torments.

Our sages said, “As salt sweetens meat, agony polishes man’s sins.”

Question: The people of Israel suffered throughout its history and I don’t see how that helped. After all, correction is made by the Light, what do torments give us?

Answer: Indeed, that is how this is presented and we are guided by what we see. Each one of us has our own “eyeglasses” and nothing can be done.

You think the Egyptian exile was a period of physical suffering, but in my eyes it was a spiritual revelation of evil. You consider it to be Pharaoh’s attack, but I regard it as an outbreak of the evil inclination. Egyptians tormented you externally and me, internally. Under a hail of blows, you ran away from the geographical Egypt, and I from inner Egypt. The spiritual aspect is so strong that I experienced the Egyptian exile, not externally, but mainly as internal woes. The led me out of Egypt to attain the world of Atzilut. For you, it was enough to get rid of the Pharaoh’s physical oppression, from external enslavement.

The same distinction is characteristic of the contemporary world. In the current troubles and problems, I see an appeal, a trigger needed for us to move to the goal. You  perceive them as a curse rather than a means for advancement. You want to avoid them, and I, on the contrary, say that we should not be running away from them, but rather should self-correct so that instead of ills, we would feel comfortable, benevolent, and secure in the future world.

Today, when the process strives to attain the overall redemption, it becomes all the more clear that there is no place to run. This means that if the Jewish people don’t start the process of self-correction, they will face miseries on all sides, economic, emotional, and  physical predicaments, whatever, in Israel and in America and elsewhere.

The safest place is the land of Israel. Its people will have to fight physically, but mostly internally. That’s why we have to spread Kabbalistic knowledge in Israel, and above all we have to disseminate the methodology of integral education. After all, it depends on the extent to which we are able to transfer the Jewish people facing problems as conventional battles to a spiritual battles.

People must understand that if fight internally to unite, we will “soften” and “sweeten” negative forces. They do not  destroy them, which is impossible, but turn them into good and useful. Unity will allow us to get stronger, thus making our enemies retreat. We won’t have to battle with them and they will stop fighting with us. On the contrary, they will come to us to learn the ways to unite.

After all, separation will affect them even worse than us. In Israel, it leads leads to political conflicts; in other areas, every day dozens and hundreds of people are killed, and the chaos will only continue growing.

So, if we want harmony and peace, we have to start here. We have no choice. And it makes no sense to  dwell upon the physical afflictions of Jews in Egypt. In this case,  you don’t understand this, and all the other catastrophes that befell Jews throughout history, whether it is the inquisition, pogroms, or the Holocaust. Of course, this cannot be explained from our current level since we don’t see the entire reality or the whole system to understand what is happening or its causes.

In short, it is a qualitative deficiency and we are at a very important, crucial phase.

In general, subconsciously the nations of the world press the people of Israel to teach them the methodology of correction. And the pressure can take on various forms.

But what is surprising: Before the nations of the world will come to Israel, they will be fight and have conflict with each other. However, we can already see around whom the whole “plot” revolves. Israel is almost invisible on the map; nevertheless, it is the true center of events, and with time, this fact will appear more clearly.

Ultimately, the current processes obligate the Jewish people to unite, to give an example to the world, to bring all to global unity, and to raise humanity.

This is the simple “scheme.” However, in our world it is implemented in multi-billion dollar investments, requires huge resources, and directly affects millions of people, turning this world into an arena of uncontrollable trade.

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It’s Hard To Be Omnipotent, But Let’s Try…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: According to crowd-sourcing (wisdom of the crowd) technologies, any kind of discussion is an enemy to the collective mind, since when they talk, people become cautious. It leads to a minimization of their thinking diversity. How does it go together with the integral approach? Should an integral group preserve its diversity? In what spheres should we unite and become as one?

Answer: We do not need to worry about diversity. Diversity takes place when everybody retains their own shapes of egoism, and just like people have different faces, people have dissimilar internal qualities. Obviously, this fact manifests in a purely egoistic way.

If we accept someone as part of a team and let them contribute to a group whatever their individuality is able to give, they begin thinking differently. In other words, their individual qualities show up in a more convex way and they start thinking: “How and what can I give to this team?”

In this case, our egoism “swells”; it learns to think differently, not about what we can receive, but rather about what we can give. When receiving, I have a very limited need, my personal one. When we think of what we can give (let’s say we live in some virtual space and share altruistic integral liaisons), then we make an effort to understand what other people on our team want.

Based on this, I become similar to God, although it’s extremely hard to. It means that each of us has to take care of nine other friends. We don’t mind playing this role, but what can we give to others? What would the first, the second, the third… friend want? At this point, we start unleashing our imagination. This is when our resourcefulness becomes unrestricted. We develop it instead of restraining it.

What does one need while he is still in one’s miniscule egoism? No matter how much one fantasizes, it still ends up being narrow and primitive; everybody pursues the same dreams.

However, we manage to reveal the whole world since our friends (to whom we try to bestow) aspire to a totally different level of existence. So, we do our best to become powerful and provide others with what they want.
From Kab TV’s “Wisdom of the Crowd – 2”, 5/14/13

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Sacrifices That Bring Us Closer To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe entire order of offering sacrifices is described in the Torah in detail, but really this process takes place inside a person, in one’s interior world. Preparation of sacrificial animals, offerings, and the priests’ (Cohen’s) work depends on a person and on one’s spiritual level and intentions associated with this level.

Question: What exactly happens when a person offers a sacrifice to the Creator?

Answer: One takes an egoistic desire and “cuts and eradicates” it, as it is said: “The one who wishes to live has to kill himself.” Then, one revives one’s desire to live for the sake of bestowal. This is what we call “a sacrifice.”

“Sacrifice” (קֻרְבַּן) means “convergence” (קרבה) with the Creator. A person approaches Him to the degree that he even eats food for the sake of bestowal. By offering a sacrifice, one rises from the level of Israel (a direct intention towards the Creator) to the level of Levite and Cohen. At these levels, one offers a sacrifice and receives it back, but now it has an altruistic intention, meaning that one corrects one’s receiving desires and turns them into bestowing. One “eats meat” and “drinks wine,” and by doing so one self-sacrifices for the sake of the Creator, thus getting closer to Him.

These actions are described as slaughtering animals and cooking their meat. While Cohens do this work, Levites “sing.” This is their concrete work that they perform at the three steps named “Israel,” “Cohens,” and “Levites.” While ascending, a person corrects his egoism, the “animal” in him by killing it and preparing it to receive for the sake of giving. This picture differs dramatically from its material description… as it does in all the commandments.

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Egoists Bound In Integral Shackles

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe cannot influence the discovery of the general connections in the modern world. This process goes on while we flop around like fish in a net, necessarily feeling our greater dependence upon each other.

On the other hand, internally, we are becoming more and more separated and dispersed. This is how it must be; otherwise, we would lose our freedom of choice.

This process involves many factors and it is continuing. At the same time, that connection continues to grow, our ego grows stronger. Today, bloodshed in various parts of the world and the murder of women and children no longer arouse compassion the way they did in the past. We think that we have become more sensitive and cultured; whereas, in fact, we have become more violent and don’t consider the connection between us.

Some kind of veil is concealing it from us; we see the same false picture of collective separation. Moreover, even if I am aware that I depend upon others, I am not prepared to consider this. The results are very sad. Is it possible to explain what is happening in the world logically? If someone were to look at us from the side, he would not find any logic to be operating: “What are they doing? Why are they making every effort to destroy each other’s lives?”

Human nature is contrary to the nature of the still, vegetative, and animate. The animate and the vegetative are a single complex that constitutes life, immersed in concern for the future. The main desire of animals is to reproduce and nurture offspring. This is an unchanging law of nature. We, in contrast, disregarding the next generation, destroy the world in which they will need to live. It doesn’t matter to us what will be left for our children. Resources are running out, the climate is becoming worse, there is a lack of clean water and clean air; the trees are being cut down…so what? We are even ready to make war; we now have nuclear arsenals for this.

In fact, our approach is irrational, defying all logic. And here there is a need to give the right answer, to make a decision. Since in logic and in understanding we are stronger than ever, let’s detach the mind from the ego and become responsible for what is happening. How can it be that humanity is ready to choose a completely different way of being, yet continues to advance toward the abyss?

The idea is that today the true enemy and hater is our ego. Blatantly and in an unprecedented manner it deceives us in every way possible, so much so that there is nothing left in life that can be enjoyed, that can comfort and be fulfilling.

Let’s hope that we can discover the true state of things as soon as possible and stop the downward spiral into world war. You can see today that even this threat doesn’t have the same deterring force it had in the past. “It’s okay,” the ego tells us, “We will fight a little. There were seven billion, seven million remain. It happens…” We cannot control ourselves and we can already see that this scenario is quite likely.

But meanwhile, throughout this process we are discovering a network of general connection. It’s discovered in the form of two forces: One comes from the Creator, linking and joining us. The second force originates in the ego, in the shattered Reshimot (spiritual genes). It divides and separates between us. The Surrounding Light that comes from one whole “circle,” influences us more, showing us that we are also “round.” In spite of this, under its influence, the ego erupts more and more, and ultimately we are torn between these two opposing forces, causing us to suffer doubly. Through the ego as it is, we could be successful, but it would be revealed as opposed to the global world network and we would no longer derive benefit from it. You see, in order to be successful in the global network, I must be well connected with everyone correctly. This is what the network demands of us, but it bumps into the opposition of our nature. Meanwhile the egoistic nature grows stronger.

If I experience much suffering because of my ego, which boils and bubbles within the collective network that tightly connects all of us, it could be that I will change. And experience doesn’t prevent this suffering; until the last moment I will try to flee and get away from it. Only through integral education, in which lies the Light that Reforms, will it be possible for me to raise my eyes and see what is waiting for me in advance. Integral education makes it possible to connect the ego with the global network and shows us how to use it according to the rules of that network.

Generally, I must find an answer for myself: What else can be done? For this it’s up to us first to understand where we have arrived. We have arrived in a world of egoists who are shackled to each other. We want to spread out as far as possible; something inside draws us outward, separates between us, but in contrast, the global network closes us in. So what is there to do? From where do you get a power for balance, for calm?

This is what integral education needs to explain to people: You can become serene, relax up to a feeling of perfection that is hard even to imagine. How can we do this? We are not masters of our ego. We can’t diminish it; even in the future it will continue to grow. Even with the network, it’s impossible to do anything; it pushes us closer to each other.

Only the Light that Reforms can correct the connection between us and bring us to balance. It raises us above the ego and transforms us so that we can use it according to the rules of the network and be incorporated into it.

It’s possible to express this otherwise: When we begin to connect artificially, ultimately we discover that we can do this for real. And within this unity we discover a new life, a new spirit, new powers, and a new reality. In fact, this is the wisdom of the crowd, the unity that raises everyone to a good connection. When we aspire to unite on equal terms, in this collective aspiration we find a power, which we had no idea about previously. This works for everyone, children and adults, the young and the old, women and men. All can comprise a single mosaic.

At the same time, every one of us transforms to be more and more complex. Our common “puzzle” is truly a complex system. But there is nothing to be concerned about here; the moment we aspire to unity, the components of the system immediately begin to reveal before us a general picture of integration and mutual wholeness.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/6/13, “The Mutual Guarantee”

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 08.27.13

Writings of Rav Kook

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The Book of Zohar — Introduction

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Topic of Lesson “Group and Distribution”

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