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An assembly of friends is the highest state that we can attain and receive in this world as a vessel that raises a prayer (MAN) to the Creator. All the corrections that we can make are only made by raising our prayer (MAN) to a higher level. The state in which we create and form our prayer (MAN) symbolizes our common connection with all our GE, with the desires to bestow that we raise above the desire to receive.
We cut off the desires to bestow from our desire to receive by giving up the desires to receive, our AHP. If the desires to bestow connect into one whole in bestowal upon the Creator, a prayer (MAN) is created, a request, a deficiency to acquire and to receive the force of bestowal. It’s because a prayer doesn’t even contain a desire to bestow but only a desire to acquire a desire. It’s because a desire is already power.
Such a prayer should be the result of the assembly of friends, of connection. An assembly of friends doesn’t mean that our physical bodies gather in some physical place at a certain time. It’s a spiritual concept, something that we create that exists above the limits of time, motion, and place. It’s about this that we have to constantly maintain and care.
The eyes of all the friends should be focused only on that one point, on the center of our group. We should constantly check what happens to it. When does this group become Shechina, a collection of our desires with regard to the Creator, so that the Light that Reforms will give it such a form that the Creator will be able to dress and settle in it according to the law of the equivalence of form, like a cloud that descends upon us, like fog that fills an indentation? It’s about this that we should constantly worry.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/30/13
Baal HaSulam, “One Commandment”: The 613 names, considered the Holy Names, concern Private Providence for all who approach the reception of the Godly Abundance. One must experience all these orders without missing even one. Hence, the complete crave them with their hearts and souls, to keep them down to their corporeal branches, as it is written, “in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.”
“The 613 Commandments” are the essence of the correction of the vessels-desires, in order to get them to 613 Lights with the intention to bestow.
In general, the created desire to enjoy is divided into 613 parts. By properly realizing them, we thus correct and fill these parts until they all gather into one whole.
You can put it another way: Malchut of the world of infinity, the sole creation, is divided in order to correct the 613 parts, and we gradually, from easy to difficult, correct and fill them until we reach the common vessel, which receives entirely for the sake of bestowal. Thus we will reveal the “Torah,” the general light, that has corrected the vessel and filled it.
Thus, the obligation to observe the Torah and the commandments is the duty to come to the complete final correction. In the end, this world will also rise to the world of infinity. Nothing will be left on the worst of the degrees.
Question: Baal HaSulam says here: “down to their corporeal branches.” Does this mean that performing the commandments physically is also good if I add the right intention?
Answer: The “corporeal” in Kabbalah is called the egoistic intention for the sake of receiving, and the “spiritual” is the altruistic intention to bestow.
Of course, I do not deny the physical performance of the commandments if it is an addition and not the main thing.
Indeed, “personal” actions get support and approval from the environment, and I also feel that I have done something. And that is why I am willing to perform them. They are visible, they can be counted; whereas, spiritual actions are not countable from the side, not visible to others. The person himself is not sure whether it was successful or not because in his eyes everything changes every second.
So, the question is: Does a physical addition strengthen the spiritual essence? If not, then we have a problem. After all, we can see that since the time of Rabbi Akiva who urged his disciples to love one’s neighbor as oneself, the spiritual core has been lost, and this devastation continues to this day. Moreover, it is not caused by the fact that we do not observe the commandments “physically,” but by the fact that we do not perform them spiritually. That is what the exile is.
I repeat: I am in no way against physical actions. They should be carried out because all the “corporeal” commandments are a projection of their spiritual prototypes that represent real corrections of desires. However, we must take the corporeal as a projection, as a reminder of spirituality, and then of course, it is worth it. If you can combine one with the other, please do, it is even better. But there is no coercion in this.
In short, the main thing here is the attitude. The problem is that for two thousand years the people have become disconnected from the spiritual foundation, from the intention, and now it is difficult to return to it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/27/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam, “One Commandment”: It is hopeless to wait for a time when a solution is found for allowing one to begin the work of the Creator in Lishma. As in the past, so in the future—every servant of the Creator must begin the work in Lo Lishma, and from that achieve Lishma.
And the way to achieving this degree is not limited by time but by its qualifiers, and by the measure of one’s control over one’s heart. Hence, many have fallen and will fall, in the field of working Lo Lishma, and die without wisdom. Yet, their reward is nevertheless great, since one’s mind cannot appreciate the true merit and value of bringing contentment to one’s Maker.
In other words, everyone will be egoists within their “shattered” Kelim, and even though the incentive to discover the only power that is active in reality appears in them, in spite of all this, this power is their opposite, and they need to implement a particular transformation. “The way…is not limited by time,” which is to say that one shouldn’t expect this to happen by itself.
In the beginning, we have not yet departed from the ego. Many approach this and don’t finish. They are left without attaining the Upper Light that is discovered only within the Kelim of bestowal. However, “their reward is nevertheless great,” for, even if they worked Lo Lishma, in spite of it all, they made the effort to reach Lishma, “bringing contentment to one’s Maker,” and even though this was unconscious, this already is recorded to their merit.
In fact, the entire world acts for the good of the Creator. This is according to what is written, “… he that is banished be not cast from him” (II Samuel 14:14).
Everything reincarnates and gradually advances toward correction with the help of the Light that influences the shattered desire to receive more and more, and through its external layers, penetrates more deeply. Thus, the process advances, and it is clear that everyone fulfills the orders of the Light. There are no other participants in this action, rather only the Light and the desire.
However, when the Light acts in a form like this, the person submits to its activity unconsciously. He has no personal knowledge that is detached from the ego, and it is called “faith above reason.” He lacks the second level that is found above his egoistic desire. Above the knowledge of reception, he has no knowledge of bestowal. This is called “without his knowledge,” the substance of the desire is activated by the Light. This is how all people serve the Creator (they are servants of the Creator), without understanding this.
As usual, this stage is divided into four steps. In the first step, the person begins to work with his desire to receive, wanting to rise above it. He wants to control the desire, his thought, from a higher level, from above. He no longer wants to remain within the desire to receive anymore.
That is not how it is with us, for in our lives, we generally mistakenly assume that, if the person develops a desire above the previous desires within himself , then he will overcome himself. However, in fact, he simply trades one egoistic desire for another greater egoistic desire.
For example, I decided to stop smoking since this is harmful to my health. By means of this, I raise the importance of a healthy way of life relative to smoking. It could be that I will be healthier, and this is good. However, in regard to correction I simply have “traded a donkey for a cow,” which is to say that I am left in that same egoistic stratum.
The ascent begins when I act in accordance with the “point in the heart,” and with its help I begin to organize myself internally. Together with this, my intention still remains Lo Lishma, but it already has taken a step forward.
This stage is also divided into many levels that are divided according to the degree of trust. I could believe in the Creator one percent or more, or the entire one-hundred percent. That is how I organize myself according to the intention, Lo Lishma, rising a little above myself, strengthened within the group, suspended between the two worlds from time to time, inclining to one side or to the other side on waves of ascent and descent, but in spite of all this, I already am found in an intermediate state and rise to it across many steps.
In the meantime, our free choice is characteristic of these states, and after that, we pass by way of concealment and choice on higher levels, after the Machsom, but in a different form already. There is already work there with Klipot and Kedusha.
In general, everything that is above what is “unconscious” already is working with the help of the spiritual Lights and Kelim in all kinds of possibilities, and the person who does this must maintain a pure thought. It is forbidden for him to think about when he will reach the intention of Lishma. It is true that he now is found within the ego but he needs to think only about one thing: How in the current state that I have received from the Creator do I make the most of what I have been given? Even if he were to remain to the end of his days in this state of Lo Lishma, as much as the state is unbearable for him, in spite of all this, he builds his attitude according to what will bring more pleasure to the Creator.
Thus, the person clarifies the present egoistic intention, and in spite of all this, reaches Lishma precisely on condition that he values the present state of Lo Lishma as perfection if this gives satisfaction to the Creator. Precisely at this point, the intention of Lo Lishma is gradually clarified as being the level of Lishma.
Question: How is it possible to give satisfaction to the Creator within the intention of Lo Lishma?
Answer: The infant gives plenty of satisfaction to his parents, even if he just smiles at them. The Creator doesn’t need our intellect, understanding, or deep emotion, regardless of age. He needs loyalty, agreement, to the best of our ability. The infant is linked to his mother and father in a natural way and this is enough. On his own, he adds only a little smile, and this is worth everything in the world.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/22/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam said that the whole world must be like one family and we must build a society that corresponds to the new conditions. And here, when ultimately something greater begins to be revealed among us, there is still no absolute agreement between us about the need to invest all of our energy in dissemination.
But without this, the “deficiency” cannot be formed in a person. And without it how can he advance spiritually? Someone who doesn’t go out towards people today will no longer have an opportunity like this tomorrow. He will miss this step and later it will be very difficult for him to complete it.
Therefore it’s necessary to do everything that we can. Precisely now it’s up to us to work on the connection, to work actively. It makes no difference what will happen next, the results that are seen are secondary. Nobody knows what is good and what is bad for us. Nobody knows in what way we will advance. The main thing is “to run ahead of the engine” And then it makes no difference what will be the development between the Kli and the Light, we will see something positive in it. For we are the “preventative medicine for the blow,” meaning that the entire process will have become desirable for us in spite of it all. It will be logical that even the most terrible events that happened in human history, the horrors about which we don’t want to think, were compulsory milestones necessary on the way to the end of correction.
And this also affects the people through whom this was realized. The worst villains will be like angels of the Creator for us.
Thus the comprehension of reality will be changed when we act according to the principle, “there is none else besides Him and He is good Who does good;” and the Upper Light fills all of reality. This is what we will feel if we advance through the corrections with “an ounce of prevention.”
From the height of Hafetz Hesed, everything that happens, all the troubles are accepted with happiness and a blessing. And it’s up to us to be equipped with an approach like this, so that we accept everything for the best. Not so we would not feel the sufferings, but so that we will “make a blessing on the bad as on the good.” The main thing is not to be angry with the Creator and not to begin to curse Him. Not from fear but from awareness of His greatness. For His characteristic, the characteristic of love and bestowal is great in my eyes.
It’s up to us to maintain this direction. Now, when the time has arrived to act, we must grow and expand a relationship like this within us all the time. I go out to disseminate in order to absorb and digest my external deficiencies. Yes, they are mine but in the meantime are felt as external because I have not yet connected to them inside.
In fact, the whole world is my deficiency but it’s divided into two parts: inside and outside. And in continuation, when I work with them, I will accept them as the essential things. The needs of the other will be more important to me than my own needs. For within them I will discover the Ohr Hochma, the Light of the purpose of creation, which is much greater than the Ohr Hassadim, the Light of Correction. The desires of the other will be what are most important to me.
They are the dearest of the Creator because within the deficiencies of the “nations of the world” He is discovered in Ohr Hochma, and in us He is discovered only in Ohr Hassadim. We are the characteristic of Bina and they are the characteristic of Malchut that according to the opposite arrangement of Lights and Kelim responds with the highest Light Ohr Yechida. And specifically in them the unity of the Creator is revealed.
And we, the “least of all the peoples,” ultimately concede everything, in the end, only in order to elevate them to the level of Keter.
Therefore, if their deficiencies will be the most important thing for me and I will work only for their sake in order to satisfy the Creator, I will be the conduit between what is below and what is above, then everything will be okay. In other words, then I will truly be able to satisfy the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/29/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Opinion (Michael Khazin, economist): “The word crisis is losing its original meaning. In fact, the crisis is a tangible change in the quality of life, a decent apartment, a car, clothing, home appliances – a middle-class standard.
“The problem is that the society of welfare of the middle class has encountered a problem called ‘massive credit.’ Today, the average citizen in developed countries spends 25% more than his real income. Equilibrium is achieved by the drop in the level of income of the middle class. Consumption should reach a new equilibrium point – when the mass consumer’s spending will fall by 50% from the current level, that is, will fall twice as much.
“The whole world that stands on the middle class awaits the painful disappearance of the middle class – that will be a real crisis.
“They will become the lumpen, and as a consequence, there will be increased drug abuse, falling birth rates, lowering of cultural level. So, the real crisis is not the economic but social problem.”
My Comment: When we now turn to the middle class, we are met with a complete misunderstanding and inattention to our ideas about the re-education of society and individuals. After all, they still do not feel any threat, and due to their shortsightedness, of course, they do not wish to take part in changing themselves and society.
But the blow will come, and we need to prepare for their readiness to get closer to us. In the meantime, we need to work with part of the lower-middle class, which already feels the crisis and despair.
Our convention in Bulgaria will begin in a month, on November 1st and I pin great hopes on it. Taking part in the convention is relatively inexpensive and it will be held in a very nice place. I am inviting anyone who can participate in it to come. We have to prepare ourselves. I will arrive a day before the opening, so please come then too if you can. We will set up a local tour and will have a general warm up before the convention.
This convention is not only for the Balkan area. Many people from Eastern Europe, Russia, the Ukraine, Turkey, the Baltic states, in fact, from all around the world will take part in it. Our program includes both integral education and the wisdom of Kabbalah. We will discuss many issues and many questions regarding dissemination and education with the groups that will participate in order to connect them to the general process.
I am looking forward to this event. I suppose that everyone understands to some extent that this is how he can advance in the shortest and safest way to the goal of creation and to self fulfillment. So everyone must participate in the coming convention with all his heart. There isn’t a more powerful means than the participation in the convention for the sake of others. It is the most efficient means for the revelation of the Creator.
Question: How can we rise above differences such as nationality and language barriers and connect more strongly?
Answer: This is our goal, to rise above all the differences, above all the Masachim (screens) and all the walls that separate us. Without them we could already be one soul. But after the shattering of the vessels each of us is in his own shell, and eventually we are all like a nuts in a bag, connected only by the external circumstances and not by an inner connection…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/30/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
In the article “613 Recommendations and 613 Commandments,” Introduction to The Book of Zohar explains to us that a person consists of 613 desires, and to correct them we do the 613 commandments. After all, this is specifically what we were commanded to do: to correct each and every desire and use them for the sake of bestowal.
In general, the desires or the commandments are divided into 248 positive and 365 prohibited Mitzvot. On the “forbidden” desires we must have to impose a restriction (Tzimtzum) and not use them. And with the 248 Mitzvot (desires), we need to use them as reception for the sake of bestowal. And that is how the person corrects all his 613 desires for the sake of bestowal: part of them through action and part of them through inaction.
The Light that Reforms corrects all the desires. Once it was Ohr Pnimi (Inner Light) that filled the desires, and after that it was removed from them and was left outside as Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light). Now all the desires are corrupted with an intention for the sake of reception, but we can link them with the Ohr Makif so that it will influence them and correct them with an intention of being for the sake of bestowal instead of being for the sake of reception. And after that, to the degree of the change of intention to being for the sake of bestowal, that Ohr Makif will enter into the desire in the role of Ohr Pnimi.
In this manner we serve as intermediaries, as “links” between the Ohr Makif and the corrupted desire. This is our work.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/26/13, The Book of Zohar — Introduction, “Rejoicing in the Holidays and Not Giving to the Poor”
Baal HaSulam, the article, “The Peace”: …anyone can see how a large society such as the state of Russia, with hundreds of millions in population, more land than the whole of Europe, second to none wealth in raw materials….And yet, go and see what has become of them.
…because judging by the wealth of that country and its plentiful population, it seems unreasonable that it would come to that. But this nation has sinned one sin which the Creator will not forgive: that all this precious and exalted work, namely bestowal upon others, which they have begun to perform, needs to be for the Creator and not for humanity.
Question: What does “for the Creator” mean?
Answer: First of all, this is not talking about religion. The concept “for the Creator” means: I build the Kelim, the desire to reveal the broken vessels in the perfection of the Higher Power. It is not just building a perfect social system; rather, there is still the addition of the first original, primordial power of the Creator, which is what I discover.
In other words, I discover another unique phenomenon in addition to the relationship between the Light and the Kli. These relationships are available to me today: I have a body and the vital force within it. But this is not enough. It is not enough that I feel good, vibrant, healthy, and open to the world; in addition, I need to feel and perceive the higher level, the one who created me and constructed all of the circumstances of my life. I must discover Him and reach adherence with Him in order to give Him contentment. And then He will give me pleasure and together we will discover this mutual benefit that is called the “point of adherence,” the “drop of adherence.”
And this is the goal. Gradually we clarify it and are directed towards it more precisely. And conversely, if we are not directed towards it, then this entire chain of correct calculation doesn’t work; and we don’t attain the results.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/08/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Peace”