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Question: From whom do I get a greater desire: the group or the external audience?
After all, I myself have no need for Him and neither do my friends. The point in the heart only aims us in His direction but does not give any real momentum; it does not increase the “flesh” of desire; it does not form an empty, hungry vessel.
In uniting with friends, we do not demand the Creator. Nothing pressures or urges us to do that. How much can our own desires spur us? A little bit more and a bit more, but it is an artificial pressure. Everyone is a great guy, everyone is right; there is no such desire between us that will oblige us to act with no exit.
When will it arise? When people require us to respond to their needs, whatever they may be. We will find ourselves under pressure; the need to help them arises, to take care of them and help them, and that’s when we really need the Creator. An inescapable, irresistible desire can come to the created being only under external pressure.
That is why we have no possibility to advance towards the Creator if we do not go out into the world and do not take care of a wide audience.
Even the need to unite in the group will not be saved without outside pressure. Indeed, why do we need to unite? He who wants nothing for himself feels good in a hut in a forest with no amenities. The vessels of bestowal do not feel the need to unite. The points in their hearts do not seek it by themselves.
But what will they bring to the Creator? What kind of receiving vessels are able to lead to correction? It turns out that in fact we have nothing.
On the other hand, the unity of the masses has enormous potential of vessels that have not been manifested yet, both material and especially spiritual.
That is why connection in the group, as well as concern for the public, is possible only under external pressure. Pharaoh helps the sons of Israel escape from Egypt. His army pursues them, “looming over them,” forces them to enter the Red Sea and then stand at Mount Sinai. They do not agree, but after the breaking of the first tablets, they receive the Torah, and the process goes on.
We cannot manage without the pressure from the outside, it is necessary for us. Yes, by uniting between ourselves, we can somewhat neutralize this pressure but not completely.
Question: Does every friend need to connect to the outside desires or is it enough if the world group as a whole is involved in this?
Answer: Both. Both individual and general work is necessary here in various forms. First, we have to get together inside in order to understand how to reach out to the outside audience and then become integrated with it to feel the need in the inner unity again. Then, we need to demand the revelation of the Creator between us in order to give Him pleasure by transferring fulfillment to the external Kli.
Thus, we will take the place of the conductor, the “transmission channel,” transition link, and realize our destiny.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam “Inheritance of the Land”: It is said, “according to my sorrow is my reward.” This means that the reward is measured by the amount of sorrow. Sorrows and exertions are needed only to find the vessel that will receive a good reward. And the more human one’s sorrow in spiritual work is, the greater his vessel is, which is ready to finally get the maximum reward. We measure everything according to the vessel, desire. The Light is in absolute rest, and it all depends on the vessels, on how we develop them. And the vessels are the essence of suffering.
However, in spirituality this suffering becomes sweet and is called “pangs of love.” There, the pain of lack can be combined with pleasure, and they do not neutralize each other as in our world. Here, after a few sips, I am no longer thirsty, and every time, having received something, I become satiated. It is different in spirituality since both the need and pleasure are aimed at bestowal, they support and increase each other.
It turns out that I constantly feel lack and pleasure, but not as opposites, and I constantly flourish, develop in them. Together, they become a sense of eternal life for me. That’s where we are going. You see yourself that this knowledge can only come from above. The person himself has no opportunity to grasp at least its “edge.” No matter how much philosophers and thinkers have tried to figure out the age-old questions, it is impossible. After all, the answers are not inherent in our current egoistic nature.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/10/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: What is our ego, is it a feeling or a mental perception?
Answer: We can compare the brain to a movie screen since it is actually blank. Today, for example, you seem to be ugly and disgusting, and tomorrow after a change of state, I may look at you and see before me a fine guy that radiates vitality. Does my brain depict these pictures, is it the screen? Or do I project them? My ego, my interest, depicts all these figures, but we don’t understand this until the end.
We believe that we are objective when it comes to the still, vegetative, and animate nature, but on the level of the speaking, in the relations between us, there are different variables. Generally speaking, we don’t actually understand that we are the ones depicting our own world on every level of the desire to receive.
This is why our world is called imaginary since it doesn’t actually exist. The moment you clean your ego from the perception of this world, it will disappear. And what will be left? Nothing?
So what will we be left with? Start establishing this “something” now. Start building a new world. It all depends on what you draw on the screen of your perception.
Question: But how do we draw these pictures if they immediately seem real to me?
Answer: I imagine a force that controls me, that surrounds me, that manages me and confuses me, sending me positive and negative things. This whole situation, the bubble I am in, operates on me; it is like a science fiction movie since we have to imagine something and work on something in our imagination. So I imagine a certain space in which a certain force or a force field operates. In the meantime, I cannot manage without this three dimensional illusion with the different phenomena of time and space. I am connected to it whether I want to be or not.
I imagine a force that surrounds me as if I am in a cloud. This force operates on me in every direction and in every possible aspect. Even now when I think about it, it actually operates me; I am relaxed, let it operate me. But what do I have besides this operation?
Because without any additions of my own, I can only constantly yearn for a good feeling and how to thank this force for its good care. It has created a deficiency in my feeling, a desire to receive, and I feel good in this world under its domination.
It turns out that we don’t need anything but that. The whole philosophy of the epicurean school is based on this approach. Other Eastern methods also believe in nirvana and peacefulness. This attitude is in fact the deepest since it is based both on the fear of disrupting something in creation and on the fear of cursing the Creator. So I have to constantly feel good. I constantly try to be calm and relaxed and to be happy with what I have, not because the ego drives me to do so but because of a more sublime intention. In short Abraham worked well with this approach in Babylon.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/02/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Opinion (from psyfactor): “A person who tells lies creates around himself a space, different from the real one, less traumatic, more comfortable and happier.
“1. It’s hard to take the image of oneself as it is: this could be caused by low self-esteem, stressful situations in the past; he has been often criticized, not accepted, his feelings were ignored.
“2. It is difficult to accept the events as they happened: the poor, drinking, uneducated parents, one’s low social status, low salary, failed personal life.
“Protective mechanisms outperform, protecting him from stress, so he does not think about his problems, but lives in a dream world.
“As a rule, all these people experienced some hardship, humiliation, rejection, both moral and material, in childhood or adolescence. It could come from parents, classmates, teachers or first employers. Thus, now they are constantly forced to defend themselves in a way so to avoid going through these emotions again.”
My Comment: Therefore, in our time, so many people go into virtual environments, drugs, games and more. But the increasing egoism grows above these distractions from reality because the program of development should lead us to the revelation of our Source: the Upper Light.
Question: In our times, when we experience new problems from all different sides every few seconds, and all we do is battle with them. what special means are offered by Kabbalah that do not exist anywhere else?
Answer: The wisdom of Kabbalah explains where all this evil comes from and the reason for our bad states. It asserts that evil does not come from somewhere on the outside, from other people or circumstances, it points directly to the inside, telling me: “You are the cause of all evil!”
A person finds it very difficult to agree with this so one immediately pushes Kabbalah away. However, after Kabbalah points to the cause of evil, it explains that there is just one chance to reach goodness: by correcting the evil in oneself to goodness. And the good isn’t for me, it is for all the others!
So not only do I need to admit that all evil is inside me and to correct myself so that others receive the good, I also need to enjoy this without feeling my state and only worrying about how good others feel. Who will buy such a methodology?!
This is why it is only appropriate for those in whom there is a point of truth, and due to their nature, they are unable to remain in a lie any longer: They need the truth no matter what! This demand comes to a person from nature and not because he is so special and such a great hero.
It’s simply that the desire to reveal the truth becomes more important to him than all the other aspects of life. A new desire to reveal the truth suddenly is born in him; this desire was not there before. Meanwhile, those who just have the one previous desire for our world are willing to live in a lie. So they run after everything that contributes to this lie by satisfying their egoism. Only those people in whom a desire for the truth arose, which they are powerless to suppress, accept the method of Kabbalah with gladness. After all, they have no choice; nothing else will help them. And such people advance.
However, if a person is still able to consent to some compromise, he will run away. We cannot blame or scorn him for this since you would have done the same thing if you were in his place… Such is nature: The stronger of two forces outweighs the other; the mechanics is very simple.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/10, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Answer: Yes, it is natural to ask, but here we need to find out exactly: What do we need to ask for, how do we ask, and who is the one that will give us the answer? A prayer is not just a cry, and if it’s put into words, they should be born in the heart not read from a book.
If a person feels bad, he doesn’t choose beautiful words. Our problem is that a prayer doesn’t come from the depth of our hearts.
Only the environment can lead us to such a prayer; if it wants it, you will ask. Why does it seem to us that we all want it and are trying to influence each other but something doesn’t work? The main thing we are lacking is the depth of desire, the truth which is in it. We lack clarification of what is important to me, and that it is secondary to stop being confused between the two desires: material and spiritual.
We have to learn to cast two entirely separate views at the material and the spiritual without mixing them together! Here is this world, egoistic, I’m forced to live in it in the meantime. And there is the world of bestowal and I wish I could begin to live in it. That determines my prayer.
We are still unable to distinguish one from the other, although we can see a lot of progress in it since the last congress.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/21/10, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam wrote: I have built for you the order that will help you not to roll backward. And the main thing in this arrangement is the unity of friends. And I give you my complete assurance; this is to say, he really guarantees that this love is true, factual, and actual. …and with this I remind you of the validity of this love and all those useful things that follow after it. And if you are strengthened by this, then without a doubt you will go from strength to strength towards spiritual success. Because the idea is to make yourself like the upper world. This being where you want to enter.
What does entry mean? In what kind of relationships with people do we want to enter? This is our mission that is to be solved between us.
And your friends found here, just as you have been blessed with love between you, so you will continue and will not separate. This will be to that moment when the Creator will rejoice with you and will be revealed among you. He will reveal the world according to you, and thanks to you, peace will be revealed in the world. As it is said, (Psalms 122:8) “For the sake of my brethren and companions, I shall now speak of peace in you.”
All this happens solely and only within the group and not in any other place. And to the rest of the people we disseminate gradually, with soft steps, treating them with “kit gloves,” because only a few people would truly stand up for the idea of love, friendship, and unity.
Therefore Rabash writes for us: Ultimately the people will be united under one leader who will stand with them against everything that comes against them. And this is what we need to understand very clearly, not to be afraid of anyone and to go forward. This is our idea, this is our goal, and this is our faith! Whoever doesn’t like this can leave. We aren’t harming anyone; we want unity and love of the other according to the global laws of nature upon which our method is based. We are not pursuing any other goal.
Without a doubt these are strong people, with a spirit that is as strong as steel, who will not be moved even a single step backward. These are first-class warriors who understand the meaning of creation and how to act to the degree of their advancement.
And nothing more is needed. We always get as much as is needed in order to do the right action at that moment, and if we do more, we might do the wrong thing. Like a little child that they let play with blocks but not something like an electric screwdriver, as this is not for him. It’s the same thing here; there is nothing to blame the Creator for, for not giving us the tools for our development. He gives them precisely to the degree that we will not err and will not harm ourselves and others.
And they have only one mission, to win in the sacred war for the sake of the Creator. This is to say, to build relationships between us like these (instead of hatred, love), where the Upper Light illuminates us and brings us victory, so, the Creator is the one who fights. We prepare the ground. Therefore all of our life, all of our existence is called “preparation,” and the Creator is the one who will finish it.
Rav Kook, the great Kabbalist, the first Chief Rabbi of the land of Israel, a member of the same generation as Baal HaSulam, (they were very familiar with each other), writes: Our soul is great. It is strong and mighty, it shatters an iron wall, it explodes mountains and hills. It is broader than infinite space, it is impossible to shrink it, it must spread over all those millions of our Israeli souls on all their levels, in all of the cities where they are found, and in all the depths into which they have descended, our soul is extended towards all, all of them, embracing them all, all will be revived and encouraged.
This is essentially that aspiration towards which we turn, the “spiritual commando.”
The main thing is to understand that at each and every moment I’m given exactly what I need in order to advance to my next level. And then I only need to invest my small efforts in order to unite with the others over the background of all of those various problems or circumstances in which I am found. Everything is found in our hands and we lack nothing other than mutual support.
From the St. Petersburg Convention “Day Three” 7/14/13, Lesson 6
Question: If man is simply a small part of nature, then where can he get the power to destroy it?
Answer: We have an additional part in us which is above the animate body and is regarded as “human.” The human can be good or evil because he possesses freewill unlike an animal. It is human, the ego, that exists above nature and that is where you have the right to choose.
All creation exists in perfection: the still, vegetative, and animate—everything except man. Each of us has an animate part, the body, and a “human” part, which is the only corrupted one. It is the part that stretches beyond the essential existence of the body; it makes me exploit nature and even destroy it if that’s what is necessary to make me feel good.
An animal deprived of freewill cannot ruin nature since it acts correctly by following its natural instincts. Therefore, our corporeal world exists only at the still, vegetative, and animate planes, which are in the state of perfection and balance. But man is above this world.
The animate part of man is also in harmony with nature. The problem lies in the “human in man,” a degree in which I started destroying the world. As long as we were undeveloped, we didn’t cause much harm to it since we were living merely as animals that consumed each other in order to survive. But when we reached the current level of evolution and received so much power, the problem immediately arose. Even Aristotle warned that science shouldn’t be revealed to evil people who may use it to destroy the world and mankind.
If they can’t use the human power correctly, then they must not be allowed to step outside the animate sphere—beyond this red line; they can do so only if they know how to use the human power correctly. To use it correctly means to make this red area similar to nature by employing one’s own consciousness and understanding by becoming equivalent to the Creator, the upper one. We must achieve the same balance with nature as all the other parts, but through our own effort, since we initially lack the balance.
It turns out that we have a nature where no freewill exists and we only need to use it correctly. The part above it relates to the Creator and human where freewill does exist, but we have no clue what do with it or how to use it. There we must reach balance in order to bestow.
In the past, the previous Kabbalists achieved attainment by placing restrictions on their body as described in the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot”: “Bread and salt you should eat, water in measure you should drink, on the ground you should sleep, a life of affliction you shall live, and in Torah you should labor,” then you shall reach spirituality. In truth, if the part of a person related to the animate, vegetative, and still levels lived only with bare essentials, like a beast, and on top of that he studied the Torah while thinking about how to become similar to the Creator, he did advance.
But 2000 years ago we reached a state where we started to exploit all of nature, to harm the still, vegetative, and animate parts, this whole “inner” circle. Hence, this is why we’ve come to such need for the Light that Reforms. It is the only way we can transform ourselves.
Previously, the Light of correction worked only at a highest rung. But today we need a much greater Light to work on all of nature since we have corrupted it too by making it entirely egoistic by engaging in it.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/21/10 Writings of Baal HaSulam