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Question: There is a bit of time left until the Moscow convention for the graduates of the Moscow Kabbalah Academy. How can we help the friends who study virtually recognize the great advantage of the physical contact during the convention?
Answer: If a person lives in a remote place and doesn’t meet physically with friends on the path physically, he has no chance of discovering the upper world. After all, the upper world is revealed in the connection between us.
Virtual connection alone is not enough. This kind of connection is not enough even for people in this world. Even with the wonderful means of communication today, scientists go to conventions several times a year. Why isn’t it enough to communicate via video conferences? Why is it so important to meet and speak in person at least once every few months?
The main thing in these symposiums is actually the personal talks, the live communication. It isn’t the lectures that are given from a stage that matter but rather the interpersonal contact that conveys the spirit of the event. It isn’t about information but about the spirit, about the atmosphere. This is the reason that they meet in conventions: a word here, a couple of comments there, face-to-face conversations and even fleeting ones are valuable.
And all the more when it comes to our conventions. If we don’t connect when everyone arrives physically, then there is no point wasting our time on studying in front of screens, it will lead to nothing. There must be a personal contact, since it is through this kind of contact that the spiritual urge is conveyed.
So we are all going to meet in Moscow on the 13th of December. All our friends from all over the world will connect to the convention and some will actually come. This pleases me very much. We all connect more strongly and adhere to one another this way. Let’s hope that the Creator will be revealed in this mutual connection.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/06/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence“
Baal HaSulam, Shamati #219 “Devotion”: But during the Katnut (smallness), one does not feel any benefit for oneself since one does not presently feel any pleasure in the servitude. … And the more he works, the suffering increases proportionally. Finally, the suffering and the labor accumulate to a certain amount until the Creator has mercy on him and gives him the taste in the servitude of the Creator, as it is written, “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high.”
Question: What does it mean that the Creator took pity on the man?
Answer: In essence, the Creator is not obliged to do anything for us. We demand and think that He has to help us. But on what grounds? He owes us nothing.
In the past, there was a custom that those sentenced to death kneeled before the king and thanked him for his mercy. The King is such a high position that even his judgment is mercy. Malchut (kingdom) means judgment, justice. Since the King granted a person attention from his infinite height, then all his orders are turned into mercy and they are to be accepted as the most gracious. This is customary according to the laws of the true kingdom.
A person works and eventually gets strength, allowing him to rise to the next degree. But at the same time he reveals that he rose not by his strengths but he just fulfilled the condition, after which he received help from above. The Creator gives him the screen, due to which a person reveals a higher degree. It is always mercy on the part of the Creator because a person has not worked on this degree yet.
We never work on the higher degree and do not know what we do. Our task is to fulfill several conditions, after which the Creator will have mercy and help us. Our effort is important. It is established from above that for his efforts a person receives what he is not able to achieve himself.
It comes as a gift of higher mercy. We attain just a thin line of the entire huge circle of the universe. Everything else is connected to us later, extracted from the vast sea of impure forces by higher mercy. But it cannot be said that we get all this for free because the reward comes as a result of our efforts to correct the relations with each other.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/8/13, Shamati #219 “Devotion”
All that we perceive in this world does not belong to the spiritual realm. Of all the entire spiritual reality, we “catch” only a tiny and distorted part that can be sensed in our corrupt vessels. This tiny part of spirituality provides the livelihood of our vessels, “fuels” us up, thus letting us maintain our pseudo-existence called “the sweat of life.”
Our world with all its laws, nature, and science are imaginary since they are manifested solely in fictional vessels of the egoistic desire at its lowest stage. Anything we can attain with the help of science, even if it continued evolving for thousands of years, will always remain inside the ego.
This world exists only in our imagination. Eventually, above it, we will reveal the laws of the upper reality, altruistic desires, in other words, we will learn the laws of Kabbalah that pertain to the corrected world.
At that time, this material world will disappear (vanish). After all, this world exists not just in the egoistic desire, but rather in a human being. A person includes this world with everything that it ever had and has: dinosaurs and lions, stars and planets… We don’t perceive the universe per se, but rather we feel the depth of our material desires.
To the extent of the correction our material desires, everything will “flow” from egoism to altruism; then, materiality will “evaporate.” So, spending energy and efforts for materiality is a complete waste, since it is only a preparatory basis for the subsequent stages.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/4/13, “The Freedom”
Indeed, there is a common opinion that the primary goal of religion and the Torah is only the cleansing of actions, that all that is desired concerns observing the physical Mitzvot (commandments), without any additions or anything that should result from it. Had that been so, those who say that studying the revealed and practical actions alone is sufficient would be right.
Yet, this is not the case. Our sages have already said, “Why should the Creator mind if one slaughters at the throat or at the back of the neck? After all, the Mitzvot were only given to cleanse people.” Thus, there is a purpose beyond the observance of the actions, and the actions are merely preparations for this purpose. Hence, clearly, if the actions are not arranged for the desired goal, it is as if nothing exists. And it is also written in The Zohar: “A Mitzva (commandment) without an aim is like a body without a soul.” Hence, the aim, too, should accompany the act.”
Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence.”
If one wants to correct one’s egoistic desire to receive and change it into a desire to bestow, there is only one remedy at one’s disposal—the Light—under the condition that one is engaged into studying the Torah with the intention to correct one’s desire.
Rabash, Shlavey HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder) “What is the Torah and the Work on the Path to the Creator”
…the Creator gave us Torah and Mitzvot, which we were commanded to do only in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator. Had it not been for the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma (for Her Name), to bring contentment to the Creator with them, and not to benefit ourselves, there would have been no tactic in the world that could help us invert our nature.
Now you can understand the rigorousness of engaging in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma. If one’s intention in the Torah and Mitzvot is not to benefit the Creator, but oneself, not only will the nature of the will to receive in him not be inverted, but rather, the will to receive in him will be much more than what he was given by the nature of his creation.
Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
“Meanwhile, under certain conditions, a group, even consisting of people who cannot boast great intellect, is often closer to the truth than its most intelligent members. Averaging eliminates errors made by everyone, and the errors of individuals are mutually cancelled; what remains is the truth or something close to it. The following four conditions must be met for the group to come up with the right solution:
My Comment: If a group is connected by a single goal but in different ways of achieving it, and seeks the correct way of reaching this goal, independent of anyone’s individual correctness, they will find the true solution with mutual support and general clarification.
Question: How do we prepare people for listening and caring properly in Integral Education workshops?
Answer: First of all, we need to work on all the conditions of the connection between them. Everyone should understand that each one has his own opinion and it may be correct. Open yourself up and feel the opinions of others, don’t withdraw into yourself and let them go past you; I have to bend and submit myself to the others.
There must be a particular technique, a psychological approach, here. Someone speaks and simultaneously I try to remove my ego. We play with this. First, I listen to what someone says and after that I must go over all that he said. A person can talk nonsense, indeed, more or less on some topic, and I practice how to listen to him.
After all, we don’t hear each other. How can I nullify myself specifically in order to hear you without correcting you and without inserting your words into me with my corrections and additions, and instead be clothed in you? For this I must submit myself, accept you as a particular standard, and thereby orient myself.
In a form like this we learn to listen and to nullify ourselves towards each other. This is the first thing.
After that we pass to the next stage where we practice talking about an idea and not just throwing out words.
Now I must convey some kind of thought that is said to be very concrete, clear, and logical. At the same time, I express it with respect to others, by being incorporated within them, like parents behave regarding their children, which is to say, from a higher level to some degree.
In the first encounter I looked at you from below to above, as an example to follow, and now the opposite, I say some serious sentences, try to express myself logically, try to “enter” into you, that is how you will understand me, will accept my words, so that they will gradually sit in you.
Each one must prepare some kind of speech that is quite logical, clear, touching upon work or something else; it makes no difference. The main thing is that they listen to a speech. After all, we always think that someone else is talking nonsense. But it doesn’t matter what kind of nonsense he is saying, let’s say, about the fish that he ate in a restaurant yesterday; the main thing is that I absorb his words and follow him. And now I convey my nonsense in a logical and clear manner so that others will absorb all of this.
That is how we teach the participants of the workshop how to submit themselves immediately and listen to each other, and how to rise up immediately and bestow to him. All this is towards a more important goal, perfect listening and full understanding, and not reminding each other of any insults and creating petty intrigues. You see, we must ultimately create our collective picture.
For example, put a plate in the center of the circle and direct everyone such that we feel ourselves as adding to each other on it. Suppose that one friend is in logistics, a second friend in technology, a third friend in assembly, and so on. The main thing is that together we feel as if we are found on the same plate.
After that we learn to say to each other only kind words and in a most sincere way. We play at being right, good, friendly people learning to be free. “Here, you are already smiling. And now sing for us some song from your early childhood.”
Make them become children, become free, relaxed, become detached from all the negativity that encompasses them, say something from childhood to everyone, or about a first love. We want to bring them out from the “suit and tie,” and get them used to the fact that they can simply be human beings with each other.
Only after we teach them all the conditions for communication between them do we pass to workshops where they can begin to clarify why we must be integral. When we bring out the common integrality, why is this summation one level higher than us and as if is an elevator raising us to the next level of understanding and feelings? Why do we absorb everything through our feelings, although we don’t acknowledge this and don’t understand this? Why is a human an emotional being and not a logical being? Our logic is only clothed on emotion and this is our mistake.
So we gradually begin to talk about how we must rise to a new level of sensations and be mutually incorporated into one another.
From Kab TV’s “Through Time” 9/23/13
Question: If the external public has no great desire to know about recipes for happiness, how can one teach harmoniously, without coercion, to work from a request without pressure? How is it possible to feel this request? Otherwise we are going out to the external public with integral fanaticism.
Answer: You are doing everything wrong; it’s as if you are feeding the infant too much and he spits everything out immediately because it doesn’t give him any pleasure; it doesn’t leave him with a good taste. First it is always necessary for there to be a desire; and only after that comes the fulfillment that matches it. If you are working on overdrive and forcibly shoving a spoon into their mouths, then this will only generate disgust for your method.
Never do this! The strategy must be finely thought out. How do you bring forth a constantly increasing appetite, how do you turn them so that they will always be concerned: from where, why, etc.?
You gradually generate all these questions without giving the answers, and after that you sit them in a circle where they will search for the answers themselves. This is a game, a courtship, a flirting. You are producing a new Kli, a desire in them.
What is the flirting for? It is to reveal mutual desires for that type of fulfillment you want to give them. This is very subtle work in the fine tuning of the person; the identification within him of the required yearnings, which he may not have had before.
This must be approached gradually with some kind of hidden secret that must be unraveled, as if you are looking for a treasure on some deserted island. You need to think of all this from the start; you cannot throw it directly in their “faces.”
You, like a guide, only direct the person, move him, and walk beside him. But if he hasn’t made his own way, didn’t suffer from desire, and didn’t enjoy the fulfillment, then you will have done nothing.
For example, the strongest physiological pleasure is sexual contact. Imagine that you must bring the crowd to ecstasy, in that you warm them in the right direction. The first half of the work is that you wake them up, you go around them like a bride dancing around the groom. And the second half is their reaction, for you brought the groom to ecstasy and now he works for the bride himself.
What is this flirting? The first part is initiated by one side as he warms up the partner, and in the second part, he completes the mutual enjoyment for both of them.
The workshop must be finished with ecstasy, with elevation.
From the Talk About Group and Dissemination 11/24/13
Question: How do you see the next level of this world and of our place in it? Will every factory and every kindergarten have its expert in the integral method?
Answer: These are complex questions that are difficult to answer unequivocally. Everything depends on the particular circumstances and even their regions. There are countries in which development can only be from below because the lower classes are suffering and want better lives, while the upper classes are deaf to their desires and longings, for them this is, at best, a temporary whim. Therefore, it is impossible to say in general terms where and how the internalization of the integral method will happen.
I think that in every part of the globe this will be arranged in its own way for the mentalities of the people; the social and economic conditions in various countries are different. There cannot be one template for everyone.
It is difficult to say how this will take place in Russia. I don’t even know how it will be in Israel.
Our teaching is always like water, living water that gives life. We simply need to consistently go forward like water that fills the lowest places and after that rises; where it succeeds in penetrating there it goes through. I think this metaphor applies to our dissemination.
In other words, we need to go to those places where we don’t encounter resistance, where they accept us with a blessing and not because they want to get something from it, to distort our method, to change it and draw their own conclusions: personal, factional, and so forth. Because in the end those will begin to stop us and promote themselves from within.
We need to go to those places where people truly want to hear us, where they are close to being convinced of the end of the present world, in the collapse of the private, competitive, capitalist system that is rapidly becoming bankrupt in the West, especially in Spain and Italy.
In principle, all of us are witnesses to the death of this system. Therefore, we need to understand that our associates are those people who suffer from competition, from capitalism, from all the negativity that exists in it. They have a yearning for equality, for a normal and comfortable existence, etc. These are usually low income populations, and not necessarily elements of a deprived class, among them are many intellectuals who feel the general crisis on themselves to a complete degree.
How do we go forward? I do not know. But it seems to me, that we will move to libraries and the like, where we can be included in the work of these institutions.
I do not believe that we can work from above. It is possible that this will succeed, but only if the authorities would be very interested in us. Everything depends on desire: the desire determines everything. The masses have the desire to improve their state somehow, and the authorities to calm down the masses. If they both become convinced that our method gives them this result, then we will succeed.
From the Talk About Group and Dissemination 11/24/13