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Question: If the external world is a reflection of my inner world, is this saying that the Kabbalistic group is also a part of the reflection of the soul, of the inner state? If so, why exactly is it important to work in a group? And what is the importance of the external world in all of this?
Answer: The importance of the external world is secondary compared to the group. Because you have a group, your reflections appear, mutual work is done with you. You work with people, you influence them reciprocally, and you feel how the Creator puts them opposite you. It could be that you don’t know exactly why He put you in such an opposite way to them, and they against you. But at least this is the result of your interaction with the Creator.
In what is the uniqueness, the specificity of our world? Let’s depict this in a sketch. There is the Creator; there is this world, within it is a group, and there is me. In principle, I must find the Creator. I must connect with Him; I must be like Him, to be equivalent to Him. Therefore I am called Adam, from the word “Domeh” (similar). I must reach the Creator.
And therefore this world was created such that through an immense amount of people, the group, I can find the Creator. Today I don’t see Him and don’t discover Him because I am opposite to Him: I have “minus” and with Him there is “plus.” We don’t understand and don’t feel each other. He indeed feels and understands me; you see He created all this, whereas I don’t understand and don’t feel Him.
So how can I find Him? In what convoluted way can I pass from “minus” to “plus”?
For this I was given interesting “information” called “this world” and the “group.” If I direct myself in adapting to them, then by going outside of myself to them, with this I direct my desires, oversee them, specifically oversee my intentions regarding them, I approach the Creator in this manner.
I only need to be sure that I am going outside of myself and entering this world, that I devote myself to the friends, am concerned about them.
But how is it possible to attain this? How to oversee my departure from the intention “for my own sake” to the intention “for the sake of the Creator”?
Therefore it is said: Do everything not for the sake of the Creator but for the sake of this world. So specifically to that degree, I approach the Creator. But essentially He is concealed behind the friends, and the moment that I position myself correctly regarding this world, I will immediately discover Him.
My integration into this world in 125 levels is absolutely identical to approaching the Creator with 125 levels. The moment that I rise to the first level of connection with this world, I immediately will begin to discover the Creator. He will be revealed to me in our world! He cannot be revealed in anywhere by itself.
Why was this given to me? It is so that I will find Him independently and will advance independently, I will “adhere” to Him. Only for this was I given the external envelope of the Creator, which is called “this world” and the “group.”
From here, the words are understood, that the friend must be as important to me as the Creator. The group must be important in my eyes to the same degree as He is. In other words, everything that is outside of me, I must attribute to the Creator.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention “Unity Without Boundaries” Day Two 12/14/13, Lesson 2
Baal HaSulam is our guide and this means that I must accept everything that is in his books as the absolute truth. If I can understand what it says in my own mind, then I accept it of course, but even if I don’t understand, I should accept it even without understanding. Otherwise I will not reach the desired goal.
A guide means that he is a couple of steps before me telling me: “Follow me, to the right, to the left, straight ahead!” And I follow him. I don’t see the road, but he sees and is walking ahead of me. When I lift my foot in order to take the next step, I don’t know where to put it, and so I ask him: “Should I put it this way?” And he answers: “This way! Now a bit more to the left; not that way, a bit more to the left.” And I follow his instructions. This is following the guide.
It is also the same in our world. If I go mountain climbing or to some other dangerous place where I do not know the road, I put my life in the hands of the guide. It isn’t a tour guide in London; it is called a source, a guide.
The guide of the Bnei Baruch group is Baal HaSulam. If you want to study with us, you should know that we study according to our source. If not, then you should look for somewhere else to study. This is what Rabash told me when I asked him how I could be sure I was in the right place. I was thirty years old, full of energy, I had everything: health, family, money, everything one needs in life. I also asked him the same question: “I am following you and I have to dedicate 20 years before I reach anything, if I find out that this path is wrong, I will discover it when I am 50 and it would already be too late to correct anything in the few years that I would have left. How can I now be sure that I am in the right place?” And he answered: “Go and look for the right place.”
I was disappointed with the answer. I thought that if he were a spiritual guide, he should advise me to make the right choice. But this was his advice: “You should look for yourself, I cannot tell you.” If you choose a certain place, you should accept the teacher and follow him blindly. He becomes your head.
So if anyone doubts me, you should check me with regard to Baal HaSulam. I will be only too happy since I see my mission as presenting him to the public. This is how a person should check if this path is right for him or not; it is a waste of time to study if one doesn’t accept this method.
But if a person has already decided to study in one of our groups, he cannot accept only part of what we study and reject other parts. It turns out that with this he makes a decision based on his ego, thinking that it is more important than the path that we follow and study. I respect his opinion, but it is impossible to advance if one doesn’t accept this method above reason. Sometimes when you reject it but still accept the mind of the upper, you can advance, but if you don’t agree with the teacher about corporeal actions since you judge by your corporeal mind, on the corporeal level, then it cannot be. It is clear how you should perform them and you need to perform them in faith above reason.
Where faith is involve, the influence of the group is necessary. It is very simple: You either agree and accept things or you don’t belong and don’t advance along our path by even one step. A person has to calculate things, and if he disagrees with the teacher when it comes to corporeal matters, then he will certainly disagree when it comes to spiritual issues. He is only deluding himself that in spirituality everything is fine, but his work will lead to nothing. This is the reason that only very few people reach the goal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
But if you don’t annul yourself before them, you will not be able to go on to the next level. Only then can they clean you like it says: “the mother shall come and clean her son.” It cannot be any other way. This is exactly what we do in this world when parents take care of a baby and he naturally annuls himself before us. In the spiritual world, however, you have to place yourself by yourself in the hands of the greater so that he can take care of you.
There is no other way. Who else can take care of you? What would happen if a baby was a big strong dimwit and not small and helpless, it would be impossible to take care of him. It would simply be scary to come near such a monster with such a big ego.
A baby has to be fed from a bottle, he has to be cleaned, diapered, and given everything that a baby needs, but in the spiritual sense, of course. He should also be put to bed and then awakened. He should be taught and brought up! After taking care of everything that he needs on the corporeal level, you should begin to teach him; when his body has received everything that it needs, you should gradually give him the inner filling so that he will gradually learn to annul himself.
You don’t start off your spiritual path from the level of a baby and not even from the level of an embryo. You have not clarified and differentiated your drop of spiritual semen yet. You still have to imagine the Reshimot (spiritual genes) that you have to fulfill: to use all your physical powers, your mind, and all the means that you have in this world in order to develop from the present that you were given, from this drop of spiritual semen.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
In the News (from Christian Science Monitor): “The Great Recession helped reverse a decades-long rise in materialism among many young people. Despite a tough financial future, they are also more concerned about others. This shift is a gift for those seeking less spending at Christmas.
“Polls consistently show Americans wish they could spend less on Christmas gift-giving. Well, a new study suggests their wish could come true, at least among younger people.
“Researchers who have tracked the attitudes of high school seniors over decades find the Great Recession of 2007-09 has caused a great reversal: These young people of today are less interested in worldly goods.
“It is not only that they can’t afford all the flash and bling of American consumerism. Many simply don’t want it. This change of attitude ends a steady rise since 1980 in the materialistic desires of young people, according to researchers Heejung Park, Jean M. Twenge, and Patricia M. Greenfield of the University of California, San Diego. …
“But the researchers also found that today’s younger Millennials are more community-minded and show a greater concern for others. And they are not pessimistic about themselves. ‘The Great Recession was unique in leading to more, rather than less, positive self-views,’ they found. …
“To be sure, young people are less able to buy much, having been forced to temper their expectations. During the recession, the youth unemployment rate was nearly as high as for all adults during the Great Depression of the 1930s. More than 13 percent of people between ages 25 and 35 still live with a parent. By putting off a transition to settling down, they are putting off buying stuff.
“But many do not want to own a car, opting instead for using Zipcars, bike sharing systems, and mass transit. The wired generations connect with others digitally. They are more inclined to rent than own a home and to live in urban areas than the previous generation.
“A survey of 14-to-30-year-olds conducted for Junior Achievement in November found 71 percent would rather have a job that serves others than have a job that promotes their personal brand.”
Question: I feel that I am overwhelmed by internal sensations that are incomprehensible to me: great enthusiasm from which I could explode. What must I do with this, set up some kind of a barrier and say to myself that I don’t want this?
Answer: I think that this is only the beginning stage of your familiarity with the wisdom of Kabbalah, with the group, with those forces that act in this society. As a rule, a state like this typifies new students. They are found in some kind of overexcitement, overdrive, in a unique kind of transitional phase.
In general, when we connect a device to an electrical or electronic network a first surge passes through it, so at first sudden transient processes happen and after that everything calms down and enters into a normal state. I think that it could be that you are still in a state like this, and so it’s necessary to wait until this passes. If the study influences you in this way, then as a rule, in this state it’s very important to talk with the friends more, to try to balance emotion with action.
I would advise you to dedicate more time to studying “The Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” or The Study of the Ten Sefirot, where dry, scientific Kabbalistic language explains what happens with the desires, with their shattering into five stages, into five worlds; in other words, go into the science more. It really relaxes a person because it has a very deep and positive influence not on the emotions but on the mind. Try to balance the heart and the intellect.
You will find some friends with whom you can learn the wisdom of Kabbalah together, and not be involved in all kinds of psychological activities within the group. They are compulsory, but it’s necessary to balance them. I know this from my great experience and from learning with Rabash.
When I brought 40 students to him and we began to work with them, there were also similar abnormalities among them. Part of them were involved only with “dry” learning, others felt an emotional overload like this` such that they could not do anything with themselves. There was a problem with these and with those. In cases like these, Rabash always gave an order: add one thing, subtract a second thing, and so forth, like a good cook who knows precisely how many grams of spices or other additives are necessary to provide the dish with the final taste. If you will learn in a group with friends and balance your emotions through serious study, you will see what a leap you will make.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention “Unity Without Boundaries” Day One 12.13.13, Lesson 1
Baal HaSulam: “Disclosing a Portion, Covering Two”: “There is an idiom among great sages when they come to disclose a profound matter: They begin their words with, ‘I am disclosing a portion and covering two.’”
First, why should anything be covered in the first place? What’s the benefit of hiding?
On the whole, all of creation (Beria) is covered by different covers. This is where the word “creation” stems from (the Hebrew root “Bar” meaning, external to the Creator), which stemmed from Him with the help of a cover and can therefore exist. If it existed inside the Creator, it would be no more than Malchut of the world of Infinity that is full of the Light and under the domination of the Creator, having nothing of its own. The created being is external to the Creator and has his own reality, mind, and feeling that are different from those of the Creator.
If it weren’t for this difference, the created being would be inside the Creator, swallowed by the Light. But the created being is different and the difference is created as a result of the distance. The distance in spirituality is concealment. In our world the distance determines the concealment, while in spirituality, the concealment itself keeps us distant in many ways.
The difference in mind and feeling and in attributes is called the lack of equivalence of form with the Creator. This is essential for the created being in order to be himself and to exist. There is a feeling and a mind that we attribute to the Creator, to absolute love and bestowal, the Light of Hochma that is dressed in the Light of Hassadim, and which is revealed to us in the Partzuf of Aba and the Partzuf of Ima (AVI). We, as souls, should be different and opposite from them in the attribute of ZON.
Thus we see that the shattering is actually the action that is meant to bring the created beings to revelation. The created beings have to be opposite from the Creator, and then by external actions that they perform, they acquire a Masach (screen) and the Returning Light, attributes that are equal in form to the Creator.
The created being is initially divided into two: the inner part which is opposite from the Creator in its desires and thoughts and the external part, the cover, the Masach, that resembles the Creator. As a result, the created being exists by himself and at the same time is adhered to the Creator. Further, the created being must include these two opposite attributes, these two opposite states, and act in them, despite their polarity, since he doesn’t resemble the Creator or His opposite side, the evil inclination.
The created being is the middle line to the extent that he can connect these two opposite forms inside him and unite them.
In order to allow the created being to do so, there is the law of “disclosing a portion, covering two.”
According to which it is possible to reveal something, which means to bring the created being closer to the Creator only if he is brought back to the previous state with additional Aviut (thickness), additional heaviness.
If the created being made a step forward, revealing a portion, thus getting closer to the Creator, he has more power. But by that he is unbalanced and now the Creator’s powers operate on him differently compared to the previous state, and he is brought back with a new Aviut, although it is concealed. If later the created being is added, covers a portion, he is brought to the state of freewill again.
Thus, the created being constantly has the option of freewill and of getting closer to the Creator. So by disclosing a portion, Kabbalists have to cover two. This allows the created beings to be detached from the Creator so that they can advance towards Him only by keeping their independence and their autonomy. Of course, we mustn’t confuse people when we guide them along the spiritual path like a “locomotive” or a “shepherd.” It is possible only in rare cases in order to establish the basis for the work in which confusion is the stimulus that allows them to overcome the confusion and by that discover something new. On the other hand, we mustn’t speak to them about what may lead them to a dead end and to disorientation.
So I am asking all our friends who are studying to be teachers to work with the public, including the teaching of the wisdom of Kabbalah and the integral education, to constantly feel the hearts of the people and reveal to them only what they need in order to advance. On the one hand, we shouldn’t take their freewill, and on the other hand, we shouldn’t confuse them.
A teacher has to be a doctor, a healer of souls, and for that he needs to know the exact dosage. After all the Torah can be the elixir of life or the potion of death.
A teacher should be an experienced guide, a guide who loves his pupils and who actually participates in their advancement. He provides them with exactly what they need and should keep them away from unripe fruit or from overripe fruit.
There is a time for everything, and the wisdom of Kabbalah allows us to calculate the exact dosage because we connect in our hearts, in our souls, on the part of the students or at least on the part of the teacher. This is actually the type of study that we should yearn for.
It is all thanks to the safeguarding by which a person remains a created being, external to the Creator, and can advance freely. “To be a free nation in our country,” are words in the Israeli national anthem, which means that even when you stand before the Creator and reach adhesion with Him by connection, you don’t annul myself but rather operate equally on the same height.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12.11.13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
We have to identify every kind of relationship and work in the group, which when arranged correctly can help us overcome time and space and different external and internal influences. Thus we can overcome the different influences of the Light that Reforms that alternately put us through different states.
We will be able to overcome all this by the help of the environment when its influence is stronger than the influence of the Surrounding Light. Then it can be said: “My sons have defeated Me!” Thus we will ascend above each and every state.
This is actually the main thing we can do and we will learn how to make use of each state in the most beneficial way, which means to “cherish a light Mitzva just like a severe one.” We will always be able to correct ourselves which means to “perform Mitzvot.” We will not be totally dependent on the Light anymore, on its illumination, which brings us different feelings. In fact we are already able to draw the Light that Reforms by our efforts and by the correct connection between us, which means that its influence will help us advance in a more effective way towards the goal.
It doesn’t mean that we want to escape the feeling of the Light and the darkness, the hardening of the heart, no! We understand that it is impossible without it. But if we connect, then we can share all these effects so that we will not feel any obstacles as we advance. All the problems will be solved by the connection between us, since by that we immediately control the Light.
So if our connection is good and correct, we already determine the pace of the ascents and descents that come from the Light; we steadily accelerate our advancement and can determine the pace of the time and the states we go through by ourselves. This will make the ascent permanent and turn it into a day that is totally Light.
The states don’t change and actually remain the same. But when we overcome them we build new levels. Now, too, we are in a state of the end of correction (Gmar Tikkun), and it does not depend on time but on the state, on our feelings. We choose which level of the spiritual ladder to be on. We shouldn’t wait and hope that it will come by itself. Nothing will happen by itself. We have to make it happen. Each of us receives such an invitation to reach the final end of correction from every state we are in.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/4/13
I have often said and today we can actually see that millions of people are finding themselves outside the circle of active life. They receive minimal benefits, stay at home, and don’t know what to do.
A person regresses and degrades! If he doesn’t work for a couple of months, not to speak of several years, he is incapable of doing anything. He becomes an unproductive part of society since he loses the ability to work. Work builds a person! The search, the tension, and the study!
So he regresses and gradually degrades and simply becomes a mass of protein. What should we do about it?! They will go out to the streets and destroy everything. We already see that.
What is more, the next, scariest phase is beginning now: The middle class, the backbone of society, is disappearing. Factories will be shut down, production will stop and everything will begin to decline. What will happen next? They will also be given food rations. But they are used to a different standard of living! Will the golden billion, or even less, stay afloat and all the rest live on food stamps (for needy families with low income) for their “free lunch”? What will happen to these people?! After all, there is no system that can deal with them!
Perhaps the governments believe in feeding people with drugs by making marijuana legal, etc. This is not a solution!
I am not looking at this from a humanistic perspective or sympathetically: “What will become of the six billion people?!” I look at things from the perspective of non-compliance with nature’s law of development!
The regression of humanity will bring about greater sufferings. A person will not be allowed to just sit on the couch watching some TV program, smoking pot while being served his weekly meal.
Nature will not allow that, since nature’s plan is to bring all of nature to an integral state, which is the law of development that cannot be nullified. Nature must bring us to a state of becoming equal to it, to turn us into integral members in an integral society, each one by himself and all of us together. So you can’t just get rid of six billion people by putting them on drugs and food rations. Nature will lead them onward. It has to bring man to a state of being equal to it! A person has to become a human being.
This can only happen by balancing all the systems. The different parts of our world, like the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking nature, have to reach a state of balance, which means mutual support, homeostasis.
Bringing a person to the lowest state, however, is not homeostasis. The most important thing is to consciously raise ourselves to the level of a human being that is made of two opposite attributes: an egoistic one and an altruistic one, and operating in mutual cooperation by balancing them.
From Kab TV’s “An Integral World” 10/24/13
Shamati #15, “What Is Other Gods in the Work“
The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts, Parashat, “Beresheet”
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar“