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There is a difference between what we see and what we feel. If we look at nature, not from our feelings, then it seems perfect. There is a perfect idea in the combination of its parts. Each in it completes others, and in the interconnection between them, all the elements always build more complex systems.
The possibility of becoming more complex and perfect, to rise to unknown stages is inherent in nature itself. This potential is present at all its levels. For example, we use only a small part of our brain. “Potentially,” it is designed to do so much more. Why can’t we use it completely?
In general, there are great depths in nature, huge reserves of energy; in short, we need a foundation that allows us, without any “bodily movements,” to provide ourselves with everything, to discover everything, to rise to the degree of eternity, perfection, to become empowered, and not need any efforts. Inexhaustible energy is everywhere, but we do not know how to “connect the wires.” Modern technology has taken a completely wrong direction and that is why it is unable to realize this potential.
As a result, we cannot reach abundance. Moreover, judging by how we feel, we are in a state opposite to what it should be.
What’s the matter? Why can’t we complete each other like the cells of a living body that so wonderfully interact with each other? Why did we develop in a bad direction?
Today we can hardly see the old days, and yet, life in tribes, in communities where everyone was close to each other, was much better. People were happier; they had more time, observed their traditions, adhered to their education, maintained a true family atmosphere, and all with a great feeling.
Looking at them with an upturned nose, we are missing the point. Meanwhile sometime in the future, we will find that we are more primitive than they are. After all, they at least enjoy life, and we struggle through life unsatisfied, in a race that has no end. In essence, this existence is devoid of any rationality.
It turns out that, ultimately, our development is not good.
Meanwhile, nature is like the mother for us. It has the giving maternal desire and has created everything that exists from this desire, this force.
At the moment, it is only an assumption in our eyes; however, it is reasonable enough to be taken for further study.
Baal HaSulam writes about this: We can trace our development by some signs that stem from a positive force. Moreover, it is built on the negative: I cannot move a step forward until I feel a lack in something.
What pushes us from behind? A stick. What lures me forward? Pleasure. Thus, we can attribute these two parts to nature. But on the other hand, we understand that ultimately they both develop us in the direction of increasing the good.
In short, at this point Baal HaSulam indicated that the entire creation is prepared, but for the time being it is still a question mark…
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lessons 12/25/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam, Igrot (Letters), Letter 16, “The Unification of HaVaYaH Elokim”: HaVaYaH means private Providence, where the Creator is everything, and He does not need dwellers of material houses to help him. Elokim in Gematria is HaTeva [Nature], where man behaves according to the nature that He instilled in the systems of the corporeal heaven and earth, and he keeps those rules as do the rest of the corporeal beings. And yet, he also believes in HaVaYaH, meaning in private Providence.
By that, he unites them with one another, and “they became as one in his hand,” and thus he brings great contentment to his Maker, and brings illumination to all the worlds.
This is the meaning of the three discernments—commandment, transgression, and permission. The commandment is the place of holiness, the transgression is the place of the Sitra Achra, and permission is neither a commandment nor a transgression. Rather, it is the place over which the holiness and the Sitra Achra fight.
When a person does permitted things but does not dedicate them to the holiness, that entire place falls into the domain of the Sitra Achra. And when a person grows stronger and engages in permitted things to make unifications as much as he can, he returns the permission into the domain of holiness.
This is our work. This was the goal of creation: to create a human being who will become similar to the Upper force. As they develop, the created beings approach the state when they begin to have an opportunity of freedom of choice, everyone in his time. If a person comes to this threshold, beyond which he is supposed to get freedom of will, then the Creator brings him to a group and puts his hand on good fortune, saying: “Take it!”
If the person accepts it, that is, wants through the environment to turn himself in the direction of the Upper force, matching its properties, agreeing with it and justifying it, meaning adherence to the Creator, then he gradually begins to reveal his evil. Evil is a special property, the force that is revealed in a person against his approach to the Creator. Practically, it’s expressed in rejection, which he feels with respect to the environment, in reluctance to get closer to it.
The force that acts against the Creator, called “Pharaoh,” is revealed. All villains and sinners described in the Torah are in essence one force, supposedly fighting against the Creator. But of course all these sinners are awakened by Him because “There is none else besides Him.” In various ways, they all repel a person from holiness, that is, adhesion with the Creator, from obtaining the force of bestowal and love for friends, through which we would reach love for the Creator, the similarity of properties.
The states that reveal to a person that his nature is infinitely removed from the Creator and opposite to bestowal and love are called transgressions. If he overcomes them and uses them to get closer to the Creator through the environment, studies, and the Light that Reforms, this is called a commandment.
The opportunity to choose how to deal with the exposed evil, to correct it or not, is called the area of freewill. There are people who have reached the level of development that these states are revealed in them: a commandment, transgression, and the place of freedom of choice. This can belong to the period of preparation as well as directly to the practical spiritual work.
If a person works on the other side of the border of the spiritual world (the Machsom), then by revealing his evil, he feels the force, opposite to the Creator, and starts working with these forces in practice. The Creator manifests His management as absolutely good both for sinners and the righteous. This power of bestowal and love is opposite the person, as a model.
When it disappears, the person needs to get this example of management from the group. By various contrivances, he needs, with the help of the group, to become similar to this management, which is called Elokim. Malchut that attains the property of Bina is called Elokim.
HaVaYaH is the Light of Hochma, clothed in the Light of Hassadim, in Elokim. Thus, we achieve unity of HaVaYaH – Elokim, clothing of the Light of Hochma in the Light of Bina, Hochma in Hassadim. The person who has raised his desire, Malchut, to the degree of Bina, to holiness, the property of bestowal, can get the entire Light of Hochma. The Creator is revealed in this vessel, which the person corrected to bestowal. Thus HaVaYaH unites with Elokim.
In this one sentence “the unification of HaVaYaH – Elokim” is our whole work, the entire reality and the goal of development, the end of correction. This is a miracle how the cause of creation, the entire process of its development and the final result fits in this short Kabbalistic formula.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/13
Answer: You’re still not doing anything. You think that you engage in internal work and that you are advancing, but the advancement is assessed in regard to one’s connection to the group. Now let’s see if you are under the influence of this environment, that you have determined this, and they don’t just impress you automatically.
When you come to the group, it naturally influences you whether you want it or not. You are like a small child who hasn’t learned anything yet. You were just born, and you are taken care of like a baby: diapers, milk, etc. You grow and advance completely unaware that you are totally in the arms of the upper.
But later you are required to participate and connect to your environment: at least to smile at your mother, to reach out to her, to learn something. This means that you must interact with the environment. Do you participate with the environment in anyway, at least like a baby? Do you smile at it? Do you wave your arms and legs with joy like to your mother, when the group approaches?
Our society has to be like a caring mother, or like an incubator in which a person can mature very quickly on the path of “I shall hasten it” and reach the end of correction. There is no other way.
Question: But what can keep me in the group? What if they throw me out?
Answer: We don’t throw anyone out of the group. Even if your egg has not cracked but just lays in the corner of the incubator its whole life. Only if it stinks and begins to spoil and poison our society will we have to throw you out. But as long as you are passive, it isn’t that bad. Even if you are considered a burden on society, we are ready to carry you on our back. Only a person who intends harm has no place among us; everyone else does.
People leave because they don’t listen to what they are told: that spiritual fulfillment is possible only though connection. This connection has to be in the form of an incubator that warms us. Rather than the Creator, the group has to be the good and benevolent for a person. A person cannot advance without an environment, without a group. There is no other way, you either do so or you don’t.
Also there is a good chance for success as there are new opportunities now that no other generation before us had, not since the beginning of humanity in this world. Today we can begin with massive, open dissemination, unlike Baal HaSulam who started to bring people closer very carefully, one by one, mainly from the Orthodox environment, although there were several secular people among his students.
Today we can open the wisdom for all. This means that it is time to build an incubator for the small circle, for the wider circle, and for the whole world. It is our duty to build it. We are the ones who have received the awakening for the Creator, and so we have to build the incubator for all of humanity. This means that we should be the transition, a kingdom of priests.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/23/13, The Book of Zohar
Throughout generations, those who were engaged in the internal part of the Torah were going through self-transformation; they worked for the sake of the Creator and attained spirituality. It’s impossible to attain Him alone except for special cases that occur to those who are granted revelation from Above for a special purpose. That’s why Kabbalists had to always stay connected with their friends, as one man with one heart, in mutual guarantee.
It was always done “in humility.” Even though each worked in unity for the sake of their friends, they never demonstrated this outwardly. Most of the time, it was the other way around; they ostentatiously displayed disregard for each other and towards their internal work as it was among the Kabbalists of Kotzk. They acted this way to conceal the true aspiration of their hearts, and thus enable them to apply efforts and advance.
There were other groups who studied, prayed, and discussed things together, for example, Ramchal’s students. But still, they were careful in disclosing their hearts to each other to prevent others, even their friends, from seizing their internal desires of the heart. After all, they were burning with such powerful intention to the goal that nobody had the strength to express it outwardly in words and everybody was entirely focused on their internal sensations.
Only after many years, closer to our time, precisely since the Ari and then Baal Shem Tov and the Magid from Mezeritch, when the movement for the use of Kabbalah in large groups (Hasidism) emerged, they started to gradually speak more about the internal work.
So we came to our time when we can talk about it more openly, not only among us, but even explaining the principles of spiritual work to the general public to wake up the hearts of many for spiritual work.
At the same time, we have to protect ourselves. Protection is made through intentions: The more our hearts are tuned to the internal wave, the more we become immersed in it and won’t seek to vent our hearts’ hidden aspirations.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/10/13
Opinion (Michael Khazin, economist and political research analyst): “Today, there are no forces in the world that are ready to take on responsibility to develop and implement solutions. There are no new concepts, no resources to impose them and to punish those who depart from them.
“The modern political world consists not of politicians, that is, people who are ready to assume political responsibility, but administrators who are just ready to irresponsibly apply standard solutions. An exemplary embodiment of this policy is to make decisions collectively – so that none of the administrators is responsible for anything.
“In the conditions of hard crisis, this trick will not do, and this will inevitably lead to a situation when the rats flee the sinking ship. A modern administrator will never agree to take responsibility, and that is why we will inevitably see the return of real politicians who will begin to work on the development of new ‘rules of the game.’”
“But since in the last decades no one prepared these people, then the quality of their first decisions will be very far from ideal.”
My Comment: The problem is that it is impossible to prepare future leaders in any modern systems because the future will be built on completely different principles of integral interaction. These managers can be trained only by the method of integral education.
Question: Is there a connection between our fears and the trepidation in front of the Creator?
Answer: Our personal fears and the trepidation in front of the Creator are connected through the chain of cause and effect.
The Creator sends corporeal afflictions to us in this material life; all of them are in essence fears. We are afraid of not having something, of not being able to provide for our existence; we worry about our children’s future, etc. Later, due to our studies and under the influence of the Light that Reforms, we gradually rise above our earthly fears and approach a transitional step where we replace the fears of this world with spiritual fear.
We advance due to our material fears; it happens when the time comes. It is a result of our development. This is how all of humanity progresses. However, we tend to advance with the help of the second type of fear. How can we obtain it? How can we start fearing that we won’t be able to please the Creator?
Those whose souls are able to achieve the second kind of fear come to the group and begin advancing. They need to change their individual fears and start worrying whether they are able to help the group, their friends, and through them, the Creator. “I don’t know Him now, but if I get along with my friends, I will definitely get along with Him too.” If people are ready, they are concerned about their group, the general public, and dissemination. They are afraid of whether they are able to aspire to go outside of their borders, beyond their personal interests. If we implement the possibility that is given to us in this world, if we manage to form the format that will eventually let us enter the spiritual realm, it means that we are advancing
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
But you should know that, in the eyes of the sages, the “so what” is considered the worst corruptor. This is because all the destructors in the world, those that have been and those that will be, are the “so what” kind of people. This means that they occupy themselves and others in needless things.
This prohibition applies not to the wisdom of Kabbalah per se, but rather to those people who take advantage of this wisdom with bad intentions, thus confusing others instead of leading them to the goal.
Our goal is the revelation of the Creator in this world by correcting desires and bringing them to the equivalence of properties. However, some people try using Kabbalah incorrectly: they reduce it to dry scholasticism, “peddling” amulets and other “miraculous remedies” for sale, etc.
Therefore it is necessary to protect the wisdom of Kabbalah and safeguard people from confusion by either keeping this wisdom a secret for a certain period of time or by revealing its authentic essence when the time comes without deviating and inch from the goal.
This is why there is a method that is defined as an “absence of need.” After all, in order to maintain maximum purity, people have to know only a part of the wisdom that is really essential for their self-correction and for their further advancement towards the Goal of the creation. One should not know more than this.
Therefore, people should receive precise guidance and the exact amount of knowledge that has to be given to them in a correct form, the right system and adequate presentation so that they know and follow only this direction without deviating even an inch from the goal.
The unnecessary part is not only about what’s written in the sources; nobody understands what’s written there anyway. The emphasis here should be given to the method of studies, to the teacher and students, to the character and organization of the learning process, to each of its facets. There is a huge complex of conditions that form a spiritual man. For that, as in an incubator, there have to be ideal conditions maintained including numerous essential factors; if people do not violate the rules and stay under their impact, they will correctly advance.
Otherwise people just follow their nature and spin in different directions instead of going straight forward…
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/12/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Desires that were created by the Light are equivalent to the Light, but they are of the opposite nature as reverse imprints. But their shape is identical to the shape of the Light, and therefore they are called “round.” By no means is it about a physical shape; rather, it is about their properties.
The same way the Light that constantly bestows without limits in all directions and brings good to everybody without exception—to the sinners and the righteous, to all desires in equal shares—the desires represent smooth circles made by the Light.
The circles differ from each other: a small desire or a big one, a good or a bad. But the difference between them is examined only by a “line,” direct desires that appear after the first restriction (Tzimzum Aleph) and have screens.
“A line” is a creation. “Round vessels” do not yet feel as a creation and are completely under the power of the Light. A line is a reaction of the creation, its work, its attitude to “round desires”, i.e., to what was made by the Creator.
The Creator made the world in the shape of circles, because His attitude to the world is “round,” absolutely equal. The creation’s attitude, that is, the attitude of the desire that has a screen and the reflected Light and aspires to become similar to the Creator, is a line within which the creation judges and evaluates “round” desires. The creation is not willing to remain in the state created by the Creator, in the round desire to be pleased. It wants to determine its attitude to the Creator itself, that is, to determine the desire on its own and then through it aspire to the Creator.
The creation wants to relate to the Creator through a line, but its goal is to make the line similar to a circle, so that the love and bestowal of the creation is infinite and as powerful as the Creator’s love to the creation, and even bigger! It means that the creation works with its desires only under the protection of the intention that determines to what extent the desire can be used.
The ultimate goal is to achieve such a huge intention that it will allow the creation to bestow endlessly, to the complete wholeness of the desire. Then, the Creator and the creation, as the host and the guest, will reach complete equivalence that is called adhesion.
Round vessels (igulim) do not touch each other but connect only through direct vessels (yosher), through a line (kav), a thin tube. The thin tube shares with the spheres and fulfills them; this is its role. The spheres express the Creator’s attitude to the creation as that of a host to a guest. A line is the creation’s “attitude.”
A line penetrates the spheres and goes through them. A sphere is unlimited desires that belong to the integrated system. That’s why they are so important for us today in this contemporary world. Now, we begin sensing the pressure of the round vessels (igulim.) This is a problem because we want everything to be in accordance with our “straight” (yosher) benefit: I give you, and you give me; everything is egoistically straightforward in the form of “buying and selling.”
A circle means that you are open to all. The circles start approaching us; it means that the Creator is getting ready to reveal Himself in this world. We feel bad; we are going through a crisis because we have not achieved sufficient connection between the circles. We have to turn into a straight channel that will connect all spheres. Otherwise, the system around us will start to die; we, like cancer, kill it. It happens because we don’t make the “pipes,” the direct arteries between the spheres.
This is a very practical, thing. Each one of us has to become a “master installer.” Besides having the usual water pipes around, there is artform called “installation.”
Eventually, pipes have to grow so big, wide, and numerous that they will connect even the smallest spheres, and will eventually replace them. Instead of circles, there will be lines. The circles were made by the Creator as a manifestation of His attitude to us. On our part, we have to bestow to Him through a line. Therefore, the lines have to replace circles and fill them. By filling circles, we fill the Creator!
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/11/13, The Study of the Ten Sefirot