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The World Zohar Convention 2014 is dedicated to the most important and unequaled book that was given to humanity from Above through a unique group of Kabbalists. All of reality is a result of the breaking of desires. And in our world this breaking was manifested by way of the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
The ten Kabbalists who created The Book of Zohar were the remaining survivors of the destruction. On the one hand, they still belonged to the great times and high spiritual levels of the people of Israel at the time of the Temple, meaning at the spiritual state. But on the other hand, they had already emerged from the breaking and reached a unique revelation among them thanks to absolutely unique work.
Never in history had there been an event like this, that a group of ten people gathered and attained such a strong connection, rising to the height of 125 levels of correction of the breaking that existed between them. And therefore by way of their external connection, meaning by way of the book, they managed to convey the levels through which they had passed: from hatred to love, and after that from even greater hatred to even greater love, and so on further and further.
It is said, “Whoever is greater than his friend has greater egoism.” And therefore the higher we rise, the more distant and opposite we feel in relation to each other, the more hateful. That is how our nature, the evil inclination, is revealed to us.
A regular person doesn’t have an evil inclination, he simply has desires. Whereas the evil inclination is revealed in people who want to connect with each other and at that time, according to their aspiration, pressure, and efforts to connect, they discover how incapable of this they are. They discover that the ego is awakened in them all the time and pushes them away from each other.
In The Book of Zohar it is written that the very same students of Rabbi Shimon, who each had attained an extraordinary height, the upper part (GAR) of the world of Atzilut, before the lesson, at the first attempt to connect, felt unbearable hatred towards each other. They expressed all of this inner struggle and antagonisms in The Book of Zohar. They felt how the fire of hatred burned in them, something which specifically indicates a very high level of the recognition of the evil inclination and its corresponding correction into the good inclination.
From the World Zohar Convention 2/5/14, Lesson 1
Answer: Everything begins with the still level. Until I go through the first three levels of the still, vegetative, and animate nature, I will not reach the speaking level and to the level of the Creator.
And accordingly, it’s impossible to stop halfway or to cancel something if it’s “needless.” Thus, I get up out of bed in the morning, brush my teeth, wash my face, and come to the lesson…. And during all of that I must be strictly and punctually correct, without wavering.
But no, “today I am in a philosophic mood. I am sitting at home by myself and thinking about life. I don’t want to be under the influence of the group. I don’t want to be together with the friends. On the contrary, I need a break, to get away from them. After all, a person is an independent creature and doesn’t depend on anyone. So, I won’t be dependent on the group and won’t do what the others do. I need to be higher than them.”
The conclusions are seemingly correct and logical but they are wrong at the root. It isn’t just written, “I dwell among my people.” Growth is possible only within the group, within the many, being mutually integrated with each other without any conditions. The Creator brings me to the group and says: “Take.” And afterwards it’s my choice if I take this present from Him. Or do I refuse it with pride? All the levels are constructed one above the other, without cancelling the previous one, but by adding to it a new attribute.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/21/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
One should not dwell in the previous stage, but should immediately enter into the next level and accustom oneself to such a change of states. If we stop in a particular state, this is not good. All changes are for the good; the main thing is that there should be changes.
It is written, (Isaiah 2:3) “For out of Zion shall go forth the law,” meaning departing from the previous state, even the best. This is even if it’s a fall from a higher state, from joy to sorrow. This is not important, only that there should be as many changes as possible because they determine the rate of advancement.
We always advance, stepping with the left foot or with the right foot; that is how movement is made. Therefore the main thing is not to stand on one leg in the same spot, rather to move all the time: from the left line to the right, or from the right to the left. The main thing is to go out of the previous state and enter into a new level of connection.
The ascents and descents happen all the time. They say that the Seer of Lublin said to his student who was complaining about the constant ascents and descents that he passed through 400 ascents and descents in the morning. It’s not necessary to think that he counted them, he simply knew the number of levels that he had risen: that is, the level where he had been before and the level to which he had risen. And that is how he knew that they were 400. Additionally, 400 is a number that symbolizes completion.
The more internal changes happen within a person, the better. And it’s not necessary to analyze them as to whether they are good or bad. There are no bad changes! Baal HaSulam writes: “I am happy about the wickedness that is revealed”; you see, if they are revealed this says that it’s possible to correct them. Even though it’s bad for me, I am happy that I can correct this evil. Therefore it’s good that you are going through many ascents and descents.
And in addition, this helps the friends. Everyone goes through many inner changes, and through integration we convey these ascents and descents to one another. So it follows that everyone wins and advances quickly.
From a Preparatory Lesson for the Arava Convention 1/30/14
Integral Education Convention, Workshop 2: The group provides us the means that allow us to constantly yearn for the right feeling that my whole life, my thoughts and feelings, all stem from the Creator and that it is arranged that way so that through the connection, we will turn to Him.
Generally speaking the world is divided into two parts:
People who flow together with the group are required to strengthen and to build it consciously. The main thing is to understand that the moment they become part of one of our groups or of the general group, they have nothing private or individual anymore. Everything that happens to them is only a result of being in a common movement with us. Now everything that they receive is through the center of the group and it doesn’t matter if it’s consciously or not. Then it spreads to everyone and each one receives according to the efforts that he has to make in the common flow towards connection, towards the center.
It is the same when it comes to our movement towards the Creator. Everything that we want to focus on Him, to tell Him, to ask from Him, to summon His bestowal upon us, the influence of the Surrounding Light, and so on, can also come only through the center of the group. This means that the center of the group is very important for us, like a point from which we can ascend in our appeal to the Creator and through it, like though an umbilical cord, we receive everything and give everything.
Let’s imagine our spiritual umbilical cord through which we receive and give everything. Only through this cord are we connected to the source of life. Imagine that you are an embryo in a womb, and that through this cord, through the center of the group, we receive our life, all the spiritual force, everything there is.
When we find the connection to the umbilical cord, we begin to realize the way that it’s all built, and how everything actually descends to us from the upper Providence. Our world is merely the world of outcomes, and therefore nothing is ever born in it. We begin to realize how we can affect the upper Providence and to evoke the best ascent.
Thus we reach a conscious development because we find the connection with our source, and start to connect between us, to draw everything from Him and to respond to it correctly. Although “there is none else but Him,” the Creator is eventually a simple passive source. Everything that happens is only through our bestowal, according to our request.
So how can we bestow upon the source through this umbilical cord? Through the center of the group, of course, otherwise there would be no contact with it. We discover it in order to ascend above all our deficiencies, and connect in order to receive the answer from Above, feeling the cooperation between us and the Creator through the pipe, through the line. We study about the line in Kabbalah and it goes like a pipe from the world of Ein Sof (Infinity) all the way to our world.
We serve as an upper level for the public and we have to use this pipe so that people will be nourished by us and will gradually be drawn upwards. It seems that we feel the point of contact with the Light, with the Creator, with the upper level, but for some reason we don’t really rush to find it and to use it in order to start passing the positive energy from the top down towards us and the negative energy from the bottom up.
The crisis that develops around us is in order to help us with it. Eventually, if we don’t wake up in time, it will also reach us not only spiritually, but also in the ordinary corporeal sense. After all, the crisis is meant only to awaken us to a quick connection with the immense force, with the abundance, with the upper Light that includes everything, in order to convey it through us to the world on the outside.
If we don’t do it in time, the world will not treat us very nicely. It refers specifically to us and to the wisdom of Kabbalah since we are the ones who have to perform the correction. If we did everything in time, we wouldn’t see a crisis at all and we wouldn’t feel anything negative. We would be taking constant preventive steps.
But we are lagging behind. At the moment we lag behind a little. I hope that it’s enough, and that later we will begin to understand the responsibility that we have towards the world and will understand that the crisis is a lack of the upper force that has to be conveyed to the world through us.
So how can we organize ourselves as quickly as possible in order to come in contact with the Creator, with the external world, and to be the conductors of the upper Light, of the abundance? After all, this is the solution to every aspect of the crisis. We have to feel that we are the conductors that connect between the upper world and the lower world; this is what we have to do.
It says: “The upper shall learn from the lower.” We have to better understand how we should turn to the Creator, based on our integral dissemination and our integral education in turning to the public. It’s just as we finally begin to appreciate the way our parents treated us when we become parents. When we begin to tie the deficiencies that are evoked in the public with the global integral solution, with the spiritual ascent that the Creator expects us to make, it’s as if we include the two ends:
This is how we develop on the whole, thanks to the fact that we are between the hammer and the anvil. On the one hand there is the public, the masses, and on the other hand the Creator. We have to balance the Creator’s actions which spur us on to connect that descend from the top and are fulfilled in the masses in the form of troubles and simple human needs, and we raise the problems and the simple troubles through us to a higher level of connection with the Creator, above time and space, above everything that is already in us, to the spiritual space.
This is our uniqueness, as we begin to connect the two worlds in us and to tie them to us. This is the special quality of the group that can perform this work, to connect, to include and to tie the two opposite worlds inside it. Being an integral part, we include all of humanity and we lower the Creator into it from Above. Thus we attain the feeling that is between the two opposite systems of creation. This is our uniqueness and our ultimate fulfillment.
The created being’s ultimate goal is actually fulfilled inside the group, which means in the connection of humanity, starting from the center, from us, and spreading to wider circles. We are already pulling those who are behind us, inviting them to join us, without pulling them to our level but simply acting according to the level of their desire and understanding the crisis as an aspiration for connection.
We feel that the current crisis is spiritual, while they feel it on the corporeal level. Yet, on the whole, the solution is one and it is to reach an equivalence of form with the Creator and to know how to be in contact with Him so that He and we will connect according to the condition of the equivalence of form. This is the method.
From the World Zohar Week “Integral Education Convention” Day One 2/02/14, Workshop 2
Preparation to the Lesson
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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 3, Chapter 7, Item 2
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar“
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