Each of us once was a fetus in his or her mother’s womb. Our mothers nurtured us and as a result we developed. Imagine a state when you are there, inside. How does one feel while being in the fetal state?
The fetal state is analogous to our current stage of development. The breakthrough to spirituality is completely parallel to the stages a fetus goes through while it grows. The opposing forces (bestowal and receiving) descended from spirituality and ensure our evolution.
In The Study of the Ten Sefirot there are about a thousand pages that explain how spirituality can be attained. The book describes the descent of both forces into this world. Stages of descent are similar to the way we come to and then develop in this world.
So, what are the ways of advancement?
A group serves the “womb” for us; we have to take the best possible care of it. Our advancement should be conscientious and this is the difference in spiritual progress, spiritual growth from any other kind of advancement.
In this world, a fetus never worries about the place that ensures its birth and further growth. A fetus advances unconsciously. The same applies to humanity, its advancement is mindless; we are driven forward by forces, incentives, properties, desires, “chances.” etc.
We are the ones who have to create a suitable environment for our growth, the surroundings that will ensure our advancement. Our progress completely depends on the development of our environment. If we don’t elevate the group, if we don’t unite, connect, or enhance the collection and unity of friends, we won’t advance.
In his writings, Baal HaSulam mentioned that regrettably there were cases in the history of humanity when the “fetus” appeared stillborn. It happened solely because a group stopped caring for their unity.
At each step, we have to enhance our connection. When we manage to boost the unity among us, we rise and go through a new state, a new day, until we complete the entire nine months of our development. Then, we are born. The process of birth in this world happens in complete agreement with spiritual laws. This explains why those who are aware of spiritual laws also realize what’s going on in this material realm.
Thus, the development of the group, we should always choose over our personal progress, since only through the group can we “pull” ourselves up. This is the way we ascend: We trigger the influence of the Upper Light on us, demanding from It and appealing to It, begging and praying that It raises, unites, and connects us. Our connection activates the surrounding force, the mother’s womb, in which we are conceived. We call it Malchut or Shechina. This is where we turn into a man.
There are two opposing forces that reciprocally interact, the force of receiving and the power of bestowal. They have to come in balance with each other. Each time, when the equilibrium between these two forces is reached, it gives rise to an ascent. Then, we strive to a new state of balance, thus rising again. This is how we progress and are born. In fact, we ourselves grow.
The problem is that we have to relate to both developing forces positively, with joy. They are not always very pleasant; both of them work as “sandpaper” on our egoism and trigger numerous troubles and problems. We should always keep in mind that everything is organized by the Creator and only by Him. The Creator has enumerable methods to “bother” us; every moment He sends something to each of us separately and to all of us together.
We should accept His “treatment” and accept the states we go through in our material lives as blessing and a lot of luck. We have to realize that everything that happens to us is just the way He treats us and leads us. We should connect everything that happens to us with the notions “There is none else besides Him” and “He is the absolute good that does good.” No doubt that we perceive our lives contrary to His unconditional benevolence since we regard His influence through our egoism. As soon as we unite, His guidance will transform in the “absolute good”—truly!
Sometimes we happen to feel a spark of complete benevolence during our group gatherings or while we are engaged in collective actions that aim at enhancing of our unity. On other occasions, this state emerges on a personal, independent basis. The latter is not as desirable as when the group “digests” the Creator’s impact jointly.
The effects we receive mostly are not enjoyable. They become satisfying only when we correctly connect them with ourselves, thus reaching the middle line between the right and left lines (between good and bad states), when we pursue spiritual advancement by means of connecting with others.
All we have to do is just properly understand and accept the upper influence and correctly assess it. Our job is to constantly analyze and refer to the same notion over and over again; i.e., anything that happens to us, inside us, in our hearts and thoughts, desires and inspirations, everything that ever happens to us is done solely by the Upper Light.
Why does it work this way? – Because our job is to connect with our friends and pray that the Upper Light elevates us to the next state, to the property of bestowal.
We should tune ourselves in a way that we won’t miss an opportunity to ascend. Very rarely do we realize that everything that goes on with and in us comes from the Creator and that He is the one who sends all situations to us only because He wants to make us plea to Him in order to transform our “troubles” into a positive advancement. Each moment of our time, all our existence, is a permanent appeal to us from Above, a call to rise to Him. Our job is to tune ourselves up so that we won’t miss this chance.
The main prerequisite to it is to “lift our hearts to the Creator’s path.” Constantly, each one of us separately and all of us together should make our relationships with Him much more sensitive. If we manage to do so, we’ll start understanding what He is telling us. He talks to us exclusively through sensations that emerge in us; whereas we respond to Him through our reactions to sensations that we receive from Him. It happens over and over again: we receive a new sensation from Him and react to it, etc.
This is how we advance, like children who learn by reacting to stimuli. It’s not important if a child’s reaction is good or bad, right or wrong, this is the way children grow. We advance the same way.
From the World Zohar Week “Integral Education Convention” Day One 2/02/14, Workshop 2