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Opinion (Greg Sattel, authority on digital strategy and innovation, speaker, consultant, and author of the Digital Tonto blog): “Strategy is no longer a game of chess because power no longer depends on nodes, but on networks.
“Consider how this crisis started. Until very recently, Viktor Yanukovych held nearly absolute power in Ukraine. When confronted, he remained defiant, exercising every lever of authority he possessed, including his control over the media, political structures and finally, the use of force.
“His rivals were almost comically ill-equipped. They donned makeshift shields and helmets, burnt tires to obstruct snipers, and communicated via social media. Yet still, they prevailed through a network of unseen linkages that proved to be decisive. …
“A small group of passionate people can influence others that are slightly more reticent, still others take notice and also join in. …
“The 21st century is increasingly driven by semantic linkages, which increases with your number of connections and the strength of your networks. …
“Yet, as it turned out, none of that did him much good. As political scientist Moisés Naím explains in The End of Power, overthrows are becoming the rule, rather than the exception. He writes, ‘Power is easier to get, but harder to use or keep.’
“Governments, religions, militaries — and yes, companies — are having to learn to live with diminished advantages to scale. Superior capital, technology, and market share no longer confer the benefits they once did. In fact, they might even blind us to dangers that lurk under the surface.
“To understand better how power works today, we need to look beyond the nodes and start thinking in terms of networks. … Leaders who fail to recognize the power of semantic networks of unseen connections, and instead rely on traditional notions of power and influence, are fighting a 20th century battle in a 21st century world. They will find their traditional chess pieces a bit useless.”
My Comment: Coups will be performed with ease, and further management is possible only through the consolidation of the masses through their participation in training in good mutual connections, by the method of the wisdom of connection.
Answer: There is nothing bad about separation except that we need to correct it. Here is the question that arises: What am I correcting it for? It’s necessary that the importance of this activity be determined by the right goal.
This means that I am not doing this so that I will feel good; rather, I rise to another level of decision making. My brain, intellect, and emotion, everything that is me will not belong to me personally but will belong to all. Every time that I rise to a higher level, I pass from an individualistic approach of determining my state, to a collective view, to a point of view that is for the benefit of all, like the head of a group who is concerned for the good of all of its members.
After that, the group is revealed to me with an even greater ego, with even greater mutual rejection than this, as if there is a collective descent, a fall. And so again I must raise myself to an even higher level of head of the group and again connect them together.
Question: At the time of Mordecai and Esther was the highest Zivug, which corresponds to the end of correction. What needs to be done in order to achieve this same state again?
Answer: We must live through all the material actions that have spiritual roots.
There were the all these events:ancient Babylon, Egyptian slavery, wandering in the desert, entering the land of Israel, erecting of the First Temple and its further destruction, Babylonian exile, constructing of the Second Temple, its devastation and exile—all these events took place for a reason. Now, we are approaching the very end.
The Purim events took place during the Babylonian exile. Since the destruction of the First Temple, we lost the Light of Mochin de Haya that was included in our Reshimo. This light was dormant and it was impossible to awaken it. It awakens only as a result of the action called Purim, only under its influence.
Due to the fact that the Jews won the Purim war, they were able to reveal the Upper Root. Now, we have to repeat this action on a worldwide scale. If not for the necessity to correct the entire world, we would build a Temple in the land of Israel out of our desire called Isra-el (Yashar-Kel – directly to the Creator.) We are talking only about spirituality, not materiality. At the time of final correction, the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels will be included in one spiritual degree.
Besides the people of Israel, there are nations of the world, and they are unable to directly connect with spirituality. That’s why the people of Israel were exiled and had to spread among them. During the last exile we mixed with the most distanced nations of the world. As to close nations, we mingled with them during prior exiles. The major connection happened between Persians and our people during the Babylonian exile.
Queen Esther is a real historical personage. Her son, Koresh, helped to build the Second Temple. He gave money to the Jews and brought them back to the land of Israel. He also helped to rebuild the entire country and invested a lot into its resurrection.
All these events should be revealed to the world as branches that originate from spiritual roots. Today, we reached the epoch of complete deliverance. That’s why there never will be a new Queen Esther, Ahasuerus, Haman—all these were material characters who participated in a theatrical performance. At this time, only spiritual forces that are yet to be discerned are acting.
These spiritual forces are detached from materiality, that’s why it is incorrect to state that modern Iranians are the same ancient Babylonians that were our enemies at some point. Not at all! We have to take a broader view. Anywhere in the world is the land of Israel, Babylon, Egypt, etc. We must not look at the map but at human nature. Today, we are in the state of the last exile that deals only with spirituality because at this time the world has become global, as one family.
Everything is just about one desire. We should split this overall desire into inanimate, vegetative, animate, and speaking levels. We have to filter these levels so that each time we regard things according to our current step, without connecting it to corporeality. There is no materiality. Everything is determined by the desire.
That’s why Purim, Mordecai, Esther, and Ahasuerus are only about spiritual paths. Spiritual forces are the only thing we should consider in this corporeal world.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/18/14, Writings of Rabash
Baal HaSulam, the article, “There is None Else Besides Him”: It is written, “There is none else besides Him.” This means that there is no other force in the world that has the ability to do anything against Him. Only one force exists, all of us are under its authority and there is no escape from its influence because all of us are found under its control.
And what man sees, that there are things in the world that deny the Higher Household, the reason is that this is His will. This is because it cannot be otherwise. He intentionally confuses us, gives us a false feeling of independent existence, of seemingly private thoughts and feelings. It is as if we exist independently with some kind of desires and thoughts. The Creator arranges all of this intentionally. That is how He awakens various disturbances in us.
This method is called, “the left rejects and the right adducts.” This means that both from the left and from the right when this one power pushes us from feeling existence within Him and also when He suddenly is revealed and reminds us of His existence, all this is done according to a unique plan. All kinds of influences of this one power throw us from side to side.
Only He acts upon us, intentionally making us forget that “There is none else besides Him” and sending disturbances in different forms. He awakens a feeling in us of existing in this world, portraying a picture of this world: that we have a family, children, grandchildren, life, study and work. In fact, all of this is portrayed only within our own mind and nowhere else.
But the main thing is that He brings us closer through rejection, so that we ourselves, based on our capabilities, find the way to approach Him. And the benefit from the rejections is that through them a person receives a need and a complete desire for the Creator to help him, since he sees that otherwise he is lost. And will never be able to discover Him by himself.
And only if the person overcomes all the obstacles with the help of the environment, efforts, and perseverance, then he reaches discovery of this force. He intentionally places obstacles for each one of us and for all of us together, so that we will overcome them, find, and discover Him. Therefore, all of the obstacles, confusions, exhaustion, various difficulties, detachments, and lack of agreement are imperative only in order that from negative states like these we will discover this force.
And to advance from the negative states towards the attainment is possible only if we shut our eyes, meaning that we don’t think about all the obstacles that He places before us. It is up to us to advance beyond them, with what is called “faith above reason” or with “an intention for the sake of bestowal.”
And the more rapidly that the person advances, this force presents clearer, greater, and more sophisticated obstacles in front of him, so that precisely through this subtlety the person will understand Him better, will see the internal state of this force more clearly and will recognize Him more closely.
Therefore the confusion, the subtlety, the cruel flirting, exist only to oblige us to search for what the intentions of that force that is playing with us are. When we investigate His attitude toward us, we learn both about ourselves and about Him, why He surrounds us with various external circumstances specifically this way and why He changes the desires and the thoughts in us all the time. Together with this, He leaves us with only one possibility, to remember that only He does everything and to appreciate this opportunity of connection with Him that is called the point in the heart.
In the end, this force exhausts us so much that we become confused and sink into egoistic thoughts about our world and forget that this is derived from Him, or we ignore Him and don’t want to think about Him; rather, we want to escape quickly and become detached from the spiritual work. We begin to hate the behavior of the Creator and the method to attain Him.
But nevertheless, He brings us to a state where we begin to understand that only He can help if He will “take us by the hands,” and just as He confuses us, so He also will resolve everything. Therefore, our final decision must lead to the confidence that only He can and must do this and that I oblige Him to do this!
But we don’t want Him to ease our distress and bring us somewhere; rather, we want Him to be revealed to us because we agree to be under His control! We want to be in the characteristic of bestowal, in the characteristic of connection with everyone! We want to feel the unity because now it is revealed before our eyes as the only proper and most complete characteristic.
If a person works this way outside of himself in order to bestow, then he has a yearning to connect with the Creator, meaning a yearning to connect with everyone, for mutual fulfillment, bestowal, love, and support. When a true need is awakened in a person like this through work with the group (otherwise he doesn’t reach it and doesn’t understand why), then the higher force is discovered.
Rather, for those people who truly want to draw near the Creator…he is therefore given help from Above. How? …and so they will not settle for little, meaning remain as senseless children. So that everything will be okay, relaxed, good, successful, and this way day after day, … so he will not be able to say that thank God, I have Torah and Mitzvot and good deeds, and what else do I need?
And only if that person has a true desire… for the goal of creation, meaning that his soul needs to discover the Creator. ….will he receive help from Above. How? And he is constantly shown how he is at fault in his present state. He has still not reached a state of connection with the Creator because his characteristics are absolutely the opposite of His. Namely, he is sent thoughts and views, which are against the work, against the Creator, against unity with Him. This is in order for him to see how far he is from the Creator, that he is not one with the Lord. That is how he is taken care of.
And as much as he overcomes, he always sees how he is farther from holiness (from bestowal), from love of others, than the rest of the friends, than others, who feel that they are one with the Creator, as it seems to him that they are more successful and more diligent. But he, on the other hand, always has complaints and demands, and he cannot justify the Creator’s behavior, and how He behaves toward him. How much time, how much effort and energy he wasted! What for? It is not clear to him what he is doing in life and therefore he cannot justify the behavior of the Creator. This pains him. What exactly? Indeed he suffers not because of his past! If he checks things correctly, he will begin to understand that his lack of agreement with the Creator, his lack of ability to justify Him, these are what cause him pain.
Where are all of those years that passed for nothing, the powers and efforts that he wasted? What is the purpose of all this? Is it truly possible to say that he yearned for something, advanced, did something? What was the benefit of all those years that passed?
Finally, he comes to feel that he has no part in holiness (in bestowal) whatsoever. Although he occasionally receives awakening from Above in regard to the friends or even in regard to the Creator, which momentarily revives him, but soon after he falls into the place of baseness. (This passes immediately and he sees that everything is artificial). And then he falls again.
But if he is stubborn and climbs the mountain all the time and falls, climbs and falls, then ultimately, after prolonged work, after a long time, he receives help from Above because he gathered enough effort in order to overcome himself for the sake of connection with the Creator.
He asks what the Creator wants him to do, and he does it. Does the Creator want him to do something else? He carries this out as well! If the Creator wants him to submit himself to the group, then he submits. Submit to the lessons and dissemination? Please, he also does this. He is ready to submit to everything that the Creator tells him! He doesn’t choose what to do. Suppose that he pays Maaser, studies once a week. It is not he who chooses this; rather, he carries out what our teachers say.
In spiritual work, the precise order of activities is very important, beginning from waking up in the morning, on which leg I stand up, what I do, which words I say, what is the first thing that I think about, what do I think about when I get up from the bed and go to the bathroom? I am saying this seriously! You can’t imagine how important the right intention is! Indeed every move that I make must be accompanied by the right and precise thought! That is what must be all the time, day after day, until this becomes a habit, something automatic! Otherwise, I will go back to various thoughts that detach me from the goal. Therefore I must immediately connect to the higher management. Everything that I feel and I think about, all these are from the Creator.
It’s very difficult to begin to think about the Creator in the morning. It is as if I am divided into two parts. All that I have is not mine, but comes from Him. Now I am going to the bathroom, wash, go back, do something else; all these are not me but Him. And so on. And the main thing is to accept everything gratefully, to elevate in my eyes the characteristic of bestowal that fills the whole world. And he who says that there is another force in the world that is the opposite of the Creator is absolutely disconnected from the supervision.
Basically, we are constantly involved with refining our characteristics, increasing their sensitivity, in order to begin to feel this force, the characteristic within which we are found. We learn how to tune into Him all the time, increasing our sensitivity to Him.
Come, let’s begin to feel Him together now. Where is He found? You see we are found within Him. Through your inner efforts, try to feel that He is found here close by! He is found within us, manages us also by means of the things that I am saying now and also what you hear from me; all this comes from Him. That is how He surrounds us within Him.
And if we become distant from advancement towards feeling the Creator, from equivalence of form with Him, and we fall, even then it is up to us to understand that He is doing this intentionally so that we will be elevated and feel the defect in the state through which we passed. Therefore, He intentionally arranges this fall for us.
And that is how it is all the time. If we become detached and fall, this says that the state through which we passed was incomplete and He is showing us where it is still possible to add a drop of sensitivity. There is no need to complain, because until today I advanced in the best way and that is what is interesting. Whatever it was, there is no need to be concerned about the past! Everything had to be exactly like that. Also there is no reason to be concerned about the future because the future is also from Him. It is the same thing regarding the present since what He is doing with me now is the best condition for me. So what remains for me to do? Just don’t separate from the thought that He constructs the past, the present, and the future both within me and outside of me.
If a person directs himself like this, he begins to feel that the Creator is working with him. And all of the changes within him, all of his thoughts and feelings, he begins to accept as the language of the Creator, as His turning towards him. What does the Creator say? The arrangement of all of my desires and thoughts is His appeal to me. On this level He speaks with me and awakens in me all of the internal changes. If I think about something now, wanted something, or didn’t think and didn’t want anything, He awakens all of this within me, He turns to me. And how do I turn to Him? I also direct my deficiencies and my thoughts to Him, understanding that He controls me absolutely.
And so it follows that I am in a dialogue with Him. I am included within the law of “There is none else besides Him,” because I am no longer the disturbance, rather I am mixed with Him, for nothing more than this is necessary. And so I see that the whole world and all that exists in it are my incorrect reactions regarding the actions of the Creator.
If a person feels that he is in a bad or good state, that something is happening to him, let’s say bestowal from the friends that formerly seemed to him to be a bad influence and now gives him inspiration, in sum this comes from the Creator and certainly this doesn’t happen because of our merits! And if we praise a friend, this says that this is how the Creator turns to us through him.
All of us must respect our friends because they are representatives of the Creator, for He chose them specifically in order to bestow to us through them. And it is necessary to be thankful for all of this only to the Creator and not to the friends. It cannot be that there is nobody to thank. If we say, “from love of the people to love of the Creator,” then everything proceeds in the right direction. Therefore the main thing is not ever to abandon the thought that we are not under the control of two or three forces; rather, we are under the control of the one and only force in the world! We have received the point of departure from Him, so that specifically with the help of our efforts, we will bring ourselves back into Him. The main thing is to imagine to ourselves (in our language) how it is possible to give Him contentment.
This is a wonderful discovery of connection; it absolutely frees a person and gives him immense possibilities of yearning only for discovery of the one and only Creator to all of humanity and even himself in particular. If we were to position ourselves correctly in regard to the Creator, then certainly we would see that there are no problems in the world at all.
I am talking about regular Kabbalists and not about those great Kabbalists, that need to be integrated with everyone and to suffer for all of humanity.
Baal HaSulam writes in the article, “Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator,” that when a person is in discovery of the face of the Creator, he comprehends the world as, “abundant, good, and great peace from the Creator and is always satisfied” and everyone who yearns for Him is found in wholeness. And the opposite, someone who doesn’t yearn for the Creator, is in confusion, deprivation, and disadvantage. This means that everything depends on how close we are to the Light. “There is none else besides Him!”
From the World Zohar Week “Integral Education Convention” Day Three 2/4/14, Lesson 1
From Baal HaSulam’s article “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 4: From that you can deduce about the wisdom of truth, which contains all the secular teachings within it, which are its “seven little maids.” This is the entirety of the human species and the purpose for which all the worlds were created, as it is written, “If My covenant be not with day and night, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.”
This is what has sustained us thus far, to maintain the armies and the wall around the wisdom of truth, so no stranger or foreigner would break in and put it in their vessels to go and trade it in the market, as with the secular sages. This was so because all who entered have already been tested by seven tests until it was certain beyond any concern and suspicion.
The science that explains the fundamentals of creation is inside a person. It explains how one can change oneself so that one understands the creation in its authentic form called the world of Infinity.
The science of Kabbalah is fundamental, as it is about the nature of the Creator and the nature creation and how the creation can attain the Creator. The creation senses this world under the condition that its perception are almost completely reduced. Instead of ten Sefirot (Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut), the creation possesses only five material senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Working with these five organs of sensation, the creation learns the laws of this world and names them “material sciences,” which reveal themselves through the egoistic desire.
Our reality given to us in the form of intellectual perceptions and sensations of this world exists only to serve as a basis that allows us to reach the Creator. Attainment of the Creator is the goal of the creation. The creation must reach the Creator, i.e. reveal Him and attain His level and His properties. Scientists presumed that it is not worth revealing the secrets of science to small egoists so that they wouldn’t make them the objects of trade on the market; however, Kabbalists never prohibited spreading their knowledge. On the contrary, they disseminated the fundamentals of the wisdom to the nations of the world.
One studies according to one’s desire. This explains why Plato and Aristotle studied the basics of Kabbalah and then based on this knowledge; they initiated the development of earthly sciences. Kabbalists were never against dissemination of knowledge since it stimulated the world’s progress. It instigated a rapid revelation of malevolence, acknowledgement of the evil inclination, and the necessity to correct them, to ascend to the authentic wisdom, thus rising to the true state, the world of Infinity.
Conversely, the wisdom of Kabbalah could have stopped the egoistic development. That’s why Baal HaSulam wrote that premature revelation of the wisdom of Kabbalah caused many problems and launched numerous mystical teachings. We haven’t fulfilled things we were supposed to, thus, we have to go through pain because Kabbalah was revealed prematurely. If we behaved differently, the program of creation could have been more favorable.
Even though an untimely revelation of Kabbalah brought troubles to the people of Israel, today we are at the doorstep of the final redemption. From now on, our correction and attainment of the true world depends only on us. Therefore, the wisdom of Kabbalah is open to everyone.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/11/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Today, the wisdom of Kabbalah is available to everybody: Please come in, the door is open! Still there is an invisible barrier (Machsom) that does not allow everybody to come in. When we advance and approach the entrance, it pushes us away.
We are almost there! And yet it repels us again. Sometimes we come closer to it and all of a sudden forget where we were heading. We turn aside and suddenly get distracted by something else.
It means that everybody who wants to enter should go through seven tests. One has to go through all the egoistic desires and rise above them so that one stops relying on oneself any more. This is the form that allows one to enter.
In other words, the door is always open if one withstands the tests. Our generation is the worst among all previous generations. It is said “the face of the generation is like a dog’s grin.” We don’t respect anything anymore. Compared to us, people who lived at the time of destruction of the Temple were very delicate and decent. They passionately aspired to spirituality.
Rabash shared that in the beginning of the 20th century, he happened to see the last of the real Hassidic Jews from Kotzk. At the end of the 19th century, if any young man from a small Russian or Polish Jewish town was offered studying and attaining the Creator, no one would think twice before quitting his prior lifestyle and would devote himself to this goal with no hesitation.
The revelation of Kabbalah came in parallel to the revelation of desires that fell to their lowest degree. The evil manifested itself in the most terrible way and we are unable to correct it because our pride, mutual hatred, and envy have reached their ultimate level. That’s why our generation is the one the wisdom of Kabbalah was exposed very widely to. Our desires are ready to go through “seven tests” and enter the gates of true wisdom. However, the warning of seven tests has always existed.
These tests are not checking the fineness of our desires, but their depth. Maturity of a desire is a condition for its disclosure. That’s why the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealing itself only now instead of emerging several hundred years ago. It is explained by the requirement to wait until the desires descend to the very bottom material Malchut.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/11/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
The Torah, “Exodus” (Ki Tissa), 34:1-34:3: And the Lord said to Moses: “Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones. And I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be prepared for the morning, and in the morning you shall ascend Mount Sinai and stand before Me there on the top of the mountain. No one shall ascend with you, neither shall anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain, neither shall the sheep and the cattle graze facing that mountain.”
All the attributes except for the attribute of Moses in a person cannot come close to the attribute of absolute love and bestowal called the Creator. Only these attributes in a person can receive the Torah.
The tablets are the passing of the attribute from an upper level to a lower level. The passing of the tablets symbolizes the state of the flow of the Light, of information, power, the information between the two Partzufim. In other words a tablet is a charge of upper energy, upper information and knowledge, and mainly a charge of the spiritual attribute. So Moses prepares the tablets and the Creator brings them to life.
The first tablets were broken on the 9th of Av, and now we speak about the second tablets that appear on the day of judgement (Yom Kippur). All the events take place on Mt. Sinai, which means in a state of ascent above the ego, above hatred. After all, feeling repulsion from others, feeling that others are opposite from us, is our main attribute. We don’t have to call it hatred, of course, because it is divided and it changes, but the hatred remains. On the whole, everything stems from this attribute.
Our world is total hatred and the spiritual world is love, and there is nothing else but that! So when we ascend above hatred, we reach love.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 9/16/13
From Baal HaSulam’s articles “The Giving of the Torah” and “Arvut (The Mutual Guarantee)” and other sources including Rav Kook’s writings, we clearly see that those who aspire to merge with the Creator without pulling the entire world cannot achieve correction.
We need to realize that hiding from the world, taking care of ourselves, and studying for ourselves are very comfortable for our egoism, but it does not help. Until we realize this, nothing happens.
Don’t complain that the world is not receptive and does not want to listen. Those are just excuses to justify our laziness and discomfort in this material plane. When it comes to the Upper Force that organizes the entire reality and creates all internal and external conditions for us, we need to decide once and for all and confirm each day that by not observing this particular requirement, we do not deal with spiritual advancement.
Because it means that we are not engaged in building the spiritual system. In this case, we would be replaced by others or the Creator will send us terrible disasters and problems and we will still have to return to Him against our will. This should be very important to us.
Some people complain that they have been studying for 10-15 years now, but they still have not reached the attainment yet. They have to better understand the system we are in. If we act correctly inside the system, then we advance towards its true goal: the revelation of the force of bestowal, connection, merging with the Creator, and the ability not to demand anything for ourselves, i.e., spiritual attainment. Our advancement is possible only if we act this way.
If someone behaves differently, then one should not be in the group and be unnecessary ballast in the common boat. It’s better to just walk away, at least then you would know what you are doing, instead of coming every few years with complaints: “Why haven’t I reached the revelation yet?
This is an egoistic question: “Why don’t I have it?” But he doesn’t ask: “Why have I studied for so many years and still continue thinking about myself?” Instead, “Why haven’t I received something that I was waiting for so long?”
We should fulfill our duties. The Creator never compromises. We are talking about the whole of creation and the system requires our actions. In his works, Rabbi Kook writes that the state of the world requires us to act and that there is no room to escape. Correction is to realize our exclusivity.
We feel the desire to attain the Creator not because we are so special; rather, the Creator purposely awakens the desire in us so that we can do our job properly. Our duty is to fulfill our task correctly, not acting in our own way, but rather learning how to perform it.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/18/14
Preparation for the Lesson
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Shamati #69 “First Will Be the Correction of the World”
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Writings of Rabash “Shlavei HaSulam,” “Come Unto Pharaoh – 2”
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, Article “Petah HaShaar“
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