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Opinion (Alexander S. Puzanov, professor of the Department of Economics and Municipal Management, Higher School of Economics, Russia): “Life in the modern metropolis distorts natural human reactions, destroys a person’s wholeness and increases the distance between people. Residents of megacities tend to reflect too much and inhibit natural emotional impulses.
“They have many personalities; they have a lot of social roles – at work, at home, in the store, in the virtual space. Such number of roles on different “stages” leads to the destruction of the human I.
“Disconnection between people is growing in the big city, but metropolis actively tries to control different aspects of human life. An avalanche of various information engulfs a person in the city, forces him to screen it out, to filter it.
“In the city, a transformation of natural human reactions occurs. The reduction of physical distance between people is inevitable in a city with a high population density. It is accompanied by an increase in social distance.”
My Comment: The correction of society and the universal crises is precisely in the reduction of the distance between people. But this correction can be achieved only by attracting the Upper Light, the property of bestowal, which is manifested in the correct unity.
Question: It is said that “The Lord will open the eyes of his heart.” What does the “eyes of his heart” mean and how can they be opened?
Answer: To open the eyes of the heart means that the heart is wise and that it understands. Eyes are the vessel of Hochma and the heart is the vessel of Bina. When these vessels connect as Aba ve Ima (father and mother), as Hochma and Bina, a person begins to feel Hochma within the heart.
Our heart is a desire to receive, a desire to enjoy. The heart is corrected when it acquires the attribute of bestowal, the Light of Hassadim. I can understand the hidden reality that manages us according to the Light of Hassadim that is dressed in the heart. Then my heart becomes a wise heart, a heart that understands, a heart that feels.
It doesn’t simply feel the corporeal desire to enjoy but also the true reality. This means that I have acquired the wisdom of the heart. There is a correction in the desire called a heart that is performed by the Light of Hassadim and then Hochma is dressed in Hassadim. Then it is said that the heart understands, and such people are called wise-hearted, since they have received the correction of Hassadim and of their desires. The Hassadim are so corrected that they can also receive the Light of Hochma and receive in order to bestow, then the heart begins to see.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
The Torah, “Exodus” (VaYakhel), 35:30-35:34: Moses said to the children of Israel: “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He has imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, and with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship to do master weaving, to work with gold, silver, and copper, with the craft of stones for setting and with the craft of wood, to work with every [manner of] thoughtful work. And He put into his heart [the ability] to teach, both him and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.”
Bezalel is the attribute that understands how to collect all the separate parts of the soul and make them parts that are connected correctly: where to glue them, where to weave, where to cut, where to connect, and where to match. It is the work of a sculptor.
Today, humanity is in a state of terrible contradiction and is antagonistically controlled in a rigid system. It is impossible to bring it back to zero and to start fixing it from there, like a poorly running machine that you stop and begin delving into, checking its separate parts, disassembling and reassembling.
After all, the system of humanity constantly is working and constantly changing! As it changes, we must constantly perceive which changes we can make during its wrong movement in order to gradually fix it. However, it constantly rejects this.
Can you imagine what would happen if we began doing something with humanity now, with the banking system, politicians, the infrastructure of pedagogy and education, with problems of different religions and beliefs, with everything that exists in society? If we do something somewhere, others immediately would want to put everything back on the egoistic track.
So, we should approach this system when we understand how we can begin doing something with it because it continues to roll ahead egoistically. How can we make changes in it so that the ego will not manage to control and use them for its own good, and the small corrections that we make in the system will manage to change the ego, although it controls the whole system?
This is a totally new approach! How can we move to it, even if you were given the opportunity? But no one gives you this chance. After all, you are not a king and not the Creator of this world! You simply understand that it must be changed somehow, but how?
Therefore, we have a property called “Bezalel’ (baa–El, purpose), meaning “in the shadow of the Creator,” when a person wants the Creator to work and that he should be His shadow. This is actually why he follows the Creator, so that He can create, weave, and glue all the parts of the general soul correctly. It is total self-annulment and full adaptation with the Creator’s shadow. It is as if the Creator operates inside a person by making his heart wise.
In other words, it is such self-annulment, convergence and adhesion with the Creator, that, thanks to it, a person can begin to change the world and create the corrected center of the world around which everything else is built.
Thus, by merging in the center of the group, we find the attribute of Bezalel there, by which we can continue to act by gradually filling the general collective vessel we have created until the illumination, the Creator, is revealed in it.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/7/13
Answer: The entire system is connected and works according to absolute laws. But within this integral system there is a unique layer that begins to grow, and this is called “man.”
This layer has the ability to shake the system up, to take it out of balance and each time to restore balance, and again to take it out of balance even more and restore it to greater balance. For this layer called “man” there are constantly such possibilities. After all, this is the way this layer acquires a feeling and intelligence of the entire system, by taking it out of balance and restoring it, again and again.
Certainly this layer doesn’t do this with its own powers: The system goes out of balance through a unique program for that layer called “man.” There are unique powers and formulas that take the system out of balance with respect to humans. The upper world is not changed, only its image in regard to us, in regard to the bubble in which we are found, changes.
This is done so that we will become familiar with the system and will require it to return to balance. Through our becoming aware of the lack of balance and demand it to return to a state of balance, we acquire intelligence and emotion, we become familiar with the general program of the entire system. And then we begin to shrink and expand, to inhale and exhale, and in this way we become familiar with the system.
Question: So does a person have free choice or not?
Answer: The free choice of the person is in gathering with people like himself in this system and together demanding balance, wanting to return the system to balance. This is a person’s unique freedom. This is only through work in a group with people like himself. He can gradually expand the layer and include all of humanity, connecting with them and demanding balance and harmony. This demand is called a prayer or raising MAN.
We must strive for change. To the extent that you balance yourself with the system, you will begin to feel it. To the degree that you can shrink your “I,” to this degree you expand and extend the “we,” and in this area you will feel the balance and harmony of all the forces that are working there in real nature. Only then will you be able to understand what is happening.
There is no greater joy than the resolution of difficulties. Precisely by your inclusion in a state of balance and harmony in which everything is balanced, Light comes from above and fills all the Kelim, and this produces true joy.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/21/14, Writing of Baal HaSulam
If I yearn for faith above reason and make efforts to get closer to others and ask for help from Above in order to do so, I receive the hardening of the heart each time. The exile and the redemption arrive alternately. Exile is a descent and redemption is an ascent, so I am constantly either in a state of ascent or of descent.
Kabbalists explain that both the ascents and descents help us advance, as it is said: “The Torah will come out of Zion (stemming from the root “exits, descents”).” Redemption means that I adhere to someone else with all my heart ready to connect to him. And it is all above the repulsion and the hatred; I don’t try to erase anything, but advance along the middle line.
When I manage to reach a certain connection, I immediately feel the chilling cold in our relationship with any person or group, and they become indifferent to me. But I should understand that this indifference and the hardening of the heart already belong to the next level.
The faith and the inclination to connect, I had previously, turn into an inclination to separate. So I have to work on returning to connection again with the help of the group, with its support and mutual guarantee and the Light that Reforms, but later I will cool down again.
We know that in the descent from the top down Malchut of the upper Partzuf becomes Keter of the lower. So the moment I ascend, I attain my Keter, which is the maximum bestowal I can only imagine and want, and it immediately becomes Malchut of the upper, egoistic receiving. The ascent occurs according to this principle.
We can explain this only from the perspective of the Reshimot (reminiscences): if there are Reshimot of Aviut (thickness) of the root phase and Reshimot of dressing in the next level, then on the next level it is already phase one and two and on an upper level it is phase two and three. Thus, there is a constant reversal: exile and redemption, exile and redemption, like inversions as one develops at the expense of another.
The main thing is not to be impressed by the descents and ascents but to constantly be impressed by the pace of the changes. The more changes there are the better! Israel are those who hasten time, who sanctify time. Time, which means the pace of the advancement, is the main thing for Israel.
We don’t need to pay attention to the changes we go through. We don’t need to delve into a state and sink into it. On the contrary, the main thing is to go through as many changes as possible.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/25/14
The Book of Zohar, Chapter “Beresheet” (Genesis), Item 379: In the passage “and the Almighty created the firmament” refers to the highest firmament Atzilut. However, what is established in Atzilut is formed and spreads down in all the levels of BYA, down to the bottom of the lower sea.
Question: What is the firmament?
Answer: The firmament is a boundary to which the creation can rise and merge with the Upper, not above it. Above the firmament are vessels (Kelim) that the creation can receive, but we live in the space between the sky and the earth, in AHP.
Question: By reaching the complete justification of the Creator, one achieves a state called “complete righteous” and becomes the firmament that connects the upper world with the lower one. Is that so?
Answer: The righteous is the one who is at the level of the firmament. He reveals bestowal that flows through him.
Question: Is the Creator a property of bestowal?
Answer: Yes. That’s why it is called “Bo-Re” (Come and See). As soon as you reveal the property of bestowal, it means that you reveal the Creator.
Question: Does it mean that the Creator is a force that the righteous reveals by reaching the property of the firmament”?
Answer: Yes, it is true. The Creator can be revealed only when He dresses in a human being. A man who attains equivalence of properties with the Creator is called righteous.
The Creator is a property of bestowal that fills someone to the degree of the correction of one’s vessels, desires, Kelim. A screen and the reflected light are called a vessel, i.e., a measure of one’s aspiration towards reaching unity with one’s neighbor through which one can become similar to the Creator, to the Light, thus revealing the Light of bestowal in one. A place where one reveals the Light of bestowal is called a vessel.
When one wants to convey the property of bestowal to another, it means that the Light runs through me so it will act on them.
Question: Do we perceive all this inside ourselves? Are all the people, that is, all the vessels, desires, that look external to us in fact our internal desires?
Answer: Everything is inside a person. There is nothing external. At the same time, we observe the picture of this world and have to relate to it correctly: as to something that is going on outside us and at the same time is internal to us. We have to attain a state at which both realities exist simultaneously without erasing one another. If we think that everything we see is true, it means that we live only in this world. If we consider everything to be parts of our soul, if we think that everything is inside us and that all there is around us is our own parts, we as if cross out this world. We have to be present in both worlds at the same time.
Until one reaches the final correction (Gmar Tikkun), the structure of this world won’t disappear and it is prohibited to forcefully reject it.
Question: Is the final correction (Gmar Tikkun) a state that happens at the end of each step when a righteous achieves the level of the Creator?
Answer: You can ask your question in a different way: When does one sense something that looks like the final correction to him? It happens when one completes a current step. However, it is not the real final correction but some sensation of completion of one more level. In other words, it happens when one reaches complete correction within the vessels that one was working with. However, you should keep in mind that the final correction is always partial since one never involves all vessels in the process, and we never know which particular part is excluded. After all, some of the vessels belong to Malchut of the world of Infinity. From the whole Malchut of the world of Infinity, we have a tiny Kli, ten Sefirot that are open to us, and from them we cut off certain portions from them to the extent of our ability to work with them.
It turns out that there are three parts: a Kli in which we work; a Kli in which we cannot work (you can say that it is GE and AHP or Ramach and Shasa, i.e., imperative and prohibitive commandments. They all total to ten Sefirot; besides, the Kelim that represent the entire reality, the rest of Malchut of the world of Infinity is something that we are still unable to correct.
Question: If I correct ten Sefirot, does it mean that I connect them and make them as one?
Answer: No, that’s wrong. The spiritual system is analog in which each part is connected with others by myriad connections. You cannot say: “Now I am here in my ten Sefirot and later I will grow up to ten even bigger Sefirot, and so on and so forth…” No, it’s not true. It’s as if you are “spread” throughout the entire system.
Even though you are very tiny, you are still connected to everyone and “spread” over all. When you advance, you grow all of your properties little by little. You are not the one who defines which properties to expand, but rather it’s a system, the root of your soul that is responsible for this choice. That’s how we progress.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah lesson 11/20/13, The Zohar
The Torah, “Exodus” (VaYakhel), 35:22: Men and women, all whose hearts moved them, all who would make an elevation offering of gold to the Lord, came bringing brooches, earrings, rings, and pendants—gold objects of all kinds.
A donation refers to tearing what is dear to our ego from ourselves. These are the “jewels” that we have to sacrifice in order to make from them the common part of the soul that the Light can enter.
The word sacrifice stems from the root “close” in Hebrew, getting closer. This means that on the one hand, we tear it from our ego and on the other hand, we get closer to the Creator.
Our mission is to prepare the condition for the Light to be revealed between us in the central part where we are all connected. By rejecting the ego we come closer only by our altruistic parts, by our willing heart, which means only by the part that can come in contact with others.
Since the central part is above the ego, it turns out that we have separate egoistic parts and a common altruistic part where we merge. On the seventh day of the correction it becomes one general whole and thus the correction is completed.
Question: What do you mean when you say: “Think about the center of the group, connect in the center of the group?”
Answer: It means that you should give what is most precious to you and pass it to the center of the group. A person doesn’t feel sorry about spending anything, but when he has to give a donation to the collective pot so that it will become everyone’s property he feels that he loses something; he cannot bear it! He can, for example, easily spend a lot of money in a restaurant, but when he has to give a small part of that money for a joint business his hand shakes.
Different forces operate here. It isn’t about a person being stingy but that he simply cannot do it since giving to others is against his basic nature! It’s only under the influence of the Light that he gradually changes, but on the whole it’s very difficult! I see my pupils go through this and I also felt it myself.
The higher you ascend, the more and more difficult it is to give the maaser as your part so that it would melt in others. On the one hand, you seem to understand more, you are more aware and you already have some nourishment, some confidence, but on the other hand, it becomes more and more difficult. It’s because the ego doesn’t disappear. You constantly work on it and it keeps on growing more and more.
Thus we gradually reach the attribute of a priest, when we are left with nothing. This means that we have the whole world and we have to give all of it! These are very high levels.
Question: What is the meaning of the seventh millennium with regard to the connection in the center of the group?
Answer: The seventh millennium is the general connection, when everyone merges together as the gold jewels that are melted in the vessel. They bubble and sparkle and become one whole. Then above it we begin to attain the Creator, the eighth, ninth, and tenth millennia.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/10/13
Question: Why is the Torah written in a way that doesn’t pull us to connect? Instead, it talks about numerous crimes and punishments that are totally opposite to the law of not thinking about ourselves.
Answer: Does it mean that the language of the Torah distances you from the right actions? The Torah talks about everything in a way that makes it difficult to focus on correction. First of all, there is no mention of the group, connection, or love. Yes, it is written: “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and yet even though it is the major law of the Torah, this phrase is stated only in one of the books, not in all of them.
It is not written before each commandment that first we have to love our neighbors as ourselves and from this to loving the Creator, and then observing the laws of Kashrut or replenishing damages. This major rule is mentioned only once; children are taught this law in the very beginning of their school years, but there is no reference to this notion anywhere else in the entire book.
The fact is that studying the Torah has been in the period of exile; it talks about traditions and material commandments that we have to observe in this world. It doesn’t teach intentions; people should just follow the instructions of the Creator naively. It was forbidden to teach intention during the period of exile so it was taught simply in an external form.
We need to understand that throughout the history of humanity, there have been wise Kabbalists at high levels of spiritual attainment. They were the leaders of the people, but they were forbidden to approach people and teach them the ways to exit from the exile before it was entirely completed.
The Egyptian exile was to last 400 years. However, since the people of Israel exited it ahead of time (after 210 years), the remaining 190 years were split among the subsequent exiles.
The same problem occurs with Jacob who wanted to disclose the secret of the final correction to his sons, but he was not allowed to do so. It is prohibited to disclose it. People are allowed to see only what they really need to be exposed to. “Do not place obstacles before a blind man.”
So people were allowed to observe traditions at home and continue praying. It is what the Torah of exile permits. Rabbi Chaim Vital speaks very harshly about mechanical studies of the Talmud in his preface to the book The Gates of Holiness. This does not in any way imply disregard for the book itself, which was written by the great Kabbalists, from their spiritual attainment and yet it should be understood and treated differently, not as it is done today. The period of exile is over now and we must study the Torah of the period of deliverance, that is the wisdom of Kabbalah.
We know how hard it is. We spend years exerting in various actions until we gradually reach the correct attitude, before we begin understanding that except for the connection in the group and revelation of the correct form of unity called the Creator there is nothing else at all. Everything else is just idolatry.
Even essential actions that are done without the right intention to unite are idolatry. This is how we must relate to life. This is the approach we have to exercise during the period of deliverance that happens right before the disclosure of the letter “Aleph” (the Creator) inside the word “exile” (gula) transforming the word “exile” into “deliverance” (geula).
We are the first generation of the era of deliverance, and it is difficult for us to reveal this knowledge to others.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/13/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 15, “Histaklut Pnimit,” Item 38
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “This Is for Judah”
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