Baal HaSulam, Shamati, #25, “Things That Come From The Heart”: Regarding things that come from the heart, enter the heart. Hence, why do we see that even if things have already entered the heart, one still falls from his degree? Why do we see that even if things do enter a person’s heart he still falls from his spiritual level? We see that even if a person is impressed by what the teacher conveys to him, he still falls from the level on which he received the Torah, the intention and the thoughts of the teacher.
The thing is that when one hears the words of Torah from his teacher, i.e., the wisdom of his teacher, he immediately agrees with his teacher, and resolves to observe the words of his teacher with his heart and soul, because he really wants it to be fulfilled. But afterwards, when he comes out to the world, he sees, covets, and is infected by the multitude of desires roaming the world, that is, to other people’s desires, thoughts, and plans dealing with all sorts of nonsense and not spiritual development in this case, and he and his mind, his heart, and his will are annulled before the majority, that is, those conditions the environment is in.
As long as he has no power to judge the world to a scale of merit, they subdue him. He mingles with their desires…. What does that mean? If I am in a foreign environment, it is the Creator Who plays with me and Who places me there in different external conditions so that I will grow stronger with regard to the inner decisions that I have already made, despite the external influences that appear.
Suppose I am on my way home from the convention now and when I get on the plane I am already under the domination of a foreign environment. Can I remain in the same inner condition that I felt during the three conventions—concentrated, focused on the goal, feeling elated and feeling my friends—when I am under external conditions that pressure me? If I can, it is a state in which I control the outside world; if I can’t, it means that the outside world controls me.
But afterwards, when he comes out to the world, he sees, covets, and is infected by the multitude of desires i.e., society at large, dealing with nonsense, then if he cannot overcome himself, his thoughts, desires, and heart obey the majority.
Overcoming the multitude consists of two parts.
First, when I realize that I am detached from the support of the friends, I myself internally alienate them and keep away from them.
Secondly, I don’t see that everything is managed by the Creator anymore and that the thoughts of the multitude are sent to me on purpose so that I will tighten the connection with the group, with the sources even more than before, and will regard the external effect as the Creator’s game. After all, He sends me “helpers,” guards who want to throw me down the mountain I have been climbing on my way to the Creator, but I keep moving forward, holding on with my teeth in order to stay above the water and in the right direction. No matter what the influence of the environment is, I don’t go along with the current, but rather row towards my goal.
As long as he has no power to judge the world to a scale of merit…
After all, the Creator works for a person through the whole world! If I justify the world because it actually operates in order to help me advance, it means “to judge the world to the scale of merit.”
But if I cannot judge the whole world to the scale of merit, which means to draw it in my direction, realizing that the Creator sends me these obstacles on purpose so that I will advance more strongly; if I cannot connect to my friends and to the goal more strongly, then the world becomes external and the Creator disappears from it. If I forget that He is the one who has arranged everything and think that the world influences me by itself, the Creator disappears from it and I am left under the dominion of this world. … they subdue him. He mingles with their desires, i.e., a person diverts from the goal.
Then, when a person subdues to the desires of the world that surrounds him, he is led like sheep to the slaughter. He has no choice; he is compelled to think, want, crave, and demand everything that the majority demands; that is, he is under the domination of the external society. This is also under the authority of the Creator. He shouldn’t think that anything other than Him operates here. But this is a completely different control, not I shall hasten it (Achishena), but in its time (Beito). He then chooses their alien thoughts and their loathsome lusts and desires, which are alien to the spirit of the Torah. In that state he has no strength to subdue the majority, and goes along with the current, like the rest of the world.
Instead, there is only one counsel then, to cling to his teacher and to the books. This is called “From the mouth of books and from the mouth of authors.” He has to hold on with his teeth to the lessons and to the sources and to choose what is closer to him and what impresses him most strongly. It may be a certain article or a passage from TES, a song, anything. What’s important is that it should strengthen his connection with our society. Only by cleaving to them can he change his mind and will for the better. However, witty arguments will not help him change his mind, but only the remedy of Dvekut (adhesion), for this is a wondrous cure, as the Dvekut reforms him.
Only while one is inside Kedusha (Sanctity) can one argue with oneself and indulge in clever polemics that the mind necessitates that he should always walk on the path of the Creator. But this is all nonsense. However, one should know that even when he is wise and certain that he can already use this wit to defeat the Sitra Achra (other side), one must bear in mind, that all his wit and nice conclusions, the studying and the agreement with the friends, that all this is worthless. This is not an armament that can defeat the war on desire, for all these concepts are but a consequence he has attained after the aforementioned Dvekut.
Everything depends on how strongly a person ties himself to the group. After all, he has to speak to his friends on the phone, to contact them on the Internet, to prepare some material for them, to participate in the daily work. If he doesn’t do that, nothing will help. We are the ones who need the dissemination and not those to whom we disseminate. It compels us to be in constant movement and to improve. This is the only way we can advance!
What I say is based on my personal experience. Unfortunately I can think of 30-40 people who I once brought to Rabash who also engage in Kabbalah to a certain extent now, but you can feel what it means to study Kabbalah without advancement when you speak to them.
In other words, all the concepts upon which he builds his building, saying one must always follow in the path of the Creator, is founded in the Dvekut with his teacher. Thus, if he loses the foundation, then all the concepts are powerless, since they will now be lacking the foundation. Hence, one must not rely on one’s own mind, but cleave once more to books and authors, for only that can help him, and no wit and intellect, as they are lifeless.
In principle, this article says that everything that is sent to us in life is sent to us intentionally by the Creator, and we mustn’t forget it. We have to take advantage of all the obstacles in order to advance and to grow stronger in our advancement.
In fact there are no interferences. All these obstacles and barriers are a springboard. If we overcome them we will advance; if not, it means that we will have to overcome them indirectly. Everything depends on our participation.
The point is that we are not given any obstacles from Above that cannot be overcome. The Upper Light operates in a manner that is adapted to each of us according to our personal circumstances. All the obstacles that we encounter are always adapted to our abilities. It’s the ego that we have to correct on the next level. If a person remembers that, he adheres even more strongly to the advancement towards the Creator, to the teacher, the books, and the group.
Thus, he is not controlled by the external environment, although he is in good relations with it, but internally he is loyal to himself and to the environment. Moreover, gradually and without words, he begins to influence the environment so that it suddenly begins to change.
Let’s keep the connection between us so that the impression of the week we spent united, feeling wholeness between us, and in a wonderful state will only grow stronger! After all, we will each go our own way and each one will receive his own interferences and we have to keep the spirit of mutual guarantee and be committed that nothing will detach us from the group and that we will overcome all the obstacles and feel that we are together as if we have never gone our own ways.
If the interferences don’t pull us in different directions, we will feel the connection between us even more strongly, and this is actually what we need. If we can do that, then there are no words that can describe the level to which we will immediately ascend. We can fulfill our dream within the coming week! If we all, regardless of the distance between us, think about the fact that our friends should remain connected just as they are now, we can be sure that the Messiah will come. The word Messiah stems from the Hebrew word “Moshech,” “to pull,” and the Upper Light is revealed that completes all the corrections, pulling a person out of his ego to full adhesion with the Creator.
From a lesson in Russian, 2/07/14