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Opinion (Alexander Antonovskiy, PhD, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences): “Rationality (usefulness, value, probability) of an individual action is associated with rationality of correct investment in some future.
“By implementing the action ‘for the sake’ of another, a doer gets a kind of ‘bill of exchange,’ forms within himself and others an expectation that the other doer will return the favor or help.
“The sum of these mutual bills of exchange, waiting for their payment, comprises ‘social capital,’ which function, as well as any capital, to ensure and facilitate actions that every doer cannot perform alone.
“Trust is a condition of the functioning of capital. That is, communication is rational if it becomes a successful investment in the development of social connections between doers, from whom the ‘dividends,’ if necessary, can be obtained in the future.”
My Comment: Everything could be fine, but the program of nature is not taken into account, according to which we have to become aware of our nature as egoism, evil, up to the point of hating it, desiring to get rid of it.
Therefore, despite all our tricks, we will feel worse; the crisis will develop further; we will become aware of being enslaved by our egoism and will have to seek the ways of exiting this “Egyptian slavery.” The tendency to trust and other good intentions will only accelerate the revelation of the evil of our nature.
Baal HaSulam, Shamati #179, ” Three Lines”: The first line is considered right, regarded as Vak without a Rosh (head), considered “faith.” The second line is considered left, attainment. And then they are in dispute, since faith contradicts attainment, and attainment contradicts faith.
Then there is the discernment of the middle line, considered Vak de Gar, or Hochma and Hassadim, or the right and left lines, integrated in one another. This means that he receives attainment to the extent that he has faith.
Question: Why does faith contradict attainment and attainment contradicts faith?
Answer: Faith and attainment cannot be integrated. Faith is called bestowal. If I am on the right line, it stops me from receiving at the same time. If I have the intention of in order to receive on the left line, it doesn’t allow me to bestow.
I cannot do both at the same time. It is like entering your home and stealing from yourself and at the same time giving yourself a present. It is impossible! The revelation of the Creator is opposite from bestowal upon the Creator. Revelation means that I am using Him, enjoying Him, filling my vessels.
Is it possible in such an action to bestow upon the Creator? It is possible only if I correct my intentions and receive because He wants it and He enjoys my receiving. If I really correct myself this way, so that my receiving is only in order to delight Him, it is called to receive in order to bestow.
But in order to reach this state, I have to prepare myself so that I will really receive above my desire to receive and my intention is steadfastly in order to bestow so that I will not be tempted to receive for myself, but so that it will really be an action in order to bestow that will lead me to adhesion with the Creator.
I have to calculate precisely the limit that I can receive. There are many levels of building the vessel of the middle line here: Ibur (conception), Yenika (suckling), and Mochin (mind).
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/31/14, Shamati #179
Answer: We have to yearn for the corrected state or at least ask that we should find it attractive. You can study out of curiosity, out of a desire to know something, to hear; you are pulled from Above by some bait.
But when you are already in a group, your desire has to undergo some treatment, a change, a new manner. It isn’t just the desire to receive that wants to enjoy wisdom, to know the future, to become stronger and more dominant in this life. This egoistic desire is only the beginning to entice a person, but later it has to change.
When we begin to work with it from the outside: through the group, using the Surrounding Light, the desire begins to change and a person doesn’t know what exactly he should do with it. He suddenly loses all interest and doesn’t want anything. The group and his state don’t seem right and he doesn’t like them. He doesn’t see any nice reward for his efforts to come to the lesson every morning and to work in the group. He is not ready for that because in his heart and mind he doesn’t believe that he will get any reward, and so he escapes.
We have to work on changing our desire. You can only receive the power, the patience, and perseverance needed for this from the environment. The main thing in our work is not to ask for or demand changes from the Creator, but to actually establish connections in the group so that you will respect it and see that it is great and sublime, since otherwise you will run away from it.
The Light comes to you from Above according to your connection to the environment. If you are not connected to your friends in the group on its level, then you will not be allowed to advance from Above. If advancement comes from Above against your ego, you will simply run away. But if you are connected to the group and are under its influence on all sides, then the Upper Light can influence you to the same degree and perform changes in you. These changes are unpleasant, but thanks to your connection with the society, you don’t escape.
People who don’t work on the connection with the group usually leave, or even worse, they begin to see that the advancement is wrong and they blame the society. Since they have to justify themselves for leaving the group, they are sure that the group is bad. Because they are not connected to the group, the Upper Light throws them off the spiritual path.
So if you want to advance, you have to constantly worry about the connection with the friends, which is actually the whole exile in Egypt and the whole redemption from exile; it is the condition of mutual guarantee and unity, of being as one man in one heart at the gathering at Mount Sinai, all the forty years in the desert, and then the entrance to the land of Israel. All these states are determined only by increasingly stronger connection with the group.
We don’t have to think about the Upper Light and about the Creator now. All this will come if you connect with the friends and prepare yourself for the changes. They will not be pleasant because you are approaching the attribute of bestowal and detaching yourself from the attribute of receiving, which is totally opposite our nature. So it is possible only if the environment supports you.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/30/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Question: Suppose a married couple is actively involved with integral interaction, the wisdom of connection, and they want to include their child. How do they do this?
Answer: It is easiest to add a child into the process through a game. He can play a judge who asks his parents questions, while you try to solve them specifically through integral interaction. You can show him how to solve different situations in life, and he will learn from this.
We must put the child in a situation where his ego will motivate him all the time: “I am an arbitrator asking questions between my father and mother, and they must immediately solve and answer them.” This means that you raise the child to your level since integral interaction can only occur between equals.
By being included with them, he will ultimately feel that he is equal to you in responsibility, reciprocity, and the considerations of adults.
Question: Suppose a father of a family has a dilemma at work: whether to quit and look for a new job or to stay. Can the parents invite their child to a family discussion and discuss the situation together with him?
Answer: Certainly. But you need to do this with great care, gradually, so that the child will not leap to conceit thinking he can decide about all questions in life.
Question: At what age could a child participate in family discussions?
Answer: This depends on the family we are discussing. In one family it would be possible to involve the child even at the age of eight or nine, and in another family only from the age of twenty. But if it is clear to him that the relationships of his parents are based on mutual trust, mutual support, then he will gradually begin to be integrated into this, not actively himself, but seemingly from the side.
After all, in every case, integral interaction, the wisdom of connection, influences him even if he doesn’t know a thing but simply sees his parents looking at interesting websites, reading books, and having discussions about this between them. Without a doubt he will absorb all of this, and then it will be possible to gradually draw him into this.
From KabTV’s “Talks with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/11/13
Answer: The Tabernacle is our corrected desire in which the upper force is revealed.
Our attributes gradually come closer and begin to complement and emphasize one another according to the law of equivalence of form. They don’t destroy one another but clarify one another. When they become equal, they will totally resemble each other in the attribute of bestowal and will merge together with the Creator. This is the unity between the created being and the Upper Light called the Tabernacle.
In Perush Gadol (the great commentary), it says that Moses and Aaron account for the use of the people’s contributions for the building of the Tabernacle; that is, for the Lights that descend from Above and the materials that come from below.
In other words, the desire that comes from below and the Light that comes from above merge into one image of a spiritual object, for example the Tabernacle. But the Tabernacle is merely an external means of correction, while the object of the correction is the person himself.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/16/13
Answer: Unleavened bread (Matza) is a connection between Malchut and Bina from which a person has nothing but the ability to revive his soul. And he is ready for this. The poor bread becomes fulfillment for him.
This means an internal readiness: You are still in Egypt, in exile, but are already ready for redemption. This illumination called Matza enlivens your soul, and you are ready and agree to it.
All of the efforts that are invested by us in Egypt are designed to give us the feeling of exile and to awaken the desire for redemption, as it is written, (Exodus 2:23) “…and the children of Israel sighed from the labor.” When we reach the end of the period of the exile in Egypt, either by way of “I will hasten it” or by the way of “in its time,” for most this is through a combination of both called “land”; the Light comes from above and raises our desire to enjoy the sparks above. And this is redemption.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam, “Shamati #41,” “What is Greatness and Smallness in Faith”: It is written, “and they believed in the Lord, and in His servant Moses.” We must know that the Lights of Pesach (Passover) have the power to impart the Light of faith. Yet, do not think that the Light of faith is a small thing, because greatness and smallness depend only on the receivers.
The whole issue of Pesach is that a person receives power from Above, because without it we are certainly unable to do anything. We are always driven by some force: either by the force of the desire to receive that we were born with, “I have created an evil inclination,” or by the force of the desire to bestow, “I have created the Torah as a spice.”
We behave according to the balance between these forces, although we are given freewill, so that due to the environment and the different actions we perform with the environment, we can draw the desire to bestow, which means the Light that illuminates upon me, so that it will give me its attribute. Thus, we acquire the Light of faith, faith is bestowal.
If more Light shines on me, I rise like a flower towards the sun, towards the rain. If the Light doesn’t shine, I wither. Everything depends only on how the Light influences me.
There are special times called an awakening from Above. Sometimes these are good times and sometimes bad times, which means that either Din (judgment) or mercy is revealed. This also depends on me, on how hard I try to take advantage of these times, of these special states.
Pesach is a time of special mercy according to its branch and root, a time of a great Light that raises us above the desire to receive and takes us out of Egypt. We have to try to make the best of this opportunity. Of course, the exodus from Egypt is achieved by great collective efforts.
But when we make efforts, we discover that we cannot do anything, not even the right effort. Although we decide to do whatever we can, the next moment we already forget about it or don’t manage to do it. So we gradually form the right request, about which it is written: “and the children of Israel sighed from the work.”
By making the right request for acquiring the Light of faith, we are rewarded and ascend above the desire to receive. Now it doesn’t dominate us and we are actually the ones who dominate it. This is called the exodus from Egypt. We don’t leave it; we are in it, but we receive the power to make decisions, and from now on, the Light of faith determines everything, not the force of receiving. This is the exodus.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/30/14, Shamati #41
Baal HaSulam, Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot, Item 10: The Torah was given only to men of heart. That is, those who have found the heart to love Him, whom the sages called the “wise of heart,” since they no longer have the beastly soul, pulling down, and the evil inclination does not rule over them, and their heart is open to wisdom.
He interprets and says that the words are as corpses and the Taamim as souls. If one does not understand the Taamim, it is similar to exerting oneself counting pages and words in a book on medicine. This exertion will not yield a remedy.
He wishes to say that one is compelled to find the means to acquire the above-mentioned possession. It is because then one can taste the flavors of Torah, which is the interior wisdom and its mysteries, and the flavors of Mitzva, which are the interior love and the desire for Him.
We should be very careful that the study and our engagement in the wisdom of Kabbalah will be for the practical correction and not lead to idle actions. We have to demand the real and the correct change which means to get closer to the form of bestowal. The more we can change ourselves internally from the attribute of receiving to the attribute of bestowal, the more we can understand what the Kabbalah books say and the more we will be able to properly participate in creation and in the connection with the Creator.
There is nothing more a person can do in this world but attain the tastes of the Torah, the vessels of bestowal, as quickly as possible. This essential goal should be attained in every action we do and every breath we take. If you have reached the wisdom of Kabbalah, make sure that you only engage in it in order to attain the attribute of bestowal. Then you will understand the Creator’s actions and your state in the eternal world.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/20/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam