Audio Version Of The Blog – 05.28.14

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Food As A Weapon

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Alina Savelyeva, assistant to the Dean at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Higher School of Economics, Moscow): “In 2008 the Head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned of the grave consequences – of governments being overthrown and wars – that could arise from the sudden increase in food prices on world markets.

“The ability to provide enough food for yourself, and have a surfeit to sell for export, is becoming a way for states to influence world politics and the economy, says Alina Savelyeva. It was the rise in food prices that triggered the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and elsewhere.

“Arab governments were unable to keep food prices down and soon there were mass street protests, demonstrations followed by serious political unrest. An article in The Daily Telegraph suggested that the upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia signaled the beginning of an era of ‘food revolutions.’

“The idea of food as a weapon was formulated by Earl Butz, US Minister of Agriculture in Richard Nixon’s government back in 1974. These days, approaching agriculture as an industrial supplier of an ‘alternative weapon’ is common both in developed and developing countries. The term ‘food power’ has been coined in English. But any power or force (even military) is not only an instrument of attack or destruction, but also for containing one’s enemies, in the ‘carrot and stick’ model.

“The World Bank report on International Development in 2011 named three types of threat to food security that could lead to military conflict: 1) natural (drought and flooding), 2) economic (major price changes for basic food products) and 3) political, i.e., a ban on access to land resources or social support programmes.”

My Comment: Natural disasters and the accumulation of arms will bring the world to a threatening state. We are able to affect the first type of threat naturally and indirectly by striving to eliminate the second and third threats.

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Pain Relief Through The Importance Of The Goal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does a person rise with faith above reason above his feeling of darkness?

Answer: A person ascends above darkness and all problems only through the Light that Reforms. It is not important if he understands this or not, feels this or not. That is how this action happens and is realized. The difference is only in whether he understands this action or not. It is a matter of perceiving the actions of the Creator on a person both in good and pleasant feelings and in bad and unpleasant feelings.

It is necessary to reach a state of accepting all bad things as good, as things that help me advance. The importance of the goal changes the character of an action to its opposite: from feeling the bad in an action to feeling its goodness so much that we stop feeling pain.

This means that we have the power of faith above reason. The importance of the goal extinguishes the bad feeling that makes us suffer within our desire to receive. It means that I am ready to make a Tzimtzum (restriction) and rise above the bad feeling. And that is how we advance.

But only the Light performs the action, and my job is to attract and hasten the action. I can arouse the Light and prepare myself to approach its action only as much as I can through my request or gratitude. This is how I shorten the time.

This determines our term; time exists only for us. For the Creator, time doesn’t exist, and we are always in the perfect, corrected, final state. What is additional can only be within our consciousness, how much we are ready to discover it as good, as the true form of His relationship.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/23/14

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Material Problems Are The Reason For Spiritual Progress

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can one learn the language of the Creator and how should we respond to His message?

Answer: We must understand that everything that happens must be resolved in this life according to how things work in this world. All these physical laws are also determined by the Creator and people have determined that they need these laws. So it makes no difference if they seem good or bad to us; I must keep them. This is because they are all derived from one source; there is nothing other than that.

When I get some problem, I must determine that it was sent by the Creator. I must resolve it as is customary. But I arrange things such that I operate within the connection with the friends, with the group. Even though it is personal and is irrelevant to anyone else, it obligates me to connect more strongly with the group.

And actually, physically, I respond to this problem exactly as someone else in my place would. Only he would not think that with this the Creator is drawing his attention to Him, with this He is giving him  this work; rather he would simply solve it in the framework of this world.

I also solve the problem in the framework of this world, but actually, this world becomes the spiritual world. And that is how I advance. For me every event in the material world becomes a reason for spiritual advancement, for resemblance and greater equivalence to the Creator.
From the Convention In France “One For All And All For One,” Day Two 5/10/14, Lesson 4

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Evil Results In More Advancement Than Good

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it enough simply to recognize the fact that everything that happens is sent from Above, or must one do something else?

Answer: It is not enough just to say that everything comes from Above. There are many people who talk this way. But what is important is not what the person says but how he reacts.

Does this recognition that everything comes from Above obligate me to attain this source? Do I perceive everything that happens as the language of the Creator through which He speaks to me, and do I try to change so as to become like Him, or am I just saying that all of this is from Above?

If I understand that everything comes from Above, both pleasant and unpleasant events, to bring me closer to the Creator, then it makes no difference what kind of impact it has on me, because I want to get closer to Him. He can beat me, and I want to flee from Him and forget about Him. But I must rise above my ego and say that it is not important to me how He affects me: if it is good or bad for my ego.

I always want to draw nearer to Him so that good and evil will have relevance to my ego only and not to myself, not to my consciousness. And it could be that evil advances me towards the Creator more than the good. So He will send me more evil, and I will rise above it.

It is said that “Those who love the Creator hate evil,” because evil is considered to be not the trouble or the blows that I feel. If something distances me from the Creator, this is called evil, and if it brings me closer to the Creator, then this is called good.

And then this corrects me to some degree; I begin to feel pleasure that I advance towards the Creator, even through blows. And I suffer if something distances me from Him, even if it is pleasant. If I get some kind of physical pleasure and take it into account and understand that I am distanced from the Creator through this, then this makes me suffer.

That is how a person begins to change the corporeal, beastly, egoistic desires into desires that depend on closeness or distance from the Creator, which are called vessels of bestowal. We need to go through this process.

If a person moves from desires like these to others, this means he is crossing the Machsom and entering into work for the sake of bestowal, into Lishma. He now carries out all actions only for the sake of advancement and feels all advancement as pleasure and no longer feels the blows. He is already disengaged from his ego through which the blows pass, and has pleasure from advancement only.

This may seem difficult, complicated, and hard to comprehend from a psychological point of view, but don’t worry, this is possible and we will reach this. We are already prepared to absorb and understand and begin to realize it.
From the Convention In France “One For All And All For One,” Day Two 5/10/14, Lesson 4

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Discouragement Is More Contagious Than Influenza

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does the group help a person see that the Creator manages the whole world?

Answer: We cannot advance if we don’t build a support system so that everyone gets immediate support when he falls. It is forbidden to harm others by giving them a descent. If someone goes around with a sour face, another loses his good mood when he looks at him, and so does a third. Ultimately this bad mood extends to the whole group.

It should become a habit, a custom, to have a smile on one’s face. If not a smile, then at least you should show interest, vigor, and the greatness of the goal. Everyone must act and portray this to others. You cannot show others that you are tired, not externally but mentally, or  that you are drained and have lost energy and faith.

I may be physically sick, but I never show everyone my descents and the disappointments that come until the end of correction. They are not as they are with beginners; rather, the higher the level, the stronger they are. But in no way should one show this.

It is not allowed to have a bad mood or show despondency in a group. The group, which is designed to support each one separately and everyone together, thanks to a good connection, suddenly begins to operate in a completely opposite manner. This is very dangerous and eliminates many previous attainments. We must be very careful about this.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/21/14, Writings of Rabash

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Advancing Towards Regaining Our Sight

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We hope that you will tell us the secret of the complicated stories in the Torah.

Answer: An oral explanation is not a revelation. Everything is attained only in practice. We were brought up to believe that this would reveal all.

If we live in the same world that the written sources tell us about, then they do reveal something, but only to the extent that we know this world. If they tell us about a world that we don’t know at all and everything in it seems strange, then can the written sources explain anything?

It is merely an explanation that tells us that the upper world surrounds us, like a sphere within a sphere, and we are inside it, and that it constantly manages us in every aspect, each and every one of us and all of us together. I need this information only in order to understand how important it is to start engaging in it and to reveal it.

Today we don’t even understand what is happening in our world, and we feel more and more confused with every day that goes by. If we don’t attain the upper world, its influence on us, the way it operates, and its goal, we will be like blind kittens unable to do anything about our fate and will exist as if in chaotic movement. We will live a meaningless life, lost in oblivion, and will float in the current again in the same initial condition because we have not corrected anything and have done nothing to receive new feelings. We also have not developed any additional senses, and so everything will start anew.

First a person has to see that he is managed by the upper world, a world of strict laws. Living in our corporeal world, we only know some of its laws, but we have no idea what the laws of the upper world are.

If a person understands that he is in a rigid set of physical laws that operate on him, that he can influence them and discover the dual connection to the extent that he perceives and understands these laws and is able to manage them, then it will be a great step forward. People will at least know that they can regain their sight and not flow blindly in the current of life, or to put it more bluntly, not life but death.

Question: So a person should try all this himself?

Answer: That’s not enough. Sufferings are needed. If I understand that something operates on me, but I think, “Let it operate while I wait,” it is like a movie where the outlaw is sentenced to hard labor in order to teach him to work, but he allows the work manager to influence him, saying, “You will influence me while I lay down and rest.” But when he is beaten he cries out, “Oh! Mother!”

It is essential that there must be afflictions, even minor ones. We actually want the minor suffering and the great understanding, since together it will enable us to move forward.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/18/13

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A Time When You Will Remember Everything That You Have Heard

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does Rabash write to a student who asked him to explain the order of spiritual work that as soon as he would start the work, he would immediately remember and understand all that he had heard from Rabash and Baal HaSulam?

Answer: If a person advances in the right way, he discovers all that is written in the books of Kabbalah by himself. It is as if he doesn’t need these writings, he discovers by himself everything that is written.

The writings are required in order to set yourself in the right direction all the time, to know whom are you going to, towards what, and to examine and update yourself. But in truth, if a person works in a group according to the right method, then a small adjustment is enough for him to discover all the rest.

The matter of forgetting is a unique power from Above; it makes free choice possible for us. If we didn’t forget but gathered and kept everything that we heard or felt like a computer, it would stop us and it would not be possible to do anything.

Forgetting, confusion, concealment, and lack of clarity come to give us a place for building ourselves. Therefore it is written, “Write on your heart,” because everyone must write the entire book of Torah on his desire, meaning to convey it to himself by way of all of these states.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/20/14, Writings of Rabash

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Joy For The Upright Of Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanPsalm 97: The Lord has reigned, the earth will exult; many islands will rejoice. Cloud and thick darkness are around Him; righteousness and judgment are the foundations of His throne. Fire will go before Him and will burn His enemies all around. His lightnings illuminated the world; the earth saw and quaked…You who love the Lord, hate evil; He watches the souls of His pious ones, He rescues them from the hands of the wicked. A light is sown for the righteous, and for the upright of heart, joy. Rejoice, you righteous, with the Lord, and give thanks to His holy name.

In each and every line we notice how King David reveals the Creator more and unites with Him, feeling an increasingly deeper and more internal connection with the Upper.

This is usually attained by the rule You who love the Lord, hate evil to the extent that a person clarifies his egoistic desires and wants to leave evil and thinking about himself, which is possible only by incorporation and adhesion to the group where the Light that Reforms operates on him and helps him advance.

He begins to love the Creator to the extent that he hates evil, He watches the souls of His pious ones, He rescues them from the hands of the wicked. If a person keeps away from evil, he is guarded from Above. His constant efforts to be in thought, in adhesion, with the Upper Force in a request, awakens the Light that Reforms and he receives correction.

Hatred towards evil helps a person ascend from it. He doesn’t need anything but this feeling of hatred, because the evil, the desire to receive, remains. The evil has to accumulate in order to discover the love, the connection, above it.

A person who understands the basics of the creation correctly doesn’t wait for the evil to disappear and for everything to be rosy and bright. These two forces exist one opposite the other and are equal in their power, while a person between them determines which of them is more important: Is holiness more important than the Klipa (shell) or is the Klipa more important than holiness?

This decision constantly changes, moving like a pointer on a balance scale. Thus a person clarifies this balance each time and establishes his middle line, between the two forces, above them, by including the two.

He justifies the creation by including the good and the evil inside him and justifies both, as it is written: A light is sown for the righteous, and for the upright in heart, joy. Honesty and truth is the middle line, by which he attains joy by delighting the Creator.

It is because he determines that everything that was created by the Creator is only for the benefit of man, if used correctly, and has to be aimed at the benefit of the Creator. Thus he reaches adhesion: Rejoice, you righteous, with the Lord, and give thanks to His holy name.
From the Preparation for Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/20/14

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 05.28.14

Preparation for the Lesson

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“The Book of Zohar” — Selected Excerpts, “On the Night of the Bride,” Item 132

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 54

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Mutual Guarantee” 

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