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Opinion (Jan Delhey, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Germany): “Are more equal societies ‘better’ societies? This article addresses the question as to whether and why income inequality lowers the degree of Europeans’ subjective well-being. While in broad international comparisons typically no clear-cut link between income inequality and (un)happiness exists, we can demonstrate that Europeans are somewhat less happy in more unequal places. We further discuss and empirically test three explanations as to why Europeans are inequality-averse, namely (dis)trust, status anxiety, and perceived conflicts.
“Each of these three potential mediators is hypothesized to be shaped by the extent of a nation’s income inequality, and in turn to result in lower subjective well-being. A multilevel mediation analysis with data from the European Quality of Life Survey 2007 for 30 countries reveals that distrust and status anxiety are important mediators of inequality aversion, whereas perceived conflict is not. We can further show that trust is the crucial mediator among affluent societies, whereas status anxiety is crucial among the less affluent societies.”
My Comment: Building trust, and therefore a sense of well being in society, is possible only with complete and constant human equality. This is possible only through the method of integral education and upbringing, the wisdom of connection, so that the Upper Light can change human nature.
Answer: The guarantor creates a vessel that resembles the Light. When we are still connected with external connections, this is called guarantee. So through mutual guarantee we receive the Torah, meaning the Light that Reforms, the elixir of life, the Light of correction.
The Light of fulfillment doesn’t yet reach the first guarantee because the vessels are not yet ready for it. You left Egypt only now; Pharaoh still sits within you. You brought these vessels from Egypt and these vessels are terrible: They are all just hatred, envy, lust, honor, and dominance. Everything that is in you is comes from your ego.
And you have a point in the heart through which you somehow succeed in connecting with others, and we are ready to reach mutual guarantee. According to this pre-condition, we only receive the Torah, the Light that Reforms, and only after this do we make a Zivug de Hakaa (binding by striking) with the Light, clarify our vessel, and receive within it for the sake of bestowal.
But the guarantee is the vessel, and the extent of our connection in regard to the law and terms of guarantee determines the size of this vessel.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/30/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam, Shamati, article 33, “The Lots On Yom Kippurim and with Haman“: “This is so because he sees that without the contradictions, meaning the descents, there would not be a place for the Upper Light to be there, as there is no Light without a Kli (vessel).”
The Upper Light is actually perceived by the obstacles, the little potholes. If a wall is smooth, then we cannot hold on to it, but if there are holes, cracks, and pits, then it is possible to climb it.
Thus the Upper Light can be raised only according to our holes, and if the desire is too smooth, then it has nothing to hold onto. This is why changes are so essential in a person’s desire, both in the size and in the character of the desire, that he will feel disappointed and hurt but will not run away. Instead, he will stay and demand the greatness of the goal and feel that the Dinim (judgments) are revealed on top of the greatness of the goal.
The goal has to be clarified as much and as clearly as possible. The question is what a person yearns for: either the greatness of the vessel or the greatness of the Light. The most difficult thing for us is to think about delighting the Creator. It is because we then feel complete darkness, how detached we are from Him, and how we don’t feel Him.
These are very strong Dinim that are meant to reveal the Creator and so they are revealed as total detachment. It isn’t in our feelings or mind that we can tie ourselves with the desire to delight the Creator. It is easier to tie ourselves with all of humanity because we can understand and feel everything that relates to the vessel, but not to the Light.
Here I discover a real demand: “Where is He and how can I imagine Him?” Then the vessel begins to take on its form in the dark, reach the complete HaVaYaH, and receive the filling. As a result, a person begins to somewhat understand the idea of the Creator in order to attribute himself to Him and perhaps even think about the next level, about delighting Him.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/30/14, Shamati #33
A group should create conditions to accommodate everybody who has a desire to develop their points in the heart. We don’t know in advance who has a point in the heart and who doesn’t. Spiritual desires by all means will gradually appear. It’s quite possible that at some point these desires may stop evolving and a person may abandon the path.
We have to support those who get into an “accident.” We need to help and strengthen those who are in need of our care. A group should constantly think about these situations and maintain everybody at their maximally highest level. The group must constantly feel if they are in the state of absolute integration or not. Currently, we sense one dissolved desire and one focused intention, and everything else is overboard. This state should be constant.
This may result in all sorts of quarrels and misunderstandings on the everyday level regarding how we publish a book, issue a newspaper, etc., with anything that is not directly associated with spirituality. Things that are not a part of the spiritual path are not subject to spiritual laws. We can argue, fight, and disagree with each other, but still do everything in our power to detach these situations from our internal group relationships.
It is similar to a mother who reprimands and punishes her child even though she loves him to the depth of her heart. For her, it is vital to take care of her child. We should follow this example because in this world this is the only model that is abundantly clear to everybody.
Each one of us has to constantly ponder how he, as a member of the group, can create maximally optimal conditions to ensure others’ development and flourishing at each given moment in time.
Sometimes downfalls happen that trigger jealousy, resentment, negative thoughts, and a critical attitude between friends.
It is very good since it gives us something to work on. One has to evaluate one’s actions correctly. The group has to create the surroundings that promote immediate analyses of one’s attitude to others and its adequate and prompt correction so that one returns to the group at a new level of unity.
We have to work very seriously with our intention; it has to be directed towards the group as a whole, aimed at our collective unanimity and at creating an atmosphere that holds everybody afloat. Otherwise, nothing will work. It’s about a constant and yet benevolent tension. Our desire to have this kind of tension is so strong that we easily get used to it and don’t consider it burdensome at all. It should not trouble you. It won’t exhaust you! On the contrary, it will promote your spiritual life.
At the same time, when we study and go deep into the material we learn together, the group turns into one whole and thus grows. This is how everybody advances, step by step. Individually, each friend feels that he is an internal part of the group like a fetus in the mother’s body; each one sees the group at its new level and continues considering friends to be higher and better than him and experiences a good jealousy toward others. It’s a positive type of envy since it pushes one to connect with others.
A person starts understanding that attainment of the next level is generally very easy: there is something one can cling to, a place where one can be enclosed and where one can be dissolved. This process happens effortlessly. All we need is to tune into it and be in the environment that support this disposition. That’s it! This is enough to be brought into the flow.
Later, our entry into the connection that manifests itself as the Sefirot, all kinds of ties among numerous qualities, and becomes more precise and deep. There are 10 major properties. Besides the major 10 Sefirot, there also are private, individual Sefirot, i.e., each of the 10 Sefirot contains a new set of 10 Sefirot, etc. However, we need only the first 10 Sefirot. We have to start sensing them first.
Connection between us turns into a force that allows us to bestow. When we achieve this connection, we start sensing it as one whole even though it is comprised of totally different forces that oppose each other: Hesed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod. They are as opposite to each other in love and hatred, and jealousy and kindness. So when we connect them together, we get exactly the mass that reveals spiritual states. We disclose spirituality in this mass.
A group has to relate to each of its members like a mother to her child so that each friend develops correctly, has the right mood and attitude and prepares for spiritual growth instead of being in a static state. Every new day cannot be similar to yesterday.
That’s why we have to examine ourselves and analyze our internal states. If I don’t see what to work on today, it means that I didn’t work yesterday. It also means that a new prerequisite for my correction does not emerge in me. Our growth is based on a gradual and cumulative correction of the problems that arise among us in the group, in the connection between us.
From the St. Petersburg Convention “Day Two” 7.13.13, Lesson 4