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Answer: Good is balance, harmony, and wholeness among all parts of nature. Evil is the opposite, a lack of balance, a lack of wholeness, eruptions of one of the forces, leading to wars and disasters.
In other words, good without evil is also not a good situation. It seems apparent that a bright sunny day is better than a rainy day, but if this increases to an extreme level, this heat will burn everything.
And so everything good is concealed within balance. This means that I must keep balance on the three levels of my existence: the corporeal (beastly), the human, and the spiritual. The corporeal level is health, home economics, healthy nutrition, healthy sex, and healthy relationships in the family. We must teach people all this because they, unlike animals, don’t inherit traits like these instinctively.
The human level is my relationships with society, with the environment. The spiritual level is my spiritual aspiration: my goal in life, my perception of reality, how I imagine what is higher. These three levels together require balance.
Question: How can one describe balance on the human level, in relationships with the environment?
Answer: We don’t feel a division between us, we belong to a unified community, to one human body; we are connected into one system. And among us we want to arrange for balanced relationships of mutual cooperation.
Ultimately nothing separates us, we are a single whole. We depend upon one another and don’t even feel this dependence, for the answers to all of my requests come at that moment, immediately supplying me with what is missing, and I gladly give to others what they lack.
This is called balance in human society, this is a reciprocal interaction based upon two opposing forces that there are in everyone. One is for all and all are for one. We must reach this.
Question: So what is the way that we are going to do this? How will we maintain the right direction towards the goal?
Answer: First of all, we must study it. If I try to organize my life in the family and in other frameworks like this, I will begin to feel balance, harmony, between us and the environment. And in this immediate vicinity some kind of shared power is revealed, the good and benevolent.
On one hand, we create it, yet on the other hand, it is latent in nature, it is above us. From this it follows that we don’t create the power itself, but the conditions for its discovery. And then we connect to it: It fills us and we build and create it, more and more, until there is complete harmony between us and this force. This is the goal, and it is called, “the perfect good.”
Question: This means that my “compass” is the good force that is discovered in every connection and interaction between me and the environment?
Answer: It is precisely between us. We are equal and seemingly disappear, leaving only one desire, and this is to maintain the balance of all of the harmony and unity.
And according to this general integral state among us, I now define the concept of good and evil. I call balance “good” and the lack of balance “evil.”
I repeat, the main thing is to reach balance with the immediate environment, in the connection of mutual cooperation. Here “plus” and “minus” meet, giving and receiving, like the exchange of materials, here there is an exchange of feelings and relationships that are being carried out. It is the same thing as on the level of the still, vegetative, and animate, yet already on a mental and spiritual level.
And on this level, we develop within us a “sense” of evil, the ability to recognize evil on the basis of a universal measuring stick: balance between people, mutual love, connection—all this is good. And the departure from the unity, distance from it, is evil.
This is what must become the basis of the education of the modern human. This is because essentially he doesn’t need anything more than this. This will bring him success in life.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/10/14
Baal HaSulam, Shamati #144 “There Is A Certain People”: Haman said that in his view, we will succeed in destroying the Jews because they are separated from one another; hence, our force against them will certainly prevail, as it causes separation between man and God. And the Creator will not help them anyway, since they are separated from Him. This is why Mordecai went to correct that flaw, as it is explained in the verse, “the Jews gathered,” etc., “to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life.” This means that they had saved themselves by uniting.
When the Jews in Persia were under the threat of destruction, they didn’t go to the king to complain about Haman and didn’t try to prove that he was wrong. The Jews didn’t go to the public either in order to disseminate and to prove to them that they are just.
Instead, they united together, and thus saved themselves. Although their physical power wasn’t great, the spiritual power of their connection was immense. It is actually the unity, becoming one, that leads to victory, fulfills the dissemination, and does everything necessary.
It turns out that our dissemination is necessary among the Jewish people first. “Connect” said queen Esther to her people “and then we will succeed.”
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 67:
When a person from Israel enhances and dignifies one’s internality, which is the Israel in that person, over the externality, which are the nations of the world in him, that is, when one dedicates the majority of one’s efforts to enhance and exalt one’s internality, to benefit one’s soul, and gives minor efforts, the mere necessity, to sustain the nations of the world in him, meaning the bodily needs, as it is written (Avot, 1), “Make your Torah permanent and your labor temporary,” by so doing one makes the Children of Israel soar upwards in the internality and externality of the world as well, and the nations of the world, which are the externality, recognize and acknowledge the value of the children of Israel.
And if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and an individual from Israel enhances and appreciates one’s externality, which is the nations of the world in him, more than the inner Israel in him, as it is written (Deuteronomy 28), “The stranger that is in the midst of thee,” meaning the externality in that person rises and soars, and you yourself, the internality, the Israel in you, plunges down. With these actions, one causes the externality of the world in general—the nations of the world—to soar ever higher and overcome Israel, degrading them to the ground, and the Children of Israel, the internality in the world, to plunge deep down.
The way the forces are arranged stems from the picture of reality, and so we should understand that everything depends on us. First we have to worry about connection and unity among the Bnei Baruch world group as the inner part of Israel. Then we have to worry about the external Israel and do everything in our power to unite the Jewish people.
Only then will we summon the correction in the world, only if we correct our unity and not the world. This is what we should engage in and this is what our dissemination should be about.
Thus we bring the whole world the message of connection according to the method of the wisdom of Kabbalah, but since it also helps us connect, by that we correct the world. The world is corrected by our connection. We disseminate our message to the public, we are incorporated in humanity, and this helps the internal connection among us, which actually corrects the world.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/10/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam
Every action that is not directed towards unity drills a hole in the collective boat. Actions like these are natural for the nations of the world since they are found in the lower part of the collective soul (below the Chazeh [chest]). In contrast to this, through them Israel causes great damage to itself and to the entire collective soul, because it is in its upper half (above the Chazeh).
So both destruction and correction that are carried out by the people of Israel determine the state of the whole world. And so the people of Israel must relate with great responsibility to their deeds in our world. And someone who belongs to Israel in the spiritual sense, meaning those who learn and want to realize the method of connection, must be even more careful with their actions.
The closer a person is to the center, to realization of the method of connection, the greater is the correction or harm that he can cause.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/10/14
Question: How can we feel bestowal while feeling pleasure in receiving at the same time?
Answer: The more a person advances, the greater pleasures he feels in his desire to receive. The desire grows and the pleasure grows. You don’t know yet how many desires for pleasures are hidden in you.
It begins and it never ends. Every time a person thinks that he will never go back to what he was before, but the next moment, he falls again under the domination of the new desire that is revealed, the new Reshimo (reminiscence), and it is as if everything starts anew. This happens on a higher level, of course, but it seems that things repeat themselves.
The higher the level, the greater the evil that is revealed. Everything starts from the left line, from the growing ego, since we have to ascend to the top of the mountain, to the top of our passing thoughts, desires, separation, hate, and lust.
It is foolish to think that a person has to do it by himself. We actually waste our powers on this mistake instead of aspiring for connection.
The problem is that a person fights as Don Quixote against windmills and not against the real enemy. He is armed with a toy sword and a self made shield and not with a real sword and shield that he has received from his father, from the Upper Light, and has lost them because of his carelessness. After all, he thinks that he will attain everything by himself, by his own powers and his own mind.
This is his mistake because this work is actually not difficult at all; it can become quite pleasant, fascinating, and enjoyable. A person becomes a craftsman who loves his work and manages it and imagines correctly how to start it and who his partners are: the friends, the teacher, the Creator. The main thing is to clarify the right approach, and this is the hard part.
Children develop naturally: Nature invokes in them a desire, an aspiration, and abilities. We, on the other hand, have to organize everything by ourselves. This is the only freewill that we have: to arrange a place for our development and to concentrate all the conditions in it in order to create an environment that spurs our development.
But instead, a person wastes a lot of energy in the wrong places like rain in the desert. It is as if he makes great efforts, but in fact, he wastes them on useless idle actions.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/14
Answer: Sometimes a person is given the feeling of this field. If he suddenly gives the Creator the opportunity, the Creator is revealed. This is called an “awakening from Above,” which we cannot influence.
On the other hand, we actually get close to the revelation of this feeling through our work. During the lessons there are sometimes such moments and there are people who suddenly feel it, and this feeling disappears and reappears, and then disappears again. My job is to bring you to this point, but I cannot push you any more than that. It is forbidden to do so. The Reshimot (reminiscences) in us awaken and change, but there is no change in the Light. In fact, only the informational genes change and suddenly there are such changes in a person that he begins to feel more. Then he falls, which means that he feels less.
The main thing is not to experience interesting sensations but to acquire the attribute of bestowal so that we will control it and will be able to work with it and to hold the reins in our hands.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/14
Answer: This is our first spiritual exercise. Indeed all of our inner work is to go far from evil and to do good. “Depart from evil” is a level of bestowal for the sake of bestowal, Hafetz Hesed (delighting in mercy); and “do good” is already reception for the sake of bestowal, work with the vessels themselves, with the corrected desires.
In the meantime, it is up to us to only distance ourselves from evil, to rise above our desires. That is how we learn to connect among us and to acquire the characteristic of bestowal. The more we are connected and close to each other, each one of us and all of us together discover the characteristic of bestowal and thanks to that we are ready to discover the force field we are found in.
This field fills all of space. This space was once empty. After all, there was a Tzimtzum (restriction) and the Light was removed. But now, when we acquire the characteristic of bestowal, we suddenly discover that the Light did not disappear! The Light is here, and we can feel it more and more strongly: in the beginning as Ohr Ha Nefesh, something static, that passively fills the entire expanse of our lives, all of our emotions, all of our characteristics.
This Light is discovered with our new sense, which are derived from outside of ourselves. We can reach this feeling, there is nothing mystical about it: This is nature, although it is the higher nature. The Creator: this is nature. We simply investigate reality through our new senses. The person must only adhere to the group and the Creator, and listen to and carry out all the advice of the teacher precisely.
Question: Must we respond and carry out the corrections of those desires that are discovered?
Answer: Correction is connection. The desire is shattered and must be reconnected. How is it possible to feel the Creator if not through the characteristic of bestowal?
The characteristic of bestowal can be acquired above the characteristic of reception. We can play only with these two characteristics: a desire for pleasure, which was in the guest, and a desire to bestow, which was within the host: two forces, reception and bestowal, Light and vessel.
This is the only thing that exists in reality. And after that, the force of bestowal is awakened within the vessel. The guest learns what bestowal is through feeling the difference between himself and the host.
And in the meantime, we are not ready to feel how we differ from the host. So we must work with the environment. That is why there was the shattering of the desires, to give us the possibility of working on the connection between them.
In fact, spiritual work is very simple. It only seems complicated to us, and this is because we are confused. But when a person begins to acquire the method, no complexities and confusion are left in it. On the contrary, everything is simple. There are only two parameters: a desire to receive and a desire to bestow. And everything else takes place and is discovered between them, between the two. There is nothing artificial here.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/7/14
Answer: I begin from the current animal state, immersed in my egoistic desire, and from there I make the first efforts, although I don’t know exactly what I have to do. First I begin to move, listen to advice, and try to formulate my prayer, my appeal.
At first I don’t ask correctly. I ask for things that don’t lead to correction, but by that, I still force myself to turn to the Creator and I realize that I am not my own boss.
Then I establish my attitude to all of reality: It turns out that even the questions are not mine nor are the problems, the answers, and the decisions. They all come from above; everything is sent to me by the upper force and everything stems from one source.
Eventually I stabilize myself correctly with regard to the upper force—the one unique and special force—according to what it is and what I am at the moment.
After I stabilize myself this way, I am in a more or less right direction, on the right track that I have stabilized by myself; together with the group, while studying and disseminating, I have formatted myself as much as I could.
Then on this new basis, I ask for help. My request isn’t directly aimed at bestowal yet, but it is enough.
After all, the Light that Reforms illuminates me from Above. Once it dwelled in my corrected soul, and then it left it as a result of the shattering and now it is on the outside. I summon the influence of this Surrounding Light and it invokes the state of the shattering in me or in other words the shattered Reshimot (reminiscences).
When they are awakened, I have a new desire, which is deeper and more real. The arrangement of all the parts of creation is revealed in it and I see how everything is connected and that everything has to be corrected. This is how the Creator arranges my prayer and the right desire in the right direction in me.
Two kinds of Reshimot are revealed to me: Reshimo from Light (Hitlabshut) and Reshimo of thickness (Aviut). The Reshimo of thickness reveals my shattered state to me and the Reshimo of Light relates to a higher level.
This gives me the direction. If, for example, I am in a desire of zero thickness and discover the Reshimo, the Light, of the first level, I understand where I have to come with my vessel (Kli). Thus, the Reshimo of thickness indicates its next level, a new depth. I yearn for the Light not the way it is, not for its revelation in the vessel, but for a vessel of bestowal on the first level. This is how the work with the Reshimot is performed.
Thanks to it, I reach the true desire and it depicts a new picture for me: I am in a certain reality trying to feel it, to imagine it, as clearly as possible in a perspective of bestowal, and now I ask the Creator to fulfill it.
Just think about how long we have been talking about the preparation for a prayer, a preparation that in itself is called a prayer. The Creator divides our appeal to Him into these two parts and additional phases appear in each of them.
We actually don’t need anything but this appeal. I appeal to the Creator in the most accurate manner and advance thanks to these appeals. We cannot advance without the appeals. Those who don’t place themselves in this framework of humanity, the group, the center of the group, and the sources, and don’t attribute them to the Creator, don’t close this circle, and don’t do what they are required to do. In the meantime, the Creator performs His work only after our appeal, and we finally establish the right way to Him.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/20/14
Preparation for the Lesson
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Shamati #69 “First Will Be the Correction of the World”
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The Book of Zohar — Selected Excerpts, “Rejoicing in Holidays and Not Giving to the Poor,” Item 174
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 1, Part 2, “Histaklut Pnimit,” Chapter 4, Item 38
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