The Wisdom Of Kabbalah Is A Wisdom For Perception Of The World

laitman_254_01Question: Why do you say that each one sees his own reality in front of him, which he portrays through his own characteristics, if all of us see the same world?

Answer: We all see one world at the moment, but each one of us can change the reality that he senses. The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method for the right perception.

I will see that basically reality is much wider than it seemed to me and that everything in it advances in a good direction. And this will not be an illusion or self-deception. To the degree that I discover the world and bring Light into my life, that is the picture that I see in front of me.

Question: Is reality itself changed or my perception?

Answer: The reality that I see exists only in my perception. From where can I know that it truly exists in a form like this outside of myself? I perceive the world according to my characteristics, but this doesn’t mean that it exists in this form objectively. If the person possessed different characteristics, he would see another world with completely different colors and shapes.

We are so used to a reality that we perceive through our five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touch that it seems real to us. But things aren’t like that.

A person is like a device with five sensors that are tuned to particular frequency ranges and he is used to living in a world like this. But if we turn the five regulators to other frequency ranges, we will see a completely different reality. Science has reached a discovery like this today, and thousands of years ago the wisdom of Kabbalah spoke about this. So the wisdom of Kabbalah (the Hebrew word for “bondage” means to “receive”) is called this because it is a wisdom for perception of the world.
From the Radio Program Israeli 103FM 2/8/15

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The High Priest’s Qualities, Part 4

Laitman_167   5.  Age

“It is advantageous when the First Priest possesses dignity and experience. However, both these qualities come with maturity.” (“Let There Be Light”, “Leviticus,” “Emor”)

As a result of multiple levels one goes through on one’s own, one acquires a tremendous experience of spiritual ascents. This experience defines one’s maturity.

“Practically, the Upper Judgment chooses the First Priest regardless of his age under the condition that he possesses all pertinent, required qualities. Particularly, if the son of the First Priest is capable of taking his father’s place, he would be the first choice among other Cohens notwithstanding his young age.”

A “son” stands for the step that immediately precedes the upper level and is the closest to it. This explains why it is superior to all other steps. The upper level is obligated to be a “lifelong Cohen” (i.e. possess a Cohens’ qualities); however, the preference is given to the subsequent, lower step, even though it is not too bright because it constantly stays in the shadow of its upper level.

For example, Rabash was always in his father Baal HaSulam’s “shadow.” Nevertheless, he turned out to be the most worthy among his father’s students. The lower step’s benefits show up gradually; it is impossible to say where they originate from and why. Connection among these qualities is not obvious. Nonetheless, in spirituality, there exists a very rigid liaison between the steps. There, Rabash is not considered to be Baal HaSulam’s son but his disciple.

Comment: Hassidim usually conveyed the leadership from fathers to children.

Answer: Those who were unaware of how to transfer spiritual leadership were sure that they should act in accordance with the Torah: If you are a son of a great man, it means that you have inherited something from your father because he “contributed” his semen to you. However, the notion of “semen” implies the Upper Light, not physiological genes.

As soon as Hassidism began interpreting the Torah literally, it ceased to exist. For some time, Hassidism was based on Kabbalah; later, it transformed into the phenomenon that we observe today—a variation of a national movement.

Overall, Hassidism is a friendly, mild tendency that still has a multitude of external pro-Kabbalistic shades. Even though its traditions, customs, and laws are still based on Kabbalistic principles, the most important part, the work in the heart, is lost.

The founder of Hassidism, Baal Shem Tov, properly transferred this spiritual teaching to his great followers: Dov Ber of Mezeritch and other spiritual leaders. They were great Kabbalists, saints who attained the level of complete bestowal.

In a hundred years, everything started to rapidly change. As a rule, Kabbalists were poor. The rich that surrounded them disparaged them: “Go back to your sheds and read The Zohar, in the meantime, we will build a gorgeous building and everybody will come to us.”

The rich preferred different leaders who were much closer to them mentally and who blessed and respected them. The “golden period” that started with ARI gradually declined and came to an end.

Nevertheless, the followers of Baal Shem Tov instigated an enormous correction processes. Contemporary Kabbalah is based on their work.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 5/14/14

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Like A Bundle Of Reeds—Corrections Through The Ages, Part 3

Like a Bundle of ReedsLike A Bundle of Reeds, Why Unity and Mutual Guarantee Are Today’s Call of the Hour, Michael Laitman, Ph.D.

Chapter 3: Corrections Through the Ages
The Evolution of the Correction Method

Moses Says, “Unite!”

The solution came in the form of Moses’ Torah, but also with a new precondition for the execution of any correction from that time onward. To receive the Torah, writes the great commentator, RASHI, the people of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai “as one man with one heart.”[i] That utter and complete oneness later evolved into one of Israel’s most prominent characteristics—mutual guarantee—the noble trait that distinguished Israel from all the nations of the time.

Upon their acceptance of the condition to be as one man with one heart, Israel received the Torah, the instruction, the code of law that would help them tame the ego. With it, they became a society whose every member—man, woman, and child—attained the Creator and lived by the law of mutual guarantee, in equivalence of form with the one God (or force) that Abraham had discovered. The Babylonian Talmud writes, “They checked from Dan to Beer Sheba and no ignoramus [uncorrected person] was found from Gevat to Antipris, and no boy or girl, man or woman was found who was not thoroughly versed in the laws of purity and impurity [corrections according to Moses’ law].”[ii]

With their newly acquired unity, Israel conquered Canaan—from the word Keniaa (surrender)[iii]—and turned it into the “Land of Israel”—a place where the desire for the Creator rules. The Temple that Israel established in the land represented their high level of attainment, where they continued to develop and implement Moses’ method.

And yet, as our sages write, “The evil inclination is born with man, and grows with him his whole life,”[iv] and “The inclination in a man’s heart is evil from his youth, and always grows in all the lusts.”[v] Still, Moses’ method of correction, the laws we call “the Torah,” remained intact through the first and second Temples, and even through the exile in Babel.

But as the spiritual decline of Israel continued, the people found it increasingly hard to hold on to their unity and connection with the Creator. As a result, the Second Temple was at a lower spiritual degree (level of connection, or equivalence of form with the Creator) than the first. Kabbalist Rabbi Behayei Ben Asher Even Halua explains, “Since the day when Divinity was present in Israel, upon the giving of the Torah, it did not move from Israel until the ruin of the First Temple. Since the ruin of the First Temple … it was not permanently present, as during the First Temple.”[vi]

Eventually, the level of egotism increased in the people of Israel to such an extent that it altogether detached them from each other and from the Creator. Indeed, it was the detachment from each other that caused their detachment from the Creator, from the perception of life’s fundamental force. This, in turn, resulted in the ruin of the Second Temple, and the last and longest exile.

In his book, Netzah Yisrael [The Might of Israel], Rabbi Yisrael Segal describes Israel’s fall from grace: “In the Second Temple there was a special virtue, that Israel were not divided in two; there was only unity among them. Therefore, the First Temple was ruined by transgressions that are Tuma’a [impurity], and the Lord does not dwell among them in the midst of their Tuma’a. But the Second Temple was ruined by unfounded hatred, which revokes their unity, which was their virtue in the Second Temple.”[vii]

Similarly, the great scholar and poet, Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra, wrote, “‘And you shall step on their high places,’ ‘And I will let you ride on the high places of the earth,’ and the reason is the unfounded hatred that was present in the Second Temple until it generated the exile over Israel.”[viii]

[i] Rabbi Shlomo Ben Yitzhak (RASHI), The RASHI Interpretation on the Torah, “On Exodus, 19:2.”

[ii] Babylonian Talmud, Masechet Sanhedrin, p 94b.

[iii] “It is called ‘The Land of Canaan’ because all who wish to dwell in it must be subjugated by suffering all his days” (Rav Chaim Vital (Rachu), The Book of Knowledge of Good, Bo [Come])

[iv] Midrash Tehilim [Psalms], Psalm no. 34.

[v] Rabbi Chaim Thirer, A Well of Living Waters, Toldot [Generations], Chapter 25 (contd.).

[vi] Rabbi Behayei Ben Asher Even Halua, Rabeinu Behayei about Beresheet [Genesis], 46:27.

[vii] Rabbi Yisrael Segal, Netzah Yisrael [The Might of Israel], Chapter 5.

[viii] Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra, Ibn Ezra about the Song of Songs, 7:3.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 02.27.15

Writings of Rabash, “Steps of the Ladder”

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The Book of Zohar, Selected Excerpts 

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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Vol. 6, Part 15, “Histaklut Pnimit,” Item 221

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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 10

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Audio Version Of The Blog – 02.26.15

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Binge-Watching TV Shows Is Linked To Depression

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (Newsweek): “At the University of Texas at Austin, researchers surveyed hundreds of millennials to find out what psychological factors lead people to watch three or more TV episodes at a time. What they found was troubling—people who binge-watch are more likely to be depressed and lonely, two factors that are also in harmful binge behaviors such as eating and drinking.

“The authors, who concede that they too binge-watch, were correct: they discovered a correlation between binge-watching and loneliness, depression, and having self-regulation deficiency, which is an inability to control compulsions.

“For people who feel lonely or depressed, the authors suggest, binge-watching allows them to escape from negative feelings. And the more episodes someone watches, the longer that person can escape. Experts call this an avoidance coping strategy.

“Original programming on streaming sites seems made for binge-watching. Netflix has been dropping an entire season’s worth of new episodes at once since the American premiere of Lilyhammer in 2012; House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and Netflix version of Arrested Development all premiered the following year.

“The University of Texas researchers are joining a growing field of academia taking on entertainment. One study from last June suggested that binge-watching increases a viewer’s risk of early death. In September, a communication research expert told the Huffington Post that it’s hard to break from a marathon viewing because humans are hardwired to watch for changes in environments, including images on a computer screen.”

My Comment: In the near future,when people have more free time, this will be the only accepted pastime until suffering raises a person from the couch and throws him into the arms of others!

By disseminating the method of integral connection, we will prepare the environment, making it possible for all the people who spend time sitting on the couch to enter into this environment.

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Participation Of All People Is Required

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Matan Torah” (The Giving of the Torah), Section 17: From all the above, we can understand one of the most perplexing phrases of our sages: “All of Israel are responsible for one another.” This seems to be completely unjust, … But according to the above said, we can understand their words very simply; we have shown that each of the 613 Mitzvot in the Torah revolves around that single Mitzva: “Love thy friend as thyself.” And we find that such a state can only exist in a whole nation whose every member agrees to it.

We truly will have nothing to wait for and no hope that we can reach such an intensity of connection that is called love of others from our egoistic state, even though we have a group and study, unless we work in a dimension called the entire nation.

There must be an integration of very many connected desires here in which each one discovers his unique character, and then, to the degree of the full mutual integration between them, it will be possible to reach such a powerful desire that will attract the Light that Reforms, bringing them the quality of love.

The sons of Jacob were unable to reach this love, this intensity of desire, as long as they were closed within their family, and there was even hatred among the brothers, which testifies to the intensity of the desire required for correction. This is because each one had a different mother, his own share in the house of his father, and his own character.

However, even this was not enough for their connection, beyond rejecting each other, which would give them a fulfillment called love. Only when the great ego called Pharaoh was added to them and after they had gone through 400 years of the Egyptian exile and discovered all the levels of the ego, was the intensity of the separation sufficient for them to be called a nation instead of a group.

The idea here is not quantity, but speaks only about quality. Therefore, after they received additional ego, additional density, they began to call themselves a nation and merited to receive a means to make a correction that became imperative for them. This is because they no longer could correct anything themselves as brothers who felt themselves to be members of one family before their entry into Egypt.

With the exodus from Egypt and the heaviness of heart, after they took all the vessels of the Pharaoh, they already began to require the Torah.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/27/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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The Accelerated Pulse Of Time

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: We all know that the feeling of time is very subjective. How can it be that when a person has to make an important decision, time is stretched so that a person goes through many states and can consider them?

Answer: That’s true, many people experience this phenomenon. Even in our ordinary life we sometimes feel that time is expanded and sometimes it flies and is compressed.

If I enjoy myself, time goes by unnoticed, and if I don’t enjoy myself, I cannot wait for the time to pass.

But time is even more subjective than we think. The question is whether we could feel time if we didn’t live according to our pulse which is 80-90 beats a minute, or according to our breathing cycle which is about 16-20 breaths a minute. If there weren’t the cycle of the seasons in the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, could we perceive time on the level of the speaking, in our feelings? Probably not.

Perhaps we perceive time the way we do because this is the way we exist on our physical, animate level that is influenced by our human perception of reality and determines our perception of life and reality. A person develops and feels the connection with his past, present, and his future.

In contrast to a human being, an animal lives in the present, but it is still somehow connected to the future and is able to feel it. Animals feel the future in a much clearer way than humans becaise they are connected to nature. All the possible future forms already exist in nature, but they are concealed from us.

If we manage to annul our desire to receive, we will be able to transcend from a subjective perception to a more objective perception of time, and then we will be able to feel the future. The only problem is that we are in our egoistic desire. But if we manage to overcome it and ascend above it, the concept of time, motion, and space can be completely inverted and not be an obstacle in our perception.

A person who tries to break free of the his ego and ascend above it begins to think that if the whole universe—all the matter of the still, vegetative, animate and the level of humans—are in a desire to receive, and so there must be a force against it, which means a desire to bestow and to fill that desire to receive. Then he wants to know this force and transcend from the level of the one who receives pleasure to the level of the one who wants to provide pleasure.

To ascend above our desire to receive means to ascend above our nature. Is it possible to exit the framework of the universe, to transcend the moment of the Big Bang, and return to the state that preceded it, to the force that created the creation?

Suddenly we realize that in order to do that, we don’t need to fly to distant stars or to explore other worlds. We will find all that right here, where we are, inside us. It is because a person perceives everything in a subjective manner. Therefore, when I work on the perception of my reality, on my attitude towards what is going on here and now, I can perform exercises by which I will be able to ascend above my desire to receive, because nothing exists but me and everything exists only in my perception.

I will be able to control my desire to receive, to exit and restrict it, which means that I won’t allow it to operate egoistically, but rather I transform it into the force that motivates me.

Ascending above my desire to receive means acquiring a desire to bestow, the source from which the desire is filled. The desire to bestow is the force that caused the Big Bang and provided the spark from which our universe developed. This is the force that created all of matter and fills it.

In fact, this force is everywhere since it sustains and operates matter, but is concealed from us. We only perceive its outcomes, the force of attraction and rejection. Every action takes place as a result of that force, that spark of upper energy that is the source of life.

As long as I exist in my ego, time is my pulse that is totally subjective and exists only as long as I am alive. But if I want to ascend above time, then there is no problem, as all I have to do is simply ascend above my desire.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/17/14

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Transforming The Impossible Into The Possible

laitman_940Baal HaSulam, “Matan Torah” (The Giving of the Torah), Item 16: For then, each member of the nation was asked if he agreed to that exalted work. And once each and every one in the nation agreed to it in heart and soul, and said “We will do and we will hear,” it then became possible to keep the whole of the Torah, and that which was previously impossible became possible.

To reach the state of receiving the Torah, first we need a heaviness of heart that is called the Egyptian Exile, darkness with heaviness of the heart, a reaction from the ego, the desire to receive. The more that it grows, the more terrible it is and kills the person. We must feel that the Creator is concealed and we have a great need to discover Him, meaning discovering the characteristic of bestowal.

Specifically the Creator is what is called the discovery of the characteristic of bestowal, and not some mystical power that serves us the way we imagine within our ego.

We decide that the desire to receive is darkness to us, and the desire to bestow is the Light. And it is impossible to receive the Torah, meaning the Light that corrects us and raises us above the desire to receive to the desire to bestow, except in a group that will be big enough in intensity, quantity, and quality.

In this group we must gather people who support each other and are ready to devote their lives for the benefit of the society. They are sure that the best thing is to be dependent upon the opinion of the society.

This doesn’t mean that a person throws himself egoistically into the hands of the society so that it will be concerned about him and he doesn’t need to think about anything. He also doesn’t do this absent-mindedly, throwing himself into a group and thinking that whatever will be will be. No, rather the concern in overcoming his ego, in understanding all of his power, emotion, and intellect, is that he nullifies himself towards the environment, rising above his emotion and intellect.

Being a very wise, sensitive, mature, and serious person, he nullifies all this and accepts the opinion of the society, which is the opposite of all of his knowledge. He sees that this completely refutes his healthy intelligence, his logic, his mental strength, and his vision of the world; he discards all of his data and nullifies himself toward the society.

Just imagine what kind of difficult work Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma did in nullifying himself before his students. Certainly he didn’t actively show this to them in order not to ruin them. But he himself accepted being in the small, wretched, beginners group that the Creator arranged for him, and made himself even less and lower than them.

In order to get energy for spiritual advancement, a person must nullify himself towards the group. This is done “above reason” and is extended into all areas of life, but this happens only after many very serious calculations.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Get Off The Stretcher And Run

laitman_562_02Question: What can a person do to fill the “concealment” void with bestowal?

Answer: A person must move the concealment from himself to “There is none else beside Him,” meaning not to be sorry for himself but for the “sorrow of the Shechina (Divinity).” He must feel how much he is now harming the group through the absence of his role. For the friends must continue their journey hauling his “body” on a stretcher.

I must understand that in this way I am a burden on them and must feel responsibility and shame also. It is clear that we don’t reach an understanding like this immediately but gradually. Rather, this is ultimately done with the help of the group and the Creator. So the “sorrow of the Shechina (Divinity),” means she is sorry because I am not participating properly in the general work.

The group is a concept that already exists in spirituality. If we were to discover spirituality, we would see that the group heart and mind already exist. We still don’t see this because the time has not yet arrived, but all this already exists. And so we discover that the mutual guarantee, the feeling, the reason, and the discovery of the Creator already exist in this state. This is something that exists above us and each one must support the others so that together, only through the intensity of the connection between us, we reach a structure of the group that already exists.

Question: What is it that we see when we look through the center of the group?

Answer: I see that everyone is connected except for me. And it is up to me to penetrate even further into the group and link to them; it is up to me to see this as a daily goal. I get up in the morning and check what is important to do today: arranging my relationship with the group better than it was yesterday so that at the end of the day I will be able to say that I advanced a little in the right direction.

If I don’t feel myself cut off from the group, I will not succeed in attracting the Light that Reforms. It is up to me to feel that we must renew and strengthen this connection to strengthen our Kli, to develop its effectiveness, growth, and quality and make it possible for the Creator to be revealed in it even more.

It is not important that we haven’t yet discovered what kind of contentment we are giving the Creator. Does an infant understand how much his mother and father enjoy his smile? Our advancement is measured only in this way. We can ask for the Light that Reforms only when the connection between us, that we ourselves are not ready to attain, is missing.

It is clear that I am not ready to do anything myself and I discover to my amazement that I am going forward in the opposite direction. But this is for the good. It is now only up to me to understand this and advance towards prayer. Don’t shout about it being bad for me; this is childish.

The Creator pushes me so that I will discover a deficiency in bringing Him pleasure, not for myself. He arranges all the conditions for me to reach bestowal.

Question: Can I ask for the Light that Reforms for myself?

Answer: Certainly; after all, you want to get off the stretcher so they will not need to haul you because you are ashamed. You want to run side by side with the friends yourself.

Question: How do I know that I am receiving the Light that Reforms as an answer to my prayer and that it is working on me?

Answer: There is no need to wait for proof of it. Just enjoy the request itself. You don’t need to be concerned about an answer to your prayer for that means you are demanding a reward, a fulfillment; you are establishing conditions and want to make a deal with the Creator to attain benefit.

Your goal is to raise MAN, a prayer. For specifically it is through Manna (Man-Ohm) we are filled in the desert and not by MAD (the Light). The prayer itself must be the fulfillment. If you are raising it, it is already good for you, “I am my beloved’s” (Song of Songs 6:3). The prayer itself is the reward. You will then discover that you don’t need more than this, for spirituality is discovered specifically this way.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/18/14

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