Audio Version Of The Blog – 05.21.15

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Once More About The Soul…

Laitman_109Question: What is a soul?

Answer: All the matter of the creation—everything around us, including us; everything we see: the still, vegetative, and animate nature and mankind, everything that fills this reality—is merely a desire to receive, a desire to receive pleasure. We are made of matter that wants to receive, to enjoy. The lowest level that wants to receive is the matter of the inanimate nature. The still level of nature doesn’t even want to move. The vegetative level already wants to receive and to enjoy more: it grows from the soil, blooms, lives for a certain period and dies. Animals have a greater desire to receive and to enjoy. They need to move in order to obtain food and this only expresses their internal desire to receive and to enjoy. But humans have the greatest desire to receive and to enjoy. They develop from one generation to the next wanting to enjoy more, inventing different sources of pleasure.

The still creation, the plants, and the animals don’t change the world, but live in nature just the way they were born. Man, however, is above them and he changes himself, changes his environment, and builds different systems that are all meant to fill his ego, his desire to receive pleasure. But if we look at different groups of people or at different nations we see that they don’t all have an equal desire to receive and to enjoy. Some are more passive while others are more active; some have a more developed ego and others have a less developed ego.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, if we can change our desire to receive that only wishes to serve itself to receive pleasure into a desire to bring others pleasure; if we change the use of our desire and instead of filling ourselves we fill others, we will resemble the upper force, the Creator; after all, He fills everyone and delights everyone. He will fill us to the extent that we resemble Him and we will feel Him inside us in the same desire that we want to fill others. The desire that we correct and change into a desire to delight others that is filled with the feeling of the Creator is called a soul. Therefore, it says that the soul is a Godly part from Above since it resembles the Creator.

Question: Does that mean that the soul is something that we have to build?

Answer: Of course! None of us has a soul yet. If I begin to work with all my egoism, with the desire to receive in the direction of love thy friend as thyself by yearning at least a little to use my desire to receive in order to serve others, for the benefit of others, in order to fill others, this desire is called a soul.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 5/10/15

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Miriam’s Well

laitman_558The Great Commentary, “Bamidbar”: Supernaturally, streams of water emanated from Miriam’s well and separated the Shechina’s camp from the Levites’ camp, and then the Levites’ camp from the camp of the children of Israel.

The streams have branched off into the creeks that separated the parts of the tribes. However, no creek divided Joseph sons’– Manasseh and Ephraim – camps.

It is believed that Miriam’s well is in the lake of Galilee. Don’t try to find spirituality in the material world, although everything that exists in the spiritual world is reflected in materiality. Each branch of this world has its spiritual root. “Miriam’s well” is a spiritual state in which spiritual qualities are categorized.

The well can be visualized as the Milky Way, or as a woman’s breast milk intended to breastfeed bestowal. What does the “Milky Way” signify? Naming the intersection of stars in the sky “the Milky Way” is not accidental. “Cosmos” denotes bestowal of the Upper Force.

“Miriam’s well” separates the Cohens, Levites, and Israel to the degree of their ability to bestow. Nevertheless, as we see, it doesn’t separate Joseph and his two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) because Joseph (Yosef) is Yesod, the state of a pure righteousness. At the level of complete bestowal, there is no separation among categories. That’s why the two sons of Joseph were not split apart.

Question: Does it mean that categorizing is still necessary for the time being?

Answer: Unless each of the properties manifests itself fully, they won’t reach a state of a mutual coupling. After Adam’s sin, i.e., after the shattering of the general soul into numerous people, each soul continued to mature for thousands of years. We have accrued so much egoism that it is extremely hard for us to come closer to each other and reconnect.

This was done only to show that we are selfish and then to rise above our egoism to the property of bestowal and love. When we all reach unity without losing our great individual properties, we’ll reveal the Creator.

If not for our mounting selfishness that manifests in us so vividly, if not for connecting above our egos, and at the same time retaining our egoism inside us, we would never perceive the Creator. After all, He is everlasting; it’s us who don’t feel Him. It is our job to sense Him 620 times stronger and progress from zero to Infinity.

Therefore, all material selfish properties must be preserved and should be interconnected with the altruistic glue. This will allow us to reveal the Creator who explicitly fills the entire world.

As for the separation, it existed at the time of the First Temple when the people of Israel reached their highest degree. It was then forbidden to marry those who belonged to other tribes.

But when they began descending to the lower level, their egoism began to grow, and a spiritual downfall occurred. At this point, the rule lost its importance and people began mixing among themselves.

Before this happened, the ban was strictly observed because the spiritual work in each property was so obvious that all properties were clearly categorized and separated from one another. People were able to differentiate among them. We too, will achieve this state someday.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/24/14

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The Bible Is Not What You Thought It Was…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the Bible? I have not found anything supernatural in it. Although the idea of the book is quite original!

Answer: This book does not need anyone’s approval whatsoever. The main character of the book is the Creator. The major topic is the condition under which we can “reconcile” with the Creator, meaning find the way to a higher realm before we die, during this lifetime, once we manage to reach at least a minimal similarity with the Creator.

We attain the upper realm sensually, and yet physically we remain in this world. Space expands.

To the degree of our ability to implement the principle “love thy neighbor,” a person acquires similarity with the Creator and reveals Him. Eventually, our perception of this world changes dramatically, and we perceive multiple layers, Infinity, timelessness.

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Kabbalah Is Not A Sect

laitman_214Question: How do you react to the fact that sometimes your organization is called a sect? A sect is something that stands outside of the generally accepted outlook. In other words, Judaism presents certain things one way, whereas you explain them in a completely different way. Those representing the Orthodox Judaism are very frustrated by this fact.

Answer: Naturally, those who are engaged in Kabbalah stay under the watchful eye of traditional Judaism. After all, until the Jews were expelled, there was no such thing as Judaism per se, since our people observed the major law of existence: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And now we must return to it. But it contradicts conventional religion because religion forgot that loving our neighbors is its foundation..

Three and a half thousand years ago in ancient Babylon, Abraham, the founder of all world religions, revealed the purpose of human evolution: harmonizing everyone with nature (the CreatorElokim), the numeric value of which in Gematria is identical to the word “Tèva” (nature).

Having disclosed this issue, Abraham wrote his first book on Kabbalah Sefer Yetzira (The Book of Creation). Even today it is sold in bookstores even though it was written many centuries ago.

According to Abraham’s understanding, humanity faces the challenge of altering our self-centered nature and replacing it with an authentic, altruistic nature, i.e., attaining the condition of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

We are not a people in the conventional sense of the word. Rather, we are a group who three-and-a-half thousand years ago banded together under an ideological principle.

Therefore, you can call all the Jews a sect, although most of them still don’t know where they come from or why they are here.

For one-and-a-half thousand years before year zero year of our era, we lived above our egos and observed the law of loving our neighbors as ourselves. They are not just  words but an indication of the need to change human nature.

Later, we fell to the level called “the destruction of the Temple” or “the exile.” The last two thousand years we have lived in exile.

That is why religion appeared instead of Kabbalah. Religion claimed that if one mechanically fulfills all commandments, then one will stay healthy and happy, and after death will receive a place in paradise.

Until the 16th century, the wisdom of Kabbalah was hidden from humanity, and in the 16th century it was re-discovered for us by the great Kabbalist the ARI who lived in Tzfat. Later, the famous Kabbalist Baal Shem Tov began disseminating Kabbalah in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine.

The writings of Baal Shem Tov’s disciples are not just Hassidism! It is authentic and true Kabbalah! So, since ARI’s time and on, Kabbalah was revived once again in the form of loving thy neighbor as thyself, because by observing this law we attain similarity with nature that is absolutely closed, and inside is at the level of synergy, perfection, and harmony.

Later, the great Kabbalist of the 20th century Baal HaSulam wrote commentaries on ARI’s works and on The Book of Zohar. He simplified the language and made these sources available to us.

We believe that the law of “loving our neighbors as ourselves” is the core of our existence. Today it is essential to revive this law because the world has reached a general, overall crisis. The science of Kabbalah says that this is not just a minor, transient crisis; rather, it is a transition point to the next existential level.

We are facing a transformational challenge: either we’ll reach similarity with nature, i.e., build a homogeneous, common, inclusive society with the help of Kabbalah that explains to us how to once again become one people and teaches us the ways of leading humanity to oneness or…  . The important thing is that we must do so voluntarily, consciously, knowingly, having a deep understanding of what is happening and what we are doing.

Otherwise we’ll be forced to pursue this path by nature, which we become even more opposite to.

And here we might face a severe problem, a huge upsurge of anti-Semitism is on the way. It is not a temporary phenomenon. It’s a profound, permanent condition that might make the nations of the world hate the people of Israel. It will be the greatest animosity ever; it will lead the whole world to tremendous hardships, even to the next world war.

This explains why we just cannot stay calm or indifferent. It is essential to explain to everybody that the message “love thy neighbor as thyself” are not just beautiful words that we use to calm down our children when telling them “Don’t fight! Be nice to your friends.” It in fact is the general law of integrity and global interconnectedness of nature, whereas humanity acts as a cancerous tumor that devours itself.

Therefore, according to the natural law of development, we must bring ourselves to conformity with the basic law, the law of homeostasis.
From the Press Conference 3/11/15

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The Origin Of A Person’s Thoughts

Quote: “The greatest mistake of individual psychology is the premise that a person thinks…

“It isn’t the person who actually thinks but his social group. The origin of his thoughts isn’t in him but actually in the social environment he lives in, in the social atmosphere he breathes. This is the only way he can think according to the influences of the social environment he lives in which are concentrated in his mind.”
—Professor Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838-1909), Principles of Sociology (1885),   economist, lawyer, one of the founders of European Sociology

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Ordinary Stones Of The Holy City

Laitman_421_01Question: All three religions consider Jerusalem as a holy city. Why is there a very special attitude to this city as if it connects a person with the upper force?

Answer: “Jerusalem” means “perfect city.” It is a spiritual concept that does not add holiness to the material city and its stones.

While the human being is made very complex, he is strongly influenced by the force of simple human faith, the power of placebo, his beliefs. Thus, arriving in Jerusalem, people feel that this is a special place.

But this is a special holy place created by people themselves by their attitude to this city, but the material city has no holiness. All the differences between geographic locations are in their spiritual roots.

It is written in the book of the great Kabbalist Ari, The Tree of Life, that the whole land is divided into areas according to special spiritual powers that affect them: Jerusalem, the land of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Babylon, and all other countries of the world.

This refers to the spiritual roots, but there is no difference in physical stones. But people who live in this world are impressed by each other and thus give these these stones, air, and geographical location special designations.

We need to understand that only by rising above these material human experiences will we be able to achieve a true, correct impression that will come from the spiritual property called Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, the Temple, Israel, the nations of the world.

All these are inner properties of the human being; the upper forces that we need to reveal. Then the spiritual Jerusalem will be revealed to us and inside of it the spiritual Temple, which is the “holy of holies,” where we will meet with the upper force.

So, everyone has to come to the reevaluation of the upper force and adhesion to the Creator.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 5/7/15

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 05.21.15

Writings of Rabash, Rungs of the Ladder,” “Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend – 2”

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The Book of Zohar – Selected Excerpts, “BeLaila De Kala (On the Night of the Bride), Item 140

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Writings of Baal HaSulam “The Mutual Guarantee,” Item 24

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