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The Creator deliberately creates problems in the group. He shows me a movie—which doesn’t really exist! The Creator shows me that the group exists, suffers, has problems etc. What for? For me to turn to Him. Yes, it’s in order for me to turn to Him.
Having passed the first stages of spiritual development, the student starts feeling them inside: “I’ll know You from Your actions in me.” He gains experience and acquires reason, as written,”Wisdom comes only with experience.” Gradually the student will be able to advance by himself.
In Kabbalah the teacher leads the student like an adult teaches a baby to walk. The teacher walks together with the student, giving him his reason, and the student follows the teacher like the body follows the head. Of course, this is possible only inasmuch as the student agrees to annul to the teacher.
Everything is relative to me.
Religious faith is psychological, unsubstantiated conviction. When there’s proof, it becomes knowledge, not faith. To a Kabbalist, the Upper Force is knowledge, attainment. Before revealing it, it’s not there, like an undiscovered scientific phenomenon to a scientist.
And then in mutual bestowal—love, Gadlut.
The difficulty of spiritual progress to equivalence with the Creator is that one must become increasingly more similar to Him “in group unity,” meaning by each person annulling to the group to turn the group into one whole, similar to the Creator by annulling ego, Katnut.
One who studies Kabbalah sets out on the path of acquiring a new nature in spite of the previous one, faith above reason. This becomes continually more difficult, but that’s the nature of the degrees of ascension to the Creator by equivalence of form.
The Creator deliberately creates problems in the group. He shows me that the group exists, suffers, and has problems—so I would ask Him for them. In reality, everything I see is my soul, my inner egoistic world. I ask not for others, but for my soul!
The main thing is to perceive all of the group’s problems and ask the Creator for them. Everything that’s bad in the group—feel it in you and ask the Creator to correct it, to help the group come closer to Him. I only ask and I don’t need anything else. This is the best prayer.
We must assess all actions this way: Would the Creator act like this? If yes, but He didn’t, then He left it for me to do. Then I act instead of the Creator and start feeling that I occupy His place. I thus become equal to Him and am called Adam, meaning similar to the Creator.
From Twitter, 11/1/18
All spiritual work goes by faith above reason. It is called “faith” because my regular corporeal senses, the desires I was born with, do not approve of it. But I receive a certain Light from above, which holds me in this state called “faith” and allows me to do the work despite the fact that I feel no upper degree. Also, I do not want to feel it, nor to work for the sake of feeling good, being its slave. Instead, I want to rise above it, above my nature. Therefore, I ask to be given the Light of faith.
Despite the fact that I do not see, hear and understand how the power of bestowal works, I still want to work according to its laws so that it would clothe in me. The people of this world are guided by the power of reception and follow their desire to enjoy, unconsciously submitting to it like dolls in the hands of a puppeteer. I, however, want to be guided by His other hand, which is called “the hand of faith,” so that it will begin to control me, capturing my whole heart and mind.
However, at the same time, I do not leave my old nature. I want to feel it and compare how one is different from the other in order to work by faith above reason. I will have reason and in addition, faith, which is higher than reason; that is, the power of bestowal will dominate over the power of reception. I will know and understand how bestowal can be dominant, and I will be able to direct it myself. It will remain under my control.
This is called “faith” because I do not require knowledge of how the power of bestowal operates; I just want it to be dominant over the power of reception.
Therefore, all spiritual work begins with acquiring the force of faith, the force of bestowal, above the force of reception, which is called “reason.” I remain a reasonable person and do not soar in fantasies as if I walk by faith alone, ready for any bestowal. I am not ready for anything, I see things absolutely clearly. Faith above reason is based on real force, even stronger than the force of reception.
I work with the full inclusion of all my feelings and reason, with my environment and the entire world, but in a new way, in a different style of work. This is the entry to the spiritual work.1
Faith above reason relies on sensations that seem unnatural to us. The natural feelings received from birth are our rational knowledge. Now, however, I ask to be given an additional perception of reality in order to build a new level of bestowal, Bina, faith, which does not rely on corporeal knowledge. I rely on reception because it is built on egoism. But I ask to be given such a perception of reality as if I can sense the Creator, as if His power of bestowal has been revealed throughout the world, and everyone is in love and bestowal, and I want to be the same.
I realize how far my request is from reality, but I want to align myself in such a way that I relate to it on two levels: the power of reception and the power of bestowal. On one hand, like a judge, I can only go by what my eyes see, which is corporeal reality. On the other hand, I perceive the world as if it was corrected, only the single force of the Creator operates in it, and there is nothing else besides it.2
If the Creator had clothed in me and had given me His power of love and bestowal, replacing the egoistic force of reception that used to control me, I would become an angel. I would only love and bestow to everyone just as unconsciously I want to receive from them now. I would simply replace one nature with another.
This can never happen. The goal is to remain as the same created being while also becoming similar to the Creator, that is, to include two levels.
Therefore, after many years of disappointment in the futile attempts to obtain the force of bestowal, to feel love, and the spiritual world, I finally understand that I do not even want it. I do not need the force of bestowal that would completely engulf me like egoism currently does. It would not amount to anything. True bestowal consists of remaining within the force of reception and acquiring the ability to rise above it by the force of bestowal.
While hating somebody, I get the ability to treat him well. I don’t want to turn into an angel and love everybody. I remain the same egoist as the Creator made me, not destroying my desire to enjoy, but above it, I make a restriction, a screen, the reflected Light, and I build my attitude of bestowal above reception. I don’t want any reward or compensation, I just want to treat everyone the way the Creator treats them. That is, my intentions are relatively unselfish.3
We must reveal all the evil inside of us and obtain the force of faith, Bina, above it. We cannot become the Creator, we can only become similar to Him. Therefore, our force of bestowal can only exist above the force of reception, as if we bestow.
The force of bestowal is the force of the Creator. We can only imprint it in ourselves and thus become a human, Adam, meaning similar (Domeh) to the Creator. We apply gilt on top of our desire to enjoy. But inside, under this gold foil, the whole sculpture remains, all the evil of our ego. This is the Aviut of desire and the screen above it.4
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/22/18, Lesson on the Topic “The Work Within Reason And The Work Above Reason”
1 Minute 0:10
2 Minute 15:15
3 Minute 17:55
4 Minute 36:00
Thrive Global published my new article: “How Human Connection Can Help Alleviate Anxiety and Fear”
We all like to relax and sleep soundly, but our growing uncertainty about the future makes us anxious and concerned. The best way to rise above these feelings is to switch from self-concern to being concerned for others.
Anxiety is something that builds up over time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Every evening, you probably sit in front of your computer or TV set, trying to relax after a long day’s work, and what do you see? A world on the verge of collapse: hurricane devastation across the US, the opioid overdose epidemic, school shootings, political dramas, people killing their own family members… and all this comes on top of your own problems at home and work. As a result, instead of feeling calm and enthusiastic about the next day, you constantly feel anxiety and fear about life. If you relate to any of this, then you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting 40 million adults aged 18 and older.
The sensation of helplessness regarding the future is a universal matter of concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1 in 13 people globally suffer from anxiety, and social anxiety disorder is the most common. It manifests as fear of being judged by others, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation.
We cannot live in a bubble. Out of necessity, we live our lives as members of society. Yet, the problem begins in that we do not know how to relate to each other.
International organizations are trying to deal with mental health problems by targeting anxiety and depression as one, the leading cause of disability worldwide. Multiple campaigns to tackle this phenomenon have been launched with no success, as there has been nearly a 50% increase in the amount of people struggling with these mental dysfunctions between 1990 (416 million) and 2013 (615 million).
Why Are We So Anxious?
These are not only numbers, but people’s deep struggles. British writer, Matt Haig, shares his personal anecdotes on modern negative influences from social media and his own tussling with anxiety and depression in his book, Notes on a Nervous Planet, noting that, “It is not the technology itself that is the problem. It is our lack of awareness about how it is changing our lives and affecting our minds.”
Feeling anxious now and then is part of our daily lives: when we need to make important decisions or face challenges in our workplace or with our families. It is considered a mental illness when the distress is overwhelming and might keep us from carrying on with our regular duties, causing sleep deprivation and affecting our health and wellbeing.
Both genetic and environmental aspects influence our normal anxiety traits as well as anxiety disorders, but social pressure is a key factor in the development of chronic anxious behavior on what is perceived as lack of control over stressful life circumstances or events.
A large aspect contributing to social anxiety is competition triggered by social media. We constantly compare ourselves, and this leads to unsettling anxiety if we look at ourselves as less popular or less successful in relation to what we see as role models or desirable standards that are usually unrealistic.
Concern as a Foundation of Life
Life is a natural process that is not supposed to be without stress and problems. If we look at the animal kingdom, animals are constantly concerned about their survival, how to overcome the threats of those who want to eat them and take their offspring. Humans, the most developed part of nature, are not any different.
We struggle our entire lives. Why is it so? It is because our nature is the will to enjoy that constantly develops not in quantity but in quality and complexity. Society and education pressure us day and night to pursue higher and more qualitative pleasures. We constantly want to fulfill ourselves as much as possible according to our personality, conditions and the environment that shape our values and attitudes toward life. These measurements determine what we consider as pleasure or suffering. The more we progress, the more helpless we feel.
How to Control Our Destiny
As humans we are able to make conscious decisions about the way our reckless actions might affect other levels in nature and ourselves. Instead, we are controlled by our ego, our desire for endless pleasure. We want to enjoy ourselves as much as possible even if it is at the expense of others.
The world has created conditions as in a bow-and-arrow game. We went backward and seemingly developed humanity to a point where it is abundant with means for fulfilling ourselves, that everyone should be having a great time. But in fact, the path has been so full of suffering, blood, war and disappointment that we finally start seeing that it will not work this way anymore. Therefore, from now onward, we will need to begin to release the arrow from the bow and set it off to the right direction, toward a more balanced existence.
How Can A Person Suffer Less?
Feeling this internal desire for fulfillment takes a lot of our time. A lot of energy, strength and nerves are demanded to feel happy and free.
We have created all kind of mechanisms to avoid being anxious. People have tried to shut off themselves, disconnect through drugs, alcohol, or release their frustration through aggressive behavior. But the influence of the environment in molding our values is so powerful that these intents to escape from reality will not help.
Problems cannot be magically erased but we need to reach a comfortable level where a person is able to cope with fears and anxiety reaching balance between normal worries and a healthy life. It does not mean that we should avoid responsibilities or throw ourselves into the arms of society to take care of our duties. It is, however, a condition we cannot achieve alone.
What does this actually depend on? It completely depends on the influence of the environment, which is both the source of the problem and its solution. Society should organize itself in such a way that the person will feel nurtured through a balanced flow of information, without distortions created by the media to draw people’s attention.
We always need to yearn for something, to have the feeling of hunger together with the possibility of fulfilling ourselves. It is a natural inclination that we do not have to destroy. But we have to experience some kind of lack, not to the degree of anxieties, threats and fears, but to such a level that pulls me to its fulfillment in a positive way.
The world has become round. We live in an integral system where we are interdependent. We become aware of the influence on the environment because we live in it, so we see that we have no option but to improve it. How? Through a new kind of education, from an early age to adulthood.
From an early age, we should receive integral education, not only knowledge and information. Our education is currently focused on a system of individualistic competition that pushes us to become more selfish and egoistic. This needs to change. Instead, in order to create a society free from anxiety and many other symptoms of our egocentric-based systems, our education should be based on how much everyone can contribute to society. It would still be competitive, but it would be healthy competition, where one who helps more and gives a good mood to others becomes more recognized, and not one who builds one’s success on the ruins of others.
If we implement this principle, our lives will take a twist to a positive direction. This new altruistic attitude that we would develop and train, like a muscle, would expand outwardly and positively affect the way we treat ecology and all of life’s systems. But it all starts and depends on improving relations among people first. As a result of education to change society’s influence on a person, anxieties and fears will click into their balanced proportions as with all of our qualities.
Like a mother who protects her baby from external negative influences, or a magnetic field around the earth, we can build a defensive shield, a powerful support system against strong negative influences.
The means to achieve this protective environment is called the method of connection, where people sit together in a circle to share positive information and uplifting experiences on the connection with others. We learn how to develop a selective ear, teaching us on how to filter between important and useless information for our personal progress as integral parts of society.
Circles of people who connect can transform anxiety into feelings of security, happiness, and relaxation through various games and exercises. Everyone impresses the others by being “smaller” and influences the others in a positive way by being “greater.” Everyone elevates the general mood in the group with jokes.
Hypersensitivities are alleviated by absorbing opposite impressions of relaxation from others. By playing with one another as though we are safe and secure, what we act out together can gradually become our new reality.
Anxieties, concerns and fears are a natural part of our make-up. The key to overcoming anxiety is thus not to erase it, but redirect it toward others: to switch self-concern to concern about others. By working with a method of connection and using techniques to develop healthy connections, we would then see a transformation of all kinds of anxieties into feelings of happiness and confidence.
New Life #1062 – The Desire To Know
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe
Nature has given humans the desire to know so that they will learn how to correct themselves, develop the eternal part within themselves, and reach the level of the Creator. This desire to know and understand comes from our need to survive, advance, and develop. We seek answers to questions such as, “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” and “Where am I headed?” We have the creative, higher force inherent inside us. However, this force can also be used in a destructive, egoistic way. Although nature openly invites us to learn about it, our ability to absorb eternity is limited. We fail to see the connection between various forms of study and nature as a whole.
From KabTV’s “New Life #1062 – The Desire To Know,” 9/27/18
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