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From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 2/10/20
Over the generations, clothes have been a definitive mark of a person’s economic and social status. However, recent times show a striking change. All around the world, wealthy and publicly respected people no longer follow the old standard dress code.
Today, a plain t-shirt, jeans and sports shoes can be the attire of the rich and poor alike. Society has undergone emancipation from noticeable expressions of wealth and rank in dress with a recent move toward a “simpler is better” approach.
In the first decades of the 20th century, men still flaunted well-tailored suits, dress shirts with cufflinks, and elegant hats on their heads. Women, already exempt from corsets, wore colorful long dresses with matching accessories head to toe. Designers still offer new fashions four times a year, but our search for personal expression has turned elsewhere.
Time passed and desires changed.
Although largely unaware of where our loss of interest in clothing comes from, today’s younger generation emphasizes personal character and their inner world over the rags that cover it.
This is the call of the time: We have reached the point where the person must precede the clothing.
There is an old saying, “Don’t let your clothes wear you,” i.e., the outer covering should never be more important than the inner person. The time has come to uncover exactly what we have been hiding underneath the stylish outer wrappings.
What have we been trying to cover up? What are we longing to find? Could it be that we have been covering some kind of shame?
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, which explains phenomena in our reality as branches of spiritual roots, there is a connection between physical clothing and shame.
We instinctively wear clothes in order to cover the shame of our egoistic nature.
We hide the fact that we host a human nature that wants only to enjoy itself at the expense of everyone and everything else. Essentially, we use clothing in order to conceal our selfishness.
As the Torah teaches, after the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, the Creator told Adam that he needed to be clothed. This means that the person’s egoistic desire undergoes a correction, becoming covered with an opposite intention of love and bestowal.
When we put on this “spiritual apparel” of a common intention to love, bestow and positively connect with each other above the naked and divisive ego, and create a supportive social environment that promotes altruistic spiritual values to us, we then attain the spiritual state called “love will cover all transgressions.”
Then, we dress up in the image of the Creator.
There’s no happier feeling than the powerlessness to exit the ego.
And it is also the redemption from it!
The heart ceases to think of myself. I start to feel the friends.
Through them—the upper world. In it—the Creator.
He is that which I want! This is my prayer!
A prayer cannot be sad.
A #prayer is anticipation of correction. A joyful despair.
I have despaired of my own forces. The Creator is my only hope.
A righteous man will fall and get up a thousand times. I may fall, but I will gain experience of how to fall and get up. When a baby learns to walk, he falls and gets up many times. We are getting closer to coming out of Egypt—every new step is more joyful even though it’s more difficult. The salvation lies in our unity.
We do not aspire to despair from the work, but when despair comes, we perceive it as a good sign. Despair is the true Kli. If one reaches despair in one’s own forces, it means a desire has been revealed over which I have no control. From this desire I can ask the Creator.
How do I persuade the Creator to help? In the times of Terach, Abraham’s father, people would pay the priest to buy false protection. This was Terach’s method, whereas Abraham’s method asserts: “Only with love!” If I want to attain spirituality, bestowal, I ask for the friend—and the Creator helps.
Praying for the friend means wanting the Creator to help him. Don’t delve into details, instructing the Creator on how exactly He must help. I pray for the friend if I am ready to give him my Kelim, so he’ll rise and correct himself with them. I am a connecting channel for him.
Spiritual progress depends on how much you assist others’ progress. You attain actions of bestowal, meaning the Creator’s actions, by helping others, obtaining permission for them to enter spirituality. You make efforts to turn yourself into a channel to awaken the friend.
If we want to attain unity like a burning fire, the fire gets ignited by the resistance of the ego-desire, which devotedly executes the resistance. Egoism’s action stops us—this is what it was created for. Even in mutual guarantee we reveal that: we have no chance of coming out of Egypt…!
With a common prayer we draw the upper force to us and rise above our egoism, which is called exodus from Egypt. The spiritual Partzuf is built out of us supporting each other for the sake of attaining the Creator. The Creator is perfect; therefore, we must also build perfection.
The only thing we have in common is the Creator, the common point of Keter. Each of us has unique qualities and we connect only above, in the Creator. When we want to unite with each other on our own, we reach despair, “the sons of Israel cried out from this work.” It is only by virtue of a common goal that we can unite.
The Ego-world is destroying the family. It doesn’t need family since family has ceased to be a foundation, a building block of society. But the Ego-world created and is now destroying the middle class. So who will care for society’s stability?
The end of the system of the world is becoming apparent. The world was considered to be moving toward a good future. But people didn’t take human nature into account—the destructive egoism. Capitalistic development of 500 years has ended with a lack of markets and anti-elite sentiments. This is leading to a world #war or a transition to #altruism.
From Twitter, 2/10/20
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My new article: “The Meaning Of Tu BiShvat”:
Tu BiShvat, which takes place on the 15th of Shevat, seems to be a Jewish holiday of lesser significance, as if hidden among the distinctive Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover and Shavuot. Its customs are simplistic and few: eating dried fruit and drinking some wine while the children plant tree seeds.
However, according to its inner meaning, the holiday of Tu BiShvat holds monumental importance among the Jewish holidays, as it discusses a very important discernment on our path to a harmonious reality: the discernment of needing to choose an environment, plant ourselves in it, invest in it, and care for the means that can grow us to become more and more optimally connected.
In our current times, as we plod on in the midst of heated social division, terror and nuclear weapon anxiety, the reawakening of Nazi, fascist and xenophobic tendencies, as well as increasing depression, stress and loneliness, the holiday of Tu BiShvat comes to remind us of nature’s positive power. The seed we plant in the soil symbolizes the great potential that dwells in our connections.
This seed will germinate and grow into a life-giving tree, which will later bear fruit. For example, a feeling of safety and confidence in the streets, the reduction of economic inequality and disparity, a healthcare system that concerns itself with all people, and the education of connection-enriching values. The wisdom of Kabbalah, the teaching of how to draw nature’s force of positive connection into our relations, is the water. When we let the spirit of positive connection, “the water,” flow between us, it serves to lubricate our connections, vitalizing them with nature’s positive, connective force.
Investing in rich, fertile soil can be likened to building an environment that will value nature’s quality of love, bestowal and connection above any other values. That is Tu BiShvat’s universal message. It is also the reason why Kabbalists have always regarded the holiday with utmost importance. As the Torah compares humanity to a “tree of the field,” Tu BiShvat, also called “the New Year of the trees,” is an invitation to the beginning of growth, the beginning of a new life.
“The person is called a tree of the field, and Rosh HaShanah is the time of judgment, for better or for worse. … It is written, ‘Forever is mercy built’ (Psalms 89:3). So on Tu BiShvat, which is called the New Year for Trees, we must be strengthened with the quality of kindness, because for this we merit fruit, which is called ‘a tree bearing fruit.””
– Rabbi Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag, Dargot HaSulam, “The New Year of the Trees.”
Spritual Meaning of Tu Bishvat
Tu Bishvat, “The New Year of the Trees,” symbolizes the fruit of the spiritual work, growth.
In the first stage of our spiritual path we invert the egoistic intention (Lo Lishma) into an altruistic intention (Lishma), bestowing in order to bestow. In Kabbalah, this degree is called “the quality of Bina.” The acquisition of this quality makes us a “tree of the field.”
Our next milestone of spiritual progress is receiving in order to bestow. Here, the barren tree of the field starts bearing fruit. This is a result of our work and our degree.
We now use our “tree” to grow fruit, fulfill the desires of others, and we relate to them as the source of bestowal. This way, we equalize with the quality of bestowal and complete our correction. This way, Tu BiShvat also contains the completion of our spiritual work.
Tu BiShvat might appear to be a trivial holiday. Its customs don’t extend beyond eating fruits, drinking some wine and children planting tree seeds in the ground. However, it is a very important holiday, since it represents the outcome of spiritual work, the fruit of our efforts. Out of nature’s four levels—still, vegetative, animate, speaking—Tu BiShvat represents the correction of the vegetative level.
The Meaning of New Year for Trees
The New Year of the Trees marks their awakening to life, symbolizing the awakening of a person to achieve the purpose of life: equivalence with nature’s quality of love, bestowal and connection.
The Meaning of A Man Is Like a Tree in the Field
A tree has a special internal structure that feeds from the ground and stretches upward toward the sun. The most important part of the tree is its fruit. In general, any plant, everything that grows from the earth, feeds us and is the basis of our material life. Our spiritual development functions according to the principle that we operate as a tree through all kinds of actions we do.
The Meaning of Fruits
Fruits represent attaining our purpose in life, which is to harmonize with nature’s quality of love, bestowal and connection. In principle, everyone would want to attain this goal if they understood how sweet that fruit is: an eternal and perfect existence in absolute attainment without any restrictions and problems.
Whether we want it or not, we nevertheless get closer to it. However, Kabbalah can accelerate our path if we use it correctly. Otherwise we’ll have to advance the way we do now, with the help of unpleasant blows from nature that push us forward.
There is a beautiful future ahead of us and I hope that the same sweetness we feel from the good fruits of the earth and plants, we will feel from fulfilling our soul.
Further Reading On Tu Bishvat
Posts in Dr. Michael Laitman’s Personal Blog
Material on Hanukkah and the Jewish holidays by the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
The Meaning of the Jewish Holidays Series
Whether you know it or not, in the Pacific Ocean, there is a new continent almost the size of the United States. No, it’s not the old-new Atlantis, it’s the island of garbage.
Billions of dollars are put into solving the problem of trash in the Pacific Ocean. However, while on one side, someone utilizes garbage, on the other side, someone litters even more than before.
What can be a real and practical solution in this situation? This might sound very profound, but it is all about human relationships. They are broken. If a person cares just for himself, he is most likely to harm others. If each person cares only for self-benefit, it definitely harms the entire planet.
Therefore, in order to free the Earth from the garbage trap, we have to correct our relationships, so they fit the natural laws, and start thinking of what we do, and take responsibility for each and every action that we take. We need to learn how to build positive connections above our personal selfish attitudes. By doing so, we will free the planet from garbage and bring about a positive future for humanity.
Question: I see that no one in the group follows the good example you want to show. What should be the example and how can one see that it is really perceived and followed?
Answer: Through envy.
Question: It does not work. They aren’t envious. Why?
Answer: It means that you are not working correctly with your friends. You have to evoke envy. There is no way that envy does not work.
You just need to find out what or whom a person can envy so that they will be unable to escape from feeling it. He can say: “It does not matter, he is a beginner, does not understand anything, and this one has been studying for 30 years, what can I do?”
It has to be done in a way to make a person jealous of any envy: white, black— no matter what. This is the only way.
From the World Kabbalah Convention in Moldova 9/8/19, “Collecting All the States Toward the Creator,” Lesson 7
Envy Each Other More
Advancement Through Jealousy
Envy That Helps Us Advance
Question: What is reason and what is faith?
Answer: Faith is the quality of bestowal that appears in a person because of one’s efforts and, in accordance with them, through the influence of the upper light. It is not our corporeal quality when I give because I am going to gain something from it, otherwise I cannot give.
However, when I am lifted above my egoism, then to the extent of the ascent, I indeed receive the quality to bestow gratuitously, selflessly. This is called the quality of Bina, the quality of faith.
Reason is when we act in bestowal, and from the fact that we bestow, we begin to understand and feel what our equivalence to the Creator is and begin to attain Him. Reason is the light of Hochma. Thus, we begin to attain both lights: the light of Hassadim and the light of Hochma. And the light of Hochma is clothed in the light of Hassadim.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/22/19
Advancement In Greater Faith
Faith And Reason
Faith And Attainment
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Lesson on the Topic “Despair from his own Forces”
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Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 149
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Lesson on the Topic “Tu BiShvat (15th of Shevat)”
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