Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
New years appear four times in the Jewish calendar. The calendar begins with Jewish new year that is around September. Then there is the new year of the trees, Tu BiShvat, the new year of the spring, and the new year of the summer, and they all symbolize the beginning of the correlating spiritual levels.
The egoistic desire is also made of four levels: the levels of the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking.
A desire on the level of the inanimate nature correlates with the Jewish new year, which is agreed upon and accepted by everyone. The desire on the level of the vegetative correlates with the new year of the trees, Tu BiShvat, which is on the 15th day of the month of Shvat. This is when the birth of nature begins and trees are planted in Israel. Then comes the new year on the animate level, and then the new year on the human level, the speaking level.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 12/30/18
The moment I feel that I am disconnecting from the ten, I fall into this world. And no matter what thoughts and desires I have at this time, I still will not leave the framework of this world.
And as soon as I join the ten with all my desires and thoughts and want to build a common network of connections with my friends, even if I do not feel any benefit or gain in this, I am already engaged in spiritual work, building a spiritual Kli.
It is a mistake to think that it is possible to achieve spiritual attainment, sensation, or understanding alone. This will not happen because the spiritual is in connection with other people. It all began with the breaking of the common soul, and therefore, the spiritual ascent is realized through the unification of the broken Kelim.
And they remain broken, that is, all their differences are preserved, but on top of them we need to connect. It is said about this: “Love will cover all transgressions.” Egoism is growing more and more, and above it, connection is growing more and more, which means climbing the spiritual ladder.
If I do not imagine it in this form, then I just go around in circles and do not advance. No desire can be realized alone. This is a cruel delusion, and one who thinks so is wasting his time and will die without achieving any spiritual revelation.
Spiritual advancement is carried out only through the connection in the ten. Until I was in a ten, I didn’t start any movement at all. The Creator leads a person to the right place, to a good fate, and says: “Choose it!” It is impossible otherwise. It is extremely difficult, but you have to turn the switch in your head in order to realize that spiritual advancement is possible only through drawing closer to friends.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 1/22/21, “Breaking the Barriers to Spirituality”
The ascent to the first spiritual degree after which we begin to climb the spiritual ladder is the hardest step. The first contact with spirituality is the most important event because it means getting acquainted with the opposite world, with opposite relations, values, qualities, and laws.
Before that, we imagine everything only inside of our egoism, only envisioning spirituality. However, the spiritual world has in fact new, unknown properties and different values. As we begin to attain it, we become convinced how opposite it is from what we have imagined. As it is said, “I saw an opposite world.”
But when these confusions are dissipated, day after day, we begin to feel what actions we need to concentrate on in order to rise from summit to summit.
We do not know what the spiritual world is. Only at the first moment when we manage to connect in the initial minimal measure do we reach a spiritual sensation; that is, we feel the connection between us, which is called Ibur (Conception), and then the next steps: Yenika (Nursing), Mochin (Adulthood).
However, all our work consists in connecting into one group, into one desire accumulated from many desires aimed toward connection, toward bestowal. The main thing is that bestowing to the Creator will become more important to us than anything else.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 1/22/21, “Breaking the Barriers to Spirituality”
From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 28/1/21
Today is the fifteen of the Hebrew month of Shevat. The Hebrew calendar consists of twelve months, which represent different states in a person’s spiritual development. The month of Shevat is regarded as the beginning of the year for the trees because on this month, the trees begin to awaken toward the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring.
It is written that man is as the tree of the field. Therefore, we celebrate this time of the year as the beginning of man’s spiritual budding. My teacher, RABASH, wrote an elaborate letter about the spiritual meaning of Tu [fifteen] BiShvat [of Shevat], Letter No. 29, which you’re welcome to read in our online archive. Below is the gist of his words.
The order of operations of man’s spiritual development can be compared to the operations we perform on trees if we want them to blossom and yield good fruit.
Fertilizing: This pertains to using the “litter” from our world as fuel and as a substrate on which we grow in spirituality. To succeed in spirituality, we must plant ourselves in an environment that
encourages spiritual growth, an environment that promotes the values of giving and loving others. However, the ego keeps spoiling and soiling our love. When we intensify our connection so it is stronger than the ego that emerges between us, we use the egoism as a reason to boost our connection. This is the meaning of fertilizing the tree, meaning the spiritual growth.
Hoeing: This means we must dig into our hearts and scrutinize the purpose of our being here. The growth of the tree depends on the soil in which we plant it. Then the soil must be cultivated, hoed, and turned inside out. Likewise, we must look into the depth of our heart, bring what is in there to the light, and find the purpose of our lives.
Removing calluses: Calluses are signs, indications of our spiritual work. However, our spiritual work must be concealed. Therefore, as we cut out the calluses from the tree, so we must cut out external signs of our spiritual work so as not to evoke envy or bad thoughts from others.
Removing excess leaves: Leaves precede the fruit. They represent the works we do in order to come to a state of working for the sake of others. As one approaches that state, these leaves have to be measured carefully and the excess leaves must be removed, so as to allow the fruit, the intention to give, to grow to its maximum potential.
Dusting: We dust the exposed roots and cover them with earth. Sometimes we come to a state of despair and think that we will never rise from our current state. “Dusting” means struggling with these thoughts [in Hebrew, Me’abkim means both “dusting” and “struggling”]. When doubts on our spiritual path appear in us, we must “cover” them up and keep growing.
Smoking under the tree: When there are worms in the tree, we spread smoke under it in order to kill them. Smoking represents burning yesterday’s spiritual work and starting over the next day as if from the beginning. This means that at each new spiritual degree, we must leave the previous degree behind, seemingly “burn” it. Otherwise, it hinders our entry into the new level. This is the only way to climb up the spiritual level to the purpose of life.
Stoning means removing the Avanim [“stones,” as well as “understandings”]. This means we must abandon our previous understandings in order to prepare the ground for new understandings. In the beginning of the work, our understandings are egotistical. We must clean up our hearts from those understandings and absorb new, altruistic ones.
Trimming is the final work that RABASH mentions. It means we must trim the dry branches and leaves from the tree so as to allow new ones to grow. The old and dry branches and leaves are everything we had acquired from our environment. These must be pruned so as to allow the new, spiritual understandings to grow. However, we must be careful not to grow too many new branches, as this would make us “too smart for our own good,” meaning that we would work too much with our minds and too little with our hearts, with our intentions toward others, which is the heart of our work.
If we follow these customs in our spiritual work with each other, we will have a great year and our spiritual fruit of love of others will be healthy, strong, and beautiful.
Question: Today, in many European countries, people in their everyday life are forced to check their every word in order to not be accused of intolerance, sexism, or racism. Such an attitude toward minorities has been made in society artificially. What do you think about that?
Answer: Such local excesses are absolutely unacceptable. Minorities use this for their own political ends. But in the end we will come to a state when everyone wins, not one part of society over another one.
Question: At present, the task of political correctness and tolerance is to prevent the use of expressions that hint at discrimination and racism since they impede communication between people.
It turns out that tolerance is good. Even if I do not treat others like that, but I play it, I do not offend a person on purpose. Could a game like this lead us to a better state?
Let’s say I’m racist by my nature. But there is a law in the country and to follow it, I cannot offend a person. Nevertheless, we can see that this does not develop further, does not pass into mindfulness, but always remains at the external level. And at the first opportunity, everything collapses.
Answer: This will gradually pass away. In the meantime, it is worthwhile to introduce tolerance laws, even by violent methods, carefully, gradually. As a result, people will see that it really works.
Question: By glossing over all the causes of the disease, we do not let ourselves establish the correct diagnosis and come to the realization that I am a racist indeed. Doesn’t such political correctness prevent you from coming to the realization of evil?
Answer: No. On the contrary, by working on yourself, you begin to realize who you really are. Internally, you realize the evil of your nature, that you really hate others, that you are a racist. On the other hand, laws, political correctness, still keep you within limits.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/16/20
Question: Why was The Book of Zohar, which was intended for our generation, written so long ago in the second century of our era?
Answer: Because it was written by sages who were in the attainment of the spiritual world at the greatest level, the level of complete correction of the soul,2,000 years ago.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and nine of his disciples, each of whom represented a special spiritual category, joined together, and in this connection formed the image of Adam, complete similarity to the Creator. Therefore, they were able to create for us, the lowest souls, a system of ascent from the lowest level to the highest.
This system already exists. They created a kind of plan for its reconstruction: how we can collect its pieces and glue them together with the help of the influence of the upper light.
This happens as follows: there are people who want to gather the pieces of their souls together, and with this aspiration they also call on the Creator, the upper force, the power of light, to create a glue between them. And so they gradually glue themselves together.
The correct interaction between the pieces of souls and the Creator at each stage of the reconstruction of the image of a human is the impact of The Book of Zohar—how we can unite with each other, gradually, step by step, evoke the influence of the upper light, the upper force that connects us, and we reconstruct ourselves and bring us to a complete, absolute, perfect state.
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #3
Answer: Egoism, how beneficial it is to society.
Question: Old people always think young people are immoral. What do you think?
Answer: I believe that young people go through their own path of development which leads them to even higher moral development than the previous generation.
Question: How should morality be assessed from the point of view of evolution: as an invented cultural set of rules or something else?
Answer: Morality is our mutual relationship in the single organism of the soul which we must evaluate, define, and fulfill.
Question: Do animals have any moral standards?
Answer: They are not moral but instinctive, natural.
Question: What is the difference between the concepts of morality, ethics, and spirituality from your point of view?
Answer: None. If these conditions are met correctly, then they are all the same.
Question: Is there a difference between male and female morality?
Answer: No. This is expressed only at the animate level by the fulfillment of these moral conditions and nothing more.
Question: How do you feel about the ethical, moral people who follow all the rules?
Answer: I treat them like little children.
Question: Have you ever done anything that goes against your moral standards?
Answer: Obviously, yes.
Question: What, in your opinion, is most likely to stimulate people’s moral behavior?
Question: What should be higher: interests of the state expressed in legal regulations or man’s own worldview, his vision of fair behavior in a particular situation?
Answer: Public opinion. I must obey it even if I am in conflict with it.
Question: How do morality and ethics affect human intelligence?
Answer: To the extent that I can be guided by the ethics and morality of the environment and my personal space, to that extent I go right to the highest goal.
Question: Is it possible to have such a state in society when taking care of oneself is considered immoral?
Answer: Everything that is not for the benefit of society is immoral.
Question: What do you think the public morality of the future may be in developed countries?
Answer: Developed countries are those that constantly and consistently develop and adapt “love your neighbor” as the highest law of development of their societies.
From KabTV’s “Communication Skills” 10/9/20
Question: You say beautiful words and correct thoughts. But how can we implement them in practice? How can we change the entire world? How long will it take? Millennia? And the result is not guaranteed. Wouldn’t it be better to have a second flood and start all over again?
Answer: If you can, try. However, the fact is that we are controlled. There is nothing we can do. The only thing that is given to us is to understand with the help of our present suffering that we lack connection.
Let’s try it all together. It is possible.
From KabTV’s “Ask the Kabbalist” 3/20/19
Question: Do Kabbalists ever lie?
Answer: Yes, but only for the sake of unity, in the name of achieving a special goal.
In our life we lack an understanding of what the highest standard is, i.e., the purpose of nature that created us exactly like that.
The goal is to lead us to absolute unity with each other, so that we all are as one common whole. Moreover, I must see this common whole, understand its laws, customs, motives, and thus educate myself.
As Baal HaSulam writes, the individuality of each person is preserved and, at the same time, you aspire to the common whole.
Question: Does the common whole mean some common goal, common truth?
Answer: The common goal is unity because, according to Kabbalah, we reveal that in this way we become like the Creator. It is in our common unity. Everyone is different and everyone is united.
Question: There are no examples of unity in this world, so it is difficult to understand what it is. Is this some sensory attitude toward your neighbor?
Answer: Yes, the attitude of “love your neighbor,” when I put his desires above mine. “Love your neighbor as yourself” makes a person an element of a common whole, and through this he begins to feel the Creator.
Question: Is this state achieved by a certain number of actions performed by a person?
Answer: Yes. Nullification of yourself, the vision that society is higher than you.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/22/19
Truth And Falsehood From The Perspective Of Kabbalah
Why People Lie
“Why We Lie”