Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Is the spiritual world real?“
Over the past 3,500 years, a few hundred books have been written about the spiritual world by great kabbalists who investigated and discovered it.
In these books, you will find out how you need to change yourself so that you can perceive and sense the spiritual world, learn how to expand it, and penetrate deeper into it.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to open our mind and heart in order to perceive the spiritual world. It is akin to looking at a stereogram, where we need to defocus our vision in order to see the hidden image. When we concentrate on the picture, then it seems as if there is nothing other than the lines. However, in an instant, the moment we defocus and disperse our vision, a three-dimensional picture appears.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to defocus and disperse all of our five senses in order to refocus ourselves on a more inner level of reality. We then come into contact with a picture of the world that is beyond the boundaries that currently limit it, and enter into the perception and sensation of the spiritual world.
The spiritual world that we come to perceive is inexplicable to anyone who has yet to attain it. All someone who has attained it can do is teach—according to the texts and the method left by kabbalists—how to defocus ourselves on the corporeal world and refocus ourselves on the spiritual world. If we apply ourselves to such a method, then we will enter the perception and sensation of the spiritual world.
The spiritual world divides into five spiritual worlds, which have the names Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. Our corporeal world is below the spiritual worlds, and it does not count among them. The five spiritual worlds are composed of 125 levels. They are omnipresent, but we cannot feel or see them with our inborn senses. We can, however, direct ourselves at revealing them, and by doing so, receive their influence.
The key difference between our corporeal world and the spiritual world is that we perceive egoistically in our world, and the spiritual world operates by altruistic laws. Ultimately, our purpose while in this world is to discover the spiritual world, to defocus ourselves on our egoistic approaches to life and refocus ourselves on the altruistic laws that are opposite our world. Thus, the essence of the transformation we undergo in discovering the spiritual world is a shift from egoism to altruism, receiving to giving, division to unity, self-concern to concern about others, and hatred to love.
Accordingly, the commandment “Love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) does not merely describe the need to hold pleasant relations among each other in this world. Rather, it is the general law of the spiritual world. If we want to feel it, then we need to try and practice such an attitude toward the world, and this is easier said than done. In fact, it is only possible if we enter into a supportive environment of like-minded people who share a common yearning to discover the spiritual world, and who are willing to apply themselves to such a law.
Therefore, the key to defocusing our perception and sensation on our corporeal world and refocusing it on the omnipresent spiritual world is to gather ourselves into a supportive environment of like-minded people who wish to exercise positive attitudes to each other in order to attain the spiritual world. Over time, we will then find that a seeming fog lifts from around us, and a new hidden world appears more and more.
The entire method of Kabbalah guides our transformation from living in this corporeal world alone to perceiving and sensing the spiritual world. At the same time, no kabbalist can describe the spiritual world to someone who has not attained it because such a person lacks the inner model to perceive or even imagine the spiritual objects and phenomena described. In our world, we are born with models that make it possible to feel the spiritual world. They are, however, incomplete, but we can apply ourselves to their attainment. For instance, newly-born babies do not instantly see, but gradually start seeing. Such models formulate gradually in us as our senses develop. This is the reason for the word “Kabbalah” extending from the word “Lekabel” (“to receive”), i.e., through applying ourselves to its methodology, we gradually receive the perception and sensation of the spiritual world.
Based on the Virtual Kabbalah Lesson on March 20, 2016.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.