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In the treasury of the Creator there is everything except fear of the Creator, which we must create in ourselves. We need to turn our egoistic desire into fear from the understanding that if the Creator does not build us a Kli, then we will never come to bestowal.
Fears are different. One is afraid of the bank because of large debts, the other is a hooligan and is afraid of the police. And we are all afraid of the opinions of others, what people will say about us. We are squeezed into a rigid framework that dictates the conditions of our life to us and we exist in them.
But it is precisely this pressure from the still, vegetative, and animate nature, and people that allows me to feel alive. If I didn’t feel their reactions, I wouldn’t feel this world. On one hand, I am burdened by the pressure of others and the environment, and on the other hand, this pressure determines the place of my existence; otherwise I would not feel it.
Therefore, if we want to feel the Creator, we need to feel how He puts pressure on us and how much we can put pressure on Him in response, that is, to enter into a mutual relationship.
We are afraid of everything: trouble at school where the child is studying, the police, doctors, bosses at work, coronavirus, and thousands of other troubles that can fall on us. But we ourselves do not realize how much this fear animates us.
After all, in essence, we are driven by one primitive desire to enjoy and only want to have fun. And if we feel like the environment is constantly pressing on us and shaping us, then we feel like we are living in this world.
But if we want to be in another world, a higher one, we must try to develop Kelim for its perception. In our world, we are afraid of inanimate nature (the climate, hurricanes, etc.), vegetative nature (everything related to crops and food), animals, and people. In the end, we feel like we are living in fear from the pressure felt around us, and we don’t even realize it.
This fear determines for us the whole picture of life, the form of the world, existence. If the pressure of the environment disappears and I do not feel that I need others, want them, or fear them, then I will cease to feel reality. And that’s how we don’t feel the Creator. Therefore, we need to develop fear or sensitivity to the Creator.
If I want to feel another reality, which is called the upper world, other worlds: Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon, the world of infinity, then every time I have to change myself, ask what desires, what fears and determinations I should have regarding the external environment.
Kabbalists say that we have nothing to worry about because the Creator is good and does good. Therefore, we have nothing to fear. There is only one problem: If we want to feel His goodness, we must build an appropriate Kli in order to wish to do good to Him. And then, according to the equivalence of our qualities, we will feel the Creator and see that there is no state better than this. It will bring us confidence, pleasure, and fulfillment; we just need to treat the Creator kindly.
A vessel for feeling the upper world, the Creator, is fear of the Creator. But I have nothing to fear from the Creator because He will not do anything bad to me. It’s only me who harms myself with my egoism. Depending on whether I choose an evil inclination or a good inclination, the light coming from the Creator will seem to me like light or darkness. It all depends on me.
If I enter the royal treasury with a suitable vessel, I can receive part of the light into it and each time more and more. And the Creator wants us to transfer all His treasury, all the infinite light inside us, that is, to climb the stairs to the world of infinity.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson Baal HaSulam 10/28/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #38 “The Fear of God Is His Treasure”
It is impossible to advance toward the purpose of creation on a straight line. We will always deviate from it, once in one direction and then in the other. It is like a rocket flying toward a target that constantly deviates by some angle but constantly corrects itself relative to the target.
And so do we:, stray from the straight path, correct the deviation, stray again, and correct again until we finally reach the goal.
You see, we cannot feel if we are on the right trajectory. We always need some kind of deviation that will allow us to assess our condition. If I do not feel a deviation from the path, then I am in a zero neutral state without any possibility of moving forward.
All our senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, are all built on the contrast between two qualities, on the difference between truth and lie, bitter and sweet. Only in this form do we begin to understand where we are.
We complain about problems in the family, at work, in the group; we go through a lot of different states, sometimes bad and sometimes good. But this is not accidental precisely because only due to opposites, due to the contrast between light and darkness, can we evaluate ourselves.
And the further we go, the finer this estimate and the smaller the deviation becomes. We start with large deviations and then their amplitude narrows more and more. And next to the goal the deviations become quite microscopic but extremely important at the same time. That is, as we approach the goal the amplitude of the deviation from plus to minus becomes more and more important.
It is the same as in any science, a high-level specialist will see an abyss of conditions in the smallest question. For an ordinary person, only very large things are noticeable.
While working in a group, we must try to see these fluctuations, differences, and changes between good and evil in our relations and distinguish one from the other. There can be no good without evil and no bad without good in the family life or in the life of the group. But all this is not given so that we seriously focus on it but so we perceive these changes as a means to attain the Creator and constantly keep Him in sight.
We increase the resolution so much and achieve such accuracy as if we had previously measured the deviation in meters and now we have enhanced the scale to millimeters. We become more delicate and sensitive to the changes taking place in each of us and in all of us together.
And this is not just a change in resolution, but these are different worlds. Thus we ascend from the world of Assiya to Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon, and reach the world of infinity. The whole point is how subtly we distinguish the difference between reception and bestowal, between the Creator and creation, between light and darkness in all their variations.
It is said about this: “Wisdom comes with experience.” The more we work, the greater sensitivity we develop to all these phenomena to such an extent that we begin to feel spirituality.
The spiritual world is right here! The Creator and the Shechina are present here, everything here is spiritual. But where is it? Why can’t we see anything? We just do not have the sensitivity for it, like young children who do not see half of what their parents notice. And we need to develop such sensitivity to bestowal, to special relationships between people.
We call this special relationship between people Shechina, and we call the power contained within them the Creator. Therefore it is said: “The Creator said, ‘as though he had made Me.’” We build a state in which we reveal the Creator.
We all connect in the Creator, and therefore this is called the middle line.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/22/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #29 “When Thoughts Come to a Person”
Why, on the way to holiness, to the revelation of the Creator, to merging, to the correction of all creation, should we feed impure desires, Klipot? Why are they needed? We must understand that the Creator purposely made the shattering in order to mix egoistic desires and desires of bestowal.
And when we work, figuring out what impurity (Klipa) means, and what holiness means, and how to bring holiness out of the Klipa, from this we grow and gain mind, sensitivity, and understanding of what the Creator did, why He created a creation made of light and darkness, from the desire to receive and the desire to bestow, and how we separate one from the other.
Our whole life is a search filled with frustration and hassle. And all this so we can extract sparks from all these tensions between receiving and giving, between light and darkness. Light alone or darkness alone can’t help us, but only when we collide one with the other, as if we hit stone on stone, striking sparks.
It is these sparks that fill us and lead to such high insights over matter that in them we begin to attain the Creator. There are no abilities within creation to attain the Creator directly, to understand Him and feel Him.
But it is precisely due to this friction, which knocks out sparks that illuminate the darkness, that we can begin to understand the path prepared for us by the Creator.
We go through a lot of difficult states, then suddenly in the pitch darkness and misunderstanding, enlightenment flashes, then another, and another, allowing us to begin to recognize the Creator.
After igniting a few such sparks, we already feel how to get acquainted with the Creator and His actions.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/27/21, Writings of Baal HaSulam, Shamati #36 “What Are the Three Bodies in Man?”
My new article on Linkedin “The Sad Truth of Our Existence, and What We Can Do about It”
Most of us are unaware of the motives for our actions. We go through life on autopilot, so to speak, and rarely think about what causes us to do what we do, say what we say, and think what we think. There is a good reason for it: No one wants to realize that the motivation for our actions is fear. We are in constant escape mode, and the thought of it is unbearable.
One of the next-door neighbors in the apartment building where I live is terrified of his bank. He is in terrible debt and the bank could block all his payments and standing orders any day. Another neighbor is terrified of the police. He was caught DUI and is afraid that the police will come search his apartment. But most of all, he is afraid that the police might walk into his office with search warrants and embarrass him in front of his coworkers.
We are all like that, afraid of something, of many somethings. We are afraid of what people will think of us and what they will say about us. We fear for our children on so many levels that we cannot even begin to describe it. We’re afraid of the virus, afraid of the climate, afraid of terrorists, afraid of being used by peers, coworkers and bosses, and we’re afraid for our future and the future of our children.
Concisely, we’re unwittingly meshed in a network of fears that fashions and determines our lives every single moment. Moreover, it is through this network that we feel that we are alive, that we exist. The pressures we get from everything around us—from minerals through plants and animals, to people—make us feel this world and ourselves within it.
However, it is a negative feeling. We’re afraid of everything. We’re trying to enjoy life but all we get are pressures from the government, the bank, the boss, the children, Social Security, you name it. We’re at a point where we consider ourselves happy if no one and nothing is bothering us. But this isn’t happiness; it is absence of suffering.
We cannot stop being afraid; it is the way the world is built, and the way we are built. However, we can change the things that frighten us, which will in turn change our feelings.
We are pleasure-seeking beings. We are afraid when we feel we might be hurt or not enjoy ourselves. Therefore, our fear is determined by what we want to enjoy. If we want to enjoy other things than the ones we want right now, we will be afraid of different things, and our whole worldview, and indeed our whole world, will change accordingly.
The trick to emerging from the depressing, sad state of our existence is to shift our focus from concentrating on ourselves to concentrating on others. Look at mothers concentrated on raising their children. Both human mothers and mothers in the animal kingdom set a great example of the courage and strength that they derive from caring for others, namely their young.
We should learn from this. A mother’s love comes naturally, but loving strangers takes training and practice, and broad social consensus to the process. Yet, this is what we need today, and desperately so. We need to learn to be afraid of not caring enough, not giving enough. Our pressure needs to be the pressure of loving mothers, the pressure that creates life, not the pressure of enemies wanting to destroy their adversaries. The latter is the pressure we feel now, and it is killing us and the world we live in.
We’re in a desperate state. Neither our planet nor humanity will be able to stand the negative pressure we put on each other and on the environment much longer. Unless we reverse our concerns and our fears from concern for ourselves to concern for others, our self-centered focus will bring upon us our own destruction.
For more on this topic, look up my book, Self-Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era.
My new article on Linkedin “U.S. Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, What It Would Mean for Israel”
The intention of the U.S. Biden Administration to reopen a consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem should be a trigger warning for Israel.
The consulate was closed in 2018 by former President Trump when the U.S. embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The closure shut down our enemies’ hope for the division of Israel’s capital, a hope that will be revived if it is reopened.
A unilateral decision by the Biden Administration in that regard without Israel’s consent would not only contradict international law, but would also send a message that day by day we are giving up increasing control over almost everything —over Jerusalem and the territories, over the nation’s fabric and identity, over the exorbitant transfer of money to Gaza which afterwards transforms into weapons against us. We would be giving up on ourselves, on our right to be in the Land of Israel.
If this trend were to continue, we could anticipate great danger for the state of Israel. This process will take place if we do not realize that under the current conditions, if we do not defend our sovereignty, if we are incapable of foreseeing the danger that lies ahead and defend our home, we are not suitable for the land, not compatible with the essence of the state that should exist on Israeli soil. This unfortunate situation has materialized quickly, and it hurts me from within. I no longer have the strength to talk about it, although I have no choice.
We think we Jews are strong people. Because we survived the Holocaust and established the State, defeated our enemies in wars over the land and all the empires who wanted to destroy us throughout history, so this time too we will not be harmed. It is a mistake. We are not a strong people by ourselves—not emotionally, not mentally, not physically. Our strength comes solely from the Supreme Force that protects us; it is Nature’s ruling that directs us to endure extraordinary circumstances.
Such special resilience is not given from above because of who we are—a divided people—but because of who we are meant to be—a people who should live according to the great rule in the Torah, “love your neighbor as yourself,” and instill that principle in the world.
In theory, the feeling of weakness in the face of the threatening scenario in the country should cause us to mobilize forces to protect ourselves. In real life, this is not coming true. Our weakness has swept us to a bad place, just to the point of deterioration where we find ourselves today. There is no time to entertain some vain fantasy in which we will suddenly realize that we are on the downslope, choose to stay indifferent, and thrive beautifully in the end anyway. This is an illusion.
I’m not saying there is no hope. We have not yet reached such a situation in which we have no choices left because all is lost. But we must wake up and internalize that, in fact, the true danger that threatens us comes from within, the result of our separation from one another. Thus, it is up to us to fix the problem.
We must understand once and for all just who we are and for what purpose we exist. We must recognize what actually is the backbone of the nation. Our nation is not just some random group of exiles, but a precisely representative group composed of people from all the nations of the world as a diverse replica of humanity, an amalgamation that should serve as an example of cohesion for all peoples. Fulfilling that role is our calling and the source of our strength, and our strength to carry it out lies in the Supreme Force we draw when we rise above our differences and unite as a solid indivisible unit.
As it is written, “If a person takes a bundle of reeds, he cannot break them all at once. But taken one at a time, even an infant will break them. Just so, Israel will not be redeemed until they are all one bundle.” (Midrash)
My new article on Linkedin “Burning Books without Education Lights Up Hate”
In Ontario, Canada, schools recently burned nearly 5,000 books that were considered offensive to indigenous people. In New York City, the Thomas Jefferson Statue that was crafted in 1833, and has stood in the City Council chamber since 1915, is scheduled for removal. Last year, nearly 100 Confederate monuments were removed. Burning, breaking, or erasing the past is not the right way to mend wrongs. Without acknowledging the past and educating people on what is right and what is wrong, we will never learn. We will keep on being tyrannical toward each other, and while the tyrants will change, the people will still suffer.
Only education changes us; violence only oppresses. If we believe that people are equal, we should educate ourselves toward it. We should do it by example, by showing how everyone contributes to society, how diversity increases a nation’s resilience, and how union above cultural and ethnic differences solidifies our nationhood. Since when have acts of hatred brought any benefit to anyone? Since when have they increased love?
In order to build new social values, we must know how to move out of the old ones. Take slavery, for example. It was abolished in order to free the black Americans, who were either born into slavery or brought to America for that purpose. However, instead of freeing the slaves, it made most everyone slaves: blacks, whites, Asians, and Latin Americans. We may not call it slavery, and it may be embarrassing to admit it to ourselves, but the truth is that none of us is free. We have all been equally enslaved, and we call it the free market, or capitalism. Communism, by the way, is no better. I know; I came from there.
If we want people to be free and equal, we need to teach them only one thing: how to love one another. There is no slavery or inequality in a loving family. Likewise, if people cared for one another, we would not be speaking about inequality or disadvantaged groups.
Family is a great example of building back better, by the way. If there is a dispute between siblings, and the family wants to make peace between them, will it vilify or humiliate one in order to appease the other? Of course not! Increasing love to a point where it is greater than the anger is the only way to bring them back together.
Therefore, if a nation wants to unite its members and make them equal, the only way to achieve this is by increasing unity, love, and mutual responsibility among all the factions of the nation. If we focus on these three elements, we will not need to worry about inequality or bigotry.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What are some good ways to reconcile family conflicts?“
First of all, accept family conflicts as normal, good and normative.
If we have no conflicts, then there is something wrong with our relationships.
Discord is an integral part of a relationship. When we say that “love will cover all crimes,” it means that there can be no love without the surfacing of crimes, similar to how there can be no peace without confrontation.
Don’t fear conflicts. Since we are egoists by nature, then through conflicts, arguments and misunderstandings, we can learn how to create a balance between us.
Conflicts let us study the nature of each side in the conflict, and how we can tie together these two forms of nature.
Then, we can know how to cover the conflicts so that there will be connection above them. We then reach a state that in the wisdom of Kabbalah is called, “man and woman, Divinity between them.” The same approach works for an entire family, as well as in general, for all people who want to build a correct network of relations.
Based on the video “How to Relate to Arguments in the Family.” Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “Whom Can We Trust If No One Is Trustworthy?”
One of my favorite quips from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is when Tom is defined as “a glittering hero…the pet of the old, the envy of the young,” and there were “some that believed that he would be president, yet, if he escaped hanging.” With these few words, Twain captured the essence of leadership in our world. Those who get to the top are the fiercest, most determined, and most ruthless. Today, the latter quality has become so intense that we can no longer believe our leaders, and certainly not trust them to have our best interest in mind.
I am not accusing any leader in particular, or even leaders as a whole. It is simply that in an egoistic world, where people vie to topple one another on their way to the top, the one at the top is clearly the one who trampled over and knocked down more people than anyone else. Concisely, to get to the top in an egoistic world you have to be the biggest egoist.
So how do we know whom to trust? We don’t know and we cannot know. All we know is that we are in the dark.
In a culture of unhinged selfishness, any conspiracy theory seems reasonable, while truth is nowhere to be found. When every person who says or writes something is trying to promote some hidden agenda, you have no way of knowing who is right, what really happened, or if anything happened at all.
The only way to get some clarity in the news and goodwill from our leaders is to say “Enough!” to our current system and build something entirely independent. The guiding principle of such a system should be “information only,” no commentary. Commentary means that information has already been skewed. Information means saying only what happened, as much as possible, not why, and not who is to blame and who we should praise.
Concurrently, we must begin a comprehensive process of self-teaching. We have to know not only what is happening, but why we skew and distort everything. In other words, we have to know about human nature and how it inherently presents matters according to its own subjective view, which caters to one’s own interest. To “clear” ourselves from that deformity, we must learn how to rise above our personal interest and develop an equally favorable attitude toward others. This is our only guarantee that our interpretation of things will be even and correct.
Once we achieve such an attitude, we will discover that the bad things we see in our world reflect our own, internal wickedness.
Our ill-will toward others creates a world where ill-will governs, and so the world is filled with wickedness and cruelty. Therefore, all we need in order to create positive leadership—and to generally eliminate ill-will from the world—is to generate goodwill within us. When we nurture goodwill toward others, we will fill the world with goodwill. As a result, the world will fill with kindness and compassion. By changing ourselves, we will create a world that is opposite from the world we have created through our desires to govern, patronize, and often destroy other people.
Question: How can one check if one has a correct intention?
Answer: You verify it by your correct attitude toward your friends. As you relate to your friends, so you relate to the Creator.
And don’t lie to yourself that you treat the Creator differently: “You love Him, but friends …” There is no such thing because within your attitude toward the friends, you shape your attitude toward the Creator. Not otherwise!
From KabTV’s “Videoconference”