Entries in the 'Spiritual Teacher' Category

“The odd synchrony between new eras and revolutionary kabbalists” (Times of Israel)

Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “The odd synchrony between new eras and revolutionary kabbalists

This week, we commemorate the anniversary of the passing of the great kabbalist Isaac Luria, known as the Holy ARI. It is therefore a good time to reflect on an odd synchrony between his arrival and the global events of his time. However, before we speak of the ARI, we should speak of the founder of the wisdom of Kabbalah, as such, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also known as Rashbi.

Rashbi, author of The Book of Zohar, the seminal book of Kabbalah, lived at a critical junction in the history of humankind. He lived in the 2nd century CE, not long after the ruin of the Second Temple and the exile of the people of Israel from Jerusalem and dispersion throughout the world.

That period, the first CE centuries, was a time of radical global transformations. The world was shifting from paganism to monotheism. Rome was gradually declining, along with its pantheon of gods, and a fledgling religion that became known as Christianity was accelerating its expansion. That time also saw the dimming of the Greek culture and the beginning of a darker epoch in the history of humankind: the Middle Ages.

When the Middle Ages had ended and a revival known as the Renaissance began, a new kabbalist with revolutionary teachings emerged, as well. Isaac Luria, The ARI, lived in the mid-16th century. That was also when the Renaissance was beginning to spread throughout Europe. It was also the time when Martin Luther lived and spread his ideas. These two revolutionary movements, Renaissance and Protestantism, had changed the world forever. Lurianic Kabbalah, named after Isaac Luria, The ARI, was equally revolutionary; it changed the way Kabbalists studied and taught Kabbalah, and paved the way for explaining it in a manner that the world can understand.

The third great kabbalist who lived at a pivotal time in history was Rav Yehuda Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam. He lived through both world wars and warned of an impending genocide of the Jews years before it happened. He also lived to see the establishment of the State of Israel and the emergence of the Soviet and American blocs.

In his writings, Baal HaSulam wrote extensive and clear commentaries on the writings of his two predecessors, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s The Book of Zohar, and the writings of The ARI. He is the one who truly made Kabbalah accessible to everyone, and who pioneered the spreading of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the entire world.

While I do not see a direct connection between the arrival of revolutionary kabbalists and the advent of ideological, religious, and cultural transformations in the world, there is still a connection between the two in the sense that they both express the appearance of an evolutionary change in humanity. The world changes in its physical expression, and Kabbalah changes in its spiritual expression, but both processes demonstrate the advent of a new phase in the evolution of humanity. Therefore, while they happen simultaneously, they are not derived from one another.

The odd synchrony between the arrival of new eras and the appearance of revolutionary kabbalists is therefore created not because they are connected to each other, but because both are connected to the same source, the engine of reality, the creative force of giving that engenders everything, sustains everything, and develops everything to its ultimate goal: complete unity of all things, bound together by threats of mutual giving and love, in utter oneness.

Daily Life of a Kabbalist

963.1Question: You meet a great number of people. How much time do you need to make contact with the person you are talking to?

Answer: Practically I do not make contact with anyone. As a rule, the people I am talking to are my students with whom I discuss not only the issues they are interested in, but also the general issues of our enterprise, the dissemination of Kabbalah in the world, and so on. I do not need to find special contact with them, I just need to understand what they are talking about.

I have a very narrow circle of people with whom I communicate. Mainly our communication is that they ask for my opinion. In addition, I receive a selection of the most interesting materials from scientific or other sites. I take extracts from these materials, write my comment on them, and insert them into the blog.

My blog is designed for a wide range of readers. Of course, Kabbalah or what leads to Kabbalah and why we need it is covered there. But, in general, it is quite simple. It provides material on economics, politics, and teaching so that a person who enters it will receive general information as well.

My students who are engaged in the dissemination of Kabbalah or the methodology of integral education in all types of media also take material from there or simply read them to broaden their horizons. Blogging does not take much time a day, but still, I do it systematically.

In addition to working on Kabbalistic materials, processing and preparation them, I spend the rest of the time mainly shooting programs in our studio. They take three hours a day, in addition to the lesson. This is how my time passes.

I practically do not communicate with anyone else, I do not feel the need for it. What for? What does it give? Once upon a time, I engaged in receiving visitors. Dozens of people came to me every day with their problems.

I very rarely leave the house, go somewhere, or do something outside my office. This is my character, I have no need for it. Also, knowing in advance that this world, in principle, is a theater and vanity, I am not drawn to it, it distracts me. I have always lived and live now within myself; I am this kind of a person initially, even before Kabbalah.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Laitman’s Contacts” 2/7/13

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The Truth of the Spiritual Path

294.2Question: You have been practicing Kabbalah for more than thirty years. What is  the confirmation for you that you are on the right path, and this is the goal of your life? Maybe you are at the degree from where you draw confirmation that this is the truth?

Answer: Firstly, I draw confirmation from my spiritual attainment. Secondly, I am not just in doubt, but in search of the best implementation, a softer landing for humanity.

Baal HaSulam in his time traveled to Poland, published a newspaper, and wrote articles for a wide range of people about the method of correcting a person and entering the next degree. But he wrote it in a special way that was accepted a hundred years ago. And I write in a general, more or less understandable way for all people.

I am sure that I am acting correctly based on the degree that I am attaining and from things I understand, this is first. Secondly, if someone came and helped me as a partner, I would be incredibly happy. But, unfortunately, I do not see ones willing or in attainment. In addition, I feel within me a connection with my great teachers, and I try as much as I can do it.

I cannot say that I am one hundred percent implementing everything I would like to do. I have to fight with myself over a lot of things; after all, I am also going through the next stages of elevation. Life goes along the middle line. Not along the right one, which is one hundred percent successful and filled with light, but also not along the left, egoistic one.

With the understanding of all my problems and all my imperfections, I still hope that the Creator has been leading me this way since I came to Rabash and even earlier. And that is how I am going. I have no problem accepting the mission He has entrusted to me.

Everyone has their own mission, and mine is like this. I am not making anything special out of it. After all, the Creator turns everything the way it is necessary for us, and in the end, He will lead us to what is necessary.

I am pleased that I received the opportunity to feel His actions within me: how He acts, how He compels me, and how He controls me from within me. It is a great pleasure for me when I feel what He is doing within me, and I work in unison with Him.

It is called adhesion when you have your own awareness, your own thoughts and feelings, and on the other hand, you feel that He is within you, and you are ready to be with Him.

This is not easy, this is against egoism, against all sorts of doubts and problems. But when you overcome this and feel that you are reaching the same movement, at the same pace, in the same direction in thoughts and feelings – this is, of course, the ultimate pleasure!

However, here as well we still have problems: do you do it in order to reach such a pleasure or for the sake of something else, higher than that. But from all this, a person feels the truth of his condition. It gives him strength.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Where is the Proof of the Truth of Kabbalah?” 2/6/13

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“In Memory of a Spiritual Giant”

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 7/31/22

This week, we will be commemorating the anniversary of the passing of one of the world’s greatest spiritual giants: Isaac Luria, known as “the holy ARI.” Although unknown to many, his writings form the basis of today’s wisdom of Kabbalah. It is thanks to him that Baal HaSulam was able to make the wisdom of Kabbalah accessible to the entire world in the 20th century.

The ARI was truly unique. Not only did he pass away at the early age of 38, but everything we have from him, volumes upon volumes of wisdom, he dictated to his disciple Rav Chaim Vital, who wrote down his every word, and he did it all within the final 18 months of his life.

The ARI took a wisdom that contains all the secrets of life, and stripped it from the countless stories and legends that enveloped it precisely in order to make it abstruse. He felt that in his generation, it was time to begin to reveal the true meaning of the hidden wisdom: the wisdom of Kabbalah.

When he first came to Safed, the city where he spent the final months of life, and where he taught his disciples, no one recognized his greatness. At that time, the greatest Kabbalist was RAMAK, and the ARI also went to learn from him.

But when RAMAK, a great Kabbalist in his own right, realized the greatness of the ARI, he praised him publicly in the highest terms so everyone would recognize his greatness: “Know that there is one man who is sitting here,” he said about the ARI, “who will rise after me and enlighten the eyes of the generation in the wisdom of Kabbalah. For in my days, the channels were blocked, and in his days, the channels will be revealed. Know that he is a great man, a spark of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.”

By saying that the ARI was connected to Rabbi Shimon, author of The Book of Zohar, the seminal book in the wisdom of Kabbalah, RAMAK was actually saying that all the words of the ARI are true and holy, and that anyone who wishes to learn the authentic wisdom should study with him.

It took many years, even centuries, for the great wisdom of the ARI to become known, but today we know that were it not for Lurianic Kabbalah, which is named after him, the secrets of the wisdom of connection, namely the wisdom of Kabbalah, would still be concealed from us.

Thanks to the teaching that the ARI had founded, and which Baal HaSulam interpreted for us, we know how humanity should live, how to build a sustainable society where people care for one another and practice mutual responsibility.

In today’s tumultuous times, it is the great wisdom of the ARI, wrapped in the commentaries of Baal HaSulam, that enables us to make sense of things and find our way in the growing confusion of humanity. Through their wisdom, if we want to, we will sail safe through the troubled water.

[Image: Old city of Zfar by Leonid Levitas @Wikimedia Commons]

A Friend Is Most Important!

942Question: There is a very enthusiastic state in our group today. And our prayer is rather a gratitude to the Creator for our greatest teacher who unites us and gives us strength to move forward at every lesson! Our prayer is to adhere to the teacher at all times and to achieve everything to bring him joy, to bring contentment to the Creator!

Answer: Thank you very much! But the most important thing is not a teacher, but a friend. When you adhere to a friend, you definitely discover the Creator who is between you. The teacher is only on the side, he is pointing and correcting, like a coach. Your most important struggle and achievement of the goal is between friends.

Comment: Yes, however you give us a lot of strength to unite between us.

My Response: That’s right, but still follow your friends! Bow down to your friends, annul yourself before the friends, and adhere to them! Do everything for them, and then you will reach the goal.
From the “Arava” Convention in Europe – Lithuania 2022, Lesson 1, 7/22/22

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How Is Internal Information Shared?

945Question: Is there such a technique that when you want to convey internal information to someone, you yourself become lower than him?

Answer: You yourself do not become lower than him, but you deliberately make a conscious lowering in relation to him in order to help him enter into you, to come closer to you. Similarly, we talk to children in their language, relate to them according to how they can understand us, and explain everything to them while becoming as if we are like children ourselves. If I am talking to a child, I am not talking like an adult, but am trying to be on his level.

Question: Is it possible that you deliberately become lower than a person in order, on the contrary, to somehow enter into him and spread internal information in him?

Answer: No, you cannot spread information from your step down! The lower level will not be able to accept it. It will be like poison for it. Only if it rises to you, that is, acquires new Kelim (vessels), new desires, opportunities, and aspirations, then it can receive something in them in addition to its condition, and not otherwise.

There is no way you can go down and fill someone down there. You must help him rise up and fill him up there.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Public Speaking” 6/29/14

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From Heart to Heart

283.02A person who teaches Kabbalah has states when he can express his thought technically quickly and correctly, and there are states when he needs to express something emotionally without a special technique of speech, and then these emotions are conveyed even better. After all, he has to strain himself emotionally and send an invisible charge from himself to others.

This often works better than beautiful words. There is contact between the internal systems of the one who wants to convey and the one who wants to receive.

This is more effective than words because it enters directly without clothing in phrases that should pass into some meaning, and then the meaning in some way should pass into feelings, and the feelings should be felt and absorbed. This whole mechanical chain does not exist because the message goes straight from heart to heart.

It depends on the contact between the student and the teacher. It either exists or does not exist. However, it mainly depends on the student. If he wants to connect with his teacher and be as connected with him as possible, to drown in him, to be absorbed by the teacher, and asks for it, then it happens.

Question: You are talking about an internal request. How can we build it so that it really comes from the heart?

Answer: Gradually, by elevating the teacher in your eyes, above all your opinions, above all possible corporeal conditions. By understanding that you are given a great, unique opportunity to receive something from the teacher, and it is necessary to take advantage of it, to not neglect it, to not postpone it for later, to not accept it as something ordinary, and to not transfer it to some corporeal relations and corporeal benefits.

This is a very big problem of the interaction with the teacher because a person is given difficult conditions here. Yet, if he observes them more or less, he can obtain contact with the Creator through his teacher. At the same time, they should build such a chain when the lower one is completely immersed in the upper one.

We study this from the system of building blocks of the upper system where each degree enters the higher degree, and that one enters an even higher one, and so on. Therefore, if the lower degree enters the upper one and exists there as an embryo inside its mother, then it can develop with this upper degree, at least in the first nine degrees. This is called nine months of fetal development.

Then it goes outside and gets its own external model of development, which also depends on the upper one, like a baby who was born and develops next to its mother. The nursing period lasts two years, growing up six years, childhood and adolescence twenty years, until full maturity.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Public Speaking” 6/29/14

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Condition For The Independence Of The State Of Israel

417Question: Baal HaSulam writes that the condition for the independence of the state of Israel will be met if the nation becomes the basis for the spiritual development of all humanity. How do you envision it?

Answer: If we strive to be the spiritual center of the world and to show the whole world the quality of bestowal, love, and connection, then we will get the strength to hold ourselves, to support others, and to achieve it so that we will be understood, loved, and respected.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual states” 4/26/22

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Revealing The Spiritual System

219.01Question: When you talk about the spiritual system, you always radiate confidence that everything comes from one source. Are you 100% sure of what you are saying?

Answer: Why should you believe me? So what if I say,”Of course, I know; of course, I see; of course, I feel; of course, it is in me; of course, I am in Him.” What is the point of saying that? It is still empty words for you.

I am passing on the knowledge of this system to you gradually to the extent that you can adapt it inside you and begin to implement it in some way. Some of you are implementing it and some of you are not yet. But as long as you are able to absorb it into yourself and at least partially comprehend, understand, and realize it, we are moving forward. Of course, I would like to go faster.

But what can you do!

Comment: When you explain, you kind of give us hope.

My Response: I do not give you any hope. I convey what I feel. And if you do not implement it, then you will not have any hope. You can feel it only to the extent that you have the appropriate tools.

Comment: You clearly convey to us those feelings that you yourself perceive; although, when we talk to each other, we speak more in your words.

My Response: Naturally, it is similar to when children hear something from adults, they repeat their words after them.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. First Aid in Descents” 2/16/14

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Internal Indicators in Spirituality

234Question: When a student unquestioningly follows the instructions of the teacher, is it not idolatry?

Answer: No. He worships the knowledge and insights of his teacher, not the person himself.

Comment: In this case, anyone can say, “I bow not before a person, but before his ideas, before his qualities.”

My Answer: In principle, each person can determine what he worships and whether he is an idolater. How do you know what and how, and toward what he leads himself. There are no external indicators in spiritual things, only internal ones.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/5/22

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