Entries in the 'Spirituality' Category

“When Will The Messiah Come?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: When will the Messiah come?

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that the Messiah, (Mashiach in Hebrew) is a force of salvation. It pulls us out of our ego and brings us to love and mutual connection. The Hebrew word for Messiah, Mashiach, comes from the word “to pull,” Limshoch. This force, which pulls us from bad to good—from an egoistic reality of prioritizing self-benefit to an altruistic reality where we prioritize love and positive connection among us—will appear when we want it to, and the reason it has yet to appear is that we have yet to desire it.

It is written that the Messiah will arrive on a white donkey. The Hebrew word for “donkey” (“Chamor”) comes from the word for “matter” or “substance” (“Chomer”). The matter or substance of creation is the desire to receive pleasure. When this substance becomes white, the Messiah will come. By no means does this relate to colors in any physical sense, but internally, if we wish to get rid of our egoistic quality, which is represented by black, and to turn it into the white substance of bestowal upon humanity, then the Messiah will come.

The Messiah is not a person or an imaginary figure. The Messiah is the inner desire that awakens in us such that we will want to pull ourselves out of this evil that stems from our ego—the competition and unfounded hatred between us. This force, when we want it to govern us—is called “Messiah.”

Naturally, we await the Messiah.

Based on a talk “An Inside Look” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“How Do We Improve Spiritual Health?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do we improve spiritual health?

Spiritual health is a state where we positively connect among each other in order to draw closer to spirituality, i.e., to a state where we are united with a common intention to love and care for each other.

It is a state where we establish a connection with the upper force of love, bestowal and connection that fills reality through our common intention to connect as a single soul with such qualities in our connections.

By doing so, we evoke the upper force of love, bestowal and connection, a force that in the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the reforming light,” into the connection between us, and this force binds us together with a common intention to love, care and bestow to each other.

Several people try to reach a state of spiritual health and well-being on their own, assuming that it is possible to do so. However, it is impossible to attain anything spiritual alone.

In order to attain spiritual health and well-being, we need to feel that we are in the field of the upper force, a force of love, bestowal and connection, and that we depend on this force. If we understand the extent to which we depend on this force in order to hold any sort of connection with spirituality, then we will aim our requests, demands and prayers at this force, similar to how a child holds its parents’ hand, not letting it go. We will then turn to this force in order to make improvements and corrections on ourselves, that whenever we discover anti-spiritual egoistic thoughts and desires in ourselves, i.e., thoughts and desires that prioritize self-benefit over benefiting others and nature, then we will request a change the direction of these thoughts so that they will be loving, giving and positively connecting, similar to the bestowing direction of the upper force.

We thus move toward a state of spiritual health and well-being by learning about spirituality, participating in a environment that supports our spiritual progress, and drawing the influence of spiritual forces (the “reforming light”). Such a process takes place until we discover where we are spiritually unhealthy, i.e., by reaching a state called “recognition of evil” in Kabbalah, where we see how our egoistic nature opposes and resists spirituality. Through such states, we gradually develop a true demand for spiritual health and well-being, a state called “correction” in Kabbalah, i.e., the correction of our ego that brings about division and hatred among people, to its altruistic opposite, which brings about unity and love among us—the qualities of the soul.

This is how we become spiritually healthy. We place ourselves in the place of the upper force of love, bestowal and connection, and become more and more like that force until we completely discover spirituality.

Thus, we should consider how to strengthen human connection and make it more positive, with bonds of love, care and giving. We will then eventually discover the great single soul that we are all parts of, perceiving and sensing how we are all like its cells and organs, mutually complementing one another to sustain the spiritual health of the entire system.

For the time being, we are still far from such a state. We have yet to begin a process of realizing our interdependence and interconnectedness in a positive manner, where we each aim to love, bestow and positively connect above all the egoistic forms of indifference, apathy, division and hatred that surface. We would thus be wise to learn and scrutinize the laws of mutual guarantee and mutual responsibility that bind the spiritual system together, which should lead us to actively seek how we can draw the spiritual forces into our connections and establish a spiritually healthy, peaceful, harmonious and balanced state among us.

Based on a Kabbalah Lesson at the World Kabbalah Convention in New Jersey, on May 12, 2012. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What Is Spirituality?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What is spirituality?

Spirituality is when I want others and nature to enjoy from everything I do, and that the enjoyment that goes to others and nature will not belong to me in any way.

Opposite spirituality is corporeality, which is when I want to enjoy for self-benefit alone.

Based on the afternoon Daily Kabbalah Lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on March 13, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“What Are 5 Facts About Spiritual Love?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What are 5 facts about spiritual love?

1) The attainment of spiritual love and spiritual connection can only take place above sensations of hatred and rejection. If we love others without having built love above hatred and rejection, then it is not spiritual love.

2) It is written about the attainment of spiritual love in the Torah, that “Love will cover all crimes” (Proverbs 10:12).

3) Spiritual attainment requires holding onto the rule of “Love will cover all crimes,” and that we cannot hold love without feeling the “crimes,” i.e., hatred and rejection of others. The attitude to love and hatred thus needs to be equal in importance. We attain spirituality between them both, and thus those who wish to attain spirituality need to equally position love and hatred, or connection and rejection, before themselves.

4) The human ego, which is a desire to enjoy at the expense of others, is the cause of feeling hatred and rejection toward others; it is an “anti-spiritual” quality. Developing spiritual love thus requires feeling hatred and rejection illuminating in our ego’s rejection of spirituality, then reaching a decision to restrict the ego, and then above the ego, developing an attitude of love and connection to others. Moreover, such an attitude needs to be constant, where we feel love and hatred simultaneously, and choose love above the hatred. It is unlike our corporeal world, where we love and hate at different times. Holding these qualities together gains us access to the sensation of eternity.

5) The development and discovery of spiritual love above its opposite hatred and rejection is the “artistry” of spirituality. In the language of Kabbalah, it is expressed as follows: that the spiritual Partzuf (a spiritual entity or identity) takes its Aviut (coarse egoistic desire), which is a sensation of hatred and a complete lack of connection to others, and through a Tzimtzum (restriction) of the egoistic desire, the Partzuf rises above the Aviut to connect—elevating values of connection much higher in importance than the natural egoistic inclination—and to the extent of the oppositeness between qualities of love/connection and hatred/rejection, the new, higher, more spiritual and giving Partzuf is discovered: both through the Aviut (coarse egoistic desire) below, and the Zakut (purity) above.

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on January 27, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“If Spirituality Is A Lifelong Journey, How Does One Know Whether Or Not They Have Made Progress?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: If spirituality is a lifelong journey, how does one know whether or not they have made progress?

Spirituality is a quality of love, bestowal and positive connection that becomes revealed in our connection as a single soul. By contrast, corporeality is a quality of reception and characterizes the perception we have in this world.

Therefore, spiritual progress requires a method of connecting to each other where we discover our eternal and perfect interconnection as a single soul above our corporeal state of transience and detachment in this world.

Spiritual progress thus becomes revealed after we try to resemble its purely altruistic connections in connection among each other, and we discover our opposition to spirituality: that we are egoistic, and constantly want to receive self-aimed fulfillment. We feel such oppositeness as a “crime” that we need to detach from and rise above. Moreover, our corporeal quality remains with us as a foundation upon which we elevate ourselves into spirituality. As such, time and again, we increasingly feel this clash of qualities the more that we try to spiritually progress.

Therefore, by engaging ourselves in a supportive environment of fellow spiritual seekers who wish to attain spirituality, and applying the method of connection—the wisdom of Kabbalah—which lets us attract the forces of love and bestowal from our spiritual root as one soul, then we eventually discover how indifferent we are to each other, and afterward we feel rejection to each other and see all kinds of negative qualities in others.

Such revelations are in fact positive signs of spiritual progress, where the spiritual forces of love and bestowal (called “lights”) that we attract reveal the distance between us—the extent to which we are opposite and different from our spiritual state as a single soul—and from that revelation of oppositeness, we can start establishing a spiritual form of connection with each other and spiritually progress.

Spiritual progress is thus felt as an increasing need and yearning to positively connect with others. And when do we know that we need positive spiritual connection with others? It is when we know the extent to which we reject each other, do not want each other, and have all kinds of complaints about each other. At this juncture, we can say that the breaking of the soul starts revealing, i.e., the point where we originally detached from our perception and sensation as a single soul, where we all functioned as parts of a greater whole, and thus felt the eternal life of that whole.

The coarse desire that detached us then becomes revealed, and we have work to not cancel or revoke that desire, but above it, start building connection, so that the spiritual connection that we build will not neutralize the rejection between us, but that they will exist together.

Spiritual progress is thus a process of increasing wisdom and inner growth where we mature in our understanding and ability to hold onto two opposite states together, that reception and bestowal, egoism and altruism, hatred and love, will live among us, and we relate to every negative quality that surfaces in us as a foundation upon which to apply increasing yearning for love, bestowal and positive connection upon it.

This is the meaning of “one recites a blessing for the bad that befalls him just as he does for the good” (Masechet Berachot 9:3), because all bad and good surface only for us to reveal more and more positive connection between us, and ultimately, to discover our connection as a single soul in contact with the force of love, bestowal and connection (called “the Creator”) that vitalizes us. The outcome of this spiritual progress is the sensation of eternity, perfection and truth, which in the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the revelation of the Creator to His created beings in this world” (Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag [Baal HaSulam], “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”).

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on January 28, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Is Spiritual Love Different From The Love We Know? If Yes, Can We Do Something To Nurture It?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is spiritual love different from the love we know? If yes, can we do something to nurture it?

The love we know, or corporeal love, involves loving whoever or whatever gives us pleasure. Spiritual love, by contrast, is built on feeling an inner distance, rejection, and opposition to others, and building love upon that distance.

In other words, the love we know is that which appears in our inborn ego, where we feel a natural attraction and closeness to one another. Each person who feels such love does so based on the calculation that they will ultimately benefit from that love. Such is the calculation of our egoistic nature, which is a desire to enjoy from other people and things. Therefore, according to the love we know—corporeal love—we feel love, attraction, and closeness to each other sometimes, and at other times, hatred, rejection and distance.

Spiritual love, however, requires feeling distance, rejection, and opposition to each other together with an attitude of love, connection and attraction that we build above those sensations. In our current reality, we cannot simultaneously feel love and hatred toward others, but we feel those sensations at different times. Spiritual love, therefore, requires great artistry in the spiritual process of rising above the ego to positively connect with others, and we need to become worthy of attaining that lofty level of love.

However, we are reaching a level in our development where we become increasingly prepared to experience spiritual love. On one hand, we see that the love we know is leading us into more and more problems. The bigger our ego becomes, the more we demand in order to fulfill ourselves, and the harder we find it to become fulfilled. On the other hand, we are getting prepared to become more mature.

Sweet food can help us see an example of this maturation process. Children usually like sweet food that is only sweet, but when we grow up, we often like to have sweet food together with or after something spicy, bitter or sour. The more we mature, the more we feel incapable of enjoying from one thing alone, but require the thing and its opposite.

We also see how if we had experienced only positive states in life, without the need to strive and overcome, and without feeling boundaries and criticism, then we would feel as if our life lacks something. We are built in a way where we desire to have graspable points for other calculations, and thus we develop a need to add bitterness, sourness and spice in order to taste and enjoy the sweetness. This tendency stems from the basis of our existence, where we—created beings—were originally created opposite from nature: Nature is a quality of love that solely wishes to bestow pleasure and fulfillment, and we are made of an opposite quality that solely wishes to receive pleasure and fulfillment.

Therefore, in order that we “taste the sweetness” of spiritual love, we need to attain the quality of love and bestowal that does not exist in our inborn receptive nature, and thus need to build that quality in us upon our natural rejection and distance from those qualities. This is possible with the guidance of a method—the wisdom of Kabbalah—which teaches the ways of rising above the transience and incomplete nature of the ego in order to discover the quality of spiritual love, which is eternal and whole.

Kabbalists have written about spiritual love—“Love will cover all crimes” (Proverbs 10:12)—where the “crimes” are the distance, rejection and opposition we feel in our ego. The more we implement such a form of love in our spiritual development, the more we will attain everything that nature laid out for us in order to attain our ultimate purpose of existence: the sensation of love in its perfection, wholeness and eternity.

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on January 29, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash.

“What Does It Feel Like To Be Spiritually Enlightened?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: What does it feel like to be spiritually enlightened?

The feeling of spiritual enlightenment is a feeling of unification with nature.

It is that we exist in a field of a single common connection, with a force of love and bestowal connecting between us.

Moreover, total unification as integral parts of nature is our life’s ultimate destination; it is what we discover when we reach the purpose of our lives.

Through positive connection among us all and with nature, the force of love and bestowal dwelling in nature awakens and illuminates. It gives us a new heightened sensation of harmony and eternity—a feeling of enjoyment through giving contentment to each other and to nature.

Based on the “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” lesson by Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on December 9, 2018. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Can You Describe Your Spiritual Awakening Experience?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Can you describe your spiritual awakening experience?

We start our spiritual ascent from having an entirely egoistic desire, which wants solely to receive for personal benefit, and then a tiny spark of a spiritual desire emerges within us.

The spiritual desire is one of love, giving, and positive connection with everyone. However, we initially do not feel this desire as such, but instead feel it as inner emptiness among our egoistic desires. It raises deep questions about our true identity, and our meaning and purpose in life.

Existential questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” urge us to seek their answers. If these questions bug us enough, we embark on a journey through new and different environments to those we grew up in, reading all kinds of texts, and reaching out to various teachers and groups.

If we sincerely ask about the meaning of our lives, then eventually we arrive at the wisdom of Kabbalah, which was made specifically for answering that question. The wisdom of Kabbalah is also called “the wisdom of connection,” as it methodically guides a process for how to positively connect in order to discover our ultimate unification among each other and with nature as a single soul, with the force of love and bestowal dwelling in nature holding us all together.

We learn about fundamental principles of the reality that we live in: We once existed as a single soul, called “the soul of Adam HaRishon,” which shattered. The shattering of Adam HaRishon gave rise to our state as we know it in this world, where we perceive each other as separate beings, and feel detached from nature as well.

However, while we exist in this perception of separation, we have a small spark, called a “point in the heart” in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which belongs to our connected state as a complete soul before it shattered. This point in the heart awakens existential questions in us, and urges us to search for how we can ultimately discover our perfectly connected, harmonious and eternal soul.

At the start of our Kabbalah studies, we learn the difference between humans and animals, that humans have an additional egoistic inclination for self-love unfound in the animal world. Whoever feels this egoistic self-love, a sense of uniqueness, can also reach the sensation that it is an evil inclination, and that in order to discover spirituality, they need to rise above this evil inclination in order to discover a “good inclination.”

The good inclination is one of connecting and integrating with others. By investing ourselves in such a connection, we invite spiritual forces that dwell above the point where the soul of Adam HaRishon shattered, and through the influence of these spiritual forces, we eventually reach the discovery of our true connection as a single soul. That revelation opens up to us a complete picture of reality, and a sensation of connection that is absolute, harmonious, perfect and eternal.

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on January 26, 2021. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

“Is It Possible For A Person To Be Considered Spiritual Without Being Religious?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Is it possible for a person to be considered spiritual without being religious?

Yes, it is. Spirituality is focused exclusively on bestowal, while religion exists within the corporeal sphere, which is about reception, and which has corresponding intentions. However, judging from people’s actions, it can be quite unclear.

Spirituality requires never dividing creation into differing, opposing and contradictory forces, but instead attributing everything to one force of love and bestowal that is positioned behind everything.

Spiritual ascent is achieved by attributing to a single force what appears to us as good and evil. In other words, the upper force, which relates to us through an attitude of bestowal and love, holds a “conversation” with us through the forces of good and evil, in order to guide our development to the eventual discovery of one force positioned behind everything. In the process, we adhere to that spiritual force above what we perceive in our corporeal reality, and rise the rungs of the spiritual ladder.

However, people on the spiritual path can carry out all sorts of religious customs as a result of their upbringing, education, culture and their nation’s traditions. I think that it is positive to treat religion in such a way.

Yet, religion should be no replacement for spiritual progress, because the sublime attainment of the spiritual force of bestowal and love should be above and beyond everything else. Religion in and of itself does not interfere with this attainment. What can hold us back from spiritual attainment is falsely thinking that religion can replace spirituality. In other words, conducting various physical actions, and praying according to written words according to a certain schedule, will not lead us to spiritual attainment. We discover spirituality by aiming to apply the qualities of the spiritual force—love and bestowal—among our own qualities and relations, as described in the tenet, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In other words, intentions, thoughts and desires are of utmost importance, and our actions are secondary. Many religious people conduct actions habitually, having been raised from childhood to perform them without thinking, and there is no spiritual ascent in doing so.

Spirituality, i.e., the intention to love and bestow, is thus not achieved by religious actions, but by positively connecting with others in a common intention. Religious actions, however, do not become canceled. They are like a branch that symbolizes the spiritual root, and people can remain in that culture. Such customs neither interfere with nor help spiritual advancement. They simply remind us that spiritual actions exist, which is also the reason for their preservation throughout the generations.

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on 2011/11/20. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash.

“Why Is Spiritual Truth So Elusive?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why is spiritual truth so elusive?

What is spirituality? Spirituality is the quality of love, bestowal and connection. This is why spirituality is so elusive. It is concealed from us, since it is complete altruism while our quality is the opposite, total egoism.

Then, the question becomes, is spirituality hidden from us or do we hide spirituality by having no interest in recognizing its existence? According to our receptive nature, we solely desire corporeal fulfillment. The idea of enjoying purely by giving, without receiving anything at all in return, is alien to us.

That is the whole problem. Nobody and nothing hides spirituality from us. We exist within a spiritual reality, and if we could expand our vessels of perception and sensation, we would see that only a single force of love, bestowal and connection exists. However, when we look at the world around us, it looks like a completely opposite picture to one of pure love, bestowal and connection.

This opposition is in order for us to develop a sincere desire to enter into balance with the spiritual reality surrounding us, that our relations and attitudes to each other will become as loving, altruistic and positively connected as the quality of nature in and of itself. During the process of adapting ourselves to the spiritual reality of love, bestowal and connection, we do not cancel the inborn human ego and our corporeal desires. The only transformation we need make to reveal the spiritual truth is in our intention: that we restrict our egoistic intention to enjoy at the expense of others and nature, and increase our intention to love, bestow and connect purely “for the sake of bestowal,” i.e., without wanting anything in return. In other words, in order to discover the spiritual reality that is filled with the quality of love, bestowal and connection, we need only transform our intention from egoistic to altruistic, and then we will enter a whole new perception and sensation of reality: one that is boundless, tranquil and completely balanced.

Based on the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2010/11/17, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose.” Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.