Entries in the 'Spirituality' Category

“How Do I Clean Myself Spiritually, And How Do I Start?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: How do I clean myself spiritually, and how do I start?

Spiritual work starts from accepting the laws of your own correction.

To do so requires:

  • reaching an understanding that rising above the ego is of utmost importance, and that
  • connection to others as a single whole according to the rule “love your neighbor as
    yourself” is the loftiest spiritual goal, and also that
  • achieving this goal requires a supportive environment—support and encouragement of each
    other’s aspirations to achieve the spiritual goal.

After setting yourself up in such a way, you can then make spiritual progress.

The spiritual path is full of contradictory states—elation one moment, lowliness the next, ascents and descents—sometimes we feel as if there are no spiritual states, desires or intentions before us, but if we create an environment that supports us on our way to the spiritual goal, we eventually undergo a correction of all these egoistic qualities, inverting them all into altruistic ones, as is written that “love will cover all transgressions.”

Undergoing spiritual correction means inverting our egoistic qualities to altruistic qualities.

Reaching such a state means discovering the common soul where everyone resides, with love connecting between us all.

A Gain, Not A Sacrifice

laitman_571.01Question: If I loaned a friend $1,000 but he returned only $1, should I consider it to be $1,000?

Answer: You clearly see that it is $1, but you want to take it as the full amount because you want to justify your friend and rise in faith above knowledge since you are in a spiritual relationship with him.

If you act in this way, if you bestow to your friend, then you build the quality of bestowal within yourself, faith above knowledge. You obtain a spiritual quality.

Question: So, I should not ask him about the rest of the money? Meaning that I value the connection with the Creator so much and with my friend as a means to the connection, that I am willing to sacrifice the money?

Answer: You are not sacrificing, but you are gaining. You are receiving an opportunity from him to ascend to the spiritual degree through faith above knowledge.

The fact is that you are not asking for your money back because you feel that by giving to a friend you are already gaining. But this is only in a case where there is a special relationship between the two of you.

Question: Where do I gain the strength to treat him in this way? How do I come to this?

Answer: You come to this when you feel that by being with him in the same spiritual body, you are neither giving nor receiving; it is all one. By giving to a friend, on the contrary, you have brought deep meaning, great help, and a huge investment into your common spiritual body. And you are thrilled about being able to do so.

Question: And, in all of this, am I not afraid of being tricked? These thoughts do come up.

Answer: If you really are in a ten, in a group, and trying to attain the Creator together, to reach His level, then the opportunity to give to a friend inspires you. What could be better?
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From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 4/1/19

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“The Spiritual Root And Corporeal Branches Of The Jews” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Spiritual Root and Corporeal Branches of the Jews

The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method that was established by Abraham around 3,800 years ago, which guides a process of positive connection among people toward their resemblance with the higher force of nature, one of love and bestowal.

Kabbalah teaches that by trying to resemble the force of love and bestowal through our efforts to connect, we attract it into our lives and it corrects us.

“Correction,” in the wisdom of Kabbalah, means reaching the perception of the uniqueness of the force of love and bestowal, and when we reach such perception, we see how no other force operates in the world.

Opposite the force of love and bestowal is the force of reception—the force acting in the created beings.

The force of reception, which is the nature of the created beings, provides us with the ability to differentiate between reception and its opposite force of love and bestowal, as through the opposite of a certain phenomenon, the existence of its opposite can be perceived.

By existing in an opposite receptive nature to the giving nature, we can connect by awakening the force of giving and love above the force of reception, and by doing so, reach balance with nature, a sensation of harmony, perfection and eternity.

According to the two opposite natures of giving and receiving, humanity divides into two general groups: one is a small group originating in those who studied with Abraham, which directed itself to connect and attain the force of love and bestowal. The other is much larger, holding beliefs in myriad corporeal forms, objects and images.

Abraham’s group received the name, “Israel” (“Yashar El” [“straight to God”]), from their orientation to attain the force of love and bestowal, and in later generations they received the name, “Jews,” from the word for “united” (“yihudi”). People with no such inclination received the name, “the nations of the world.”

According to the Jewish nation’s origin—a unification in a common tendency toward the force of love and bestowal—that same tendency should remain as their primary engagement. In other words, the nation of Israel has no need to conduct numerous physical actions, but need only focus on connecting “as one man with one heart.” That is Abraham’s method in a nutshell.

During its years of exile, the nation of Israel mingled with the nations of the world. Many descendants of Abraham’s group ended up functioning solely with the force of reception, detached from the force of love and bestowal. In the meantime, some of the nations of the world who felt attracted to unity joined the group of Israel.

Those from Israel who failed to unite above the increased egoistic desire that acted in them became idolaters, infusing corporeal forms, objects and actions with spiritual importance.

The two groups exist in a certain blend until today.

The change from being a unified nation that senses the higher force, to becoming detached from the sensation of unity and focusing solely on receiving, took place mainly during the ruin of the First and Second Temples, and intensified in the exile that followed them.

Many people from the Jewish nation started performing a number of actions, seeming signs of spiritual motions that exist separate from the human body and the material world. They thought that in such a way they would be able to somehow protect themselves in a common framework and not disperse.

My teacher, Rabash, called such actions “customs.” Customs have their place, until we will become ready enough to understand what is most important: the work of the heart, i.e., the inner work of unity with others in a common tendency toward the force of love and bestowal.

What we do with our hands, legs and mouths is in order to ultimately advance us to conduct internal actions upon our attitude to others: an inner shift from being concerned only about ourselves to being concerned about others, to a point where we love them.

Until today, humanity finds it difficult to absorb the idea that the Creator is a force. It is understandable, since our entire perception is based on corporeal senses.

Yet, according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, there is nothing holy in a tree or in a stone, nor in blood or flesh. Holiness can only be in the connection between us, differentiated from and above the egoistic force that separates us. Holiness exists in the balance between two fundamental forces at the foundation of nature: reception and bestowal, without canceling either quality or inclination.

That is why the principles of the wisdom of Kabbalah sound complicated and difficult to absorb, even though the main principle is easy to understand: that we need to reach positive connection among all people, a connection that includes each and every person equally. Moreover, in the heart of our connection, love becomes revealed, which is a positive force that covers all division, hatred and conflict, and by reaching such a state, we discover nothing less than perfection and eternity.
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Who Is Rav Isaac Luria (The Ari)?

Starting from the ruin of the Second Temple, the wisdom of Kabbalah was hidden until Isaac Luria Ashkenazi (The Ari) opened it to all humanity in the 16th century and let the world move toward correction.

The Ari belongs to the chain of the greatest Kabbalists throughout the generations. He is considered to be the father of the contemporary wisdom of Kabbalah. In his book The Tree of Life, the Ari, unlike the Kabbalists before him, reveals the structure and development of the universe and gives clear instructions on how we can ascend from our world, the lowest point in reality, to the highest, complete and eternal attainment of reality.

Behold that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created,

The Upper Simple Light had filled the whole existence.

The Ignition System For The World Soul

laitman_212In the past, there were cars that required a great deal of effort to start. You would turn the key, the starter would sputter, and then die; over and over again like this until it would finally start.

Here an individual must “start” himself. For each such attempt at igniting our soul, we receive the upper light, which acts on us and begins to gradually turn on the soul, according to the force of the light, toward bestowal.

Initially, needing to connect are just empty words because the heart cannot be forced. Nonetheless, we try with all our might to start it, each time drawing the light that reforms with our efforts.

This takes a long time, since the engine of our soul is very old, broken, and refuses to ignite. But once in a while it starts to turn over a little, and then we can already understand that love of others that the Kabbalists write about is not morality, but a law of nature, the law of all of creation.

We must unite in order to enter the real world, to enter our true existence. Without it we exist in an illusion, in an imaginary world, as if watching a movie that has nothing to do with reality.

We apply all our efforts in order to awaken our soul. As a result of a great number of such attempts, our engine finally turns over and begins to turn in the right direction. Fuel enters it, the upper light, and it begins to work.

Europe is very similar to this untuned engine. There are many groups there, new and old, and also individuals who do not belong to any group. We need to try to prepare everyone so that all turn in the same direction, in the direction of the general movement.

Each group that already has experience, strength, the correct direction, understanding, and, most importantly, feels that it is within the connection that opens the entrance to the true world from the unconscious state we now are in now, as in a fog.

We need to understand what responsibility lies on each one who has achieved an advanced state. He must tow this entire broken, creaking cart, that doesn’t want to move on it’s own. This will be our attack on connection. We don’t need to wait for the Congress for this; even before it, we can reach such unity as is planned in the Creator’s program.
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/17/18 “Preparation for the World Convention in Italy 2018 – Melting the Hearts into One”

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The Purpose Of Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the purpose of life?

Answer: The purpose of life is to reach the center of the connection between us in order to feel the exit into the next dimension.

Question: Who determines the goal of our development?

Answer: Nature pushes us toward reaching the goal. Kabbalah helps to reveal it, to advance us further so that we fulfill our task faster without nature thrusting us into this system by a stick.
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From a Virtual Lesson 10/30/2016

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New Life #394 – Superstitions And The Evil Eye

New Life #394 – Superstitions And The Evil Eye
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Summary

What is the role of superstitions and the evil eye in our modern world and how can we influence each other for the best?

Animals feel nature, but humans don’t. Hence the need for different lucky talismans, red strings, etc. It all stems from not knowing the system we live in. In nature everything is deterministic.

Man is a psychological creature and so blessings affect him and his power to cope, but the blessings cannot actually change anything in life nor change the system of nature.

The script is ready. Basically it is impossible to change it, but we can change the way we regard what comes along.

The evil eye is if people think badly about someone, they can change his fate. This is the reason that unfounded hatred is destructive. We are connected to each other by an internal network. Our thoughts toward one another are in this network. Millions of strings tie us together, and today harmful arrows flow in them, not good thoughts.

If a person sets the rule of “love thy friend as thyself” as the goal in life, he has nothing to fear. A person should be modest and not stand out, not because of fear of the evil eye, but so that he will not cause others to fail.

You can buy a new car, but you should keep the intention that your neighbor will not hate you.
From KabTV’s “New Life #394 – Superstitions And The Evil Eye,” 6/3/14

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Everything Depends On Our Desire

Laitman_514_04Question: How can we speed up the spiritual corrections, which as we all know take millions of years?

Answer: It does not require much time since spirituality isn’t measured by years but actually depends only on our desire. We can “wait for the eggs to hatch” like chickens and not attain anything, or we can jump and leap above all these actions in a minute. It all depends on our desire.

The desire develops between us to the degree that we show each other what we want and spur different feelings such as hate, envy, and competition in each other. These are very useful.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 5/8/16

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How Does One Reveal The Spiritual World?

laitman_276_02Comment: There is a feeling that you aren’t talking about what happens in the spiritual world, you are hiding what people are engaged with there and everything else.

Answer: For the last 3,500 years a few hundred books have been written about the spiritual world by great Kabbalists who investigated and discovered the upper world. As for me, I am the smallest and the last in the chain of Kabbalists, so if my words are inadequate, I recommend taking their books and start reading!

Then you will find out how you must change yourself so you can see the upper world, learn how to expand it, and penetrate more deeply into it. This is also true for sciences like nuclear physics or the synthesis of medicines and the like. These are very complex things and the wisdom of Kabbalah is even more complex because it is found beyond the perception of our regular senses.

It must be understood that it is not possible to explain the wisdom of Kabbalah, so I don’t exactly explain but teach. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches a person how to open his eyes and see the upper world. It is similar to looking at a stereogram in which you need to defocus your vision to see the hidden image. When the view is concentrated on the picture it seems that there is nothing there except for lines, and suddenly with defocusing your vision a three-dimensional picture can be seen there of roaming dinosaurs or anything else. This happens when vision is fully dispersed.

The wisdom of Kabbalah can teach a person to disperse the focus like this with all the senses! Then all five senses become directed toward the next more internal level and we begin to enter into a picture of the world that is beyond its borders and we feel all of creation! I cannot explain this, I can only recommend how to disperse the focus on oneself, how to feel the upper world instead of this world, and enter into the next dimension.

In fact, we exist in all five spiritual worlds! And our world, which is found on the lowest level of development, is not counted among them. There are five worlds that are composed of 125 levels, which are found above our world; they exist here and now, but we don’t feel and see them. But we come in contact with them unconsciously, and they influence us. The role of a person is to discover the upper world and to carry out a focal dispersion on all of his egoistic approaches to life and begin to perceive the altruistic world that exists according to laws that are the opposite of the laws of our world: altruism instead of egoism, love instead of hatred, concern for others rather than concern for oneself.

The Torah doesn’t just say “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) for no reason at all. This is the general law of the upper world, and if you want to feel it, try practicing this attitude toward the world. This is possible only if a person enters into a circle of people like him who are eager to attain the true reality.

When a group of people like this gather together and begin to practice attitudes like this with each other, attitudes of love and concern, attention and support, then suddenly, as if in a fog, the hidden world that surrounds us will begin to appear and be revealed. The entire Kabbalistic method is based upon this, and no Kabbalist can tell us about the spiritual world because we don’t have internal models that match its sensation. In our world, we are already born with models that make it possible to feel the spiritual world, and even though they are incomplete, we acquire them. Why do newly born babies not hear and later begin to hear?  Why don’t they see at first and then begin to see? It is because these models are created in us gradually, we develop our senses. I suggest everyone to begin engaging in the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah, which derives its name from the word, “Le’Kabel,” to receive, to receive perception of the upper world.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/20/16

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Creating A Third Civilization

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Was the Maccabean rebellion the last spark before the waning of the first Jewish civilization?

Answer: The Maccabean rebellion was indeed an outburst before the waning of the Jewish civilization, not of the days of the First Temple, but of the second, during the days of the Second Temple. Now we are nearing the third civilization,

Today there is no Jewish civilization and we need to restore and rebuild it because this is what the world strongly demands. The first two civilizations were the foundations of the third civilization, which should include the whole world.

This may sound like the slogans of the Islamic movements that want to swallow the whole world, but in Judaism it is about ideological unity. There is one Jewish civilization that undergoes three phases, and we can understand that by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah. All three phases reveal the building of the Temples, including the third future Temple we have to build, not in the form of a grandiose structure in Jerusalem but by uniting the hearts of all of humanity. It isn’t about an ideological conquest and enslavement but about freedom and overcoming the enslavement of our ego.

This will bring all of humanity to the right mutual integral communication, and life will be felt as one body in which all the organs and cells are connected and function in the best possible way. This life is called eternal life and all of humanity should reach that because it actually makes up all the parts of this body.

The wisdom of Kabbalah emphasizes that we can reach this through crises that will push us to change, like the Islamic civilization that is wakening now that will demand the world’s submission by the sword in the name of Allah, or we could implement the good mutual connection between us instead of using weapons and coercion. Worshipping an upper entity, the idea of an upper force, is crucial for this cause but not in the way we know it. Bowing to the East, in the direction of Mecca will not change anything. We should rather bow to the unity of our hearts.

The Muslim Allah symbolizes the force of unity, the only force that operates in the world, and this is also how all of humanity should operate. This is the reason that Islam is awakening now, and it will provoke and enrage the whole world. The world will not discover the current Judaism by resisting Islam but the wisdom of Kabbalah, which will explain to the world the rule of “love thy friend as thyself,” which is the right global communication law for all mankind. Life by this rule will have to take over the whole world.

Neither the sword or the green and black flag, the nice symbols of the Islamic flag, nor the Star of David are the answer, but only the correct and good relations between people. If the integral connection in humanity is restored and becomes the general collective force, people will unite and attain the Creator between them.

Not only the wisdom of Kabbalah aims at the unity of mankind, but also Sufism, the internal wisdom of Islam. When humanity acts in a way that matches the upper force it will begin to feel that it merges with it and the corporeal world, that the wisdom of Kabbalah calls the virtual world, will gradually disappear from our senses and we will reach the third civilization.

Our true existence is only in the world of the upper forces. If you want to attain, sense, and find it, I invite you to become acquainted with the wisdom of Kabbalah.
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From KabTV’s “Conversations with Michael Laitman” 12/16/15

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