Entries in the 'desire' Category

A Descent Is A Trampoline For Ascent

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur entire work lies in finding the right attitude to the states we receive. While doing this work, we gradually begin to break ourselves up into two components:

1. My desire, in which I perceive various phenomena, such as good and evil,

2. The mind, in which I discern Who sends me my sensations and with what purpose.

To the degree I am able to analyze my states independently of the sensation "good or bad," I am able to understand these states and justify them in spite of my sensation. I can desire them for the sake of revealing the quality of bestowal, the Creator, even though the revelation of every new state means that I will first feel suffering due to the revelation of a new, empty desire.

My attitude to this empty desire can change my sensation of its emptiness. The sensation of the goal, a connection with the Creator, can put me in high spirits that will greatly exceed my sensation of suffering.

That is why we have the opportunity to ascend above the unpleasant sensations in our intentions, in our sensation of the connection with the Creator. We can justify all of creation so greatly that precisely this gap will help us ascend above the unpleasant sensations and even elicit their revelation in order to ascend even higher above them.

We cannot change any state in our development, but we can ask for the understanding of how goal-oriented and good they are, above our will to enjoy.

That is how we can accelerate our development and go through the states of descent in such a way that we won’t feel they are descents, but a reason to ascend. Everything depends on our attitude to what happens to us.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/16/2010,  “What is the Matter of Sufferings in the Work”

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The Light That Reforms

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the Light that Reforms?

Answer: The Light that Reforms (or just Light) is a special impression, stimulation, or a special reaction in the desire. We call the Light “Nefesh,” “Ruach,” “Neshama,” “Haya,” and “Yechida.” How do I know what it is? My desire to unite starts feeling “vibrations,” receive filling, inspiration that I name “Nefesh,” “Ruach,” “Neshama,” “Haya,” and “Yechida.” This is what we call “Light:” a particular phenomenon in my desire to correct the breaking of the common soul.

On its own, the desire is formless; it has nothing. Even the lack of fulfillment cannot be sensed by it without the influence of the Light from afar. It is sensed only when the desire is stimulated at a particular “frequency” of a particular Light, this means that it demands fulfillment at the same “frequency,” meaning Light.

Then, the Light first influences the desire in such a way that it makes it appropriate to the Light according to its quality, so that the desire would also act for the sake of bestowal. To the extent that bestowal is present in the desire, the Light is revealed in it.

Everything is realized in the desire; everything begins and ends in it. Nothing comes in or out from outside of the desire, and, thus, everything only depends on our sensation.

Therefore, first I need to develop a desire for a particular fulfillment. Then, I search for how to receive it. I perform some actions in order to correspond to the fulfillment since I begin to realize that it depends on the extent of similarity.

To the extent that I begin to correspond to the fulfillment, I feel a need for it. Then, I feel my similarity to the fulfillment which is called the quality of bestowal, the screen, and the Reflected Light (Ohr Hozer). Only afterward do I feel the fulfillment itself. It fulfills my initial desire to receive it as well as my desire to bestow which I created now. It receives pleasure from the fact that I receive fulfillment in equivalence of qualities. Thus, I now have double fulfillment.

This is called “the righteous inherit twice.” I enjoy the reception in my natural desires (Kelim) as well as the bestowal in my corrected Kelim above my natural desire. However, these are all sensations and impressions only in the desire to receive pleasure, and they all are called types of Light. Even the lack of fulfillment is Light.

After all, if such “fulfillment with hunger” did not exist, I would never feel the need for fulfillment. In addition, if there were no “hunger to bestow,” I would never enjoy the quality of bestowal or similarity to the Creator.

From the Talk on The Light that Reforms 9/8/10

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Visions Or The Spiritual World?

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYechi (And Jacob Lived),” Item 170: Upon the departure of one’s soul, all his kin and friends in the world of truth walk his soul and show her the place of Eden and the place of the punishment.

Question: People who have undergone clinical death speak of visions they experience, which in many ways are similar to what The Book of Zohar describes. However, these people don’t know the first thing about Kabbalah.

Answer: Understanding Kabbalah does not help a person see the spiritual world. The Upper World can only be felt in a corrected soul. Whether or not a person studies Kabbalistic books is irrelevant. The important thing is whether one wishes to correct himself.

We can look at clinical death experiences in two ways. On one hand, when a person falls into a critical state, it is a heavy blow to the physiological body, which is nothing more than the desire to enjoy. Our body only appears to us as something corporeal that takes up space, but in reality it is only the desire to enjoy a particular type of fulfillment.

If this desire feels emptiness or suffering, it naturally doesn’t want to feel the place (desire) in which it feels pain. It wants to reduce and restrict this place, to live less, to disconnect its senses, take drugs, and so forth. Any person feeling emotional or material suffering wants to restrict it, that is, restrict his perception of the world even to the extent as the desire to stop living.

But by feeling suffering and wanting to ascend, to escape this place that is full of darkness, pain, blows, wars, and diseases, meaning, to rise from the terrible suffering above this world, a person is essentially making a spiritual action. You don’t do it for the sake of bestowal or because you are drawn by spirituality, but because the suffering is pressuring you so much that it forces you out, like a pit popping out of  a cherry when squeezed, and you are led upward.

This is the path of suffering, but it is not advancement because in this you do not draw closer to the goal. In fact, you don’t even know there is a goal; you’re simply running away like a beaten animal from the stick. But either way, you rise above your ego, the desire to enjoy. You want to nullify it, thinking: “I don’t want anything, just leave me alone!”

Suppose you stole a billion dollars and were caught and sentenced to life in prison. At that moment you desire only bread and water and to be back home. That’s it! Yet prior to that you wanted a billion dollars! The desire reduces itself, as though ascending by “faith above reason.” It is ready to be in bestowal, to reject and restrict itself so that it does not feel the suffering that punishment brings.

And that is when people begin to sense the truth; a connection with the Creator becomes revealed to them, at least to some degree. However, it passes very quickly, and people are unable to fully take in or retain this state because they lack their own permanent Kelim (spiritual vessels). And so the feeling passes.

In 99.9% of the cases, the sensation of something otherworldly relates only to people’s psychosomatic experiences. Since they live in suffering, confusion, emotional cloudiness, and faulty internal systems, it’s merely their imagination.

The purpose of creation is not for a person to feel the spiritual world in a state of clinical death. We have to feel spirituality in a state of total soundness and function in it like the researchers that have knowledge, understanding, sensation, and power. We have to come to be like the Creator.

From the 2ns part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/2/10, The Zohar

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Two Birds Heard The Herald

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYechi (And Jacob Lived),” Item136: “One bird comes out to the south, right—the one that comes from a spark of Hochma. Also, one bird comes out to the north, left—the one that comes from the spark of Bina. One comes out when the day rises, from Hochma, and one when the day sets, at evening time, after midday, from Bina. Each calls and declares what it heard from that herald… from the illumination of the midnight Zivug, called ‘a herald’.”

This is speaking of a person’s inner states when he analyzes the self and undergoes various processes of discerning the three lines within himself. He examines to what extent is he positioned in equilibrium in the right, left, or middle line.

“Day” and “night” don’t come from outside. We always remain in the Light and our Kelim are divided into multiple types in which we perceive the right, left, and middle lines, as well as upward and downward, as well as all directions and times. The division into internal and external Kelim gives us the sensation of distance and space, close and far, and the classification of desires into “root, soul, body, coverings, and abode.”

All these peculiarities, as well as day, night, morning, evening, and various hours, are processes taking place in our desire. In fact, desire is the only thing we possess. Through dividing into numerous types and constantly unfolding them for us, the desire gives us the sensation of the occurring changes in time and space in the emerging states.

We classify them as four types of perception, “World, year, soul, and existence of reality.” All these modifications take place within us as a result of our correction since everything except us remains in absolute rest. Only the Reshimot keep unwinding and unfolding either “in its time” (Beito) or “Ahishena,” which is when we start accelerating this process and hastening the time.

Therefore, the “birds” that flew in “night,” “day,” “morning,” “evening,” all the planes such as “root, soul, body, coverings, abode,” and the existence of reality are perceived within a person in his desire. However, I think that I am surrounded by a world full of people, that everything is spinning and life goes on. Yet, only one thing is within my reach: What steps will I take toward the correct perception of reality?

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/31/10, The Zohar

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The New Formula For Success

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The mechanics of the development of desire in our world is simple, and we have accumulated thousands of years of experience in it. What new knowledge does the science of Kabbalah offer regarding the use of desire?

Answer: Kabbalah offers the intention; nothing else is necessary! The Creator created the will to receive pleasure and He drives it to evolve. This desire is egoistic, making us constantly run after whatever might fill it. Such behavior characterizes the still, vegetative, and animate levels of existence. However, in our time, after millennia of growth, we have finally evolved to the “human” level (Adam), which is a totally different state of existence. A human is independent of the still, vegetative, and animate ways of existence.

To a human being, the most important thing is the intention, or the reason “why” do I possess the still, vegetative, and animate levels? What do I live for? He wonders about the purpose of life, and when a person has this question, he comes to Kabbalah. This is a totally new inclination where I don’t depend on the previous evolution of my desire. I have evolved, but what now? Now something completely new, mysterious, and unknown lies ahead of me.

Today’s human crisis is the crisis of the formula of our previous development which doesn’t work anymore! The previous period of evolution has ended where the only operating forces were Light and desire, pleasure and hunger. Now I see that there is fulfillment and I feel a need for it, but I don’t understand how the two are connected.

Previously it worked very simply: the greater my desire, the greater its fulfillment. But today even though my desire is enormous, I grab and enjoy what I want for an instant and then it’s gone. As a result, I don’t even want to run after pleasure any more. However, I still have to fill myself with something. Yet, I have nothing to do it with. Do you realize what a disaster this is?

Mankind does not know what to do with the situation. This leads to wars, crime, brutality, and terrorism because the moment man experiences emptiness and longing, he is willing to do whatever it takes to find at least some small fulfillment even for an instant!

We are now going through this transitional time. The egoistic desire has completed its evolution on the still, vegetative, and animate planes of existence. Now it has to grow as a “human,” which means “similar to the Creator.” This is an absolutely new form where one works in bestowal, the reverse of everything that one did before.

We neither comprehend this action nor where to get the strength for it. We do not have the mind, the desire, and the environment for it. We only have the science of Kabbalah, and even that is available only for those who have already discovered it. That is why we are making such great efforts to disseminate it because we would like to accelerate evolution and offer a remedy well in advance before the next blow strikes.

Otherwise no one will know what to do with this life: neither politicians, nor sociologists, nor psychologists, or any other scientists. Mankind will give up and agree to any sort of existence, hoping to conceal what is really happening and to continue living at least somehow.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/30/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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The Spiritual Root Of All Humanity

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe work that we do with our spiritual commonality is very similar to the “Tamagotchi” effect (a Japanese toy that obligates one to care for something virtual and nonexistent). The player becomes so consumed and fixated on the toy that for him it becomes more than real! He simply must stop everything he is doing and take care of the toy, “feed it.”

Interestingly enough, egoism doesn’t prevent him from caring for it. After all, this isn’t another person who he needs to compete with; rather, it’s an abstract “easy-to-care” for being, although it subtly imposes its own will on the person.

The same happens in our spiritual stimulator: On one hand, we separate ourselves from people and create something abstract where I depersonalize absolutely everyone, separate them from their bodies, appearance, and personality. But I leave their points in the heart, their aspirations towards unity for the sake of revealing the common force of love: the Creator.

On the other hand, it is nevertheless our desire, our yearning that is abstracted from the body and everything that separates us from each other. On the contrary, we are united by our common dream, our common need to reach the goal and do it only together.

This system is already becoming a supranational, multilingual world community. It will become the common spiritual root of all humanity because the idea is to unite all the people in the world. At first, we put all our strength into creating a system of connection, love, and bestowal between us. And afterwards, “the Ark carries those who carry it”: It will take the lead and begin to shape us with the Upper Light which will manifest within it to the extent that we create the vessel of bestowal.

In this system, we give the opportunity to the Upper Force of nature which exists in the unity among people to "enter" us and manifest between us. And it will begin to operate within us, nurture us, and lead us ahead towards the purpose of creation.

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The Sweet Taste Of Truth

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I know what “bitter versus sweet” feels like, but what is “true versus false”?

Answer: In our world truth doesn’t have any taste; we only feel bitter or sweet. It’s not the heart, but the mind that asserts what is true and what is a lie.

Lying is something that is disliked, but truth and falsehood are not really comprehended because we don’t have the instruments to discern them. We feel better telling the truth; however, it’s not really the truth, but merely a sweet sensation of telling it. Our “true versus false” discernment turns into a “sweet versus bitter” assessment by our ego.

This means we are using only one criteria of “sweet versus bitter” because even our mind works to accommodate our “belly.” In other words, a person’s mind is subordinate to his egoism. However, the falsehood and truth that Kabbalah speaks about can only be known through the quality of bestowal, which we don’t have yet. Only through this property can we realize that bestowal is the truth. It is not in any way connected to whatever is happening in our desire to receive pleasure, that is, whether it is filled or not.

Therefore, in order to rise above the animate body and break free from it, we need the Upper Force, the Light that Reforms. These forces don’t exist in our world, which operates solely on egoistic desire. If we want to be able to discern between evil and good, we have to rise to the degree of Adam HaRishon (the First Man), who was able to see good and evil when the serpent opened his eyes. On one hand it was “poison,” but on the other, we can use it as medicine.

Why did Adam HaRishon, the first spiritual degree revealed to the soul, immediately divide? There was one desire. Why did it split in two, man and woman, Adam and Hava, and why did it later break into more and more people until there are billions of them?

This is so because correction is impossible without breaking Adam into multiple souls. Each soul must have a small, precise, and special goal; it must carry out a certain mission like each cell of an organism that has a definite and specific function. For example, computers are operated through the binary system, which includes only “0” and “1.” This does not seem very complicated, but look at the extraordinary result that such a simple system produces!

This is why the souls were divided; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to carry out our correction. Even now, despite the fact that we’re broken into small particles and every person is carrying a special and specific mission, just look at how confused we are, unable to figure out what each of us is supposed to do.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/2010, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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We Already Have The First Spiritual Desire!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it that after every Convention where we experience a great ascent and inspiration, we always experience a descent?

Answer: This is a spiritual process. During the Convention we receive a big “Kli” (spiritual vessel) and connect to a new, bigger desire. However, if we don’t add anything to this new desire afterward, we feel empty.

Over the course of the Convention I connect to the desires of thousands of people and feel that we are all one man with one heart. I feel our mutual guarantee as if I lost myself and dissolved in them. I pass myself over into their hands! Even if this feeling is just there for a few moments and unconsciously, it still happens. Thus, for the first time I already connect with others and reveal a spiritual desire, a Kli, which I did not have previously.

Previously I only had material desires that I wished to fulfill egoistically. This is called the animate level of desire. However, now without even knowing how it occurred, I joined something very big. This connection is a lack of spirituality or bestowal. It is a spiritual desire that was not present in me before.


Now I need to work on it. Yet, instead I leave it, wishing to return to my former regular desire, and await ordinary egoistic fulfillments again. But what about that new spiritual desire? In comparison to material desires, that huge spiritual desire remains empty!

That is why I lose the taste for life and do not understand how I can fulfill myself. The usual “meat and wine” do not bring me pleasure like before. Therefore, in light of the forthcoming Convention this November where we will reveal an even greater, stronger spiritual desire, we need to prepare the right response to it now, ahead of time.

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From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/16/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

What The World Rests On

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “Lech Lecha (Go Forth),” Item 4: People should observe the work of the Creator. After all, all the people do not know and do not consider what the world stands on and what they themselves stand on.

What does the world rest on? It rests on desire. What are people grounded in? They are grounded in desire. The Zohar is speaking of the types of desires the world and we rest on and how we can change these desires. After all, everything that happens within our desire makes up the reality that we experience.

Our perception of the world hinges on how we change our desires. In his article, "The Creator’s Concealment and Revelation," Baal HaSulam writes that nothing changes outside of us. And it is solely our responsibility to replace our perception of this world with the perception of the World of Infinity.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/12/10, The Zohar

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Be Your Own "Donkey Driver"

Dr. Michael LaitmanI use the word "Stimulator" to call the system that we must now build because it comes from the Greek word “Stimulus,” meaning a sharp, pointed stick used to poke donkeys in order to keep them moving. Our “donkey” (“Hamor” in Hebrew) is our egoistic desire (“Homer”) which only understands the language of a “stick.” Yet, instead of driving this “donkey” by painful poking, we want to awaken the human being in us who looks ahead and yearns for the future on his own. We need a stimulus, but a positive one. We need to be driven by “lovesickness,” the desire to attain this state. This should be the only force driving us ahead, instead of corporeal pain pushing us from behind.

We have to invoke just one kind of suffering inside us, the question, “Why haven’t I attained unity with the Creator yet? Why am I not in awe of Him?” The first stage in returning to the Creator is “repentance from fear,” which occurs when I put forth efforts to cultivate an inner sensation of awe regarding the spiritual goal, the Creator, and bestowal, instead of running ahead because I fear painful blows that come after me. That is how I change my motivation or Stimulus.

If I run ahead motivated by the strikes (fears about things in this world or punishment in the world to come) then I am not returning to the Creator. In fact, this is how humanity has advanced naturally for thousands of years, but it isn’t spiritual evolution. It is the evolution of desire where we replace an unpleasant state of existence with a new, hopefully better one.

Yet, returning to the Creator is described as “Tshuva (return of) Hey to Vav,” which means that I invoke my own inner fear of not having the quality of bestowal and love. But what can I do if in actuality I am not concerned about this and feel no fear? Where can I get it? The answer is only from the environment!

If the environment paints a picture for me that makes me realize how horrible my condition is and, at the same time, that there is something incredibly wonderful awaiting me, then I will strive toward it. This is the correct, spiritual stimulus that enables us to advance. This way of advancing is correct because it is voluntary, and we therefore make this entire process an “awakening from below.”

However, if I don’t arrange an environment that instills this yearning for advancement in me making me run because I fear that I haven’t attained this goal yet and terrible misfortunes are following me because of it, I will never move into the next moment! In fact, I won’t move one bit.

That is why we need a “stimulator” and a positive one!

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