Entries in the 'egoist' Category

Egoism And Arvut

Dr. Michael LaitmanBecause of its nature, egoism doesn’t feel rewarded by sacrificing something for the sake of others. We are unable to imagine that by doing so, we will feel good. I may imagine that I will profit from the mutual guarantee, but I don’t see the need to annul myself before the others.

This is the mistake that the communists made: They wanted to use the law of Arvut (mutual responsibility or guarantee), but without the Creator, the force that implements this guarantee and unification. Everyone rises above himself, loses egoism, and annuls himself, but then, the energy to do work disappears.

Therefore, in order to ascend and unite, we have to attach the force of the Creator to ourselves from the very beginning. After all, no one but He will establish a connection between us because this connection manifests above egoism.

The Creator created laws that He implements. We can act solely from the consideration that He is the third participant who determines the final result and is present in every action. This outcome is always in His favor, and you always annul yourself in relation to Him. Then, the third component that you usually don’t think about takes the central position: He is the First, the Last, and the Defining One.

At that point, my goal changes: I want to aspire for this partner and do anything for Him. The system is for Him; I am for Him; the friend is for Him. This is how we ascend to the level of complete bestowal since the Creator is the property of bestowal that we attain between ourselves.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/15/10, “The Arvut”

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Questions About Punishment And Pride

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: There seems to be a paradox: It is written that “There is none else besides Him,” which means that the Creator is the source of everything. But then how do I treat a person who is trying to hurt me?

Answer: It is also written: “The Creator sends you good through good people and punishes you through the bad.” Hence, those who commit evil acts should be punished not because they have done something bad but because they have deserved to become the conduit through which the Creator has channeled evil into our world. It turns out that punishment is not really punishment, but the correction of the person and the world.

Question: In one of the interviews you told  a journalist that you didn’t consider yourself a professor and are indifferent to what others say about you. Why did you do so? Ultimately, it casts a shadow on Kabbalah circulation.

Answer: Criticism is very healthy because it is a preventive remedy against pride. It is also written: “The Creator pressures a person whom He favors.” Moreover, He sends wreckers and accusers against that person in order to help him defeat his pride and egoism. Besides, as in the actions against Klipot such as “Maim Achronim,” “Seir le Azazel,” and others, there is an obligation to throw the “bones to the dogs.” True dissemination will benefit from it even more.

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The Major Difficulty Of Spiritual Work

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe celebration of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), like all other holidays, represents spiritual states that every person in the world will have to undergo while ascending in his qualities from our world to the World of Infinity. Ascent is defined as the strengthening of the connection between us and, through it, our greater similarity with the Creator. It could be described as our drawing closer to the Creator rather than “ascending.”

It is not a mechanical ascension, but a qualitative one through the senses and against our egoistic nature. This nature can be overruled solely by the force of the Light.

This is where the difficulty lies. The problem is not in defying egoism and not in struggling with natural idleness; we do this in corporeal life. The challenge of the spiritual path lies in the fact that it isn’t accomplished by our own effort. My nature cannot be changed by my own effort but only by some hidden force that I must ask to perform this action. That’s where the problem lies.

In fact, if I worked against my egoism alone, I would feel as a hero. Many people feel this way, and our very egoism forces us to defy it if the goal is worthwhile. We are willing to go against our egoism and its yearning for rest since we anticipate reward for our envy, lust, and ambition. However, on the spiritual path, it is necessary to annul the self and ask “something” that is opposite to me or “someone” whom I don’t know to come and reverse my nature.

When it is necessary to unite in order to defeat someone, we do so and return as heroes. However, to unite in order to convince the Creator to correct us or unify us is a huge problem. The issue lies in the fact that the Creator is concealed, and we can’t assess what we are working for and against.

The Major Difficulty of the Spiritual Work

Hence, many people start spiritual work and give up. They cannot overcome this concealment and reconcile with that part of our work which is not up to us. A person has trouble accepting that in order to correct himself, he must ask the invisible force for it. That is why the whole problem is not in our laziness, but the Creator’s concealment.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/24/10, Selected Excerpts For Sukkot

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Expect To Be Healed By The Zohar

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen I read the text of The Zohar, it’s not good if the text conceals the purpose of reading from me. I must constantly check: What exactly do I desire by reading it?

First and foremost, I desire for the reading of The Book of Zohar to reveal my illness: egoism, and then to heal it by helping me acquire the quality of bestowal instead of it. I want to acquire unity with others who aspire to the same goal. This is called the intention before the study.

After preparing the intention or the reason why I read The Book of Zohar, I can then start to read it. If I am consistently able to maintain the intention, then I can allow myself to also listen to the text and its meaning.

This is similar to a sick person who is in a critical state: He reads a medical book only in order to find the remedy. Nothing else interests him! He doesn’t care about the style of the text or the details of the story. He only looks for the remedy (the elixir of life: the Light)!

Therefore, first and foremost we must have the right intention, and after that we can listen to the details about what The Zohar narrates. There is nothing more important than receiving the “medical procedure” because we don’t understand any of the actual story until we enter that state ourselves.

Why then did the authors of The Zohar write all of these stories for us? It was in order for us to make efforts to keep the intention. Only after that, to the extent it is possible, can we allow ourselves to listen to the story while desiring to reveal it through the intention. We have to realize that we are not living these states and don’t understand the text, but we do desire to reveal it and aspire to be inside the state that is being described. Then we can understand the text and connect to it.

My primary desire is to attain the spiritual quality through the right attitude to The Book of Zohar. After that I can pay attention to the text and be sure that I will understand it correctly. This is called “desiring to attain what you study,” as written in Item 155 of “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot.”

The text of The Zohar is the place where I perform my inner work and make the inner discernments regarding where I am. First I must have an intention in relation to the goal, and then a sensation in relation to the text.

We have to feel the depths of the layers of attainment. This is called “Engaging in the Torah and the Commandments,” and “Studying the Torah.”

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/12/10, The Zohar

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From A Virtual Reality To A Spiritual One

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat makes our spiritual stimulator so special is its ability to completely abstract a person from his body (egoism) and all aspects of the material world. The system takes charge of practically everything that in everyday communication acts as an obstruction and prevents us from getting close to others.

It represents some abstract essence, which is not present in any of us, yet at the same time we all try to have it come into existence outside of ourselves, as our common whole. And since this essence is very weak, it is impossible to feel it in ordinary life as we communicate with other people because it is overlapped by our animate egoism, which is much stronger.

However, if we take care of it like it’s a “Tamagotchi” (a virtual electronic pet), if we consider it our common “baby,” then it will grow. At first glance, it is a completely irrational action that contradicts all the logical notions of the person who enters this virtual reality. But as a consequence of our common actions, we, on one hand, create an abstract commonality, and on the other, it influences us intensely and very vividly.

In other words, the force that is behind all our efforts to unite gets accumulated. This force is impossible to recognize, but it will manifest as a reaction to all our efforts. A participant in mutual efforts will individually feel its revelation. An outsider will just shrug in confusion.

It is impossible to explain its revelation to a person logically. However, we can invite everyone to participate and feel it. This is in fact the beginning of the Creator’s revelation.

This is why from the beginning and to this very day, it is so difficult for me to convince people to enter the “stimulator” for the first time and begin to participate in this process. A student needs to go by “faith above reason” in this regard and begin to work regardless of his conviction, doubt, and natural sense of reason.

But even for someone who is not a beginner, obstacles will arise again and again, despite the initial rejection of one’s egoism when he works on unification.

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Who Will Show Me The Truth?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How does a person situated in an isolated capsule of his egoism know what true and false is?

Answer: Now you will understand how greatly the primordial snake helped us, having pushed us to “sin” with the Tree of Knowledge. Specifically, thanks to this revelation of the immense egoistic desire called “the snake” we received an opportunity to ascend from the spiritual degree of an “animal” to that of a “human.”

The difference between the two degrees (the Delta symbol in the drawing) is called “the snake.” If you wish to ascend from one spiritual degree to the next, please go ahead. But you have to work against this snake, against the empty space that he created in you. Yet, if it were not for him, you would have remained an “animal.”

Precisely this force, the force of the egoistic snake in us, cultivates a human in us. All the breaking, sins, and transgressions described in the Torah are useful acts. They are the templates for the evil desires through the correction of which we discover the Creator. An additional desire for ascension is given to us by the “snake,” and its correction comes through the Kabbalah books, the group, the teacher, and dissemination.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/17/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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“Film Developer”- Made Of The Light Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanAny spiritual occurrence in us requires time and development since our egoism is constantly growing in magnitude and quality. Hence, we should think and talk about the emptiness we felt after the recent Mega-Congress.

It is essential to understand why this feeling was given to us! We don’t need to sit and dread our empty existence and lack of strength and desire. This state wasn’t given to us in vain. It is a revelation of new, empty space in us where we have to build the property of Bina. It is a new quality being revealed in us, emerging as a new stage in the four stages of Direct Light.

Spiritual bestowal that used to exist between us has now gone and triggered a new spiritual state. Now we have to discern: What is this new space that emerged within us? We must not let it dissipate; we ought to keep it and start working with it! There isn’t a way to attain bestowal other than to base it on the newly born, empty desire.

An empty space revealed within us and between us is the place where the Creator is revealed (under Zeir Anpin). Now we can fill this space with our intention for bestowal (Hassadim, the property of Bina) and find Him there!

If we fill this empty space with the Light of Hassadim, the Creator will reveal Himself in it like in a photograph dipped into a tub filled with film developer. He is there, in this space; we just need to find Him. If we keep striving to feel Him all together, then we will eventually uncover him. However, we cannot do anything alone. The Creator doesn’t reveal Himself individually, but only through mutual efforts.

We have discovered this empty space together and it belongs to us all even though we may feel that we undergo this state individually. However, it emerged from a collective action, and now we have to work on it together as well. This is what is called “practical Kabbalah.”

These waves that wash over all of us at the same time are a sign of tremendous spiritual progress. It means that the World Kli has come to life like one body that takes collective actions. In this body, new empty spaces are revealed wherein the collective soul will emerge. The time for this is so close!

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabblah Lesson 8/17/10, “The Matter of Fear and Happiness”

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Today’s Families Need A Common Spiritual Foundation

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why are there so many problems in family relations today, and so many people are getting divorced or cannot get married at all?

Answer: Egoism is growing all the time. It is no longer the way it was in previous generations where there was almost no difference between one generation and the next. People continued to live on the same land, in the same village, and the son inherited his father’s profession: If the father was a blacksmith, and the son became a blacksmith; if the father was a farmer, and the son became a farmer too. It was customary to live that way. People passed their clothes from one generation to the next, and so on.

Today a person is new at every given moment! In order to change one does not even need to be reborn. And since a person is new, he cannot stand what he had yesterday. Yesterday I got married to someone, and today when I look at her, I am bewildered. I think, “Is this really the woman I married?! Where is the woman I knew yesterday? Where are her qualities?” I don’t see those qualities today. I fail to realize that the change occurred in me. Meanwhile, I look at her and it seems to me that she has changed, and I am unable to live with her anymore.

No one is at fault here. If our evolving desire does not begin to be corrected, the family will be inevitably destroyed. What foundation should people use to come together? Once we stayed together at the “bodily-social” level: a common household, domestic life, children, chores, and the pressure of public opinion. Yet today no one cares about anything. People have risen above all these limitations; they don’t want anything.

Therefore, people are unable to be in and to create a family, and they don’t want to have children. Problems in the family are escalating and they are impossible to solve if the spouses are not united by the common study of spirituality.

No material activities will keep people together. Only this can save a family, as it is written, “A husband and a wife, and the Creator between them.” We have yet to discover to what extent we require the Upper Force, a higher idea, in order to connect at the level of “man.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

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A Sandstorm Of Our Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Are you saying that the fact that I egoistically use my neighbor right now causes a sandstorm in India?

Answer: Yes! We need to understand that all problems occur due to a lack of connection among us. And this does not mean that by drawing away from you I immediately cause some hurricane that brings sand. However, by being in opposition to you, I bring disparity into the balance of forces in nature.

All the forces of nature exist in unity, interconnection, balance, and universal harmony. That is, except for the human being whose growing egoism and unwillingness to consider others turns us into an active negative element which disrupts the balance of all the forces (of still, vegetative, and animate nature). The solution to the problem is to become an integral part of nature, like all its other parts.

We reveal that the world is in unity and complete interconnection; it exists as a locked system where everyone is connected to each other. This means that we are obliged to unite as “one man with one heart.”

You could object to this and say that we are incapable of this. However, there is the science of Kabbalah and by utilizing it we rouse the force of unification. Humanity will inevitably reach this conclusion, and we are already close to it. If we have already entered this period, from now on everything will occur very quickly.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

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Spiritual Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is spiritual pleasure? Is it simply very intense enjoyment or something completely different?

Answer: The only difference between corporeal and spiritual pleasure lies in which desires I experience it: egoistic or altruistic. My egoistic desires of reception are limited. They gradually reveal their own emptiness, and I am forced to seek greater pleasure. As a result, I am never satisfied.

I have tried to fill myself with pleasure but failed since pleasure is a “plus” and I am a “minus.” When I attempt to receive pleasure, I only gain temporary satisfaction which resembles a “short-circuit” as it quickly dissolves leaving me empty again, and then the feeling of emptiness is twice as great. It has doubled because the pleasure I so eagerly sought has gone, forming the sensation of emptiness in addition to the emptiness I had felt before. So it follows that I’m always at a double loss. As a result, we evolve in our world from generation to generation, augmenting our empty egoism.

Yet nowadays a new problem arises. The ego that once grew, bringing me a sensation of emptiness, stopped growing. Logically this should have made me content, but I feel that I have nothing to gain pleasure from now. This new problem is worse than the previous one since there is no hope for fulfillment. Beside that, I feel that egoism is integral, representing the sum of all seven billion individual, egoistic desires. I discover that I depend on everyone, and everyone depends on me. For this reason, I find that I don’t know what to do with it, which drives me to extreme desperation.

During this period, a person might find solace in drugs, which only postpones the realization of the total crisis for some time. Yet, even this “solution” expires for it makes a person aware that this path is false, and that to disconnect from life means to agree with death. But nature does not allow it! We are faced with the question, “What to do next?” And the answer lies in transitioning from “pleasure from reception” to “pleasure from bestowal.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/6/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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