Entries in the 'egoist' Category

When Pharaoh’s Questions Overcome Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What should we tell ourselves when Pharaoh’s questions overcome us?

Answer: A religious person does not suffer from these questions, he is content by the fact that he receives knowledge by studying the Torah. However, a person who studies Kabbalah constantly checks: Why am I doing this, where am I, and when will I reach the purpose of creation? That is, one exists in a constant state of inner analysis.

The environment that surrounds him also exists within the same circumstances, the same scrutiny, and it influences him. In addition, the environment is not just comprised of people that directly surround him, but of thousands of people all over the world that study Kabbalah and think in one direction. They all move synchronously, as though they are swept up by a powerful wind or by waves of a tsunami that approach one after another.

Therefore, these questions emerge in every person: “Who is this Creator, and why should I listen to His voice? Who am I doing all this for? What does this work give me?” That is, why am I doing all of this? Is it in order to reach bestowal? But what will that do for me?

These questions come from Pharaoh, our ego, and they are very fair and correct. It is written in The Book of Zohar that Pharaoh was smarter than everyone, and the greatest wisdom was accumulated in Egypt. Pharaoh personifies the whole spiritual vessel, the whole desire that was created by the Creator. Therefore, when the Creator wishes to draw the person (Moses and the nation of Israel) closer to Himself, He says: “Let’s go to Pharaoh!” Where else would a person get the desire to reveal who he is? Only from Pharaoh. The Creator says: “I will go with you Myself.”

It is like they have no choice. They need to turn to Pharoah, to get the strength from the egoistic desire since without it advancement is impossible. Where else would they get this wisdom? Only from Pharaoh, from the Light of wisdom, the Light of Hochma that exists in these desires.

Therefore, it is good that Pharaoh’s questions emerge in us. We just need to work with them.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/3/10, Article, “These are the Generations of Noah”

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Development Is Impossible Without Mistakes

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: It is difficult to tear ourselves away from our current state and bring ourselves into the hands of the environment in order to rise to the next degree. Is there some other way that this can this be done?

Answer: This is the only way to ascend the spiritual ladder! It seems to you that the spiritual world is something opposite to nature. However, this is not the case. We are part of nature, and by following the advice of Kabbalists, we act according to the laws that exist in it.

From a higher degree, which emanates Light and brings about darkness, the two opposites, the Light and desire, become revealed. They come and develop from there according to their nature: One is giving, while the other is receiving. In this manner, these two attributes of bestowal and reception spread out from Above downward, intertwined together, until they reach us. In turn, we study how we are arranged according to this two-fold nature (the double helix of spiritual DNA) and how we can ascend by these natural degrees.

So do not look for some other ways. Kabbalists describe indisputable facts that exist in nature. Whether we like it or not, we will be forced to accept them. After all, one who does not follow the laws of nature will be punished by suffering.

An animal, contrary to a human being, never makes mistakes since it is a part of nature and cannot act against it. Meanwhile, a human being is the only creature that has egoism. Yet, egoism raises us above nature. The inanimate, vegetative, and animate parts merge with nature. They cannot think, desire, or act otherwise. There is an additional level above them called “human.” This level is opposite to the Upper nature, meaning to the Creator.

And egoism is the source of all our mistakes and transgressions. It is created precisely for the purpose of showing us our opposition to the Creator. Our whole problem is: What do we do with the degree of “human” in us? The whole potential of our development above the natural level is instilled in it.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/2/10, Article, “The Matter of Truth and Faith”

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Reception Inside, Bestowal Outside

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is written: “I created the evil inclination and the Torah as a remedy for its correction for the Light in it Reforms.” On one hand, I collect my egoism, my evil; on the other, from the Creator, I take the force of bestowal, the Light. From these two components, I construct my new form called “man,” Adam, who is “similar” (from the Hebrew word “Domeh”) to the Creator. Inside this form resides my egoism; however, on the outside, it is equivalent to bestowal. In other words, I am reception on the inside and bestowal on the outside.

Therefore, my action is called “reception for the sake of bestowal,” and my work is in the three lines: right, left, and middle. The right and the left lines descend from Above, from the Creator, whereas the middle line ascends from below upward, from man to the Creator. The left line is represented by “I created the evil inclination,” the right line by “I have created the Torah as the remedy for its correction,” and the middle line by “for the Light in it Reforms.” Then, one becomes as good as the Creator. “I am good and do good, and so do you. Hence, you will be called ‘man,’ meaning ‘similar’ to the Creator.”

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/30/10, The Zohar

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Studying Yourself From The Side

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is freedom and freedom from what? How do we achieve it if both the corporeal and the spiritual worlds are defined by rigid laws?

Answer: The only freedom that exists is freedom from our egoism. I want the Upper Light to descend, take me over, and replace my egoism. I perceive the power of egoism or altruism over me as necessary: It is either one or the other.

There are only two types of nature: the nature of the lower one (reception) and the nature of the Upper One (bestowal). Both are preset, and function in accordance with invariable laws. The only free action we are able to take is to rise from one nature (egoistic) to the other (altruistic). In other words, we can break free from the power of the laws of egoism (reception) and transcend to the “jurisdiction” of bestowal.

Studying Yourself From Aside We will not be able to evaluate even our own initial nature until we acquire the second, altruistic nature. We are currently locked within a single dimension, and for as long as we remain in it, we cannot comprehend it.

Look how often we err! For thousands of years, we developed within our egoistic nature, and we still do not know it. This is because we are locked inside it, but in order to understand it, we need to have something opposite to compare it with.

If we possessed an opposite nature (that of bestowal), we would be able to compare it with our egoism and thereby comprehend what reception and bestowal mean. However, in our world, there is nothing but receiving. Whatever we do, we do it solely for our own sake and benefit. This is why we cannot understand our own actions and how this world operates.

You see that humankind continues making mistakes, and doesn’t know what further direction to take. And now that we have reached the peak of egoism, our complete inability to understand this world is obvious. This fact pushes us to the realization that none of us has a choice but to transcend our egoistic nature.

Moreover, in order to simply live well within the boundaries of our egoism, we need to step out of it and study it from above. It is impossible to learn about an object while remaining within its bounds. We have to be above it in order to be able to study it. Only if we rise above ourselves can we learn who we are and what the right way to live is, at least in this world. This is what today’s global crisis is pushing us toward.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/25/10, Shamati #99

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Getting Ahead Of Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: You spoke repeatedly about our tendency to run away from spirituality long before actually nearing it. In other words, our egoism pulls us away from the spiritual state by taking certain steps back. How can we avoid erring and go against the ego?

My Answer: You need to prepare yourself ahead of time. When it is already happening, nothing helps. The ego tricks and entices you anyway. You need to secure yourself beforehand, constantly. It is similar to a mountain climber that is tied onto one person and that person is linked to another person, and so on. This mutual interconnection is essential.

On our path, a person can lose his grip at any second. Without this link to the others, he falls into a chasm and then needs to climb back up. A whole life can be wasted on this. This is why one may fail to reach spirituality or advance through the spiritual 125 degrees within his lifetime.

Everything is arranged in a very precise, logical, and proper manner. It is nature’s law. There is no pampering from the Creator’s side, where He says "Oh, you are so small, I love you, I will do everything for you…" No, this doesn’t exist. The force of bestowal and the force of reception are in opposition to each other. One needs to find the right interconnection between them and act precisely. This is a law.

It is not like our world, where we adjust somehow and create unnatural conditions for ourselves. There is no mercifulness in nature according to our understanding of this term. Our understanding of mercifulness is receiving what we don’t deserve. However, this is inaccurate. Why should it be so? Is it because you’re so beautiful?

Therefore, if we understood nature’s essence and how we should behave with regard to it, we would truly succeed. We would justify the Creator’s actions instead of expecting mercy. We should study nature’s laws and carry them out precisely within ourselves. Then there will be no problems. We will see how perfect and eternal it is and that we will become like it.

Question (continued): So what is the solution? How can one prepare himself ahead of time?

My Answer: Only by being connected to others. This condition has been assigned to us. Only the state of a mutual guarantee can help. It is just like mountain climbers. Only you and I together can reach the goal. In other words, I need to think about you and myself equally. I need to worry about each of your actions just like I do about my own.

Question (continued): With mountain climbers, it is obvious: if someone falls, it’s possible to actually see it. But here, it is different. You return to the tastefulness of this world all the time, and it makes you happy.

My Answer: This also falls under the same program of a mutual guarantee, a mutual realization that we advance in this state and need to hold each other. We need to realize this.

A person should be concerned with what happens to others because otherwise he will not reach the goal. Then, under the influence of the Upper Light, you acquire such a sensation with regard to them that they become more important than you. Just like in our world, when you begin to care for someone else’s child, this child becomes important to you and you begin to love him. This is the influence of the Upper Light.

Try it, and you’ll see.

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Break Free From The Grip Of Deception

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: What kind of game is it?  Is it to perceive the friends as the greatest?

My Answer: It is not a game; it is breaking through the concealment. My egoism conceals me from the others and the others from me: It doesn’t allow me to see the entire World of Infinity. Right now I am in the World of Infinity, but what I see is quite a gloomy picture. My egoism paints a picture of ugly, stupid, lazy, lying people. But in reality, it is all wrong; this picture resides in me within my egoism. If my own children, whom I love dearly, were next to me right now, how would I view them? They would look perfect to me because “love redeems all sins.” I would still love them with all their flaws.

Only my ego is to blame; I see nothing beyond it. In the back of my brain, I have a screen. I seem to view the world through my eyes, but it enters through the prism of my egoism and is projected on the screen in my brain. Everything depends on my attitude, and how I attune myself to see it. So, I have to attune myself to the group in such a way that I see them all as the greatest people of this generation, completely corrected.

Is it a game? No, it is simply annulling the deception of the ego. It is a rational act. Beyond me, there is the World of Infinity, and I already reside in it, right now. If you peel off all the shells (Klipot), which distort the World of Infinity to this mediocre, inverted state, you will perceive Infinity.

First, try to pretend. Let’s make an effort. Try to see us as fully corrected, big, and united. Through this action, we will draw a very strong Surrounding Light, and it will correct our nature. Instead of egoism, we will attain bestowal. This is a very simple principle, and it is absolutely real; there is no mysticism here. We are trying, through our own effort, to see ourselves in the corrected state, and in that degree, we will receive an inner strength, which is contained in this corrected system. Our desire pushes it to act. These are the practical actions toward correction.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/10/10, “The Importance of the Association

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Leave Your Donkeys To Graze Below

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order for me to cancel myself before the group, I need to see my friend’s merits and not his flaws. I need to see the spiritual, divine point in him:

1. Indeed, the Creator wants him!

2. He is special and great because there is a part of the Creator within him.

3. He has been chosen to be my partner on the spiritual path. When the Creator created him, He knew that I would be able to attain Him only with this friend.

Everyone’s flaws are the “donkey” (matter) that remains down below. But my friend’s flaws don’t matter to me because he works on canceling his evil inclination in the same way as I cancel mine. Only his point in the heart matters to him. All the other corporeal qualities were made by the Creator, and we want to rise with our point in the heart above the desires of the entire heart, our entire “donkey.”

All other qualities of my friend don’t interest me and seem to not exist; I only see this spiritual point within him. It is specifically with this point that I need to unite and not with his “donkey.” It is the same for him with respect to me. This is why we can’t have any problems with each others’ egoism; we simply don’t take it into consideration nor do we work with it. We are building a net using only our points in the heart.

Those who see themselves above others will not be able to unite with them. And how can it be that someone is above others, when everyone only has a point in the heart and nothing else? Our “donkeys” can differ from one another, for example, one is stronger, another is weaker. But the points can’t have any differences; all the elements are equally important in the spiritual because perfection can’t exist without each and every one of them.

I am looking at my friend and I see his corporeal body, his “donkey,” but there is a point in the heart within him. It is not an internal organ; it is a divine part from Above! There is a part of the Creator in you, and I strive towards Him with such might I want to grab on to Him and feel Him!  And all of this is within you. There is no single other place where I could meet with the Creator. Only through creating a connection with these points inside my friends can I meet with the Creator.

I don’t have another opportunity to contact Him. He will only reveal Himself if I grab on to your point in the heart, and his, and his, and…. When I hang on to these points in the heart and cancel myself before them, it means that I am canceling myself before the Creator.

It doesn’t matter that you yourself have not yet been corrected and that you are an egoist. When I cancel myself before your point in the heart, I unite with the element of bestowal, the authentic part of the Creator within you. Thus I unite with the Creator.

The spiritual is right here, between us, and not in some other place, some other world. I can clearly feel this spiritual Kli; the fact that we don’t feel it is our psychological problem.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/20/10, Article, “Purpose of Society”

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The Flip-Flopping Heart

Laitman_131The only freedom of choice we have lies in our desire for spirituality or more precisely the point in the heart, which we can raise above all the other desires. As soon as I raise the point in the heart above the whole heart (egoistic desires) and aim myself directly toward the Creator (become “Isra-El”), my heart immediately begins to turn, swell, and increase in size. I experience this as feeling a descent, whereby spirituality ceases to be important for me and nothing shines; there is only darkness.

The turning heart

This indicates that the point in the heart is already, again, situated below the desires of the heart and that egoism has risen above it. Again, I begin to work in order to escape these desires and to elevate the spiritual point above them. However, as soon as I do this, once more my heart receives an additional heaviness. In this manner their mutual importance flips around.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/10/10, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar

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Who Is Pulling Us By The String?

Laitman_069_01In the News (From Northeastern University): Human behavior is 93 percent predictable, a group of leading Northeastern University network scientists recently found. Distinguished Professor of Physics Albert-László Barabási and his team studied the mobility patterns of anonymous cell-phone users and concluded that, despite the common perception that our actions are random and unpredictable, human mobility follows surprisingly regular patterns.

My Comment: Our individuality manifests only at the time of the Creator’s revelation within us, that is, when we start building His image within us. Indeed, it is the only new and free individual action. Beside this, everything is simply preprogrammed by the desire to receive pleasure (egoism), which acts only according to the principle of “maximum reception with minimum effort.”

Therefore, all our actions could be predicted beforehand. For that reason, Kabbalah calls us “animals.” We become “people” by realizing our only freedom of choice – in exiting egoism and becoming similar to the Creator.

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The Protective Shield Of Bina

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe World of Atzilut is separated from the Worlds of BYA by a special screen called Parsa. This is not just the end of one world and the beginning of another, but a special shield the World of Atzilut has from the lower worlds, separating them and not enabling them to connect.

The protective shield has the quality of Bina, the quality of bestowal, mercy. If anyone wishing to receive approaches this boundary from below, the sensation of this quality throws him back because he is an egoist.

This is how all the qualities of Bina operate (such as Noah’s Ark, womb, city walls, and the letter Samech). They indicate what is spirituality: that it is “for the sake of bestowal.” That’s why a person who is an egoist runs away from it if he is not ready for it.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/29/10, Beit Shaar HaKaVanot

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