Entries in the 'freedom of will' Category

Why Fight A Kind Embrace?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why did the Creator set up such a cruel joke: There wasn’t a drop of rain for a very long time, which resulted in a horrible fire, but as soon as people put it out by making unfathomable efforts, the very next day a heavy rain came down that only interfered with agricultural work? If the Creator controls everything, why didn’t He send the rain sooner?

Answer: Along the same lines, you could ask: Why did He cause the fire to happen to us? After all, what would be the point of igniting a fire and then sending rain in order to put it out immediately? If I love someone, I won’t beat him up in order to then be nice to him.

Clearly, everything comes from the Creator. As soon as the airplanes put out the fire, the rain immediately began, and this happened on purpose in order to teach us something.

The Creator ignites the fire and He also puts it out, while we have to learn from this and draw conclusions. We are inside a system that is entirely governed by the Upper Light and nothing can come out from its power, as it is written, “The hearts of the ministers and kings are completely in the hands of the Creator.”

All of nature is the Creator, and there is no freedom of will there. Our freedom lies only in our attitude to what it happening.

If I adopt a different attitude, then will the fire happen or not? Your attitude will change your reality or the way you perceive it.

Instead of perceiving Upper Light that comes in the form of harshness (Gvurot), as a consuming fire, you will feel it as the warmth of love. This depends only on your attitude: Do you love it or hate it?

Imagine that the person you hate most in the world is now hugging you. You will turn to ice, horrified by this embrace. And now think of how different it would be if you were hugging a person you loved.

The only thing that comes to us from the Creator is love and Light, but we do not feel it and cannot accept it. From Above there is always Light coming to us, wishing to fill the common desire of the whole world and the entire universe overall. This Light methodically advances this desire to the goal, to equivalence of form with itself.

If the creation below organizes itself in the appropriate manner, then it will feel a good attitude from Above. And if it doesn’t, then it will feel the reverse.

Everything depends only on you! Nothing changes from Above. Even when we say that we can change something with our prayer, that we can raise MAN and receive a response from Above, MAD, which brings us Light and returns us to the Source and changes us, none of this affects the influence of the Upper Light in the slightest. The Light constantly comes to creation, leading it to the final goal.

All the changes take place only relative to our sensation. No matter what, the train is moving forward and nothing can stop it or slow it down.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/7/10, “A Handmaid that is Heir to Her Mistress”

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We Have Received The Opportunity To Ascend

Dr. Michael LaitmanFreedom of will lies only in strengthening our environment so that it influences every one. This is in our hands. There is absolutely nothing else that we are able to change in this life.

You entered the Convention hall and felt a powerful tension. This is because a common desire that was there influenced you. Everyone burned with an enormous desire to reach the might that would enable us to make a leap up, and this affected you.

So, why are you not able to organize your environment so it would influence you the same way now? There are many thousands of people participating in the daily lesson with us, so why are we not able to influence one another?

We have the same connection, and we are in the same common field. Does it matter that much that we are not sitting in the same hall, in the same physical space? Is this the only problem? Why do we lack that common joy and enormous happiness?

We simply lack preparation. Several months before the Convention, we all waited for this day with hope, fear, trepidation, and worry. We read and listened about it, memorized special songs. We all prepared ourselves for this event.

It took an enormous amount of money, time, and physical effort. Of course, when all of this gathered in one place and exploded at the same time, it led to an impressive result. Everyone who was there as well as those who followed this event behind a screen received this strong impression. Why are we not able to continue the same way?

We achieved this degree, this elevation of the spirit, with our common work from below (Itaruta de Letata, awakening from below), and now it is ours. We bought it; we paid for it. So, why are we not able to hold on to our possession?

We need to remember that we have kept this attainment after the Convention because “one is elevated, not lowered in spirituality.” Everything I have attained is now mine, but now I am being swamped with a new, uncorrected desire that obstructs anything that happened previously because it reveals a new height to which I need to rise. I need to regard this new mountain as a means to ascend.

So, let us understand what happened to us. We did not fall; we acquired an opportunity to ascend. Then, we will see a precise goal before us, and we will simply need to combine our strength. After all, this is the only action that can enable us to ascend, only through joining together.

We unite even more strongly in the group, and this will mean that we are ascending. The Light lifts me; I myself do not need to do anything. I just need to connect with others more strongly than ever. Then, the Light will lift me to a new height, a new degree.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/23/10, “Body and Soul”

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By Changing Yourself, You Change Reality

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe point in the heart, which has no form or direction, is similar to my spiritual “stem” cell, from which I can freely build myself up. It is the end of the rope thrown to me from the final state that I must reach. Grounded in it, I can now build everything else around it by exercising my free will.

All reality is divided into me and the external world. And if I know how to use the external reality correctly, I can change myself, thereby realizing my free will. Freedom lies solely in the ability to change oneself and not the world! The world is just the imprint of my properties.

I only need to know how to correct my properties, how to change the combination of these initial, natural qualities in me. To do this, I am given a “Kli” (an instrument), a lever, a “crane” that I can use to turn myself upside down and lift myself up! Then, the entire reality will change. I see that everything is different now, as if I were born into a new world.

So, do I replace my view of reality or the reality itself? I change the reality! After all, reality is what resides within my perceptions.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/26/10, “The Freedom”

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Becoming The Producer Of Your Own Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If I am the one who creates and projects the film of my own life, this entire reality, then why do people create unpleasant films for themselves?

Answer: Creating a film is not yet in your power. You cannot yet be a producer. You need to rule over your desire, the Light, and be able to determine exactly how they can vary according to strict laws and not just the way you want them to. This way, you gradually build a better reality.

This is your only freedom of choice, and this is exactly why we study the wisdom of Kabbalah. Until you gain power over the film of your reality, the Creator is in charge of it in order to obligate you to create your own film. This is why our entire life and all our reincarnations are meant to “inspire” us to make the proper film, an authentic one, not an imaginary one.

This is what makes the perception of reality in the wisdom of Kabbalah so interesting. It is because this is neither a theoretical study nor a scholastic discussion, but a special method which I can use to really change my world, to escape to different dimensions, as it were.
From Kabbalah for Beginners, “Perception of Reality” 10/26/10

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Am I Not Too Old For All This?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I am worried. We just read about the state at Mount Sinai and different types of concern. Soon, I will turn 60. You once said that people’s age in the story of the giving of the Torah was from 20 to 60 and emphasized these numbers. Does it mean that I am going to be thrown off the train?

Answer: It isn’t up to us when we will awaken to spirituality, to the awareness of the importance of Arvut (mutual responsibility or guarantee), to worrying about our spiritual state and about switching from caring about ourselves to caring about others, about the Creator. All these spiritual degrees are concealed and depend on the development of many souls. We cannot say yet why everything occurs the way it does.

Next to you sit twenty year olds. Later, you will discover that according to the root of your soul, your current state is the optimal state for your spiritual development. The fact that right now you are concerned about going in the right direction and about the purpose of this world means that it is the most beneficial state for you and it cannot be otherwise. Now, everything depends on you, on how you will realize the calling from Above by exercising your freedom of will.
From Kabbalah for Beginners, “What is Mutual Concern” 10/13/10

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Free And Compulsory Participation

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The law of the system is total reciprocity. What practical instructions does this law give to each person?

Answer: Since it is a unified, integral, and global system, every part of it must take into account this law and comply with it in its actions. Every individual has to understand and absorb this system, feeling that he is responsible for establishing it to the extent that he has been given free will.

Freedom of choice is the part that I must independently establish in the system and advance in this manner until everyone, on their 125 rungs, discovers more and more of their own free will which is the measure of one’s free and compulsory participation in the system that one establishes from his part.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/15/10, “The Arvut”

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Become The Prime Minister Of The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I don’t understand: What is the freedom that we must attain?

Answer: Our freedom amounts to attaining the desire for bestowal that will fill us with infinite enjoyment. The goal is to achieve the most comfortable state of existence, although it requires us to first change and correct ourselves.

The Creator, Who is Good that does good, wished to create a being in order to bestow pleasure to it. And He will give this pleasure to us! Yet, like a little child, I dream only about one thing: that my parents would give me a bicycle for a present. For me, it is the greatest dream, but my parents fear that I will ride on a dangerous highway between the cars. Instead of buying me a bicycle, they wish to teach me to play the violin. Do you see the difference?

Similarly, the Creator wants us to “play the violin,” but we want a “bicycle” for our egoism to ride. Yet, when we make our desire as His, change ourselves and realize that to play the violin is the greatest joy, then we attain all the pleasure prepared for us by Him. After all, the Creator placed enjoyment in the “violin,” not in the “bicycle,” and I will have to change my desire for I have no choice. However, as a result, I will attain pleasure as conceived in the plan of creation.

My reward in this world is to gradually build for myself the necessary environment. I seek and discern which environment is needed to advance me to the example that the Creator gave me, and by doing so, I construct myself. From all the opportunities given to me, I build myself a “wrapper” that I can dress in.

A person creates for himself a new world, his next spiritual degree. He doesn’t simply give himself into the hands of the Upper One, permitting Him to do anything He desires. Rather, he has to know precisely what kind of person he wants to become, by way of which forces and influences. He creates himself and his entire world anew.

It is the kind of freedom that makes you the Creator. You start to understand all of nature’s components and to assemble them like a new puzzle game every time according to your opinion and advancement to the form of the Creator. You are constructing this world. This free choice grants you new desires and instruments of perception. By building it, you get to understand and know the Creator, His Upper force, the program of creation, and its laws that everybody follows. Hence, you can control it all.

It turns out that you are in place of the Creator and are governing everything. By inviting this force to govern you, you accept it, and with its help, you rule the world. It will be you, and your free will is the foundation for it. You are not the one who is governed anymore, but the governor. To do this, we just need to find out what our freedom is.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/15/10, “The Freedom”

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How to Change One’s Destiny?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Answer: By exercising your free will you can change your destiny any way you want, turn it in any direction, a full 360 degrees. But you can only do it if you know for sure where you need to influence your fate, meaning which tiny hole you need to use to affect all the worlds, all the way to the World of Infinity. You have an opportunity to do this, but it is very narrow.

It is specifically this opportunity that we need to clarify. And after we clarify it, we discover that we want to act specifically in this direction.

There is an entire world around me, which connects with another, perfect world through a thin straw. I am at the bottom with my properties and strengths, my freedom of will is in the straw, and the perfect world is above.

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Please go ahead, enter the perfect world! You only need to find the tiny opening, the point of your freedom, among all the directions toward which your desire throws you. And once you discover the opening, how can you concentrate all your strengths into one action in order to go through it into the Upper World?

This is what the entire wisdom of Kabbalah is about! Instead of scattering your forces in all directions where you lack the freedom of will and where everything is predetermined, you find this path of your free choice, gather your strength, and then you reach the spiritual world.

Then you understand that fulfilling the condition of the mutual guarantee, love for the created beings, is exactly the same as meeting the condition of advancement into the Upper World. This is because mutual guarantee is another definition of the same formula that directs you to the exit out of this world, into the passage, and birth in the Upper World.

Naturally, we change our destiny this way. After all, you acquire the free point that Archimedes spoke about when he said: “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.”
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/12/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Where Is Our Freedom?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBefore you enter the group, you have the freedom of choice to enter it. After you enter it, you have just one choice: to strengthen your connection with the group. You must decide for yourself that this is your free choice, and you must always continue doing this. Therein lies your freedom!

Freedom is not when I do something I want, but when I continuously add my efforts to this connection. We don’t have any freedom of will in any other regard; everything else will happen automatically.

This is a very important principle. I don’t have any freedom in my entire life. I am a complete puppet. There is freedom of choice only in one regard: After the Creator brings me to the group and gives me a spark in my heart, I have one single freedom: to include myself in the group, to grab onto it with my hands and teeth as much as possible.

Once you "latch on" to the group correctly, you depend on it, on the influence of the environment, and you don’t have freedom in this regard. So where are you free? You are free inasmuch as you add your own effort to strengthen your connection with the environment in spite of your egoism. You thereby increase your dependence on the environment and its influence on you. There is no other freedom but this!

This is the mutual guarantee and we must always add more and more principles to it including love for friends, love for the neighbor, and your justifying them by faith above reason. Everything is inside this freedom of will, this approach by which I attain the goal.

The rest of my life unfolds according to a specific "script." You can even go to a fortuneteller who will be able to tell your future. You can predict everything in advance besides the one thing that belongs to your freedom of will. Everything else is driven by "blind" faith.

It is forbidden to predict the future because then a person might think that he has freedom of will in his regular life. However, if you know that there are no free actions, then the future becomes revealed to you. Yet, you can never reveal the future that relates to your freedom of choice because it depends on you.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/12/10, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Are We Free People Or Just Cogs In A Machine?

Dr. Michael LaitmanFreedom of will is the most important topic because it poses the main question of our lives: Are we absolutely controlled from Above like any other part of nature? We see that everything operates under the governance from Above, meaning the governance of Nature (the Creator). There is nothing beyond Nature. We can discern the governing force in some actions, but in others, their governing force is concealed from us.

When we are young, we think we master our own lives, but as we mature and acquire life experience, we come to understand that it is life that controls us, and not the other way around. Indeed, where is the possibility for freedom of will when we discover strict and constant laws operating on all levels of nature: physical, chemical, and biological? And if there is a place where we do not see a law, it means that we haven’t yet revealed it as opposed to there being no law that operates with absolute certainty.

How can there remain an uncontrolled part of nature that wouldn’t be affected by any law? This is simply impossible! In all places where we reveal nature, we discover a strict regularity.

Then what is freedom of choice? Is it a possibility to do as I please without being subject to a deterministic law of nature? Where can freedom of choice come from? Can there be a white spot in nature that doesn’t comply?

It turns out that all of our apparent freedom is an illusion of a small child left to play in his room under strict supervision, yet thinking that he is free. That is, free will is explained only by our ignorance. And is this what we call freedom? Then what is man? Another part of nature completely controlled from Above without even being aware of it? If we are nothing but puppets, then we neither do good nor bad. What can be expected of me when everything I do follows the law?

All the things I suddenly wish to do are natural instincts that manipulate and control me from both inside and outside. There can neither be reward nor punishment if we are just ordinary “cogwheels” in creation. But what is the meaning of it all, if the entire existence is a prepackaged game?

It means first and foremost that we need to figure out whether we still have any freedom of will, and where it lies. After all, if there really is a choice here, then it is possible to either score very well or lose everything.

Therefore, freedom of will is the main theme in Kabbalah because it is the beginning of the next stage: whether we have freedom, and if so, how and where can I use it to the maximum benefit.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/8/10, “The Freedom”

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