Entries in the 'light' Category

Crime, Punishment, And The Light Of Correction

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If “there is none else beside Him” and everything is done only by Him, then why am I considered to be a sinner?

Answer: When the evil becomes revealed to me for the first time, this is not yet considered to be my sin. However, if after having discovered an evil desire within, I still plan on using it, now this goes on my account. When this happens for the second time, it is considered to be a sin. It is like repeatedly tasting the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. However, it is only when this happens for the third time that I am considered to be a real sinner. The second time is only the revelation that I exist in evil.

Let’s say, I committed a crime, but this was my very first time. Even courts take this into consideration as extenuating circumstances. I am given a light punishment as a warning to help me never do anything like this again. In other words, I am given the force of correction.

However, when, regardless of the correction that I am given in accordance with the transgression, I still repeat the crime because the criminal desire that awakens in me is even greater than the punishment or fear of a crime, this means that I have really sinned.

When I transgress for the first time, the magnitude of my evil is revealed to me. For now, this is not called a sin. The second time, I reveal how big of a crime against the Creator it is, and I am given a punishment for it that is slightly greater than the sin.

Crime, Punishment, and the Light

If I now reveal this kind of desire in me for the third time, and the desire is even bigger than before, then this difference is called "the evil inclination" because it is in it that I go against the Creator. This is the force of the Pharaoh within me. Now, this is a real sin. It is there where I need to repent and ask for forgiveness. Now I am undoubtedly a sinner.

The first time is merely the creation of a vessel (the desire). The second time is the evaluation of my sin. While the third time is the true crime, it is only as the result of this crime that the appeal for correction appears.

However, the most important part is that all of this is only possible through the Surrounding Light which comes in the form of a “group” or the connection within which the Creator exists. This means that “Israel (one who strives toward the Creator), Torah (the Light of correction), and the Creator are one."

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/14/10, “Preparation for the Reception of Torah”

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Wishing You A Good Record In The Book Of Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanKlipat Noga is a state of “half good/half evil,” and it’s a very fragile and stressful state. It is as though a person is standing on the edge between performing a grave crime or, on the contrary, a very good deed should he receive help. However, he swings back and forth unable to lean one way or the other. It’s as though he is split in two without the strength to perform a final choice, not knowing on which side of the scale to place a final, determining grain.

On one hand, he is unable to reject his ego which is the enormous desire to enjoy and his entire egoistic “possession.” On the other, he understands that if he does not free himself from it now with help from Above, he won’t be able to pass to the other side and enter the spiritual world. In this manner, he stands on the threshold not knowing on which side to step. He is like a knight at a crossroads. This is a state where one needs to make a choice.

Here, only the group, only the Upper Light can help a person finally make up his mind and pass himself over to the hands of the Upper One, transitioning to bestowal through faith above reason. The prayer here is not about help since this would mean that a person has already made a decision. The prayer is about the state in which he is unable to choose. This state is the beginning of the year or the beginning of a new change.

On one hand, we feel that we are wicked, and on the other, we lack the strength to reject all these egoistic qualities and states. We are unable to imagine how it is possible to live without them or how to make a step in order to rise above it. Only the Upper Light that comes to us during this state helps us make a choice and elevates us to faith above reason (bestowal over reception). It is then that the New Year begins for us, and this is called “a good record in the Book of Life.”

The Upper Light, the Creator, puts His signature in the book of life for us and guarantees to a person that from now on that person will proceed by the good path. Before this, one should do all that is in his power to bring himself to this choice. The direct translation of a “New Year (Rosh Hashanah)” is a “beginning of changes” or a “head of changes.” They need to occur often for us and always be for the better: toward the Creator who is “good and does good.”

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/8/10, “Letter 67”

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Do Not Lose The Point Of Adhesion

Dr. Michael LaitmanHad we been corrected in the World of Infinity, all the influences from Above (from the worst to the best of them as felt in our desire to receive pleasure or our matter) would not change our attitude toward the Creator in the least. This is because our desire would be under the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph), under the screen, in bestowal, or the Reflected Light.

Then, we would use all the states that we go through, from enormous fulfillment up to total emptiness, with the sole purpose of justifying the Creator, of glorifying, honoring, and thanking Him. This is because in these various states ranging from emptiness to fulfillment, He gives us an opportunity to determine our attitude toward Him as something that is independent from what we receive from Him, without any connection with our desire to receive pleasure or our sensation in it.

As a result, we would only thank Him for the opportunity to rise above our desire, our nature, in faith (bestowal) above reason (fulfillment), in “bestowing in order to bestow” (Galgalta ve Eynaim or GE) and in “receiving in order to bestow” (GE plus AHPAwzen, Hotem, Peh). This way, we would accept all states for a single purpose: to use them in order to feel Infinity in each state.

That is, we would have a completely corrected intention regardless of the measure of fulfillment and sensation in the desire, from absolute void and tremendous suffering to complete fulfillment which shifts one’s entire attention from the Creator to one’s self. If we corrected ourselves to such a degree, we would be in the World of Infinity.

We determine our rung on the spiritual ladder in relation to complete correction, the World of Infinity. We do so according to our ability to justify the states He gives us, to exist above the sensation that we feel in our desire, to hold the intention, and be in connection with Him, the Giver, in order to become similar to Him based on any sensations.

The Creator gave us a point of adhesion with Him. However, to counterbalance it, He also created in us the desire to receive pleasure, and He is constantly increasing it. This desire annuls the point of adhesion. Yet, we have to use the desire that pushes us away from adhesion and to increase the connection with the Creator precisely with its help. This is how we advance.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/6/10, “And Jacob Went Out”

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We Are Infinities Joined In A Circle

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If a person doesn’t exist apart from others, then why do each of us have a sensation that reality is created for him and that the Creator relates to him personally?

Answer: This is a degree of exclusiveness that each of us possesses. It comes to us from the Creator and constitutes our roots that make us different from each other. It obligates each of us to implement our uniqueness, as it is true that “the world is created for me.” This is what every person has to enunciate and validate to himself. However, it should not be done at the “expense” of others, but rather for the sake of others.

I am the one who corrects this world; other people are only parts of me. This fact obligates me to treat others as though they depend on me. I have to unite with them through the power of my love, and I am the one who defines it.

When my point connects with their points, I become their “head,” meaning the head of a body that is called the “common soul.” It is me who is making decisions, creating connections, and filling them with the Creator’s Light because for them I represent the source or the Creator. There is somebody else, and it’s you. You are the one who does the same thing in connecting other people (including me) to you. You, too, become a head of our universal body, but it’s a different body because, in your case, it is identified by your proper attitude to others.

We Are Infinities
Thus, each of us is a unique personality and doesn’t encumber others, but rather complements them. You sense the Creator’s personal attitude, but He can relate to you only through the group. Similarly, you relate to Him only through the group.

The Creator is that which is revealed in the connection between us. The Upper Light settles specifically within the desires of bestowal and the connection between all souls. When all properties of bestowal unite, the vessel for the revelation of the Creator (a network of bestowal) divulges itself.

The desire itself underwent the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and stopped receiving. Receiving is possible only through the bonds that connect all desires at a place where a screen and the Reflected Light are present.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/5/10, “What is the Matter of My Making A Pact in the Work”

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Desire, And The Light Will Come

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Book of Zohar is being revealed now because it is a source of strength which can carry out all the corrections and advance us. Just as a train or a car cannot move without electricity or gas, we cannot advance without The Book of Zohar which gives us energy, “fuel” for advancement.

In addition, The Zohar reveals to us where we are situated, who we are, where we are advancing, and for what purpose. It reveals the whole path to us. In essence, it is the Light that illuminates the whole space that surrounds us in order for us to see where we are. The Zohar is the Light that gives us an opportunity to feel in our minds and hearts who we are and what we represent, how we are arranged, how we sense, think, and make decisions. It is the Light that illuminates the goal to us so that we understand to where we are advancing, with what speed, what is happening, and what to do.

The Zohar is the Light that gives strength, the Light that corrects us, and the Light that advances us on the path. It does everything. However, we need to rouse this Light and it’s not easy. After we rouse it, there’s nothing more to do because it knows how to arrange and carry out everything. We merely need to rouse it.

We think that the science of Kabbalah demands some impossible effort from us. However, the entire work is actually in our hands. After all, the Light needs to come and influence us. This Light is called Surrounding Light since it cannot clothe a person directly, clearly, and openly. It does this indirectly and we only feel the results of its actions but not it itself.

Under what condition is the Light drawn? It is drawn according to law of equivalence of form or the law of equality: The Light comes to the extent that I desire to become similar to it. How do I perform this action in order to become similar to it? Something that is called the group has been placed before me, and initially I hate it. In the same manner that I am opposite to the Light, I am also opposite to this Kli (the spiritual vessel) called a “group.”

To the extent that I try to unite with the group, to enter it, the Light affects me to the same exact degree. I am situated below, “under the group,” and it is on top, “above the group.” It turns out that I work on uniting with the friends, and to the extent that we unite the Light influences and corrects us. It unites us and the Light (the Creator) is revealed in our unification.

If this is the case, then everything is in my hands. The Light waits for me to perform this effort. I cannot unite with others; I merely need to desire this and to exert effort. Then it will happen.

Therefore, before we read The Book of Zohar, the strongest source of Surrounding Light, I need to think about the fact that I must unite with others, thereby preparing the vessel (Kli) for the Light that will glue it together and be revealed in it. After all, the Light is revealed only in the unification, in the place of the former breaking.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/3/10, The Zohar

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If The Soul Hurts, Hence It Exists!

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator conceived creating a being that would reach His level and status, would understand all that the Creator had done, and feel all that the Creator feels. In other words, this being will become exactly like the Creator!

But in order to become equivalent to the Creator and remain a created being without having to dissolve in Him, the creature has to reconcile two opposing forces within: reception and bestowal. Besides, how can one comprehend anything without comparing it with its opposite? If am created in such way that I exist in complete harmony with the surrounding environment and total adhesion and oneness with all, then I am neither aware of or feel it.

A sensation comes in only as a result of some opposing force, when I am disturbed or lack something. It is this conflict that I feel. I don’t remember that I have a head until it hurts. If my ear starts aching, I feel that I have an ear. It is the same regarding my feelings involving the world around me. For as long as everything is all right, we don’t think about it for we don’t feel that which is around us.

Therefore, if a created being has to attain reality (both spiritual and corporeal), he must be in conflict with it. In all his feelings, attributes, thoughts, desires, and goals the creature has to oppose the Creator. And that’s how we are made, just as the Creator intended us to be.

He is the Upper Light, and we are the black point of desire, completely opposite to Him. Yet, it is impossible to evolve from the darkness alone which is opposite to the Light. It creates unbearable pain that doesn’t allow advancement. Thus, the Creator creates a specific reality: Malchut of the World of Infinity and the whole system of concealment (the worlds). This is done in order for us to gradually move away from this Infinity where we all exist in adhesion and within the Light and then descend into our current state of existence.

This entire journey was done for us; we didn’t have to suffer and feel it since well in advance (before we came into the picture) a system of governance was created: the worlds of ABYA (Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya). As to us, we appeared in the final stage of this system and experience ourselves as coming into this world and living in it. And we don’t feel being opposite to something and needing to find what it is.

But gradually, through minor disturbances and thousands of years of our development, the Creator evokes in us the desire for Him. Having completed our corporeal evolution, we arrive at the starting point of the spiritual one: the advent of the question of the purpose of life. From this point on, we begin our ascension to the spiritual world.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/3/10, Shamati #50

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We Can Circumvent All Of The Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If everything in the world depends on the people who engage in spiritual development, does this mean that we are responsible for all the suffering that occurs in the world?

Answer: No, we do not cause the suffering in the world. On the contrary, we draw Light and transfer the suffering from a corporeal level to a level of spiritual suffering. As a result, instead of suffering due to wars, illnesses, and all other problems, we suffer from the fact that we lack spirituality. This is what the science of Kabbalah gives to a person. A person “suffers,” but it is not true suffering since it is the suffering of love.

If I were invited for a meal in a few hours, then I would avoid eating now in order to save my appetite for the meal. Similarly, the understanding that I need to prepare my spiritual Kelim is called the suffering of love. However, even when our Kelim are empty, we are able to feel a slight illumination in anticipation of our next meeting with the people we love. This is what we need to bring to humanity: We need to show them that there is a solution to the blows developing in nature.

Right now we are entering a period of ecological problems which can cause suffering and death for thousands of people. We are witnesses of natural disasters that break out all over the world, including China, Europe, Russia, and America. The only way to save ourselves from these disasters is to prepare our spiritual Kelim. We don’t need to prepare our Kelim in a corporeal sense, waiting for decades of suffering before finally realizing that there is a reason and purpose to the suffering, and that we have a choice. There are two paths leading to the same goal, the path of Light and the path of suffering.

Why should we suffer in vain? If we draw the Light, then it reveals how opposite we are to it and we suffer due to seeing a better state compared to the one we are in now. This is what the science of Kabbalah offers to a person: the path of Light instead of the path of suffering.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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The Zohar Is The Most Powerful Thing In The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar influences one’s soul more than anything else in the world. This doesn’t mean that we should discard all other books and study only it, but its effect is more powerful than anything else.

Talmud Eser Sefirot and Tree of Life are good for forming oneself. In addition, later on, when a person is already on the spiritual levels, they can serve as instructions for making inner actions.

When you feel ascents and descents, entrances and exits of Lights the way you might feel it physically, since your desire or spiritual vessel is ready for reception and bestowal, for the entrance and exit of the Light, then you can work with Talmud Eser Sefirot and Tree of Life by actually making the actions they describe.

On the other hand, when you work with The Zohar, you do so through an intermediary – the Surrounding Light. This composition develops the vessel of the soul in general, rather than according to the verse, “A person’s soul teaches him.” The latter is when you can take Talmud Eser Sefirot and carry out the actions in practice.

There is a time of preparation for the future level, and that is what The Zohar is mostly intended for. Besides this, there is a time for actualizing the levels, which is done with the help of Talmud Eser Sefirot.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, The Zohar

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How Is A Letter Born?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If spiritual Kelim have the form of bestowal, then how can “evil forces” cling to them?

Answer: There can be no shape without Klipot (evil forces). How can a shape exist if there is no restriction? It is impossible to draw a figure if it is not limited by boundaries. It has to extend to a specific point and no further.

But who or what is restricting us? It’s our desire for pleasure. If I go a little over the edge, it’s considered “for the sake of self-gratification,” and that’s where I stop. However, at this point I am still capable of giving, so I keep looking for the “direction” and the form of bestowal. This is how the shapes of the letters are formed.

You start with a point: “I have a desire to bestow.” What next? You can move up a little bit to the right or left and by using limitations you draw a letter (a spiritual vessel,) a Kli in which two forces of the Light connect – the Lights of Hassadim and Hochma. Only two components exist: the desire for pleasure and the intention “for the sake of bestowal.” A Kli is made of the desire for pleasure, but there is a screen above it with Reflected Light – the force of bestowal. That is how a figure emerges from a point.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbaah Lesson 7/21/10, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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From Hate To Love In An Instant

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The Zohar causes so much darkness and evil to be revealed. How can a person ask for love while seeing all the evil? How can I ask for good in spite of the evil?

Answer: We think that there is a great distance between hate and love, but this is not the case. First of all, they are the same thing because everything occurs in the same desire. When you go from one to the other, you do not move through space. Rather, the Light performs a change inside you causing you to move from one extreme to the other in one instant

When you look at things without the Light, you do not see anything and all is presented to you as darkness, negative feelings, and hate. However, as soon as there is Light, you reveal goodness, love, and sweetness. There are no prolonged actions here. You “turn on” the Light, and it immediately changes everything. The whole picture of reality instantly changes.

Right now we are in darkness, and that is why we cannot believe that the Light can emerge in one instant. However, when it emerges, it always happens very suddenly, like during the exodus from Egypt.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/19/10, The Zohar

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