Entries in the 'man' Category

What Have You Ever Done On Your Own?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why does the Creator allow some people to commit brutal crimes?

Answer: The science of Kabbalah illuminates the questions of perception of reality, free will, and human nature, showing that a person who lives in this world does not possess freedom of choice. Therefore, he doesn’t commit any conscious acts.

A person can attain the freedom of choice only in a Kabbalistic group, which is a group of people connected in order to attain the spiritual goal. In this case a person receives or earns some degree of acting freely. However, those who have not reached spiritual attainment and have not reconciled two opposite forces, action and intention, do not act at all!

They arrive at the end of this life as if they have never lived. In other words, they haven’t lived as “humans.” It is their biological body that lived, just like any other type of animal. It is a life dictated by instinctive nature only. A person can only rise above it by way of “faith above reason,” when he desires to attain a different nature.

The unity of these two natures, Upper and lower, is regarded as the human in him. Only a person who achieves this can be said to have performed independent actions that are worth punishing or rewarding. In other words, only a Kabbalist can be judged for his own actions. An ordinary person cannot be judged since he acts in accordance with Nature’s orders. He follows one route and does nothing using his own free will.

Nevertheless, in our world punishing measures are necessary. However, we don’t administer them at will but under orders from Above, although it happens through the government legislature, courts, and law enforcement devices. All of this exists in order to hasten our development!

This is the Upper Governance over all people, who are like puppets, with the purpose of bringing them closer to the point of freedom of choice.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/31/10, “What Are the Two Actions During the Time of Descent?”

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The Point Of Salvation

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe same question arises over and over again: Why couldn’t the Light create a perfect being similar to the Creator from the start? But it can’t be done! It is impossible to pass the property of bestowal from the Creator to the creature directly.

This is why we have to experience the breaking of the worlds (in the World of Nekudim) and the collective soul (the fall into sin with the Tree of Knowledge). There is no other way to connect and bring the qualities of bestowal and reception (Bina and Malchut) into one another except through the sin (the breaking) of Adam and the destruction of the Temple.

But what forced man to taste the fruit (apple) of the Tree of Knowledge? It’s similar to the predicament when you see a pleasure and clearly recognize that it brings harm; you feel shame, yet you are willing to override it because the temptation is too strong. You can’t resist it, even if it’s deadly. Moreover, the pleasure doesn’t cancel shame but forces you to continue!

This is when it’s necessary to arrive at conclusions and learn, since at this exact point you experience Adam’s sin founded on the collective egoism (the Tree of Knowledge), which is described as: “I ate and will eat again!” He can’t resist; this pleasure is greater than him although he knows it is forbidden.

This is the point where the difference between the Light and desire is revealed. And if you are able to sense and wish to correct it, you will realize that you need the Light that Reforms. There is no option; this is the only way to feel that you are doomed and can be saved solely by the miracle from Above. That is when you ask for the Light and receive salvation.

Salvation comes only from this point in a human. As for the “animals,” the Creator doesn’t call on them to come out of Egypt. It is the “human” who exits Egypt and leads the “cattle” out as well.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/29/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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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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He Who Justifies The Creator Is The Righteous One

Dr. Michael LaitmanAs humanity progresses, our material life becomes more comfortable, but the “human” within us feels more and more unfulfilled. As a result, we are regarded as “sinners” because when we suffer we blame the Creator for it. Only if we feel that the Creator gives us pleasure, can we justify Him. The sages said: “Righteous is he who justifies the Creator and says that He gives only goodness to the world.”

In other words, we have to correct ourselves to the point of feeling that the Upper governing Force brings us good rather than the evil which we experience now. Our life consists of two parts: the life of the animate body and that of a human being as a part of the surrounding society. And we can correct ourselves to such an extent that we can experience a perfect life in all its aspects.

A person who has corrected his perception is regarded as righteous since he will justify the Creator, seeing His kind governance. This governance was good and fair from the start. However, we are created as egoists and perceive everything negatively with a “minus” sign (despite the fact that we are surrounded by the positive field of bestowal, the Creator) because we are opposite to Him. Our job is to correct ourselves, thereby making our perception positive. Working in this manner we expand our perception from a tiny “plus” to a great one until it becomes an infinite “plus” just like the Creator Himself.

These degrees of my coming closer to Him in the sensation of good governance of the world (according to their quality, quantity, volume and strength) are the very steps of ascension, the degrees of righteousness. Baal HaSulam writes in his Letter 59: “A righteous one feels unbroken delight, praising the Creator who created for him such a good and joyful world.”

In other words, it is impossible to feel bad and justify the Creator at the same time! Kabbalah does not call for any restrictions. Everything is defined solely by the sensations carried deep within a person’s heart. If he suffers, he will inevitably condemn the Creator; and if he is happy, he will bless Him.

Therefore, we have to correct ourselves so as to feel all His goodness and bestowal; as a result, we will become righteous without a doubt. The righteous is not the one who suffers silently and willingly, but the one who corrected himself in order to feel the truth!
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/13/10, Shamati #34

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The Correct Order Of Studying

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen a person comes to study Kabbalah with the question, “What am I living for and why?” it is necessary to explain to him the following:
1. What this desire is that has emerged in him and what kind of fulfillment it demands;
2. What is human nature (the
ego, the source of evil), how to correct it, and that this is our only free action (freedom of will).

To accomplish this it is necessary to study Baal HaSulam’s articles with him, especially “The Freedom” and “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” which explain that the revelation of the Creator to the created beings is the means to attain the goal of creation. Other articles by Baal HaSulam help a beginning student form an integral picture of existence: the worlds, the beginning, the development, the goal of every element of creation, evil and suffering as the force of movement, and so on.

When a person has the general picture, he goes on to discern: How does advancement and correction take place? He learns that the soul is the main creation which was broken by the Creator and then becomes corrected by us. To accomplish this one already needs the articles of Rabash. Their purpose is to put a person into his place inside the society in order to discern the breaking and what needs to be corrected. How do you correct the breaking of the souls?

That is why we are studying together using Kabbalah books, in particular, the books of Baal HaSulam because they are able to give our generation the force, the Light that Reforms and corrects us until we reach the level of the Source.

It is not necessary to go through this material in order because a person goes through different states. A beginner finds himself in the middle of the study process, but that doesn’t matter. What counts is that he is working together with everyone because we are all inter-included and intertwined in our souls and desires.

Therefore, it is not so important which article you begin studying, but it is best to have a clear order of study which is directly aimed at the goal.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/9/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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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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Recognizing The Greatness Of The Opportunity

Dr. Michael LaitmanLet us remind each other of and get inspired by the greatness of the spiritual goal and the environment that aspires to it; let us appreciate the unique opportunity for free choice that we have been presented with. How many people in the world can act freely? If everybody is blindly following the commands of their nature, then nobody truly “acts.” If I’m completely governed from Above, then “I” don’t exist, as it is said, “I came and there is no one.”

There are billions of people in the world, but they don’t exist, as it were, since none of them are free in their actions. Without a person with free will there are no worlds; there is nothing but the World of Infinity. With regards to the Creator, nothing else exists. Only a person who carries out a free action does. Imagine this picture of the world: total emptiness. Only a few desires that arose and are capable of performing free actions protrude into it.

You, too, have an opportunity to acquire freedom and become Human. May we recognize the greatness of this unique opportunity.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/23/10, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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My Choice: A Higher Dimension

Dr. Michael LaitmanA person is led from Above to the place of his free choice. Our freedom of choice does not consist of choosing between pleasure and suffering. That is what has brought us to this place, this state. Now our choice is in something else, above pleasure and suffering, something in a higher dimension.

There is some plane of this world through which we have been led, brought from one bad place to another place that seemed good, better than the last one because the suffering in it was less. And soon enough, this place, too, seemed bad, and it was time to move on. But, we see no matter where we go from here, it will only be worse (greater evil will appear).

My Choice

Therefore, within the bounds of this world, we remain in the same place. What I need is to come out of it, upward, into another dimension. I need to choose completely new and different values for what I call “good and evil” – to measure it with respect to “reception and bestowal” and “truth and falseness” – instead of choosing to  measure good and evil against  “pleasure or suffering” as I currently do. Pleasure and suffering were experienced by my animal body; truth and falseness are experienced by the human being in me.

In other words, my choice is in developing from the spiritual gene I’ve been given, to the real human level. This constitutes my freedom of choice: choosing new concerns, a new goal, and a completely different dimension.

Then I will perceive everything that remains below, in this world, only to the extent that it is necessary, and I choose to engage in the human being in me. I have a point in the heart, the first spiritual gene (Reshimo), from which I begin to develop the human being in me. How do I do this? I do this by choosing the environment, the Kabbalah books, and the teacher.

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Walking The Tight Wire Straight To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe entire evil has been prepared for us from Above during the breaking of the vessels. So how can we say that the creature sins if this is the Creator’s making, the result of His actions? Anything man does will always be the consequence of the Creator’s actions. We can always point at the source from which everything comes. Even He acknowledges creating evil and nothing but evil: “I created the evil inclination” (“Barati Yetzer Ara“).

The only freedom of will that allows us to choose between good and evil and demand the correction of evil within us is realized with the help of the environment. As a person turns to the group, he discovers an “empty space,” Klipat Noga, which belongs neither to the Creator nor to the creature. Good or evil there is determined only by one’s free choice.

As you work with the group you begin to see that the Creator has left you something where you can make a decision. This is a special point of your independence. If you begin to create the Creator’s image from this “white,” free point, and decide that you want to become like Him, you will be referred to as “human.”

However, you still need to reveal this point. So far the Reshimo(recollection) of the breaking is being revealed in you. This point is a rudiment of a screen, which you need to build from the Reshimo. It is revealed through our work with the group.

We clear away the accumulation of the shell (Klipot) and different habits with our inner efforts to suddenly discover something that does not belong to the Creator beneath them. This really is a miracle. In this point a person has to say: “The entire world depends on me. Every moment I direct it either toward good or toward evil with my decision.” Then a person spends his entire time like a tightrope walker on a tight wire; every moment he has make a new decision in the direction of good to make sure he does not fall off the tight wire. This means that every moment he chooses to walk the path of truth.

This is why Baal HaSulam says that the path towards the Creator is a very thin thread, and the person walking it must be very careful to make sure he does not bear right or left. Yet all of this happens under the condition that a person discovers the point where the rope starts: his freedom of will in his work with the environment. All of the following points on which he walks are the points of his proper connection with the environment, which he chooses as he realizes his freedom of will.

A person constructs his own rope with the points that he discovers. He himself walks through them, as every time he directs himself and the entire world towards good. Actually, nothing exists before him, neither the point that he discovers nor the rope made with these points, the path straight to the Creator.

The path does not stretch out from the Creator toward us. We only receive the Reshimot, which remain on every degree from the above-downward descent. The rope does not exist, but we build it ourselves from below-upward. At the end, this is precisely what we call “human.”

All the Partzufim that we reconstruct from below-upward are not the same Partzufim that exist during the descent from above-downward. This is because when we climb the degrees, we reveal every degree 620 times greater than it was during the descent. This is a completely different degree, which we build ourselves.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/20/10, The Zohar

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Ascend To A Higher Dimension

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen the souls unite together, a person discovers a new reality. Currently we experience ourselves as living in this world, which is at the level of individual existence; each part is disconnected from the entire organism. Yet, despite the fact that all these parts are alive and

aware of their individual existence, there is a difference between a body that is whole and a body whose parts are disconnected.

Right now, each disconnected individual is receiving a lifeline and life support, like an organ extracted from the body for transplant into another organism. Consequently, they are like “ready-for-transplant organs” on life support, which ensures they don’t descend below the animalistic existence. These organs perceive themselves as living in this reality. That’s who we are.

If we, a group of such organs, desire to unite and we ask for it, then our collective desire (the prayer called MAN) draws from Above (from a higher level) the force that unites us. Subsequently, in our unity we perceive the spiritual reality, as a body whose organs begin to connect with each other.

Ascend to A Higher Dimension

Thus, the entire organism experiences a different life, not the existence each of them once lived separately by striving to survive on its animalistic level. We ascend from the animalistic level of existence to a new level called human.

The sensation of this collective life of all “bodily organs” (the collective soul) is called the spiritual world. We will no longer even be able to perceive the previous existence as life because we’ll no longer live to survive, but instead will support each others’ lifeline. The Light gives us a completely new and different reality.

Our previous life on the animalistic level will look extremely low and undesirable. We’ll need it solely in order to absorb the desires of others who are still living in our world as animals; these are the desires that haven’t joined our connection yet. Gradually they will also begin to ascend. However, once having attained our spiritual life, this lower level will be unnecessary since we will all have ascended to a higher dimension.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/18/10, The Zohar

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