Entries in the 'path' Category

Reaching The Speed Of Light

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe can only change how fast we advance and how quickly we pass through the various states in our development. An animal doesn’t experience change, while a person does since the egoistic desire grows in a person day by day. From the dawn of humanity and during multiple lifetimes, our egoistic desire grew on its own. We were not aware of it and could not do anything about it. Now, however, we have to participate in the process of creating our new desires for bestowal. This is in our hands. We can change the speed of our progress through our own efforts.

Depending on the speed, we will know what goal we are advancing toward and how we feel about it. Do we desire it or not? If we do not desire change, we walk the path of suffering. If we do, we walk the path of Light. Other than the speed of our advancement, we can change nothing. What helps us in this process is the Surrounding Light that we draw during our studies and self-analysis that we perform through the group. How quickly we clarify our desire depends solely on how fast we unite.

This is why it is written: “We shall do and we shall hear.” We can perform actions without understanding all the fine details. But by first going above our reason like children, we gain knowledge and perception in the end. In some few months, a person begins to discern certain changes and states within. This is the result of the path he has walked, although what exactly he had gone through was unknown to him beforehand. All we need to do is follow the recommendations of the Kabbalists in order to expedite all the necessary changes.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/21/10, Article, “And There Was Evening And There Was Morning”

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It’s Not For You To Complete The Work: Look For The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is written about an embryo: “A mother gives it the red part, the father gives the white part, and the Creator gives it the soul.” A common problem in spiritual work is that we forget about the “third component,” the Creator who needs to finish the work for us. A person exerts a great amount of effort and then he is perplexed: where is the desired result? One doesn’t understand that he does not complete this action; he forgets that all his actions should begin and end with the Creator, the Upper Force, while he stays in the middle.

Likewise, we come out of Infinity and return to Infinity. And “on the way” we develop and become corrected either through the path of suffering or through the path of the Light. But in both cases the Light works, and we merely add our desire. We do not correct ourselves; we only hasten our development.

However, one usually forgets that he is merely one of the components of his development. He intensifies slightly and thus feels the action changing from a negative to a positive one. But the action itself occurs due to the forces that already exist in nature. The most important component is the force of the Creator. If a person does not bring the Creator to help him so that He would complete the action, if he does not summon this third component that is not present in his picture of nature, then not a single action is finalized and a person remains the way he was!

This is a common mistake, which often remains unnoticed. And there is only one solution here: to turn to the group for help. If there is a common opinion in the group that the Creator is the most important force that determines the end of the action, then none of the members included in the group will forget about this. One will not be forced to experience bitter disappointment resulting from him working so hard and still not achieving anything.

Look for the Creator (as it is written in the Song of Songs: “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth”) and remember that one does not have the strength to win this battle alone; he also has a Partner. And without Him a person has only an empty desire, which gradually dies out like a small fire.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/19/10, Article, “On My Bed At Night”

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Answers To Your Questions, Part 6

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhat is the Purpose of Creation?
Questions on the post
"Kabbalists On The Purpose Of Creation,” Part 4

Question: Why is this process stretched through multiple lifetimes? Why do we have to start over every time?

My Answer: Every time you continue your path starting from a new level of egoism. Due to this, there is generational growth.

Question: If the omnipotent force of nature created all that is in such perfection (based on observation of life), is it really necessary to expedite spiritual evolution? It stands to reason that no matter what we do trying to speed up or slow down the process, everything will still be as it is supposed to be. Or is what we are trying to do right now an illusion, which is also part of the Creator’s plan?

My Answer: Our actions determine the way and speed of our development.

Question: Do I have freedom of will at the level that I presently exist? Or, after I have ascended one degree, am I free at the lower degree but not at the higher one, until I ascend to even higher degree?

My answer: Absolutely right, you will be free because you will naturally act in accordance with the acquired new nature, new qualities.

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This Is Work For The Human Being

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe spiritual path is not simple, and it consists of many ascents and descents. It is not a smooth, paved road; it has one pothole after another. Until you move forward, you will be jumping in place for a long time as you deal with various problems and obstacles. At every step along the way some complications and mishaps occur:  first a flat tire, next a dead engine, then you’re out of gas, next you fall asleep behind the wheel, and so on. But what can we do? Such is our path.

Suddenly your donkey (the Hebrew word “donkey,” "Hamor," is from the word "Homer," matter, egoistic material) stands in the middle of the road and blocks the path. You will need to move it out of the way. But how do you move a donkey? You smack it, but it doesn’t move. You lure it with a carrot, but it still doesn’t follow; it needs stronger bait. Until you hoist your donkey onto your back and carry it out of the way, or punch it in its teeth as Kabbalists advise, you will not move ahead.

In this manner, new problems constantly arise until the tree of life falls across your path. Then you will need to pull over and go around it, at which point, a cloud will descend onto the road, creating a thick fog, making you unable to see where you’re going or whether or not there is even a path in front of you.

This type of work is special. It is very difficult and chosen only for the person who wants to attain the level of a human being, for one who truly wants to be human. It is the path selected for chosen people.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/14/10

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How To Cope With "Poisonous Snakes"

Dr. Michael LaitmanA brief summary of the weekly Torah portion of “Chukat,” Part 7: Then again, the nation starts to complain about being taken from Egypt. In return, the Creator sends snakes that kill many, and then the nation asks Moses to pray for the affliction to be removed. Moses prays for them and receives instructions on how to remedy the situation with the help from a “serpent of brass.”

Throughout the entire spiritual path, a person becomes confused with multiple questions and doesn’t know what to do. He bends under this load, eliciting the appearance of “poisonous snakes,” desires for pleasure instilled into the very foundation of creation. However, by seemingly creating a “serpent of brass” a person can help himself. He begins to understand and feel that everything he perceives is not really alive, but is in fact a “statue.”

If the snakes come from the outside, they appear to be a manifestation of the Upper Force. When a person tries to create them on his own, it becomes clear to him that they have nothing to do with the Upper Force, but rather they are a product of his own imagination, and that they come to him as a silly obstacle on this path. That is why as soon as Moses crafted a serpent of brass, the problem was resolved and the people of Israel no longer had this trouble.

This is one of the ways that the Torah uses to explain to us how to defend and correct ourselves. The “brass serpent” is an extremely interesting method for taking over our “evil desires” (our egoism). We build our own opposition to enable us to acknowledge that it is only an illusion. You can tell the difference since you are the one who builds the “idol.” Call it “occupational therapy” if you want. This is how a person rids himself of the problem by evoking a “serpent” from within. It goes without saying that all these actions are internal.

A comment I received: On the one hand, it says, “Don’t make an idol,” but in this situation, it is the Creator who orders Moses to make an idol.

My Answer: This is correct. Sometimes we need to behave like we do with our children. To stop their fears, we deliberately force them to do what they are afraid of: “Let’s get closer to this dog and you’ll see that it won’t hurt you.”

You look at images and think that they are sent to you by the Creator and that a “snake” is a manifestation of the Upper Force which controls you. But the Creator says: “No, do the same thing and you’ll see that it is you who imagines it; you draw the picture of this snake. In fact, there is nothing there; it only seems like there is to you.

If you make an “idol,” you will see that it is empty, that these "poisonous snakes" that come and frighten you contain nothing except for what you put into them yourself. You created them, not the Upper Force. Build them and you’ll see that it is true. A “serpent of brass” is a cure that allows us to treat our egoistic desires correctly.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/14/10

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The Day Begins In The Evening

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How do I know that I am advancing by the path of Light and not the path of suffering?

My Answer: The sign of following the path of Light is joy. It is written that “joy is the outcome of good deeds.” If I am connected with the others, I am always a part of a healthy common body and receive from it strength and inspiration. They are constantly circulating in our collective organism, flowing from one to the other; hence, I never fall or get disappointed. I don’t even feel tired! Granted, I can sometimes feel sore in my corporeal body, but I never feel tired mentally.

I keep receiving new desires and their fulfillment from the others, which flow from them to me and vice versa non-stop. So, in this condition a person ceases to feel ups and downs. For him, everything is one whole.

In fact, the day begins in the evening, but I don’t perceive it as a dark night. I feel that this is my preparation for the next spiritual step. I now need to gain more of an appetite and get hungry in order to become more receptive to perceiving spirituality.

This night is not the darkness we imagine. This is the darkness within egoism. It is the time of the construction of the vessel (Kli). In our earthly life we go to bed at night; however, in the spiritual one, we labor diligently in the night. We are making, creating, and building ourselves. It is as if at night we are assembling our car, and in the morning we drive it. Don’t think that in spirituality “night” is a dream separated from reality. We break off the previous reality in order to attain a new one. And we build it with faith above reason.

At “midnight,” the merging (Zivug) of Abba ve Ima takes place to create new desires (Kelim). I need to work in the dark because darkness conceals the old desires from me (since I don’t need them any more and must ascend to a new spiritual step). It also hides from me the new desires so that I can find them, connect them to myself, and understand where they are and why.

It’s similar as to how we play with our children. We first prepare a game for them, but later, they have to play by themselves. We pick a toy that consists of different parts (for example, cubes), not a toy with a single piece because we want the child to put it together by himself. Our spiritual work at “night” is the same.

Therefore, a person who is closely knitted into the environment doesn’t feel separation from the spiritual path when he falls. On the contrary, he sees that he is given an opportunity to work and experience a new adventure, like a child, whom nature pushes to grow. So, he loves such games of building and putting together.

Additionally, if the environment pushes us to this game, like nature does a child, we will feel as if we are on a wondrous journey. But if the environment doesn’t provide such inspiration, we don’t want to play as if we are a sick child who didn’t receive such a desire from nature and lags behind in his development.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/11/10, Shamati #50

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How To Avoid Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanAs we analyze our desires we need to penetrate deeply into them in order to understand that they, along with their egoistic intention, come from the Creator. We need to reach the uttermost depth of the recognition of the desire and from its root attain where this desire comes from.

When we reveal that the desire itself and its egoistic intention are sent to us by the Creator, we’ll understand that there’s no choice. We have no one else to turn to with a plea to correct it except the Creator. Otherwise, a person doesn’t need the Torah as he doesn’t scream out or appeal to the Creator. He doesn’t yet perceive himself as a creature governed by the Upper Force to which he may appeal.

Our egoistic origin is the same angel that brings us closer to the Creator. We receive blows, and consequently, we understand that they have a purpose and that they are sent by someone higher than us. We can reach this conclusion through suffering, and we can also reach it through the studies, the environment, and spiritual development.

“A sage sees the future”; he sees the arousal of a state before it is reached and he has the ability to change it. Physical suffering of this world turns into the suffering of love when I draw a little bit of the Upper Light and feel my state in relation to it. Then I begin to suffer from the fact that I have no love for the neighbor or love for the Creator. Herein lies the point of our free choice.

It is essential to get to the root of the suffering and understand that it is purposely sent to us from Above. If we understand that there is no choice and begin to scream out to the Creator, it signifies that we have reached the greatest depth. However, if we still attribute our suffering to various reasons in this world and to ourselves, we haven’t reached the very bottom.

I delve deeper and deeper into the suffering by its degrees of Aleph, Bet, and Gimel (inanimate, vegetative, and animate) and I think that I’m receiving a blow from nature. However, when I reach its last stage, Behina Dalet, I reveal there that its source is above nature, that it’s in the Creator, and is as if the Creator’s pointing a finger. Then, I scream out to Him.

Is it possible to speed up this process? Yes, it is. For this reason, we’re given the Torah in order to advance by a quick and simple path according to our own will rather than by the path of suffering. I can organize a group around myself and draw the Light from Above through the studies (for example, by studying The Zohar) and I quickly reach the same result. This is called the path of the Torah. The difference between the two paths consists of thousands of years of suffering.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/17/10, “What is the Preparation for Receiving the Torah?”

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The Importance Of Disseminating The Wisdom Of Kabbalah, Part 1

Laitman_149Baal HaSulam, Introduction to the Book, The Tree of Life (abridged): “Deliverance from suffering” and the “arrival of the Messiah” means attainment of the Creator, as it is said: “and they shall teach no more every man to his neighbor, saying:  Know the Lord; for they shall all know Me, from the greatest of them to the least of them.”

When the children of Israel receive complete knowledge, the fountains of intelligence and knowledge will flow beyond the boundaries of Israel and water all the nations of the world, as it is written, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord…. And shall come unto the Lord and to His goodness.”

That is why The Zohar says: “Because of this Book, the sons of Israel will be redeemed from exile.” Only through the dissemination of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the masses will we be granted a complete redemption. As the sages said, “the Light of this book Reforms.” Only The Zohar contains the Light that enables a person to return to his Source.

Therefore it is our obligation to first disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah to the masses so as to become worthy of the arrival of the Messiah. The dissemination of Kabbalah and the appearance of the Messiah are interconnected. This is why we have to open schools and write books in order to accelerate propagation of this wisdom among the masses.

The Creator’s actions are laws of nature and cannot be changed. According to our sages, “If they do not attain it on their own, suffering will help them,” and whatever reason doesn’t do, time will. In other words, the path of suffering helps us to detach ourselves from our egoistic behavior and climb the ladder of perfection.

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How To Choose A Better Environment At Every Moment

Our I Is Outside of Us! A question I received: Kabbalah says that a person must always strive to be in a better environment. So what specifically should I do?

My Answer: You have to try to worry at every moment about the fact that you are entirely dependent on your environment. Within this worry you will start to have thoughts and desires to connect with others, and you will reveal that the environment contains everything.

Even though these people are still uncorrected, they contain the corrected system. They don’t even feel it themselves yet, but you will reveal it through searching. Spirituality already exists in its corrected state, but its revelation depends on our desire, as it is written, “Every person judges others to the extent of his own defect.”

You have to strive to feel the influence of the environment. This influence carries energy, understanding, and the need to turn to the Light, the importance of the goal. It has everything you need to attain the spiritual goal. Thus, everything depends on your attitude to the environment; everything depends on you!

The whole world and all humanity were created by the Creator in order to give every person the opportunity to advance independently by creating the right inner attitude to the group. Otherwise, you will move toward the goal by the path of suffering.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/22/10, “Peace in the World”

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The Veil Over The Future

Dr. Michael Laitman The Zohar, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 203: When a person is destined to account for his deeds, before he leaves the world, this day is a day of reckoning, when the body and the soul report. Afterwards, the soul departs the body and parts with it, and the body, which was created from dust, returns to dust and everything returns to the place from which it was taken. And until the time when the Creator revives the dead, everything will be concealed from it.

Equally in our spiritual advancement, we don’t know what the upper rung means, or what it is that constitutes our next state. Today as well, none of us know what the next minute will bring to our lives. We can try to predict, but it won’t help. Nobody can grasp the future. The next rung is always concealed and it is revealed either through the path of suffering (Beito, in time), or through the path of goodness (Ahishena, accelerated time).