Entries in the 'path' Category

What Is Hell?

Kabbalah Leaves No Room for Simple Faith The Zohar, Chapter “VaYishlach (And Jacob Sent),” Item 16: “He who deems himself a worthless slave is better than the vain who thus deprives himself of bread.” This speaks of the evil inclination, for it constantly accuses people, swelling pride in man’s heart and desire. And man follows it with his head raised high, until the evil inclination soars over him, carrying him to hell.

This is describing a state that we have to experience. Kabbalists know it because they have already gone through it.

It is impossible for a person to reveal anything other than through his own experience. Does that mean that every person must experience hell? Yes, it does! But what is hell?

Hell is when I reveal the evil inside myself, which governs me and tears me away from the Creator. It is a terrible feeling, like being enveloped by flames of shame. I see how much I am losing out, yet I cannot help myself.

This state must be experienced by every person, as it is written: “Man shall not perform a commandment without breaking it first,” and, “There is not a righteous person in the world that has not first sinned.”

The verse, “I have created the evil inclination and the Torah for its correction” means that I must always reveal my evil inclination first. I must go inside it, immerse myself in it, in order to discover that it is evil.

Initially we don’t see that it is evil, for if we did, how could we immerse ourselves in it? Initially it draws us in with a shiny and sparkling appearance. It appears good and wonderful, and that is how evil tricks us.

A person that advances on the spiritual path “digs” within his soul, trying to reveal the form of bestowal to the Creator there. He has to go through a state of confusion, and through this confusion to descend into the state of “hell.” This state exists at every degree, and only by experiencing it can a person scrutinize the evil contained within him.

Everything the Kabbalists write comes from their own inner attainment, according to the rule, “A judge has only what his eyes can see.” The authors of The Zohar have personally experienced everything written above.

Let us hope that we too will reach such states, and go through the entire spiritual path, which encompasses everything.

The Right Approach To Every Problem In Life

problems A person that advances spiritually has to understand that all the problems he encounters on the spiritual path come from Above. Problems are given to us on different levels and they can be of different types. This depends on the specific soul and what it needs to go through to reach correction.

We shouldn’t analyze why we receive the particular problems that we do. We will never be able to understand them while being on their level. We have to ascend above them, as if we’re not paying attention to them, and think only about the spiritual goal. On the path to the goal, sometimes we have to overcome a river, sometimes a fissure in a cliff, sometimes an abyss, and sometimes a cyclone. By overcoming the obstacles for the sake of reaching the goal, we turn them into help and build the goal precisely out of them!

None of the obstacles come to us by coincidence. They are all determined by the qualities of one’s soul. The soul is broken and its breakage determines the type of problems that become revealed in order for us to correct them.

If you aspire to the spiritual goal despite all the obstacles, then you correct them and they become filled with knowledge, understanding and connection. This is how a person advances. But the path is always paved with obstacles and this will continue until the very end of correction. That is why it is called “the path of correction.”

A Human Being Can Feel The World Outside Of The Self

humanbeing A human being begins his path like a little animal that can only sense whether it feels well or poorly. This is how one feels the Light in the Kli – in his desire. However, gradually new Reshimot (informational data) are revealed in him, and in addition to feeling good or bad, these Reshimot cause a person to make an additional analysis of true and false.

The feeling of good or bad is natural for the created being. All forms of creation react to negative or positive influences: they contract or widen, the way inanimate objects open and close, a flower lives and dies, and so does an animal. This is matter’s natural reaction to the Light’s presence or absence.

However, when the created being begins to reveal its dependence on the environment and to connect it to the feelings of good or bad, then an additional perception of “true and false” begins to appear in him. Thus, he begins to have two different approaches or analyses of his state, which depends on the environment and on himself. We make the assessment of true and false with respect to the benefit of the society, and good and bad (sweet versus bitter) with respect to our own well-being. Based on this clarification between the external and the inner desire (Kli), we develop the “human being,” Adam (similarity to the Creator) in us.

A human being differs from the animal in us because the human being’s perception takes place “outside,” in the society that surrounds him. A human being is able to feel the Creator, the Upper One, that which exists outside of one’s body. But actually, the environment, the society, and the Creator are the same thing.

This is because in regard to our egoism, everything that exists outside is the same. The perception of the external compared to the perception of the self is what separates spiritual development from corporeal development.

Let Us Not Be Banished From The Gates Of The Upper World

Those Are Study Kabbalah Are Not Scared of Anything The Zohar: Every person who goes to that world without having attained the secrets of the Torah, even on account of many good deeds, is banished from the gates of the Upper World.

“This world” is what we feel right now, and “the world to come” (Olam HaBa) is our next state. Everything becomes revealed according to one’s desire. One’s desire can either be changed naturally, by means of Reshimot that make it more egoistic; or it can be corrected by one’s work with the group and the Surrounding Light.

If I don’t correct myself, then all the gates to the spiritual sensation will remain closed to me. I can’t feel the spiritual world without preparing my desires and Kelim for it, without correcting egoism to bestowal. That is how I can open the gates!

Every person who goes to that world without having attained the secrets of the Torah (which is possible only by studying Kabbalah in order to receive Light into one’s corrected desires), even on account of many good deeds (the way people think in this world), is banished from the gates of the Upper World (meaning, that person has no opportunity to feel and enter the eternal world).

On the spiritual path, this happens on every step of the way when we go from one state to another. You can only advance by revealing secrets – that which is concealed from you right now. Everything happens inside your desire. Your current desire and sensation are called “this world,” and a more corrected desire and sensation are called “the world to come.”

Learning To Walk In The Spiritual World

What Will Help Us Along the Way When we teach a baby to walk, we stand him on his feet and encourage him to take a step, then another, and so on. But with regard to our spiritual development, we are unable to take even one step on our own. The Creator places us on our feet and holds us up so we would be able to walk, but we get scared and don’t understand anything. We are left simply unable to take even one step forward!

And that is for the reason that every step forward in spirituality goes against our nature, and therefore we don’t understand how to take it. There are no efforts that can help in this regard. The only thing left to do is to ask the Creator to show us how to do it and to give us the mind and strength to act as He does.

So, all we have to do is ask Him! The Creator doesn’t need us to carry out any actions on our own. What He needs is for us to understand that we have to learn from Him about how to become similar to Him. He wants us to ask Him for help because then we will have a connection with Him.

Throughout the entire path that we have to transverse, we are never able to take even one step forward on our own. That’s because every step takes us higher, into a new world, and that is something we don’t have a desire for; and we also lack the necessary screen and Light.

We only discover new states and find ourselves facing a dilemma: run back where we came from, to our earthly lives, or ask the Creator to take us forward? Everything else we need to advance has already been prepared from Above – everything besides your request!

But it’s really not so easy getting to that point of making that request. It seems simple, but this is where everyone gets stuck.

Only Your Eyes Will See

questions on soul Two questions I received on one’s inner spiritual development:

Question: Who forms the spiritual qualities in me? Do I do it myself or does the Creator do it for me?

My Answer: On the spiritual path, a person continuously reveals new layers of reality, and gradually a single system emerges before him. It is a great mechanism that controls every atom and molecule in all of creation. This mechanism also controls how they are interconnected and what changes take place within them.

We don’t know what we will reveal as a consequence of our spiritual search, but our task is to get to know the Creator through the examples of His actions.

Question: Is it possible to combine two points of view: “There is none else besides the Creator” and “There is none else besides me?”

My Answer: We can’t manage to combine these contradictions in our language, our feelings or our minds.

When you feel that you’ve ascended a bit higher than the level of this world and when your preconceptions of time and space vanish, a completely new perception will form in your mind. However, even in spiritual perception, we are limited by the descriptions of the Worlds of BYA.

A person is capable of rising even higher, but he is unable to describe what is revealed there since there are no letters, words, or sounds with which to describe it.  This is because our whole perception is built on contrasts, for example, light versus dark and good versus evil. Above the Worlds of BYA, however, good and evil blend together into one. But this is something we cannot describe.

Therefore, there is an answer to your question, but it is impossible to express it. So, how can you find out the answer? Ascend, and it will be revealed to you. It is written, “Only your eyes will see, but not the eyes of another.”

(From the lesson on “Introduction to the Book ‘The Mouth of a Sage,’” 11.06.2009)

Disturbances Are The Problem – The Group Provides The Solution

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: Why do we need disturbances on the way to the Creator?

My Answer: Everyone goes to school. Every day my teachers give me problems and exercises in all the different subjects. I advance due to these exercises since I do not learn anything if I don’t solve these problems. Each problem is a disturbance.

Some people do sports, and in order to excel at their sport, they need to train hard on a daily basis and keep improving their skills. This rule applies to everything, and the spiritual path is no exception. There are, however, differences.

In our world I clearly see the goal. For example, I want to become a famous scientist, doctor, musician or sportsman.  In other words, I want to be someone special. Even though I need to overcome many obstacles, I clearly see the outcome, which is fame and the respect of the entire world. In this case egoism fills me with energy. People spend their entire lives trying to attain a respectful position in society, and they develop the strengths needed to reach their goal.

But in spiritual path, I do not feel like I am advancing and I do not have the strength to advance. It is because the people around me do not value spiritual ideals, and I myself do not yet see those ideals. So the problem is not the disturbances, since we have plenty of them in our every day lives. The problem is that I do not see the goal and I do not receive the support from the social environment. That is why we absolutely need the help of others.

If I am part of a group that constantly elevates the spiritual goal in my eyes, then it becomes easy for me to attain the goal. Overcoming an obstacle is no longer difficult, because I understand that any goal demands working with my own self. The most important thing is for the group to help me.

(From the Children’s Lesson in Buffalo, NY)

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes

priestIf a person is advancing correctly, then he is not confident or self-assured on the spiritual path. He does not arrogantly believe that he knows everything that has to happen to him and his life, but rather, he trusts only the One who governs him and makes all the actions. He knows that he must only join the One who Governs and Bestows, the Upper Ruler. That is the key to advancing correctly.

However, if a person is self-confident and proud, thinking that he knows everything, then he won’t even understand that he is on the path of a petty proprietor and that he hasn’t tasted what spirituality really is.

You shouldn’t be ashamed to admit your mistakes. The true path is when you reveal your mistakes and correct them, only to discover more mistakes, and so on.

It’s Time To Bring Everything We Learn To Life

feedAs a Kabbalah teacher, I am starting to “free up” more and more material from within myself, and the material is becoming denser and deeper than before. This is the call of the times to accelerate the correction. Whoever is able to “grab onto” our lessons and their new rhythm will be able to advance faster.

Today we have to bring to life everything that we talk about at the lessons. It’s not enough to just understand it. We have to implement it inside us every day, so the words said at the morning lesson will become our actions throughout the day.

The years we have spent studying did not go by in vain, and now we can do this practically, together with hundreds of thousands of people participating in the same process. If we do it together with all our friends and those who watch and listen to the lesson from all over the world, then it is possible.

In addition, every beginner can do this together with us by connecting to everyone and making whatever efforts he can. It’s similar to how children are born and then use everything that was created for them. That is how a person who’s new to the spiritual path can become part of the general movement together with us.

The most important thing is to develop a habit of constantly controlling one’s personal advancement and the general advancement.

Touching The Creator Through One Point In The Heart

where-do-our-thoughts-ideas-and-dreams-come-fromA question I received: How can I overcome feelings of hate and confusion along the spiritual path?

My Answer: During our spiritual development, we feel a great deal of hate and envy, as well as the desires to rule and to destroy anything we don’t like. The spiritual Kli is built above these material passions, including love for power and envy.

The only way to do this is by giving more importance to the Creator and the connection with Him, even if that connection is one-sided (from your end) and it seems like He doesn’t even know you exist. This has to be enough for you to rise above all the pleasures of power and fame.

This point of connection is called the point in the heart. A person doesn’t need anything besides this contact with the Giver, which he attains by virtue of the other desires he has.

Many people had been given the opportunity to have this point of contact with the Creator, yet they let it go by and did not acquire that connection. If you’re starting out on the spiritual path, you should be afraid and careful for the same thing not to happen to you.

Even though the whole world has become global and the spiritual path is open to everyone today, there are no compromises when it comes to spiritual attainment and revelation. It is operated by the law of equivalence of form between the desire and the Light, and therefore it’s impossible to neglect any condition in order to ascend to the level of revelation.

It’s true that time is becoming “denser,” but nevertheless, every person will have to go through the correction he is due.