Entries in the 'senses' Category

How To Measure Faith Above Reason

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur entire path consists of revealing the Creator’s actions toward us and finding the right reaction to them. It is called “work of the Creator,” when I wish to learn two things: Who is doing this to me, and what He is doing. In other words, I wish to reveal the action and the One who acts.

My attitude to the actions and the One who acts is formed through my attempts to reveal them. And in this regard I can already be referred to as a “human being,” the “I” that somehow relates to “what happens to me” and to “the One who controls me.”

The attitude to the action occurs “within reason,” that is, within and according to the mind. If I relate to the One who acts, to the Creator who controls these actions, in opposition to what I feel from His actions, then this is called “above reason” or despite of reason. If I relate to the Creator in direct dependence from His actions, this is called “within reason.”

However, we evaluate our whole work only in relation to the Creator. I may feel His actions as “bitter or sweet,” perceiving them as “good or evil,” according to my sensations. Yet simultaneously, I also have the attitude of “true or false” in regard to the Creator.

Not necessarily is bitter always true and sweet always false. If I rise above my sensation of “bitter or sweet,” and instead of caring about the sensation, I reveal that it comes from the Creator (who is good and does good), then it means that I am in faith above reason.

I am incapable of this on my own since I live by my sensations. However, I can receive help from the Creator, and the difference between “bitter and sweet” will no longer exist. Then this means that I am in bestowal and relate to Him by faith above reason.

I rose above my sensation due to the force that I received from Him, and now I accept pleasant and unpleasant states, “good” and “evil” equally. I don’t just succumb to the circumstances; I truly feel that way, and this determines the height of my relationship with the Creator.

The more opposition there is between good and evil, while perceiving them equally and blessing the Creator for the bad things as well as the good, the higher is my spiritual degree. It is the height to which I rise above my desires and fulfillment, be they pleasant or not. This is called the measure of faith in the Creator.

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

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The Light That Reforms

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the Light that Reforms?

Answer: The Light that Reforms (or just Light) is a special impression, stimulation, or a special reaction in the desire. We call the Light “Nefesh,” “Ruach,” “Neshama,” “Haya,” and “Yechida.” How do I know what it is? My desire to unite starts feeling “vibrations,” receive filling, inspiration that I name “Nefesh,” “Ruach,” “Neshama,” “Haya,” and “Yechida.” This is what we call “Light:” a particular phenomenon in my desire to correct the breaking of the common soul.

On its own, the desire is formless; it has nothing. Even the lack of fulfillment cannot be sensed by it without the influence of the Light from afar. It is sensed only when the desire is stimulated at a particular “frequency” of a particular Light, this means that it demands fulfillment at the same “frequency,” meaning Light.

Then, the Light first influences the desire in such a way that it makes it appropriate to the Light according to its quality, so that the desire would also act for the sake of bestowal. To the extent that bestowal is present in the desire, the Light is revealed in it.

Everything is realized in the desire; everything begins and ends in it. Nothing comes in or out from outside of the desire, and, thus, everything only depends on our sensation.

Therefore, first I need to develop a desire for a particular fulfillment. Then, I search for how to receive it. I perform some actions in order to correspond to the fulfillment since I begin to realize that it depends on the extent of similarity.

To the extent that I begin to correspond to the fulfillment, I feel a need for it. Then, I feel my similarity to the fulfillment which is called the quality of bestowal, the screen, and the Reflected Light (Ohr Hozer). Only afterward do I feel the fulfillment itself. It fulfills my initial desire to receive it as well as my desire to bestow which I created now. It receives pleasure from the fact that I receive fulfillment in equivalence of qualities. Thus, I now have double fulfillment.

This is called “the righteous inherit twice.” I enjoy the reception in my natural desires (Kelim) as well as the bestowal in my corrected Kelim above my natural desire. However, these are all sensations and impressions only in the desire to receive pleasure, and they all are called types of Light. Even the lack of fulfillment is Light.

After all, if such “fulfillment with hunger” did not exist, I would never feel the need for fulfillment. In addition, if there were no “hunger to bestow,” I would never enjoy the quality of bestowal or similarity to the Creator.

From the Talk on The Light that Reforms 9/8/10

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Choose A Benevolent Future

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The system of the spiritual stimulator works with people who can realize the principle of “faith above reason.” However, most of humanity cannot act according to this principle, and only very strong blows can force them to do this.

Answer: They still will start participating in it because there is no other choice. We need to somehow rise above ourselves, above our lives, fate, and the forces of nature that compel us to do something with ourselves. We need to act and search for some external, kind governing force which protects and cares about us.

I believe that people will quickly see that there is at least some refuge here. They will sense this with a “sixth sense.” It is written very clearly in Kabbalah that we have no other choice. Either we find a way to unite as one whole and to reach a state of being one society in complete interdependence, mutual help, and, consequently, even mutual love on our own and through the path of the Light, or we will be pushed to do this by the nature around and within us through the path of suffering.

Development of this system and the dissemination of it, its realization for educating children and solving social, family, and other kinds of problems will draw more and more people who now are distant from the goal of Kabbalah. However, both the system and Kabbalah will become meaningful and accepted in the society as a kind and common force for everyone.

It will be a parallel, alternative social system which will not contradict any existing social systems. However, to the extent that humanity begins to understand that this system can be the source of help, support, and a means for a more correct behavior, balance, safety, and so on, people will come here. Gradually, it will become more and more in demand and necessary for humanity.

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Opening The Channel To The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn order to attain The Zohar a person needs to open the channel that leads to the heart. And the tendency to understand it with the mind is given in order for us to resist this and wish for The Zohar to be revealed in the heart. Otherwise it will not work.

It is necessary to make an “opening in the heart” so that the text of The Book of Zohar is felt in inner attainments, in the desire, rather than just in the external mind where one connects words to each other. After all, the external picture which one imagines in the mind, remembering the meaning of words and building logical connections between them, does not allow him to constantly aspire to feel The Zohar.

Such an approach is doomed to fail. A person receives satisfaction from the fact that he seemingly connected a few things in his mind, and the problem is solved for him. He has no regret or desire left to feel and attain. He learns the external (comprehensible to him) definitions from the Book and builds a “Lego” out of them by connecting them to each other.

However, only under the condition that a person already feels what is written in The Zohar and wishes to connect the sensations, can he look at the words of the text and connect the sensations according to these words. If there are no sensations, it’s better not to activate the mind and just to wait for “the wonderful force” (Segula) that is contained in The Book of Zohar to affect you.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/11/10, The Zohar

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Forgetfulness Is Redemptive

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: It often happens that I understand a lot during the lesson, but later I forget everything I thought about and understood. Is this the right way to advance?

Answer: Forgetfulness is actually the best quality a person has. Otherwise he would not be able to change his states. If one’s desire changes, then the mind serving the desire changes as well.

Memory acts mechanically and belongs only to the desire corresponding to it. Since our task is to change our desire from reception to bestowal, our memory must be cleansed in order to start serving the new qualities and desires.

Therefore, don’t worry about remembering the material you study! You should only worry about feeling it and increasing your desire to bestow. Is your desire becoming more sensitive and uniting with others? Do you understand that you do not want to unite with others? You should care only about the sensations!

Don’t worry, the mind will always develop alongside the sensation. The mind forms in order to serve the feelings. That is how we are built by nature. That is why it is written that “people do not study with the mind.” Kabbalah is not attained through the mind or by having more knowledge. There are no exams that will test who remembered or understood the most. It is the heart that understands.

If a person forgets what he heard at the lesson, does not understand it, and feels that the material disappears to the extent he advances (“I studied so much and heard about it a thousand times, and I still don’t understand it!”), then this is a sign that he is advancing correctly. It means he is demanding a change and correction of his desire, rather than trying to fulfill himself with knowledge in a purely mechanical fashion.

That is why a person must be very careful about what he demands from the study and which changes he wants to see happening within him. Perhaps he wants to become smarter and understand more, which is called “reasoning more than doing”? In that case he acquires more knowledge than correction (because action is correction), and that would be a grave mistake.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/3/10, The Zohar

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Desire It And "Hear" It!

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can I awaken fear of the Creator inside me if I only see our material world?

Answer: Once I’ve been in the group for a long time, the time comes when I suddenly "hear" that I have to unite with my friends in order to attain the spiritual world. Yet, I don’t understand why and for what because I still don’t feel the connection between the following components:

  1. The Upper Goal, which I don’t feel or realize, but which I have to attain;
  2. The Upper Force, which I have to attain and feel;
  3. My attitude to the friends;
  4. The state of unity with friends which we have to attain.

There is a chain of inner revelations of feeling that have to take place within me. After all, our entire life is sensations. We are made of a matter called "the will to enjoy." This is a desire that feels pleasure or suffering and nothing more than that.

Therefore, my entire attitude to anything amounts to my sensation. It is either present or absent. If I don’t have this inner chain of feeling, the connection of how I will attain the goal of creation from this moment on (through love for the Creator, worry about Him, fear of Him, care for the group, and unity with friends as one man with one heart), if I still lack the inner responses to this, the impressions and reactions, then I still have to do more work on myself.

What should I do? The condition for revealing the Creator is just like at Mount Sinai: having the desire to unite as one man with one heart. Then He will become revealed to you in your unified desire. Moreover, you only have to desire to unite, and the Creator will carry out the unification. We have to try to acquire a desire for unity.

But how can I try to do this if I don’t want it? You can develop a desire through action. This is the meaning of the verse, "We will do and we will hear!"

This is exactly why our false world was created, where we exist in bodies. You can perform false physical actions of bestowal to your friends and speak about unity with them without any desire for it.

You don’t have a desire for it? That doesn’t matter! You don’t live just in the desire. You also exist in an external shell called the physical body. So make physical actions of bestowal to your friend, acting as if you love him instead of yourself.

That is why it is written, "Buy yourself a friend." Bestow to him in all sorts of ways and you will feel how your attitude to him changes. Why? Because you invested your energy and efforts in him. You did not want it, but by acting this way you gained a special attitude to him.

This is called "We will do." Actions that you make without a desire bring you to "we will hear," to the quality of bestowal.  (“Hearing” is the quality of Bina). Then you already begin to hear the things the Torah speaks about. It is the instruction manual on the path to the Light. (Torah comes from the words Ohr – Light, and Horaa – instructions.)

Therefore, let’s try to unite all together even if we don’t have a desire for this. Let’s ascend above our feelings and then we will experience everything in a new way.

From the 1st lesson of the Mega Congress 2010

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The Picture Of Our Reality: How Is It Built?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: Why is it more and more difficult to study The Zohar? Not only do I not feel that I am progressing, but also that I’m regressing. I open the book and feel as if an even greater burden falls on me.

My Answer: Imagine a person who is burdened by a huge problem and is constantly thinking about it. Even when he is performing various other duties, his heart and mind are fixed on the problem. For instance, a woman who goes to work and must leave her sick child at home, will only think about him.

When your heart acquires a desire that is able to think anti-egoistically, you will be able to understand that The Zohar is talking solely about unity. Gradually, you will develop a need for it. Then, it will come as a sensation. After all, everything we feel is the connection (the Upper World) or the lack thereof (our world). This is how the picture of the world is built.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/30/10, The Zohar

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The Whole Universe Is Just Ten Sefirot

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out),” Item 59: “And behold, the Lord stood above it.” Here in the ladder, Jacob saw the connection of faith, the Nukva, tying all the Sefirot as one. “Stood above it” is as it is written, “A pillar of salt,” a mound, since all the degrees as one are on that same ladder, the Nukva, connecting everything in one knot because that ladder was given between the two sides.

It is written, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac.” Those are the two sides, right and left—Abraham is right and Isaac is left.

Malchut is an image, a picture of the Creator. We are within Malchut. Actually, we are Malchut and we sense everything within as a picture of this world. In fact, we always sense the Creator and nothing but Him. The problem is that we sense Him in accordance with our properties and to the level of our similarity with Him.

Sensations always come from the Light, but the desire (the vessel of its perception) senses itself as a certain object depending on its opposition or similarity to the Light. That’s why the Higher Sefirot constitute properties that are present in Malchut and include the Creator’s attitude toward Malchut’s attempts to become similar with them. They are called Sefirot since they illuminate inside Malchut which “lights” them because of its corrected desire to receive pleasure in order to bestow. That’s why it is luminescent.

The Upper Light doesn’t illuminate itself; it is hidden. Only to the degree that the lower one advances and attempts to become similar to the Upper One do the properties of the lower one light up and then are called Sefirot.

Everything we feel begins and ends within Malchut. Anything we can imagine existing prior to Malchut is an illusion of our perception. Similarly, we envision a certain reality around us, but in fact there is nothing at all; everything is within us. We simply divide all of reality into “me” and “something outside of me.”

The same happens in spirituality: We divide all of reality into a soul that as of yet has no sensation of itself and something that is outside of it. But when our correction is complete, everything comes together and there is no difference between “external” and “internal”; everything merges into one point.

As a person advances, he begins to see that even though the whole picture around him becomes wider, more intense, and complicated, at the same time, it concentrates and organizes itself into ten Sefirot. This allows us to arrive at the conclusion that everything depends on our perception, that is, on the measure of our similarity with the Light.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/14/10, The Zohar

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The Great Sculptor’s Living Creation

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYigash (Then Judah Approached),” Item 129:  When the firmaments and the animals, meaning the Nukva, are corrected so that everything is one Merkava for this man, ZA, it is written, “And Joseph prepared his Merkava [chariot/structure], and went up to meet Israel, his father, to Goshen.” This is a Tzadik [righteous], Yesod de ZA, called “the righteous Joseph,” who tied and united his Merkava, the Nukva, with the firmaments and the animals.

Here The Zohar speaks about the desire created by the Creator, which begins to resemble Him, His actions. The Creator is the source that shows the desire to enjoy (that He created) His actions upon it. The Creator influences the desire to enjoy in a variety of ways, and, by perceiving these forms, the desire starts developing from them.

The desire perceives the Creator’s actions in six different directions (four directions of the world and up-down) as well as through a variety of colors, tastes, smells, temperatures, and so on. In essence, the Light emanating from the Creator affects the desire to enjoy and it receives certain impressions.

In accordance with the sensations experienced, the desire ascribes different names to these impressions and defines them by various forms. These phenomena do not exist outside of the desire to enjoy since we are unable to perceive anything outside of our desire. For example, we can say that there is simple Surrounding Light; however, we can only talk about certain phenomena when they’re already within the desire, when the desire already senses them in one way or another.

The Zohar explains the structure of the systems, that is, it clarifies how the desire to enjoy is impressed by the Light and how this determines the desire’s structure. Each time the desire receives an impression from the Light, it acquires a specific shape, which is how the Light leaves various imprints on it. The desire to enjoy is like a living sculpture with a myriad of internal and external forms and systems.

That is why the creature represents an extremely complex system that originates from the influence of the Light upon it. The direct influence of the Creator on the creature means that the creature goes through all His actions and acquires forms in accordance with the system “from Above to below,” that is, directly from the Creator.

There is also an opposite action when the creature says: “Stop! From here on I will operate the system on my own. I want to be similar to You. It’s enough. I’ve already received all the impressions and Reshimot, and now I want to work independently. I want to operate the system that You imprinted in me, in the way You do it. I want to become as giving as You are. I want to bestow to You!”  This is called “work from below to Above.”

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 6/9/10

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When The Heart Understands

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Zohar, Chapter “VaYikra (The Lord Called),” Items 147-149: The Yod of the Holy Name connects in three ties. For this reason, there is one tip in it above, one tip below, and one tip in the middle, since three ties hang down in her. The tip above is the upper Keter, above all the upper ones, the head of all the heads and stands atop all of them…The bottom tip is the other, bottom tip of the Yod. It is Bina, the head to water the garden, Malchut. This is the fountain of water from which all the plantings are watered, since all the Mochin of ZON and BYA extend from the Bina….

The letter “Yod” is Hochma of the world Atzilut, its “hidden mind.” Through the upper point enters the Light of the Infinity, and through its bottom point exits the Light of Bina, flowing through Zeir Anpin; it waters the garden, Malchut.

It would be possible to describe the entire system in details like this, but we are studying The Zohar in order to arouse the Light that Reforms, not to study some dry theory. We study The Zohar not to gain theoretical knowledge of spirituality, but to actually experience it! When we begin to feel what The Zohar is telling us, we will feel bestowal and reception within us and the difference between them; only then will we be able to read and unveil the whole picture, which will appear as sensations. We will study The Zohar in order to understand what we are feeling! Then I will start studying Kabbalah as a science; I will add mind to my feelings.

But first I have to receive the sensation! The mind follows. Otherwise, it would simply be theoretical reasoning without practical comprehension. We would get stuck in these diagrams and remain in this world to intellectualize, as if we know what is going on “there” in the spiritual world.

But we don’t need to know what is happening there: We have to be there! There is a great difference between those who are perceiving the spiritual world and the theorists who are just learning about it in The Zohar. The latter are the type that Baal HaSulam encountered in Jerusalem when he arrived in Israel. They were studying The Zohar and knew all its books and writings of the ARI by heart. But when he asked whether they perceive it, they replied: “There is nothing to perceive here! We just memorize the text.”

But for us, first and foremost, it is important to achieve the ability to perceive the spiritual world: The Zohar has to enter us, and we must begin living in it. Then, we will study what we feel and how to change these feelings, how to walk in spirituality.

We cannot research what we don’t perceive. Since we are the matter of the will to receive, we must perceive the reality within it. Only then we will be able to study what our perception. consists of.

Bina derives from the word “Havana,” understanding, as it is written, “the heart understands.” This is why we study The Zohar, in order to be able to bestow and perceive the Creator. Later, you and I will discuss every page of The Zohar, and we will see how much it contains, the entire symphony of feelings.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/23/10, The Zohar

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