Entries in the 'spiritual work' Category

The Screen Is Maximum Equivalence To The Giver

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does it mean that the Reshimot (informational genes) are incorporated in the Masach (screen)?

Answer: After the first restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph), the Masach becomes the main part of the work. The Masach is my only concern. It is the place where I always feel myself. Everything other than the Masach are extra conditions meant to support the Masach and to determine its form, its character, and its accurate direction.

My concern is to focus only on the Masach. It doesn’t matter what desires I feel, what light there is, or what is going on in my life because the decision has been made that from now on, I constantly try to resemble the upper. The equivalence to the upper provides the Masach.

All other conditions, both external and internal, whatever they are, accumulate and concentrate into this one concept called Masach. I think only about how I can perform the optimal and maximal action of all possible actions in order to resemble the Creator at any state.

The state itself doesn’t concern me and doesn’t depend on me. Neither does what I feel inside. Nothing! It is only important to understand that I received this from Him. In this state that I was brought to, it is important to perform an action that will make me resemble the Creator; that’s all.

Whether it is in a state of smallness, a state of greatness, or in an intermediate state between the two, it makes no difference since it all comes from Him. I focus all my attention on the Masach.

The Reshimot that are incorporated in the Masach are the data I work with. This is the information about me, about the giver, about my previous state, and about the lower state, about everything.

The Reshimot are the records of all my impressions in the past and in the future. All the data is accumulated in the Masach. My work is to clarify them, to sort them out according to priority, and act according to them in order to resemble the giver.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/12, “The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Let The Zohar Enter The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanThis world enables us to be impressed by the group, the friends; they can be just like me, even worse than I am, or even if only like kids who are drawn to something sublime, not understanding anything yet. From Above they are given the urge and they come to the group with the enthusiasm and the excitement of beginners. It is clear that they don’t have powers of their own to advance towards correction yet.

On my part, however, I have to add my intention to their external actions: I want to be like them, I want to be incorporated in this excitement, instead of rationally predicting their imminent cooling. I should be impressed by their actions, from their high level of energy, to be incorporated in them, and to add that to my intention. I want to burn as they are with the importance of bestowal, even without any feedback, without any confirmation of any possibility of self-benefit.

Thus, by adding my intentions to the external actions of the friends, I can rise, learn, and be impressed by the group. No matter what level it is, I can always connect it to my state, to my intention, and thus advance.

The best and safest way to measure this is to ask myself, during The Zohar lesson, am I preoccupied and worried that it will help me? Do I really want nothing else but this? Is my concern really so great? We have been together for many years, and we are growing old together. So, are we advancing toward this?

A very important point in the development of the human part within us is when I sit in front of The Book and see in it, in its influence, my only rescue. I left all other sources that influenced me, having checked them, found them empty and dry.

It is only when I open The Book of Zohar that I feel the breath of a great force. However, it is as if I am separated from that force by a partition and have to perform different actions inside me to take the crust off my heart so that The Book will influence me.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/12, The Zohar

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When We Remember All

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: A person forgets a lot, banishing much to oblivion, leaving behind unfulfilled beginnings and uncorrected defects. How can we avoid oblivion on the spiritual path?

Answer: Now it is impossible. Only in the end will all of the separate events be collected and lead to the collective correction, called “Rav Paalim u-Mekabtziel”. After accumulating all of our vessels, they will simultaneously unite in a unified state, and then this action will be accomplished. It will sum up all of the generations of the many billions of people and will collect all of their affairs into one. This is when the time of the full correction will arrive, which will unite all of us into one desire, perfect, and filled with the Light of Infinity.

Until then, we are forbidden to perceive the past because we would not be able to endure all of the things we had experienced. We do have the fortitude needed for that, in other words the screen (Masach). Today we would not be able to justify the states we have  experienced.

That is why we tend to oblivion. We switch off from time to time. This periodic “blackout” is actually no more than switching between two moments, between the day yesterday and the day today, between the past and present lives, until finally they will be all gathered into one.
From the Introductory Lecture Series 1/17/12, “Course to Be A Man, Human Development”

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Rejoice At Working Twice As Hard

Dr. Michael LaitmanThere is a rule: “if you leave Me one day I shall leave you for two.” This is similar to the rule of “to reveal a portion and conceal two”… it is a preliminary condition for the creation of the vessel.

A person is intentionally given the option to fail, which is called “if you leave Me one day,” and then he has to work to correct himself for two days. This means that he leaves the level he was on, falls, and sins. But he falls to an even lower level: not to the egoistic level that is the inverse of the level of bestowal he had reached, but to an even lower level. Not to minus one (-1), but to minus two (-2), and then he has to ascend to the second level, to plus two (+2).

When he finally arrives to +2, he falls to -3, and then he has to rise to +3. We progress in this way; all these actions benefit our advancement. When we fall, we have to work twice as hard.

The main thing is not to lose the persistence, not to stand still because you see that you are not getting any reward. Each time we need to find greater reward that is more and more detached from corporeal life. We should learn to measure the reward in relation to the common good: to what extent can I work and the others receive.

I have to make efforts that the reforming Light will bring me closer to this attitude in which I will receive more and more fuel to work for the benefit of all the others and not my own. This is how my advancement is measured.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/12, Shamati #108

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When Will It Be Meaningful To Go To The Desert?

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt could be that a person works only because he gets pleasure from it. Suppose I come to the convention because it is a happy event for me and I enjoy meeting friends, connecting with people, the music and the dancing. I enjoy feeling the connection, the songs the lessons, everything

The question is: If all this didn’t bring me pleasure, would I still come? If I suffered from it, would I be there or not? To what extent?

Is it important for me to be with the friends although I suffer? Or do I stay because there is nowhere to run to or because I am ashamed in front of others, but inside I curse it all? Or could it be that I just arrived in order to enjoy such pleasant company?

Could it be that I feel that it brings me closer to the Creator and that I will be able to reach revelation and to attain eternity, wholeness, and something above this world in the future and so I make such efforts?

Am I ready to suffer in order to attain the spiritual world, even without feeling that it brings me pleasure? Am I ready to give up the corporeal world for the spiritual one? There are many calculations here.

If a person comes to the convention and gets pleasure: This is also good. But he should clearly understand that he is enjoying. Spirituality is measured by the ability to separate one’s self from the pleasure, to restrict one’s self, and to exit the boundaries of the egoistic interests.

So there is a condition: First I need to receive great pleasure from the connection with others, to love them, and to enjoy the action itself. But I sacrifice all this pleasure and I am ready not to receive it.

Suppose I have a great descent and don’t get any pleasure from the meeting, and I even suffer. I hate the group and the friends; I hate the connection, the songs, the dances—everything around me. But I am still impressed and I still have the same attitude, with the same fuel, and take part in everything, only because by that I please the Creator or the friends. [Read more →]

Lie To Me So That I Can Not Help But Believe

Dr. Michael LaitmanAccording to your attitude to your body, your desires, you can evaluate your progress. Only relative to this work can you measure your ascent to the spiritual degrees. But we know that the body can’t make the slightest movement if it doesn’t bring pleasure, which would offset the expended energy, justify the costs, and provide fuel. How is it possible to force the body without it? The mind wouldn’t even begin to think in that direction and calculate. No inner motion emerges in the desires of the heart.

The human body itself can’t move because everything is determined by the desire that must see fulfillment ahead. How can we make the movements that do not bring fulfillment to our egoism which are called “giving” (Lishma)? It’s impossible!

How can we get at least closer to this? It’s impossible to get closer except by cheating! To do this, we can use the influence of the environment or other external influence, which stirs in us “envy, lust, and honor which take a person out of the material world” and brings an egoistic fulfillment to the body. Thus, it has no choice, but to move.

However, any change is possible only through the surrounding Light. This Light comes to us even when we act for egoistic motives. It’s clear that we can’t move otherwise. But if nonetheless, I want to act supposedly for the sake of my pleasure, then the surrounding Light comes and brings me closer to that.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/18/12, Shamati #108

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Don’t Torture Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanYou shouldn’t torture yourself because of your qualities or the bad things that you did or do. After all, it is the Creator who “trips you up” and arranges all the different states for you. This is how He brings you to the recognition of evil and actually does all the work. And you, instead of revealing the truth, reprimand yourself for your actions.

Question: But if you don’t pay attention to these things, isn’t it like running away from the struggle?

Answer: It isn’t a struggle at all. You are like a donkey in front of which an obstacle has been placed: He doesn’t understand how it can be bypassed, and tries to break through it. There is no point in that.

We have to rise above all the actions and feelings, above all the imaginary calculations, and through the group, connect with the Creator. It is the only way to reach the right decision. All the rest is a game, the show of life. It costs us great pain and suffering, but this is our evolution: It is impossible to avoid the mistakes here before we discover the opportunity to rise. One day it will happen.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/17/12, “The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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It’s All About The Converter

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When we speak about evil, what exactly do we mean by the term “evil?”

Answer: I discover the Creator as the source of evil and at the same time I understand that I see Him that way because of my bad qualities. So, I understand that it all depends precisely on my attributes.

There are three things before me: the Creator, my evil, and desire. Can I think about the Creator as the good and the benevolent? After all, I feel bad and see troubles and darkness. Still I determine that the good is Above and the evil is inside me. The reason is that in the middle there is something that turns the good into evil.

I feel it in my bones that this is what happens. I am made of these three discernments, and they are in my feeling and my understanding. Such a state is called “double concealment.” In the spiritual space it is the furthest level from the Creator, and everything before it belongs to the beastly level.

It is important to remember that these things already exist in me: I feel the Creator as good and benevolent, I feel my own evil and I can’t get rid of this feeling, and I also understand the fact that I myself corrupt the Creator’s good attitude when I feel it as bad. If we annul this mechanism of turning the good to evil, if we correct it, I will certainly feel the goodness.

Then there is a question. What is the goal: to feel good or to not curse the Creator? From here on the clarification begins: Why was I given the bad feeling? What should I do with it? If I annul it, I will deny myself the option to be corrected. It is by being opposite from the Creator’s goodness that I can reach His good attitude in order not to curse Him.

This means that I use the evil on the way to goodness. Does that mean that now, when I feel bad, it is actually in my favor, and that it is actually what is good for me? So what am I correcting? [Read more →]

Candy For The Diabetic

Dr. Michael LaitmanAccording to the wisdom of Kabbalah, a “righteous” person is a person who justifies the Creator, understands the reasons and the essence of his state, and can clearly cut his state into slices of cause and effect.

At the same time he can be in a state of double concealment from the Creator. How is that possible? The whole point is that the concealment and the revelation are determined only by one’s attitude towards the Creator as being “good and benevolent.” It doesn’t matter if I feel good or bad; what’s important is how the Creator is revealed to me. It is important for me to reveal Him as good and benevolent, and not to enjoy His goodness egoistically, because they are two totally different things.

Suppose I have diabetes and you give me a candy. As far as my natural love for sweets goes, it is good. But according to your attitude, it is bad. So it all depends on an internal criterion with which I assess it. What is sweet for the egoism may be bitter if we look at your attitude.

Therefore, to discover the double concealment is to feel all these discernments: I rise above my desire to receive and look at it from the side. Then I see that there is an egoistic intention in it that feels good, while in the desire to bestow, in the intention of in order to bestow, I feel bad. This is the double concealment of the Creator.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/17/12, “The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Discover The Creator’s Goodness, Not His Presents

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator doesn’t hide from us; rather, it is our ego that hides Him. Our opposite nature is what separates us from Him. So how can we take on the Creator’s form? How can we reach Him according to the law of equivalence of form? How can we discover Him and find out that He is in us?

In order to do that, we have to perform certain actions. Who performs these actions, us or Him? There is probably a need for cooperation here. We can’t advance without the upper Light. By “rocking” us, It demands our cooperation, which is called “free will.” This cooperation is all of our work. There are no restrictions here. It is open to everyone and is implemented by the correct studying of Kabbalistic books.

These sources can be the “elixir of life” or the “potion of death.” It all depends on our approach.

  • If I intend to discover my evil inclination and to correct it, I can succeed, and the wisdom of Kabbalah will be the “elixir of life” for me. I will discover “death,” my ego, inside me and will want to correct it in order to come to life.
  • But if I study to attain egoistic achievements, if I am looking for knowledge, power, respect, control, etc., then the studying only reinforces the egoism in me and my success is opposite to bestowal and I am not even aware of it. Such a study becomes the “potion of death.”

Thus we go through the stages of the Creator’s concealment. The concealment is divided into single and double concealment; the revelation first reveals to us the governance as reward and punishment and then the revelation of His eternal Providence.

Actually it all depends on my desires, on my vessels. With regard to the Creator, there are no restrictions. He doesn’t hide and is not concealed. It is my desires, my vessels, that hide Him, and if I work with them properly, they are gradually corrected, and according to their correction, I discover the Creator. One way or another, I am the one who hides Him from myself. [Read more →]