Entries in the 'study' Category

Children Who Have Grown Old

A peDr. Michael Laitmanrson grows in such a way that at first he receives new desires and fulfillments, which are necessary for his development and which work for his benefit. This is the direction given to him by nature, which desires to raise him and make him self-sufficient, the way children in our world grow.

This is not considered forbidden pleasure, since I have to go through this natural path of development until I become an “adult.” Indeed, we see how children are usually full of different desires and take pleasure in this life.

However, the moment I become an adult, I have to start growing and developing consciously, rather than by the power of nature. Suddenly, all the pleasures I receive start being detrimental to me because I do not aim them for the sake of bestowal.

Previously all the responsibility rested on nature. The Creator determined my path and led me along until the age of 15-20 years. Everything I took from this life was beneficial for my development. But as soon as I completed this period of “childhood,” I have to start determining my own direction. I now have to add the intention of bestowal of my own accord. Otherwise any pleasure I receive will no longer raise me and advance me forward, but will kill me! It will lead me backwards in order to make me feel that it is impossible to keep going this way and that instead of developing by way of my egoism and pleasures, I have to develop through the intention to bestow.

Therefore, all the pleasures that a person receives after the age of adulthood are detrimental to him, like a person who is picking at his wound. How deeply do we have to become immersed in this evil in order to understand that we cannot continue this way, like children who have grown up and whom nature no longer permits to enjoy life recklessly, but instead demands bestowal from them?

How deeply will we have to “pick at our wound” is something that depends on us. We are given all the means and explanations, and we are brought to the study, the books, and the group, which is the place where we have to get serious and think about what we need to add to our lives in order to develop correctly.

What we are adding is the “true vs. false” discernment, in addition to “sweet vs. bitter,” unlike children who only understand “bitter and sweet.” In order not to remain children for the rest of our lives, as it says, “What to do with children who have grown old?”, we have to start acting according to the principle of “true vs. false.” Yet, we should not erase “sweet vs. bitter,” but rather build a new attitude to life above it. This is possible only be evoking the Upper Light upon ourselves through the study of Kabbalah.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/18/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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What Do You Need For The Medicine To Work?

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: When I take medicine, I don’t need to have a special intention. If the study of Kabbalah is supposed to be the medicine for our egoism, why do I have to observe so many different conditions in its study in order for it to work?

My Answer: When you take regular medicine there are also many restrictions and conditions, such as to take it before  food, in the morning or the afternoon, to take it with a glass of water, and so on.

Medicine is not just the pill that you swallow. The entire sum of conditions surrounding it is also part of the medicine. The medicine won’t work unless you observe these conditions.

When you take the medicine, you influence your body in order to make it healthy and to restore the complete operation of all its systems within the right connection with one another. We correct our soul in the same way. We have to give it medicine, the Light that Reforms and brings us to goodness, to the proper, good way of functioning. “Good health” for the soul means that it is completely connected with the other souls. Through their unity, as one, they become similar to the Creator.

It works the same way as in a body where a disease means that one of the body’s systems loses the proper connection with the others. The cure is when the right connection is restored.

In the same way, our souls return to being together. Just like you have to observe certain conditions when taking a chemical medicine, in Kabbalah it works the same way. You need the right books, the group, and the teacher, and all the inner conditions (your intentions), which the Kabbalists described in their books. Otherwise the medicine for curing the soul, your correction, won’t work.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/5/10, Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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The Upper Light Will Mend Everything

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe should not forget about the influence of the Upper Light upon us. It is the most important component, yet we constantly forget about it. When the Light works on us, it gives us a certain sensation of the other side, the nature of bestowal, and that tiny spark within us begins to grow.

We are entirely immersed within our egoism, yet this miniscule spark of bestowal, the point in the heart, is granted to us. If we study Kabbalah books and work with the friends by trying to connect them to ourselves, we thereby draw the Surrounding Light that brings us back to the Source.

The Upper Light Corrects Everything
The point in the heart expands and grows bigger, and in this additional volume we begin to sense what bestowal is, that it is opposite to reception, our egoistic qualities. In this way we study one in contrast with the other, allowing us to check these qualities, like plus against minus.

It is similar to how in physics or chemistry, evaluations are made by comparing opposites for otherwise it is impossible to discern anything. There must be light against darkness, and only then do we begin understanding something.

This is why we sit down and study. And even if we don’t understand anything, gradually, by being with the group and close to authentic Kabbalistic sources, we draw the Surrounding Light.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/25/10, Shamati #99

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To See And Hear The Upper System

Dr. Michael LaitmanPeople don’t know what the state of Lishma is, and often use this name to label completely non-spiritual states. They don’t understand that to attain Lishma is a great work, which is impossible without studying Kabbalah, the group, and obeying the rules of ascension explained by the Kabbalists.

In fact, Lishma means that you rise above your egoism and are entirely in bestowal. In the quality of bestowal, you see the spiritual world, and in this world, you exist only for the sake of spirituality. You identify yourself entirely with your soul, but your body still needs to be healthy in order to exist in both worlds. The soul can’t really advance if its other half, the body, doesn’t exist in this world. The soul needs the body until the very last step.

People don’t understand that to attain the quality of bestowal, Lishma, one has to draw the Light that returns us to the source of bestowal, to equivalence to the Creator. Afterward, a person is called “angel”, meaning he is openly receiving the Creator’s orders and following them through. He either “hears” or “sees” the Creator. He uncovers the Upper System, his relationship with the Creator in the Light Hassadim or maybe even Hochma. This attainment doesn’t have anything to do with the quantity and quality of knowledge, but only the measure of attainment of the quality of bestowal and love.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/1/10, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 122

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The Question That Demands An Answer

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam writes in the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 2:  “…that there is one famous and painful question which is asked by everyone on earth: “What is the meaning of our life?” The question pushes aside all other questions and doubts regarding the study of Kabbalah since the years of our lives are so costly to us and bring about so much pain and suffering. Will our lives just come to an inevitable end? Who enjoys them, or to whom do I bring enjoyment?

We see that our life ends without any benefit or result. The more humanity develops, the clearer we understand this. Therefore, disappointment and depression are the foremost problems in the world today.

Many people throughout the generations have tried to answer this eternal question, but it still stands before us in all its strength and bitterness, catching us off-guard, burning in our minds, and shaming us to dust. After all, this question cancels out our very “I,” and man cannot consent to this since it touches upon the root of his soul.

If this did not concern our eternal essence, we could escape this question by turning off our minds with drugs or antidepressants. However, the question about the meaning of life does not pertain to the years of our corporeal existence.

The question, “For what was I created?” comes from my core and directs me to my initial root from which I can learn the reason for my existence. However, for the time being, we manage to be subdued, without thought, by falling into the well-known trap of giving into the flow of life.

We try to fool ourselves in every possible way, but it is becoming more and more difficult to exist according to the scheme: birth, school, university, job, children, old age, and death. We have no choice, in order to solve this question, I need to substitute the environment which helps me forget and hide the question concerning the meaning of life, with an environment that will help me expose it and answer it as quickly as possible.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/24/10, Article “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Infinite Light Or Infinite Darkness?

Dr. Michael LaitmanBy studying Kabbalah, we come into contact with the Light itself. By uniting with others who desire the same goal and studying together, we actively tune into Malchut of the World of Infinity where all people exist in their inner oneness, as one whole. As we desire to exist in this state actively, we draw the concealed Light to ourselves from this perfect state, thereby hastening our spiritual development. This is called becoming Isra-El, aspiring “directly to the Creator,” one who “hastens time,” who draws the Light to himself on his own through his studies and forces Him to be revealed. It also means one who “illuminates time,” meaning one who wants the Light to direct him to bestowal (Sanctity is the quality of bestowal).

It turns out that studying in a Kabbalistic group gives us the “reins” or the “steering wheel” through which we can control ourselves – our forms of development and its speed – as we become independent of the Light. However, on the other hand, the Light is very powerful and it has a program of development for each of us, as well as for all of us together. Therefore, when we try to hasten our development on our own, suddenly we begin to feel how dependent we are on this Light, on its awakening. Only with its help can we advance.

The Light raises and lowers me, which rouses within me the desire to develop in order to make myself “similar to the Creator,” a human being, by rising above this animate level and this whole material life. I wait for the Light to begin to influence me. I prepare myself to surrender to it completely, to attune as much as possible to the studies, the group, dissemination, and to solve all the questions that have accumulated during the darkness and the concealment.

I am like that “rooster” from the parable about the rooster and the bat that waits for the dawn. I am waiting for the Light to come and illuminate the path for me, and I rejoice when the Light comes. However, the “bat,” who does not prepare himself for the coming of the Light, perceives the awakening from Above as darkness.

Although we exist in one common system, only those who await the coming of the Light perceive it as something desirable; for them it is truly Light. On the contrary, those who do not wish to draw closer to the Light, to bestowal, and to love one’s neighbor, will feel continuously greater crises and problems in this world.

We all exist in the World of Infinity, but everything depends on our preparation. We can either feel infinite Light or infinite darkness there, or we can feel nothing at all as though we are unconscious and merely carrying out an animate existence. Everything depends on our desire to become human, meaning “similar” to the Creator in His love and bestowal.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/21/10, Shamati #241

Shame That Is An Exalted Sensation

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How can we come to feel shame and make a restriction on our ego?

My Answer: Shame is a very exalted sensation, which does not come at the beginning of our path. This shame is with respect to the Creator, the Giver. It is precisely because He is the Giver and I am the receiver.

In our world we always restrict our reception in order to avoid feeling shame. We must justify receiving; we are compelled to preserve the feeling of self-dignity as our “I” is even more important than life itself. In fact, we are prepared to die if doing so would stave off humiliation. This is the basis of our nature. People are willing to face death in order to bolster their “I,” their self-esteem.

Shame is when I feel my “I” annul and disappear. If I lose my desire and fulfillment, I don’t feel that I cease to exist. A person dies and doesn’t feel that he completely disappears from reality. He only feels that he loses some part of himself as if shedding something from his past.

However, when the sensation of shame comes to me, it cancels my spiritual existence. It is a kind of inner feeling as though nothing of me remains. It is above our life and death, that is how deep it is. And it is impossible to withstand. Man is willing to commit suicide in order to save the point of his “I.” The body is merely an animal, and we’re not particularly afraid of losing it. We see how people risk their lives.

The Creator continuously plays a game with us by consistently and methodically offending the point of our “I,” and we are left without a choice but to take measures so as to preserve our individuality. The feeling that I must rise above this life, above death, helps me to acquire a second nature. I am prepared to accept it. I am told to bestow, and I am willing to do it. Do I need to lose myself as of today? Sure, I am ready! As long as the point of my “I” is preserved.

This sensation can only be granted by the Light that Reforms. The Light affects us and awakens in us this point that lies at our very core, the initial point called “Esh Mi Ayin” (created from nothing – existence from absence). This is not the material of the desire to enjoy, but something even deeper.

The only way to attain it is through the study of Kabbalah in a Kabbalistic group. In the group we endeavor to build a model of spiritual unity similar to what exists in the World of Infinity. By studying in the conditions of this unity, we draw the Light that elevates us to that very state. There are no other means besides the group and the study in the group.

Shame is a terrible sensation, but it is precisely shame which brings us salvation.

From the 2nd part of the Daily Morning Lesson 5/14/10, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

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The Whole World Depends On Us

Dr. Michael Laitman If there is any evil happening in the world, it means that we are still unable to bring correction to the world. If people are still waging wars, destruction, and terrorism, scorn one another, lie to another, and try to profiteer of each other by any means, it means that we are failing to correct the world.

If the Light shone more, none of this could happen. People would be unable to behave this way and nature on the still, vegetative, and animate levels would not give us these unpleasant “surprises.”

We exist inside the all-inclusive nature, but our balance with it depends on us, on man’s level. That is why we have to build an enormous spiritual vessel (Kli) among those studying Kabbalah. We have to unite with a strong connection so people all over the world will feel this power and be compelled to unite with each other.

That is how it happens. After all, where do all the different thoughts and desires come to us from? We don’t know about it, but they emerge from within and pass from one to another along the net of connection among us.

We are living at a special time. Baal HaSulam writes that we have to be very grateful to the Creator for living in a generation that has received the opportunity to disseminate the science of Kabbalah, which has reached us from antiquity.

We are the first generation that is able to use this science and attain eternity, to rise above this entire life, to come out of the boundaries of all the earthly limitations and enter a new dimension, the spiritual world.

From the 6th lesson at the World Zohar Convention 5/9/10

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Miraculous Glasses

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: How do I recognize the form I’m being taught from Above?

My Answer: The science of Kabbalah speaks of very logical things and reveals a great deal of new knowledge about man in this world and the force that governs us all. By doing so, Kabbalah supplements our knowledge of human psychology and our general outlook on the world.

Yet the science of Kabbalah is meant for those who already sense spirituality and have five spiritual “organs of perception”: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut. Until a person acquires these higher organs of perception, Kabbalah is not a science for him, but rather an encoded message, a book of mysteries.

What can I do if I am unable to understand a single word that I read? I don’t exist in the reality that converts every word I read into a concrete sensation. If I lack such a connection with the world under investigation, it’s not considered a science. Only when I have all research data and can experiment with it, does it become a science.

Thus initially, we study Kabbalah not to learn this wisdom, but to obtain the tools (Kelim) to attain it so that we can  begin to sense the object of our research. If my vision is bad, then to be able to see, I first need to get myself a pair of glasses. I earn money to buy the glasses, put them on, only then do I begin to see clearly. Only then do I begin to hear the explanations and understand what I am being told about.

That is why there is “preparation time” during which we work on ourselves in order to enter the spiritual world.We begin to sense it to the extent we acquire its properties. Later on, as they appear and develop within us, we proceed with investigation of the new world, much like a child who grows because of new properties that surface in him.

At the initial stage of developing new properties within us, we have nothing to ask about, because we have no ability to understand. Only one question is appropriate during this time: Are we aligning ourselves correctly in order to attract the Upper Light which forms new properties within us? Our success and future depend on the Light’s actions.

From the Evening Zohar Lesson 4/29/10

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We Cannot Deceive The Law Of Nature

Laitman_712_02A question I received: There are people who do not study Kabbalah and yet they understand the importance of giving; they try to take actions to help others. Will they reveal spirituality by doing so?

My Answer: Why would a person want to help someone else? His egoistic nature tells him, “Take care of yourself first. If you can profit from the other, treat him well, if not don’t.” It corresponds with the law of nature.

The problem is that people think they are “outside” the laws of nature because they don’t know them. They invent their own laws that allegedly can be applied to our society and people. Communists exterminated millions of people realizing this abstract principle.

We have to study nature and understand how we are supposed to act rather than invent new laws of our own. Otherwise, we’ll arrive at the same result as Russia. It strived to be an example for the world and actually did so, but only as an example of how not to act.

A person will never simply do “good” to others since it goes against his nature. Our nature is to receive the maximum while giving the minimum. That’s the law. Ask any psychologist, sociologist, or biologist. Our history and nature teach us that we are unable to unite on our own, although nature forces us to do so. All attempts to unite usually trigger wars.

Kabbalah reveals itself to the world at the time of its tragic deadlock and desperation, and offers the Upper Force as an instrument for correcting our nature. At first glance, this solution seems unrealistic. However, the very idea of changing human nature is equally unrealistic. Yet it is simply inevitable for our survival. For this reason, humanity will eventually accept Kabbalah. The only question is how much more suffering will it take.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/26/10, Article “Matan Torah”

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