Entries in the 'Suffering' Category

Do Not Lose The Point Of Adhesion

Dr. Michael LaitmanHad we been corrected in the World of Infinity, all the influences from Above (from the worst to the best of them as felt in our desire to receive pleasure or our matter) would not change our attitude toward the Creator in the least. This is because our desire would be under the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph), under the screen, in bestowal, or the Reflected Light.

Then, we would use all the states that we go through, from enormous fulfillment up to total emptiness, with the sole purpose of justifying the Creator, of glorifying, honoring, and thanking Him. This is because in these various states ranging from emptiness to fulfillment, He gives us an opportunity to determine our attitude toward Him as something that is independent from what we receive from Him, without any connection with our desire to receive pleasure or our sensation in it.

As a result, we would only thank Him for the opportunity to rise above our desire, our nature, in faith (bestowal) above reason (fulfillment), in “bestowing in order to bestow” (Galgalta ve Eynaim or GE) and in “receiving in order to bestow” (GE plus AHPAwzen, Hotem, Peh). This way, we would accept all states for a single purpose: to use them in order to feel Infinity in each state.

That is, we would have a completely corrected intention regardless of the measure of fulfillment and sensation in the desire, from absolute void and tremendous suffering to complete fulfillment which shifts one’s entire attention from the Creator to one’s self. If we corrected ourselves to such a degree, we would be in the World of Infinity.

We determine our rung on the spiritual ladder in relation to complete correction, the World of Infinity. We do so according to our ability to justify the states He gives us, to exist above the sensation that we feel in our desire, to hold the intention, and be in connection with Him, the Giver, in order to become similar to Him based on any sensations.

The Creator gave us a point of adhesion with Him. However, to counterbalance it, He also created in us the desire to receive pleasure, and He is constantly increasing it. This desire annuls the point of adhesion. Yet, we have to use the desire that pushes us away from adhesion and to increase the connection with the Creator precisely with its help. This is how we advance.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/6/10, “And Jacob Went Out”

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Unification Of The Souls = Equivalence To The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe need to feel our opposition to the Light and bring ourselves to its state. If we don’t draw the Light to ourselves, we feel suffering since it feels bitter to sense that we are opposite to the Creator. Therefore, in order to give us an opportunity to develop properly, we are brought into a system called a “Kabbalistic group.” Instead of existing in a vacuum and not knowing how to develop in the attempts to become similar to the Creator, I find myself in a group.

I can work on uniting with the group, with others who aspire to the same goal as me. Instead of focusing on something invisible, being in a void, and not knowing where the suffering comes from or what’s going on, I work on unification. And our connection solves all the problems!

How can unification of the souls substitute for similarity to the Creator? Originally, in the World of Infinity we were one soul of Adam. Later, we broke into many parts, individual souls, and instead of the World of Infinity we began to feel our (broken) world. Through the breaking, the Light created qualities in us that are opposite to it, and the soul became opposite to the Light.

However, if we correct the breaking together and reunite, our action lends itself to the revelation of the Light, becoming like it. Instead of equalizing ourselves to the Light which is concealed, we equalize ourselves to the desires which we feel and understand. It seems to us as though we are being summoned, like good children, to unite and annul our egoism. But by doing so we reveal the Light in the unification of our desires because this is where the Light concealed itself: inside the broken Kelim.

It turns out that the opportunity to work in the group is the most practical and real application of Kabbalah. We perform actions that are available to us while, in essence, we reveal the Light that is situated beyond the breaking. In this manner we clarify our contrast to the Light, become equal to it, and unite. The Light and the vessel merge into one whole, and we return to the World of Infinity.

We reveal 620 states or degrees that separate us from each other and from the Light. By doing so we discover that we are opposite to the Light to the extent of 620 degrees and thereby understand the Light of Infinity 620 times better. We thus reveal the common soul and the entire Light that fills it: the Creator.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/3/10, Shamati #50

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The Bottomless Depth Of Malchut

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can I know what the absolute void is?

Answer: It is difficult to imagine what the absolute void is. It’s similar to the feeling of wanting something and not being able to get it. But in the spiritual world, it’s a horrific sensation which is referred to as  the “black illumination (void) of Malchut.”

It appears when the Light exits the will to receive and a person experiences a black abyss. It is a frightening sensation of the void. We think that unfilled space means freedom, as if I stepped into the cosmos and am now free from everything. But the void is the unfilled desire.

We don’t comprehend how this can happen since the Creator is constantly supporting us, like a baby on a cushion; He always provides protection, confidence, and fulfillment for us. He reveals to us a mere tiny void, the suffering, to the degree that we are able to bear it and evolve.

But the sensation of the entire (!) void of the unfilled desire is dreadful. Very rarely is such a state revealed to a person and for only one reason: To allow him once in a lifetime to feel the bottomless depth of Malchut.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/3/10, "The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence"

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We Can Circumvent All Of The Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If everything in the world depends on the people who engage in spiritual development, does this mean that we are responsible for all the suffering that occurs in the world?

Answer: No, we do not cause the suffering in the world. On the contrary, we draw Light and transfer the suffering from a corporeal level to a level of spiritual suffering. As a result, instead of suffering due to wars, illnesses, and all other problems, we suffer from the fact that we lack spirituality. This is what the science of Kabbalah gives to a person. A person “suffers,” but it is not true suffering since it is the suffering of love.

If I were invited for a meal in a few hours, then I would avoid eating now in order to save my appetite for the meal. Similarly, the understanding that I need to prepare my spiritual Kelim is called the suffering of love. However, even when our Kelim are empty, we are able to feel a slight illumination in anticipation of our next meeting with the people we love. This is what we need to bring to humanity: We need to show them that there is a solution to the blows developing in nature.

Right now we are entering a period of ecological problems which can cause suffering and death for thousands of people. We are witnesses of natural disasters that break out all over the world, including China, Europe, Russia, and America. The only way to save ourselves from these disasters is to prepare our spiritual Kelim. We don’t need to prepare our Kelim in a corporeal sense, waiting for decades of suffering before finally realizing that there is a reason and purpose to the suffering, and that we have a choice. There are two paths leading to the same goal, the path of Light and the path of suffering.

Why should we suffer in vain? If we draw the Light, then it reveals how opposite we are to it and we suffer due to seeing a better state compared to the one we are in now. This is what the science of Kabbalah offers to a person: the path of Light instead of the path of suffering.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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A New Fulfillment For A New Need

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe modern person has all the comforts of this world, but we are still unsatisfied – in fact, more so than before. In the past, if a person had a loaf of bread a day, he could not dream of anything more. Compared to that, look at all the things a modern person needs. Yet, is he satisfied? No! And everyone is asking: Why?

Satisfaction is not to be found on the regular, human level, and none of the new toys we get will help. We want to dope ourselves with “stuff,” but the emptiness that surfaces in us comes from a completely different place: our lack of similarity to the Creator. That is why we cannot fulfill it with anything other than the sensation of the Creator!

This emptiness gradually forms inside us and accumulates to a specific measure in order to “explode.” That is when a person comes to understand that he can no longer suppress that emptiness. He has to fulfill it since otherwise his life will seem worse than death. It is impossible to find fulfillment for this desire in this world because it is a need to reveal the Upper World, the Creator!

Yet the body’s protective forces compel us to search for ways to confuse ourselves. People take drugs, alcohol, or fill their lives with empty, fashionable things or trips. Thus, like ostriches, we hide our heads in the sand to escape the problems.

That is how the protective force of our ego operates, wishing to prove to itself that it is fulfilled and to conceal the emptiness that never can be filled. Why think about the things we could never attain anyway and spoil our lives?

But this cannot go on for long! For now we still manage to confuse ourselves on the “animate” level in order to avoid feeling the unfulfilled need on the “human” level. But the cover up will unavoidably blow up.

In different periods throughout history similar states brought about revolutions, wars, and dramatic, tragic solutions. Let us hope that in our case the solution will not be so cruel. In our case, we have to rise from the level of our world, the “animate” degree, to the level of the Upper World, the level of Adam or the Creator. This is not in our power and humanity is starting to go crazy from its own futility.

On our egoistic level it was possible to ascend from one degree to the next by way of revolutions, wars, new regimes or religions, and new technologies such as book printing, the steam engine, the Internet, and so on. All of this provided fulfillment for a certain segment of time, but now egoism has exhausted itself and the need to reveal the Creator demands precisely the spiritual fulfillment. We are revealing a new inner desire: to reveal the One who controls us.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/2/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Sweet Is The Longing Of The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Is our suffering in this world not enough that we have to feel more pain striving for the Upper World? It looks like a person doubles his suffering when he embarks on a spiritual journey, doesn’t he?

Answer: That is correct. Your suffering becomes greater so that you cover this spiritual distance faster! What else could possibly give you a start? However, we do not receive suffering from Above, but are expected to find this lovesickness on our own. The Light that Reforms evokes our heartfelt longing for it, and we start moving ahead motivated by the latter. This is not the same as the suffering of this world, where we are like animals who are being beaten and don’t understand why, and simply keep running from the blows.

It is up to us to start acting. But we think, “Oh well, let’s wait until the help from Above arrives and takes care of everything.” What kind of help do you think is going to come? Only the suffering in this world will force us to advance!

Alternatively, if you connect to the group, you will receive spiritual suffering and will start advancing sooner. It will be a sensation of a spiritual void, the longing of the heart, lovesickness. Then you won’t need to be driven by the corporeal pain. If you make an effort to advance at the speed that is assigned to you, according to your original spiritual genes (Reshimot), it won’t be necessary to drive you “toward happiness with a rod.”

It is true that when you ascend so high that you can connect with all the other souls, you start feeling pain for them like a mother suffers when seeing the pain of her children. This is why we think that Kabbalists also suffer in this world.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Be Your Own "Donkey Driver"

Dr. Michael LaitmanI use the word "Stimulator" to call the system that we must now build because it comes from the Greek word “Stimulus,” meaning a sharp, pointed stick used to poke donkeys in order to keep them moving. Our “donkey” (“Hamor” in Hebrew) is our egoistic desire (“Homer”) which only understands the language of a “stick.” Yet, instead of driving this “donkey” by painful poking, we want to awaken the human being in us who looks ahead and yearns for the future on his own. We need a stimulus, but a positive one. We need to be driven by “lovesickness,” the desire to attain this state. This should be the only force driving us ahead, instead of corporeal pain pushing us from behind.

We have to invoke just one kind of suffering inside us, the question, “Why haven’t I attained unity with the Creator yet? Why am I not in awe of Him?” The first stage in returning to the Creator is “repentance from fear,” which occurs when I put forth efforts to cultivate an inner sensation of awe regarding the spiritual goal, the Creator, and bestowal, instead of running ahead because I fear painful blows that come after me. That is how I change my motivation or Stimulus.

If I run ahead motivated by the strikes (fears about things in this world or punishment in the world to come) then I am not returning to the Creator. In fact, this is how humanity has advanced naturally for thousands of years, but it isn’t spiritual evolution. It is the evolution of desire where we replace an unpleasant state of existence with a new, hopefully better one.

Yet, returning to the Creator is described as “Tshuva (return of) Hey to Vav,” which means that I invoke my own inner fear of not having the quality of bestowal and love. But what can I do if in actuality I am not concerned about this and feel no fear? Where can I get it? The answer is only from the environment!

If the environment paints a picture for me that makes me realize how horrible my condition is and, at the same time, that there is something incredibly wonderful awaiting me, then I will strive toward it. This is the correct, spiritual stimulus that enables us to advance. This way of advancing is correct because it is voluntary, and we therefore make this entire process an “awakening from below.”

However, if I don’t arrange an environment that instills this yearning for advancement in me making me run because I fear that I haven’t attained this goal yet and terrible misfortunes are following me because of it, I will never move into the next moment! In fact, I won’t move one bit.

That is why we need a “stimulator” and a positive one!

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The Drop Of Unity Is Priceless

Dr. Michael LaitmanEverything that ever happened to us, all the suffering we have gone through over the course of all of our history was for our own good. Baal HaSulam writes in Letter #23 that a person who has revealed a drop of unity with the Creator would happily chop off his arms and legs several times a day just to feel the taste of unity with the Creator at least once in his lifetime!

And that’s no exaggeration. If a person would consider how much Light one single drop of unity brings him compared to all of the most horrible suffering of this world, then he would feel that it outweighs everything!

We do not understand what the Upper Light is which clothes into the soul. We think that it’s simply something pleasant that makes us feel good. We don’t feel the true meaning of the words, “eternity, perfection, and harmony.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/17/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Nothing Is Accidental

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Kabbalah says that the reason for all the problems in the world is man’s egoistic desire. But what is the connection between me being an egoist who’s opposite to the Creator and the extreme heat in Moscow or the ecological crisis?

Answer: We are all inside a closed system or sphere called “the Creator” where all the parts are connected through mutual bestowal. That is the law of existence of the entire system as well as each of its parts. We can see this on the example of the human body, the ecosystem, and so on. I exist inside this system like an embryo inside a mother’s womb, and I feel good to the degree I am connected and equivalent to the system and bestowing like it. And vice versa: To the degree I am disparate from it and have different qualities, I feel bad.

Proximity and separation are not defined by distance, but by equivalence of form. If I have a small egoistic desire, then even if I am different from the system, I feel small problems. But if my desire increases, then so does my sensation of discomfort.

Since man’s egoistic desire constantly develops, his opposition to Nature’s system, the Creator, also increases, and thus it is inevitable that man will feel worse. This will continue until he begins to understand what the reason for his suffering and problems is.

I will receive blows of fate from all sides until I understand that it is systematic and not accidental. The problems with the ecology are not accidental! I can no longer keep ignoring them. Similar problems will take place all over the world and in all forms. They will shake people up and make them stop and think, “Apparently, there must be a reason for this?”

As the desire grows, it feels suffering and creates a mind by its side in order to avoid the suffering. A person becomes smarter and shrewder. He learns to connect the causes and consequences and inevitably begins asking, “Why is this happening? Where are all of our problems coming from?” Usually people ask, “What did I do to deserve all of this?” And that is already a subconscious question about the Source of what is happening (Nature, the Creator).

People will reveal that what is operating here is the general law of the universe. Call it “Nature” instead of the Creator; either way it requires us to constantly and consciously maintain balance with Nature, which means we have to have the same quality of bestowal as the whole universe since all parts of the universe exist in universal connection and integral unity.

That is why there is no choice about the matter. Humanity is a cancerous tumor inside all of nature, and it is obligated to cure itself. Eventually, under pressure from all the problems, we will reach this realization. It’s already very close.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/10/10, A Lesson On Current Events

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Spiritual Pleasure

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is spiritual pleasure? Is it simply very intense enjoyment or something completely different?

Answer: The only difference between corporeal and spiritual pleasure lies in which desires I experience it: egoistic or altruistic. My egoistic desires of reception are limited. They gradually reveal their own emptiness, and I am forced to seek greater pleasure. As a result, I am never satisfied.

I have tried to fill myself with pleasure but failed since pleasure is a “plus” and I am a “minus.” When I attempt to receive pleasure, I only gain temporary satisfaction which resembles a “short-circuit” as it quickly dissolves leaving me empty again, and then the feeling of emptiness is twice as great. It has doubled because the pleasure I so eagerly sought has gone, forming the sensation of emptiness in addition to the emptiness I had felt before. So it follows that I’m always at a double loss. As a result, we evolve in our world from generation to generation, augmenting our empty egoism.

Yet nowadays a new problem arises. The ego that once grew, bringing me a sensation of emptiness, stopped growing. Logically this should have made me content, but I feel that I have nothing to gain pleasure from now. This new problem is worse than the previous one since there is no hope for fulfillment. Beside that, I feel that egoism is integral, representing the sum of all seven billion individual, egoistic desires. I discover that I depend on everyone, and everyone depends on me. For this reason, I find that I don’t know what to do with it, which drives me to extreme desperation.

During this period, a person might find solace in drugs, which only postpones the realization of the total crisis for some time. Yet, even this “solution” expires for it makes a person aware that this path is false, and that to disconnect from life means to agree with death. But nature does not allow it! We are faced with the question, “What to do next?” And the answer lies in transitioning from “pleasure from reception” to “pleasure from bestowal.”

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/6/10, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

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