Entries in the 'Suffering' Category

My Greatest Virtue Is My Deficiency

Laitman_053_05Everyone asks the same question: if the Creator is omnipotent, why does He put us through the suffering of this whole life that sometimes is worse than death? If He treats us with love, then why does He plunge us into such horrible states? If there is none else beside Him, then how can He do this? Why did He have to create in us an evil nature and demand that we come to goodness through such a long path of suffering?

The fact of the matter is that there’s no deficiency in the Creator, and we need to bring ourselves to a feeling of deficiency on our own. This is impossible without hard work. We are not working hard in order to receive fulfillment, but in order to feel a deficiency. This constitutes the whole process that we go through.

It seems to us that we try to fill ourselves, but this is not the case. We only work on building a giving “Kli,” a desire to bestow within us. The higher we rise, the greater is the deficiency of bestowal, the need to bestow. When we reach Infinity, this will be an infinite, empty vessel (Kli) with an infinite sensation of a lack of bestowal. This is the ultimate achievement of the creature.

From this, we understand that we cannot complete the process in any other way. There’s no deficiency in the Creator to begin with; the very concept of the Creator lacking anything is nonexistent. It is we who need to reach a sensation of a deficiency and particularly of bestowal.

Yet, isn’t His desire to please the creatures a deficiency? No, it’s not. This desire of the Creator comes from perfection. We’re unable to understand this since our desire is a consequence of deficiency. The Creator and I are standing opposite to each other, mutually bestowing to each other with equal desires, but our desires are from completely different roots. His desire comes from perfection since He is initially perfect, and my desire comes from deficiency which I have developed within myself on my own.

Therefore, this deficiency isn’t to my detriment; it’s my virtue and I have reached it myself. I’ve built love for Him within me as the lack of bestowal or the desire to bestow, is, in fact, love.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/3/10, Article “Matan Torah”

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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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When The Exile Comes To Its Conclusion

Laitman_003.jpgThe Zohar, Chapter “Shemot (Exodus),” Item 340: “And it came to pass in the course of those many days.” This was the end of their exile, when Israel were enslaved in any labor. “In those many days,” meaning many days of Israel’s stay in Egypt, when the end has come. And since their exile has come to its conclusion, it is written, “The king of Egypt died,” meaning that the minister of Egypt has been brought down and fell from his pride. This is why it is written about him, “The king of Egypt died,” since descent was as death to him. And since the king of Egypt – their minister – has fallen, the Creator remembered Israel and heard their prayer.

We have to reach a state when the entire Malchut of Egypt, meaning this world, all of its goals, our whole life and achievements, will lose their significance in our eyes. We will feel worthless, unhappy, and transient. We will ask ourselves, “What do I get from all this?” This world will become devoid of any importance to us.

This is called “The king of Egypt died.” We begin to ask ourselves, “Why do I need everything that I have in this world?! What for? What do I get from it?” This state marks the beginning of the exit from Egypt.

Today humanity is starting to understand that it doesn’t have any clear plan of development or goal, and most importantly, there is no purpose in life. We are yet to see the emptiness even in those who are still fanatically devoted to some meaningless goals and don’t realize the worthlessness.

When this becomes revealed, the real wars will be forged, and it will happen out of emptiness, despair, and helplessness. The most dangerous state is when a person sees that this life is empty. While he expects to accomplish something in life, he acts and even battles wars, and thus problems, revolutions, and wars that occur in the world, are purposeful.

On the contrary, when everyone sees that life is worthless and they begin to clash with each other, it becomes a big problem. Then everyone will turn their attention to Israel.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/10, The Zohar

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Life Without Suffering

Laitman_410A question I received: How can we imagine human life in the spiritual world, completely devoid of suffering?

My Answer: We are unable to picture this since anything that we would imagine would be egoistic. The notion of the spiritual world is finding pleasure and inspiration in bestowal, in love for the others. However, it’s not for personal pleasure or inner peace, but for the greatness of the action itself.

So how can I feel the greatness of bestowal? I plead that the Light will let me feel it since I am incapable of doing it myself. However, I am even incapable of wanting it and asking for it. So what do I do? The environment can compel me to do this; it can force me to have a desire for something that is unnatural and generally opposite to me.

The environment can oblige a person to do anything. A person is even ready to commit suicide in order to look great in the eyes of the others. Everything depends on the environment. It can instill desires that are against a person’s ego, and his ego will go along with it.

This is due to the fact that the human degree within us is higher than the animal degree, and in order to achieve one’s desire on the human degree, to satisfy one’s ambition, a person is willing to kill the animal in him. An animal is incapable of this, yet man is. It’s because within him, there is a human degree upon which influence can be exerted. It is completely dependent on the environment.

The environment needs to influence each person in such a way that he will desire to ascend above his egoism. By influencing each other in this manner, they both will ascend constantly.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/10, Article “Peace in the World”

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Revealing The Creator’s Goodness

Dr. Michael Laitman A question I received: It is written that the Creator, the Upper Light, is good and merciful. Where does this idea come from?

My Answer: In order to reveal the Creator’s kind attitude, a person has to make efforts and carry out great work to correct himself. Then the quality of bestowal (Bina) comes to him. However, this does not mean that if you cry for a while, then the Creator will act like a loving mother and have pity on you, pleasing you in some way. There is a strict law operating here: “One is rewarded in accordance with one’s efforts.”

If we so desire, we will advance along the good path, and if we don’t desire it, then we will face a Third and Fourth nuclear world wars. Our entire program of development depends on how much we oscillate between two paths: Beito (naturally, in due time), and Ahishena (accelerating time). To the extent we follow the program of development, we sweeten our state, and to the extent we don’t, it catches up to us with suffering.

In truth, we don’t understand the meaning of life without suffering. We are used to suffering, disease, and hard work, and we don’t understand what it means to exist in the spiritual world, like an angel, where everything is good, perfect, and harmonious. We have never tasted this, as it is written, “Taste and see how good the Creator is!”

Therefore, we consider life with a bit less suffering than usual to be good. But is it really good if we always have to labor and struggle for our existence? We don’t know what it means to be in the spiritual field, inside the perfect Light. That is why it seems merciful to us when the troubles afflicting us are slightly reduced and we get a short break.

Yet, we have to understand that there is a strict law operating in the world: “I did not change my HaVaYaH.” We will have to work and carry out our entire program, whether in a good way or a bad one. This is entirely up to you; there won’t be any leniency from Above.

It is idol worship to think that the Creator changes. The Creator never changes; He is Absolute. He is perfect, and something that is perfect cannot change either for the better or the worse.

He is good and does good unto the wicked and the righteous, where the latter are those who want to attain Him. It doesn’t matter what state they are in now, good or bad. They will reveal that the Creator is good and kind.

From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/21/10, “Peace in the World”

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Help Against Yourself

Dr. Michael LaitmanA question I received: During The Zohar lessons I always find myself at war with myself. What can I do to maintain the right intention?

My Answer: That is a natural state for beginners. Try to use the time at the lesson to realize the purpose of your suffering. Who is it in you that suffers? It is your body, your egoistic desire that resists. You have a body, the ego, and the point in the heart which aspires to the Creator. Are you examining your state from within the ego or the point in the heart? If you are one with the point in the heart, then The Zohar shines to you, but this Light is opposite to your ego. It feels adverse to you, like a person that speaks out against you.

Imagine sitting in front of your wife as she criticizes you, saying that something is wrong with you, and you listen and agree with her criticism, realizing that you do need to correct yourself. Your uncorrected ego resists and doesn’t want to listen, but you tell yourself: "It’s not me who doesn’t want to listen, but the ego that the Creator deliberately created within me. I, however, want to listen and to love her, because she is pointing out my real shortcomings that need correcting."

Picture this scene to yourself in the smallest detail until you realize that you really do need to sit and try to cling to every word of The Zohar. You don’t like what you hear? That’s wonderful! You’re not interested in revealing this? Absolutely! The Zohar is opening your eyes to the whole truth, thereby infuriating you and that’s great. That is precisely what it’s supposed to do. That is how the Light influences you, by showing you how uncorrected you are. Precisely then should you rejoice and desire to cling to it.

Now you have two points: the uncorrected Malchut and the spark which you have to connect to the Light. Go with the Light against your uncorrected Malchut, and then The Zohar will cease to irritate you. You will begin to work on yourself with what it awakens within you.

Practice this at home with your wife for a bit, and then the work with The Zohar won’t seem so hard.

From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/9/10, The Zohar

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Egoism Causes Its Own Suffering

Israel Is All the People Who Aspire Toward the Creator The Creator does not send me suffering. The desire that is not similar to the Upper Light awakens within me and I feel this dissimilarity as suffering with respect to health, money, honor, power, security, spouse, children, and the whole world. I feel pressure, hardship, and various problems.

Who or what is at fault? My desire that is opposite to the Light. It arouses the sensation of suffering within me. This sensation does not come from the Light. The Light is at absolute rest; it is good and brings goodness both to the wicked and to the righteous. It is me that is not similar to the Light, my qualities that are different from the Light.

For example, if a desire of 10kg awakens in me,  I have to become equivalent to the Light in those 10kg. That is, I have to build the “intention for the sake of bestowal” upon that desire and then I will find myself in my “little” World of Infinity. Afterwards, the desire will increase to 12kg, and I will have to correct my intention for bestowal for the additional 2kg, and then I will feel myself in a greater World of Infinity, and so on.

My egoistic desire increases day after day. However, if I only want to use the increased desire more  by exploiting others for my own benefit instead of connecting with them and bestowing to the Creator with other parts of the common soul,  then I feel suffering in that desire. Egoism suffers from its own opposition to the Light that surrounds it. We create suffering for ourselves; it is not the Creator. He is perfect, so how can He change?

I’m immersed in the sea of Light now. Yet if I don’t try to become similar to Him, to the degree of the thoughts and desires revealed to me now, I will feel bad, and tomorrow, I will feel even worse than today.

Try to become similar to the Light every single moment. The Light is bestowal and love for the other; it is universal unification. All private desires, individual souls, will unite and this single big desire will become similar to the Light.

How can I accomplish it? How can I help in this process? Start thinking about it and you will see that your suffering will cease. Suddenly you will realize that your desire that is aspiring toward the Light is actually similar to it. In this part, you will feel yourself as the Light, as the Creator. You have the method and all the means for it.

Building The Middle Line

How Can Singularity Be Transformed Without Changing It is necessary to understand that two opposite forces, the right and the left, are forces of nature. Everything comes from the Creator, is split into two, and controls us.

Until you try to become similar to Him in the middle line, to build His image in you, you will not come to a good state. Therefore, one needs to constantly try to become similar to the Creator according to one’s degree and all the desires and qualities that are revealed to him. You must build a middle line out of everything that you receive from Him, from these two “reins,” the two lines, the two “angels.” Then you will be sure that you are truly achieving the best possible state for yourself, for Him, and for the two of you.

Otherwise you cannot save yourself from any misfortunes. If you don’t prepare yourself ahead of time in the middle line in the next degree, then punishments await you. However, in essence, these are not punishments; they are revelations of the same qualities (Kelim), which you did not correct. You were given an opportunity and all the means to correct these qualities, and they were revealed to you, but you failed to do this. For this reason you sense the lack of correction in the form of suffering.

Entering Spirituality Through A Thin Bottleneck

feed In order to lead me into the spiritual world, the authors of the The Zohar and other Kabbalists had to build a multi-level system. It is an entrance that enables me to enter spirituality layer by layer while adapting to each level, freeing myself from certain stereotypes and habits, and gaining a new outlook. It’s as if I have to pass through a thin bottleneck and take on its form; otherwise I won’t be able to get in.

Suffering pushes me from behind, while the importance of the spiritual goal lures me from ahead. That is how I make my way in, continuously assuming a form that is more appropriate for the new world that I have to reveal.

Therefore, we are yet to reveal many more purifying filters inside the text of The Zohar. They will force us to become square, or round, or triangular, and to take on all sorts of forms and shapes until we go through all of them and enter inside. We will encounter them on all levels of our mind and feeling, as well as our outlook and understanding. We are always going through different kinds of matrixes and every new filter does something new to us until we are finally born into the spiritual world. This is how spiritual birth occurs.

This is why we encounter so many confusing and repulsive things in the text. It is impossible to go through this material using regular study methods and the usual mental efforts. We will be able to see why everything occurred only if the Upper Light influences us and changes us.

There will be obstacles standing before us that will simply vanish into thin air. It’s as if there is a boundary in front of you (a Machsom), and then suddenly, it is gone! There was some sort of image or opening, and you suddenly go through it, taking on its form.

This is how it works. Therefore, the problems cannot be solved using logic and reason, since we don’t understand a word of this text correctly.

Can We Love The One Who Created Love?

created love The Creator is the force of bestowal and love, and one who loves feels great suffering if he is unable to delight his beloved. The suffering that comes from the inability to bestow is much greater than the suffering that comes from not receiving. It is written, “A cow desires to nurse the calf much more than the calf desires to nurse.” The Upper Level greatly suffers when it cannot give of its perfection to the lower level due to the latter’s inability to receive it.

The Creator is the desire to bestow, give, and love. However, we shouldn’t think that there is no lack in this desire – there is. Only it doesn’t come from a lack of fulfillment, but from being unable to share its perfection. This is why the Creator created the will to enjoy – it was in order to fulfill it and express His love toward it.

Our desire already contains all the prerequisites necessary for receiving all of the Creator’s Light and love. However, in order for us to understand what He does and to feel what He gives us, we have to become similar to Him, reaching the same level and qualities. To do this, we are missing just one component – our independence, our own desire to feel His love and to accept Him as the one we love.

Unless this aspiration comes from us, it can’t be considered love. After all, you can’t buy love; you can only buy different services. For example, I pay money at a barber shop, a medical office, or a restaurant, and the people there take care of me from the bottom of their hearts. However, they do it because they love money, not me. What can I do to make them love me? This is a question we cannot answer.

Real love is possibly only if I am completely independent of others. Yet it is written that the Creator is “the first and the last.” Therefore, He faces a problem of how to create us while making us completely independent from Him, and at the same time, making us such that we can develop love for Him until we feel, “I am the first and I am the last” in this regard. This means that the ten Sefirot of Direct Light clothe the ten Sefirot of Reflected Light and complement each other.