Daily Kabbalah Lesson 01-03-10
If I look at myself from the side, as an unbiased psychologist, I begin to see how the Creator controls me. From this perspective I can respond to things more correctly, assume control over myself, set a goal, and make use of all my resources to achieve it.
I must always try to see what is controlling me and how I am being controlled. Sometimes I am dominated by overwhelming desires, and I simply lose my head and surrender. I forget that these desires have taken over me and that they are not me.
Still, I must remain my own judge and struggle for an opportunity to continue to push spiritually. But if I am to succeed, I must find an additional force, one that lies beyond the plane of corporeal desires; this force can only be received from the right environment.
Here is me with my physical desires, and there’s the environment with human desires for money, fame, power and knowledge. In order to advance spiritually I have to get out of this circle and connect to another kind of force – one of spiritual origin.
I have a point in the heart, but that is not enough. I need the group, the study, the books, and the teacher because they will give me that great force that I need in order to lift me out of all these corporeal desires and push me into the spiritual world.
It is not my plan to neglect these desires. I have to use them as a basis, and then, together with the help coming from this new force, I will be able to set the right course. This is how my point in the heart, which awakened within the rest of my desires, helps me to find a new environment – a new world. Therefore, without this environment, I would be left with nothing.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshev, item 74-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 104, lesson 42-
Preface to the book of Zohar, item 31, Lesson 9-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-31-09
I think that when we read the Zohar, when we study it, we lack some sort of general sensitivity. On the one hand, when studying the Zohar we should make it internal, personal. By personal I mean that I can take this book and get into a distant corner with it, and this is correct because the Zohar affects the root of everyone’s soul, its heart of hearts, and the one that is different for everyone. But on the other hand, you correct the root of your soul by uniting with the roots of all other souls, which is called “Knesset Israel”, the gathering of the souls of Israel, their unity.
It is this second part that we lack, and the reason the first part does not work when I sit reading the Zohar. It is necessary to have mutual bestowal, common hopes, general awakening, and this is the very thing that we lack. This has to do with our physical group, and even more with the virtual one. We must learn to do this, especially since we are first in the world, and in the entire reality, taking this path. Now, the correction works from the bottom upwards and there has never been anything like that, ever before. For the first time, from that of the last exile, the realization of this path should happen practically.
We have to understand that The Zohar is intended for revealing our point in the heart, and not for fulfilling our regular senses or intellect that belong to this world. You open the book and fall into despair because you don’t understand or feel it; but what kind of sensation or understanding do you expect? The Zohar impacts you in a different way, not the way you think it would.
You have prepared a barrel or a bucket (egoistic desires) and expect them to be filled with what seems like spiritual fulfillment, while you actually desire egoistic fulfillment. The Zohar, however, gives you a different type of receiving vessel – one that’s bestowing, anti-egoistic – as well as the corresponding fulfillment – the pleasure of bestowal.
These are the normal phases that every person goes through, gradually revealing his Kli, his attitude and the fulfillment he should expect. As a result all the delusions eventually fade away and one reveals the right Kli which is ready for the right kind of fulfillment.
Preparation to the lesson-
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshav, item 11-
Shamati, article 25, Things that come from the Heart-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 18. Friday’s morning lessons for beginers, lesson 11-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-30-09
Infinity is total unity with the Creator. It is a Kli (vessel) that is boundlessly filled with Light. It is one Law, one reality, where “He and His Name are one.” It is the implementation of the plan of creation.
Baal HaSulam provides an example in a letter to his students: a dark cellar (our world) where the King’s son is raised (the person whom the Creator chose in order to bring him closer to Himself). It is a metaphor of our spiritual growth in the “cellar” – the dark sensation of our world. Sometimes we are allowed to come out of the cellar for a little while, and then we suddenly sense our world as being brilliant. And at other times we experience pain from making fruitless spiritual efforts. That is how the Creator pushes us to make a firm decision to ascend above ourselves.
The best state is when a man awakens himself. During study he needs to see how much the beast in him is governing him – he feels sleepy from the sleep he just woke up from, or tired from work and many other troubles and tribulations that he remembers right in the middle of the lesson, and he thinks that it will help to deal with them and solve them now. But all that appears to us as “this world” are conditions of which we need to elevate from.
Sometimes during the lesson a person is overcome by thoughts about various “mundane” problems, which make it seem as though he has to solve them right there and then. “Mundane” in this case means everything related to our world. The mundane problems – meaning our entire world – are the conditions from which we have to ascend into the spiritual world. If it weren’t for these problems and difficulties that present themselves to us in the form of this world, we wouldn’t have anything to ascend above. Problems at work, the bank, the supermarket, with your health, children, spouse and others, are not artificial problems of this world, but spiritual levels that descended to this level and now appear to us in their opposite form. This opposite form only appears as a bank, supermarket, health, family, work, and so on; in reality it is the Upper Level creating conditions for us which we have to use to push ourselves into the spiritual world. We have to break through them like through a thick filter. We have to go through this sifter, because that work will constitute our effort.
If a person collects himself and persistently continues to read The Book of Zohar over and over again, then this confusion, fog and uncertainty disappears because the Light influences a person. “Whatever the mind doesn’t do, time does,” and The Zohar is especially powerful in this regard. We must only give it the chance to freely flow through us.
As I read a paragraph from The Book of Zohar, I don’t even want to remember anything that happened to me in the past. I have gone through it and it’s over. While I read The Zohar, I want to experience it fully; I want to completely absorb it so it will permeate all my cells. These are my expectations.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshalah, item 274-
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshav, item 1-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 100, lesson 40-
Preface to the book of Zohar, item 22, Lesson 7-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-29-09
In kabbalah you don’t understand anything until you enter spirituality. All you can work on is building the desire. You will go to lessons and come out knowing less than what you thought you knew beforehand. The next state of your soul starts off as knowing nothing and feeling nothing. It comes as complete darkness, and you have to accept it this way from the Creator. Only those with patience reach the spiritual.
If I decide to attain the quality of bestowal, I have to begin studying and using all the resources at my disposal to attain this quality. But all of this is necessary only to help me arrive at the conclusion that I don’t want to bestow at all. I don’t want for the mere sake of bestowal; I can agree to study only on one condition – that I will receive something in return. To study only in order to bestow onto others and to connect their desires to myself is not something that I’m capable of.
The first thing I need is the feeling that I don’t want to bestow and love, and that I reject spirituality.
The concealment of spirituality and the Creator cannot exist without revelation, and it is a special state of being.
When we read The Zohar we encounter many notions that we do not understand. With time, we will begin to recognize what they are, but actually this is not very important. The process of studying The Zohar is similar to how a baby always sees a lot of new, unknown things around him. He does not know what they are intended for, yet he becomes acquainted with the world even without knowing how he does this, instinctively and simply.
Later on when we read the Torah, we will see where all these images came from, why one name is mentioned first and then another, or why different quotations are used. We will understand what spiritual actions and qualities are being described and what force operates at each degree (such as Josef, Jacob, Abraham, Moses, and so on). The Zohar in particular and the science of Kabbalah in general appeal to these internal forces we have inside us. Thus, little by little we begin familiarizing ourselves with our qualities. As these qualities develop, it becomes possible for us to work with them, to organize them and use them properly.
In spiritual attainment, we suddenly reveal images inside ourselves on a sensual level as a result of projecting the narration of The Zohar inside us.
Spiritual revelation is not rational but sensual; it happens in new senses. It is brought about by the Light that Reforms, which simply makes us able to understand the Creator and to become like Him.
If I explain the meaning of every word, such as “mountains, night, darkness, and day,” then you will think that you have found out their meaning and will relax. You will think that you have read and learned an excerpt and now you can go home happy. However, this is not how you should feel when leaving the lesson. You have to leave The Zohar lesson feeling as though you did not understand anything at all – not one word. Everything is locked and closed; the book talks about a world that you don’t feel and don’t belong to. You tried to feel it, but didn’t succeed, and you still don’t know how to do this.
Until a person enters the spiritual world, he is unable to understand that the only thing that’s important is his desire. As for knowledge, the game of playing around with words, and memorizing the theory, all of this merely constructs an artificial system inside of you which calms you down and leads you away from the goal.
We have to forcefully try to understand the texts and we will achieve the most this way.
When I feel that I am unable to feel, it means that I have reached the realization of being opposite to the Upper Level. It’s as though I am standing opposite a person that I completely depend upon, but he ignores me like a wall. I can stand on my head for him and cry, but he remains impenetrable and does not react to any of my pleas. At that point I have to collect all my strength and understand that this is the Creator’s behavior towards me, and that is how He is showing Himself to me in order that I may persist despite everything. It is written, “Only those who are persistent and truly patient attain the King’s castle.”
“Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.”
-Baal HaSulam “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot” Item 155
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshalah, item 267, evening lesson-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 97, lesson 39-
Preface to the book of Zohar, item 21, Lesson 6-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-20-09
People I see as others are really me, they are desires outside that are really part of me. I have an imagination which shows them to me as if still, vegetative, animate and people, but they are broken because I don’t see them as mine. We have to connect to them and this constitutes the correction.
We either live in our own desires we were born with or correct ourselves and live in others’ desires.
Kabbalah teaches giving to others; reception outside of us.
The study is for feeling what is outside of us.
When we bestow we gain the ability to receive by the left line.
“There should be no separation between a prayer for the poor and a prayer for Moses, between Nukva and ZA, since they should always be in a Zivug, and the two of them are regarded as one.”
(The Book of Zohar Item 62)
Righteous is the one who justifies the Creator.
Everything Kabbalah talks about is within our desire.
It’s not forbidden to enjoy or take pleasure; it’s why we do it.
Time, space and motion are our imagination. There are no such things.
The whole world is in your desire and even the Creator is even in your desire. The desire is the reality. The creator’s revelation is in your desire in accordance to how it is equivalent to His.
The whole Book of Zohar speaks about our perception of reality.
The entire world is You. Still, vegetative, animate and speaking are all you.
“Hence, you should learn everything presented in the book of Zohar only in relation to the reception of the soul.”
(Item 5 Introduction to the Book of Zohar)
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Vayeshalah, item 52-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 81, lesson 34-
Preface to the book of Zohar, item 1-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-10-09
In each state, we prepare many tools for the future
Stage 1: One does not want the quality of bestowal.
Stage 2: One wants to bestow but can’t.
Stage 3: The Creator, as the quality of bestowal, is revealed.
We have to ask for the ability to go above our own sense of reason: bestowal.
“Contact with the Creator” means I am satiated by the quality of bestowal.
If we ask for Him, we connect to Him.
We are in the opposite state as the Creator so as to ask of Him consistently.
The best means for development is dissemination.
If every one of the friends would deal in dissemination, we would attract the “Light that reforms” over us many-fold.
If the Creature wants to use the Creator’s love you receive His bounty in order to bestow unto Him, they join.
By changing the receiver in him, one changes his reality.
This is called a crisis: I don’t know how to use my will-to-receive. I can’t fulfill it anymore!
The Wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to enjoy giving.
” Love another as thyself” is the form of bestowal between us.
If a person does not acquire a minimum knowledge about the spiritual world, he cannot enter it.
The Final Correction is the revelation of Love over the maximum amount of evil or hatred between us.
The force of the Creature does not exist but is but a wrapping over the Creator.
Bestowal means to be impressed by what they want and then giving what is in their favor.
Preparation to the lesson-
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Noah, item 233-
Shamati, article 14, What is the Greatness of the Creator-
The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy, lesson 2-
Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12-09-09
We’re never talking about a single individual when reading the Zohar.
There can he a whole world here, but the important thing is where He and I connect!
At the time of Abraham/Hesed/morning, what are those qualities within me that allow me to be connected with the Creator?
We need to build a system that knows how to connect opposites [left and right lines] in a harmonious way.
What we build inside the system of connected opposites is the “I”, the Soul.
Although everything exists in spirituality in potential, we have to bring it from potential to actual with our efforts.
The illumination of Hochma within Hesed is called the Holy of Holies, which are the corrected qualities within us that allow us to receive in order to bestow.
Egypt, Mt. Sinai, the Sinai Desert, and the Land of Israel are all within the same desire. The transitions occur within us.
We cannot discover the Creator in our coarsest desires, called “skin”. We have to move a less coarse and more internal level of desire called “flesh.”
Exile is not complete detachment. “Exile ” means that there is a small illumination from afar of the state of bestowal that causes us to yearn or long for the state of bestowal.
We hold onto the point of contact with the Creator by acceptance of whatever we’re presented with and determination to hold onto that contact above whatever appears in us.
I have to be included in that next “better” situation that already exists within me in potential.
The Book of Zohar – Selections, chapter Noah, item 273-
Article “The character of Kabbala”, Lesson 5-
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, item 61, lesson 27-