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Second Talk: Revealing the Creator While Living in This World

According to the thought of creation, we have to come to the state where we can live and exist according to the spiritual laws. All of the misfortunes that occur for each of us, as well as all disasters and catastrophes, take place in order to bring every person and humanity as a whole, to carry out the spiritual commandments during their life in this world. This is what Baal HaSulam writes.

Kabbalah is the instruction for the Creator to become revealed to the creatures living in this world. Kabbalah does not write about what will happen to us after death, but rather what should happen to us during our life in this world. Kabbalah talks only about what a person in this world needs; what he must achieve in order to avoid living his life in vain, only to involuntarily come back again and complete whatever was not finished before. Therefore, Kabbalah is the most indispensable and practical science in the world.

It is impossible for us to run away. Life itself obligates us to perform this completion, and as a result of all our suffering, come to full correction or Gmar Tikkun. What is “Gmar Tikkun”? The world will continue to exist; everything will continue to take place just as before: the same universe, the same stars, birds and trees.

Only man’s awareness will change in the way he perceives the environment, because man himself will change. Nothing else changes, continuing to act by the laws of nature, according to the directions it receives from the Creator. It is man who transforms from an animal to a real man.

Kabbalah explains how to achieve this completion. It is achieved by studying in a specific group, according to the right books, and under the supervision of an authentic Rav or teacher. In addition, Kabbalah teaches that the more a student begins to understand what to do, the more he perfects himself, the group, and the lessons. Baal HaSulam writes about this, and also depicts for us a picture of how the corrected world should appear.

The first thing that we study is the expansion of all of the worlds, Partzufim and Sefirot, starting from the highest point and descending downwards. The second stage consists of ascending the spiritual levels. In order to correct himself, a person must ascend along the spiritual levels that have been prepared for him, beginning with the lowermost point and ascending upwards, while continuing to live in this world. There are a total of 125 levels we have to go through on the path of ascent into the spiritual world. They are the total number of levels separating us from the Creator, meaning, there are 125 levels of the attainment of the Creator.

Right now I act according to my understanding of my egoistic nature. Something is good for me, and something else is bad. I learn from my environment and act accordingly. The more I adapt to my environment the more comfortable I feel in it. Further, while in my nature, it seems as if my environment changes as the people around me change their opinions as to what the world should look like.

Each generation is characterized by the souls in it, differing from the previous and following generations. We can see the degree to which two contiguous generations, such as our parents and our children, differ from ourselves.

The souls descend into our world in each generation, and from one generation to the next they accumulate their experience. In connection to this, the souls’ desires become greater than the souls’ desires of the previous and earlier generations. Therefore, every new generation aspires for new discoveries, assisting in humanity’s development.

When a person begins to study the spiritual world, he is being pushed to change his environment and the world to greater resemblance to the Creator. In the last stage of this change, the world becomes completely equivalent to the Creator. This generation is called “the last generation”. Not because everything will perish, but simply as a consequence of this generation’s perfection, no further correction is necessary.

Kabbalah does not talk about development after Gmar Tikkun, because this relates to the secrets of the Torah. It speaks only about how to bring a generation to the level of “the last generation”. The entire Torah talks only about how to go through the 125 levels of the Creator’s attainment.

On one hand, a person’s environment serves him in realizing the spiritual laws, enabling him to change the environment. On the other hand, by changing the environment, there are opportunities to change himself. Further, to the extent a person changes the environment, then the changes in that person are by a force equal to the number of members of the given society.

In short, our group is the place of correction and, simultaneously, the source for correction of each person who is in it. Even if someone in the group is still weak and is unable to do anything in it, nevertheless, he receives the force for his correction from the group in advance.

Therefore, each person has to build the correct environment for himself, in order to derive strength for spiritual correction and to ascend after a fall. Alternatively, in a group unable to give the strength for correction yet, many people are in the state of depression, or bad mood with the absence of the strength to advance. These states sometimes occur within a wholesome environment as well, but they do not endure.

Each level is built in the following way: “on the right” is the altruistic force of the Creator; “on the left” is the egoistic force of the desire that He created; in the middle between them is man, that is, he perceives himself this way. A person has to take the correct amount or necessary proportion from the right and left forces, and use them to ascend to the next level. Obviously, the right and left, just like other terms, are approximate, but we simply do not have any other way to refer to the attributes of the upper world.

A person continues this process until the 125th level. These 125 levels are divided into 5 worlds. Each world contains 25 levels. The lowermost spiritual world, called the world of Assiya, is located above our world. What t hen follows the world of Yetzira, then the worlds of Beria, Atzilut and Adam Kadmon. Our world is beneath the lowest level of the world of Assiya, and is separated from it by the Machsom (a barrier).

These right and left lines mutually help a person overcome all of the difficulties involved in passing from one level to the next. However, when a person initially begins to work against his egoism, the desire and strength to ascend emerge while he is present in the right side (the forces of the Creator). This is the first stage. Being on the right side in the initial state does not depend on the person, but rather on the Creator.

In the second stage, a person passes into the left side and adds egoism to himself. His mood here is totally opposite to his mood on the right side. He experiences a bad mood, depression, and weakness, and nothing seems worthwhile to him.

Being in the left side is necessary in order to feel our own egoism, and the amount of time a person spends there depends on the person himself. He can diminish the amount of time he is present there to a minimum. All of the bad that a person experiences depends on the amount of time he spends in the left line. If a person understands that his current bad state is happening with the goal of furthering his advancement, then he will no longer evaluate this state as bad, but rather as good. He will perceive suffering a necessity and consequently, good.

In this way, the perception and understanding of good and bad change. The group or environment can help in correcting these perceptions. A person can derive spiritual strength from the group while not yet in the spiritual world. All of the creatures are the single body of Adam and are separated by their bodies/desires due to the uncorrected desires.

When egoism becomes annihilated, we are able to receive information from the other souls and to feel them, since each person is willing to do something for another. It is necessary to build a group with one single goal. The group has to be a single whole, with one spirit inside. It is necessary to ensure the state of the group is always on one level, with each person always ready to help another. Each person must become integrated into the other and into everyone as a whole. The degree each will be able to lower his “I” relative to the others and the group as a whole, is the extent of how much more he will receive from each person and the group as a whole. A small person is able to receive from a big one. For this to happen, one needs only consider another person as being above himself.

The group must maintain the state where the most important factor is the exaltation of the Creator. This goal must determine every action. Then each person will be able to receive a spiritual charge from the group, and the downfalls will be unnoticeable. Each level of the souls builds its own environment for itself, that is, an environment that corresponds to it. Everything depends on the souls’ internal level. The environment must be built according to different laws in each world.

The group is built according to the principle of flexibility and the ability to change easily. It is even appropriate if the group constantly changes; this means it is advancing. Life, work and family in this world, as well as the animal life in the physical body, will change in the future according to the spirituality of members in the group. This is specifically what the Creator demands from us.

Our body will be in this world, while the soul is in the spiritual world. The more spiritual actions the soul performs, the more our body will follow the spiritual laws in the material world. That is, at the end of development, family relationships and those between group members must be built according to the upper laws of the world of Atzilut.

Adam HaRishon was created specifically in this way. His body/desire consists of the desires of the nine Sefirot, but Malhut is the part called “Lev haEven” (i.e. stony heart), meaning, the part of Malhut that was not able to absorb the attributes of the first nine Sefirot or the Creator’s attributes.

Thus, he was forbidden to arouse this tenth desire in himself, or to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as all of the evil is contained in this part. Therefore, if he breaks this rule, then that evil enters the world, intermixing with the other parts or the first nine Sefirot.

Nevertheless, Adam sinned, hoping to receive the light of the nine Sefirot into Malchut for the sake of the Creator. But since Malchut is unable to undertake the altruistic intention, Adam received for his own sake, causing the soul to break into 600,000 separate parts. These parts do not feel they were once a single whole soul and do not feel each other.

Each part of the general soul is the desire to receive pleasure. Each part is called “I” and needs to be corrected by elevating 125 levels up. That is, there is a need each time to correct a 1/125th particle inside of each of the 600,000 souls/desires. Every time each particle goes through the right side and then the left, it then becomes included into the middle line; taking the force of the Creator or the desire to bestow from the right line, and acquiring the desire to receive from the left line, their sum emerges in the middle line, resulting in a desire to receive for the sake of bestowal.

We are only given the forces that allow us to counteract the egoism of the left side from above, that is, to correct the necessary egoistic part in order to receive for the sake of bestowal. A person is given only what he is able to bear. If a person did not receive a force from above then he would not be given a bad state.

If a member of the group wants to advance spiritually, he continually needs an opportunity to receive both spirituality and egoism from the group. Therefore, these two attributes must coincide together in the group. Being in the group means to be connected with it, in the inner sense.

A person who comes to Kabbalah is very egoistic, autonomous and independent from others. He needs time until he begins to wish for the Creator and understand the importance of the goal of creation. Only then will he be able to lower himself in relation to the group, in order to give to it and to receive from it.

In the beginning, a person may not have the desire to do anything for the group, but the common goal must obligate him to do this. If each person understands that there is nothing more important than the goal of creation, then it will be easy for him to be useful to the group in many ways.

However, if the pleasures of this world are still worth more than the goal to a person and he cannot separate himself from those pleasures, then his time has not arrived yet and there is no place in the group for him. His soul is not ready to undertake the spiritual laws. When a person has gone through all pleasures of the world, he is then given a push towards the spiritual. In order for this to occur, he does not necessarily have to be in all circumstances of this world and then reject them by discovering their insignificance. Rather, he achieves this by receiving from above the necessary grounds for the insignificance of the earthly search for pleasure.

Today, spirituality attracts us with a greater pleasure compared to the material world. Therefore, we want it, and this is not a lie. Our entire world lives on and is supported by the tiny spark of the spiritual light that has broken through the Machsom and has penetrated into our world. Now imagine the spiritual world, which in its entirety is nothing but the light that is many billion times greater than the spark of pleasure of our world. What pleasures exist there!

But how do we enter the spiritual world? We know in order to achieve this we have to change our egoistic essence from the desire to receive into the desire to give. However, we do not understand what this is, and there are not enough words to explain this concept. We do not have the convolutions in our brain necessary to understand this because our brain works within the system of egoism.

Kabbalah teaches us that in order to feel pleasure it is sufficient to only change the direction of the desire rather than the desire itself. The pleasure will correspond to how much the desire’s goal-orientedness will change. Here we are talking about a purely psychological concept; a person still receives pleasure, but the important thing is for what or for whom he will be receiving it.

A question emerges: where is the knob that we need to turn in order to achieve this?

It is located at the boundary between the egoism of our world and the altruism of the spiritual world, and is called the “Machsom”. This means I am already willing to do anything to pass into the spiritual world with my perceptions. The group is necessary for a person to reach this state, as well as constancy with regard to studying. The group is necessary in order to develop the desire to receive the spiritual into the necessary size. Then an inner click occurs… and a person begins to receive the spiritual force and spiritual awareness from above.

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