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Fifth Talk: Shamati No.1: "There is None Else Beside Him"

My teacher wrote down everything that he heard from his father. When I came to study with him and started asking difficult questions that bothered me, he would always avoid the answer, until finally one day he offered me his notes to read. Here I would be able to find what interests me and understand what I have to understand by rereading them when I am in different states. This would be enough to last me for my entire life, even when he is gone.

Our conversation took place in 1981, and he gave me his notebook. I made a copy of it and, for ten years, I read from the copy. In 1991, on the day before his death, he gave me the original. He said: “Read it. It’s for you”. He asked me to come earlier the next day. He knew what would happen before-hand, but I did not know. I arrived late, and when I arrived he was almost unconscious and he died as I watched.

The articles and notes that he gave me are very important and deep. Every time a person reads them he thinks that he understands something, but when he reads it again he sees how wrong his previous comprehension was, and he constantly continues to reveal newer and newer depths in it. How one comprehends that which he reads depends on what state he is in.

These articles were written from the highest point, or from the height of attainment. However, a person can read them while he is on any of the lower levels, including the level of our world. Every person is able to find his personal state in these articles, as well as what he needs to do in this state and what the author wants to say to the reader during this moment.

I recommend for everyone to read these articles; even a few lines a day is sufficient. My Rav used to open the notebook before he went to sleep for only a few seconds, and this was sufficient to allow the light to expand into the soul.

Right now you and I will read one of the deepest and most serious of Rav’s articles, which must become a desktop manual for anyone who wants to unify with the Creator. This article contains Baal HaSulam’s entire Torah, his entire approach to creation, and everything that a person should constantly hold inside of himself and perceive.

This is the first article in the book entitled “Shamati”, which I have published. It is called “There is None Else Beside Him”:

"It is written, “there is none else besides Him.” This means that there is no other force in the world that has the ability to do anything against Him. And what man sees, that there are things in the world that deny the Higher Household, the reason is that this is His will.

And it is deemed a correction, called “the left rejects and the right adducts,” meaning that which the left rejects is considered correction. This means that there are things in the world, which, to begin with, aim to divert a person from the right way, and by which he is rejected from Sanctity.

And the benefit from the rejections is that through them a person receives a need and a complete desire for the Creator to help him, since he sees that otherwise he is lost. Not only does he not progress in his work, but he sees that he regresses, that is, he lacks the strength to observe Torah and Mitzvot even in Lo Lishma (not for Her Name). That only by genuinely overcoming all the obstacles, above reason, can he observe the Torah and Mitzvot. But he does not always have the strength to overcome above reason; otherwise, he is forced to deviate, God forbid, from the way of the Creator, even from Lo Lishma.

And he, who always feels that the shattered is greater than the whole, meaning that there are many more descents than ascents, and he does not see an end to these states, and he will forever remain outside of holiness, for he sees that it is difficult for him to observe even as little as a jot, unless by overcoming above reason. But he is not always able to overcome. And what shall be the end?"

The Creator is the only ruler of creation and it was He who created man with specific attributes and gave him all of the necessary strengths. He surrounds man with an environment that optimally helps him to advance towards the goal of creation. Nevertheless, we can see that despite this fact, the Creator Himself does not only not help man directly, but He also constantly confuses him with various problems, such as making him lose his job, have problems in his family, be afflicted by various illnesses, misfortunes, suffering and many more things.

This kind of a relationship with the Creator lasts for a long time, but a person has no other way to advance than to go through these states and thus to acquire the experience that will later give him the ability to receive perfection, eternity, infinity and unity with the Creator.

This period comes to an end when a person arrives at the decision that only the Creator can personally help him. This decision causes the genuine demand to be established in the person’s heart; a demand for the Creator to open his eyes and heart and to really bring him closer to eternal union with Him.

The Creator wants for man to acquire all of the worlds’ attributes by ascending to those worlds from our world and by replacing the Creator in each of the worlds. However, there is no possibility of doing this without the Creator’s help. A person is not able to do anything on his own. All suffering and misfortunes happen to us because our desires or attributes are opposite to the Creator’s attributes, that is, they are opposite to the light.

As a result of the opposition of attributes, everything that we see in our world does not exist in reality, but it is merely the projection of our attributes onto the light. We are seeing our own attributes. When the light comes from above, a person does not feel the light, but rather he feels his own negative attributes in the light. In order to feel the light itself, a person must rid himself of the egoism’s evil or of his obstacles.

When a person cries to the Creator for help, it suddenly becomes clear that: “all the rejections he had experienced had come from the Creator.

"And only if that person has a true desire will he receive help from Above. And he is constantly shown how he is at fault in his present state. Namely, he is sent thoughts and views, which are against the work. This is in order for him to see that he is not one with the Lord. And as much as he overcomes, he always sees how he is farther from holiness than others, who feel that they are one with the Creator.

But he, on the other hand, always has complaints and demands, and he cannot justify the Creator’s behavior, and how He behaves toward him. This pains him. Why is he not one with the Creator? Finally, he comes to feel that he has no part in holiness whatsoever.

Although he occasionally receives awakening from Above, which momentarily revives him, but soon after he falls into the place of baseness. However, this is what causes him to come to realize that only God can help and really bring him closer.

A man must always try and cleave to the Creator; namely, that all his thoughts will be about Him. That is to say, that even if he is in the worst state, from which there cannot be a greater decline, he should not leave His domain, namely, that there is another authority which prevents him from entering holiness, and which can bring benefit or harm.

That is, he must not think that there is the force of the Sitra Achra (Other Side), which does not allow a person to do good deeds and follow God’s ways. Rather, all is done by the Creator."

The Creator gives a person painful blows in order to return him to the goal of creation. Usually, if a person feels good, then he delights in it and does not care whether the Creator exists or not. However, it is important for a person to be one with the Creator specifically when he is in a good state. This is why the Creator sends us blows - in order for people to be reminded of Him. When a person feels bad, then, one way or another, he begins to think about the Creator. However, all of the work consists in being with the Creator when you feel good.

You can see that Kabbalah talks about the most refined of the souls’ perceptions. People do not expect a blow. It comes unexpectedly, when a person is cut off from the Creator. Each one of us is under the personal governance of the Creator. This governance becomes expressed when we forget about Him. In order to remind us of Himself, He sends us special signals in the form of fate’s blows, and this is His way of saying that we must always direct our thoughts in the direction of the Creator. Nothing more is required.

"The Baal Shem Tov said that he who says that there is another force in the world, namely Klipot (shells), that person is in a state of “serving other gods.” It is not necessarily the thought of heresy that is the transgression, but if he thinks that there is another authority and force apart from the Creator, by that he is committing a sin.

Furthermore, he who says that man has his own authority, that is, he says that yesterday he himself did not want to follow God’s ways, that too is considered committing the sin of heresy. Meaning that he does not believe that only the Creator is the leader of the world."

There is not one single thought that comes to our mind, that does not come from the Creator. This was predetermined in the goal of creation, and we cannot change anything. In this case, who am “I”? “I” am the one who feels that which is happening up above. At first, we perceive all of this as confusion, and this is because the spiritual that is above is entering us or into the material.

However, gradually this begins to find its place in a person and it begins to work, and then we understand that things cannot be any other way. “Ascent” is when a person agrees with what the Creator is doing, and thus a person feels fulfillment, perfection and eternity; he separates from his body and relates only to the spiritual.

"But when he has committed a sin, he must certainly regret it and be sorry for having committed it. But here too we should place the pain and sorrow in the right order: where does he place the cause of the sin, for that is the point that should be regretted.

Then, one should be remorseful and say: “I committed that sin because the Creator hurled me down from holiness to a place of filth, to the lavatory, the place of filth.” That is to say that the Creator gave him a desire and craving to amuse himself and breath air in a place of stench.

(And you might say that it is written in books, that sometimes one comes incarnated as a pig. We should interpret that, as he says, one receives a desire and craving to take liveliness from things he had already determined were litter, but now he wants to receive nourishment from them).

Also, when one feels that now he is in a state of ascent, and feels some good flavor in the work, he must not say: “Now I am in a state that I understand that it is worthwhile to worship the Creator.” Rather he should know that now he was favored by the Creator, hence the Creator brought him closer, and for this reason he now feels good flavor in the work. And he should be careful never to leave the domain of Sanctity, and say that there is another who operates besides the Creator.

(But this means that the matter of being favored by the Creator, or the opposite, does not depend on the person himself, but only on the Creator. And man, with his external mind, cannot comprehend why now the Lord has favored him and afterwards did not.)

Likewise, when he regrets that the Creator does not draw him near, he should also be careful that it would not be concerning himself, meaning that he is remote from the Creator. This is because thus he becomes a receiver for his own benefit, and one who receives is separated. Rather, he should regret the exile of the Shechina (Divinity), meaning that he is causing the sorrow of Divinity."

The Creator sends only goodness to a person. However, when it passes through egoism it becomes perceived as bad, such as disease, stress and various life misfortunes. When a person feels bad, he is unable to thank the Creator at the same time. If a person knew and felt regret and sorrow for how bad the Creator feels from feeling the difference between the goodness He sends and the bad a person perceives, then the person would behave differently. Or, if the person was able to feel the Creator’s joy when the person himself feels good.

In other words: all of the thoughts, all of the actions, and everything that happens, must be directed at the Creator. This is the only way a person is able to exit out of his “I” or his body, and this signifies his entrance into the spiritual.

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