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Freedom of Will

Based on the article of Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) "The Freedom"

Once again, I welcome all the participants to this worldwide broadcast. Today we will continue the article "Freedom of Will" in the first part of the lesson, and proceed with the article "Foreword to the Commentaries of Baal HaSulam to the book Zohar" in the second part.

The article is "Freedom of Will". We are in the section entitled, "To follow the majority". Let us remember what we have previously studied. We went over many questions and, basically, all of them come down to one thing: all of the actions that are happening in the universe, all of the actions that are performed over us, all of these actions are done by the Creator, and we are left with absolutely nothing, but only one thing: the desire to change in order to become similar to Him. This is not simply the desire to change. If I have the desire to become more similar to him then this desire will stimulate Him to correct me. And in reality, I will become corrected to the degree of my desire for it.

All of my other intentions and actions, no matter what they may be, are given to me by the Creator from the inside, or from the outside through the people or circumstances around me, as well as from the inside and outside simultaneously. As a rule, that is the way it works. This way, there is no freedom for me in any of this. If I was able to look at myself from afar in a true, objective way, then I would simply not notice all of these actions, because they are totally automatic.

And the Creator does not see them at all, because the only thing that exists for Him is my desire for Him, that is, my desire to become similar to Him and to come closer to Him. When a desire for Him emerges in me, it is the only thing that becomes fixated within me. When I am in a similar situation again and again, I will have a similar yearning for Him until my desires reach the degree necessary to break through to the next level. However, if such a desire does not emerge in me then I am located at 'zero' in relation to Him and I do not move. In other words, spiritual movement is the one and only movement, which is the desire for a greater similarity to the Creator. If there is such a desire in us, to change toward a greater similarity to Him, this means that we are making a small spiritual step. More precisely, we are not making it, but we are preparing our Kli for the Creator to make it for us.

This is the one and only action that we compel Him to perform. All other actions have been completely and automatically wound up from the beginning of creation until its end by the huge spring that brings the whole mechanism to life.

How is this one and only yearning for a greater similarity to the Creator realized in us? We have already spoken about this during previous lessons, and now Baal HaSulam takes a closer look at it in more detail.

"Going with the majority"

"Our scriptures say: "Going with the majority". That means that wherever there is a dispute between the collective and the individual, we are obliged to rule according to the will of the collective. Thus you see that the collective has a right to expropriate the freedom of the individual."

In other words, there is the law of the universe stating that the individual has to follow whatever has been accepted by the majority.

"But we are faced with a different question here, even graver than the first, for this law seemingly regresses humanity instead of promoting it. Because while most of mankind is as yet undeveloped, and the developed are always a small minority."

Of course, the masses or the people are less developed than the higher layers, because everything is built on a pyramid and this same pyramid can be observed in the Upper world. Everything emanates from the Creator and then slowly and gradually spreads and broadens based on a pyramid, leading to our world, which is the very last layer in the universe.

So is it really possible that the Creator will obey those that are lower, the majority? Or that any Upper level will obey the lower ones? After all, it gives birth to them, gives everything to them, influences them and fills them? How can it be possible that it has to obey them? Of course, in the spiritual world this all works in a different way. In the spiritual world the lower arouses a MAN in the upper. Then the upper replies by sending a MAD to the lower through his (the upper's) AHP. The upper is especially attuned to be sensitive to the pleas of the lower. In the spiritual world this is the meaning of 'following the majority'.

Drawing 1

The majority is on the bottom and it needs correction. Because of this the upper agrees to follow the majority if the majority demands, asks and begs him for correction. The upper naturally remains the upper in his GAR or GE. His AHP is designed to follow the pleas of the lower.

The lower asks of the upper: "Give me a greater strength to bestow", and naturally, the upper gives it to him and answers this plea with great pleasure. However, this is in the spiritual world, where everything is built according to bestowal. However, if in our world the higher layers, the chosen, special and developed people, were to follow the lower ones in their desires and yearnings then it would necessarily lead to regression.

" turns out that if you follow the will of the collective, which are the undeveloped and the ones of hasty heart, the opinions and desires of the wise and the developed, which are always the minority, are never taken into account. (it will always be that the best, most progressive ones who develop the way of thinking, will be suppressed by the demands and desires of the majority). Thus you seal off humanity's fate to regression, for it will not be able to make even a single step forward."

With the way things are currently, we can see that humanity is slowly advancing. Meaning, the highest echelon of society is advancing: philosophers, scientists, daring people, writers, and everyone who thinks creatively. And the lower layers are gradually pulling themselves behind them. They lag behind, but they are still pulling themselves. However, this is all under the condition that there is a yearning or arrangement that the ideal of even the lowest is to become similar to the highest. Rather than flaunting the fact that I am undeveloped, I will be ashamed of my underdevelopment and try to somehow pull myself up to a higher one.

However, if, instead, we follow the law according to which the highest must suppress themselves and become similar to the lower ones, then we will simply remain on a spiritually still level, even on a still corporeal level. We will not even develop here.

"Although, as it says in the essay "The Peace" (this article is from the same book by Baal HaSulam "Matan Torah") about the "obligation to caution in the laws of nature", that since we are ordered by providence to lead a social life, we have become obligated to observe all the rules that deal with sustaining the society. And if we underestimate their importance, even to a small extent, (obviously that would be against the laws of nature), nature will take its revenge in us, regardless of whether or not we understand the reason in the law."

What does it mean "the voice of the people is the voice of God"? Is the society in which we live really something sacred that we cannot change in any way, and that we must blindly obey it? Or, can we change it in some way? After all, revolutionaries bring forward ideas against whatever currently exists in society.

Baal HaSulam says that we have no other way to live in society than according to the law "follow the majority", which regulates any argument and any fault in society in such a way that this law is the only instrument that gives society the right to exist. In other words, the unquestioning submission to societal laws is necessary for every member of society. This is the law of the upper nature.

"Therefore it is considered one of the natural precepts of providence, and we must accept it and guard it meticulously, regardless of our understanding."

We have to take these phrases in the light of Kabbalah's legitimacy as a science and methodology that calls on every member of the group or every Kabbalist to a loyal treatment of the laws, authorities, and government in which he lives. In no way can a person mechanically, on the level of our world, try to organize revolutions and try to change the laws of our society. By doing this he will only evoke the violation of the sole law of nature. Why? - Because this law is given from above.

Everything that exists in our world, in our society and the way in which it all works, all of this descends from above. If we really wish to change something we will not be able to change it on the level of our world. That is why all revolutions, all novelties, everything that we are trying to introduce on the level of our world is all doomed for failure and leads only to greater suffering. It may seem to us that to live this way is regression.

However, it is not regression. In reality it is simply a picture that is fooling us. It appears to us that a person who is blindly obeying society and does not wish for any changes to happen within it is a frozen and dead member of society. While whoever is always trying to give something, to develop, to carry others away with him, is supposedly a useful member of society. However, in reality this is not the case.

And we see this in the course of thousands of years: where do these daring people, these dreamers, revolutionaries and philosophers take us? They lead us to faulty development and to states when we reach the brink of self-annihilation. Because, if this law descends from above then it must be changed at the root, in the place where it is conceived and from where it descends to us. That is why any change of any relationships (societal as well), and the law of our world in general (both the general and the particular) is possible only from above

After all, societal laws are the same as physical, chemical and any other laws. But we cannot change the physical laws. For example, we cannot create right now a different constant of freefall. To do that we would have to change the earth's mass and so on. And when we are talking about societal laws it seems to us that we can easily change them. However, it ultimately leads us to suffering because we are not changing the law.

In reality the law descends from above and we simply step out of its boundaries. It is a matrix that descends on us from above. And if we knew it precisely, if we correctly existed in it, then in order to step out of it we would try to change the matrix itself and the way in which it depends on the above, instead of pushing on its walls from the inside, trying to destroy them and perform some change from the bottom.

If we would alter these laws from above then they would change by themselves. Otherwise the laws are unchangeable. But we, with our pressure from the inside, are trying to destroy their boundaries. Ultimately, it turns out that we are leading to greater suffering. That is why the law "follow the majority" really is "the voice of the people is the voice of God".

Baal HaSulam talks about how we should not try to change anything by way of these kinds of human dares. This always brings a greater worsening. That is why he says:

"...And we can see that there is no other arrangement to live by within our society, but that of "Going with the majority", which sets every dispute and tribulation in society in order. Thus, this law is the only instrument which gives society a right to exist. Therefore it is considered one of the natural precepts of providence, and we must accept it and guard it meticulously, regardless of our understanding."

Look at what he says: it does not matter what you think of this law and society, how much you do not like them, or how much it may seem to you that if you change something a little here, pull something a little there, and weaken something a little here, just a little bit, and look how much easier, better, and more comfortable it will be for all of us. It only seems to us that these are positive changes. Ultimately, they will lead us to even greater mistakes.

This law of following the majority is similar to the other laws of the universe, or the other commandments of the Torah, and:

"...It is like all other precepts in the Torah, that are all the laws of nature and His providence, which come to us from above downward."

What are the commandments of the Torah? The commandments of the Torah are 620 laws that descend from above in relation to our 620 desires and practically command our desires. If we change our desires at will (as it seems to us) without any correspondence with the signals that descend from above (they are always altruistic signals), then we will move away from altruism even more with our mind and our egoism. With each generation our increased egoism will move us further and further away. Ultimately, we will find ourselves in such a lack of accord with the upper spiritual law that we will simply not know how we arrived to such a regrettable state. This will have happened due to a very simple reason.

The upper spiritual law emanates down from the Creator, from a single point. Moving gradually as a chain reaction in a pyramid, it develops and divides into all kinds of parts, particles with regard to each soul and to the accumulation and combination of souls, until they reach our world. But ultimately it is a single law. Regarding each of us it exists as 620 signals of Governance that descend on each of us. Every signal is related to the desire that corresponds to it.

This law of the universe manifests in me as all kinds of form-changing laws on the level of bodies, animals, plants, human psychology, the psyche, and in laws that all seven of our sciences study. But all of these laws in essence are the one and only law that emanates from Creator, the law 'to give the maximum to Creation'. This means, to bring creation to the state of maximal receiving, which means, to bring creation to the state of maximal bestowal and to become equal to the Creator. This is the one and only law. This is the law that descends to our world in its primordial form. In other words, this is how it is manifested from behind the Machsom down to our world. This law is absolute.

"It is like all other precepts in the Torah (or light, the law of the light) that are all the laws of nature and His providence, which come to us from above downward. And I have already described how all the stubbornness that we detect in the conduct of nature in this world, is only because they are extended and taken from laws and conducts of upper, spiritual worlds. (including the Creator Himself)."

When we ascend through the Machsom from our world to the Upper world, we find ourselves under the influence of these laws. Then we know that we must not change the laws, but rather ourselves from within. Unfortunately, we do not yet perceive this in our world and we have to discover it for ourselves.

"Hence, you can also understand that the commandments in the Torah are no more than laws and conducts, set in upper worlds, which are the roots for all of the conducts of nature in this world, as two drops in a pond."

In other words, they are laws that descend from above with regard to our human nature, the 620 so-called commandments or laws. After that they descend through us to the lower layers of nature: its animal, vegetative and still parts. There they become purely biological, chemical and physical laws.

"...which are the roots for all of the conducts of nature in this w orld, as two drops in a pond (because they descend from up down)."

"Thus we have proven that the law of "Going with the majority" is the law of providence and nature."

However, practically, we do not know that this is a real law that descends from above. Then why do we have to accept the majority as the echelon? Because the majority is always inert and is in the state closest to carrying out whatever descends on it. In the same manner, animals do not violate the laws of our world because they act from internal and external correspondence with that aspect of nature that is manifested in them, meaning from their personal and surrounding nature. That is why it is impossible to say that they harm nature or that they make mistakes. They do not either have to obey nor disobey something: they do not have any of those things.

And the masses are close to this kind of animal behavior. That is why the law of following them is the most optimal for human society for proximity to natural laws.

For now, this is all that Baal HaSulam said. But we know that a lot more descends with this law. How then can we change and move along the path of progress in this world? We accomplish this by changing ourselves. By changing ourselves we can raise our prayer or 'Ohr Hozer' to the higher level, to that little step that is slightly higher than ours, and where this law is formulated with regard to us. From the Creator to us the laws of the spiritual world descend as by steps of a ladder, and their whole purpose is to pull us to the Creator.

For me the Creator is the nearest step because it is the highest one with regard to me. If I want to change its behavior towards me I have to communicate with it in a way that it understands that desire and then it wants to change me. Its desire to change me is to change me in the direction of greater similarity to the Creator. If I really wish for this then this is called 'raising MAN', the raising of a plea. The Upper does not react to any other pleas.

He reacts to this plea and changes His treatment of me. What does it mean: He changes? He begins to correct me in the direction of a greater correspondence with His nature, that is, a greater correspondence with the law that He has placed over me.

Ultimately, it turns out that this law that descends on me, that is, the circumstances that descend on me from above and the nature that presently speaks within me, and the difference between them; it is created by the Supreme especially for me to raise the correct plea to Him. That is why if on the level of this world I will try to somehow mechanically obscure the Supreme's influence on me, to supposedly change our earthly settings for the better, change the relationships between people, between myself and society, try to smooth and level out sharp angles; then I will not notice the urging influence that the Supreme is sending to me. He sends me specific sufferings. If I incorrectly realize these sufferings and attempt to run away from them, or somehow attempt to fix them on the level of our world through the use of societal laws, (supposedly instilling progress) then I am running away from the correct solution to the problem.

In this case, He will have to send me an even greater lack of correspondence between me and His law, which states that I have to ascend to Him. Ultimately, it turns out that the more I "progress" on the level of our world the more I compel the Upper Partzuf to give me greater and greater sufferings,greater and greater lack of correspondence, until I find myself in a state where I will simply not know what to do.

So why does this happen to me? I strive for progress, strive for everything to be good; I arrange a government and create various societal institutes. I try to make the society around me kind and good, but in practice it becomes more and more menacing because by doing this I level out the Supreme's influence on me. Humanity has driven itself into this vicious circle.

Right now we are in a state where we can still recover our sight before the third and fourth atomic world wars break out. Baal HaSulam says that they are probable. However, we are still able to regain our sight. Right now, in our generation this opportunity is given, to lead humanity to a correct understanding, to the point where our efforts are applied for the better. The yearning for the better must be directed at the place where the laws that descend on us are conceived, where all the events and everything that will happen to us is chartered.

A Path of Torah and a Path of Suffering

"Yet the question about the regression that had come up as a result of that law is as yet not settled. (In other words, if we are going to follow the majority then we will necessarily regress. So what should we do?) And that is indeed our concern to find ways to mend that."

You see, I rush ahead and tell you the things which he will talk about, so that when we are reading his text later you will be slightly more prepared. That way we can maximally drink from the depth of this text.

"Yet the question about the regression that had come up as a result of that law is as yet not settled. And that is indeed our concern to find ways to mend that."

We want to correct our state and we have to follow the majority, but this does not give us sufficient correction. Naturally, man's egoism pushes him to all kinds of tricks not to obey the majority, to do something a little bit better for himself.

"But providence, in and of itself, does not lack because of that (i.e., we can not influence it this way) for it has already thoroughly enveloped humankind in two ways (What does 'circumvented' mean? It has surrounded us by two systems of influence): the "Path of Torah", and the "Path of Suffering". In such a way, that it is a, guarantee of humanity's continuous development and progress toward the end, without any reservations."

What does it mean, 'there is nothing that is higher than this'? The governance by the two paths, the path of Torah and the path of suffering, takes into account our yearning to somehow accommodate ourselves either without turning to the Supreme or without influencing ourselves through the reverse connection with the Supreme. That is, without raising ourselves to the higher level.

"Indeed, obeying this law is a natural, necessary commitment."

The Right of the Collective to Expropriate the Freedom of the Individual

What does this mean? As you can see, this section intensifies the rule 'follow the majority' and the right of the majority to suppress the freedom of the individual even more. As if from socialism we slide even lower down to communism.

"And we must ask further: for things are justified when matters revolve around issues that are between two people. That then we can accept the law of "Going with the majority", through the obligation of providence, which instructs us to look after the wellbeing and happiness of my friends."

Baal HaSulam says that the law 'follow the majority' must in principle be a positive one if I go after the goal of my friends' well being. In other words, I have to follow the majority not because it is a mass and I have no other choice except to succumb to it. This law will become positive if I interpret 'following the majority' as the yearning to accept the desires, sufferings, and worries of the majority as my own desires. This is called 'following the majority'. In other words, to take into yourself all the sufferings of the whole society and to try to fulfill them in some way. What will happen then?

"But the law of "Going with the majority" is held valid by the Torah in matters that regard disputes between man and God, although these matters seem to be irrelevant to the existence of society."

In other words: not only do I have to follow the majority whether I want to or not, as well as take in all of its necessities and fulfill them, and do everything that the society demands. The Torah tells me that I have to follow the majority even when it comes to my relationship with the Creator! If some discrepancy arises between your relationship with the Creator and your relationship with the society, you have to give the preference to the society, to fix your relationship with it instead of the Creator.

How is this possible? After all, we always thought it was the opposite way, that society, the world around me, and everything that surrounds me is given to me and created only in order for me to ascend to the Creator?! And here it says something different?!

If it seems to you that you are in a contradiction, that you cannot connect yourself with the society and with the Creator (if such a triangle arises in you), then leave the Creator and follow the society. But then, maybe I should leave the whole Kabbalah, leave my studies of all things spiritual, and descend to the level of the society? What does all of this mean?

" Therefore, the question still stands: how can we justify that law, which obligates us to accept the opinion of the majority, which is, as we've said, undeveloped, and to reject and annul the opinion of the developed, which are always a small minority?"

How can we, nevertheless, justify this law? The Torah says: follow the majority, even if you feel that it contradicts your relationship with the Creator. You are still obligated to obey the majority. Moreover, the title of this section says that the society has a right to suppress you and force you to follow its laws.

However, according to what we have already proved (in the article "The Essence of Religion and its Purpose", in the section "Conscious and Unconscious development") - the entire Torah.."The Torah" gives the entire methodology of attaining the Creator, in general, this is Kabbalah. Torah is from the word 'Ohr' or light. The entire Torah and the commandments are the laws of the spiritual world. By following them, by correcting each one of our desires in correspondence with the Creator, we observe the commandments. In other words, by carrying out all the commandments of correction of all our desires for bestowal, we equivalize ourselves to Him.

"...the commandments and the Torah, were not given but in order to purify Israel, meaning to develop in us the sense of recognition of evil, imprinted in us at birth, which is generally defined as our self-love (this is our evil that is present in us, it is primordial, natural). And to come to the pure good, defined as the "Love of the Fellow Man", which is the one passage to the love of the Creator.

This means that there is an intermediate phase between loving the Creator and loving yourself. Initially we are born loving only our self. Our next phase is when we love those around us (everyone around us, down to love for the whole world, without any exceptions). And the phase after that is love for the Creator.

"And to come to the pure good, defined as the "Love of the Fellow Man" (we have to come to this, and then), which is the one passage to the love of the Creator."

In other words, society does not contradict my relations with the Creator. It can only seem to me that there is some kind of contradiction, but it is an intermediate phase in the advancement to the Creator. That is why if I have some erroneous concept that I have different relationships with the Creator and with humanity, this only shows that I am wrong in my relation to the Creator. It shows that I am lying to myself that supposedly I have something special in my relationship with Him. This is because He is concealed, far away and I am unable to perceive Him. In this situation the correct thing is to leave the Creator and through my relationship with the society I can correctly see my properties.

With regard to the Creator, everyone justifies themselves, everyone is able to say that they are righteous, that they love, that they believe, etc. All of it is just words. The relationship to the whole of humanity is the only thing that shows the relationship with the Creator. That is why, when I hear "Why do we have to spread Kabbalah?", "Why do we have to make sure that everyone would yearn for this?", I feel these are not questions. How else can we express our love for humanity other than by giving it the most important thing: the means to liberation from suffering?

"And the commandments between man and God fall into that criteria (what does "commandments" mean? Correction of our desires) which are tools of virtue that detach man from self-love, which is harmful for society. (Meaning, closeness with society, or closeness with the Creator is built on a simultaneous distancing from yourself, from concern with your own benefit). It is thus obvious that the topics of dispute regarding the precepts between man and God, relate to the problem of society's right to exist. Thus, they too fall into the framework of "Going with the majority."

Here Baal HaSulam points to the obligation of carrying out the commandments of correction, because they talk about things that determine man's relationship with the Creator in the part that has nothing to do with society's physical well-being.

"Now we can understand the conduct of discriminating between Halacha (the code of laws) and Hagada (a type of literature) (mythical narration)."

In our books the laws of the universe are expressed in four different kinds of languages. The Torah uses the narrative and historical languages. It is what the world knows as the Old Testament. The Halacha (from the word Halacha or Halicha: movement) uses the language of observance of the commandments, which are described as the carrying out of traditional actions in our world. There is also the language of proverbs, when prophets describe various visions with the help of images of animals, and in the form of some kind of forces and some kind of supernatural phenomenon.

"Now we can understand the conduct of discriminating between Halacha and Hagada (in principle different). Because only in Halacha is there the law of "individual and collective, Halacha as a collective". And it is not so in Hagada, because matters of Hagada stand above matters that concern the existence of society. For they speak exactly of the matter of the conduct of people in matters concerning man and the Creator, in that same part where the existence and physical happiness of society has no consequence.

Thus, there is no justification for the collective to annul the opinion of the individual and "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (this means that the relationship of the person with the Creator is regulated by the person himself). Whereas regarding the laws that deal with observing the commandments, they all fall under the supervision of society, since there cannot be any order, but through the law of "Going with the majority"".

What is Baal HaSulam saying to us? He says that the person still has two relationships: with the Creator and with society. Regarding the relationship to the laws that are carried out in society, one must obey the demands of the society. But regarding the law of closeness with the Creator, one must follow the inner desire of his heart. If we were to fully submit to the opinion of society then we would not be able to organize even one Kabbalistic group. In other words, we would all be obliged to live the same way as society lives on its level.

So what are we saying? We are saying that we must all observe the laws of the society, and even more zealously and truthfully than all the other members of society. However, we have to build our relationship with the Creator independently from the society, through our own individual connection. But the relationship with the Creator and with society must never come into conflict with one another; we must look at the Creator through the society!

When we go through the next two sections: "The law 'the minority obeys the majority' acts in the life of society" and "The law 'the majority follows the individual' in the spiritual life", then we will better understand what our great Teacher meant.

All of this is part of the section "Freedom of Will", meaning that we are slowly beginning to approach the understanding of where exactly this point is located in us. I would say that we can imagine ourselves to be inside a ball. And there is some kind of tiny dot, it is invisible, and we are crawling around inside this ball and cannot see. We have to find this dot, through which we will be able to make contact with the Creator. And so, the search for this dot is our freedom of will.

Question: Should a person who studies Kabbalah simultaneously study all four languages: the Torah, Halacha, Hagada and Kabbalah, or is it preferable to study the Kabbalistic language and the rest with smaller intensity? If yes, then in what proportions?

This is a very serious question. Today the whole Talmud has been translated from Hebrew into Russian, not the "Talmud Eser Sefirot", but the Babylonian Talmud and all the other books. So there is no difference in what language to read it: in Hebrew, Russian or English. You can read all of these books in parallel in all three languages. There is no longer the issue of the language of the original being inaccessible. These books exist in four languages.

The Torah written in Hebrew is known as the "Old Testament" when translated into Russian, English, etc. The Halacha is translated into these same languages, it is the code of laws that are described as the laws that can be carried out in our world. This book is called "Shulchan Aruch". There are books that are written in Hebrew, Russian and English about proverbs, the so-called "Hagada". These are also books of the prophets, including Kabbalistic books, which are written in all three languages. In other words, there are four ways of description, four languages as we say, in all three languages of our world.

In other words, we consider Hebrew, Russian and English to be equally valuable. We are talking only about which books we should read that describe the construction of the Upper world. And they all describe only the Upper world. Not one of these books describes our world, because our sciences tell man about our world. Man attains our world anyway, through his perceptions and investigations. This is why he was given the heart and the mind. And all of those books are called sacred, because they talk about the sacred, about the Upper world, and not about our world.

This way, the descriptions of the Upper world, our ascent to the Upper world, the description of the Creator and closeness with Him are described in four languages: the language of narration or Torah, the language of, supposedly, observance or Halacha, the language of proverbs or Hagada, and the language of Kabbalah. The language of Kabbalah is preferable. Baal HaSulam writes about this in his article about four languages, as well as in the "Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot". Why? Because by studying the construction of the Upper world, the Creator, and our ascent to Him not in the language of Kabbalah, but in the language of Halacha, Hagada, or Torah we imagine to ourselves pictures of this world, and we begin to replace the spiritual world with material images.

And ultimately we slide down to the point where we think of everything that is described about the spiritual world to supposedly be happening in our world. This confuses us, it completely does not raise us up, and it gives us a completely false picture. That is why in practice with us and in our groups where we teach, it is customary that a person who comes to the group and wishes to advance correctly follows our advice: read only whatever we allow about spiritual methodologies.

In other words, we completely forbid any other spiritual methodologies, philosophies, psychologies, even a person's studies of various medical fields that use, supposedly, various internal forces in a person; meaning everything that can be interpreted as something spiritual in a person, we categorically forbid those things. And out of all the books that talk about the spiritual world we allow only those that describe the spiritual world in a Kabbalistic language.

And these are only books by Ari and Baal HaSulam. Beginners are not allowed to use any other books. Only after a person has correctly studied the material that is laid out in the Kabbalistic language, over the course of several years, he can already be certain in some way (although until the passage of the Machsom there is no certainty, since he does not see the Upper world and can imagine the wrong picture at any time), even if once in a while he opens a book written in a different language, then to some extent he will be able to correctly decipher the text and imagine what is written in relation to the Upper world, instead of our world.

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