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Freedom of Will - Lesson 1, Odessa Congress 2005

Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, PhD
October 21, 2005
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

If freedom of will exists, then it is worth thinking about it. If freedom of will doesn’t exist, we’d just better not preoccupy ourselves with this issue. It is the way a human being almost instinctively decides for himself for all his life.

Some people are born, educated and then continue to live automatically: work, football, beer, TV, and family. They organize their life at the lowest level, calmly, so that the life goes on without any unexpected sudden events. The main thing is to take care of their nest in order to exist in it. Instinctively, subconsciously, a person excludes even an illusion of freedom of will when it suddenly seems to him that he is able to perform something, when he strives forward looking for something new.

However a good half of humanity suppresses this aspiration in itself; all his efforts are focused on eliminating any questions about his development, because development is always painful, and involves search, blows, disappointments and surprises, which are usually also unpleasant. Pleasant surprises occur very rarely. That’s why a person tends to exclude even the minimum freedom of will in this world.

Even if people search for something in the realms of culture and science, to us it looks like a mere supplement to the necessities in life. We think, “Intellectuals, philosophers, they go wild because of easy life. Put such a person in “good” conditions, make him work in a factory, or in such living conditions as any ordinary person, and we’ll see whether any search, any aspiration for freedom emerges in him. He doesn’t need it at all!”

It turns out that when a person is absolutely sure in his well being, when he feels comfortable and secure, he may start looking for such additional conditions as freedom; but when lacks all this he does not strive for freedom.

Slavery existed for tens of hundreds of centuries of the entire history of humanity. In the United States it remained till the end of the 19th century. In Russia, serfdom was abolished a bit earlier. Huge amounts of people were enslaved. In some periods slaves made up 80-90% of the population of one country or another. Why could they not revolt? Especially in those times where there were no developed weaponry and wars were mostly hand-to-hand, why could not they escape from their masters? They did not do this. We know only of a few rebellions, and in most cases these rebellions were not for freedom.

All this shows us that a person tends to degrade himself and to annul such a question as freedom. Such a question as freedom does not arise naturally in us. An aspiration for calmness is natural, dictated by egoism, by looking for safety. An aspiration for freedom most commonly appears in intellectuals such as has in Decembrists (a Russian revolutionary movement), Utopians and other revolutionaries. These people are absolutely sure of their future and well being, so they may afford to dream about such exalted matters, while ordinary people do not need this. This is on one hand.

On the other hand, an aspiration for freedom does exist. We see that if a person is put into a dungeon, he suffers. If we chain an animal and constrict his ability to move, it suffers, and even stops breeding; it feels that it is in an abnormal state. The organism refuses to function normally.

From one perspective, a person tends to limit himself in the most comfortable way, as it is evident that the notion of freedom interrupts his habitual way of life. From another, excessive restriction is perceived by a human and even by an animal organism negatively. However, it is not completely clear whether freedom exists at all. If all our desires, thoughts and feelings are determined by genes, as we are told, then where can my freedom of will be realized?

This means that there is a spiral of information data inside me; as it unwinds I try to realize it. This and that thought, and certain desires arising, which I carry out like a computer, where a data program operates. Thus, freedom lies in realizing what is imposed on me from inside. Actually it is exactly what modern science says. The genes of a person define his inclination to music, alcohol, thievery—everything is recorded within him. Every day we reveal what a perfect and absolutely complete machine a human being is.

Actually, scientists are right. According to the science of Kabbalah, at the level of our world everything is absolutely predetermined. We simply do not imagine how programmed we are—absolutely.

If we could see ourselves in our entire system—what is encoded in it, how it was created, under which defined conditions, how having received an appropriate education we enter a prescribed society which we are brought up in, and exist in a final form—we would see that the system is absolutely closed, and there is no new information in it, which could divert it from the encoded system.

From where could they have appeared? There is only a human being and the society which surrounds him. A human being is born with a fixed system of information which manifests as character, temper and other features, which are inherited and encoded in his genes. Where could all this come from? Only from inside, from what has already been instilled and is developing according to the same inner law.

That is why the science of Kabbalah tells us that (Drawing No. 1) there is a Matza (bed) in a human being and there is a program of this bed’s development. These components comprise a human being. The bed (we use the word Reshimo) consists of data instilled in us beforehand, and a program, according to which all these data are evolving.

Besides, there is an environment around us, our society, and a program of this society’s development. Of course, lower forms of life around us such as animate, vegetative and still, also refer to this. However, they lack any freedom of will, everything is closed and strictly determined.

And what about a human being? In comparison with animals, man seems to have something: at least we treat ourselves this way. We do not feel that we are in deficiency.

If we take only a human being and his environment as a single system, any kind of freedom is absent: everything is given in advance, everything develops according to a definite program, and so we can do nothing. Looking back at the age of 40-50 we usually understand that nothing in our life could have happened any other way. What happened to us would happen again and again, and we would not be able to escape it and act differently. For if I could act in another way, then why did not I do that? Thus, in regard to the past we agree that we were developing automatically.

Drawing No. 1

However in regard to the present we do not feel so. There is an obstacle in us, which prevents us from acknowledging that nevertheless we are robots. A person cannot annul his “Self.” However the science states that the inner information in a person and his environment determine absolutely everything.

Where can any additional element appear from, if not from inside us and not from the environment? I find myself in a surrounding world, after I'm born, raised and educated. Let's say I'm a twenty years old, a mature adult, and then I’m told, “now live and realize yourself.” But what can I realize? Everything that was invested into me, and nothing else. And if anything else exists, where can it originate from?

The science of Kabbalah states that in our world a human being exists absolutely as an animal.” In the book, Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 30, it is said, “All living beings are like animals.” These words are not intended to humiliate or to offend a human being. They just point out that it only seems to a person that he is free, however, in reality his future actions are completely programmed.

Only in the case that a point in the heart awakens in a person (all possible mundane desires are called the heart) (Drawing No. 2), a possibility of freedom of will appears. This point is a part of the Creator; it does not refer to anything mundane.

If a person suddenly starts striving for something superior, which does not exist in this world, and according to this, he starts proceeding somewhere, looking for something, or he falls into depression and so on, does it mean, that he has freedom of will? No, it doesn’t.

Drawing No. 2

We do not come to this search, to Kabbalah, to the spiritual, from good. We are brought to this by the senselessness of our life, emptiness, depression, and disappointment. This makes some people commit suicide, while othersstart taking drugs or just exist in desperation. There are lots of ways to forget ourselves. People invent various kinds of tourism, sports, forms of gambling, and programs about nutrition, and other popular topics, which are broadcast on various TV channels. It is necessary to concoct things to prevent a person from thinking that he isn’t free and needs to exist further. On the whole, everything is focused on the issue of freedom.

The economy is perceived as freedom and economic independency; policy is perceived as freedom, and educationas freedom from society—“I’ll be independent.” Actually we perceive everything as a manifestation of freedom.

A point in the heart awakens in us and pulls us somewhere upwards without our permission. The Torah says, “The Creator Himself puts one’s hand on the good fate and says to him: ‘Choose this for yourself.’” How can I choose, if He has already put my hand and shown me the right way?

The point is that a human being builds the path itself. It is impossible to determine the path from the outside. It is possible only to lead a person to this initial state, to awaken a point in his heart and to create around this point in the heart everything it needs, its environment (Drawing No. 3). If we take a human being and his environment, we get a world, and if we take a point in the heart (let’s call it a soul) and its environment, we also get a world, but a spiritual one.

The environment is defined. It is said that the Creator, who arises in our striving toward the Upper Force simultaneously leads a person to the place, to the surroundings, where he can develop this desire. As a rule, we say that it is a group. Next follow relations between a person and a group, building a group in order to realize a point in the heart, a germ of a soul, which contains practically all information, like a drop of semen.

Like a human being is born from a drop of semen, which contains all information, an embryo of our soul is a drop, the Light Hochma, and it has to be placed in the right environment and to start developing in it. The group, the books and the Rav are the environment, like a mother’s womb, where an embryo of a soul, a point in the heart, is developing.

A point in the heart, a soul, consists of 613 parts, and our body consists of 613 parts as well. Laws of interaction between a body and the environment are similar with the laws of interaction between a point in the heart and its spiritual environment, but the first laws are based on egoistic relations (ego), while the second laws on altruistic relations. However, they are expressed in nearly the same way, as actions themselves are similar; only intentions are different, the purpose for which all these actions are performed.

Drawing No. 3

The Creator instills 613 desires into a point in the heart, which lead a human being to a certain environment. However relations between a person and his environment, the group, are not determined. A person builds this himself. Why? It is because he and the group are in an egoistic state, and they have to find and to invent this opposite, altruistic state by themselves. This state is not encoded in them.

In Kabbalah we study that a soul was broken into an enormous number of tiny parts, all of them lost the screen or altruistic intention, and now we have to find it, to invent and to adapt it for ourselves. Actually, here lies the search, and it is a search of free will. It is carried out only between an embryo of a soul and a group.

We have to turn the group into the right environment, into a place, which is like a mother’s womb, where our spiritual embryo will be able to develop safely and correctly, and to find new and right connections between the embryo itself and the environment. It is also necessary to change the environment itself, so that it could develop this embryo. In this case, a human being develops himself as in a prenatal stage, and evolves himself to the state of spiritual birth and gives a birth to himself.

Naturally, strictly defined laws exist, but a person himself puts them into action by his work with a group, with a so-called womb of a mother. It is called exactly this way, a womb ( Rechem) or AHP de Ima. It means that in Bina ( Partzuf Ima or mother) there is an inner lower part ( AHP) called a womb ( Rechem), a lower part of the Tifferet.

If we take Sfirat Tifferet ( Sfira Bina—it is a mother) (Drawing No. 4), below it there is already another part of a human being, a soul; we’ll see that it is divided into two parts (this is in general because actually it is divided into four parts). The upper part is Bina itself, its essence, where it wishes nothing for itself. It is its spiritual essence, absolute altruism. It constantly expects that a soul will ask it, and, according to this request, the lower part of Bina will be able to supply and to develop what was requested correctly, what is helpful for the spiritual development.

If a person studies Kabbalah correctly, he feels a need to be inside the Upper spiritual being, inside the spiritual category—the attribute of bestowal, as the essence of Bina is absolute bestowal. And thus, a person is placed into such an environment, where he feels himself inside this attribute, which develops him little by little. The growth is followed by elevations and descents (this is carried out carefully); it shows a person how he is developing.

This stage is a stage of our prenatal development. As in our material life, here we also have three days of semen’s implantation in a uterus, then forty days of an embryo’s development, and three months (the first, the second and the third) called Shlosha Madurim, three stages of elevation: HBD, HaGaT, NHY. After this a spiritual birth takes place.

Like a human being, after the birth a soul starts developing. In Kabbalah stages of its development are called ‘a year,’ ‘two years,’ ‘three years’ and so on, until thirteen years. By this time a soul already leaves the limits of receiving all the Lights, the Inner and Surrounding Lights: Orot Pnimim and Orot Makifim.

Having overcome these thirteen stages, a soul starts developing independently. That’s why the age of thirteen is called Bar-Mitzva. Bar-Mitzva means that a person already may carry out commandments independently. Commandments mean personal corrections, carried out not by hands and feet, as in our world, but by correction of one’s inner egoistic desires; a soul is already able to transform them into altruistic desires.

So how can we find this spiritual mother, where we will be able to develop from an embryo which was given to us? Each of us has some initial desire, but what further should we do with it? We are bewildered, we don’t know.

Actually an environment, which is called a group, exists exactly for this purpose. The Creator leads a human being to such an environment and then leaves him, so that he can develop independently. As from this moment his freedom of will lies exactly in his independent development, in search of how to move forward and to develop in his relations with a group.

Why do we need a group? It should seem that we can develop spiritually as we were developing on Earth. 50,000 years have past since a primitive savage had developed into a modern savage of today. Well, it should seem that we can continue to develop this way as well. It is reliable.

The point is that as opposed to material development, spiritual development may be carried out only to the extent that we realize our freedom of will—as the task of a human being is to reach the level of the Highest Force, the level of the Creator, by discovering and expressing his freedom of will.

In our initial state all of us are egoists. We have to acquire from Bina its attributes, to acquire, because it is as if I pay for them with my efforts and, as a reward, receive its attributes, which enable me to attain the level of the Creator, called Keter (crown). It is an attribute of absolute bestowal, where I am equal with the Creator. It is based on a principle that Malchut and Bina are to become equal with Keter, absolute bestowal of the Creator, when, with a help of Bina, a person transforms all his egoistic desires into altruistic deeds, called “reception for the sake of bestowal.”

Drawing No. 4

If we consider the whole process, we’ll see that in ancient times everything was happening exactly the same way it does today. A point in the heart awoke in a citizen of the ancient Mesopotamia, Abraham, and he started searching for the Creator. All this is described in the book Midrash Rabba (Big Commentary).

Abraham’s father was making statuettes of various gods. In that time people believed whatever they liked: a God of Wind, a God of Sun, a God of a Tree and so on. So, this was his father’s business; he was making such gods and selling them. Like his father, Abraham was to master this profession and to earn his living this way.

He was 37 years old when he suddenly felt that he was not satisfied with all this. Probably it was because of this job that he started asking himself questions, whether it contains any meaning or not. He started searching, examining himself, as he was unsatisfied with his life and his work, and everything seemed unbearable to him. One day he broke the statuettes, which his father had just burnt and was going to paint and sell. He broke them in anger. This caused a scandal—all this is described in the book. However Abraham persuaded him, saying: “If they are powerful, why don’t they do anything to me?” Of course, this indicates some inner search, but we are told about it exactly this way.

As a result, Abraham started feeling that actually the world was organized in a more complicated way and that there was the Upper Force which governed everything, that there were laws which we didn’t sense, but which governed our fate and led us, laws, with which we could interact and from which could learn something about ourselves, what was the purpose of our lives, who we were…

He described it in his book, The Book of Creation that the cosmos is not eternal, life is not eternal, and the Earth is not eternal, that only 6,000 years have to pass from the moment when a conscious soul emerged in a human being for the first time until the end of our Earth’s existence.

Now it’s the year of 5766. So, how many years do we have left? 234 years. And we see that our good old Earth starts rebelling.

Drawing No. 5

Abraham learnt that a human being existed in this state but not to remain in it, for him it was only a condition to carry out his freedom of will. In this state a person is separated from the spiritual; he finds himself in such a state, from which he can create or sculpture himself. Just like Abraham’s father sculptured his gods, a human being himself can sculpture a soul, or in other words to sculpture himself in an eternal, perfect form. And he can do it when he is independent from this form.

This is the purpose of existence of our Earth and of the present state, which is completely detached from the spiritual. Standing on this basis, in our material existence, starting from the very beginning, from the first informational Reshimo (when we are excited, but this excitement is not formed in us, and does not give us any image), we by ourselves are to create this image from ourselves. That is why our material form of existence is necessary; it is necessary to enable us to create from ourselves this spiritual image, which is similar to the Creator.

And a person comes back to this world and exists here, until he achieves complete equivalence with the Creator during his life in this world. Only the material form of existence, which is fully separated from the spiritual, enables us to make us equalize with the Creator independently.

Abraham attained all this for himself. What should he do next? The plan is revealed, clarified. But how can one realize all this? For this purpose, Abraham was told about the structure not of his personal soul, but of the entire creature, he was told that besides the Creator (a general force, field, Light) exists the creature, which He has created, a community of souls, which make up a common, single organ, called Adam.

It is called Adam in accordance to the design of the Creator, and this common soul is to come to the state of equivalence with the Creator. In Hebrew Adam is derived from the word Dome, which means “similar,” “identical,” “resembling.” As you and I are to achieve the state of equivalence with the Creator in this world, we are called Bnei Adam. In Hebrew “a person” is called Ben Adam (a son of Adam), a derivation from this construction.

Abraham was shown all this: a construction of the common soul and a task of this creature, a single creature. There is nothing else beside the Creator and Adam, this common soul. Hence it becomes clear that realization of the program imposed on a human being lies only in the following: There is a creature (Drawing No. 6), there are separate souls in it, and one of them was a soul of Abraham. (The word Abraham is derived from the words Av, which means a father, and Am (nation): a father of the spiritual nation, which is why he is called a patriarch). Abraham was shown how a human program can be carried out. All of us are egoists, image-worshipers, as were Abraham with his father, until Abraham was shown that authentic spiritual growth lies in finding all connections between ourselves and all the other souls. These connections exist, however they are concealed from you—you don’t sense them.

Actually, all this construction exists by itself, but a person has to find it himself, to unite, to create and to build. Thus, it is as if he creates a creature out of himself, or becomes completely equal with the Upper Force in its action, in its result. And in this he becomes equal with the Creator. What did Abraham do? Midrash Rabba says that he was sitting next to his tent and invited in the passers-by. This was in the 18th century BCE.

All of us are a bit excited. The spiritual is still, and remains in absolute peace. In order to enter it we have to leave behind all our excitement, to elevate above it.

Thus, Abraham discovered that the aim of the single law of the spiritual world is to lead every soul, every human being, in whom a soul or the first informational Reshimo awakens, to such a state, where he will be able to develop this Reshimo independently. And it is possible to develop it only under the influence of a correct environment.

Abraham saw all this when a picture of how all the souls are united and make up one common organism was revealed to him in the Upper World.

As in our world, parts of a body make up one common organism, if this organism exists and functions correctly, then every part serves the entire organism. No part of our body works in order to receive, to accept anything inside it. It receives and accepts only what is necessary for its existence, what isn’t considered to be reception. Because a human being has to receive something to exist, for example, some energy, he was created this way; he is not the Creator, and he doesn’t emanate anything from himself, but exists on some fuel from outside.

All necessary things that a human being receives from the force which fills the entire creature, the Creator, aren’t considered to be reception. It is the Light which created us, so-called Ohr Yashar, which created the four phases of the Direct Light and the creature, filled it, and gave it everything it needed for existence. It is just like a cell in a body, which receives necessary nutrition and then exists only to form and to serve the whole body’s correct function, the whole organism.

When Abraham began to realize that it was the very state to which all people, all souls were to come, he started inviting all passers-by into his tent. Apparently, a rudiment of a soul, a spiritual embryo of the people, who came to Abraham, listened to him and stayed with him, was already prepared; that’s why they became his students. Thus, Abraham organized the first Kabbalistic group.

This group continued to evolve. Kabbalists, who kept this method for us throughout the centuries, developing it in each generation (Drawing No. 7), originated from this group. But what exactly did they develop? Human egoism evolves from its animal state to the state of spiritual emergence, so in each generation Kabbalists adapted the method for a respective level of egoism.

Humanity evolves; at first it wishes only to fill its body, actually, in ancient times the principal necessity of a person was just to exist. Then other goals appeared: wealth, then fame and power, then science and knowledge. And only after these does a rudiment of a soul appear in a person.

Drawing No. 6

However, in each generation there are people, who pass over these stages quickly and strive upwards. For them this science has already become real. They developed it, entered the Upper realm with its help, and sensed all the other souls, the Creator, who was filling them. It means they ascended to another level, entered the Upper dimension—the spiritual world. Until the present this method remained practically unchanged.

A person has to restore correct relations between him and his surrounding society, the environment. But this environment is still at preliminary stages of development, and I can’t simply come up to every person in the world and start talking with them about this. That’s why we sit next to our tent, just like Abraham, and invite all passers-by, or all people in the world. Of course we address them already via modern means of communication, advertising and mass media, and they come to us.

However the method remains absolutely the same. It can’t be different as it is based on laws of uniting souls into one soul in a state in which we are existing now and where we have always been existing. There is nothing else besides this state. We feel that we are remote from it, as if in the other dimension, but, actually, if we restore our connection with the other people correctly, we’ll start perceiving not their bodies, but their inner part, their souls.

This is what gradually happens in the group. What is the basis of our connection in the group? It is a condition that I should start treating everyone as a carrier of a spiritual desire. Spiritual desire is a soul. This means, I should not pay attention to a person’s appearance, to his origin, to his physical, material features, instead I should see in my friend his striving upwards, his striving to be completely similar with the Creator, in full adhesion with all the others.

Drawing No. 7

Complete renouncement of egoistic desires (Drawing No. 8) means an intention to receive from the Creator only what is necessary for one’s existence and in all the rest to bestow to all the souls, to the entire organism. To the extent I become its positive, active element, to the extent that I transform myself this way, I start feeling that this organism exists and that it is eternal. I was separated from it by my ignorance, in my five sensors I perceived only myself and all the time I wanted to receive everything. And when I want to receive all the time inside myself, I don’t see this construction; instead I see only my small existence, which depicts for me this world.

Today we are also inside Adam, each of us is located in it, but our egoism confines us. A person’s perception of himself and of the world has to be based on the fundamental concept that now we are in this state (which is only a possible one), called the World of Infinity, and that we are parts of the collective soul of Adam, a collective human being. If we adjust ourselves correctly, we’ll start to see, to feel, and to reveal this. We’ll start interacting with our collective organism, collective creature, and, naturally, we’ll sense what’s going on inside it.

It is spiritual life, eternal, perfect, which is absolutely incomprehensible for us at the moment (we are unable to imagine it, as we exist only by receiving); it is an absolutely different kind of functional existence, at once it relieves a person from all his problems. Now his only problem appears as follows: “To what extent am I in this system?”

This can help us understand the laws, according to which our group has to function. Hence it becomes clear that Kabbalah is not a religion, not a belief, but a practical guide, using which a person consciously, visibly, reasonably changes himself in relation to people around him to such an extent that this eternal state starts revealing itself. A human being neither elevates anywhere nor disappears, he simply sees in our world, which dissipates before him, behind, a picture of this world of a single, united creature, which is eternal and perfect. This means that Kabbalah is a method for a person, who is able to work upon himself in order to achieve such a state.

That’s why it is said in the Torah: “The Creator Himself puts one’s hand on his fate.” It means that He leads a person to a group. Then everything depends on a person, he may progress only due to his owns efforts, by forming himself in a group. Why in a group? Because not all people are already mature enough, but are just evolving to the level when after all previous incarnations, after yearning to fill material desires, striving for wealth, power, fame and science, they restrain themselves from our mundane existence. It is when a person suddenly feels that he can’t satisfy himself with any pleasure in the world, and that he would nevertheless lack something, and feel desperate, a void.

Drawing No. 8

This is revealed especially in our generation. Many thousands of years ago the Book of Zohar said: “This should happen at the end of 20th century,” that humanity will start realizing that its path is wrong. But we had to go by this path.

In our world we are evolving according to certain laws as well, but we are led to this state by nature (Drawing No. 9). The general law, the Creator, who is present in the creature, the force which fills everything, gradually makes all parts of the creature, all the souls realize the necessity of spiritual evolvement. It does this automatically within thousands of years of our material incarnations. However, having led each of these parts to the sensation of the necessity of spiritual growth, it stops. Next freedom of will appears.

That’s why we should realize that in our world in all spheres of activity (work, study, family, children)—whatever I do, whatever I plan, whatever thought comes to my mind from myself or from my environment—I’m not free. In our world we are not free at all, except by development of this spiritual point.

Then why do we exist in it? The pressure the surrounding society places upon us is always negative and exists in order to force us to evolve spiritually. But we choose ourselves how to evolve. Pressure, externality, everyday troubles disappear when a person is ready to realize himself correctly. If he progresses correctly, he suddenly starts feeling that everything is all right, that nothing in the world is in vain, the world isn’t bad, and that everything was created in order to push him, to move him forward, to create such conditions, which will enable him to enter the spiritual.

Humanity hasn’t found an answer yet. Drug addiction, family crisis, terror, depression, suicide—humanity has not realized that all this exists as pressure upon it in order to clear up its only path, where it should move and where is the real freedom. To the extent a person starts moving there and realizing himself, these compelling forces begin to disappear. Why? It is because a person strives forward by himself. When he strives in the right direction, the need of the influence of negative pushing forces declines.

Drawing No. 9

From this we may draw another conclusion. If I’m in a group (Drawing No.10), then a motivating, compelling force, which painfully pushes and stabs me from behind, disappears depending to the extent I strive upward, forward. “Motive,” “motivation” is a Latin translation of the Greek word “stimulus,” which means a sharp stick, used to stab a donkey to make him go forward. Thus, in a group we don’t need this stimulus, we move forward by ourselves.

Where can I get power to progress myself? From the group. It is just like in our world we are influenced by advertising, environment, various examples of other people’s success and so on. They influence me, and I strive forward. I don’t just sit under a tree, but start moving and creating.

A person has to create a group exactly the same way. In our world all this is imposed on us, while in the spiritual we have to create a group in a way that it would impose the Upper existence upon us as the most perfect, the most necessary thing, and then I’ll get power to progress myself. In influencing the group correctly from the point of view of the power, I should also receive from the group the direction of this power, the altruistic direction of development.

Drawing No. 10

These conditions form a basis of the group’s statute. Here we shouldn’t invent anything; we should just see who we are, what we have to come to, and what we lack: the powers to form ourselves from this unformed drop of semen. The environment is to supply me with all this.

In the spiritual form a person and an environment are formed by us. In our world this is defined, and happens automatically, while in the spiritual we do this. Active interaction with a group is the only means of spiritual progression. We can read about it in many Kabbalistic sources.

Baal HaSulam quotes a famous story. There was a wise man, a great Kabbalist. He lived in his city, everybody asked him for advice, and he taught everyone this wisdom. One day representatives from another city came to him and said: “You are poor and don’t have anything here. We’ll create an academy for you, advertise for you, we’ll put you on the radio, television and so on (meaning the media available two and a half thousands years ago). Move to our city. We understand that you need nothing for yourself, but you want to teach, you realize the necessity of this. We’ll create for you all the conditions, just come to us.”

He said: “I can’t move to your city, as whatever conditions you would create for me, whatever you would provide me with, I won’t be able to live out of my environment, out of my group.”

They told him: “But you are higher than all of them, greater than them, you don’t need them.” He answered: “Though they are lower than me by dozens of levels, they strive forward and they are my environment. If I leave it (it’s not important whether I’m higher than they are, or equal to them or even lower than them, even if I’m the greatest sage of the generation), I’ll start degrading immediately. Then all your money and possibilities to disseminate will be of no use. I might even start using them for myself.” And he didn’t move anywhere.

Spiritual progress is impossible out of the right environment, which a human being forms for himself. That means he annuls himself in regard to the environment so that it influences him more, and he gives the environment his inspiration in order to receive in return this inspiration, increased many times.

For example, very often before a lecture I don’t know what I will be speaking about. Or I ask my students what to say. They say, “about this or that.” I don’t know what I’ll be talking about as each time it’s a drop of semen from which you have to grow something, and I don’t know how I’ll be working with an audience, as this is formed by them.

For instance, yesterday you were a very difficult audience, and I couldn’t speak. Every spiritual movement is possible only in interaction with the environment, no matter who it comes from, whether it is a movement of the smallest person in this business or of a person who has already formed a vector of progression.

If there are people without any inclination towards spiritual development, I wouldn’t be able to tell them anything. If they have this inclination, even if those people understand nothing and are lower than me, it will be clear to me how to flow my aspirations through them, to receive from them a forming vector (they don’t feel this) and keep on explaining.

In any case correct tuning with the group in interactions with it is necessary: it may be a teacher with students, a student with students, a newcomer regarding the old existing group, it isn’t important. We develop our soul through this interaction only.

A question arises: “Well, the Creator has led me to the group; I can realize my freedom of will, I have certain strive forward, I stay among them. Now how can I realize this freedom of will? Neither I nor they know this.” Kabbalists write their books for this very purpose.

What do these books tell us? They tell us about a state (Drawing No. 10) where we are even today, but which is concealed from us, and which we have to reveal. We have to clarify this image of eternal existence, to make it transpire through the externality of this world. Kabbalistic books tell us only about this, how we interact between each other in this system. They tell us that this system, as it was created, is called the World of Infinity, and they explain to us how to attain the revelation of this system.

It is a step-by-step approach, and is called ascent in the spiritual worlds. World ( Olam) comes from the word Alama—concealment. The gradual revelation of where I am really situated means ascent in the spiritual worlds. The World of Infinity becomes brighter and brighter, as if it appears from fog: first come worlds Assiya, Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon and then the whole World of Infinity. This is spiritual evolvement, spiritual progress. How is it revealed? It is revealed within the improved interaction of all souls.

Perception of all the other souls, of all of humanity remains material only. Do I have to wait until they also start aspiring for eternal existence, till they wish to acquire another form of perception and exist in it, or is this unnecessary for me? It turns out that I don’t have to do this, as actually the system itself already exists in the World of Infinity in this state, and the fact that its parts don’t understand it does not affect the functioning of the system.

All of us belong to this system unconsciously, automatically; we don’t even notice it, and we carrying out the program of creation. If I start working over myself in my small group and enter this system, I find the whole of humanity in the state of complete correction, perfection. However this becomes evident for me, not for them. Here lies the difference.

The world is united, complete; it was created such at once, by one action. This world is concealed only from us. And here our freedom of will is realized.

Question: Does a person need material desires only to restore connection with the Creator? Is it the system of the worlds?

Yes. Everything that exists in the creature (in a human being and outside of him) is necessary only to restore the right connection with the Creator. Nothing else, besides the system of Adam, besides the common Kli, was created.

Let’s consider what we are studying (Drawing No. 11). The Upper Light, which is called the Creator, created the first Kli and filled it. In this state the Kli wished to become equal with the Creator—hence the second state appeared. Then the Kli tried to be like the Creator by means of reception and bestowal. And then it decided that it wished to attain the status of the Creator.

Hence, the Creator is one and unique, and emanates enjoyment and a sensation, that He is bestowing, and the forth phase (creature), which wishes both. This very state is called the World of Infinity.

The first four phases (zero, the first, the second and the third) are called “four phases of the Direct Light.” This means, that here the creature is not yet acting; it is the Creator, the Light, who acts to create a creature. He created the fourth phase and nothing else. However, the fourth phase includes all the previous phases, which start acting in it, in this World of Infinity, and as a result they cause the First Restriction ( Tzimtzum Aleph or TA). Next follows a desire to become equal with the Creator, creation of a screen and everything, which happens afterwards.

All this occurs inside the fourth phase, inside the World of Infinity. Why inside? Because it is this creature’s attitude towards itself, to what is filling it, to the Creator; it is the understanding of its position regarding Him and so on. We say that it is the inner feelings of this sole creature. The fourth phase is called Malchut, the only creature. That’s it.

Then the creature feels that it is remote, broken; it feels that it needs to be changed somehow. All this resembles a person, inside whom passions, desires are blistering, but inside of him. It happens inside a creature exactly the same way, in regard to himself. As for the Creator, He created a creature, and with this everything was completed. For everything that is emerging in us, whether weunderstand it or not, is a movement of this creature, Malchut, and of us, as its constituents, towards the most perfect state.

Drawing No. 11

All forces are preset in Malchut (Drawing No. 12): the force of the creature itself (the desire to receive), and the force of the Creator (the desire to bestow), a test of these forces in becoming similar with the Creator and then the realization of the fourth phase. Only these opposite forces, the desire to receive and the desire to bestow, are operating inside Malchut and lead it to the correct state, full equivalence with the Creator.

During its evolvement, Malchut undergoes several phases. It descends from the fourth phase, which means that it moves away from perfection, as it feels that this perfection is coming from the Creator, and not from it; thus it descends to the lowest state, called “our world,” when it lacks any perception of the Creator. Then it evolves in our world for some time (15 billions of years, the period our existence of our Universe and of a human being in it). Then it starts coming back, elevating to the same level of the World of Infinity.

It turns out that everything is preset. The descent from above to below was determined automatically by the force of the creature, by the desire to enjoy, and the force of the Creator, the desire to give pleasure. Evolvement at the still level is also determined, and it also occurs automatically. However, at the still level it occurs automatically, but in the Light of the Creator, in a sensation of Him. In our world evolvement is automatic, out of this sensation, out of the Creator. From the moment a point in the heart appears, evolvement becomes conscious­; it is a gradual process of becoming similar with the Creator, while each soul realizes itself till it comes to a state of full equivalence, which is called the World of Infinity.

In its initial, first state, the World of Infinity is endlessly filled with the Creator, then the creature restricts itself on purpose and then by itself it fills the World of Infinity, this void, with its Light, its equivalence with the Creator, with its bestowal.

Nothing exists besides this system. We can place here material laws of development, all our sciences, what we attain via our limited sensors in frames of our earthy existence. You may place the laws of Kabbalah here, which describe the descent of the worlds by five phases from above downwards, or the ascent of a human being from below upwards: you may place here whatever you like. There is nothing else besides this state, and we can discover this system and become similar to it only consciously.

Drawing No. 12

A person achieves such a state, when the entire system of souls and worlds lies before him, and he consciously forms it himself. In relation to this system he manifests himself as the Creator, and that’s why it is said that he becomes equal to the Creator. A human being doesn’t become equal with Him in a sense that he sees what He is doing and repeats His actions, but all decisions, all actions of a human become absolutely similar with actions of creating the creature, which were carried out by the Creator.

When we reach the state of equivalence, we become similar, equal with the Light by its knowledge, attainment and power. We become a unique and solely existing force in the Universe, in the material Universe, in the spiritual Universe, in the World of Infinity. Dual division into the Creator and the creature disappears and full adhesion is achieved. We’ll thereby elevate to the level where we were before our birth, because we repeat the actions, we observe how to reconstruct the system, and thus become its creators.

We reach the level of the Light, of the Creator, before He started creating. We ascend to such a level only after coming through this path. And the major task the Creator has set for Himself was to create a creature, which would be equal to Him. Equal to the attributes of the Creator that He had before He created a creature, as the process of creation is already a kind of regression, a descent.

As a result of our ascent we become equal to the Creator, rise to the level, which precedes our emergence. There are many peculiarities here, but generally speaking, everything that reveals is revealed from the things which exist already. It is said: “And you will eat what was prepared long ago.” This means that you see that everything which is revealed to you now exists already and there is nothing new. For you it is a revelation, while for Kabbalists, it isn’t, and some people still don’t know that this awaits them.

Question: How does a qualitative change of my states depend on my presence in the group?

It is completely dependant. For what is a group? It is a part of humanity, of the collective soul.

Let’s say that we have seven billions of souls (Drawing No. 13). This is the number of bodies in which the souls were divided into, as it is easier to carry out correction when each part is divided into smaller particles. As far as all these parts are egoistic, it is necessary to correct them, and it is easier to correct a tiny part.

Even when a separate person corrects himself, he does it step-by-step in various states, as if he is divided into tiny parts inside himself, and he chooses from these parts the lightest ones. At the same time his inner construction is concealed from him: only those desires, those attributes are revealed, which can become similar to the spiritual, all the rest is being added gradually.

When the time comes to correct new attributes, where it is as if they rise from below, in order to correct them a person feels a decline, and it’s difficult for him to endure this. Suddenly there appears some additional burden, which he has to drag upwards. This ballast diverts him from the spiritual, emerges in him as if unnecessary thoughts, desires, which seem to be an obstacle. In reality it isn’t an obstacle, these are new attributes, which a person has to correct at the moment. On the contrary, it shows that he is able to correct them, that’s why they rose in him.

Thus, the intensity of working with a group defines the speed of my progress, the speed with which my states change. A group is a part of all souls from the whole of humanity, which is in spiritual progress at the moment. The entirety of humanity (let’s say, seven billions of people) are not involved in this yet; let’s say, one million people are involved. I think that is the approximate number of people who are in contact with us, the people who know, understand, feel, and study our materials. Actually, this is the group.

Besides, in relation to a person, the group naturally consists of several dozens of people, from ten to two hundred. The group can’t be too large. Here certain reasons appear: groups are divided on a qualitative basis. The group moves forward. There are people who are unable, who have to exist more in the background, at the periphery of the group, as the force that influences them is too strong, and if they are inside, they can’t undergo this.

Drawing No. 13

That’s why there are people who move near to us. It seemed that a person was interested in nothing else in the world, in his life. He moves near to us, and any aspiration for the spiritual, for correction, for evolvement disappears in him; he doesn’t know what to do with himself. This is because the force is too strong, and he doesn’t feel that it is adapted to him. He doesn’t understand the way we live, and he goes back. We have experienced several cases like that: several guys came from Australia and returned; one guy relocated from Germany and returned as well.

There are people who come to us and stay. However, this is not easy. It is a constant work of a person with a group.

Question: How does every one add to the group? How can we build correct relations with the world group?

The world group is an exterior group towards my particular group. Ideally, you should build your relations so that there won’t be any difference between them. You should try to come to such a state when the entire world group is a group where you exist. Imagine a mother, whose one son is in the army, the second and the third sons are somewhere else, for her it doesn’t matter. Anyway, it is one system.

Thus, I should perceive everybody who strives for the Goal as the society, the environment, where I am to develop. That’s why such meetings, congresses, are necessary, not to give us a chance to communicate in a pleasant atmosphere, but because by being in this state we set right our inner connections. You don’t even imagine yet which ones, but you’ll see this later. It’s a contact of souls in the state, in which they are in the World of Infinity.

That’s why such our meetings are very effective. After them a person attains something absolutely different, a different kind of development.

Question: What does it mean “to continuously choose a better environment”? Does it envisage the search of greater striving to the Creator?

“An increasingly better environment” is not the Creator. The Creator is what you find in a correctly actualized united creature. The Creator reveals Himself inside correctly established relations between souls, between creatures.

The fact is that even in our world we don’t perceive what is located outside. You have seen this many times and know what I’m drawing (Drawing No. 14): our black box and our five sensors. We don’t perceive anything which is located outside. Outside is the Light. This Light went through many reducing elements, Olamot ( Olam from the world Alama, “concealment”) from the Infinite Light via five worlds: Adam Kadmon (AK), Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya, and only then it is perceived by the last elements of concealment, by our sensors. Our five sensors are functioning according to the principle of similarity.

The perception of outer influences depends on the extent to which our inner attribute generators are compliant and similar to the outer influences on our sensors. Five sensors perceive these fluctuations from the outside. Each sensor is tuned for a certain fluctuation: visual, acoustic, olfactory and so on. If inner and outer fluctuations coincide, we perceive the measure of coincidence of the inner and outer; the measure of coincidence only. And then we perceive the part, which we managed to generate in compliance with the outer part according to the law of resonance.

Drawing No. 14

There are certain waves around us, and here is an oscillating counter (Drawing No. 15). If this counter creates the same waves as outside, then we perceive the measure of similarity between these waves, and that is what we perceive. The same is with all our sensors. It turns out that we have nothing to do besides this inner tuning; it is worth it to be engaged only in this. Tuning of our perception via our five sensors is a common science: telescopes, microscopes and so on.

In order to tune ourselves not to these five sensors, but for the higher revelation of the Light, a point in the heart exists. It is to be tuned to the higher Light, to the World of Infinity. However, when we sense the spiritual Light, we’ll still sense it depending on equivalence with our spiritual attributes. It means that, anyway, a person senses inside of himself, inside this construction, which is called Adam.

Drawing No. 15

Question: Why does natural development last so long?

For sure, this question is reasonable. Natural development last so long because it is similar to the other stages of development. Thousands of years of development of a human being preceded by millions of years of development of animate and vegetative and billions of years of still nature‘s development forms a pyramid (Drawing No. 16). Malchut in the World of Infinity is structured this way: the fourth, the third, the second and the first and zero parts. It is natural that the development of each part takes time, depending on its possibility to change.

Development of the lowest stage took, let’s say, fifteen billions of years, development of the next stage, millions of years, of the next stage, hundreds of thousands years, of the stage afterwards, dozens of thousands, and the development of the highest stage, alreadyfifty thousands years or how long it took for a human being to develop. What we know about ourselves accounts for ten thousands of years. As for our spiritual development, we say that it started 5766 years ago.

Structure of our body is exactly the same. If we consider a human body from the point of view of the importance of its organs, we’ll find out that the more important an organ, the smaller it is. The same happens in still nature, such as the quantity of precious stones and metals is minimal in comparison with all the rest minerals.

Spiritual development is the quickest, the shortest, and it is located at the last level. Naturally, the previous stages of development have to be different as they do not expire till all systems of our common Kli, Adam, are worked out at the still, vegetative, animate and only then at the human levels.

That’s why our development is a preliminary development. Until the 21st century it took the entire period of our history. And now humanity will have to carry out its spiritual development within several dozens of years.

Drawing No. 16

Question: What does it mean that a person is judged not for any his deed, but for choosing the right or wrong environment?

A person can be judged for this deed only, as he is given the freedom of will to build the right environment for himself.

The choice of the right environment (which team to join, what to do in the world) doesn’t depend on a person. However, from the moment a person was led to a group, he really starts choosing the right environment. Just coming to a group is not enough. Your choice lies in what you are doing outside of the group in regard to yourself and outside of yourself in regard to the group.

There are some people, who are physically in the group, but spiritually, out of it. They don’t have an inner contact with a group. Here I don’t mean a person’s character or his manner of exterior communication: people are different, some are silent and so on. This doesn’t matter. I mean the inner state: if he exposes himself to the group’s influence correctly, if he wishes to work in unison, in resonance with it, then he is in the right environment. If not, he may physically come to the group for dozens of years.

When I came to my teacher, there were students of Baal HaSulam in his group, those who studied with Baal HaSulam. They were of the same age as my teacher. That time Rabash was 73, and they were 60-70. They remembered Baal HaSulam. When they started studying, they were 15-20 years old. So what? They lived till the age of 60-70 that way. They had some spiritual notions, but couldn’t realize themselves seriously.

To be in the place means to be there with your soul. That’s why I ask you to try to take advantage of the time we spend together; because you don’t know what will happen, when we part. Actually, you can never know what will happen the next moment. The freedom of will is now and here. You are given an opportunity to hear, so carry it out now. You should always be afraid that the next moment you won’t have it.

Question: What’s the connection between the five senses and desires?

Desires trigger the five senses. If I don’t want, I don’t see and don’t hear. Desires alone determine my selective perception of reality.

Question: “Push the one who is falling”—will this principle speed up one’s spiritual growth?

Sometimes, yes, it will, but this is to be done thoughtfully, with great love.

Basically, our earthy path, as well as the spiritual path, consists of study through exercises. What do those “exercises” mean? They mean overcoming obstacles. When parents teach a child to walk, they put him on his feet and let him go. He cries and doesn’t know what to do, he is afraid to move, he fears that he will fall. Parents are glad that they put him in such conditions, while he doesn’t want this. However, they understand that it is possible to give him such an exercise so that he copes with it.

Sometimes such exercises are carried out in a group. But they are carried out very rarely, consciously by the group itself or together with its leader. As a rule, they are given from above. The stronger, the more united the group is, the better it accepts serious exercises and the faster it moves forward.

There are such states when it is necessary as if to punish. What does it mean “to punish”? To show you what will happen to you if you seclude yourself from us. However, it is possible to do this only if the whole group makes such a decision, and if this decision is unanimous, and you clearly know what you are doing. After that you may say, for example, “You know, we’ve decided, you cannot stay with us,” and then it shakes him. This may help if it is correctly thought of and done with all your heart.

Question: How can I check whether I’m progressing right?

There are two indicators which can show me if I'm progressing right. They are my good and bad spiritual states. The bigger the gap between my extreme good and bad states, the higher I am.

The more a person advances, the bigger is the gap between his opposite states. He realizes, sees, and understands better, and adheres spiritually to the more perfect state. Its influence on him becomes stronger. And, on the other hand, when he is thrown backwards, he sees himself as a helpless and abominable creature.

Both are natural and normal states. According to the extent he advanced by his own free choice, he is shown a bit of (as now it is possible to do this) who he is in reality, and he is reminded that there are opposite states as well.

Imagine (Drawing No. 17) that if we are ascending from our world (from zero) to the world of Infinity, then a person is now thrown down, then he ascends again; he is thrown downwards and again he ascends. When he comes to his last state, before he elevates to the level of the World of Infinity, then all his egoistic attributes come out, practically to “minus Infinity”, and he elevates to the World of Infinity only having corrected them.

Drawing No. 17

The Book of Zohar talks about it on the example of Rabbi Shimon, who felt himself as Shimon from the market, or a person, who needs nothing in his life, he felt the most minimal state.

When a person elevates, he passes through all the states of humanity. You’ll feel yourself as a thief and a hater, a rapist, a traitor and so on. In essence, our egoism includes all this. These states are very unpleasant. There are a lot of states, such as when the Creator humiliates and shames a person in the eyes of his surrounding society in order to shake up this egoism. And you’ll experience it, as shame is a very strong stimulus.

You should take care that next time you state in the group that it could help me to overcome a fall. If I didn’t prepare the group, if it isn’t an outer support for me, then I have no chances to elevate to the next stage.

For what does it mean “to elevate to the next stage”? I’ve already attained a certain stage, the next one envisages a stronger connection between the parts inside Adam. How is it achieved? If I have established a good connection with the group, and its influence on me helps me during my fall, this is called Arvut (bond).

How is it formed? I invest into the group and when I fall, it gives me extra power. First I bestow to it (like each organs functions in a body), and then I fall, and I receive from it. This is the basis of the breath of life: I bestow to the group, it gives me back, and I bestow to the group, and it gives me back.

If this does not exist, if I didn’t bestow to the group at the moments of my elevation, if I wasn’t only thinking about “How to bestow, to be with them, how to unite with their striving forward, that I want them to progress with me, and that I want us to be one team,” then I wouldn’t be able to receive from the group the state of elevation. I might get out of a fall, but it will take months or years, and it might be not an elevation, but a return to the same state. This breath “I­—them, they—me” is a normal regime of the functioning of an organism, both spiritual and physical.

Question: Is it possible to speed up evolvement before the appearance of a point in the heart? If it is, then how can it be done?

If there is no point in the heart, you can never know whether it will appear or not.

We disseminate Kabbalah and want everybody to know about it. We disseminate it in a passive form. If a point in the heart suddenly awakens in a person or if he had it, but neglected it, then we want it to reveal itself again. But if there is no such a point, then it is useless to work with a person, and we shouldn’t do this. Let him be occupied with his work, football, and family. Let him mature enough. If he simply reads our books as any other book, they will develop him faster.

That’s why we tell our children about Kabbalah, and not more than that. If a child doesn’t want it, you cannot do this. There is no coercion in the spirituality. He should just know how our world is organized, how it is built. Today he already may know about it because humanity enters such a stage of evolvement. 200-300 years ago it wasn’t necessary for him even know about it, as that time Kabbalah was concealed.

There is no coercion. Dissemination has to be passive. A person has a book and this is enough, it is already an end of a rope. You shouldn’t do more, otherwise you’ll do him harm.

Question: How can I find out my state?

I can find out my state only from elevations and falls. When I feel spiritual inspiration, I join the group with all my soul and bestow everything in order to pull them together, to contribute to everybody’s progress, and when I fall, they help me and raise me up. From these two states I may get to know where I am regarding the attribute of the group, which is revealed as bestowal.

My next spiritual step will always be defined by what is revealed in the group. The Creator is what is being revealed in the group regarding me as He fills this common organ (Drawing No. 17).

What does it mean “fills”? We were saying that in realty sensations were inside us. If I sense this body and all its attributes inside, it is the Creator, it is the Light. We feel the Light, and call “the Light” the corrected state and corrected attributes of the Kli, not anything exterior. As creatures, we will never be able to sense anything outside of us. We sense only our corrected attributes and call them the Light and the Creator.

Question: Do I have a chance to correct myself if I don’t wear a skullcap?

Still I should answer this question. I’m sure many our friends have it.

Kabbalah was taught via a Kabbalistic group, organized by Abraham. This group used to be at the spiritual level, fell from it, and only Kabbalists carried this knowledge to the other people.

I was talking about it many times and can repeat it. This group is special because it is the most egoistic one. The Jews aren’t a nation, they are natives of the ancient Mesopotamia, gathered into a group by Abraham. In the course of history they were treated as a nation, but they aren’t a nation. By our genes we are just like ancient Persians, Iraqis and so on. We are not like Arabs, who conquered these territories, but like ancient people, who have been living there since that time. Abraham left that place. If we compare biological data, they are the same.

How did all these traditions originate? The point is that the Kabbalistic spiritual rules were transformed, as people fell from the spiritual level and did not understand what was written in the books. The books are written in the language of the spiritual roots. As the spiritual world doesn’t have its language, when it transpires through our world, a person gives material names to forces of the spiritual world, which stand behind the objects, and the relations between them.

As far as all the worlds are the World of Infinity, which is revealed to us in more and more materialized states, it turns out that we can name spiritual forces with material names, meaning spiritual forces. When a Kabbalist sees the Upper World through our world, he sees all the layered, folded, overlapping worlds till the World of Infinity; he has no other language. Language is a material phenomenon; it may be English, Hebrew or Russian, but it is a material language, where all words are of everyday use.

When a person sees the Upper World, he pronounces material words, but he sees and means something else. And when he doesn’t see the Upper World, he doesn’t sense It, and pronouncing material words he sees a material world and that’s it.

That’s why when Jews lost vision of the Upper World, and only saw the material covering, the material world with its names remained, and they transformed all these notions into material actions and traditions, which are called material commandments. Since that time all the traditions appeared in our life. There is nothing spiritual in them. All you carry out with your body has nothing to do with the spiritual.

Take an article of Baal HaSulam “The Last Generation.” He says that religions may remain even when the end of correction comes. A person may pray to Allah or Jesus or some Jewish immaterial image or some Indian Buddha. This doesn’t matter at all. They are traditions or beliefs. For those who study Kabbalah it becomes unimportant, absolutely.

But if somebody wants to continue to observe traditions as a part of his culture, he will be able to do it; it doesn’t hinder anyone. A soul has nothing in common either with an earthy body or with our earthy notions. It is an absolutely different construction located out of our world.

But as we, I mean the Israeli group, are representatives of a traditionally formed lifestyle, we have to behave in compliance with them, otherwise we won’t be treated seriously, not only in Israel, but in the whole world. The idea that Kabbalah is a part of religion is predominant, and we should start with it.

In the U.S. you can’t do without this: “What a teacher he is, if he doesn’t wear a skullcap?” Especially in Israel, to say that you are a Kabbalist, you have to look as a religious Jew. It is a historical routine, as Kabbalists lived among other people, and ordinary people assumed such exterior behavior. That’s why you can’t escape it—today you have to follow it.

I’m sure that as the world Kabbalistic group grows (I mean both our group and the others, I would be glad to see thousands of groups, absolutely not connected with ours), these religious features will gradually fall away.

However at present humanity still undergoes religious antagonism and division. All these stigmas still exist. We can’t escape it. We have to observe these exterior conditions. But I think that you understand how free we are from this internally.

Physical actions or outer attributes aren’t effective. You may be completely naked, as is written about Adam in the Garden of Eden, or you may wear a Monomakh's Cap (this isthe crown of Russian grand princes and tsars) or any other hat. If something happens to a body, how is it related to a soul, how does it affect it? It’s clear that it doesn’t.

Question: How we should we treat the outer world and people, who have not yet awakened?

We should treat the whole world with love; we should understand that people act involuntary; we should understand that they have no other way; we should show them in all possible ways, and not forcibly, with love,that there is a method of salvation. This is especially important taking into account the increasing threatening phenomena in society and in nature which we witness. If along with this we’ll give short, convenient, popular explanations, we’ll help with this and shorten the period of sufferings.

Question: How important is marital status for spiritual progress?

A man has to be married. Whether he has children or not, it isn’t in our power to determine.

Question: How should a person ask the Creator for help when the time has come to wrestle with his egoism?

If the time has come to wrestle with one’s egoism, a person knows what to ask for.

Question: Why does a human being perceive millions of people outside of him, but not one or two people?

Because a soul was broken into these number of pieces, in order to simplify its correction.

Question: I’m a part of the upper creature, just like my cells are parts of me. My cells don’t understand why I’m upset, they just receive a chemical signal. Will I be able to understand this upper creature?

For sure you will. You’ll understand yourself to the smallest atom: why it exists in you, how molecules are connected into biological chains to parts of an organism and into the entire organism; and how your organism is connected with all the others at the animate level; how still, vegetative and animate nature draws nearer to you; how all of them together with your animate nature are the basis above which a soul is evolving. You’ll learn about the structure and all the processes from the beginning to the end of creation.

Question: Can a person progress without a group? Yes or no?

No, he can’t. A group may be virtual. You have all possibilities for this, but without any group it is impossible to progress.

If somebody lives in a village, alone, without a telephone, without any connection, he has to relocate. In this case it is necessary. Somehow he came to us and saw that possibility of choice, freedom, progression, spiritual growth, and attaining the highest state is possible only in the appropriate environment. In this world a person exists in a certain environment, and he has to create a spiritual environment for himself. Read over and over the material on the topic Freedom of Will.

Question: How can a newcomer start joining a group correctly, and how does a group have to treat newcomers?

We should take care of them, just like small children in a family. We should devote to them all our attention and treat them carefully, and understand that we cannot give them all the material, all the information. There has to be a system, a method.

All in all, contact us with any questions about a group, development, method, and about anything else; you’ll always get a qualified answer. We have lots of materials on these topics, and we have studied groups of the previous generations.

Question: How should we organize a group, in order to bring everyone back to the correct realization of himself and of the Goal as rapidly as possible?

In essence, it is our work. How do we progress? There is an Upper degree and the lower degree (Drawing No. 18). I drew a lower degree bigger because it is a more egoistic. The Upper degree is my future degree, and I have to establish contact with it. It is placed in me with its AHP, and it is ready to help me, but I have to find a contact with it. And this Upper One is a group. We don’t have anything else.

Don’t think that the connection with a teacher will help you. You may see this with guys from our group: the one who wants to become closer to me is met with a resounding rebuff. I don’t have a right to keep my student close to me, as in this way he won’t develop. He develops in a group only. If he stays close to me, he will think that he has already achieved everything.

That’s why there cannot be any chosen confidant students. I don’t have a right to draw near anybody. Otherwise they will receive a certain confidence, that everything is all right, that there is a father who will do everything.

In reality everything is visa versa. From Above we are placed in such a state, and the teacher himself has to place himself in such a state. I have to show my weaknesses so that they understand that everything is in their hands and depends on them, I have to show my negative features. In addition it is done from Above, independently, to make them seek how they can grow. If they rely on some good person—bust! Egoism won’t enable them to progress.

That’s why a teacher is an instructor, who only says how you should organize yourself inside the group, suggests the method, explains, and supports. But inner realization has to be absolutely independent, otherwise it will be impossible.

A group is the Upper One, a human being is a lower one, and a teacher is someone who tells them how to establish this contact. It is my task indeed. A teacher, Rav, is derived from the word “big,” which means wise. You have to search for the right contact with a group, to tune with it correctly to the spiritual. This depends on us. A group is the sum of all our spiritual expectations, and nothing else. It is a certain substance that hovers above us, where we all want is to enter and exist only there.

Drawing No. 18

With this we’ll conclude our first lecture. Thank you!

And the last piece of advice: let’s keep in mind that from this very moment I’m controlling myself whether I’m aspiring spiritually only to one Goal together with the others. You’ll see, how suddenly you’ll be pulled forward, how some force and some new sphere start revealing themselves, something voluminous, which is out of the body—and it is called “the spiritual,” where you start existing.

Good Luck!

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