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Article "Concerning Raising MAN"

Shamati, Article 81
Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
October 16, 2006
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

We are reading from the book Shamati, Article 81, Concerning Raising MAN.

It is known that because of the breaking, sparks of Kedusha fell into BYA. But there, in BYA, they cannot be corrected, and hence must be elevated to Atzilut. And by doing good deeds and Mitzvot with the aim to bring contentment to one’s Maker and not to oneself, these sparks rise to Atzilut. Then they are integrated in the Masach of the Upper One, at the Rosh of the degree, where the Masach remains in its eternity. And at that time there is a Zivug (spiritual coupling) on the Masach by the Hitkalelut (mixture/integration) of the sparks, and the Upper Light spreads through all the worlds according to the measure of the sparks that they have raised.

This is similar to the Hizdakchut (purification) of the Partzufim of Akudim. We learned that during its Hizdakchut, when the Light departs because of it, the Masach of the Guf ascends along with the Reshimot to Peh de Rosh. The reason is that when the lower one stops receiving, it is considered that it has been purified of its Aviut (will to receive). Hence, the Masach can rise back to Peh de Rosh, as its whole decline into the degree of Guf was because the Light expanded from Above downward, into the vessels of reception.

Also, the Rosh is always discerned as being from below upward, meaning in resistance to the expansion. And when the Guf stops receiving the Lights from Above downward because of the absence of the Masach that had been purified by the Bitush (beating) of the internal and the external, it is considered that the Masach de Guf has been purified of its Aviut, and ascended to the Rosh with the Reshimot.

Additionally, when one engages in Torah and Mitzvot in order to bestow and not to receive, through it, the sparks rise to the Masach in the Rosh,in the world of Atzilut (and they rise degree-by-degree until they arrive at the Rosh de Atzilut). And when they are integrated in that Masach, and the level of Light appears according to the size of the Masach, more Light is added in all the worlds. And man, too, who caused that betterment Above, receives illumination by having improved Above, in the worlds.

It was convenient for Baal HaSulam to explain things through the language of Kabbalah because for those who have spiritual discernments, it is certainly the easiest language to listen to and to convey his impressions and sensations.

In order to be a creature, one has to be different from the Creator. If the Creator’s quality is bestowal, then by necessity the quality of the creature is reception. However, by being opposite to the Creator, the creature isn’t worthy of existing because in reality there is no existence at all for the quality of reception.

We learn that the existence that we seemingly have now and the existence of the Klipot (shells) is possible because the force of bestowal deliberately arranged the system of reality so as to be able to come to reception, the will to receive and sustain it, although the will to receive in and of itself isn’t worthy of existing. Nevertheless, the Light that comes from bestowal sustains it and keeps it in order to give the will to receive the possibility to correct itself and also reach the form of bestowal.

The system of the worlds was created to allow the will to receive to be equipped with all the impressions from the Light and from itself, from standing opposite to Kedusha (sanctity), in order to enable one to understand what he is and how he should correct himself. The breaking of the Kelim (vessels) occurred in the preparations of the qualities of reception and bestowal. The qualities of bestowal then would enter the vessels of reception and allow them to feel what is above reception: the spiritual discernments and the quality of the Creator.

Thus from the opposite state, the broken and farthest state, the creature can begin to identify his status and want to reach bestowal.

Of course, this desire, this awakening comes through the Light that affects him. The correction too comes by the means of the Light. And the spiritual status is sustained by the Light as well. But the creature has the sum of all his infinite states, his scrutiny, and there is only one single act that happens to him which is his own. It’s called raising MAN where, after everything is arranged for him (all the forms which appear as a picture before him), he must make only one choice between Klipa (shell) and Kedusha and come to a state where the means, the environment will affect him in such a way that he will want to be in the qualities of the Light.

Consequently, we exist after the breaking, the descent. In our reality, all that is left for us to do is to seek out ways to raise MAN, to express our desire for correction. Namely, to understand what Lishma (for Her name) means.

There are many people who teach Tikkun (corrections) and there are many interpretations of this. The difference between what Kabbalists explain to us of the correction that we have to perform and to all the other methods is simple: Lishma. What is the meaning of Lishma? What is the request that a person should make in which one raises MAN? How can we measure that and check it?

According to what Kabbalists tell us, there are several tests for that. First of all, Baal HaSulam says "simply to study according to genuine books" because only in them people of attainment described Upper spiritual degrees, the real spiritual states. If we learn from the genuine books, we learn from the Source. Today, there are the writings of Baal HaSulam, who prepared the Zohar for us, and the writings of the Ari so that through them, we will draw the Light that Reforms. We will draw Ohr Makif (the Surrounding Light) to give us the recognition of evil so we really do feel the kind of Lo Lishma (not for Her name) that we are in. It’s a highly respectable state, a great state.

Hence from that state we will reach Lishma through the group, through working in the group as Baal HaSulam and Rabash describe. Only by that can we express the situation in which we want to be—not in spirituality but in corporeality, in our vessels, in the relationship between friends in building the group and all the systems. Baal HaSulam explains in the article The Freedom that a person builds his environment from the beginning of the degrees in this world.

Thus, we have two conditions: the group that is built according to what Kabbalists tell us, and the study from the sources which they have prepared for us.

It is also possible that we have both of them and this won’t be enough. Baal HaSulam tells that he came to Jerusalem, saw the Kabbalists, started talking to them, and understood that they were not headed toward correcting themselves, improving themselves, reaching attainment, and that they didn’t understand that such a thing existed. They were certain that there is only mere study. And if someone attains, it happens by itself, through the Holy Spirit, and if it doesn't happen, it doesn’t. Baal HaSulam described it in his letters.

Therefore, the real books don’t always help. They studied the books of the Ari from which Baal HaSulam studied. We see all kinds of groups who study and who even do some internal work, who want to bond and to reach what they understand is spirituality. So, is that enough? Did they reach something? Are they at least headed towardprogression? How do we measure if something else is still missing?

Here is what Baal HaSulam writes in Introduction to Talmud Eser ha Sefirot, item 17 to ask for faith, where before and during the study, the student pledges to make every effort, as much as possible, to reach the quality of bestowal.

We learn that a person can’t have several desires; that’s how we’re built. One desire swallows the smaller desires and then a person feels only that. That’s how we feel ourselves: suddenly we want this, suddenly we want that, suddenly we’re engaged in this, and suddenly we do that. Why is it suddenly? It is because from all the desires that are in us, we feel a certain desire rise and that’s where we are in our present reality.

Baal HaSulam says that a person has to arrange himself in such a way that his internality (the correction of the soul) is always acquiring the quality of bestowal and not to imagine that he has it, but as giving him a chance to reach love of man and, through it, the love of the Creator. Thus, if one pays attention to the internality that one has to acquire, compared to all the externality (all of his actions that happened to come along his way), then he directs himself correctly to raising MAN.

There are several tests that we need to constantly do whereby we can see if we are in the following conditions (and from them, we can somehow see and criticize others, if that is even needed):

We have to fulfill all of these conditions simultaneously. Baal HaSulam describes it differently in his letters. First, we have to aim toward " Yisrael, the Torah, and the Creator are one." Or as he pictures it in the Letter on P. 70, as a result of all of these internal efforts, a person focuses his heart and mind at aiming himself to the goal. If all of these are arranged correctly, then Kabbalists tell us a person aims himself to the goal even though he doesn’t see it. Although one doesn't recognize it, there are a few elements in this world, whereby, combining them correctly, one is able to march toward the real goal. Then, the desire that awakens in him to progress toward that goal is called MAN. Consequently, this is what he gets an answer for.

However, if one tries in the right group, next to the right books, but doesn’t quite hit the goal, then there are forces that put him in place and he begins to identify, to feel, that he is not in it. These forces—forces of correction, of orientation, correction of the direction—slowly arrange him by pains, despairs, by all kinds of phenomena that affect him, so that he is forced to change until he comes to a state where he realizes almost completely correctly what Lishma means, like he describes, "for I am lovesick."

This is when one wants to reach the real Lishma by ninety-nine percent, but there is just one percent left that he cannot get rid of by himself because he still thinks he’ll obtain something from it. That’s the state right before the barrier when, by himself, he makes an effort to scrutinize firmly in order to reach such a craving for the real goal, for Lishma. The rest is called the "miracle," when one receives this new quality upon all of his desires, which is called Lishma or faith.

Indeed, we see that there are many details here: giving contentment to the group, to a friend, [to study] the real genuine sources, in the genuine group, under the conditions in the group for bonding; to diminish oneself before the group and raise the group, to elevate the goal; to scrutinize, "there is none else beside Him," "if I am not for me, who is for me," "for I am lovesick," many, many sayings, " Yisrael, the Torah and the Creator." There is seemingly a lot of information. How will one keep all these conditions, all this formula, to design himself so as to set himself straight toward the goal?

In any case, when a person progresses, he sees that all of these conditions become one condition, they become less and less, and he is left with only one thing called "faith." That’s where many people get stuck. They can’t correctly understand that term: bestowal, relinquishment above reason.

Nevertheless, if in keeping all these conditions with the right group, with the right teacher, with the right books, is he arranging it correctly in the straight line "Yisrael, Torah and the Creator," "If I am not for me, who is for me," even though "There is none else beside Him" in order to reach "There is none else beside Him?" If a person tries not to escape from the total of these conditions, he arrives at one simple formula; it’s called "unity."

Subsequently, all in all, out of the breaking of the vessels, our will to receive received the qualities of the Light within it but only felt these qualities in an opposite way in order to receive. But when one begins to discern that these qualities come from the Light, that by that one feels himself to be opposite to the Creator, one then begins to see how knowing the desire, the Klipa, and one’s ego is the only means from which, or by which, one can resemble the Creator. This is because of the form that man’s ego received at the breaking of the vessel, when the sparks fell into the desire.

Therefore, from that form that appears in him, he only should develop a desire to reach the opposite to it, to see the evil in it, and, on top of it, reach the good. From that, he can identify what Lishma means—faith, to give contentment to the Creator—where on top of the concerns and anxieties that appear in him in the states that he experiences, if he can rise above them in unity with the Creator, understanding that it comes from Him only so that the creature will transcend what happens in these desires to receive, he will begin to understand that everything comes from the same unique force that is unchanging and doesn’t treat a person differently in any situation he is in.

Moreover, all of these worlds, our world, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya, turn into one state, Ein Sof’ (Infinity), no changes and no motion. Then, all of one’s efforts bring him to that. Baal HaSulam describes it as a Partzuf, when a person has already acquired a Masach on top of his will to receive and through it, attains the measure of Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator. Then there is an adding of the will to receive into the Partzuf thatseemingly corrupts the situation, the purification of the Masachim (screens), elevating them from Tabur (navel) to Peh (mouth) and back in a new Dvekut, new overcoming.

These are the situations that a person should experience from below upward, where he feels that he is constantly given a new Aviut, that new Aviut is added, and he doesn’t recognize any form in it. However, when he wants to start connecting to the Light during his work, he begins to see in this Aviut, as compared to the Light, all kinds of forms that are opposite to bestowal, opposite to the Creator. Thus, it turns out that each time the Aviut increases in him, this brings him forms of Kedusha (Sanctity).

It’s impossible, otherwise, for a person to understand what the next degree is because, in the beginning, one has to fall into darkness—into the AHP of the Upper One, which is dark. After that, if he makes an effort, he starts seeing his position in that darkness opposite the Light, when he begins to recognize the evil that he has compared to the giving of the Upper One. First, he begins to simply feel bad. Then, he begins to feel and see all kinds of ways in it, all kinds of discernments between him and the Light, seemingly all kinds of forms, images, instead of the darkness, until he comes to a situation where the Light compared to the darkness stand one against the other.

Thus, a person feels all kinds of forms that he has in his will to receive opposite the Light. This is called the "recognition of evil" whereby he feels that contrast, and this picture is the form on which he asks for correction, raises MAN. Subsequently, when the Light that Reforms comes, it is that same form that formed within the will to receive as the result of its standing opposite the Light. Now, that shape comes not from within the will to receive, but from the Light. Because when a person unites this form with the Creator, through that, this form becomes in order to bestow; it becomes his quality of bestowal.

It is because there is no difference between the form of the Klipa within the will to receive (where he feels himself opposite to the Light) and the form of bestowal, which is in the Light. But as Kabbalists tell us, it’s in the letter Aleph between Galut and Geula (redemption and exile). When he connects this form that comes to him in the darkness, in the recognition of evil in the bad state, and he unites it with the Creator, it immediately becomes his corrected quality of bestowal. Thus he progresses.

That’s why the Masach from Tabur (which is actually the farthest on the one hand, but with the greatest efforts in his work) has to be purified and reach the Peh de Rosh, unity with the Creator, so as to receive strength once again from that standing under the Peh de Rosh, to go back down to Tabur, and thus, once again, to constantly perform these actions of emptying and filling, emptying and filling. What does he empty? And how does he fill himself? With the forms that come to him in the beginning, seemingly from his will to receive. When he unites them with the Creator, these forms become the Partzufim of his soul.

So, consequently, what do we ask for when raising MAN? Ultimately, it is to turn the form of reception in us into a form of bestowal through unification with the Creator, to give to the Creator a place within us. This is the final raising of the MAN in its final form. All the requests prior to that are to build that form. They are as we said through all kinds of phrases, formula, "If I am not for me, who is for me," "There is none else beside Him," " Yisrael, Torah and the Creator are one," the study, the intention, the group, etc.

Therefore, there is no happier state in a person’s life than the raising of MAN because he built everything with his own strength—these forms that are counter to it, the effort in the group, in the study, in the books, in completely everything. Furthermore, through it, he realizes his situation in all the forms that are opposite to the Creator within his will to receive. Now, all that he needs is for the Light to come and for this letter Aleph to appear in the word of theexile and bring him redemption.

That state is made of these two points, the standing in Tabur and in the Peh, where on one hand, he sees himself at the end of the scrutiny of all the elements of the spiritual state of the creature and on the other hand, sees that he cannot help himself more than that. It’s as if he completed the whole way with his own effort up to that point. And here, only the Creator should appear and be present and in that will be the correction. Instead of his MAN, he asks for the presence of the Creator to be here as a witness, as One who sustains the situation.

Question: Is there a MAN of the group and if there is, how can an individual be assisted in building his own MAN from the group MAN?

This is what is happens along the path, and is necessary for raising the final MAN, correct MAN when a person is integrated in the study, group and building his intentions. He goes inside deeply, concentrates on his internality and there he builds this environment in which there is a place for the beginning of the soul.

Of course, this is without support from other souls that in his eyes want to be corrected, but are actually corrected with respect to him. If he does this work, he has to accept everyone as corrected, as being at the end of correction. That’s how he sees it if he makes serious, genuine efforts but to reach these genuine efforts, he has to seemingly awaken them so that they will affect him with the greatness of the goal. He has to see that they are presenting actions and in the lessons.

It all comes in a process that he makes in order to build his request in its complete form. Furthermore, when he reaches the right request, he sees only himself as the flawed part in the whole of the system of Adam haRishon (the First Man) and that the whole world depends on him, that he sustains, keeps this scale of demerit or merit. Then he performs the real request called raising MAN where he is certain that the entire correction depends only on him.

Then he seemingly works for the whole system, for the whole world. It’s called "being integrated in others, performing this act through request for the Tikkun so as to reach love of man" because he is concerned and sees that it only depends on him, on reaching the scale of merit. Here, it depends on him as to whether those creatures will be in Dvekut with the Creator—that only in that are their lifes.

Consequently, it’s like Ima Ilaa (the Upper Mother) who raises MAN to Aba (father), to Hochma, because she understands that even though she doesn’t need the filling of Hochma for herself, the lower ones, the sons, can’t succeed without the filling of Hochma. That’s how a person feels when he raises MAN to correct himself and by that, to correct the world. It’s not that the world needs correction; he within the world, in the system of the world needs correction and that concern brings him to ask the Creator to make that correction with respect to the souls.

Here, within that it appears to him, it’s not that he has to be reminded of it but within that effort, appears the deeper internal deficiency—that all of this is not even for the souls themselves because they don’t need it, since from the very beginning, the deficiency in them is because the Creator wants to delight them. Hence he does it through love of man and comes to the need for love of the Creator, to bring Him contentment.

It’s a desire within a desire, within desire that appears. When we reach one, a second and a third opens, and so forth. Until this whole chain reaches the Creator and he reaches the Thought of Creation to do good to His creations, to that need, and he works to fulfill it. The rest of the deficiency, these private MANs, build this chain of his, of the request for that primary MAN, to bring contentment to the Creator by feeling that he can fulfill his own desire to give to the creatures. But again, the work itself opens a place for the work that a person didn’t see before and they create a new deficiency. That’s how he builds the real MAN.

Question: Should the creature know and feel to whom he is raising MAN, ascribe it to someone or is this cry not clarified?

Rabash says that of course, in order to ask someone a person should first know to whom he speaks. One can’t turn to a person who has a heart of stone; he won’t respond to one’s request. One has to know which request to apply; that he wants to help, that he can help, and that there is support, namely that he already helped someone, etc. It means there has to be a scrutiny. Therefore, it is a must to know the Creator, know all the elements, details and the components of reality because by that a person builds his soul.

Actually, we don’t have anything else that we can do. We begin to see during our engagement and our existence where we are and how we picture reality, so that we begin to see that it’s all the soul. There is nothing else that was created. There is nothing else in reality; the Creator appears within the Light, even now. What we feel and see as ourselves living, existing in something, may be a dream that we are in. Maybe the reality is different; perhaps we will wake up in a minute? It doesn’t matter: everything we have is always in the soul.

That’s all we learn because we study ourselves. The study of the wisdom of Kabbalah is self-knowing, self-recognition, and self-study. Without knowing, one can’t make a correction here, not even the smallest one. It’s impossible for a person to perform what he must perform in this life, in this world, without studying the wisdom of Kabbalah. He has to work with two systems, the mind and the heart, and build the system of scrutiny over his desires in order to be even the smallest cell in the system of Adam ha Rishon, in the souls. Therefore, he has to put himself into the work clearly, willingly, knowingly, so as to know where he belongs and what he has to do in the spiritual degree that was placed on him.

It’s all possible through studying. If we pay attention to what Baal HaSulam writes in all kinds of sayings, and Rav Kook, all the Kabbalists from the Ari onward (because the Ari is Mashiah Ben Yosef and it is him who brought us the wisdom, the method of correction)—they all talk about the wisdom of Kabbalah that a person must learn from the books. It’s not just to attain some wondrous force, some power that will correct him, but he has to develop internal systems through this engagement so as to be at his own degree in a rational, active force because it’s all scrutinized in the thought. He has to make that scrutiny and no one else.

That’s why we don't have to be impressed or alarmed by the material before us, only to study. This means, to the extent that a person is in the group, in dissemination, in all these actions, he’ll eventually feel the measure of study that he should make, the measure of knowledge he needs.

Although it is written that a person’s soul teaches him, but it’s like being in an unfamiliar city, without a map, without an explanation of where you are. You can wander about there, but understand nothing.

Rabash writes that there is a great benefit in studying from others, even though he is in spiritual degree already. But by learning from the writings of others, even he could write about where he was. Still, that gives him the ability to be enriched, to be connected to other souls, accelerate his own correction and do what he must.

This means even the last person with the smallest desire (although 'last' is only according to the magnitude of his desire, he is just as needed as everybody else for the completion of the Kli), he will too have to learn and understand his place, his spiritual trade, in the general system of course. There is no doubt in it.

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