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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 2.10 – The Sensation of the Light

The Creator influences us through various things in our environment. It is our duty to understand that every thing that happens with us is nothing but the Creator approaching us. If we react correctly to this influence, we will begin to understand and feel what it is that the Creator actually wants from us, to the point where we will begin to feel Him.

The Creator influences us not only through certain people, but also through the entire reality. The world is built the way it is precisely because it is the best way for the Creator to influence and promote us to the purpose of Creation.

When we encounter various situations in our everyday lives, we do not feel the influence of the Creator behind them. That is because our properties are completely opposite from His. But as soon as one begins to equalize with the Creator, even if just a tiny bit, we immediately begin to feel Him.

In response to every strike of fate, we should ask the right question: “Why was it given to me? not, “What have I done to deserve this punishment?” or “Why is the Creator doing this to me?” There are no punishments, though we find many depictions of them in the Torah. There are only inducements to move mankind toward the perfect state.

Our minds are but a tool of extra support that aid us in correctly perceiving what we sense. We should relate to our lives as one big classroom where the Creator is our teacher. Only He has all the knowledge and gives only as much as we are able to perceive at any given moment. With this attitude, slowly but surely the sensation of the Creator will come to our every newborn spiritual sense.

However, for the time being we keep turning our backs on the Source. We will be able to face it and approach Him only if we make a conscious effort. That is why the Creator sends us books and group mates, so we can make spiritual progress.

The student is in the corporeal world and the teacher is in the spiritual world. Because of ego, the student cannot understand and appreciate the teacher.

However, If a student can ‘erase’ their own minds, their reasoning, and their opinions, and operate with the mind of their teacher, who is already in the spiritual world, they can thus connect themselves with spirituality, even if on an unconscious level.

We do not see or feel the Creator in this world. For that reason, our egos cannot act for the Creator. However, students can see their teachers, talk to them, and learn from them. They trust and respect their teachers. Because of that, they can do things for their teachers.

It is much like the process where the AHP of the superior (the teacher) lowers itself into the GAR of the inferior (the student). Reaching the AHP of the teacher means to accept every act, thought, and advice given. If the student "unites" with the AHP of the teacher, the teacher can raise the student temporarily and reveal what spirituality is.

When we read such books that were written by righteous men such as Baal HaSulam, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochay and Rabbi Baruch Ashlag, we connect with them through the Surrounding Light that purifies our desires, meaning our vessels.

Therefore, when we read these books we must always remember the writer's spiritual degree. That enables us to not only connect with the ideas and direction, but also forms a bridge that could help us in our progress as we bond with the author. It is not important if the author is or is not; we can bond with him in our feelings, while studying his books.

At the age of 18, the eldest son of Baal HaSulam, Baruch Ashlag, finished his studies at the Yeshiva (school for orthodox Jews) and started to work as a construction worker. He would rise before dawn, eat a kilogram of bread and onion, drink a little water and go to work. Bread and onion was also his supper. On holidays he would add a little herring or something else that would make his meal festive.

Rabbi Baruch Ashlag lived a very hard life. He was among the workers who built the Hebron-Jerusalem road. The workers lived in tents and would move from place to place while doing each section of the road.

The cook permitted Baruch Ashlag to study in the kitchen from 3 a.m. In return Baruch would fill and warm the pots so the cook wouldn’t have to get up so early in the morning.

He continued this way of life even after he got married. His wife and children lived in Jerusalem, and when he arrived there, he would attend his father’s lessons, which meant walking from the old city of Jerusalem to Givat Shaul (the neighborhood where Baal HaSulam lived, over an hour’s walk each way). In those days, there was also the possibility of meeting a jackal on the way.

In the house of Baal HaSulam was poverty and shortages to the point of hunger. But there were things that were a must for him, such as paper, ink and coffee. He wrote constantly, for writing was his life.

When Baal HaSulam died, Rabash stopped working and began to build a group of students. However, things went slowly and with great difficulty. His students began their studies at the age of 14-15, and when they grew and got married, their ambition to study diminished significantly. Instead of coming daily, they would come only once a week or even once a month.

Every person is given his own problems to solve. Sometimes, the smallest obstacle can become an impassable wall.

Later on, in 1984, I brought my teacher dozens of new students, and Rabash began to write articles for daily group lessons. But even before that he would always write about the spiritual worlds that he discovered. I recorded all my lessons with my rabbi.

Today there are several books that are based on that material, much of which was written on small scraps of paper. These now constitute an important addition to the writing of Baal HaSulam.

Baal HaSulam spoke of many things, but there was one thing he described very clearly: we must not forget that there is a Leader to the world, and sometimes, when the need arises, He sends His messengers. Other times He lets us advance by ourselves.

There are many ways to connect with the Creator, and many supporting operations for which He is responsible. Thus, we can regard any obstacle on our path of study, including the departure of our teacher from this world, as a change in our own private providence.

The Creator changes His providence, but always for the best, meaning every such change brings us closer to the end of correction. Although our egoism dictates its conditions to us and says that the former situation was better, easier, more pleasant, we must still try and see the Guidance of the Creator vividly in every situation and event.

Even when the Kabbalist dies and his many students are left without a teacher, it is qualitative change in their work, since providence has become faster and tougher.

When we come closer to spirituality, we begin to feel much like a parachutist being thrown into the air for the first time. We know that there is a parachute behind us, but in the first seconds that we are in midair, we pray and ask ourselves, "What did I need this for?"

Then the parachute opens above us and we feel complete certainty. But that does not last very long because we will soon have to land on the ground. We forget that the parachute protects us, and use our own abilities to land safely. However, our fear is really subjective, because it is actually the parachute that holds us and takes us slowly to the ground.

Rabbi Baruch Ashlag used to say about one of his students that when he was given a new office, he was summoned to the minister’s office. But the same night there was a banquet at the Rabbi’s. The students did not go to see the minister and did not get the job; he chose which was most important for him – meeting the rabbi.

Rabbi Ashlag did not leave behind any articles that were ready for print, because he did not want to publish his articles after his father, his great teacher. However, time passes and the demand for Kabbalistic texts change. Today’s students can no longer absorb the material the way it was presented to us.

We can say that Rabash was the last of the great Kabbalists of the past. He contained within him the entire former life of Judaism. His knowledge of the history of Judaism and the great rabbis of the last generations was very impressive, and he would tell their stories as though they were a part of his own life.

We can clearly see from his stories that in the beginning of the 20th century there was a spiritual decline that reached so low that the gates to the spiritual world began to close, and a time of spiritual darkness began.

If a person in previous centuries had been offered the opportunity to devote an entire life in return for spiritual attainment, that person would instantly agree. Today, however, we are so immersed in our daily nonsense that we cannot break free from it.

Students today must aspire for a very close connection with their teachers because they represent a very high degree of rabbi is a person in a very high degree and the attainment of that degree is the goal of every student.

When Rabash’s students were next to him, they felt an immense source of spiritual power. It was very difficult to think like him, much less understand his actions and motives. It was also difficult for the Rabbi to relate to his students, as he had to reduce himself to their level and conceal his attainment in order to give his students the freedom of choice.

Any understanding is given according to one’s own spiritual progress. That keeps one safe from breaking. It is very difficult to understand a person who lives a corporeal and spiritual life at the same time; it is always bewildering to determine why some things are important and others are ignored by such a person. Sometimes it is completely incomprehensible before you reach a minimal spiritual degree.

Rabash was very interested in natural sciences like physics and chemistry. He immediately connected everything he learned with Kabbalah and saw what has been revealed and what had not.

The desire to take a spiritual path is given to a person by the Creator, but man must make the effort that this course demands. Students of Kabbalah must ask themselves constantly what their purpose is in such studies. Are they studying Kabbalah to take the knowledge into their egos, or to feel the Creator and correct themselves?

Any person who marches on the path to spirituality and learns about the way to ascend to it circulates the books and the media that contain Kabbalah lessons. By doing so, it is like adhering to the Will of the Creator and spreading His ideas in the world, thus becoming a partner of the Creator in this world, approaching Him in actions and thoughts.

The revelation of the Creator to the creature is a moment when the creature equalizes its own properties with the Light that extends from the Creator. That is to say, the Creator appears in the specific property that has been equalized with Him.

We must complete the equivalence of our attributes with Him on the entire spiritual ladder while we are in this world and within one lifetime. All our past lives are but preparations to climb the rungs of the ladder until we reach the world's Maker.

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