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Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 4.4 – Questions & Answers

The Study

Question: Why do Kabbalists describe the Upper world for us?

Answer: In order to help us begin to feel them. Man was created to feel the Upper Worlds and to feel the Creator. We, who cannot see the beginning of Creation, the reason for it, are unable to see its end and ultimate purpose. Therefore, we are also unable to understand the meaning of our lives.

If a researcher from another world were to examine a day-old lamb and a day-old child, he would determine that the human infant has very little prospects of evolving successfully, whereas the lamb, which can already walk and understand its surrounding, is certainly headed for a brighter future. The alien would assume that nature gave the lamb everything necessary for life and therefore it would evolve much more successfully than the infant.

That is what any alien would think of our world. It would reach that conclusion because it would not be able to see the final state, after the completion of the development of each species. It would miss the part when the human infant makes the breakthrough and reaches far beyond the evolution of the lamb. If we do not (as is our current situation) see the final goal, our purpose, if we stay confined to our own world, we will continue to believe that our lives begin and end in this world.

That is why Kabbalists repeatedly mention in every book that even if one does not understand what one is reading, but seemingly ‘just’ reads, by that one is still unconsciously extending the spiritual Light that surrounds us. That Light gradually purifies us and prepares us to feel spiritual powers. Then, at a certain moment, first unaware and then aware of it, one begins to feel the spiritual world, and can see and understand the reasons for one's life and the evolution of the soul over the generations. In addition, one receives new spiritual powers in order to learn how to ask for additional spiritual powers from the Creator.

Q: Can anyone become a Kabbalist?

A: If a person studies with a spiritual teacher and with the right method of study, that person will eventually become a Kabbalist. We become the vessel over which we perform experiments, representing the model of the Creator that is the subject of our studies.

One can feel spirituality to the extent that he equalizes his form with that of the Creator. There are two phases to the spiritual progress: the first is the attainment of spirituality, a process called the “construction of the screen”, the second indicates how to use that screen. In order to build and utilize these two formulas, one needs a rabbi (teacher), a group, and the right books to study from.

Q: Psychiatrists believe that the sixth sense is a kind of disease. They classify it as a hallucination. Can you clarify that point?

A: All the stimuli that our senses receive come to our brain. They are processed by a fixed program imprinted in the brain, and the final outcome is expressed in our emotions and sensations. The brain can even send out signals based on past memories. If the mind begins to create imaginary feelings and hallucinations, then whether or not one is aware of it, it is a defect in the system, meaning a disease.

However, in the wisdom of Kabbalah, we feel your surroundings and at the same time can examine reality from the side, because we learn how to feel both ourselves and the origin of your feelings, meaning the Creator. It is a personal understanding; there is no one who can testify to its correctness or describe it accurately. But the wisdom of Kabbalah is the most practical science there is. All the knowledge is acquired through experimentation.

Direct contact with the Creator is what enables us to see and understand the actual reality and the negligible part that we can perceive in the limitations of our world.

Q: So how can one see if he is wrong?

A: If one is in contact with a real Kabbalist, it will become evident that one's feelings are not founded on actual knowledge, a system, or a control mechanism, all of which are the constituents forming the wisdom of Kabbalah.

The ability to study reality systematically, through scientific observation, and to assess the results with other Kabbalists who went through a similar process of revealing the concealed, plus the continuity and the scientific observation and experimentation, all these differentiate the wisdom of Kabbalah from mental disease and hallucinations of mediums.

In the 19th century, humanity was looking for redemption in art. In the 20th century it was power and scientific advancement. Today, people find that their lives depend on guidance from Above, and if they want to participate in the guidance, they must reach its root in the Upper World.

We will begin to feel the need to understand the Upper Roots of life. Our own lives will compel us to seek redemption and the capability to affect the processes in the world. Mankind will find that it is impossible to exist without the ability to intervene in the Upper Guidance. Thus, the collective law of reality will compel us to evolve spiritually because it is our nature to be lazy and egoistic, and pain is the only way we can be motivated to act.

The wisdom of Kabbalah enables us to reduce or altogether avoid suffering and be cured before we feel the illness. The study of Kabbalah renders us with spiritual forces, understanding, and the ability to know what to do in this world. Thus, we are able to avoid problems, disease, and other tragedies.

Q: How can you explain the fact that despite the bliss and divine pleasures of Kabbalah, there isn’t any ‘Kabbalah rush’?

A: The fact that the coarsest souls descend to our world in this generation does not necessarily imply that they are aware of what they need for their correction. Every generation consists of layers of all the souls in previous generations. This is the reason the public is still passive.

An ordinary person does not want to live in dreams about the future because the body only feels the present. The ordinary person aspires for no more than animate pleasures. No one is in a hurry to take on the laborious work of spiritual correction. However, if one realizes that this is the only way for redemption, it will be impossible to abandon the study of Kabbalah.

Even if humanity does find someday that there is a means to attain spirituality, everyone will relate to it differently, depending on his or her kind of soul. Some will begin to take an occasional interest, some will begin to learn on their own, some will study with Kabbalists every now and again, and some even study regularly. But only a few will devote themselves to the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah because their soul demands it.

Ultimately, it makes no difference which route we take: the important thing is that each and every one of us must know that it exists, that it is available, and that we are aware of its purpose.

Kabbalah appeals to a wide variety of people: there are many who seek blessings from the wise, some study Torah as history, and some look for secrets in the letters, like treasure hunters. But within the wisdom of Kabbalah are people who are closer to the center, to the desire to cleave to the Creator, and there are people who are farther from that goal.

The latter kind studies Kabbalah like a science and seeks knowledge within its pages. It is like the circular ripples that form around a stone thrown in the water. Anyone who hears about the wisdom of Kabbalah will find a unique approach to it, in a position that matches the desire of one's soul for correction. Those who have not come to Kabbalah yet, have not come to it because their time hasn’t come.

Q: Is it okay for adolescents to take Kabbalah classes?

A: Yes. I recommend the articles from the book, Matan Torah (The Revelation of Godliness).

Q: What is our attainment based on?

A: Our attainment is based on sensations, contact! This is the best way to research the goal of attaining spirituality in our world. That is because all our senses are expressed in the sense of touch. The other senses – sight, sound, smell and taste – are incomplete and are a consequence of the Bitush (beating) of the Surrounding Light against the screen.

This beating results in the five vessels of the Parzuf: Moach, Atzamot, Gidin, Bassar and Or, which are (respectively) Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA and Malchut, uniting within a single vessel, meaning one attainment of the Light. When the Direct Light comes straight from Above downward, from the degree of Keter (Moach), through the degree of Malchut (Or), it strikes the screen and raises Returning Light back to the degree of Keter. That means that if the Light reaches the degree of Or, all the Sefirot in the Partzuf become one, resulting in all the senses being filled with Light as well as information.

Because the other senses operate from a distance, as opposed to the sense of touch, they are not filled with the entire amount of knowledge, and are therefore not completely real and do not reach all the way to Malchut.

Q: Can one be forced to study Kabbalah?

A: There is a spiritual law that states, “There is no coercion in spirituality.” Any kind of coercion, or even a command, that might rob someone, directly or indirectly, of one’s freedom of choice, is wrong. Coercion robs us of the most important thing the Creator gave us–free will. It is by choice that we will understand our essence and draw near to Him by correcting it. Therefore, coercion is against the true nature of Creation.

Q: During our studies, we sometimes encounter situations when we have no answers to the most essential questions, but at the same time are unable to formulate any questions. Why does that happen?

A: It happens when one does not feel the text from within, when it has not yet been discovered by one's senses. In these cases, one does not respond to what one hears.

Q: What is the difference between knowledge and faith?

A: The only thing we need in this world is faith. Faith is the sensation of clearly feeling the Creator.

Knowledge is something that appears to be outside faith for someone who is still unable to feel the Creator. For that reason, knowledge is a limited vision of the world, whereas faith is complete. When one refuses to take the path of knowledge and uses only one's egoistic vessels, one begins to feel spirituality, and that feeling is called faith.

Q: What can you say about a person who wants to study Kabbalah, but whose course of life is quite ordinary?

A: It means that the person has been chosen from Above. It can also be the consequence of pains that you suffered during your former cycles.

Letters & Language

Q: Are there letters and words to express our feelings?

A: We have to have some means of expressing our feelings, so for that purpose we have a certain code – a language. We can use it anyway we like. The world of Ein Sof is described using only four letters Yod (י), Hey (ה), Vav (ו), Hey (ה). These letters are the four Behinot (phases): Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet. Over the course of their descent to our world, they unite and form the letters, the words and their combinations, until they become an entire language in our world.

Q: Is there any power to the letters?

A: All the words were built by forces that are marked by letters. However, we cannot say that the letters have any power of their own. It would be more correct to say that the letters symbolize power.

All the fundamental forces, the properties with which the world was created, are marked by the twenty-seven letters of the Hebrew alphabet (twenty two basic letters and five final letters). Each power has its own unique attribute, and when these join together they form the active force of reality. In the essay about the letters in the Zohar is an elaborate explanation of the combination of two Lights, the two properties - Hesed and Hochma.

In other words, the consequence will be the same; there is no contradiction. Everything begins with the letter Yod (י), because that is the point from which all the letters are drawn, and in fact, any drawing begins with the letter, Yod.

Q: Is Kabbalah the only way to attain the Creator, and if so, does that mean that everyone must learn Hebrew?

A: It doesn’t matter which language one speaks as long as one wants to attain the Creator by correcting oneself through equalizing with His Properties. The knowledge one receives does not come in words, and yet is completely understood because it penetrates all the senses and the consciousness. That knowledge is spiritual, and is how Kabbalists communicate information among themselves.

The Daily Routine

Q: Do Kabbalists live ordinary lives?

A: The wisdom of Kabbalah necessitates that every person to take an active part in this world: work, raise a family, learn and teach. In addition to the normal routine, one must also attain the purpose of Creation–a spiritual contact with the Creator. The Creator created this world and everything in it precisely as it is to assist us in learning how to reach His spiritual degree based on the existing reality. That is why the wisdom of Kabbalah does not rely on fasting, abstention or deprivation of any sort. There is no coercion and no punishments in this world or in the next.

My teacher, and I as his successor, do not take students who wish to pay us for the study instead of working. The wisdom of Kabbalah does not support that form of study. Such a phenomenon arose during the time of the exile when people refrained from working, and rich Jews supported the poor so that they could study Torah.

Rabbi Yehuda Ahslag (Baal HaSulam) sent his children to work right after they finished their formal studies (around the age of eighteen). My rabbi worked many years as a construction worker and in road works and other hard labors. The purpose of Creation is to mold it to resemble the Creator in its properties. It is therefore obvious that in the external sense, nothing is going to change and we will continue to work both physically and mentally.

Q: Every now and again we run into questions that concern the right way to bring up our children. How does Kabbalah regard this matter?

A: There are many ways to educate in our world, but none of them is perfect because twenty or thirty years pass before we see their consequences. In most cases, it is then too late to change patterns of behavior. The entire process of education in Kabbalah is based on the transformation of the system for each person passively, without pressure. At the same time, we continuously give extensive explanations about the system and the benefits offered by spirituality.

It is essential to emphasize that this system leads to proper behavior and enables us to see the consequences of actions beforehand and thus prevent wrongdoing. We can only lead our children to understand what Kabbalah is by personal example; this is the only way we can teach them what they can attain should they want to study it. The choice to study or not to study is theirs alone.


Q: How do our thoughts affect our environment?

A: Contemporary science finds that the will of the experimenter affects the results of the research. Among other things, astrophysicists have begun to internalize the idea that the entire universe is, in fact, a single thought. That stems from the fact that the Creator did not create anything but the egoistic desire to receive and feel His Light, which is felt as pleasure. The Light itself fills the entire reality evenly. The way one feels this reality depends on nothing but the desire itself, just like a hungry person will find the most wonderful flavors in a mere slice of bread, whereas a satiated person will not be impressed with even a banquet fit for kings.

There are many implications to our subjective approaches towards certain subjects. For example, if we look at a cup of juice from an egoistic perspective, the pleasure embedded in the cup bears an egoistic nature because we use it to soothe our thirst. But if we understand that the juice only gives us a limited amount of pleasure, which was actually given to us so that we could receive it for the Creator, this awareness turn the egoistic pleasure to a spiritual one. The Light of the Creator would be expressed in a corporeal object.

And so it is with every thing in our world: if we regard everything through corrected desires, we will be able to see the spiritual objects around us reflected in corporeal objects of this world.

This ability depends solely on man himself; if his egoistic properties have been corrected only as far as the world of Assiya, he will only be able to see the world of Assiya reflected in the world around him. If he has corrected his selfish desires to the degree of the world of Yetzira, he will be able to see it reflect in our world, and so on. In the end, one begins to see and feel all the spiritual worlds like round spheres, with ourselves in the middle. Outside the system there is the Source, the Creator.

That is why it is said that all the words were created for man and all the worlds are inside man. Outside us there is only the Creator. We cannot feel anything outside ourselves, only what is inside us, meaning our own reactions to the activities of the Creator around us. We refer to these reactions as "worlds." Thus, worlds are actually degrees of sensation of the Creator.

We call “This World” or “Our World” a state where we have no feeling of the Creator as a Source, but only see His material reflection. That sensation of the Creator is the most distant and detached from spirituality. There are five degrees of sensation of the Creator, or five worlds. They begin with our world – the zero degree – and end in our complete attainment of the Creator in the world of Ein Sof.

The only way for us to feel anything outside us is to equalize in form with it, as with the example of a radio receiver. Hence, the degree of our sensing the Creator testifies to the degree of our equivalence of form with the Light.

If we feel our environment only through the senses we received at birth, that sensation is called “this world.” If we succeed in changing, correcting our desires to match those of the Creator, we begin to feel Him to the extent of our correction. The measure of that sensation is called "one’s spiritual world," or "one’s spiritual degree."

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