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Michael Laitman, PhD

Two Ways Up

According to the Creator’s plan, the entire universe must reach the state of correction, and the time allocated for correction is limited. The Zohar indicates that the correction must begin its final stages from the end of the 20th century. From this time on, humanity will be urged to correct by intensifying sufferings—read the news, and you’ll see a fair case of that.

Recognizing the purpose of creation and knowing the method of correction will enable you to approach the goal consciously. This is the key, and it’s faster than the suffering that will otherwise catch up with us from behind. Instead of suffering, we have the opportunity to feel fulfillment and inspiration even while still on the path of correction.

Remember from Chapter 7 how Kabbalah tells of a time frame for the final correction? The path to personal correction may take a while, but it will happen sooner or later. Plus, every soul must go through the process.

None of your experiences in life disappear. They are stored within your desire, and desires are eternal; they pass from one generation to another, from one incarnation to the next.

The next time you are born, as described in Chapter 11, your desire will retain the record of everything you did with regard to the Creator.

This is how the Reshimot play their role. Everything that you did inside your egoistical desire is stored in a “box,” which eventually gives you the “recognition of evil.” And until this box is filled completely, and until you correct all of your evil, you will continue to come to this world.

Next time you show up in this world, this “box” will contain what you have gained in your current round. The small steps you make accumulate and eventually yield results. Each step ultimately leads to spiritual elevation, but you get to experience the road as pleasurable and exciting or as painful and agonizing. You have a choice in the matter, and the last section in this chapter will explain how.

Take the Short Way, It’s Quick and Easy

You can advance toward the realization that egoism is the root of evil through a long path of suffering or through a much shorter and delightful path of correction. Moreover, the path of suffering is not a path, merely the length of time needed for the realization that you need to march on the short path.

Yet as soon as a sufficient measure of suffering has been accumulated, you realize that there is greater profit in correction than in suffering, and you work to change. Instead of treading the long path, there is a short and easy path to correction.

Both paths are the same, but on the short path there are no phases of suffering, only constant progress. On the long path, however, there is suffering almost every step of the way.

The wisdom of Kabbalah is a tour guide to the short path. It tells you of all the states and helps you through them easily, with gentle encouragement.

You can acquire knowledge about the structure of the world, its causality and purpose before you are met with affliction. Through this knowledge, you accelerate the realization that egoism is bad and avoid the need to realize the evil in egoism under the threat of annihilation.

Although it seems that we are free to do as we please, in truth, we follow the commandments of our genes and adhere to the influence of the social environment. Those influences and commandments determine all our values, showing us how profitable it is to be powerful and prosperous.

We work hard all of our short lives only to win society’s recognition of how successfully we keep its values. At the end of the day, we do not live for ourselves at all, but strain to find grace in the eyes of our children, our kin, our acquaintances, and society in general.

Clearly, succeeding in solving the crisis depends upon changing the values of society. That’s the topic of the next chapter.

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