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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Sensation of Satisfaction

Q: When people work a lot, they become proud of themselves. Is it right to be proud for the purpose of inner correction?

A: When people invest a lot in their spiritual development, a sense of self-satisfaction develops, and they begin to take pride in their efforts. It is a good idea to be careful of such gratifications.

However, the efforts should continue regardless of one’s conclusions about oneself. Naturally, before we cross the barrier between our world and the spiritual one, all our efforts stem from the will to get something for ourselves. But these efforts gradually expose the evil in us, making us feel as though we are growing worse.

For example: I would always drive my neighbor in my car, lend money to friends and help my relatives. These acts gave me satisfaction and made me respect myself, until I suddenly saw that my behavior stemmed from pure selfishness. I wanted to think well of myself, to be highly spoken of, to maintain what I had been taught to do, and thus put my mind at ease. Of course now, when I realize how selfish I was, I get depressed.

Nevertheless, it is a necessary phase.

Q: How do I begin to hate the situation of Lo Lishma so I can perform the restriction?

A: You mean, how can you advance from a spiritual degree of Lo Lishma to the degree Lishma? To do so, you must come to such a high degree of Lo Lishma, that it will be clear to you that Lo Lishma is a false situation, and you will despise that lie.

When you really do begin to hate that situation, and hate that lie of Lo Lishma because you have now discovered the truth, you can compare the two and clearly see where the deceit lies.

If you begin to feel the Light of Lishma within the situation of Lo Lishma, you will see how deep that situation of Lo Lishma is, and you will feel you must get out of it, but can’t!

You will already see the evil and despair because you can’t escape that situation on your own. At that point, the exodus occurs. The passage from Lo Lishma to Lishma is exactly like a seed that rots and gives life to something new.

Q: Will we be unable to enjoy life in another way after the restriction?! It’s as though there is no connection between the spiritual worlds and the material worlds. Before we learn to give, will we be unable to receive any pleasure!

A: If you didn’t have a point in your heart that constantly wanted to receive spiritual delight - a pleasure that cannot be given in this world - you would receive pleasure through your five senses. These would bring you a sense of the various phenomena around you; you would satisfy your animate vessel and enjoy life.

But if you have already discovered the point in your heart, the embryo of your soul, the desire to be filled with the Light of the Creator - then you understand that it can only be filled with that Light and not with any substitute. That Light can be given only when your attributes are the same as the One who gives the Light.

The first act toward attaining identical characteristics is the restriction. Just as there is a concealment of the Light from above, from the Creator, so we need to imitate that concealment and infiltrate it into our souls. Only then will we be able to receive Light from Above.

Because the Light is concealed from us, we must change our attributes to be able to receive it. . Then, we will feel the sensation of receiving, and will change our attributes by the same intensity of the sensation of receiving, in order to turn it into giving.

Then, by reason of the law of “equivalence of form,” the Light will enter our souls. Those concealed Lights open inside us in accordance with our spiritual progress and the correction of our egoistic attributes.

A vessel that does not feel through its five senses does not belong to this world, but to the next world; it is the vessel of the soul, the point in the heart – a vessel from the other world. If that point - the desire for the Upper Light – is in our hearts, we can try to ignore it and just ”go with the flow” and try to return to “regular” life, or we can try to break that “regularity” and start studying Kabbalah.

That desire can only be developed with the help of a group.

Leaving the group is not necessarily a physical act. One can remain physically in a group and take part in the activities, but if there is no inner connection or unification of intents with the group, it is just as if one is out of the group.

If a person leaves the group, the point in the heart may be turned off, and there is no telling when it will light up again. By participating in group studies, that point can be developed, and the desire for the Creator intensified. The wisdom of Kabbalah is a method that helps develop that point.

In order to satisfy the desire of that point, the aim should match the pleasure. Matching with the pleasure is called Lishma, because the pleasure comes to us in the form of the Creator, and the pleasure can only be received by a special vessel that matches it.

Q: At what phase do we disconnect from the intent Lo Lishma?

A: I don’t know what it means to give the Creator. But the thought comes by itself. We cannot know what it is, or how it happens. The revelation and the attainment of the spiritual world occurs according to the rule, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” In other words, first one sees a picture, and then one begins to understand it.

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