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Michael Laitman, PhD

What is Life and Death?

Q: Is there really such a thing as death?

A: The sensation of death or life begins with the admittance to the spiritual world, and not when a physical body is born or dies. “Death” is an exit of Light, when the sensation of the Creator is gone from the vessel, the soul. Our present state is considered worse than death because we don’t feel the Creator whatsoever. We do not even feel that we are denied of any Light, any sensation of the Creator. Feeling the Creator means receiving a soul.

The word, Kabbalah, is derived from the word, Lekabel (to receive). Kabbalah is the science that teaches how to receive a soul and, through it, to attain eternal life. “Death” means distancing from the Creator to its opposite pole (opposite attributes). The condition for the reception of a soul is the existence of a vessel, and a vessel is the aim “for the Creator.”

A person can attain the first spiritual degree only after he has attained the understanding that death is detachment from the Creator and life is attachment to Him. The rest is in the hands of the spiritual mechanism. But in order to attain such an understanding, it is necessary to receive help from the Creator – the miracle of the exodus from Egypt! That is the only way God can help. And when He does, then mankind will really be saved!

Q: What is the meaning of the words of the Zohar, when it says that “only the chosen will attain life in the next world”? What about the rest of humanity?

A: Creation is eternal. Time and motion do not exist. We only speak of inner sensations of the creature. The changing inner situations evoke the sensation of time and motion. The Zohar speaks of spiritual degrees and of situations of the eternal soul, about measures of its fulfillment with the Light of the Creator. But the sensation of the animate life can accompany a soul if a person receives it.

Otherwise it is as it says: “…so that man hath no pre-eminence above a beast” (Ecclesiastes 3, 19).

Q: What does man ultimately risk?

A: A person risks the thing that is most precious to him: what he feels, what he possesses, his very life. There is no total absence! But everything he has vanishes. As a matter of fact, there is no risk in anything because everything is in the hands of the benevolent Creator.

But we feel it like that unless we attain spiritual faith: the Light of mercy.

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