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Michael Laitman, PhD


Q: How should I relate to various disturbances?

A: We normally only discuss a person when Reshimot (reminiscence) of the Upper World begin to surface in that individual. One begins to feel the point in the heart – the desire for something that is not yet understood, something not from this world, but above it. A yearning arises for the purpose of creation, the discovery of the Creator during the course of one’s life in this world.

We want all the worlds, including the one that is concealed from us – the Upper World – to appear before us. Then we will be able to see the eternal spiritual degree and unite with it, when there is no difference between good and evil, and life and death. Everything will be united in a state of endless wholeness.

That is the purpose all of mankind should reach, as in the verse: “He is One, and His name One.”

He–meaning the Creator; His name–meaning creation. The creature gives names according to its feelings about the Creator, if a creature has been fully corrected, it unites with the Creator. That unification is the goal, the final state of the universe. We can reach that goal today.

Any phenomenon that collides with our intention to reach the goal is regarded as a disturbance, an obstacle. Because we believe there is no force other than the Creator, and we advance to the goal according to His Plan, we have to be creative about the disturbances that come to us from that Source, the Creator, which keeps pushing toward the goal.

We must understand that any disturbance is, in fact, not an obstacle on our way to the goal, but we feel it as such, because our attributes are as yet not like the Creator’s. In other words, the sensation of an obstacle indicates inner disturbances and lack of correction. The Creator relates to the entire creation with benevolence, without any preconditions. If we cannot feel the providence of the Creator as good, and feel resistant, it is because we have an inner barrier, not an external disturbance.

Thus, there are no obstacles apart from our own corrupted attributes. Outside our souls, there is only the Creator, drawing us toward Him, to the most perfect situation. That is why we need to relate to any disturbance that we feel as a sign from Above, indicating which attribute is next in line to be corrected. And if we can correct it, it will be yet another step toward the goal.

In fact, our freedom of will is expressed in our ability to see in that situation a possibility to face the situation, to turn to the Creator, to ask for help and learn what needs to be corrected and how.

The feeling of disturbances is called “the concealment of the Creator.” It is natural that the minute we feel the disturbance, we cannot assess the situation correctly. All we see is that there is a barrier, but we cannot see the source, the reason for the appearance of the barrier. We must relate to those disturbances with the existence of the Creator in mind, understand that it is the Creator who sends us these disturbances, in order to help and show us precisely where we have to concentrate our efforts in order to discover Him.

By sending us the obstacle, the Creator indicates precisely what we have to focus on in our spiritual efforts in order to find Him. In fact, it is intended to help us, because only after a spiritual effort to confront the disturbance can we discover the Creator.

In order to successfully confront a disturbance (we will leave that word, although we see that it is, in fact, help), we must be spiritually prepared. If we are aware that all the disturbances are intended to correct our spiritual state and bring us yet another step closer to the Creator, and if we are basically positive about those disturbances, then when we stumble upon them, we will know how to handle them.

Let’s take an example from a frequent situation in a group: I (a student) learn that someone said something bad about me. I am naturally frustrated; I begin to justify and defend myself; and I see that person as an enemy. I even think of taking revenge on him. Thus, instead of relating to that disturbance in a positive manner and working with it, I want to eliminate it, along with the person, who, I think, caused it.

It doesn’t matter whether what he said was true or false. I have to learn to understand not the meaning of things, but rather the manner in which I must relate to what has been sent to me by the Creator, via a third party. I must do this in order to see and correct my flaw, and, in the process, discover the Creator through my spiritual work.

In fact, the Creator made me face that disturbance to help me advance spiritually. Such opportunities can come in the least pleasant form, as a feeling of guilt, or by learning something good that dazzles my mind. In any case, it is not about the phenomenon itself, but about its origin and the One who sent it – the Creator. Afterwards, when I aim for the Creator, I can begin to wonder why He sent it to me this way and not another?

If I were willing to take anything that comes to me as something that a-priori comes from the Creator, I would take any criticism with love and understanding, because I would know where it comes from, and that the Creator is bringing me closer to Him.

Every time I hear something bad, I am in a debate. Does this news come from the Creator, or is it just that person who brought it to me. I gradually force myself to relate to that spiritual disturbance as something that I can use in order to come closer to the Creator, and feel Him even more.

There is no better feeling than when I cross the barrier and discover the sensation of complete attainment, unification with the Creator. Confronting a disturbance means working on it, accepting it as a message from the Creator to correct the attribute.

The one correct solution, regardless of how I am informed, whether more pleasantly or less, or more justly or less, is to accept it without argument, as something given, as the Will of the Creator. That is why I relate to it as a call to come to the Creator. These are the Creator’s instructions to me, as He marks the points that delay my approach to Him.

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