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Michael Laitman, PhD

Group Work

Q: How can I accept the disturbances in the group?

A: Accepting another’s opinion means to live in it, to accept his ideas above your own, and agree that everything that happens is for your own good because a friend recommends it.

Here is a question for you: if a friend criticizes you, should he take into account the possible ramifications, your possible reaction to his criticism? Why can’t you relate to his criticism in the same way that he criticizes you? Why can’t you counter-accuse him? Why do you need to relate to the opinion of a friend as a “voice from Heaven?” Doesn’t he stop being your friend then, and become a representative of the Creator?

We are dealing here with the wisdom of the Kabbalah, the only system of attaining the Creator, of entering the spiritual world. We have become a group in order to shorten the way as much as possible. We must treat everything that happens in the group as signs, instructions from the Creator. We have no right to think that what happens between us is merely a number of routine, everyday problems.

It is not that we calculate whether it is more profitable for us to deal with our petty strife or advance together toward the sublime goal. In fact, if the aim and the reason for the formation of the group is the attainment and revelation of the Creator, then everything we get today should be treated as a message that the Creator sends us in order to approach Him.

What this implies is that we have friends who go along with us on our spiritual path, and if they mistreat us, we should not focus on that. Rather, we should try to build a warm and friendly relationship, and correct ourselves according to the problems that arise. By such action, we go “above our own reason” and thus attain the goal.

Based on the purpose of the group, all the disturbances and the friction that arise in the group are in fact thrusts forward, not disturbances. They are a call from the Creator to the group to spiritually advance toward Him. They are His signs as to what the group should focus its effort on.

It is precisely within a group that problems are vital. Only through a correct spiritual response of all the members of the group, with help and mutual understanding, can the group advance spiritually that much faster than would a single individual.

As the group advances, the disappointments and the strife will increase, but they should be handled with the slogan, “the goal above all.” We know that everything comes to us from the Creator, and we must constantly increase our spiritual efforts in order to strengthen our faith in this knowledge. We must believe that He sends us pain precisely in the right amounts for each member of the group, and that the group as a whole, can handle what it receives.

Moreover, it is inadvisable to rejoice at the absence of problems. It may well be a sign that the group is not making spiritual progress, and will not be able to handle problems. We should be glad or disappointed not at the presence or the absence of problems, but at our progress toward the goal.

Generally speaking, we should be glad when we are faced with problems, because they testify to yet more of our attributes that need correction. Before we enter the Upper World and the sensation of the Creator, these problems navigate us while the Creator is concealed from us.

He leads us in the spiritual darkness through the problems that He sends, and uses them to indicate precisely where we should concentrate our efforts in our spiritual journeys. If we succeed in correcting these attributes, we will be able to feel the Creator.

Each of us is faced with problems in our daily lives. The difference is in how we relate to those problems. Are we aware that the Creator is the Source, or do we blame our surroundings? Do we treat our problems as ordinary people do, or as something from which we want to benefit, for the purpose of nearing Him, as Kabbalists do?

The minute we are faced with a dispute, we must not abandon the post and immediately accept our friends’ position. Rather, we must review and analyze all the circumstances. And most important, we have to stay focused and aware that we are performing spiritual work, and not descend to the level of “keeping score” with friends.

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