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Michael Laitman, PhD

How Do I Avoid Falling?

Q: It is probably impossible to avoid falling altogether. But can we predict the falls before they come? After all, one never falls immediately. If that is true, perhaps it’s possible to try not to fall, or at least make it easier. Can the attempt to avoid falling today help me in my future situations?

A: There is no remedy against descents, and there cannot be one. That is because a descent is a fall into new desires of self-reception. Once corrected, they bring you up to the next degree. Each “next degree” is different from its former degree, in that you receive stronger desires. As a result, the power of correction “to please the Creator” is more intense.

They say that “holiness increases and never decreases,” but prior to correction, each new desire with the intent “for my own pleasure” seems like a descent to us, or a fall. However. That specific addition, once corrected, will seem to us to be the cause of the ascent.

The new desire is received when we fall into the stock of desires for pleasure, which is in us by the nature of our creation. Only then do we slowly begin to live with it and correct it, hence the falls. In fact, this is how we receive the substance for correction.

It is, however, possible to avoid a fall in many cases, meaning to receive the new, uncorrected desires without a spiritual decline and loss of contact with the Creator. This requires a different method: you consciously control the situation, choosing to face by yourself a stronger desire for pleasure, thereby strengthening your contact with the Creator.

The method is to search within for the deficiencies in your intents while still in the ascent, thus avoiding the need to wait for the Creator to “drop” them on you.

There is a story told by Rabbi Baruch Ashlag about an old man walking along, bent downward as though searching for something, knowing that there are still many desires for self-indulgence that he has yet to encounter in order to correct them and thus rise.

We define our own situations, according to our own feelings. Therefore, we can and should aspire to exit a situation that we define as a “fall.” We are where our thoughts are.

But other than that, a fall is any thought that is not of the Creator, but of other things. It doesn’t have to be a bad feeling, or one of depression; it can actually come while you are in a good mood, desiring to enjoy life, but without a connection to the Creator and the purpose of creation.

Therefore, the beginning of the fall can occur when we feel at the top of the world. Suddenly, in that blissful situation, we disconnect from the thought of the Creator and simply enjoy our good fortune.

At that very moment, even unconsciously and uncontrollably, the fall begins, even as we are still enjoying life. Suddenly, we realize that the fall has taken place, and that we are already down.

So let us learn from this old man, who, while still on the ascent, is already looking for ways to improve his situation. He begins to criticize his thoughts and his connection with the Creator, specifically when he is filled with the Light of Wisdom. Because he so badly wants to find his deficiencies (in his intent “for the Creator”), he doesn’t fall because he turns all thoughts that are not of the Creator, if they ever come, into a correction, which then leads to a further ascent.

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