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Kabbalah Video Clips

 

Kabbalah on Good & Evil

Description

Rav Michael Laitman, PhD explains that people are not “good” by nature, but that they have an opportunity to rise above their nature.

 

 

Transcript

Kabbalah on Good & Evil: What Is "a Good Person"?


Kabbalah reveals the structure of the entire universe to a person and that person discovers that our world is surrounded by one immense benevolent force called the Creator. And this is the immense benevolent force that conducts the still, vegetative and animate nature very rigidly, by forcing that nature to follow its laws with absolute precision.


A human being meanwhile processes freedom to choose how to behave in relation to oneself and the environment, nature and society. It turns out that people are misusing the freedom that nature has allowed for them. They don’t respond with the same kind of love, filling this void with the attribute of love. In principle, a human being is the only thing in nature that needs correction. There are neither evil nor good forces. There’s only one force that guides us to the end of correction by showing us the way, sometimes causing all that suffering in us. This suffering is a consequence in a difference of attributes, between me and the Creator—there’s no other choice. If I make my attributes like the Creator’s, if I bring myself closer to them, I will then enter states that are called spiritual worlds—sensations of the Creator. To the same measure that I entered these states, I will be sensing goodness and delight. That’s why there are no forces other than good forces, and all the evil forces are indeed our own, and these are what we have to correct—our own heart.


Moderator: Then how did human beings come to be separated from the Creator?
It has been made so from Above by the Creator Himself, so that a person would be able to ascend.


Moderator: This is important. I want you to say this again. It is the Creator that caused the separation between the human soul and the…

In general, everything that has been made in the world up until this moment, when we—all of humanity—begin our correction. Everything that’s happened in the past, even one second ago, has been made by the Creator and no one else. There is no other force except His. Starting from now, all the evil that emerges inside people—whether it’s alienation, depression, global or economic crisis—at the very moment that it emerges, it’s a sign that the Creator is awakening inside of people the need for self-correction. And this correction solely depends on us. But in hindsight, the entire descent from Above downward—the creation of evil—was made by the Creator.


Moderator: My own understanding is that one of the uniquenesses that the Jewish tradition teaches is that human beings are basically capable of good without some external savior, that human beings have it within themselves the ability to be good on their own. Do you think that’s true?

Rav: No. It’s not so. We can see that it’s not true. Biologists can’t find that despite all of their efforts. Although, there are altruistic genes and altruistic behavior in animals and in human beings. All that is called Hesed, meaning that all good deeds stem from some sort of self-interest. A person has no capacity to do good by oneself, but needs to receive energy from Above. And that’s why the method is called the method of reception (Kabbalah), because it gives the person a point of contact with the Higher Force. One can then receive energy from that force and elevate. Just as a piece of metal can be elevated a bit above the surface where it’s resting if it’s pulled by a magnate, in exactly the same manner, the Upper Force needs to lift a person. We have no strength to do it on our own.


Moderator: Forgive me, but I have a real problem with this, because it seems to me that the people who come and study here with you have some drive that comes from within them. Even yourself, when you say to me there was something in you that drove you to come to Israel because you wanted to understand the meaning of life. I did not have to sense that you were telling me that came from outside you. But that something inside your heart and your soul—inside you—gave you this drive, which in itself is the fundamental goodness Kabbalah is speaking of.


Rav:
Yes that’s correct. Each of us has a heart—the repository of all our desires, egoistical desires, as it’s said, “The evil human heart receives at birth.” But within that heart, there’s a point, the point of the Creator from Above—a little spark. That spark is pushing us forward, upward towards eternity, spirituality, and perfection. But it’s only pushing. It can’t give one the power to ascend. It’s just directing and pushing a little bit, and everything else depends on us, meaning whether we will be able to achieve that Upper Force or not.


Moderator:
You have met lovely people, have you not?


Rav: Yes I have.


Moderator: What makes them lovely?


Rav:
If they were able to restore their connection to the Upper Forces that are correcting them, then they became special indeed but not in any other case. People in our world don’t have any means of salvation, and no spells and no magic tricks can help them. If one can direct that point in the heart correctly, then one receives forces from Above that create from that point in the heart a so-called Partzuf, or Ten Sefirot, or Soul. Then, That Soul, that part that was constructed begins ascending with the person into the spiritual world. But that can happen only if one receives force from Above—the Light, the Upper Light. If one does not receive that light, one thus stays in this world—in egoistic desires and in a desperate search led by this point.


Moderator: Is this reception conscious? Are we conscious of receiving this Upper Light, or can somebody be a lovely human being and never realize anything about Upper Light and Kabbalah?


Rav: No. A person who studies Kabbalah develops a sixth organ of sensation. We have five organs of sensation—vision, hearing, taste, smell, and tactile sensations, and we have a rudimentary sixth organ of sense. When one develops it, one begins to sense beyond one’s limitations and that’s called the Upper World beyond ones self, transcending one’s boundaries. Once a person senses the universe beyond his or herself, feels the Upper Force—the Creator, the souls—everything that our five organs of senses don’t capture, one then associates oneself with that world and lives simultaneously in two dimensions that exist, and it’s absolutely real.


Moderator: I understand and that is what Kabbalah is trying to sensitize a human being to. But I’m asking a slightly different question. Can one be a lovely person without ever having studied Kabbalah?


Rav: Never. One can never change and become a special person.


Moderator: One cannot be a lovely person, unless one studies Kabbalah?


Rav: I don’t know what it means that someone might be a good person. It’s simply because one was born such a way? That has nothing to do with the Absolute qualities. It’s just the way the person was born with those kinds of genes, or it’s just the way the person has been raised to be good and to be nice to others. But all that has a certain limit which is realized when the egoism inside a person begins to rise turning that person into a bad, arrogant, and greedy individual. We’re under egoistic dominion here in our world and we can’t be good or nice. This kind of goodness is only a result of some kind of calculation.


Moderator: And is the goal basically to ultimately deny ego?


Rav: No, our purpose is to combine both the good and the bad natures inside of us in such a way that we could be helping the other and both of us would be lifting each other spiritually along a so-called Middle Line—the proper balance. Therefore all of our good or bad dispositions, traits, and tendencies, genetic qualities—everything that we have inside of ourselves and all of the experiences that we’ve accumulated over the course of our lives all unites together and it raises us.

 

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