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Lectures at the Educational Center "Nekuda Shebalev"

Unconditional Love

Lesson of December 23, 2004
By Rav Michael Laitman, PhD


First of all, what is love? Everyone thinks that it exists in our world. We want to feel it, and possibly, we are even ready to love somebody. But what does the notion of "love" mean?

Scientists have not discovered it yet, but now they are beginning to see that genes determine everything; that there are genes that determine a person's inclination towards theft or murder for instance.

Perhaps there is a love gene? If someone does not have this gene, then can that person be held responsible for not being able to love? If everything depends on genes?

What is love? What does it mean that I love someone or something? I love what brings me pleasure. This is clear. If something brings me suffering, I hate the source of my suffering. I draw closer to someone I love, I desire to establish a connection with that person, to be together. But the moment I discover that possibly, this is not so good for me, I start to cool off and move away.

Love is a sensation of pleasure from an object that gives me pleasure. If I am a desire to receive, then I must look for someone who gives me pleasure.

How can love exist between two human beings? Baal HaSulam explains that for this to happen people have to be similar in their properties. The universal law is effect in the entire Universe, in all the worlds, including ours; it is called the law of equivalence of form.

According to this law, I sense, perceive, and comprehend only the things that are common between me and the object that I investigate, perceive, and observe. If no common property exists between a certain object and me, I am unable to sense it. If there is no commonality in thought - at least, minimal or partial - between another human being and me, I am unable to understand him or her.

When I establish a connection with someone, I understand the person to the measure of the equivalence of form in our desires and thoughts (it must happen both in mind and heart). It can also happen that even if I understanding someone, I draw away, but still there is a certain connection between us. Equivalence of form is a condition for establishing a connection to someone or something.

But if two egoists do love each other, how is it possible? In such a case, they have to resemble each other in their properties. I have to love whatever the other person loves, to hate whatever the other person hates, and this how we will connected with each other.

It follows that we are not talking about love between the two. We are talking about their equivalence of from, resemblance in desires and thoughts, an additional aspect that can be measured. I can compare my desires and thoughts to those of another person, and the measure of their resemblance will determine the connection between us.

But if my desire for delight, or my egoism, is constantly changing, and this process is also happening with the other person, then we are constantly undergoing the process of development, and we do not know what will happen in the next moment, nor how much closer or further away will we become from each other.

Nowadays, egoistic desires have intensified so much that they are simply burning inside of us. The extent of our growing desire for delight was unseen during all previous years, and previous generations. Year after year we are becoming greater egoists, which was not the case during the last hundred or two hundred years, when humanity was not undergoing such changes.

And if our desire for delight is increasing so rapidly, then it is not surprising that today people do not understand each other. Divorce is becoming a commonly accepted phenomenon of life. One can hardly understand how someone can live for 70 years without being divorced and married a few times; it can even be difficult for one to endure family life from one divorce to the other.

The same applies in relation to oneself. Today, I do not understand the way I was yesterday, I become constantly confused. All of this is the result of a very rapid development of our desire for delight. We cannot halt it in order to examine whether or not we have similar properties, and accordingly, whether we can remain close to each other.

This is why no matter how much we desire to achieve love in this world, we will not succeed. Let's feel better by saying that love does not exist in this world. (Laughter and liveliness in the audience)

Question: So, we can go home then?

Why? Maybe, there is something else? (Laughter) What is at home? Is someone waiting for you there, somebody who loves you? No. Wait, I will teach you how to love. (Laughter)

The solution exists; otherwise, I would not be here. This is an example of how we do not love ourselves as well: we constantly argue with and contradict ourselves, not to speak about our relationships with each others.

Everyone understands the problem. In either case, the question is whether we can build a certain system among people called love, or at least, understanding, a certain relation? We do not know exactly what love is. The definition can contain many meanings that may be completely unrelated to the concept of love.

Can we say that a mother loves her child? Do children love their parents? If we delve deeper into these categories, if we investigate them, then I am not sure what will remain out of this notion - love.

However, there is, in essence, a simple solution, explained in the Torah very simply. It is written: "Husband and wife - Shechinah (the presence of the Creator) between them". If we introduce a certain binding element - called Shechinah - between husband and wife, then they really can be husband and wife, that is, they can unite with each other.

What does this binding element represent? It comes into existence when both partners go beyond their egoism, beyond their desire for delight. By doing this, they also turn into a single Kli, in which Shechinah reigns. Their sensation in this common Kli is called love.

Basically, love is a joint sensation of the Creator, who delves inside of a common Kli between the two people who love each other; and it cannot manifest itself in any other form.

We are living in a special time that compels us to begin the process of correction. Each person must undergo his own correction, followed by the general correction of the world. As Baal HaSulam explains to us, we are at the end of a 6000 year long process of the world's spiritual development. This process began from Adam HaRishon (the First Man), although humankind existed before him. It refers to the spiritual development of humanity, which must end by the end of this 6000 year long period; we are currently living in the year 5764.

That is why we must perform these corrections now. We receive help from above, we are pushed towards it. How does this help manifest? Our egoism is revealed to us in all of its forms, including our inability to cope with economic, psychological, educational problems and what not. We face a total crisis in all areas of life, in science, society, and even family.

This is all intended in order to reveal our evil nature and compel people to correct themselves out of hopelessness. One of the strongest motives pushing us towards this correction is a lack of love. In essence, the search for love inside of oneself subconsciously pushes humanity forward, because ultimately, our common goal is defined as eternal love.

All the levels which we rise above, that we ascend towards, correcting ourselves, and coming closer to the spiritual ideal are but the steps towards the realization of love. This is not as simple as it may seem, and it is not so insignificant. On the contrary, it shows us that love does not exist in our world, on our level. To really attain love, we have to go beyond our world to the world of Atzilut.

When a human being starts feeling that he is incapable of filling oneself and can not receive any satisfaction in this world, one starts pondering about the root of his or her life, and, in general, about what will happen in the future. Gradually, one reaches a state of deciding that he has to correct himself, and rise above human nature; and then the person comes to the group.

The essence of the group is to cultivate love in a person - love for friends, which, basically, represents Kli for the attainment of eternity and perfection, the sensing of the Upper World. Only by coming out of his egoistical Kli, can a human being sense the Upper world.

This is why it is written: "Love your neighbor as thyself" - this is the main rule of Torah. It does not mean that I have to love for love's sake, as it may seem to us, because this in itself does not appeal to anybody. On the contrary, this stipulation gives me a possibility to ascend. This is the password, the condition for my ascent beyond my nature.

Here I need help of a few more individuals, hence, the need for the group. Groups of Kabbalists existed from generation to generation. The first Kabbalist - Abraham, after attainment of the Creator, immediately started to build a society around him. He sat by the entrance to a tent, and wished strongly for people to get closer, to come to study, and that is how he built a group for himself. This group existed before all the rules of love for friends.

We find all these rules in various books, written by Kabbalists. The books contain numerous descriptions and conditions that Kabbalists prescribed to themselves as requirements for establishing an association, in which it would be possible to develop a common Kli, the abode of Shechinah, where one can sense the Creator, the spiritual, and eternal life.

A human being is incapable of feeling it inside of himself; he cannot be a Kli. By himself, a human being can represent only a point, which decides that it wants to connect to the rest of the souls. The Kli is built only among the rest of the souls, and not in anyone of us; only in connection between us, and this is where we can sense the spiritual.

It is known that people, who disconnected from the bodily life even for a second immediately feel elevation; they sense the light and eternity.

A group can help a person to sense the spiritual. It is known that after Moshe received Torah, he also started building a group of students, as did Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Shimon, together with his famous group of ten people, wrote the book of Zohar. All Kabbalists did the same. A person who wants to attain the spiritual has no choice; he has to achieve love, that is, the Kli for perception of the Infinity, by connecting to other people.

And when there are people who decide that they are really bound to go beyond their egoism, they connect with each other, and during study, they attain the light, bringing back to the Source. Ultimately, this entire boundless light is called Torah. Then we attain love.

The light that we receive at the time of study, corrects us. Later, we ascend the levels called "reward and punishment". Reward and punishment are also defined in terms of a person's correction and love that he begins to feel when he reveals the Creator. We sense the revelation of the Creator as infinite good and delight, felt in all desires, in our whole Kli.

Later, ascending the levels of reward and punishment, a human being starts correcting his or her Kli into unconditional love (that is not dependant on anything). One goes beyond reward and punishment, reward and punishment meaning one's relation to the Creator, which is gauged by what one feels from Him - good or evil.

Beyond this, there is a degree of love, where no matter how the Creator acts upon me, I feel love towards Him. This does not mean that I love the Creator despite the fact that He is sending me unpleasant sensations. On the contrary, I ascend to the level of correction where I do not feel that He emanates bad, because then I am corrected in my Kli and therefore I feel only good from Him.

Then I face a problem. Am I in a state when I love Him not because of the delights that I receive from Him, but because there is another type of connection between us, which is based on the measure of the equivalence of form, eternity, perfection and truth that are present in the bond between us?

This is how a person examines himself against his past. He realizes that in all of his previous reincarnations the Creator has never inflicted harm upon him, even though he sees all the horrible events having taken place in all of his previous reincarnations. Love reveals itself beyond these horrible sensations experienced in the past - love for what has happened in the past is happening now, and will happen in the future. Love for the future means that a person carries on, advances, and reaches his personal Final Correction.

It' is a sign that a person has reached a degree of unconditional love - his personal Final Correction. Final Correction is the attainment of love.

But this is not enough that a person feels only the Creator's relation to him; still, there is a defect in his love of the Creator. Maybe the Creator relates well just to me, but not to the rest of the souls. Or, maybe, he treats them well today, but didn't yesterday.

And then a person, in essence, has to connect with every soul, to receive, or to adopt its entire lacking, all the desires, all the inner content, and to incorporate it to himself, and do what he did with his own soul in the process of correction and his examination of the Creator's relation towards him from the beginning of creation till its very end - he has to do the same with all the rest of the souls.

It may seem as something completely unreal or as a very long process, but this is not the case. These degrees in particular are much easier to pass through, unlike the break through we have to accomplish, going from this world to the first realization of the spiritual world.

When a human being completes this work with all the souls, and is convinced that the Creator never inflicts harm on any created being, it is within this realization that he reaches the eternal love of the Creator. This is what we have to attain, as it is said in the prayer "Shma, Israel" (Hear, O Israel): "And thou shalt love HaShem thy G-d". This is our goal. Through this, we all connect into a single Kli. Not only us, but the whole of humanity has to reach this state and to become an integral part of this Kli. This is what the notion of perfect, absolute love refers to, and all the preceding degrees are but the levels of imperfect love.

If a human being advances and attains the degree of love of the Creator, and in addition, he has a wife with whom he can work with in the same manner, then of course, as they advance, they create among each other a system of Kelim, a connection in which they feel the light existing between them.

But if the connection between them does not go beyond their egos (under the condition that both of them perform work for the Creator), no other connection between them will materialize. It will exist out of necessity, in order to help each other, to raise children and so on, but this will not be love...

In our world, we have no idea what love is. There are stories about a few exceptional couples, such as Rabbi Akiva and his wife, in which both husband and wife existed at the spiritual level. Just a few records on what they experienced and felt have reached our times.

Evidently, in the condition of Final Correction, when human beings will rise above their egoism (it is said: "the world behaves according to unchangeable laws", everything stays the same as it is now; life continues), the connection between people, and especially the connection between spouses will originate from the spiritual realization. Then, undoubtedly, there will be love between them.

This was an introduction.

Remark: I think that all 200 people are in despair now. What can we do?!

Attain.

Question: What does it mean?

Things that I just said seem very difficult; however, this is absolutely not the case, especially in our times. Whatever I realized in the course of five years studying with my own Teacher, today, my disciples realize in half a year or a bit more. This is the sign that the times are different now, and corrections that one undergoes, raising above his egoism, happen in a different manner.

It is impossible to love without these corrections, as an egoist is incapable of loving. He loves only that which makes him feel good. This is not love; this is exploitation of one's neighbor; we simply call it love.

This is why we have to correct ourselves in order to feel love. As egoists, we are even afraid of loving someone. We are afraid that our loved one would take advantage of us; that we, in some sense, will work for him or her.

It is the other way around in the spiritual. Rising above egoism, one becomes concerned with expressing love, with pulling it out from himself as much as possible. Baal HaSulam writes that if we advance correctly, then in the course of a few years - two or three - we can correct ourselves to the level where we start feeling love for the Creator and the created beings.

A person, who loves, gains the fulfillment at the level of Infinity. The one who loves, not the one who is loved, gains this fulfillment. This is why this correction is very desirable for each of us.

I do not think there is a reason for despair. One must realize that our life in this world will not become easier; on the contrary, it will become much harder, for we are late with our correction. Each time, this lack of correction comes back to us, pressures us, and forces us to start reforming ourselves.

This is why the faster we start rising above our egoism, the faster will we feel the world of Infinity, the flow of this endless life and love. In essence, the light of Hochma is the light of love.

Question: Out of seven billion people living in the world, only a handful of Kabbalists learned the meaning of love? The rest just think that they love?

This is very simple. I already said that a person who exists within his own ego cannot feel love. Love implies that I love someone. But I do not love someone. I love someone the same way as when we say "I love fish". Regrettably, this is how we love.

This is why the minute I stop enjoying my wife or it seems to be that another woman will bring more pleasure to me I leave my wife and get another one. All of that is happening because I pay attention to the level of my own fulfillment.

But if the source of my fulfillment is the Creator, and if my relationship [with my wife] is defined by correspondence of form, this is something completely different, and permanent.

We already talked about the correspondence of form. The more people resemble each other in their attributes, the more they understand and are connected to each other, and the more they experience a mutual sensation called love.

We cannot understand this. The level of Love starts beyond the Machsom and beyond the level of reward and punishment. These levels are still characterized by dependable love; this is still not unconditional love.

It follows that a person who has not crossed the Machsom yet is not even able to comprehend what Kabbalah means by love, and in general, what love is.

Questions: What does love for the Upper force mean? I do not see the Creator. This is something that we just imagine? How do I experience it in action, in life?

There is no problem here. Even now, in our corporeal life we become attached to something that brings us fulfillment. Say for instance you love a certain object. Meanwhile, you do not really love it per se, you love whatever you receive from it, and this is also something spiritual. That is why if you feel delight, eternity, perfection, and truth as properties that bring you fulfillment, you love them. They do not have to manifest in a certain form, for you are captured by the idea itself.

Question: But I still remain an egoist? I love the Creator egoistically?

No. This is absolutely impossible, because until one corrects himself, the Creator and all these properties are hidden from him. In our corporeal world, we can try something, and based on the taste of that pleasure we get addicted to it, and strive for it. In the spiritual, this is absolutely impossible. We attain the spiritual only to the measure of our corrected Kelim; only afterwards do we perceive the spiritual.

This is why it is impossible to love the spiritual in order to get personal benefit. Many people have tried this, but have failed. This is absolutely impossible! You reveal and conceal the spiritual only to the measure to which you conceal and correct your Kelim. By itself, the spiritual is not revealing and concealing itself.

It follows that one reveals the spiritual world himself according to the measure of his or her correction. Or, alternatively, the person remains in the state of concealment, similar to us in our situation today. There is nobody here behind a curtain, opening it and inviting to enter the spiritual world, and nobody is watching over you. Your own inner correction, the degree to which your desires are corrected, or their ratio, defines your level of concealment of revelation; this is everything.

An individual himself or herself determines everything. All the worlds exist inside of a human being, around him there is only the Upper Light in absolute rest; it is still and invariable. The Creator, which is the same as the Upper Light, does not conceal Himself. An individual, with his rottenness, opposite properties, and lack of the correspondence of form conceals the Creator. They operate at a different frequency.

And, on the contrary, an individual starts sensing the Creator to the measure he attains the correspondence of form, even if it is minimal. To that measure, he starts feeling love in that very channel that exists between them.

If his friends or wife participate in his work for the Creator, they start building their joint Kelim. There is a difference between building joint Kelim among the friends in the group and building joint Kelim with one's wife.

The difference is huge and essential. The type of Kelim that a Kabbalist creates with his wife resembles the Supreme bond (Zivug) between the Creator and all the created beings, between the Creator and the souls of Adam HaRishon, or between the Creator and all the souls. In these Kelim, in this bond, the unique revelation of the relationship and connection is taking place; the connection and relationship between the Creator and all created beings is felt in such bond.

Meanwhile, this is not revealed in the connection among the friends. It is not said in vain: "Husband and wife - Shechinah between them". Evidently, at the Final Correction family couples will build a correct connection between themselves. Do not be upset, we will reincarnate at that time as well. (Laughter)

Question: How does one cross the Machsom, how does this break-through happen?

The Machsom separates this world from the spiritual. It is very easy to break through the Machsom. Below the Machsom, a human being is one hundred percent egoistic. Above the Machsom, he must be one hundred percent altruistic. How can one pass the Machsom? By performing a restriction, refusing to use a single desire for personal pleasure.

In other words, an individual performs the First Restriction. He desires to enter into the spiritual world. He does not do anything, and meanwhile, has no desire to do anything, he simply wants to restrict his own egoism, that is all. It follows that when an individual crosses the Machsom and enters the whole of spiritual world as an embryo, similar to semen in mother's womb, which enters and implants itself there.

A human being, staying in corporeal world, enters the spiritual in the exact same manner. He develops in the spiritual as an embryo in the mother's womb, passing through exactly the same processes. This process stretches out in time, and afterwards, the true spiritual birth happens.

Question: How long is this preparation process? How long does it take until a person manages to perform the Restriction and cross the Machsom?

It takes a few years and depends on a human being himself and on the group he is part of.

Question: What about a mother's love to her offspring?

Love between mother and child comes from nature; it exists among animals as well and it is a natural love. The mother does not undergo certain corrections in order to love her child. She loves her child because it is implanted in her nature. If we switched off a certain system in her brain, she would stop loving her child and would relate to the child as to anybody else. The relationship between mother and child is not love.

Based to what we can understand, all of our relationships - such as relationship between mother and child, and, in general, between people in this world - are not love. It is either natural instinct, defined by our genes, that is, our natural systems that compel us to act in a certain way towards each other, or it stems from our egoism, when I feel pleasure and, thus, become attached to someone.

When a young man says to a young woman: "I love you!", what does he have in mind if not the pleasure that he receives from her? Sorry, I do not want to spoil the romantics. (Laughter)

Question: If we cannot love anyone but ourselves, then what is the essence of our work?

It is necessary to make a distinction between our understanding of love and love in its spiritual form - the true love. In Kabbalah, if we refer to a human being, it implies that he has risen above his nature.

I do not want to depend on the way I was made, defined, or on what was instilled in me. I was born with all sorts of inclinations, desires, and habits, and I received a certain education. I did not choose my parents or the place I was born - nothing. All of this exists inside of me. Let's assume, I am thirty now, and I decide how to live my life.

If I want to be independent and really make decisions myself, I have to rise above everything that defines me now and start deciding without any connection to whatever exists inside of me regardless of my desire and choice.

In essence, this is what Kabbalah demands of a person. Do you want to become an independent human being, and live the real life the way you imagine it ought to be? - Not a problem! Rise above your nature - above kindergarten, school, all that exist inside of you, even what was acquired in the previous reincarnations, and start from ground zero, as a grown-up.

I think this is a very serious and rational approach. Otherwise, everything that exists in us is determined by genes. For instance if I was caught stealing? I would ask, "Please, check me out - I have this gene, is it my fault?" This is the situation today; and this is really true.

Question: But the actions of a human being are not determined by genes, - a human being chooses how to behave?

Based on what does he choose?! Based on what can I choose?! What does my mind represent at any given moment - what thoughts, what desires, what habits, and what decisions are in my mind? What forms the basis of all that I do? Is it not on the basis of what exists in me as the result of what happened in the past? You are saying: a human being chooses! Who is this human being who chooses? He is that what was put into him?

You just need to understand that when Kabbalah demands of a human being to rise above himself, above the things that constitute his "Self" at a given moment, what this really means is that then a human being starts living independently, by his own will.

Then we can talk about love and hatred - about everything. But these will be my personal feelings and inclinations, and not something that was instilled in me from outside. How much in us comes from our education? We are not even aware of this!

Question: How can we become disconnected from this?

A beautiful question! This is really a problem. I want to be myself. It is my fault that I was made to be like this? Really, at thirteen, I suddenly discover that I am filled with all sorts of stereotypes, education. I do not want to be this way. It is hard to come out of this.

This is possible only with the help of the Upper Light, so called Light, bringing us back to the Source. Our problem is not just to come out from our egoism (this is not that important, and, by the way, subsequently, we make use of our egoism). Our problem is really to detach ourselves from everything that is introduced into us.

Question: We want to rise at the emotional and spiritual level to something that we have never sensed, that is not in our genes. Will we get there by developing robotics, or programming techniques?

I will not allow anyone to program me. I want to free myself from it, not to change one program by another. On the contrary, now I want to become free, and fill myself with the program of my choice, - with habits, thoughts, and an attitude to life - with everything new.

Remark: There is no such thing!

I agree with you: this does not exist, in this world. Above this world - yes! Our life these days already compels us to start thinking about it. By the way, scientists already discovered that. Today, things that I am talking about are not incompatible with science.

Remark: Your disciples are so successful because they have Teacher like you.

Thank you.

Question: If love is so painful that it tortures and disappoints a person, then this is exactly unconditional love, because although a person only suffers, he or she still loves. If you love somebody who does not love you back and you get disappointed, is this unconditional love? Because you love that person even if he or she ignores you?

No. Kabbalah does not discuss things that happen below the Machsom. When they say that Kabbalah makes you healthier, or more successful in this world, this is a very limited guarantee. This is really true, but this comes as the result of the spiritual progress, and not directly because of it.

If you are asking me about love in this world, I have nothing to tell you. Go see a psychologist, although I am also not so sure that this would help. Based on what we see around there is no prescription.

The truth is that I witnessed such examinations. Today, divorce is becoming a normal thing. In our country divorce is not so spread out, but in the Western countries it has become commonplace.

I can tell you only this - try to realize the essence of the right, true, eternal, and spiritual love as soon as possible; understand that only it exists. Attribute everything else to the desire for delight, egoism, mutual fulfillment, and then, first of all, you will get less disappointed.

Really! Examine everything from the real perspective. Stop demanding love, because it does not exist in our world! There are certain, hardly maintainable relationships, but this is not love. Love can exist only if a human being rises above his egoism. If a human being is inside of his egoism, he is incapable of loving, by definition.

If I exist inside of my egoism, it defines my entire attitude towards life; I love whatever I delight from. And if feel that I will receive more pleasure from something someplace else, I abandon that object of delight and rush to the other place, because my egoism, my desire for delight, my Kli makes me turn, like a radar, towards greater pleasure.

We are constantly looking towards where and how we can delight. Furthermore, our desire is constantly growing, changing its characteristics, and this is why we are constantly searching.

Question: But not all the people are searching all the time?

Not all, because the others became disappointed already. (Laughter) Some people have immersed themselves in drugs, while half of the world is swallowing pills from depression. This is the picture for today.

Whether we want this or not, our live pushes us towards the true definition of love, towards the realization of where we can really fill our Kli for love. Kli for love is in bestowal, in the Reflected light.

If you are looking for love, what does this mean? You are looking for nice, pleasant, and beautiful fulfillment. There is a lacking in your Kli, in your egoism, and so you want to fill it. You give the name of love to a certain filling. But you will not receive fulfillment in this way. It is a pity to waste time!

Question: Say, I subdued my egoism and was determined to love everybody from tomorrow. In an elevator, I tell my neighbor: "You look great today!" But she does not answer. (Laughter) She does not answer me a day after tomorrow either. Do you think that on the third day I will be such an idiot to tell her again?! (Laughter)

Your question is correct. I will answer simply: you need a new education. There is a method that teaches us how to approach a person in order to gain love. This method is called the science of Kabbalah. Study it, and you will see what the answers it brings! (Laughter)

Question: If a human being, after he crosses the Machsom, loves somebody who is below the Machsom - an egoist, can it help the latter to correct oneself?

He is unable to love an egoist in the spiritual sense of love. I already said that love in the spiritual sense emerges out of correspondence of form. If we share some general qualities of bestowal, say, you are corrected at twenty percent and I am corrected at ten percent, then we are together, as partners, in the same world, bestowing to each other at these ten percent, and, thus, we can love each other.

But if one of them is under the Machsom, and the other - above it, then there can be no love between them. A teacher, who is above the Machsom, can indeed love a disciple, who is below the Machsom, but this love is similar to love for an infant, someone who needs help. In other words, the teacher does not treat his disciple as an equal, but simply works with him in order to pull him up, draw him closer.

Question: Can a human being exist on this earth without engaging his own egoism?

This is a wonderful question! We are poor creatures; we represent "a box" with five entrances, or five senses - vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Through these five senses we sense everything that happens around us, and we sense ourselves through them as well.

However, this "reading" of reality is not correct, because all the wave vibrations that enter into us are subsequently processed by our egoistic mechanism - the desire for delight. So whatever we perceive as happening around us seems as such only according to our internal program - to it only.

People, who exit that internal mechanism, go outside of themselves, beyond the boundaries of "the box". Say that the true reality around us is built entirely on bestowal, it is completely altruistic - altruistic in its entirety; and it can not be otherwise. We - the speaking level - as well as the still, vegetative, and animated levels that exist in our world are also altruistic, we simply do not see it.

Accordingly, not a single element in each cell of our body, in each organ of our body acts for its own benefit; everything works for the sake of bestowal. Otherwise, the entire organism would not be able to preserve itself. A cell that starts consuming instead of bestowing becomes cancerous.

The same happens in the entire Universe. All elements operate for the sake of bestowal - all bestow at one hundred percent - receiving energy only to sustain their own existence. There is only one exception - the program that is instilled in us (it is purely psychological) is egoistical. It is such so that we become aware of the evil inside, and using our own efforts, re-program ourselves, and attain the correspondence of form with the Creator.

Then we will become independent. I made myself as great as the Creator, I attained this, I built myself, and so all the gain is mine. That is why, except for our perception of this distorted reality, everything else is really in line with the spiritual nature. Only a person, inside of himself, is opposite to it.

The moment when a human being crosses the Machsom, he reveals that at one hundred percent, and he never makes a mistake. He sees that the spiritual triggers everything that surrounds him, including himself.

On the contrary, one cannot exist based on egoistical, corporeal laws. If everybody consumes for his own sake, then they have no right to exist. This is why, except for our illusion, everything else, including nature of our world, is altruistic.

I speak of things that are in line with scientific discoveries of today. Scientists see this at the level of cells, laws, relationships, and also our Universe. It has nothing to do with religion or a certain system; we are dealing strictly with science.

Question: How can love be preserved, if one of the spouses studies Kabbalah, and the other one does not?

I think that a spouse has to understand that he who studies Kabbalah progresses. Sooner or later the second person also will arrive at this out of hopelessness. But if a person who does not study Kabbalah demands for a spouse to stop in the midst of the path, in the midst of the development that person is in, in essence, the spouse is committing the most egoistical act, for he or she is cutting the other one off from becoming a human being, and growing. No act is more despicable and egoistical than this.

I see that in this situation we have two people who do not understand each other. But somehow they have to come to the agreement. I do not see the solution and I do not really think that a person, in whom a point in the heart has really opened up, is going to agree to give it up. This is absolutely impossible! This is worse than dying. If I died - then that's it - I'm dead. But here I would have to continue living this life without any fulfillment, and what for? Because this is more convenient to my spouse? Because he or she is taking me by the throat? I do not understand, what kind of live is that?

Regrettably, we are just at the beginning of the process. However, year after year, and even month after month, we see how much more the world is recognizing, and understanding the correct way of existence, and the way to its perception. We are approached by people from various places, and we could not even think that we would see the awakening there in our lifetime. Science today is on our side as well; it is discovering this pattern on the border line between scientific and the spiritual.

That is why I do not think that it is so difficult to convince a spouse in some accurate nice way. In either case, he or she benefits more by agreeing to somehow participate in this process. But if he or she disagrees, then I think that this is such a major issue that, as a rule, people divorce - and this is natural.

This is natural! Can I really sell my soul, can I throw it away? I feel the eternity inside of it; I feel that I would acquire something that contains in itself the entire existence. And I have to suddenly leave all of that? A human being is incapable of agreeing to it!

That is why I believe that if a family faces such problems, spouses have to somehow work this out, patiently, but with an understanding that a more advanced person will always win. This is a natural process.

Question: It is necessary for a human being to unite with his or her spouse in one Kli in order to cross the Machsom?

No. There is no need to be one Kli. If one person in a family - husband or wife - is interested in Kabbalah, they can progress in this manner. As I said before, a form of joint spiritual development, when husband and wife rise together in order to attain the spiritual is still almost not manifested in this world; it will exist in more advanced stages.

Today, single men or women also do not have any problem studying Kabbalah, neither do couples, or one spouse. These are the times when everything happens according to the person's lacking, his or her need for the spiritual development.

And if a human being feels that some new Kli has really revealed itself in him, and that there is no fulfillment in this world neither in money, nor in fame, nor in knowledge, nor in animal pleasures - in nothing, and if a human being yearns for some fulfillment that comes from above, then he or she should study Kabbalah.

We examine only the desire, nothing else matters. There is only the Kli and the Light. If a human being has a desire, he will attract upon himself the light in order to develop, correct, and he would reach the goal.

Question: Is there a pill that would diminish our desire for delight? Maybe I would speed up this process and cross the Machsom sooner? (Laughter)

Are there any pills that would decrease our desire for delight, our ego? Are there any pills that would increase our desire for the spiritual, or raise the threshold of our sensitivity? No. There is no protection here. Nothing else but luck, or fortune is in effect here. Luck means luminescence from above, that comes down, dripping by a drop ("mazal" comes from the word "nozel" - drips). This luminescence comes only to the measure to which a person exalts the spiritual.

Question: How can we know if we are on the right path towards spiritual attainment, if we are in the right place?

This is great question! How can I know if I am in the right place?

If I want to advance spiritually and I feel that I am drawn to India, I go there. If Iam drawn to some other place, say, Japan, I go to Japan.

If I want to find a way to assess myself in the science in Kabbalah, then, suppose I do not go see a Kabbalist because they look strange to me, I will instead open a book.

One should open a book of a Kabbalist who is closest to our times, because his way of writing is more appropriate for me, more suitable for the souls descending to our world today. Reading his works, I will understand more than I would by reading the works other Kabbalists. Maybe, the previous Kabbalists were at a much higher level of attainment, but he is closer to me in his approach.

Baal HaSulam, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, was the greatest of the last Kabbalists. I open his books, even his "Preface to the Teaching of Ten Sefirot", which we study now. There Baal HaSulam explains what a human being needs to do in order to reach the spiritual. According to Baal HaSulam, I have to join one group, and then I must evaluate various teachers, and then I choose a teacher based only on my personal feelings. Otherwise, whom will I trust?

Question: Maybe this is an illusion?

No! I have nothing but feeling, nothing in addition to what I understand. On the contrary, I should not believe anyone; I should not follow anyone with my eyes closed. Do not believe anyone! This is my life! I will believe assisted by something I received from the Creator.

Baal HaSulam writes that a person has to find a group, Teacher, and books. We have the books. Now, I need a Teacher who would teach me, and the group which is lead by him. Each person in the group has to understand that it is necessary to free oneself from egoism and reach mutual love, as it is said "love thy neighbor as thyself - this is the great rule of Torah". By doing so, we will create Kli, in which Torah, the Upper light, will be revealed. This is why I have to connect to the group where everyone is ready for this.

When we unite among each other, let's say, ten people, and there is a guarantee that each of us, according to his own measure, realizes that this is exactly what we should be engaged in, we start to study. We have to study the true sources. Baal HaSulam says in item 155 in "Preface to the Book of Ten Sefirot", that when we study with the intention to attract the Upper light, bringing us back to the Source, correcting us, rising us above the Machsom, if we study with the correct intention from the true books, the light gradually acts on us. How long does it take? Baal HaSulam writes that this light makes an effect upon a person in the course of three years.

Based on these requirements, I examine if I am in a correct place. Do not believe anybody! When I came to my Rav after seeing many Kabbalists during four years, after I, so to speak, "became religious", but, basically, I was looking for the place to study the science of Kabbalah, I also asked him: "How do I know that after all this search I have finally found the right place?" He told me: "I can't tell you that. Go try another place".

In a few weeks I told him that there is a Kabbalist in Holon, and everybody goes to study with him. He told me: "Go!" So, I went to check it. This means: do not trust anybody! Go, try it, and decide.

One should also realize what the science of Kabbalah represents; what its purpose is. Here, nobody sells you talismans or something that can help you to increase prosperity in life.

If whatever you are sold is meant to improve your life under Machsom, it is not the science of Kabbalah. The Science of Kabbalah is the means to pull you through the Machsom. This is all! Everything else - is simply psychology or something else - it makes no difference, what it is in particular. It can help you in some cases, but this is not the science of Kabbalah.

Question: All of this means that one cannot rely on things that exist inside of a person.

We want to liberate ourselves from everything that we are, however, during the process of this liberation we rely on something that does not exist yet. Until one crosses the Machsom, one works with things at his disposal.

Otherwise, what can I work with - with someone else's mind? You will come to me now and tell me: "I found such a great place, come with me! - Should I follow you with my eyes closed? (Laughter) Or should I progress based on my judgment? You cross the Machsom using your mind (Rosh), but afterwards you leave it and find a new one, called Rosh (head) of Partzuf, containing the Direct Light, the Reflected Light, and the Screen. Your thoughts will be different; your programs also will be different, similar to those we study in the Partzuf, which calculates based on its Screen and Aviut.

Question: What does a Kabbalist love? What do you feel in relation to these people, the world, and your students?

I love to eat, drink, and rest. I love everything that my body demands. Why not? I also like smoking, but I was told that I have to quit, so I am not smoking for a week already. (Laughter)

We do not abstain from anything that our body needs. I think this question has to be answered in a following way. Advancement with the help of the science of Kabbalah does not imply that a human being needs to lead an ascetic lifestyle, fast, restrain himself from something - nothing of this is required.

Limitations and restrictions are performed only inside of a human being, in relation to the goal. A human being has to direct himself correctly in order to receive the light, bringing back to the Source. We have no other means to attain the spiritual but the Upper Light. It builds the Kli, corrects and fills it. Only the Upper Light!

Everything else just appears to be work. Red strings or some sort of reading - nothing will help! One needs just sharp intention during the study, directed towards the desired: to receive the correcting light together with the friends, who aspire to this to the same measure ("friends" mean those who are equal). If all members of the group aspire towards it, everyone receives a power of the group. An individual receives, say, ten times more light than he would have been able to attract by himself.

I hope that I will manage to convey this method of correction (both individual, and of the whole of mankind) to the entire world, to bring this method to the point of implementation, and to present it in a form that would be understandable to each human being. Then humanity will see and accept it.

I am convinced that this is already taking place, and that we will succeed in the near future. This is the case, based on what I see. And, undoubtedly, we see that we are receiving help from above - that the people of Israel will fulfill its duty to humanity, and will correct themselves and become the "torch for the other peoples", and that the whole of humanity will also rise above the Machsom, and then all of us will be connected into one society.

This is our duty, and all the problems in the world arise only because we are late with the correction. I hope that we will carry it out on time, and then, undoubtedly, all the profits will be ours.

Question: Is it possible to reduce the time and reach the correction sooner?

Time can be shortened only by trying to exert efforts, mostly, by the quality of efforts. All of this is explained in the "Introduction to the Teaching of Ten Sefirot". Visit our site www.kabbalah.info where you will find a few versions of this Introduction that I studied with my students for a number of times already. "Introduction to the Teaching of Ten Sefirot" is very difficult, and deep, but it encompasses everything.

Question: What can be done if one of the spouses aspires to the spiritual and the other one does not?

Regrettably, I can not suggest anything except for a compromise. You have to reach a compromise, if it is possible. If not, people get divorced; I witnessed many such 'divorces.

What can be done? These people already belong to two separate worlds - one is aspiring to the spiritual, and the second is still submerged in the corporeal. They cannot understand each other. This is not the same as in our world a husband wants to go to the football match, while a wife to a café, so they can go to a café on the way to the stadium. In this case this is absolutely impossible; they have nothing in common.

This is why I can not give a solution to this problem. Many couples come to me. If a wife studies Kabbalah, then usually, of course, a compromise can be reached. It is because she is attached to her children, and family. I oblige my students to bring flowers to their wives each week; once a week they have to go out with a wife to a café, or have a little walk with her.

In short, a spouse needs to receive compensation (and this is really true) for understanding and help. If you are an egoist and want the spiritual, understand that she - is also an egoist, and give her compensation, so that she has a reason to stay with you. You have to pay for everything in this world.

But by doing this, he, in essence, is paying for the spiritual. This is part of his efforts, and it's worth doing that.

Question: If both spouses are on the path, is there a method for attaining the spiritual love?

No. When I studied with my Rav, it was customary in our families for husband and wife to study together. Then I brought over young fellows from Tel Aviv, we got them married, and had a custom for husband and wife to study an article together. It made them really close, and they in fact, had strong families.

It is very beneficial for husband and wife to engage in joint study. But until they have crossed the Machsom, it is very hard, in the light of the constantly evolving egoism to stay connected with each other, even if both aspire to the spiritual. If one is in the condition of ascent, and the other in descent, each can have an internal explosion. But when we approach the Machsom or after we cross it, then everything truly falls into place.

This is such a vast topic that there can be no end to it. I was going to talk about a lot of other things, but we will be able to explore them later.

Love - this is an ultimate sensation felt in the connection between all souls to the Creator. This sensation can be described and approached from many angles. I hope that soon we will attain it ourselves, freeing ourselves from all the troubles. Good luck for all of you!

 

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