Lectures at the Educational Center "Nekuda Shebalev"
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?!
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
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
Question: But I still remain an egoist? I love the Creator
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
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
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
Question: How long is this preparation process? How long does
it take until a person manages to perform the Restriction and cross
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Question: It is necessary for a human being to unite with his
or her spouse in one Kli in order to cross the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!