Receiving The Importance Of The Spiritual Goal From The Group
When I come to a group of Kabbalists, I cannot be impressed by them and receive from them the importance of the goal in a natural way, because the goal does not correspond with my will to receive, but with the opposite of it - to bestow, to love fellow-men, and to exit myself, outside of my body, and my interests. And although I have already despaired from human society and realized that there is nothing for me there, and that I already have the point in the heart to which I am attracted; goals, such as love of others, coming out of myself, rising above reason without reward for myself, are things I do not hear.
And therefore, it is written that it is not enough for man to come to the right environment - watching our television channel, reading our newspaper, surfing our website, or studying in the Learning Center or the daily Kabbalah lessons. I must toil there. And this exertion is only in the subjugation before the environment. Not in the study, not in excellence, but in self-subjugation before the importance that the group ascribes to the quality of bestowal.
And even though this is artificial subjugation, it is fine, because this is how we begin. This is called "Lo Lishma" (not for Her name.) Somehow, out of lack of choice, against a desire, t I bestow, give, wait for some bestowal to come to me from them. This is the choice.
Meaning, I am always facing a system that is capable of influencing me and bringing me spiritual importance to the degree that I am subjugated before it. This is my free choice. And if I do not realize it, I will not receive the spiritual importance from the group, and will not advance. I could sit in Rashbi's (Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai) group for 100 years and it would not help because it does not depend on their greatness, but on the extent to which I open myself to receiving inspiration from them.
Therefore this point is very important - after one experiences the bad, after he comes to the group, after he integrates in it allegedly as a friend and spends time among them, the question is: Is he willing to bow his head? If he is, to that degree, he is beginning to be influenced by them. Only to that degree he can move from bitter and sweet to truth and false. Otherwise, it is as if he is in the correct scrutiny, but this is a completely mental scrutiny, and not an emotional one; in other words, he is not rising above his vessel, because our vessel is the desire, the feeling.
Subjugating Myself Before The Environment
"Environment" is not necessarily the people who are here - the bodies that I see and feel in my proximity. "Environment" is the idea from which I want to absorb, from which I want to receive the spiritual importance.
Let us assume that I am shown something new on television and they say: "You have to buy this, if you don't buy it, you will lose much in life." I do not feel that way, I do not see it, but because I am connected to this system and to what they shower upon me, I begin to feel that it is important.
It is the same thing here. I want to be connected to this system of souls and receive impressions from them. This is the "choice" in the group. Except that as opposed to the external society which automatically influences me, here I must invest exertion.
My free choice is to disconnect from this world's influence, and be influenced by the spiritual world: by the books, the teacher, the group, the television channel, or our website, which bring me contact with the spiritual world. Therefore, we exist between the two worlds. Which one do you wish to belong to? What do you want to be influenced by? You are right in the middle, on the scales' pivot point, and the choice is in your hands.
For Spiritual Progress, You Need Constant Acceleration, Not Constant Speed
Question by a Student: Why is it written that an effort is only something that is beyond the ordinary?
Answer by Dr. Michael Laitman: With regard to spiritual work, we always talk about acceleration, not speed. There is a well known relativity principle which states that if an object is moving at constant speed, then it is not considered to be moving at all. If you assess its position relative to others, then maybe it is moving, but relative to you, it is still. And in Kabbalah, we measure all the changes relative to the person himself.
Therefore, if we are acting out of habit and carrying out constant, habitual actions, which don't require us to add a new effort at every moment, then we do not change. If I am not adding effort, then I won't ascend to the next level, and that means that I won't make a spiritual movement.
Therefore, you can check your advancement, despite the absence of any reaction, by the accumulation of efforts that you put into correction, bestowal, unification and studying. What you have to check is what you have added to what you had yesterday!
You should make a habit of constantly increasing the effort. You have to get used to a constant acceleration. What we need is constant acceleration, not constant speed! This has to become a habit.
Letting The Human In Us Sprout
A mother naturally loves her children. She feels them as an inseparable part of her, and even more than that - the main part of her system, and therefore she is devoted to them. Nature causes that in order to allow evolution, life. If we wish to reach a similar state in the spiritual nature, to a similar approach toward others, we must attain it ourselves. This is our choice - to want to treat others that way. And if we want it, the Light will change our attitude toward them and we will begin to see them as an inseparable part of us, like a mother sees her children. Then we will discover that others seem to us like Nishmati (my soul). Meaning, that they are more important than us - they are our "internality" and we want to bestow upon them more than we want to bestow upon ourselves, who are external to them.
As Baal HaSulam explains in "The Arvut" article,"Do you have a pillow, a chair? Give them to your servant." This is called "love." This is the approach that we need to attain. Of course, we are incapable of that. The Upper Light performs this correction on us. What do we need this for? First, out of lack of choice, because our life is worse than death; and on the other hand, the importance we will receive from the group, from the books etc., makes us start appreciating this and start understanding that this is the real, eternal, complete life, in terms of bestowal and not of reception.
This thing is called "cure," "miracle," which we are currently incapable of digesting - how can I want it, how will I yearn for it, how will the desire to bestow upon the other, to feel him, suddenly awaken in me? And truly I do not know how this is happening. It is called "I exerted myself and found."
In fact, this quality resides within us, in our roots. We must only implement the Kabbalists' advice: "Whatever you can do, do," and then all of a sudden we will discover that something new is born inside of us. A spiritual human is suddenly born out of our beast. Why? Because. Because it is hidden in there.
This is similar to a process that children go through in our world - there is a certain age, a certain moment, when you suddenly begin to discover independence in a child. Prior to that, he is devoted to us and performs everything we tell him to do; and then, at a certain instant, he begins to process it himself, to respond on his own, and develop his own character. What happened? Why would the process not end with the little baby growing up to be a big baby? Because man develops qualitatively, as opposed to animals about whom "a one day old calf is called a bull." New qualities grow in a person from inside, and those are what is called "man."
The same applies to our spiritual development - some inner spiritual personality is rooted in us, and if we make efforts to awaken it, it emerges from its hiding place and begins to grow, we become humans, and we begin to identify with it. We do not understand this phenomenon, but it emerges and forms out of the depths in nature. We must only perform actions in order to allow it to come out. And the main action is to open a book, read it and actually pray: "May He bestow upon me, may it open up for me, may it open." May what open? - this personality that exists in me, the quality of bestowal. This is essentially the main action.
But you can attain this action only after you have been in a group, in dissemination, and studying a lot. All of those components give you the importance of this action - sitting in front of the book, wanting to feel the reality you are reading about, and feeling that this is your reality, your world.