The Key To Spiritual Advancement
Everything depends on the degree of suffering or the pleasure that I see before me when I think about attaining the goal, and on the extent that I can convince myself to depict things differently. But after all the changes that I make, after all the changes that society makes in me, I will never be able to prevent myself from being drawn to pleasure or avoid suffering. If I enjoy a certain thought, I cannot get rid of it. I must replace it with another thought or imagine to myself that the thought which I cannot get rid of will cause me problems etc.. Meaning, everything depends on a person's work with regards to everything that is happening with him.
Therefore we do not advance by feeling pleasures or sufferings, but rather everything depends on the way in which we arrange those inclinations in us. It does not matter what kind of state I am in, I must use what I have in my possession, meaning the environment ─ the teacher, the books, and the friends ─ in order to portray to myself that the exertion toward spirituality is worthwhile, that the goal is close, and that the opposite of it will bring suffering. The more I succeed in this, the more strength I will have to advance. In fact, one's advancement depends only on this.
Therefore Baal HaSulam says in the article "The Freedom" that everything depends on the environment. Our only free choice is to utilize the environment in order to depict to ourselves spirituality as appealing. And whoever is being negligent in this, whoever does not really succeed in painting spirituality as a future that is worth moving toward, eventually remains in the same spot, without fuel, dries up, and leaves. We do not need to suffer and get into all sorts of unpleasant feelings, but on the contrary, we must always portray for ourselves the good future that stands before us and thus to advance. That is because according to one's nature, a person cannot advance toward the bad, but he is capable of advancing only from positivity, from joy, from attraction to something that awaits him in the future.
Therefore we must make sure that there will always be spiritual uplifting within the group, recognition of the importance of the goal ─ not because it is bad right now and later on it will be good ─ but because the goal itself is inestimably more important than our current state. If we do this, we will always feel that we have strengths and that we can advance.
Turning To The Creator In Order For Him To Connect Between Us
Question by a Student: What should I fulfill in the others? And how do I connect their desires to me?
Answer by Dr. Michael Laitman: The way to connect the others' desires to me is through the study. The study allows us to draw the Light upon us, and the latter is that which does the work. We cannot do it, because the "Light" is what broke us apart. Meaning, although the Upper Force called "Light" is a positive force, it had to bring us to a broken state reversed to the goal, so that we will be able to reach it.
This can be likened to the way in which we bring kids various games where they need to see a certain situation and its inversion ─ to break, to build, and to do another thing, and all of this in order to grow. Similarly, we must go through all of those states in order to understand the internality of the Thought of Creation, in order to understand how it is constructed and to get to know the Creator who created it for us.
If so, that Upper Force which created us in a broken form is also the force that repairs this breakage that connects between us, except we must want this. Therefore all of our work is to reach the necessity to reconnect, as opposed to our current state.
A similar situation first occurred in Babel, when some of the Babylonians who later became the nation of Israel, realized that we must connect, and succeeded doing that for a while, until the destruction of the Second Temple. However, the entire humanity needs to discover now that it is in Babel, and this is how the wisdom of Kabbalah truly describes things. We have no choice; we have nowhere to disperse to as they dispersed in the past. We already wanted to build a tower reaching the sky and did not succeed in that, and we are attempting to repeat that today, this is the reason for the crisis that we are experiencing.
The only thing we are lacking is the recognition that there is an Upper Force that can connect between us. How can we reach that recognition? Through trying to do something on our own and failing. This is what is happening right now. Let us hope that a few more failures like that, alongside disseminating the wisdom of Kabbalah, will bring humanity to the recognition that this cannot be done alone. Even in Abraham's days, although he screamed that we must connect instead of disperse and fight against Nimrod, the Babylonians decided to disperse.
So today we no longer have anywhere to run; all we can do today is enter protectionism, separatism, a person's isolation from his environment and of certain governments from other governments. But that too will bring only suffering, until we will realize that this is not the way and turn to the Creator.