Don’t Be Afraid Of The Cellar
Question from a Student: Baal HaSulam writes that we are in the World of Infinity. What is infinity?
Dr. Laitman's Answer: Infinity is total unity with the Creator. It is a Kli (vessel) that is boundlessly filled with Light. It is one Law, one reality, where "He and His Name are one." It is the implementation of the plan of creation.
The Creator created this infinite state. But in order to enable us to freely gain our own awareness of this state, we were given sensations that make us feel as if we are not in it; we lack awareness and understanding, and are in a state of confusion.
When a baby is born into this enormous world, we reduce the size of the entire world for him down to a small crib. Instead of fancy food, we feed him oatmeal, and we don't give him anything besides toys. But all of this is done to make sure that he will grow gradually and develop correctly.
Baal HaSulam provides an even harsher example in a letter to his students: a dark cellar (our world) where the King's son is raised (the person whom the Creator chose in order to bring him closer to Himself). It is a metaphor of our spiritual growth in the "cellar"-the dark sensation of our world.
Sometimes we are allowed to come out of the cellar for a little while, and then we suddenly sense our world as being brilliant. And at other times we experience pain from making fruitless spiritual efforts. That is how the Creator pushes us to make a firm decision to ascend above ourselves.
At some point, unexpectedly, after working for many years, we are suddenly revealed the way out of the cellar and into a great world full of Light. It's not the same world we used to come out to on occasion, where we felt jealous of those who are able to enjoy it. Rather, it is the world of Light. We then see that there was no reason to envy those who seemed successful because in reality they don't have anything.
On the other hand, we have spent our entire life in "the dark cellar" studying the wisdom of Kabbalah and working in the group, but now we have completed the preparation phase and have come out to the Light.
There’s No Such Thing As A Corporeal Problem
Sometimes during the lesson a person is overcome by thoughts about various "mundane" problems, which make it seem as though he has to solve them right there and then. "Mundane" in this case means everything related to our world. The mundane problems-meaning our entire world-are the conditions from which we have to ascend into the spiritual world. If it weren't for these problems and difficulties that present themselves to us in the form of this world, we wouldn't have anything to ascend above.
Problems at work, the bank, the supermarket, with your health, children, spouse and others, are not artificial problems of this world, but spiritual levels that descended to this level and now appear to us in their opposite form. This opposite form only appears as a bank, supermarket, health, family, work, and so on; in reality it is the Upper Level creating conditions for us which we have to use to push ourselves into the spiritual world. We have to break through them like through a thick filter. We have to go through this sifter, because that work will constitute our effort.
If we try, however, we will see that we aren't capable of this and we need the Light that Reforms. All of these circumstances are the conditions created for us by the Upper Level. Therefore, when we understand that we are having a hard time, and that we are deaf and do not desire spirituality, that is when we has to distinguish our current animate state (this world) from the point in the heart, which is concealed and bound by this world. We have to pull that point out from underneath this mound of corporeal problems (or rather, what seems like corporeal problems) and thoughts, and raise it upwards, above them.
If a person collects himself and persistently continues to read The Book of Zohar over and over again, then this confusion, fog and uncertainty disappears because the Light influences a person. "Whatever the mind doesn't do, time does," and The Zohar is especially powerful in this regard. We must only give it the chance to flow freely through us.
As I read a paragraph from The Book of Zohar, I don't even want to remember anything that happened to me in the past. I have gone through it and it's over. While I read The Zohar, I want to experience what I'm reading fully; I want to completely absorb it so it will permeate all my cells. These are my expectations.