Kabbalah Video Clips


Kabbalah-Five Basic Principles


Rav Michael Laitman, PhD is interviewed by award-winning biographical author Bill Simon. Here Rav Laitman discusses five basic principles of Kabbalah.


Five Principles: The House in the Orchard
(December 2006)

Question: I think that you're going to say no to this, but I want to ask the question anyway. If you have a group of students who come to you for a period of time, not just for an afternoon, and you want to convey to them the essence of Kabbalah-the principles, the basic ideas-are there five or twelve or some specific number of ideas that you want to convey to them?
Dr. Laitman: Yes.
Question: There are? Good. About how many?
Dr. Laitman: There are maybe three, four or five principles... Okay, let's say five. First of all, that there's an Upper Force that we all live in and we are the egoistic parts that are opposite to it. Our egos evolve, as we said, for the past few thousand years in this world. At the end of this development, we will reach a state that we have to unify with this Force.
Who are we? That's the second principle. This Upper Force is entirely good, bestowing and giving, and it created us opposite itself as egoists in order that the ego will develop in us to a point where we can reveal that our nature is destructive and that there's nothing worse than it. And that we want to burst out of this in the same way that we would want to break free from an old skin and to become like It. Then by the method of Kabbalah, we will be able to become like it.
The third principle: We are one soul-one egotistical desire-that was created by the Upper One as one desire-the desire to enjoy. And we were shattered into thousands and millions of parts called individual souls; and they are what develops during this whole process. We have to correct ourselves to become like the Creator and that means that we all need to unify together. All the souls have to come back into one soul together. Really, in the egotistical manner in which we are divided, we hate one another and our correction is to be the opposite, that we should see that our ego is destructive and that we want to connect back together.
The fourth principle: When we reach the immense destructive ego of our times that's starting to appear, we see just how bad it is. There are now two ways: to evolve either through the beatings that we receive, which is basically how we live our lives now, that we run away from suffering all the time. I'm not sure where I should run to, just as long as it's away from what's hurting me. Or, that I reveal before me the goal by the method of Kabbalah and I develop in this so that it will attract me to my development. The first is the path of evolution and that's called the path of suffering. The second path is called the path of light. Our choice is whether to evolve one way or the other, and all of the development of humanity, until this time, was without any freedom of choice. We were simply carrying out what the ego told us to do. Ego, DNA-it doesn't matter what you call it.
Rather people now have a desire that is for something beyond this world; they can't fill themselves with anything that they can find in this world. So they ask themselves why they exist and they don't know why. Now they have the freedom of choice: either to continue in the path of suffering, like they did before by getting punishment; or they can evolve towards the goal that is drawing them. The path of spiritual development, the minute that one discovers the wisdom of Kabbalah, he begins to learn with the help of Kabbalistic books about his more corrected and his more advanced state. Then, when he reads about it, he's drawn to this advanced state; then he doesn't need any kind of affliction. Rather, he's constantly drawn to more advanced stages, but this is on the condition that he learns from genuine books of Kabbalah and from a correct guide. The only genuine Kabbalah books, in our times, The Book of Zohar, the writings of the Ari and Baal HaSulam.

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