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July 18, 2019

Archive for April, 2014

Are You Aware of Just How Much Others Influence What You Feel, Think and Do? You Must Read This

Are You Aware of Just How Much Others Influence What You Feel, Think and Do? You Must Read This

Connection: Is Humanity Aware of Its Ties or Not?

Unlike all other elements in Nature, human beings have the power to change the environment. This gives us something that no other creature has: freedom of choice. Put differently, human beings can choose to be like the Creator—giving—and acquire the power and cognizance that come with it, by adopting the law of yielding self-interest before the interest of the environment. Or they can remain as they were born—self-centered, with limited understanding of Nature, and paying the price for their errant ways throughout history. But to choose to be like the Creator, which is synonymous with Nature, people must know what the term, “Creator,” means and how they can become like it.

The whole of reality consists of a single, broken entity, called “Adam’s broken soul” or “the broken soul,” and that the term, “soul,” refers to a desire to receive with an intention to bestow. When Kabbalists say that something is broken, they are not referring to any physical shattering, but to the tearing of the links between all parts of the soul, the collective desire that constitutes our reality. This tearing occurs when the pieces in the soul begin to operate in their own interest rather than in the interest of the system. It is as if cells in an organism begin to operate for themselves, causing the organism to die and disintegrate.

Yet, unlike organisms, the soul cannot disintegrate because it is a single desire. So while the links are there, we can enjoy the benefits of the connection. Healthy cells benefit from each other in an organism, supporting each other’s existence, but cancer cells compete with each other for blood and nourishment, thus constantly harming each other. In the case of humanity, we are not even aware that we are connected, which prevents us from trying to connect in the right manner.

 

How Good and Bad Behavior Spread Like Viruses

But regardless of our awareness, we are very much connected. On September 10, 2009, The New York Times published a story titled, “Are Your friends Making You Fat?” by Clive Thompson. In his story, Thompson describes a fascinating experiment performed in Framingham, Massachusetts. In the experiment, certain details of the lives of some 15,000 people were documented and registered periodically over more than fifty years. This allowed researchers Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a medical doctor and sociologist at Harvard, and James Fowler, at the time a Harvard political science graduate student, to create a map of interconnections and examine the long-term impact that people had on one another.

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Why Today Is the Age of Global Interconnection and Interdependence

Why Today Is the Age of Global Interconnection and Interdependence

The Development of Globalism Brings With It Global Interconnection

On the face of it, the 20th century seems like the beginning of a new stage in the evolution of desires. Every single realm of human engagement was revolutionized (and often re- or counter revolutionized) during this century. Indeed, the pace of change during this century has so increased, life has begun to change at an exponential pace.

But even more astonishing than the pace of progress was the pace of globalization. The process of becoming a single economic system that began with the Age of Discovery and colonialism culminated in the 20th century. At the century’s end, virtually no country remained completely self-sufficient.

In the year 1900, the world population was approximately 1.6 billion. By the end of the century, it was in excess of six billion. In 1900, the average top speed of a car was seven mph. A hundred years later, even typical family cars could reach 130 mph. Moreover, the primary means of transport had changed from carriages, bicycles, and walking to driving. By the turn of the 20th century, the majority of walking was done on treadmills at home, in parks, or in fitness gyms, and the same could be said for cycling.

For overseas journeys, jetliners have completely replaced passenger ships, and travel time between continents had dropped from several weeks to several hours (albeit for shipment of goods, the primary means of transport is still cargo ships rather than planes). And (quite literally) above all, to help ships and cars navigate, to alert them of bad weather, and to survey enemy territory, we have positioned satellites in space.

With respect to technology, life has changed not only in how fast and how comfortably we travel, but also in the instruments we use in our daily lives. Such devices as telephones (and later cellular phones), light bulbs, radios, televisions, and computers were either unheard oforwerejust making their debut inthe early 1900s. At home, life has never been easier. Washing machines, clothes dryers, refrigerators, freezers, vacuum cleaners, electric stoves, and (since the 1970s) microwave ovens, all have become household appliances.

Alas, the technological advances of the 20th century were (and still are) used detrimentally with devastating results: war, occupation, oppression, and tyranny became exponentially more effective and destructive, resulting in two world wars and several genocides within the time frame of a single century.

The two world wars changed the world map dramatically and ended the age of colonialism (with some exceptions such as India, which gained independence from England in 1947, or Algeria and other nations under french rule, which gained their own in the 1950s and 1960s). This allowed numerous new countries to experience independence for the first time, though the gap in wages, infrastructure, and standard of living between the powerful post-empires and the newly liberated countries not only remained, but even widened.

In the 20th century, science had drastically changed the way we view the world. Einstein’s Special and General Theory of Relativity, followed by the advent of quantum mechanics, have revolutionized the way scientists perceive the world, paving the way for numerous innovations from lasers to microprocessors and everything derived from them. Genetics was significantly developed, the structure of DNA was determined, and by the turn of the century, the first mammal, Dolly, the sheep, was cloned.

In astronomy, the Big Bang theory was proposed and the age of the universe was determined at roughly 14 billion years. Also, our observation capabilities have been dramatically improved with the 1990 launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

All these and many more 20th century innovations and shifts made the past century a landmark of unique position in history.

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The Conclusion of the Renaissance Ends the Concealment of Kabbalah

The Conclusion of the Renaissance Ends the Concealment of Kabbalah

How Kabbalah Was Kept Secret Up Until the Renaissance

In tune with the shifts that took place at the onset of the Renaissance, Kabbalists began to remove the veil from the wisdom of Kabbalah, or at least to speak in favor of removing it. Since the writing of The Book of Zohar, Kabbalists have set up various obstacles before those who wished to study. It began with Rashbi’s concealment of The Zohar and continued with declaring all sorts of prerequisites that one had to meet before receiving permission to study. The Mishnah, for instance, gives the apparently paradoxical instruction to avoid teaching Kabbalah to students who are not already wise and understand with their own mind, but the text does not specify how is one to come by wisdom if one is not permitted to study.

In the Babylonian Talmud, there is a well known allegory about four men who went into a PARDES (an acronym for all forms of spiritual study—Peshat (literal), Remez (Implied), Derush (interpretations), and the highest level being Sod, Kabbalah). Of the four, one died, one lost his sanity, one became heretical, and only one, Rabbi Akiva, who was a giant among Kabbalists—entered in peace and departed in peace. There are other deeper and more accurate explanations to this allegory, but the story was nonetheless used to intimidate and deter people from studying Kabbalah.

Another prerequisite that Kabbalists set up was to “fill one’s belly with” (be proficient in) Mishnah and Gemarah before one approaches the study of Kabbalah. To justify that condition, they cited the Babylonian Talmud, which warns that one must spend a third of one’s life studying the Bible, another third studying Mishnah, and the remaining third studying The Talmud.

This, of course, leaves no time to study Kabbalah, so when the time came for Kabbalists to permit the study, they had to “make room” in the day for the study of Kabbalah. Thus, Kabbalists such as Tzvi Hirsh of Zidichov, “detoured” the prohibition by declaring that every day, one must “fill one’s belly with” Mishnah and Gemarah, and then study Kabbalah.

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Holocaust Memorial Day Reflections on Nazism and Israel Then and Now

Holocaust Memorial Day Reflections on Nazism and Israel Then and Now

In the Daily Kabbalah Lesson on Holocaust Memorial Day, April 28, 2014, there was a discussion of the nature of how the Nazi Germany regime emerged, and how Nazi and Fascist regimes emerge in general, what is bringing about today’s tendencies toward Nazism and Fascism throughout the world, how can they be prevented, and what is Israel’s role in the rise of Nazism and Fascism?

Below are excerpts based on the lesson.

What Happened to the Germans?

What happened to the Germans is one of nature’s wonders. They were considered among the most civilized nations, and all of a sudden, overnight, they became savages, the worst among the most primitive nations in history. Moreover, Hitler was elected by the majority’s vote. —Baal Hasulam – “The Solution

Much of what takes place in humanity’s process of development doesn’t accord to human logic and reason. For instance, how could Germany, Europe’s most developed nation for many years, with a history of monarchy, which was at the height of technological, industrial, musical and scientific development, reach a state where such proponents of high culture turned to burning books and wanted nothing but control?

 

Nazism Is Not Only a Product of Germany

The world erroneously considers Nazism a particular upshot of Germany. In truth, it is the upshot of a democracy and socialism that were left without manners, religion and justice. Thus, all nations are equal in that; there is no hope at all that Nazism will perish with the victory of the allies. Tomorrow, the British will adopt Nazism, since they too live in a world of democracy and Nazism. —Baal Hasulam – “The Solution

In other words, the Nazi regime is one of the stages in humanity’s egoistic development, which is necessary and impossible to prevent. As such, it can take place in any nation according to each nation’s development. Whether or not one country suffered a lot from a Nazi regime doesn’t mean anything. Tomorrow, that same country that suffered from Nazism could become a Nazi regime itself.

Nazism needs to appear. That is, unless beforehand, people who have been granted a point in the heart (i.e. a desire for spirituality, called “Israel,” from “Yashar Kel” [straight to God]) work for their unity in order to reach equivalence of form with the Creator (i.e. the Creator being Nature’s quality of love and bestowal). Only if unity is aimed in the direction of reaching such balance with the quality of love and bestowal, can a Nazi regime be prevented in each and every country. If not, then there is potential for Nazi regimes to sprout up in any country.

To put it into different words: After capitalism, which characterized pre-Nazi Germany, if we will not want a Nazi regime to emerge, we will thus need to bring about the kind of unity that people desire in a form of bestowal, and not in an egoistic form.

The word “fascism” in and of itself emerges from unity (i.e. fasces, a bundle of rods tied around an axe, which signified strength from unity). Thus, a change in the direction of unity is required. Even today, tendencies toward Nazism are appearing worldwide and will continue growing if those who have been granted a point in the heart will not bring people, through dissemination, the reforming Light. If the reforming Light is drawn, then the whole process leading toward Nazi regimes and a possible third World War can be prevented.

 

Why Does Nazism Emerge After Socialism and Democracy?

It is because at a certain point, democracy cannot satisfy people’s will to receive pleasure. Democracy reaches a state where the growing will to receive demands progress, and envisions progress through unity.

However, what kind of unity does it reach? Where can it be implemented? Unity can either be egoistic (to benefit people) or altruistic (in balance with the Creator, i.e. with the quality of love and bestowal itself).

If people evolve naturally, egoistically, then the unity is egoistic, for a certain people’s or nation’s own benefit, and as such, those in unity seek to arrange those who are not a part of that unity to be their slaves. That approach can be seen in many countries, where after democratic periods, the countries’ started feeling that they lack some form of unity.

Therefore, the need to unite needs to become expressed, but how? It can thus only be expressed toward another people or nation. That is, the strength of the nation and its unification are expressed in a war against others. Such is the natural, egoistic tendency of unity.

 

2 Stages of Nazism’s Emergence

Even in today’s world, there is progress toward Nazism from one month to the next. Whether in the decisions in the common market, or in many countries including the US and Russia, Nazism is gradually becoming increasingly accepted.

The first stage of Nazism’s emergence is expressed in the topic of Nazism entering the conversation in the media, in conventions, the news, etc. more and more, which increasingly legitimizes it. People start getting used to it as topic of discussion.

Afterwards, the second stage takes place when the discussion changes course, where Nazism and fascism are not just topics of discussion, but messages of needing to unite the nation against its challengers and enemies start propagating through the media. In other words, Nazism and fascism then become promoted to people as being necessary for their nation’s existence.

There is a technique by which a certain nation can be sold anything within a few years. Hitler also didn’t do it in one go. Look at how many years went by from the First until the Second World War. Today, it becomes even easier to propagate such messages because unity is much more in demand today due to much greater despair from humanity’s development.

 

Internality and Externality. Israel and the Nations of the World

Holocaust Memorial Day Reflections on Nazism and Israel

Bear in mind that in everything there is internality and externality. In the world in general, Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are considered the internality of the world, and the seventy nations are considered the externality of the world. Also, there is internality within Israel themselves, which are the wholehearted workers of the Creator, and there is externality – those who do not devote themselves to the work of the Creator. Among the nations of the world, there is internality as well, which are the Righteous of the Nations of the World, and there is externality, which are the rude and the harmful among them.

Additionally, among the servants of the Creator among the Children of Israel, there is internality, being those rewarded with comprehension of the soul of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, and externality, who merely observe the practical part of the Torah.

Also, there is internality in every person from Israel – the Israel within – which is the point in the heart, and externality – which is the inner Nations of the World, the body itself. But even the inner Nations of the World in that person are considered proselytes, since by cleaving to the internality, they become like proselytes from among the Nations of the World, that came and cleaved to the whole of Israel.

67) When a person from Israel enhances and dignifies one’s internality, which is the Israel in that person, over the externality, which are the Nations of the World in him, that is, when one dedicates the majority of one’s efforts to enhance and exalt one’s internality, to benefit one’s soul, and gives minor efforts, the mere necessity, to sustain the Nations of the World in him, meaning the bodily needs,

by so doing, one makes the Children of Israel soar upwards in the internality and externality of the world as well, and the Nations of the World, which are the externality, to recognize and acknowledge the value of the Children of Israel.

And if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and an individual from Israel enhances and appreciates one’s externality, which is the Nations of the World in him, more than the inner Israel in him,

With these actions, one causes the externality of the world in general – the Nations of the World – to soar ever higher and overcome Israel, degrading them to the ground, and the Children of Israel, the internality in the world, to plunge deep down. —Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Items 66 -67

Everything depends on how Israel (i.e. those who have been granted a desire for spirituality) draw the reforming Light, and the world’s order depends on that. Those who have been granted a desire for spirituality (called “Israel”) are either to blame, or on the contrary, are those who will bring themselves and the world into balance with nature’s quality of love and bestowal, and as such, will become awarded with the internality (i.e. the desire to bestow) being more exalted and stronger than the externality (i.e. the desire to receive for self benefit).

There is no place to struggle with all kinds of seeming enemies. The struggle is only in one place: to organize Israel (i.e. the desire for spirituality) to be in internality (i.e. connected to its source of love and bestowal) as much as possible, to draw the reforming Light (i.e. to increase the influence of the quality of love and bestowal upon themselves and to others), because the Light comes from above, from internality to externality, like we draw the Partzufim, one within the other.

 

Israel’s Role to the Nations 

In such a generation, all the destructors among the Nations of the World raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the Children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” This means, as it is written in the above corrections, that they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destruction in the whole world.

If the world’s “map” would not be arranged properly, with internality channeling out to externality, and again internality channeling out to externality (see image at the top of this post) then the “Children of Israel” (those with desires for spirituality) would cause all the bad in the world.

  • Israel = internality, the desire to bestow, the point in the heart, desire for spirituality, altruism
  • Nations of the World = externality, the desire to receive, egoism

If that would be the order, then the Upper Light will accordingly descend and spread to everyone, and would thus fulfill everyone completely.

The Free Kabbalah Course is based on the articles of Baal HaSulam and provides step-by-step guided learning from experienced Kabbalah instructors of Kabbalah’s basic concepts based in Baal HaSulam’s articles. Baal HaSulam was the first Kabbalist in history who wrote articles not only for Kabbalists, but for the broad public, in order to explain Kabbalah’s fundamentals, because he understood the need that would emerge in humanity to answer deeper questions about life’s meaning and purpose. Moreover, many of the terms encountered in Kabbalah, like “Israel,” “nations of the world,” “Creator” and many others have completely different definitions to how they’re commonly defined. Therefore, if you’re interested in such topics, we recommend taking the free course and start learning about the world around you and inside you anew. Click the banner below to sign up for the free course …

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How the Renaissance Ended the Concealment of Kabbalah

How the Renaissance Ended the Concealment of Kabbalah

The Ari – The Greatest Creative Force of the Renaissance

Preceding every new stage in the evolution of desires, the appropriate precursor appears. First, there was Abraham; he was the Root. Then there was Moses, representing Stage one, followed by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi), who corresponds to Stage Two. And now the time has come for Stage Three.

The emergence of Stage Three in the evolution of desires roughly corresponds to the advent of the Renaissance in Europe. Its harbinger was the greatest Kabbalist since Rashbi: Isaac Luria (the Ari)—founder of the Lurianic Kabbalah, the most systematic and structured school of Kabbalah. Today, it is the predominant teaching method, thanks to the 20th century commentaries of Baal HaSulam, who interpreted the writings and adapted them to the scientific/academic mindset of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Despite his short life, the Ari (1534-1572) produced numerous texts with the help of his prime disciple, Rav Chaim Vital. The Ari did not write his texts by himself. Instead, he would speak and Chaim Vital would write down his words.

After the Ari’s early demise, Vital and several of his relatives compiled the Ari’s words into cohesive texts. for this reason, many scholars have ascribed the Ari’s writings to Chaim Vital and not to his teacher. Yet, even though Vital was the scribe, the provider of the information is undisputedly the Ari.

 

How the Ari Reformed the Wisdom of Kabbalah

In Stage Three there is an “inverted” modus operandi, where the act is reception but the intention is to give. This was true for the initial four stages of desire. However, after the breaking of Adam’s soul, the prevailing intention in the collective soul—of which we are all parts—has been inverted and regressed from bestowal to reception. And because we are all parts of Adam’s soul, the hidden intention in all humans is to receive, as well. Clearly, when everyone wishes to receive, and none wish to give, it induces an unsustainable situation.

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