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June 12, 2024

Archive for October, 2015

Psst! Your Thoughts and Desires Come from the Creator

Psst_Your Thoughts and Desires Come from the Creator

Everything We Experience Comes from the Creator

In order to attain the goal of creation, we need to feel a “hunger,” without which we cannot taste the whole depth of the pleasures that are sent by the Creator, and without which we cannot bring gratification to the Almighty. Therefore, it is crucial to correct egoism. This would permit us to experience pleasure for the sake of the Creator.

In times of fear, we must understand the reason for which the Creator sends us these feelings. There is no force or power that rules in the world except the Creator; no enemies, or dark forces. However, it is the Creator Himself who forms in us a sensation like this, in order for us to wonder why we felt it so suddenly.

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How to Successfully Prepare to Attain Spirituality

How to Successfully Prepare to Attain Spirituality

Contact with the Creator during Concealment

Although the Upper Illumination has not yet entered us because Light cannot enter egoistic desires, this Light nevertheless surrounds us (Ohr Makif) and bonds us with the spiritual. It also helps us realize that even the most minute connection with the Creator is already a great reward and pleasure. As for the perception of the Light, we must tell ourselves that it is not in our power to appraise the actual value of the Light.

The right line is also called “the truth” because we can clearly understand that we have not yet attained the spiritual level, and do not lie to ourselves. Rather, we say that what we received comes from the Creator, even our most bitter conditions. Thus faith above reason is very valuable, because there is a contact with the Creator.

We can see, then, that the right line is built on the clear realization of the absence of spiritual perception and on the bitter feeling of personal worthlessness. This is followed by our departure from egoistic calculations toward actions based on the principle, “not what I will gain, but what the Creator desires.”

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VaYera (The Lord Appeared) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

VaYera

Genesis, 18:1-22:24
This Week’s Torah Portion | October 25 – October 31, 2015 – 12 Cheshvan – 18 Cheshvan, 5776

In A Nutshell

The portion, VaYera (The Lord Appeared), begins with the story of the three angels that came to Abraham and told Sarah she would have a son. Sarah laughed because she could not believe that she would have a son at her age. Yet, she did have a son, whose name was Ytzhak (Isaac) named after her Tzhok (laughter).

The angels continued on their way to destroy the cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, due to the many sins being committed there. Lot and his family were allowed to escape, but Lot’s wife did not obey the angels’ orders, turned around to look, and became a pillar of salt. Lot and his two daughters made it to a cave. Lot’s daughters were certain that they were the only survivors in the world, so they tricked their father into having children with them.

Later in the portion, following Sarah’s request, Abraham expels Hagar and Ishmael to the desert; the Creator commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and in the last moment, an angel stops the execution. Abraham takes a ram that he found caught in the thicket and offers it instead of his son.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

In “A Preface to the Book of Zohar,” one of Baal HaSulam’s introductions to The Book of Zohar, he offers a special explanation of our perception of reality. The explanation details how we perceive the reality we live in, and how the place where we are is depicted in us as an image of emotions, which are portrayed as solid, as gas, as liquid, etc.

The Zohar and the wisdom of Kabbalah explain that due to the way in which we perceive reality—with our qualities and senses—we react to something outside of us, which we do not know, and which we turn into various colors and materials. However, we need to acquire additional senses and rise to a higher perception of reality, above our senses. This is how we will discover the upper world.

The Book of Zohar speaks to us in the “language of the branches,” using the terms of our world. It tells us how we can obtain and be impressed with the new form, which is higher than our world. Sometimes our concepts seem real to us, such as a pillar of salt, the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the story of the three angels, etc., since “a verse does not extend the literal” (Masechet Yevamot, 24a). Yet, we should strive to see these concepts as relationships between us in the common soul.

The events of the portion are not merely historic tales; they are sources that deal with the connections between us. The role of these sources is to teach one who wishes to advance and rise to the new perception of reality how to scrutinize one’s desires, qualities, forces, and the connections between them, in order to design from them the perception of reality that is called, for instance, “the portion, VaYera.”

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How to Obtain True Spiritual Perception

How to Obtain True Spiritual Perception

When Consistent Spiritual Aspirations Yield Emptiness

If as students we see that we remain in the state of egoistic desires and have not progressed toward a better condition, we often feel despair and apathy. Moreover, we sometimes discover that not only do we remain amidst our egoistic desires, but we find that they have increased since we acquired desires for pleasure that once we considered as low, petty, ephemeral, and unworthy.

It is clear that in this state it becomes difficult to continue to observe the commandments and to study with our previous joy; rather, we fall into despair and disappointment, and regret the time wasted, as well as efforts we made and deprivations we have suffered. We thus rebel against the goal of creation.

This state is known as “the left line” because it is in need of correction. We have now perceived our own emptiness and must turn to the right line, to the feelings of completeness, satisfaction, and full happiness with our lot. Previously, it was not considered that we were in the right line because we were still in one line, simply because there was no second line, and thus, no self-criticism existed.

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The Role of Self-Analysis in Spiritual Advancement

The Role of Self-Analysis in Spiritual Advancement

The Unity of Knowledge and Altruism

In the left line, which brings about suffering as a result of the absence of the desired, is awakened a need for the help of the Creator, which comes in the form of Light of the soul. In the right line, in a state when a person desires nothing for the self, there exists only the Light of Mercy (Ohr Hassadim), the joy from the similarity in spiritual qualities. But this state is not perfect, because it lacks knowledge and the understanding of the inner meaning. In the left line is no perfection because the Light of Wisdom can illuminate only if there is congruence in qualities between the Light received and the recipient of the Light.

The congruence results in Ohr Hassadim, which is found in the right line. Spiritual gains can be made only by having a desire. But the right line has no desire for anything. All the desires are concentrated in the left line. However, the desired cannot be received into the egoistic desires.

Thus, it is necessary to unite these two qualities so that the Light of knowledge and pleasure of the left line can enter the Light of altruistic qualities of the right line, and the Light of the middle line will illuminate the created being. Without the Light of the right line, the Light of the left is not revealed and is perceived only as darkness.

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