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October 23, 2019

Archive for Books

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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How to Become Worthy of Receiving Spiritual Pleasures

How to Become Worthy of Receiving Spiritual Pleasures

Photo:Pastel by Moyan Brenn @ flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/

Wishing only to Please the Creator

The true goal of creation is for the Creator to give pleasures to His created beings. For this purpose, the creatures are endowed with the desire to receive pleasure. In order for the creations not to experience feelings of shame when they receive pleasure, which would spoil the pleasure itself, the creations are given the opportunity to correct the feelings of shame.

This can be achieved if the created beings wish to receive nothing for themselves, but wish only to please the Creator. Only then will they not feel shame at receiving pleasure, since they will receive it for the sake of the Creator, rather than for their own gratification.

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An Introduction to Pleasing the Creator

An Introduction to Pleasing the Creator

Photo:Iceland by Moyan Brenn @ flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/

Revealing the Evil Inclination Bit by Bit

If while studying, we do not see any personal benefit and begin to suffer from this lack of perceived benefit, this is known as “the evil inclination” (Yetzer Ra). The degree of evil is determined by our level of perception of evil, by the extent of our suffering from our lack of attraction to spirituality, unless we perceive in it a personal benefit.

The more we suffer from the unchanging situation, the greater the degree of our perception of evil. If we understand by reason that we are not yet succeeding in spiritual advancement, but this does not cause us pain, it means that we do not yet have an evil inclination (Yetzer Ra), since we are not yet suffering from evil.

If we do not feel evil, we must engage in the study of Kabbalah. But if we perceive evil in ourselves, we need to rid ourselves of it by faith above reason.

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Who Else Wants to Be Like the Creator?

Who Else Wants to Be Like the CreatorThe Importance of Self-Evaluation in Spiritual Work

According to Kabbalah, our bodies are only a temporary casing for an eternal soul that descends from Above, and that the cycle of life and death can be compared to the change of clothing by a person in our world. The soul changes one body for another just as easily as a person changes one set of clothes for another.

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