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June 15, 2024

Archive for Thought of the Week

VIDEO: The Intention Behind the Action

A section of Baal HaSulam’s article “The Acting Intelligence” with commentary.

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The Thought is the Intention: Tips for Maintaining a Correct Intention

Listen to the “The Thought is the Intention” (“Intentions from the Heart” track #6) audio file by clicking on the Flash player’s button below:

The Thought is the Intention

In the science of Kabbalah the thought is the intention. In a regular life thought belongs to the considerations made by the desire to receive in order to receive. A thought is that which you want to do with your desire. The activation of the desire according to an egoistic or altruistic plan, no matter which, is called “thought.” A thought that is clarified regarding its source, meaning for whom is it intended—you or the Creator—is called intention. The intention we are studying cannot be like every other intention of our world. Intention is a thought analyzed in the spiritual work.

The hardest part is to maintain the intention. That is what requires the most effort. It is hidden and not felt. It doesn’t express itself in any way and great efforts are needed to hold on to it. It is always necessary to check and to find out that it is still there. The recognition of evil relates to focusing our intention, as expressed in “get away from evil and do good” (Psalms, 34:15). All is in relation to the intention.

We have to constantly awaken the importance of the intention over all the other activities and inner processes. We have to identify with and connect to the intention, not the action, matter, or anything else. This shows that a person is in the spiritual in his or her work, and is on the path.

Since these are concealed issues, you can tell jokes or perform all sorts of strange actions, and no one will know what is really happening within you. On the contrary, this is a wonderful remedy: The more distant you are from the external action and speech, the better you will be able to keep the intention, stay more focused on it and thereby be charged with a high voltage. A wonderful remedy, a method for self-preservation, as well as other benefits, is hidden here. But this is hard work. more…

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Who is He?

Image from the Introduction to the Sulam Commentary to The Zohar

In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar began by saying, “Lift up your eyes on high and see. Who has created these things?” Lift up your eyes. To what place? To the place where all eyes depend on Him. And who is He that created these things? He is the opening of the eyes. And you should know that this is the concealed Atik where lies the question: Who has created these? And who (ed. “who” in Hebrew is “Mi,” and will be referred to as such herein) is He? He is called from the extremity of heaven on high, as everything belongs to Him. The question arises because of Him, and He is concealed. He is called Mi because beyond Him there lies no question. Thus, the extremity of heaven is called Mi.

Item 7 from the Introduction to the Sulam Commentary to the Book of Zohar.

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Mercy and Truth

Peace in the World

What is the attribute of mercy? Our sages defined it as: “what’s mine is yours and what’s your is yours.” And if all the people in the world were to behave that way, it would cancel all the glory of the attribute of truth and judgment, because if each and everyone would be naturally willing to give everything he has to his fellow man and take nothing of another for himself, then the whole interest in lying to one another would disappear, and there would be no room to speak of the attribute of truth whatsoever, because true and false are relative – and if there were no falsehood in the world, there would be no concept of truth. Needless to say that the other attributes that are there only to strengthen the attribute of truth because of its weakness, would also be cancelled.

Truth is defined in the words: “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours.” That contradicts the attribute of mercy and cannot altogether tolerate it because in truth, it is unjust to labor and strain for another, because besides causing his friend to fail, he accustoms him to exploit his fellow man. Thus, truth dictates that every person treasure his own assets for a time of need so he will not have to be a burden on his fellow man. more…

Baal HaSulam, Peace in the World.

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Powerful Kabbalistic Quotes

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah

Following are some quotes of prominent Kabbalists to help inspire you during your day or before you go to sleep. Read them one at a time, then contemplate. There is no rush; these quotes work best when you think about them for a while.

“All of man’s engagements are guided by a single, intrinsic premise, and the internality dresses within all people. It is what they referred to as “Nature,” whose numeric count is the same as Elokim (God). And this is the truth that the Creator concealed from the philosophers.”
—Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lutzato (The Ramchal) (1707—1747), The Book of the War of Moses

“Man’s future will indeed come, in which he will evolve to such a sound spiritual state, that not only will every profession not hide another, but every science and every sentiment will reflect the entire scientific sea and the entire emotional depth, as this matter really is in the actual reality.”
—Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865—1935), Orot Kodesh, A (Holy Lights, A)

“One who feels within, after several attempts, that one’s soul within is in peace only when engaging in the secrets of Torah, should know for certain that this is what one has been made for. Let no preventions—corporeal or spiritual—stop one from running to the source of one’s life and true wholeness.”
—Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865—1935), Orot Kodesh, A (Holy Lights, A)

“The Torah was given to learn and to teach so that all will know the Lord, from least to greatest. We also find many books of Kabbalists alerting of the importance of the study of the wisdom that everyone must learn.”
—Rabbi Yitzhak Ben Tzvi Ashkenazi (???—1807), The Purity of Sanctity

“Indeed, if we set our hearts to answer but one very famous question, I am certain that all these questions and doubts will vanish from the horizon, and you will look unto their place to find them gone. This indignant question is a question that the whole world asks, namely, ‘What is the meaning of my life?'”
—Rabbi Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) (1884—1954), The Study of the Ten Sefirot

“Even when one does not have the vessels, when one engages in this wisdom, mentioning the names of the Lights and the vessels related to one’s soul, they immediately shine upon us to a certain measure. However, they shine for him without clothing the interior of his soul for lack of the able vessels to receive them. Despite that, the illumination one receives time after time during the engagement draws upon one grace from above, imparting one with abundance of sanctity and purity, which bring one much closer to reaching perfection.”
—Rabbi Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) (1884—1954), The Study of the Ten Sefirot

pp. 193-4, part “Kabbalah and Your Life,” chapter “Correction Is a Matter of Intention” in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah by Rav Michael Laitman, PhD with Collin Canright.

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