inapoi la SURSE Michael Laitman – link
- Bold and in quotes: Original text of Baal HaSulam
- Regular: Commentaries of Rav Laitman
- lowercase italics: emphasized words
- Capitalized italics: transliteration from Hebrew
When we talk about the wisdom of Kabbalah, the first question that comes up is, “Where did this wisdom come from, and why do we need it?” There are many people in this world who specialize in different fields such as physics, biology, zoology, botany, etc. They want to know about nature and therefore they study it. After doing their research they have knowledge and experience, they have learned the laws of nature, and they know how we can better utilize nature to our advantage.
They perform experiments, build instruments, and then teach us how to use these instruments and their discoveries correctly. That is how all of our technology and all of our modern gadgets were developed. It was through the study of nature and the knowledge of how to use it to our advantage.
I don’t have to become a researcher myself and study nature or nuclear physics in order to construct a nuclear power plant, or to be a biologist or genetic scientist in order to grow better crops of wheat. I don’t have to be a doctor in order to get healthy. There is a specialist in every field, and all we have to do is pay him or her in order for that specialist to help us with his or her knowledge and gain from the fruits of his or her efforts. In this way we exist, as is written: “go and live of each other.”
I may be a regular worker, but I still own a radio, a TV set, a computer and a phone, I have access to modern medicine, it is all available to me although I never was involved with its development. It was all developed by someone else and now I can use it. The one who developed it does not necessarily even need it, but he or she just passes it on, sells it to humanity and the entirety of humanity can use it.
In such a way we study the environment that surrounds us and use it. There is a very small percentage of people, scientists, who confront nature directly in such a way and learn how to use it for our benefit.
In the same way, there are unique souls, special people, who have an urge to research the nature that is above our nature. It is called the “Upper Nature,” that which is beyond matter.
There are scientists who study matter, and there are those who feel that studying matter alone will not satisfy them because even if they knew how matter is composed, it would not be enough. They want to know more than just the properties of the matter; they want to know how the matter is activated, what the program is that runs the entire reality, what this reality is, why it exists, why we exist, how it all happens as cause and effect, all that I see around me, where is it coming from and where is it going?
This is a science as well, but it is concealed from us. We do not sense the forces that activate nature and we have no science that reveals them. Is it possible for a person to approach this in a simple way like any other science? And if not, is there any other option? No, there isn’t.
We know that there have been several people through many generations who studied the Upper Nature. They reached this study by simply researching our nature, and then penetrating through it into what is beyond our nature. That is how they revealed the forces that are beyond nature. They wrote their experiences down and organized them, summing them up to form what they called “The Wisdom of Kabbalah.”
They describe it in the following way: there are “forces” called “Upper Forces,” that are outside of “matter” acting on “matter.”
Drawing No. 1
Through these forces “matter” attains different forms and evolves from one state to another. The evolution of matter is divided by the Kabbalists into several parts. The first is called “the World of Infinity,” the initial state. The second part is called a state of “descent” from infinity or “breaking.” Following that is a state called “this world” and then there is the “ascent.” Where is the ascent to? It is to the same state of “infinity” that existed initially.
All of these actions are actions of the overall “force” that acts on “matter” causing it to go through this process of evolution. The evolution proceeds by way of cause and effect, meaning a distinct and calculated process in which nothing is unexpected, and all steps are unwavering.
Sometimes Kabbalists describe it as a circle of our evolution starting at the state of infinity, state A, in which creation was designed initially, later on “descending” to the state called “this world,” which is the opposite of “the World of Infinity,” and then “elevating” back, rising back to Infinity.
Drawing No. 2
During this whole process, “matter” goes through a correction, where it becomes sensitive, developed. It reaches “state B” which includes the whole circle except for “state A,” and then a “final state” called “state C.” The difference between state A and state C is the development of the matter. The Wisdom of Kabbalah studies this entire circle of evolution that “matter” goes through thanks to the force that activates it.
That is why we should study the wisdom of Kabbalah and learn, as experts tell us, what we are going through, what activates us, what steps we go through and how we should go through them. The wisdom of Kabbalah can not be used in the same way as other sciences, where someone else makes the effort and I just use the results. No one can make any machines, instruments or drugs for me in this case.
Through the attainment of this wisdom I actually attain the powers to control my own destiny, because I am the “matter” myself. If I would know what forces act on me and activate the entire universe, all matter that exists—still, vegetative, animated, and speaking, all four components of creation, then I would control my own life.
Therefore, the wisdom of Kabbalah is not an ordinary wisdom that someone can hand over to me in exchange for money. When I go to the doctor I receive from him a remedy, I pay, and I leave. Same with a farmer, a car, a phone, I use all of these items without knowing much about them, I just press some buttons and I am done.
But in this case, if I didn’t know these forces then I wouldn’t know my own matter. If I don’t understand how these forces convene and act on each other then I will remain in my world helpless, subjected to all sorts of occurrences lacking any knowledge. That is why the Kabbalists recommend that each person study the wisdom of Kabbalah. By doing so, each and every person will know what is happening to him or her, and be able to go through life with much more control over what happens, having the ability to make a difference. Therefore they say that the wisdom of Kabbalah will have to be discovered individually, each person according to the extent of his or her matter, or vessel. Without this process, the person will repeatedly feel that the attitude of the “force” towards the “matter” is deficient. Because this “force” emanates from the “Thought of Creation,” the overall nature that activates this “force” is called “the Creator.” The person without the wisdom of Kabbalah actually feels that the Creator is deficient. This Upper Force activates all of the individual forces acting on us with His desire that we would come to know all of these forces and run our lives in the most perfect, whole, and best way.
This is what the Kabbalists tell us. How do they know this? They know it because they have researched nature and penetrated beyond matter into the Upper forces. We can not do this, so we must follow what they are telling us. This is explained by Baal HaSulam in his article The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah. His first definition of what the Wisdom is about,explains what the wisdom of Kabbalah is, in a quite difficult way. We will clarify it:
That question comes to the mind of every right-minded person…
Meaning that anyone who is right minded, who understands that it is necessary to find out what the essence of creation and life is, asks this question. He then writes:
In order to properly address it.
An answer which will satisfy you, because since the question is valid, the answer has to be complete as well. Let’s see if it really is.
I will provide a reliable and lasting definition, that this wisdom [the wisdom of Kabbalah]… is no more and no less….
Meaning, do not think that there is more or less, as some do, relating to the wisdom of Kabbalah different objects, red strings, holy waters, different blessings for success at work or with the family or finances… The wisdom of Kabbalah is not related to any of these things; it does not discuss them or touch them in any way.
Then, what is the wisdom of Kabbalah?
It is a sequence of roots which hang down by the way of cause and effect…
Drawing No. 3
Meaning “root” is above, the “root” extends from above to below. What is “above” and what is “below?” We will discuss that later, but usually “above” means “giver” and below means “receiver.”
…a sequence of roots, which hang down by way of cause and consequence, in fixed, determined rules…[that we can never change].
The fact that we will study Kabbalah and even know it in its entirety, will still not allow us to change any of the rules or forces. So why do we need to study it? What does it mean to be able to control my life, change my destiny, if I can’t change these forces?
We change ourselves so that we can adapt ourselves to these forces, and through that we change the relationship between ourselves and these forces. That is what changing one’s destiny means, changing the sensation, our advancement, our evolution.
The laws that affect us are themselves permanent and absolute. We see this in our world as well. When someone wants to bend some law or bypass it, he or she causes disasters in nature and in his or her life. In nature, the laws are absolute, and we just need to know how to use them correctly.
The problem is especially apparent in social life, where we think we can make a difference and do as we please, not knowing the rules that nature has placed in human relationships. We try to enter into this field of human relationships and invent our own rules of relating to each other, establish education and different authorities or institutions trying to work things out.
However, without knowing the predetermined and absolute forces and laws of nature that affect the connection between the souls, the bond between the bodies, between people, we find that when we try to function according to a different program we ruin our society, our ecology, and our entire life. Baal HaSulam writes “fixed, determined rules.” This applies to all levels: still, vegetative, animated, and speaking. If you will penetrate into these laws, know them, see that they are permanent and absolute laws, then you would desire out of this seeing to comply with them. You would not want to change them or bend them because it is not possible, they are above us. You will then be able to use them correctly.
What is unique about all these laws?
…interweaving to a single, exalted goal…
Meaning that all of these laws have a purpose, they bring man to a single goal. All of these laws have only one goal, not many. Whether it is a very significant law or a minute one, whether something happens to us collectively or individually at any moment in time throughout our entire history, it is all leading us toward a single goal. It may seem to us that it is not this way; we may be confused and feel that we are thrown from one place to another, but this is only how it seems to us. We are constantly being driven by these forces towards the one single goal.
…described as “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.
So I, while I am here in this incarnation, in this life, as I feel it in my five senses, have to attain the “revelation of His Divinity,” the revelation of the Upper Force called “Creator,” which is the overall sum of these forces. That is what has to be revealed to me.
All that acts on me and influences me happens only for one purpose, that I would reveal the Upper Force. This is predetermined and absolute and I can not veer from the path to the revelation of the Upper Force. If I do, I find myself moving against the direction of these forces and I feel pressure by them, which manifests to me as illnesses, sufferings, destruction, world tragedies, etc. Eventually, through our long history, humanity is beginning to reach a state in which it begins to realize that there is some consistency, a way of cause and effect, a goal which we still do not know or understand. If we would go along with the forces of nature every moment of our life then we would feel very well and comfortable.
In our world, every time I act against the natural forces I always get damaged. When we act against any law of physics, chemistry, or any other field, we get hurt. That is why the Wisdom of Kabbalah is important for everyone. At any moment of life, if a person knows how to relate to these forces that are acting on him or her in a permanent and consistent way, and can embrace the process, then he or she will feel well and comfortable.
We have no choice. We need to feel good, we are made of a substance that is desire to enjoy and to receive, and we feel pleasure or suffering because of it. Nature acts on us without our consent, it pressures us to gradually learn, through many incarnations, that there is no choice, we must study this nature and embrace its laws completely.
Question: So what happens once I know the laws?
How did you discover them?
Question: Suppose that I did…
So what have you learned?
Question: I know everything; I have just discovered all of the laws, I am a successful lawyer…
No, I am sorry, it is not true; you can not study the laws. How can I study the laws? I can take a book of Physics and study it. I study it, then I look around, I throw a pen and see it fall, I Light a fire and I feel heat. I can try anything this way; I feel it with my five senses.
All of the researchers have discovered natural phenomena through their five senses and their minds. I respect them for that, I can repeat their experiments, I can study them, and I can use their results.
But how can we do this with things that are concealed? What can you actually do with what I am telling you here? How can it change your life? You need to attain the forces that are acting on you, to connect with them and the see how they act on you. This will bring you from your present state to the next level, a more advanced state towards the revelation of the Upper Force, state two.
I need to know what the Upper Force is. What should I do next? Nature will obligate me to move on whether I want it or not. The picture must be clear and real, just as my life is, not less. You are now deciding your fate, you must be in control.
What does this mean? In order to attain control in life you must first open up through matter all of these Upper forces and get to know them. By doing that you will not become like the physics scientist who is doing research in some academy, you will simply be a person who gained control over life, over destiny, nothing more. Every single person must do it. Before revealing the substance and the forces that act on our substance there is nothing that you can say about acting correctly or controlling anything.
The study itself does not change anything, but through it we learn what the steps are through which we can reveal the Upper World and these forces. Once we reveal them the books tell us how to use them. The books are like a guide directing us step by step just as a baby is directed by playing.
This is how Kabbalists wrote their books, in a completely practical way. It is called the “wisdom of the concealed” because you can reveal their explanations only according to the extent of your inner preparation and ability not to err.
In our world a baby can stumble, jump into a fire, cut itself with a sharp object, we have to watch babies very closely to keep them from danger. In the spiritual world it is also necessary to have some guidance. How can you become familiar with a domain that you do not know? That is why it is called “concealed.” You have been studying here for a while. You read that same material several times, and yet each time you see new things in it, right? This is how it will always be. And what you reveal is only revealed to you and no one else. You can not even discuss what you see today in the book with a beginner, because the book opens up for you according to how correctly you can use what it reveals to you, it is multi layered. That is how it is structured and written. I can only understand the material to the same depth that I can apply what is written to my self. That is the only way it can be read.
But in any case, you can only direct your soul to the extent that you truly know and see these forces and Him, and how they act on you, how you affect them, how accurately you can identify with them.
We are not discussing just everyday life here, work, family, etc. We are talking about eternal life. Once you enter a connection with these forces you already start to ride on something which is eternal, being able to see all of your previous incarnations, your entire life, in a different perspective of eternity. Without this your decisions will be wrong. A right decision can only be made once you know everything.
Any advancement, even at the lowest level, must be in accordance with the “fixed, determined rules, interweaving to a single, exalted goal described as – “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.” Even the smallest degree must include within it knowledge about the entire path. Then it is definitely possible to say that you are in control of destiny, that you are “man.” Otherwise you are worse than all creatures, still, vegetative, and animated.
The inanimate, vegetative and living entities have properties such that they follow these “fixed, determined rules” of nature completely. It is written “a beast is never wrong,” unless it is ill. Have you ever seen a cat jumping? It checks the height many times before it jumps. If it makes a mistake it means that the cat is sick, that something is wrong with it.
An animal is never wrong because within it acts an absolute system of laws. Only man errs and his errors cause him all sorts of trouble and sufferings. This error is in the part that has not yet been completely researched by man, the “Upper nature.” Because we don’t know our destiny, we are being pushed to reveal the root from which our destiny descends to us.
He then goes on to say:
And here there is the conduct of particular and general…[Meaning the revelation of His Godliness to the created beings ]. General—meaning the whole of mankind, obligated [you see, there is no choice here—“obligated”] to eventually come to this immenseevolvement.”
“Evolvement” means that you can not receive some remedy from someone else and become healthy, but each one must develop to an absolute degree, where he or she will reach the state of being the Creator of him or herself. Each person must understand the entire path and reach the end of it, where he or she does everything as if he or she is replacing the Creator.
…as it says: “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord…. [Meaning that you would know the Upper Force that is acting on you] …as the waters cover the sea.
We are just talking about parts of sentences which we need to understand now in order for it not to get too complicated. When we will read it in the future we will read more complete sentences and then also understand the connections between the different parts of the wisdom.
So everyone needs to reach the development of knowing all of the Upper Forces and the Upper Force that includes all of them which is called “Godliness.” To what state?
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, [no one will teach another person or have anything that the other does not] saying, know the Lord: For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
Meaning that everyone will reach a state of clear knowing, clear attainment of the entire reality, no one will have less knowledge of it than another.
And it is written: Yet thy Teacher shall not hide Himself any more, but thine eyes shall see thy Teacher.
Vision is the most lucid sense, the most dominant sense. A witness in court for example is only one who has seen, hearing is not sufficient. So we need to reach such attainment in spirituality, which is equal to seeing at our level.
This is the rule – everyone must reach it. There is no question about it. No one is excluded, not even one considered the lowest of humanity… he states it clearly – the whole of humanity. He is not discussing just Israel, or the nations of the world, he is talking about everyone. The wisdom of Kabbalah, as you can see, does not relate to a specific person or nation or religion, it relates to the entire humanity. There is no more or less, everyone is equal in this.
And what does he say about the particular?
Particular – meaning that even before the perfection of all mankind…
Meaning that everyone will attain the knowledge of the Upper World and live at a level that is infinite, eternal and whole, in each generation [even before that stage] this rule is carried out in particular individuals.
In every generation there are special individuals that are able to reach this state.
They are the ones who are endowed, in each generation, with a certain amount of revelation of His Godliness.
What is special about those individuals? Their uniqueness is in that they can attain the revelation of the Upper Force. “Revelation” means connecting with Him, using Him correctly, being like Him. Who are these individuals? He says that there are such people, but he doesn’t specify for us who they can be. It can be you, me, anyone that now hears about it.
These are the prophets and the men of God.. And as our sages said: “There is no generation, which has not such men as Abraham and Jacob. [Meaning that in every generation there are such people.] Thus you see that the revelation of His Godliness is carried out in each generation, as our sages, whom we find trustworthy, proclaim.
So do not wait until the entire humanity will begin ascending, even though it is beginning to happen now in our times, as has been written by Baal HaSulam, Rav Kook, the AGRA (Gaon from Vilna), and in the book of Zohar, that now the entire humankind starts to elevate and to search for this Upper Force that directs our destiny. Without doing so we will not be able to save ourselves from the trouble that is overcoming us.
Even before everyone, before the masses awaken, each one can still take this path alone, according to the guidance of the Kabbalists. Any questions?
Question: You explained that it is necessary to use nature correctly. What is the correct use of nature according to the Kabbalah? How do we maneuver it, what do we do with it?
What is it that we are studying, all of these formulas, when we study nature?
Drawing No. 4
Suppose that we have some result which is equal to X. It means that there are some parameters, and they have some relationship, a certain sum of forces or conditions, that gives me this result of X. It could be a summation, a subtraction, an integral or anything else. But the result is what I need, what I want to know. That is what we study in nature. There are some parameters, and the result is what’s important to me.
Suppose that there is a state in which I am healthy, or sick, and there is some substance that can benefit me. If I connect with this substance I will receive health, or maybe some bacteria, some natural forces. It is just like with ecology, the heating and cooling of our globe, the Ozone layer, a nuclear explosion, no matter what it is, we always use formulas to calculate what we will get out of connecting two or more parameters.
So for us, this is the “substance” of the created being, and that is the “Force” of the Creator. We want to know this formula. If there is nothing except that, if there is only Light and vessel, then I need to know what the program is that connects the two. I have no choice, I am subjected to this formula and I need to know it in order to flow in it correctly.
You may then say that by being obligated to learn what the Creator has done and follow it, man is just miserable, not even worth of being called “man.” This is not true. If we study these forces we become equal to the Creator, we learn the forces that act on matter and how they do it, how matter reacts to them, we grasp the wisdom of it and we begin to use these forces, to be above them more and more.
By learning the actions of the Creator, which are called “and they will all know me from the smallest to the greatest,” we learn the laws. By learning the laws we attain possession of the laws, we attain power. We attain the degree of the Creator, no less. When the created being reaches the level of the Creator it is considered to be “adhesion.” That is the state that has to be reached, in which there is no difference between the Creator and the created being in powers and knowledge. The connection is a single eternal state. This is how the wisdom of Kabbalah helps us.
Now the question remains, how did the Kabbalists discover all of this? We are studying these books by the great sage called Baal HaSulam because he is the last Kabbalist, he speaks our language, he is close to us, but how did they all reveal it? What happened before there were Kabbalists? How was this revealed to the first Kabbalist? We are learning this about Abraham and about the others, that actually, even without any books man can reveal the Upper powers. If a person has a strong desire then he or she acts with the desire, and through this desire can research through matter, and feel the forces that are beyond matter, it is revealed to the person.
It all depends on the effort, on the desire. Only desire opens matter, desire to attain a higher level, to sense the forces, the “Upper Force.” If this desire is strong, it is all that is necessary. What should be done to make this desire great in a person?
Drawing No. 5
Adam, Abraham, and a few other great Kabbalists had great desire. It also happens in every generation, that some people attain the revelation of divinity without any books or learning. They reach it because they have inner desire, and Baal HaSulam says that these are unique people, belonging to the “individual” part, that in every generation there are those who are unique in that sense. But what about someone like you? What if you are not unique in that sense?
You do have a lack, a desire, and that is why you come here at night to study, right? But it is not enough in order to break through “matter” into the “force” that is above matter. Where can you get additional desire, additional lack? Nothing else is necessary. The Light is in complete rest, it does not act in any way; all of the actions are on the part of the “matter,” the “vessels,” the desire.
So where can I get additional lack, desire? I have been living for twenty or thirty years without thinking about the Upper world, I had no desire. Suddenly a desire awakened in me, and caused me to pursue what I desire. I was not the one who decided to have or not to have this desire, it just awakened, and appeared in me.
So now that I have the desire, at the level of let’s say 30 kg for example, an urge for spirituality… It is a “force,” the power of will, and that is why I use the units of Kilograms in my examples, just as forces in this world are measured. In order to reach spirituality I need for example 200 kg. Why do I need 200 kg of “force?” Because my ego weighs 200 kg and it pulls me down, and so I need a “power” of will of 200 kg to pull me up. So what should we do? Where would I get what I am lacking? I am lacking 170 kg, where can I get that?
In order to give man the possibility of attaining spirituality on his own, to take the path by his own powers, the soul of the First Man was divided into many souls.
If we arrange around us such an environment that can provide us with additional desires, with the sense of importance of the goal, lack in our current state, confidence in being able to attain the goal, increase our power to penetrate through “matter,” beyond “matter,” then such an “environment” can give me this additional power and then I penetrate matter.
That’s why the choice is about these 170 kg, to attain them through the environment. Here is the choice. The desire that you received was just received by you. The fact that previously you did not receive it also did not depend on you. We are not talking about that. We are also not talking about the ways that you will take to return back to the revelation, to the “root.” You will go through the same steps that you traveled when you distanced from it. As he says, these are permanent and absolute laws. What does depend on you is the time during which you will take this path, during which you constantly need additional power from the “environment.”
That is why choosing a right “environment” is crucial in order to attain the “force” which will be sufficient to penetrate through “matter” into “Divinity” and know it, act in it. It all depends on the “environment.” We will discuss that later. This relates to the people who are in the “public” group, not to people who reached the revelation of the wisdom of Kabbalah as “individuals,” who are unique. Why are they called “unique?” Because they did not grow necessarily out of an environment, but did it on their own or through an individual teacher.
But these are rare individuals. They usually have a mission, to relate some message or to teach others, and this is how the wisdom constantly evolves and reaches others, to the public.
Question: If the Creator is concealed, then what is the entire reality that I see around me? Is it clothed on the forces of the Creator?
What you see around you is most simply the projection of your properties on the Upper Light. As the Kabbalists say, you will perhaps discover soon that the Upper Light fills the entire reality. There is nothing besides it, and I am in this ocean of Light, feeling myself to exist in a body, with all of this around me, outside of me, the whole universe.
What is all of this that I discover? We learned that all that I reveal I do through these five senses of vision, hearing, taste, smell.
Drawing No. 6
Some impressions enter me. Impressions of what? The “Upper Light” which is in complete rest. There are no changes here. Everything is permanent and absolute. But inside of me there is a constant renewal of the “desire.” My desire constantly evolves through Reshimot that are in me. These Reshimot constantly reveal themselves, and create a difference between them and the Light. The “delta” is the difference between the Reshimot that awaken in me and the Light. I feel the contrast between them in all of its discernments, and that contrast creates in me an inner picture – the “picture of the world.”
It means that any situation that I feel, in which I internally think something and externally sense another thing, is actually my sensation of myself in relation to the “Upper Light” which is constant. If anything changes it is me, internally, my Reshimot are changing, their implementation changes, and then from that I attain new perceptions of reality. There is nothing else happening besides this.
That is why we only discuss the inner correction of man. If I will correct myself so that I would be internally equal to the Light that is outside, then the picture inside of me will be equal to the Upper Light. So what will I feel then, nothing? Some mist? I will feel all of my corrected properties that are equal to the Light.
I will sense a picture which will be perfect. I will not just feel Upper Light, because that can not be felt, but I will feel myself as similar to the Upper Light. This image is called “The Infinity.” What is Infinity? No limitation, I do not limit the Upper Light, I feel it as it is exactly.
We will continue this in the next lesson and end here. Thank you to all our viewers and good day.
inapoi la SURSE Michael Laitman – link