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The content is based on talks given by Dr. Michael Laitman and is written and edited by his students.

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Spiritual Surprise

276.02Question: Do people cross the Machsom together, as a group, or singularly?

Answer: In principle, the individual is very important. Therefore, in a group, everyone goes through the Machsom in their own way, and not all at the same time. But on the other hand, the crossing of the Machsom by at least one of the tens has a great impact on the others.

Question: So, the Machsom is crossed one by one, but the simultaneous transition is not excluded?

Answer: The fact is that the transition from the feeling of our world to the feeling of the upper world, the forces of bestowal, occurs gradually. This is not a pull or a breakthrough, but a gradual transition, during which many different foundations change in a person. And therefore, we can’t say that someone has slipped in now, and another hasn’t yet.

Question: So this process takes many years?

Answer: No, the action itself is quite intense. It doesn’t last for many years.

Question: Is this a surprise for a person when something is suddenly revealed to him?

Answer: Yes. Any spiritual action that reveals itself in a new way in a person becomes a surprise for him. He feels that the world is filled with the quality of bestowal and love, the quality of the Creator, and feels a great attraction to this.

Question: So the difference between someone who has crossed the Machsom and someone who has not, is that a person who has crossed the Machsom sees only positive forces working in the world, he sees everything rosy?

Answer: It’s not pink. Simply, there is one positive force in the world that operates in the quality of bestowal and love.

Question: Does he also see the manifestation of egoism in our world as positive?

Answer: He sees this simply as a lack of understanding of the existence of a positive spiritual force.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/6/20

Machsom—Transition From One Quality To Another

537Question: The term “Machsom” in Hebrew means partition, barrier. What does Machsom mean from a spiritual point of view?

Answer: Machsom is a transition from one quality to another, when a person changes his qualities from egoistic to altruistic, from the ability to work only for oneself to actions for the sake of others or for the sake of the Creator. In other words, his quality of giving prevails over the quality of receiving.

Question: Which of the Kabbalists first used this term?

Answer: I first heard it from my teacher Rabash. And then this term comes up several times in our sources.

Question: Did Baal HaSulam write that this is the psychological boundary between the two worlds?

Answer: This is not just psychology, but a sense of your attitude to the world, a change in human nature.

Comment: It is difficult to understand how you can do an action without expecting some benefit for yourself. Even today, psychologists say that this is impossible.

My Response: Indeed, it is impossible. But the fact is that the correct utilization of the forces of nature—when a person, in addition to the power of receiving, begins to awaken the quality of bestowal—gives him the opportunity to own both forces and use them together.

Or, at first, he goes only to the force of bestowal, which is called the quality of bestowal or faith (Emunah in Hebrew), and then he can act with receiving for the sake of bestowal.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 2/6/20

“The Way The Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Way the Pandemic Has Strengthened Religious Beliefs

When one cannot come to terms with a somber reality, looking towards heaven is an instinctive reaction. In the US, half a million lives have been lost in the COVID-19 pandemic in a year since the outbreak of the virus. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that people from economically developed countries claim that the eruption of COVID-19 has boosted their religious beliefs, particularly in the US where nearly three out of ten American adults say the coronavirus plague has strengthened their faith.

The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

The development of civilization has distanced us from nature; therefore, we are unaware of its conduct and feel more vulnerable to it. Thus, despite our tremendous technological capability, we stand helpless in the face of global epidemics, climate change, and other crises. We do not know where to flee, how to cope, and certainly do not see a bright future on the horizon.

The uncertainty of these times, the lack of clear answers, and the fading of hope sends people searching, as they have since time immemorial, for a higher power they hope might be guiding their fate. They begin to grope in the dark and ask: Where is this power that is creating this evil in the world that we see around us now, how can we survive the next blow, and in general, what is the meaning of this world? As we hear of more and more people dying from this plague, our sense of security is undermined, fear for our loved ones grows, and life takes on an unfamiliar, ambiguous gray tone. On the other hand, living conditions have drastically changed in the past year. Work has moved into home, children have become immersed in distance learning, and the framework of life has been reduced to within family boundaries. Our world has shrunk.

With reduced choices in the search for some ray of light that provides security now when people really do not know what to count on or where to pin their hopes, religion becomes an anchor, a source of stability. One may not necessarily find in it an answer to every question, but at least it gives some sense of relief from the frightening reality people face.

It is not a sign of a backward trend or a tendency to a more religious and conservative world. Instead, it is a sign of humanity seeking, in a time of turmoil and crumbling foundations, for the meaning of life, and a growing desire for a confident connection to the future in closeness with the Supreme Force that governs life. But in this quest, those who find religion insufficient for providing lasting calm and fulfillment will keep searching for answers.

Even before the main religions expanded to the whole world, numerous beliefs, rituals, and idolatry practices existed. The human being has always needed a sense of security and answers for the inexplicable. This notion prompted the controversial Karl Marx to claim that “religion is the opium of the people,” while Voltaire said “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” As a matter of fact, it is good for a person to seek a connection to a higher power. It manifests throughout our historical axis of development: tribes danced around bonfires to honor their goddesses, bowed to statues, and worshiped the power of nature in different ways until such practices evolved into structured religions and systems of belief.

The strengthening of religious belief in the recent days of the pandemic, as the latest survey shows, actually indicates a broader developmental process that humanity is going through. The global COVID-19 plague is teaching us that we are one small worldwide village, and we are all interdependent under a supreme force that controls every detail in reality.

We are all in a single harmonious natural system, connected in all its parts, and a person, as a result of one’s opposite egoistic nature, time and time again severs the threads of connection between himself and others, thus violating the laws of nature and tearing human society from the feeling of the supreme power surrounding us. The coronavirus is a reaction to humanity on the part of the harmonious nature, a sort of catalyst for re-bridging the gap that has been created between humanity and nature. Therefore, what we urgently need are positive connections between us—in other words, the religion of love.

There is nothing wrong with the temporary tendency to return to the embrace of traditional religion, it contributes to our progress. Firstly, it connects people and hints to them about the good found in unity. Although in the meantime it is an egoistic connection, later it will be corrected to become altruistic. Secondly, religion reveals to believers their weakness in relation to integral nature and brings about dependence on the Supreme Force.

Such a deep relationship does not conflict with any religious practice, custom, or tradition, but goes with them in one turn. Foremost kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, wrote in The Writings of the Last Generation, “Apart from ‘loving your neighbor as yourself,’ each nation may pursue its own religion and traditions, and one must not interfere with the other.” Because when you love, there is a place for everyone, for each and every one. That is the biggest strength of every society.

“ Is Nature Sentient?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “ Is Nature Sentient?

People who believe in God the way religions relate to Him attribute to Him feelings and thoughts, and communicate with Him the way we communicate with any powerful individual who determines our fate: We aim to please Him, and in return seek His favor. But what about nature? Is nature sentient? Should we please nature? And if we should, how can we do it?

The wisdom of Kabbalah does not distinguish between nature and God. In the essay “The Peace,” the great 20th century kabbalist Baal HaSulam explained that nature and God are synonymous, so when we speak of nature, we are actually speaking of God, and when we speak of God, we are actually referring to nature.

This mechanism is evidently intelligent. Everything within it is intricately and wisely tied to everything else, and all parts of creation are moving in synchrony toward increasing merger. Just as ants or schools of fish think and act as one, guided by their synchronized intelligence, everything around us operates in congruence; everything but man.

However, in the wisdom of Kabbalah, nature is not a “bookkeeper” who checks our balance of good deeds or bad deeds and rewards or punishes us accordingly. Nature is a super intelligent mechanism that creates everything, conducts everything, and guides everything to its purpose of complete unity and harmony with all of reality. Nature continually develops creation toward greater complexity, from the atomic level through the mineral, vegetative, animate, and human levels.

On the human level, we evolve the way all of nature is evolving. We first huddled in clans, which grew into villages, villages into towns, towns became countries, and today, when the entire world is one global village, people, animals, plants, and minerals are all part of one, interdependent system. We have become a single mechanism threaded and laced throughout the world.

Moreover, this mechanism is evidently intelligent. Everything within it is intricately and wisely tied to everything else, and all parts of creation are moving in synchrony toward increasing merger. Just as ants or schools of fish think and act as one, guided by their synchronized intelligence, everything around us operates in congruence; everything but man.

Humans are the only element in nature that has been denied the instinctive knowledge of right from wrong, and when to do what. But this, too, was done for a purpose. The only element missing in the perfect creation around us is the awareness of our life’s purpose. Awareness cannot be pre-installed; it has to be acquired. This is why we are born devoid of any knowledge about our world. In fact, we are born so helpless that at first, we cannot even reach our mother’s nipple for food, or defecate without making a mess of ourselves. No animal young is as helpless as a newborn baby. However, it is done on purpose, so we will learn everything from scratch, and at the end of the process reach the zenith of creation and become as intelligent as the system that has created us—nature (or God).

Since the “nature” of nature is harmony and merger, and since we must acquire the awareness of the goal, when we are born, we are completely opposite from it, so we will learn every aspect of harmony and merger. The problem is that while we are opposite from nature, we are nothing but a menace, destroying everything around us like senseless children. But as we learn to work in unison, as we become aware of the vitality of unity and solidarity to our understanding of creation, we also learn how to conduct ourselves more wisely, in line with nature’s disposition, and the conflicts we feel among ourselves and with nature become tailwinds that push us forward.

As long as we are obstinate, we suffer. We pollute the sky, the water, and the soil. We deplete the abundance that nature has given us in order to achieve power and control; we use and abuse each other, kill, rape, and denigrate each other as though only we are entitled to enjoy life, and we leave nothing for the future. We behave like grownup children, with bodies of grownups but the mind of a child.

If we focus on connection, we will find the right track and clean up the mess we have created. If we keep demanding for ourselves and shun nature’s disposition toward harmony and merger, our escalating conflict with nature will inflict on us worsening adversities. We may be smart, but we are very unwise. If we truly want to do good for us, we must first learn what we know, what we don’t know, and how we can learn what we must do to help ourselves. If we listen to nature’s intelligent mechanism, go along with its trajectory toward increasing cohesion, life will be much easier and simpler than the havoc we have wreaked upon ourselves.

The Secret Code Of The Torah

151Comment: It is said that the first letters that appeared after rock paintings [pictographs] were the letters of the Hebrew alphabet: Aleph (א), Bet (ב), and so on.

My Response: They did not appear. They were discovered by Adam who lived almost 6,000 years ago.

He discovered these letters because he began to understand the correlation between the quality of bestowal and the quality of reception and the connection between them. He saw that there are only 22 connections, and that through these connections between reception and bestowal, he could express all the qualities of the world. Therefore, he depicted them in the form of lines and dots. From that time, we have the alphabet.

Question: What is the black dot in a Hebrew letter from which everything starts?

Answer: It is something that is completely opposite to the quality of bestowal and goodness. Bestowal, love, and goodness are the positive qualities that flow from one object to another only for the benefit of the other, and they are called light. And the opposite of it is called a black dot.

Question: Does any letter start with this black dot?

Answer: Of course.

Comment: And then we draw a horizontal line, and a vertical line.

My Response: Yes, on the background of white light. On the background of the white sheet of paper.

Question: When the whole letter is written, what does it mean?

Answer: I depict to what extent negative qualities can become similar to the positive qualities.

Question: Do you mean that this black letter can become similar to the white sheet of paper, to the white light?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And when I combine letters into a word?

Answer: By this you just explain how you move from one quality of bestowal to the second one, and then to the third, fourth, and so on.

Question: And when I write a sentence and completely fill this, for example, white light, this sheet of paper?

Answer: By doing this, you lay out all your capabilities of bestowal against the background of the white light. After the Torah was written, which depicts absolutely all potential mutual qualities of bestowal and reception, there is no point in writing anything else. Everything is just all sorts of additions and commentaries to the Torah.

Question: So, does the Torah describe all the desires and aspirations of man to become bestowing and loving?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What if a person writes in English, Russian, German, Armenian, or any other language?

Answer: The fact is that what is being written now, you cannot read correctly because the languages are constantly undergoing changes. If you take a modern Frenchman today and one who lived during the Crusades, they would not understand each other. The language has changed so much!

Question: What about Hebrew?

Answer: No. Hebrew has not changed. We read books that were written two or three thousand years ago. Adam wrote his book The Angel Raziel 6,000 years ago, and we read it as if it were written today. It is not very clear, but we read it. We could talk to Adam just as we would to our contemporaries.

There is no other nation that could meet their ancestor who lived thousands of years ago and understand him and speak with him in the same language.

And the Jews could easily!

Question: Is it because the code did not change?

Answer: Yes. It cannot change because it is the interaction between the light and the darkness, the interaction between two forces.

Question: When they say that there is a certain code embedded in the Torah, is it about this interaction between the light and the darkness?

Answer: Yes. Darkness is the letters and light is the background on which we write.

The letters represent the equivalence of a person’s quality to the quality of the Creator. When man comes to this equivalence, then there will be no difference between the letters and the light. All the letters will only express the quality of light.

All the letters exist only to emphasize all the qualities of the light in those lines, in those images where it is absent.

Question: Is it true that horizontal and vertical lines represent different lights?

Answer: Yes, of course. There are many different signs, and there are many secrets in this, that is, things that we have not solved yet.

Question: Are there really unsolved secrets in the letters?

Answer: Of course! There is nothing but letters. The letter is a sign between us and the upper force. There is nothing else but these signs.

Question: Can we say that the light passes from above through a stencil called “letter” and is imprinted in a person?

Answer: Yes, that is also true.

Question: You once told a story about a completely ordinary person living in Siberia who wrote you a letter in Hebrew in the highest, purest, poetic language.

Answer: Yes. I showed it to my teacher Rabash. And he said that it was a Kabbalistic text written by a simple man because he had such spiritual enlightenment.

Question: Can we conclude from this that all the letters are within us, within each person in the world?

Answer: Yes. Later I met this man, and he did not understand or know anything. He came to Israel when he was released from Siberia after many years. There was nothing left in him from the state he had experienced then. It was given to him as such a brief flash because he was suffering so much. He wanted to exit himself, his body, with all his might! And this tension brought him to such a state that he was able to write in Hebrew. It just came out into the world through him.

Question: But can we say that it was his prayer?

Answer: Of course.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/4/21

“Why Are Brands Important?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why are brands important?

Brands help coordinate people toward a certain purpose according to a certain direction, movement, teaching, methodology, theory or practice. They help describe and explain all of the latter. As social creatures, we have needs to communicate, teach, grow and bring other people together in certain directions. We can then progress toward various goals.

We, as human beings, have always set ourselves goals, but they have been corporeal. In other words, the goals we have progressed toward have all been in the realm of our corporeal desires and fulfillments of food, sex, family, shelter, money, honor, control and knowledge.

In our present era, the emptiness of living for corporeal goals alone surfaces more and more in our sensations together with the emergence of the desire to discover life’s meaning and purpose. Moreover, today, as the wisdom of Kabbalah reveals itself more and more to the world, we have the ability to understand the meaning of life, and to present it in clearer and more tangible ways.

Likewise, progressing toward the meaning and purpose of life requires participation of those wishing to discover it via learning, connecting, brainstorming and sharing. We thus need various social institutions and organizations assembled according to different types of people and other parameters in order to help us progress toward life’s meaning and purpose.

I therefore think that humanity will have much to do in this direction, as it is an integral aspect of human development.

Based on the show “Kabbalah Express” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Israel Samsonikov on January 12, 2021.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.

Baal HaSulam’s Mission

623And it came to pass in the days of the war, the days of the dreadful carnage, that I was praying, crying bitterly all through the night. And behold, at the break of dawn, it seemed as though all the people in the world have gathered in a group before my mind’s eye. And a man was hovering among them with his sword over their heads, lashing at their heads. The heads soared upward, and their corpses fell to a great basin and became a sea of bones. (Baal HaSulam “The Prophecy”)

From the point of view of Kabbalah, we are talking about very large, serious processes in the souls. These are not heads or bodies, not our earthly minds or our qualities.

If we speak purely allegorically, then people, as if, are deprived of their minds. Only their bodies remain with them, which fall to the lowest level, the level of our world. They are deprived of the opportunity to rise spiritually, and thus they become spiritually dead.

By war we mean the war of the forces of good and evil, between which man is confined. In this war, everything depends on which way the action is going, what the scales are leaning toward.

“And a voice called out to me: ‘I am the Lord, God, who governs the world with great mercy. Reach out your hand and grip the sword, for now I have given you power and might.’ I will make you a great sage and all the sages of the land shall be blessed in you, for I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation. 

And a voice called out to me: “I am the Lord, God, who governs the world with great mercy. Reach out your hand and take the sword, for now I have given you power and might.” … “I will make you a great sage and all the sages of the land shall be blessed in you, for I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation.”

Baal HaSulam reveals his mission. The Creator, instead of sending an angel to take off heads, gives him a double-edged sword so that by the force of this sword, only by a reasonable, correct force, he can bring people another idea—correction— to give them, as it were, a different head and to restore their life, to make their striving forward different, that is, to guide them on the path of correction with the help of the same sword.

The sword symbolizes the upper light. It can be both the poison of death and the elixir of life.

This is what Baal HaSulam felt and he began to seriously implement this prophecy.
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From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #5

A True Gift Of Fate

600.02Question: I would like to know if everything that happens to me, all this nonsense, is this my fate? I was fired from my job, scandals at home, my health is worse and worse. I am told: “Fate.” I don’t want such a fate. I want to know how to get out of this circle!

Answer: You must stop. Stop and think how to live nonetheless. And what to live for, which is the most important thing. And then you will be in a state when you can reveal the deeper meaning of life.

So, you actually are in a very good period in your life—a revelation. A revelation of the next level of understanding, awareness of nature and yourself in it.

Only do not close your eyes and do not try to run away from all of this. Continue to exist on the same level as you are now, like in an automatic mode, on autopilot, and at the same time dig deeper. From where, why, and how do all these commands manage me and people around me? Why is all this happening? And what does the commander of all this want from me?

And let everything else spin automatically. I am ready to agree with all this. Just like a machine.

I think that it will quickly bring a person to the connection with the true manager of his life.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/7/21

Cleave To The Teacher

165Question: Can we cling to our friends when we work in the tens so much that we become infected with a reverent attitude toward the teacher from them? Or is it impossible?

Answer: It is possible. We can help each other on our spiritual path and move forward calmly. If a person who is in a descent bows before the group, then the group will show him how to start listening to the teacher. And then this student can receive the same thing as the rest.

Question: That is, it does not matter what you are as wise as you can be or if with a sensitive heart. If you are in the right mood, can you receive absolutely all conditions and stick to the teacher?

Answer: Yes. Mental development does not matter here.

Question: Suppose a person knows that he does not yet have any inner development, that he is lazy. But he really wants to achieve! Can he cling to the teacher with this desire and get everything?

Answer: Only through the group! The group is the connector to the teacher and through the teacher with the Creator. There are no other ways.

Question: This means that a person places himself in a group, and the group helps him  hear the teacher, cleave to him, and go to the Creator. It doesn’t matter who, what, and where you are now, even if you are a hermit. If you want to, you can?

Answer: We all came from one system, the ten, from a soul that was broken into many parts. Therefore, gathering in such tens, we again reveal the Creator and unite with Him.
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From KabTV’s “Teacher – Student” 2/7/19

Act According To Nature’s Formula

599.02Comment: In Kabbalistic sources, it is written that without the revelation of the Creator, we cannot be equal.

My Response: We will not be ale to do this because we need a common denominator we doing this for. The good of society cannot interest us. Our egoism is beyond that.

Equality is possible only if we unite in our upper root, from which we come. Then, as we reach it, we will understand why we are different. Precisely this difference in the integral sum gives us the feeling of equality.

Comment: Throughout the history of mankind, we have existed in a society where there has been no equality. Even today, the struggle for equal opportunities continues. Women try to become like men and vice versa.

You, as a Kabbalist, say that there can be no equality and humanity itself will never come to it.

My Response: We do not need to strive for mechanical equality. We must act according to the formula of nature, and then we will become equal. Even though we are different, we will be equal.
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From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 4/29/19