Ask the Kabbalist
Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman answers questions on his weekly live TV show, “Ask the Kabbalist” and on his personal blog - www.laitman.com
Education, Relationships, Angels, and the 72 Names of God
Q: What is your vision of schools in the future?
A: Schools should teach children “the wisdom of life.” That is, they should explain the purpose of life, the inclusive law of nature, what’s really happening “behind the scenes” of our world, and why the forces of Nature influence us the way they do. This education will help children understand how best to relate to everything that happens to them in daily life, as well as how to relate to others.
Children will then see life as transparent—they will see the underlying, inclusive force behind reality, called “the Creator,” and they will be close to it, as if it were a friend. If children receive such an education, they will stay out of trouble and not waste their lives chasing false goals, only to be disillusioned in the end. They will truly succeed in life.
Q: “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.” How is it possible to bridge the gaps between spouses?
A: Bridging the gap between the sexes starts by understanding where this gap comes from. Men and women are two parts of Creation, and as such, their mutual understanding can only come from finding the middle ground—a spiritual bond. By so doing, these two different parts of Creation will complement one another and help each other develop spiritually. The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches us how to create that connection.
Today, it’s almost impossible for modern men and women to connect because their egos are bigger than ever before. In the past, people’s egos were smaller and they managed to live together without creating a spiritual bond. Today, however, they have greater desires, and it’s impossible to reconcile their differences without a method to take control of the ego and develop a spiritual connection. This is also the reason why so many couples today are getting divorced: They just can’t stand each other! And the truth is, it’s not their fault—they just lack the method to understand and manage with the other sex, the other part of Creation.
Hence, the only solution is to reveal the method of connection to couples. Today’s increasing gaps between men and women can no longer be bridged by regular means, because these are two different forms of egoism.
The method of Kabbalah enables men and women to rise above their egos and bond, and this is what is meant by the Kabbalistic verse, “Man, woman and the Divine Presence between them” (Babylonian Talmud).
Q: Recently, I read that the Kabbalah Centre claims to have the copyrights for the 72 names of God, and from now on, anyone who wants to use them will have to get their official approval. What are these 72 names? And can anyone claim exclusivity over the names of God?
A: The 72 names are the “Light of Hochma (wisdom)” that shines upon us and fulfills the “vessel of Hasadim (Mercy)” within our souls. Only Kabbalists who reach the spiritual level called “Gar of Atzilut” are able to sense such a powerful fulfillment within their souls, also called “Light of AB SAG.”
It doesn’t matter whether or not you understand these Kabbalistic terms. What’s important is to realize that these notions are completely detached from our corporeal world and have nothing to do with the misconceptions some people attribute to them, like “holy water,” charms, or blessings.
People who look for corporeal fulfillment, such as wealth or luck in romance, sometimes think that “special objects,” amulets, spells, or name combinations will help them find what they’re looking for. However, all these gimmicks are completely unrelated to what the 72 names really stand for. These names symbolize different aspects of the quality of the Creator—the quality of pure bestowal.
When a person is on the true spiritual path, he desires to attain these qualities of bestowal—the 72 names. His goal is to develop inner qualities that are similar to these names, but to do so, he must reach very advanced levels of connecting to the Creator, resembling Him. Only once a person attains these high, spiritual levels, can he reveal the exalted Lights in his corrected soul.
In contrast, when people try to play around with letters and names, or to create lucky charms, this may have a psychological influence on them, but will bring no spiritual influence whatsoever. While these things may provide some people with psychological comfort, they will not solve the root of their problems.
In truth, every desire that awakens in us expresses an unconscious longing for spirituality. But in order for us to become conscious of this, we must first grow disillusioned from looking for true fulfillment in all the means of this world. As soon as we are ready, we discover the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah, which teaches us about spirituality and our life’s purpose. Kabbalah explains the structure of the spiritual worlds and shows how we can equalize with the quality of the Creator. That is when we start our path to discovering the 72 names of the Creator.
Q: Do angels and demons exist in our world? The Kabbalists describe angels and demons in their books, while using words, names and descriptions of our world. So how does Kabbalah define angels and demons?
A: They are defined only as forces. All in all, there is nothing in the universe but forces. These forces work on us, depicting all kinds of shapes and images within us, like on a TV or a computer screen. Everything we see in our world is the product of how these forces are displayed within us.
In the spiritual world, there are no images whatsoever, but only forces and qualities. When we sense spirituality, we sense spiritual forces working on us. In Kabbalah, names such as angels, devils, demons and so forth are only used to indicate forces. For instance, you can call the force of gravity, “the angel of gravity” if you like!