Defining Vital Necessities

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You have said that in order to solve the global crisis it is necessary to reduce consumption. How does minimal consumption differ from vital consumption? For example, can a watch costing a thousand Euros be considered a vital necessity?

Answer: This question is not simple. I would even say there’s a catch to it. Let me explain it by way of a Kabbalistic parable that’s 2000 years old.

Once upon a time there were two friends. One was rich and the other was average, but they were both on the spiritual level. One day the rich man went bankrupt and then his friend started serving him like a servant, wishing to provide him with the necessary level of existence that he was used to. That’s because previously his friend had serrvants, so when he lost them, he felt like he lost something that was necessary.

This is an interesting example, but it is not suitable for out times because nature obligates us otherwise. We have no choice but to restrict our consumption since otherwise we will devastate the planet earth. It’s not just that we have to reduce our necessities, but we have to reach a state where we would be happy to get rid of our necessities, but are obligated to receive them because we have to exist in our bodies in this world.

I have a big desire, which includes the level of my regular life where I have physical necessities as well as social necessities, such as education, culture, vacations, and trips. No one says you have to give them up. You need an apartment, everything necessary for it, a wife, children, and so on.

The problem is our consumption above the norm. If you study the science of Kabbalah, you will involuntarily consume only what is necessary because the most important thing to you is spiritual fulfillment. Therefore, you are happy that you do not reveal these excessive desires inside of you and you would be happy even to get rid of the normal desires, but you need them in order to support your existence. This is called necessity.
From the 1st lesson at the Madrid Convention 6/4/11

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