Good Environment – 10.31.11

My Good Environment – Dr. Laitman’s Advice for the Week

The Convention Is A Breakthrough

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: A few days ago we held a wonderful dissemination action of giving out newspapers. People immediately started reading them with great interest, which made us extremely happy. How can we retain that happiness and bring it to the December convention?

Answer: We are living in a big world which is rushing toward a new state. People are starting to understand that something has gone awry even though they’re not exactly sure what that is. Every person is yelling about his own concerns, and that is natural. That is how we are built: From the youngest age, we do not even suspect what we are really crying about. People are sounding calls for equality and social justice; the only problem is that everyone has their own idea of justice.

However, the pressure will continue growing and expanding. We will see how the relationships between nations and civilizations will add fuel to the fire and it will get even hotter.

For us, this is a completely clear sign that we have to start acting. With time, people won’t simply wait for new materials from us. They will feel that Light is flowing here, that this is where life lingers. Right now they are inspired by the lively, warm, smart words that are helping them figure out what is happening and to gain at least a slight understanding of what they want, what they are yelling about. By reading about it, they are making an order of things inside of them. A person felt bad, and now he understands exactly what the problem is, what he should aspire to, and what he should be watchful of.

In essence, we are “formatting” or building people from within. But this is only good for a start. Back in your day you were also brought to Kabbalah by a certain inexplicable desire. But then comes a period when the Light has to appear. It is what will bring the changes. We cannot drag this out for too long because otherwise the Light will become revealed in the opposite form, as disasters, epidemics, and other catastrophes on a global scale. A long time ago, the prophets wrote about how dangerous this path is.

Therefore, we have to take care of the Light that reforms. This Light only comes from unity, which does not exist in our world. After all, we are animals, but if we unite the points in our hearts, not our bodies, but precisely these particles of the Creator, our spiritual aspirations, if we try to weld them into one, then we evoke the Light that reforms. It is contained or concealed inside of this unity.

Once this Light appears, it will unite us. Then our dissemination will shift to a new level. It will no longer be newspapers and websites, but we will become revealed in people from within. Without understanding why, they will start asking questions about mutual guarantee and Kabbalah, and will start to look for us under the guiding influence of the Light. You came to the group accidentally, as it were, and likewise, they too will turn around, not exactly in our direction, but in the right direction nevertheless.

The world is moving forward more and more swiftly. And that is a huge mass of people. On one hand, they are feeling worse and worse, and on the other, a good solution is starting to take shape before them. Therefore, the upcoming convention will have to unite our points and reveal the Light which will pour out of us like a spring of living water and fill the whole world. That is exactly what we must achieve.

We have to prepare in such a way that the convention will become a flash of Light, a breakthrough of the spiritual force which will aim the world toward goodness with one blow. Then we will immediately feel how the world is changing, right during the days of the convention and onward.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/11, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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The Incredible Mastery Of The System Of Governance

Dr. Michael LaitmanSo many preparations were made by our breaking and so many opportunities were opened up by it for our benefit that it was nothing short of a divine act. This is such an ingenious invention that we are unable to even evaluate it duly.

This is expressed especially in the material garments, in which we are able to exist egoistically while advancing toward bestowal. It is impossible to even imagine how such a miracle is possible! I am in a minus, in evil, in hatred for the neighbor and the Creator, in total opposition to Him, and at the same time, I use them in order to profit off them (or at least that’s how it seems to me). And when I use them for my own benefit, as it seems to me, I actually advance in the reverse direction, meaning toward bestowal to them.

It turns out that by virtue of the breaking, two separate laws of creation emerge, which are connected in a way that enables us to use them even while we are in egoism.

After the breaking, all actions are performed upon us by the world of Atzilut. That is why such a difficult, complex, and perfect mechanism exists in it. After all, it has to work on us from the upper dimension, from the world of bestowal. It has to connect with us, egoists.

And even though we desire the opposite things, nevertheless the system of the world of Atzilut is by its nature built in such a way that it treats us correctly. Even if we are asking for ourselves, egoistically, yet by virtue of the fact that our external actions seem bestowing because we are trying to unite into a group and are working for the sake of dissemination, this is enough for the surrounding Light to shine upon us.

The Light can never become inner and enter these egoistic vessels, but it glows for us from afar, even in these desires that are opposite and unsuitable for it. We have absolutely opposite intentions, yet it shines for us.

This is a very complex mechanism.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/31/11, Talmud Eser Sefirot

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Approaching The G20 Summit

Opinion: (Barack Obama, the US President [my comments are in brackets]): “When leaders of the largest economies meet next week in France, our citizens will be watching for the same sense of common purpose that allowed us to rescue the global economy two years ago from a financial crisis that was sparked by years of irresponsibility.

“Because of the co-ordinated action the Group of 20 took then, the global economy began to grow again. [The crisis was not overcome, it was only concealed. It continues to develop only to flare up even stronger.]

“Still, progress has not come fast enough and today the global recovery remains fragile. [It is not recovering, but falling apart—if we dare to face the truth.]

“Our challenge is clear. [It is not clear, judging by what the President says next.] We must stay focused on the strong, sustainable, and balanced growth that boosts global demand and creates jobs and opportunity for our people. [This can never happen; the bubbles have burst, and excess production will need to be stopped.] This requires action in several areas.

“First, as the world’s largest economy, the US will continue to lead. The single most effective thing we can do to get the global economy growing faster is to get the US economy growing faster. That’s why my highest priority is putting Americans back to work. It’s why I’ve proposed the American Jobs Act [a plan to increase the number of jobs]… It’s why I signed landmark trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama….

“At the same time, we’re building on the nearly $1,000bn in spending cuts agreed this summer.

“Second, the crisis in Europe must be resolved as quickly as possible. This week, our European allies made important progress on a strategy to restore confidence in European financial markets, laying a critical foundation on which to build.

“Given the scope of the challenge and the threat to the global economy, it is important for all of us that this strategy be implemented successfully – including building a credible firewall that prevents the crisis from spreading, strengthening European banks, charting a sustainable path for Greece and tackling the structural issues at the heart of the current crisis.

“Third, each nation must do its part to ensure that global growth is balanced and sustainable so we avoid slipping into old imbalances. For some countries, this means confronting their own fiscal challenges. For countries with large surpluses, it means taking additional steps to support growth. For export-oriented economies, it means working to boost domestic demand.

“Avoiding old imbalances also means moving ahead with financial reforms that can help prevent another financial crisis. In the US, we’re implementing the strongest reforms since the Great Depression. Across the G20, we need to make sure banks maintain the capital they need to withstand shocks, and there needs to be greater oversight and transparency to avoid excessive risks, especially with regard to derivatives.

“Finally, the G20 nations must deepen co-operation on the range of global challenges that affect our shared prosperity. We need to move ahead with our commitment to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels and transition to 21st-century clean-energy economies.” [It’s an old-fashioned approach that does not take into consideration the new integrated world and the fact that we can’t increase excessive and unnecessary production. It shows a lack of understanding of the need to study the new integrated, interconnected world and to restructure our life to suit its laws.]

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Not The Financial, But The Global Crisis

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion: (Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s Finance Minister): “The world economy faces a lost decade of low growth even though it is still possible to stave off another global recession, Russia’s finance minister was quoted as saying on Saturday. ‘We are probably faced with a lost decade. It is already obvious that growth rates are going to be low,’ Alexei Kudrin told Russian reporters on the sidelines of the G20 finance ministers meeting in Washington. ‘The fight with a fading of growth is going to take many years, most likely 5-10 years,’ added Kudrin.”

My Comment: If there are no extraordinary events, wars, or disasters, the economy will never grow again, and the world will gradually realize that man was created not for unrestrained pursuit of elusive happiness in wealth, power, and fame, but for reasonably limited consumption and unlimited spiritual growth.

In the name of what should we hope for the continuing growth? The rich get richer, the poor get poorer! The crisis is not financial, but of the world we have created. Either the Finance Minister does not understand it, or he is stretching the truth….

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A Recipe For Saving Capitalism

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion: (Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at New York University): “This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability…

“While these protests have no unified theme, they express in different ways the serious concerns of the world’s working and middle classes about their prospects in the face of the growing concentration of power among economic, financial, and political elites. The causes of their concern are clear enough: high unemployment and underemployment in advanced and emerging economies; inadequate skills and education for young people and workers to compete in a globalized world; resentment against corruption, including legalized forms like lobbying; and a sharp rise in income and wealth inequality in advanced and fast-growing emerging-market economies.

“The increase in private- and public-sector leverage and the related asset and credit bubbles are partly the result of inequality. Mediocre income growth for everyone but the rich in the last few decades opened a gap between incomes and spending aspirations. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the response was to democratize credit – via financial liberalization – thereby fueling a rise in private debt as households borrowed to make up the difference. In Europe, the gap was filled by public services – free education, health care, etc. – that were not fully financed by taxes, fueling public deficits and debt. In both cases, debt levels eventually became unsustainable.

“Firms in advanced economies are now cutting jobs, owing to inadequate final demand, which has led to excess capacity, and to uncertainty about future demand. But cutting jobs weakens final demand further, because it reduces labor income and increases inequality. Because a firm’s labor costs are someone else’s labor income and demand, what is individually rational for one firm is destructive in the aggregate.

“The result is that free markets don’t generate enough final demand. In the US, for example, slashing labor costs has sharply reduced the share of labor income in GDP. With credit exhausted, the effects on aggregate demand of decades of redistribution of income and wealth – from labor to capital, from wages to profits, from poor to rich, and from households to corporate firms – have become severe, owing to the lower marginal propensity of firms/capital owners/rich households to spend.

“The problem is not new. Karl Marx oversold socialism, but he was right in claiming that globalization, unfettered financial capitalism, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. As he argued, unregulated capitalism can lead to regular bouts of over-capacity, under-consumption, and the recurrence of destructive financial crises, fueled by credit bubbles and asset-price booms and busts.

“To stabilize market-oriented economies requires a return to the right balance between markets and provision of public goods.

“Any economic model that does not properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis of legitimacy. Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, with social and political instability eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare.”

My Comment: Like all economists, Roubini tries to save the economy, meaning the connections between different parts of society in their mutual exchange of valuables, without considering that the structure of society has changed, and from egoistic connections between everybody, there emerged new connections of complete mutual dependence between all countries, organizations, and people.

None of today’s economists is able to consider such mutual dependence because no one has this model of the world within himself. For this, a person has to be at the level of “love thy neighbor.” Only then, sensing this system within, he or she will be able to understand, simply and naturally, how to trade, communicate, connect, distribute, exchange goods, and so on, which is what the world economy has to describe.

Therefore, Marx warned that the transition to the new economy must go hand in hand with raising the moral level of people, who will be able to implement this. Baal HaSulam wrote that we should sit on a school bench and study. And only to the extent of our inner transformation, we will be able to understand the state we find ourselves in and see the degree of our interconnection. Then we will be able to act in concord with these natural relationships revealed between us.

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Creating The Model Of A New World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: At the December Convention, we want to celebrate the birth of a new world. What should we concentrate on?

Answer: We must unite for the sake of the values that we want to highlight at the convention. Day by day, we should put more and more effort to feel ourselves living in a new world. We need to play it, imagine it in the relationships between us, in all our thoughts and actions.

As Baal HaSulam writes, we must create a model of the new society, which will form the basis of the new world and will allow everyone to learn from our example. So, let us first discover this new world between us. Then we will see how opportunities that we have never dreamed of open up for us in communal life, industry, commerce, education, and so on.

We don’t really understand these stages, so leave them to the Light. If you do what you can, everything else will work out. Our job is to exert effort, and opportunities will open. All our efforts need to be directed at the new world, new relationships, new society. This work should take each moment of our lives, setting the tone and creating a mood in dissemination, in the preparation for the convention, and in the relationships between the groups so that we feel ourselves as one group more and more….

Every day we should see to the growing unity and bridge the gap between the desired and current reality. If we still see negative phenomena in the world, this means that we have not achieved the correction between us. And this is the only reason.

After all, humanity develops according to what has been prepared for it, while we have freedom of choice and the ability to attract the Light, which then pours onto the entire world and establishes order in it. Thus, the convention is nearing, and everything is very serious.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/2011, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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Freedom Is Voluntary Dependence

Dr. Michael LaitmanKabbalists put a lot of emphasis on the group, and the entire question of spiritual attainment is related to this notion. This is because the group is a method, an instrument, for the attainment of the Light. It is the well, the source, of Light in our world.

The Light is the only thing that works. It does everything, awakening all the desires. Hence, if we wish to change reality, we need the Light that shines in its usual direction, but we can add our own efforts to it and accelerate our development, as well as make it desirable and good.

If we wish to be masters in the spiritual art, the Light must become the method, the instrument in our hands, and make these changes. We can only attract the Light that Reforms in the group. This is why the purpose of the group, the environment, is to reveal the Light contained in it and to let it act upon yourselves and the entire world. And the Light is revealed in our world through the group.

The direction of the Light’s influence depends on us. We cannot change its influence at all; we can only accelerate our development, make the Light shine more strongly than it naturally does. In other words, we can only increase the velocity.

However, changing the velocity means to agree with its actions and change our sensation from development. Then, development will stop being forced and undesirable; it will no longer happen under the steamroller of evolution. Instead, we will develop according to our desire and aspiration to advance.

This way, group work becomes the main work that the revelation of the Light, the Creator, and the speed of development depends on. It does not matter that we, of course, do not understand in which direction we are developing and what we need to demand. After all, once the Light becomes manifested, it will explain and illuminate everything to us, clarify our thoughts and desires, and turn us in the right direction.

We completely depend on the Light. This is why we depend on building an environment, a group. In reality, this is the only thing that we have the power to do.

In regular life, we develop the obligated way, and no one asks us where, how, and why they should turn us. We simply turn as we should, without even realizing it. The Light either turns us in a concealed way in our world or openly in the spiritual world. The only difference is whether we understand this.

In the spiritual world, we act because we agree to act, and we want the Light to operate and do all the work with us. Let it do whatever it wants with us. We are ready for it, and we cancel ourselves before its actions.

In our world, every person cancels themselves before the actions of the Light, even though they neither understand nor realize it, like a small child who plays and thinks that he is given all the freedom in this world.

I do not have freedom in the spiritual world, but I already know that I am not free, and I agree with it. However, we are given freedom of choice in the middle, between that world and this world, in the so called “middle third of Tifferet,” for us to consciously choose to want to be under the influence of the Light.

In other words, here, I always remain independent, although we do not think that this is the condition of our independence— making the decision to put ourselves under the influence of the Light that Reforms. We do not understand what the point of our freedom is—to the extent we do not feel and do not understand what it is to be free. We exist in absolute darkness and are controlled from Above.

In the spiritual world, we also exist in the Light that controls us, but here, in Klipat Noga, in the middle between the forces of sanctity and impurity, we build our path from all these states, the points of freedom that, one after the other, add up to make a line. We follow it to absolute independence and at the same time to absolute adhesion and similarity to the Creator, something that is hard for us to understand now.

All of this is analyzed and realized in the group, in society.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/30/2011, Writings of Rabash

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The Real Work Is Internal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I’ve been studying Kabbalah for a few years, and it’s clear to me that what matters most is my internal work. However, it still seems to me that I don’t really understand what it is. Will you explain in greater detail what our internal work is?

Answer: My internal work is to try as hard as I can to join the collective internal work of creating the vessel for the reception of the Light. The end of an action is in its initial thought. First, I yearn for the state in which I reveal the Creator. What is that state? It’s the state in which several points in the heart join together. If I create the right unified system with these points in which the power of bestowal resides, I will discover the force called the “Creator” in it. I will discover Him according to the level of our unity.

So our internal work is about unity, mutual guarantee. It is said: “Love thy neighbor as thyself is the great rule of the Torah.” A rule (Klal) is the vessel (Kli) that contains all the Light. This is the only thing I need, and this is why I stay focused on it.

I try to do different things that will lead to the internal unity of the points in our hearts. I look for opportunities to unite and to awaken the friends towards it. I am concerned about all of us being in one intention, thought, about being inspired and connected so that the fire among us will burn. Then we will reveal the Creator there.

His revelation is the only thing we need. The essence of the entire wisdom of Kabbalah is the revelation of the Creator to the created being in this world.
From Lesson 2 at Arava Convention 10/28/2011

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Dr. Michael LaitmanThe Creator created a perfect will to enjoy made of two forces: the force of receiving and the force of bestowal. They were perfectly balanced and receiving took place only in order to bestow. Later however, in order to allow the created being to grow, the Creator shattered these forces in it and totally disconnected the desire from Him. This was done so that the created being would be able to choose how to use the opportunities he was given, meaning these two forces, on his own.

Our world begins from a tiny spark. It contains an enormous force that until today moves the whole world and will bring it to the end of correction. The desire to receive appears in our world in the form of matter. We perceive this desire as if there is something material about it.

As this matter develops, it begins to connect, to unite. This is its correction after all the breakings and the fall, as the result of which it has reached the lowest possible point and was finally shattered.

Then, different parts of the matter begin to connect. At first they can hold one another only by physical gravitational forces. Then the connection becomes closer, and they can exchange materials. This is how biological connections are formed, in which each party gives and takes and also passes materials on to a third party.

This instinctive connection leads to the creation of life, to growth, to a process of life and death. This is the vegetative level that appears after the lower levels, in which there was only inanimate matter. The vegetative level evolves into special species like the “dog of the field” mentioned in the Ari’s writings, which is something intermediate between a plant and an animal.

The animate level is much more intricate and independent. It moves easily, and it absorbs and emits materials in a very clear manner. Every individual has its own unique character, and these creatures connect in a special way. They bear new creatures; they live and die.

So we can see that evolution is moving in the direction of connection, of mutual incorporation of opposite forces. The more forces there are and the further apart they are in quality, the more intricate and advanced the creatures they produce are when it comes to their own sensations and to the way they sense their environment.

And so through the monkey, the animate level, evolution reaches the level of man, the “speaking” level. At this level there are also those who only worry about their beastly existence, about preserving their life, which is just a bit more than that of an animal. After all, animals also build themselves a home, look for food, and take care of their offspring. This is also the life of undeveloped humans.

However, the more a person develops, the more the “human” desires, which are beyond the level of the living, awaken in him: desires for money, respect, power, and knowledge. Then human feelings awaken in us: envy, hatred, lust, and ambition.

Thus, developed people are very different in their qualities and tendencies. They are divided into different levels according to the goal of their lives and to their desires, which can be only material or more abstract, like the desire to enjoy music, art, philosophy, or science.

Still, each of them wants to use others, and the more developed a person is, the more he is attracted to it. The only difference is what one wants to gain from others, whether it is money, dominance, or knowledge. The evolution of these attributes is what advances humanity. All of it is in order to control the world and to understand it. After all, knowledge is power.

But there are people who have an additional desire, the desire to understand the meaning of life. They look for a way to reach this totally abstract goal that is beyond the limits of ordinary science. These people come to study the wisdom of Kabbalah.

They are different from others as they want even greater control—control over their own lives. They don’t ask about material things, but rather about their own essence, their goal that is beyond corporeal existence. They have the initial desire, which is outside this life and which draws them beyond this world’s limits.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/27/2011, Writings of Rabash

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