Audio Version Of The Blog – 02.18.12

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A Play That Transforms Into Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanNature develops us incrementally, in stages. Each time, at every stage, through each generation we acquire more and more reason and feeling, we come to know nature and creation, rise above everything, and learn to perceive, to dominate…. And evidently, in the end of his development, man will indeed attain the highest level of reality.

In this case, let’s take a look at what helps us develop, what forces operate us.

Let’s examine the picture as a whole through a particular example of a child. In the absence of external human factors, he or she will develop like an animal under the influence of his natural impulses and urges. In this case, a child won’t mature to the level of the things humanity has created for him. If he isn’t placed into a society of peers, he will not know how to behave with other people, how to connect, play, and communicate with them, how to use them, help them, and seek their help.

On the other hand, if we organize an environment for him: a kindergarten, a school, educators, and games, if parents constantly try to develop him by means of external stimuli that will draw him forward instead of natural impulses that push him from behind, his growth will accelerate greatly. He can be taught music, drawing, sculpture, dancing, computer skills, and many other things—on the condition that we provide him with these means from the outside.

Accordingly, there are two forces of development: One pushes from the back naturally, and the other pulls from the front through the means of a correct environment.

Perhaps that very same principle pertains to us too? After thousands of years we finally understand that we need to develop like a fruit on a tree, from bad states to good. So let us organize an environment for ourselves that will draw us forward. Then we would go through the remaining phases quickly and comfortably, without receiving painful blows from behind. Let us take advantage of development games, intelligent explanations, and other wonderful means, whose influence will be gentle and pleasant.

Today, having already figured out the two modes of our development, we ended up in a truly tragic state and confronted by the global crisis. Humanity doesn’t know how to care for itself. It resembles a lost child who helplessly stands in the middle of a room, feeling that he’s been abandoned by everyone. The crisis engulfs all realms: family, education, culture, relationships between parents and children, drugs, divorces, science, and most importantly, economic and financial systems. Moreover, we are are experiencing an ecological crisis, having absolutely no idea what great catastrophes will befall us in the near future.

Are we capable of bringing everything into order? Are we capable of developing as comfortably and quickly as possible? We see that this depends on the environment. We also see that we can actually organize an environment for ourselves that will speed up our development.

Thousands of years passed before we invented many different tools for a child: games, computers, music, dances, activities of various kinds, and swimming pools…. After all, we had to first understand that it’s all actually worth it. Perhaps we need to implement the same scheme for the human society too?

We already know that to accelerate development, we need special means. For example, to hatch chicken eggs, we don’t wait for a hen to sit on them, but rather incubate the eggs and thereby supply the needed amount of chickens and eggs without waiting for favors from nature.

It turns out that our whole problem is only in acquiring an understanding about the means through which a modern person can be developed. We can also see the solution thanks to the modern global, integral crisis.

On one hand, it encompasses the whole world, but on the other, this threatening state essentially demonstrates a lack of our development. Today we are discovering that we are completely and totally dependent on each other. All kinds of research illustrate that. And essentially, our inability to unite is the source of all problems. We make our own life more difficult and insecure; we ourselves introduce fear and limitations into it. Something is interfering with our correct unification. Yet, by unifying among ourselves we would eliminate the majority of disasters.

Besides, we can confirm this by taking a look at the path of development we’ve already undergone. With every change of the generations, the population of the earth grew, education improved, and we witnessed the development of culture, industry, cooperation, collaboration, mutual dependence, and so on. But right now we depend on each other not in things that pertain to our salary, income, banking, and business. We depend on each other in the human factor: We are not able to establish a connection, and its lack is preventing us from bringing security into our lives. We are similar to spouses that cannot get along inside their four walls. Except we cannot divorce because, as it were, we don’t have an extra planet.

Thus, experience and research indicate that the most desirable form of our development is unification, just like for a pair of lovebirds. If humanity finds a way to unite, it will achieve happiness.

Thus it’s clear what we need to do: We need to create an environment for ourselves that will educate us about how to unite correctly. Thereby we will be like a wise little boy who, knowing that he needs to grow up correctly, builds a corresponding environment for himself. For example, he comes to his neighbors and says: “I will give you money so that you start to unite demonstratively with each other and display your unity for me. Pull me into your unity, embody it like actors who are performing a play about a happy life. I know that these examples will help me to grow up in a good and correct way. In this manner, with your help, I want to liberate myself from the current situation.”

Another example: I wouldn’t mind studying music, but on the other hand, I don’t have a burning desire for it. I need a “locomotive,” an environment that will draw me forward, egging me on with brilliant prospects of the chosen path. Then I will reach out to musicians and pay them so they would come to my get-togethers, play their music, talk about music, or compose something while I’m around. All that impresses me, I understand that music is a sublime art, very deep and significant. Even though I paid them, the “harmony of the spheres” nevertheless enchants me.

In this manner the environment helps me develop through a kind path. Even if the means seem fake, the result is very real.

The most important thing here is the society. I can create this society myself, but undoubtedly it can also be formed for me by wise people who know how to use this resource. The world has many scientists and specialists who are very knowledgeable about human development, we only need to help them and to hear what they are saying. And they all say the same thing: We should surround ourselves with a society that will exert a correct influence on all of us.

Then we will set a correct course and will go along a kind path of incremental development. We will “ripen” ourselves before misfortunes and misery force us to do it through pressure from behind. Or, putting it differently, we will quickly hatch inside our “incubator” into a life in a new wonderful world.
[66153] 
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 2, 12/28/11

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Not All That Tastes Bitter Is Unfit For Use

Dr. Michael LaitmanIf we cast a glance at our own history, we can see that we are continuously developing. While the vegetative and animate levels of nature hardly change in the course of centuries, we develop with each succession of the generations and even during the span of a single generation.

I, for example, started life in the first half of the last century, and with the transition into the  21st century I see how the world has changed. Back then people were tied to villages, rural communities, and small towns with their set ways of life, while today everything is dynamic, everything is different: ways of thinking, approaches to life, and so on.

A question therefore arises: Is it not enough that we are born and live our life from year to year? Why do we need to change? It’s obvious that a newborn baby needs to grow in order to start living a meaningful adult life, start a family, have children, and pass his acquisitions to them so that they would continue his path. But why do people need some additional development, aside from the chain of generations inherent to the animal world? Where does this opposition come from? What is the goal of human development? This is something we don’t see.

Still, we can draw an analogy with a baby who is not yet ready for life. A lengthy development is required for a child in order to acquire reason, strength, and feeling until he or she actually learns to understand life, to arrange and alter it. Perhaps it’s the same story with us? Maybe the thousands of years of our development are comparable to the life of one person? Maybe every century of human history is like one year for a child?

However, we don’t yet see where we’re going. A child’s development proceeds on a well-trodden path, and we know how to secure for him all the necessary means, including exercises, games, and a specialized environment. And yet the goal of the universal human development is unknown to us, and that’s why we don’t notice the progress of the generations. It appears to us that this progress is random.

Like some clueless parents, we are looking at the baby and don’t understand where it came from and what for. We don’t have any idea about how to raise it, what exercises to give him, or what environment to place him in. As a result, our little one will tread through a thorny trail, lacking the necessary natural desires that would nudge him towards a true path.

With our own children, we give them knowledge, instill feelings, we teach them reading and writing, music, and drawing. They live in an artificial world in comparison to which the external world of adults seems like a feral prairie.

But where are the caring parents and educators of all of humanity? They are absent, and that’s why every generation, despite all the progress, is more miserable than the previous—it lacks more. On one hand, we achieve ever more, while on the other, we become more and more empty.

So what exactly have we come to today? What have we achieved? What did all our development give us? We went into space, walked on the Moon, but this topic isn’t especially popular these days, it’s hackneyed and superficial. We’ve achieved impressive results here on Earth, but we still haven’t found happiness, still haven’t discovered how to arrange our life.

The global crisis is escalating, families are collapsing, both parents and children are suffering, society is suffering, drug addictions are thriving, terrorism thunders, and depression is becoming the most widespread illness. Where is the joy? Where is the good mood?

It turns out that humanity doesn’t have kind parents to surround us with concern and raise us correctly.

In the meantime, we see that nature zealously cares for the correct development of each of its parts. When we become parents, we experience immeasurable love for our children, we want to give them only the absolute best, we dedicate our entire life to them. The best experts, enormous resources, and top technologies are placed at the service of children and their development.

And despite all that, we are not achieving success even though nature supplied us with all the necessary means. It gave us love without which we would remain indifferent to our children. In the same way the animals also love their offspring.

Ultimately, it becomes apparent that nature, while caring for the development of all creatures, demonstrates towards them a rather peculiar attitude. On one hand, it creates secure conditions for correct growth by inducing in parents this instinctual love towards children. As a result, we don’t have any other choice, we are simply obliged to care for them. But on the other hand, we see that the human species fails to attain any success.

A fruit on a tree is born bitter and unattractive, but in the end it ripens and appears in all its glory, juicy and fragrant. What if we are similar to this fruit? What if right now we’re undergoing transitional stages of development and simply haven’t ripened yet? It’s possible that our current state is akin to a sour, hard, unripe apple that hasn’t yet acquired its full colors? Without knowing it in advance, how can one foresee the happy finale of its development?

Similarly, looking at a little senseless child who still has a lot of growing up to do, it’s difficult to imagine that someday he would merge with the grownup life, act independently, and learn new things, changing the world. In contrast, an animal hardly develops at all beyond the few weeks past his birth. Acting on instinct, it doesn’t change itself or the world.

Hence the following conclusions can be drawn. First of all, our development occurs in phases. Moreover, the more “sour” the creation is at the beginning, the “sweeter” it will be in the end. And the further it develops, the more states it undergoes, the more magnificent is the finale of its development, and the more exalted are its achievements.

By collecting all those examples that Nature is showing us into a single picture, we can conclude that we are going along a path of particular development. From generation to generation we are developing as one being that hasn’t yet completed the transitional phases. This is why we’re so “bitter,” so unsuccessful. However, at the end of our development, a wonderful, perfect state undoubtedly awaits us.

We see that the human species dominates over the vegetative and animate world. A human being is the crown of creation. This is why the development of man takes the longest time. This is why he undergoes the most extreme states on the way, which seemingly do not relate to the same species.

And as far as nature that develops us is concerned, we can draw conclusions about ourselves and nature’s relation to us only when we will see the end of development. Otherwise we would err just like with the apple, whose early ripening stages don’t seem to promise anything useful. Only in the end we see with what wisdom nature nurtured it, forming a wonderful and delicious fruit.

According to this law we need to acknowledge that we, too, are undergoing a similar development, and its goal is to undoubtedly bring us at the end of the generations to a kind, wonderful, healthy, absolute, “sweet,” and beautiful state.
[66160] 
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 2, 12/28/11 

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Man’s Responsibility To Rebuild Society

Dr. Michael LaitmanSometime in the past life, every person felt that he had had enough, he was done, it was time to make a revolution: change the environment and society. But it is not the same this time around. We understand that we need to change everything, but we do not know where to begin. We don’t know the means or the goal; we are completely helpless.

So let us begin our first conversation by discussing what we call the evolution of human society on which we base the development of nations, family, economy, the household, upbringing of children, culture, technology, and science.

People have been living in societies for hundreds of thousands of years. At least the past tens of thousands of years, man has been living a social life because he was not able to provide everything he needed on his own. We cannot live in small tribes, like animals. Even though we came from the animal level, our nature pushes us towards personal development, the development of our environment, learning about life and ways to improve it.

This is a person’s inner aspiration; it is an egoistic nature because everyone wants a better life for himself, a more confident and peaceful life. Everyone wants to have more success than others. Envy, lust, and ambition rule people, and we see that these qualities evolved and blossomed in very ancient cultures. They push us to develop.

This is why a person needs to live in a community. He could have survived in the woods, but he would have remained as an animal, like all other animals. We know of cases where children were lost in the woods and they grew up like animals. Animals adopted them, and the human took on the form of an animal to such a degree that he no longer is able to return to a human society, that is the extent to which he loses the human form.

This is why throughout all generations, our development has been directed towards society and the environment. And the further we develop, the more we see that man himself does not change very much. The major changes happen in society, and all development depends on it.

The person develops the society, and his personal life changes through the society. One depends on the other. Today I depend on thousands of people around the world, because if we were to look at what I am wearing, what I eat, what my house is made with, what my heating, air conditioning, and work depend on, we would not be able to find even one country, which did not participate in providing me with everything I have.

And when it does not happen directly, it happens through another several countries: one country supplies materials, another supplies machine parts, which produce certain goods, which in turn are used to make my clothes, for example. Studies show that everyone in the world depends on everyone else.

And the more the world delves into specialization where everyone’s work is connected and in harmony with all the other people, the more additional goods we can provide for ourselves, goods that were not available in the past.

In past centuries, a person provided a bit of bread, vinegar, wine and meat for himself, and that is it. Then there was a little more food, more clothes, more shoes, and many different industries. Then there were cars. And with that, experts developed in economics, agriculture, engineering, etc. Culture, literature, music, and songs developed.

Entire industries appeared around a person, things not even required for survival but which he can’t live without. A musician goes on stage and gives a concert in front of a thousand people who pay him more for that one performance than a working man makes in a month, or maybe even a year of really hard work. In other words, we value things that are not essential for us: sports, tourism.

If we were to look at how much of what we produce are actually necessities, we would discover that about 90% is unnecessary. But we still kind of need them. We feel that they belong to the human level, and this is why we need them.

Of course, I could also survive in a cave if I do not have another choice, but evolution obligates me to produce all these things.

We have reached a state where people who break away from society will be obligated to live a very meager life. The most he will be able to provide for himself are the very basic necessities, just not to starve to death. But if he wishes to receive everything that comes with civilization, he must join society, produce the goods that it needs, and then he will receive what he wants from the society to the extent it’s possible.

So, primarily we depend on society. This is inevitable. So, where did we go wrong in this society if we are now unable to live in it normally and are experiencing crises in this society and our lives. This crisis does not feel good; this is not yet the actual birth, but the birthing pains which precede it, and this is why we want to figure out what is wrong.
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From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 1, 12/27/11

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Dr. Michael LaitmanOnce we thought that human egoistic development could be infinite, that we would continue to invent wonderful new machines, that every person would have his own plane, and we would have unprecedented ways to connect. But eventually, the person consuming all these things suddenly discovers that he does not want any more of it; what is it all for? He feels emptiness and lack of fulfillment in all of this.

Why does it not bring him satisfaction? The problem is that the entire development happens through the desires, which are constantly growing. And suddenly they stopped growing! On the contrary, we feel many desires actually go backward.

Once a person wanted to have a big family, the bigger the better, many children, and even many wives. Then it became unnecessary; one wife and two children were enough, even one child was enough. And today he no longer wants even that. Life is becoming so hard and complicated that people do not want to leave their parents’ home in developed countries until they are 30-40 years old.

A person works and spends all his money on himself; why does he need a wife and children? He can travel, rest, have fun, and feel free. His mother takes care of him and he is happy.

We have built a society with such a developed infrastructure that we can buy prepared foods in supermarkets; just heat it up in the microwave and dinner is ready. There is no need to share an apartment with anyone; a person can have his own, and he feels free. And once I get old, I am entitled to a pension, medical insurance, hospital care, and a plot in the cemetery; what else is there for me? Is it worth spending my entire life working hard?

Our ego is becoming so huge that we feel incapable of connecting with others, investing our energy in them, caring for them so they later would care for us. I do not feel capable of connecting with anyone this much.

Or we have an opportunity to unite under mutually beneficial conditions, and my wife and I live as two friends, partners. Our life resembles more than just two people living together, a real family, as it used to be. I work, and she works. She does something around the house, and I do something. She pays and I pay.

We equally participate in everything. This is not the kind of family where the husband once was the master, the head of the household; he worked and provided for the wife who was at home bringing up the children. Now both of them leave home early, drop the children off at day care or kindergarten, come home at night, and pick up the children. And how much time do they have left at home? They almost do not even see each other. He watches a little television or sits at the computer, she quickly wipes a little dust, washes the dishes, throws the laundry in the washing machine, and that is it, the day is done.

Now they are completely equal, not like it used to be when one was higher and another was lower, where there was the head of the household, the master. In other words, family has lost its initial structure and has become a simple partnership. And if this is nothing but a partnership agreement, I will always try to see whether it benefits me. I enter this union if it is beneficial to me, and I leave it if it is not. And this is why people divorce and do not even wish to form these unions.

This is a fact. And we are studying the causes of it. Our ego has grown so much that it tells us that we should not enter the kind of partnerships called marriage.

A person’s ego has caused him to stop feeling that his children are close to him, like parts of his own soul. The children have their own lives; they study in places very far from us. The difference between the generations is becoming so huge that children are becoming completely separated from their parents. They have a different education, different interests, and they are so far from me that I can barely understand what they are speaking of, what they do, and what matters to them.

The connection between the generations has been broken. So, why would I even need these children? What pleasure is there in having them? They just want me to give them money and be quiet. We still enjoy them while they are little. But we lose any connection with them as they turn twelve.

In the good old days, a person would bring up his children, then he waited to have grandchildren and helped bring them up; he enjoyed them all. But I don’t have this today because my children do not want to marry and give me grandchildren.

A person doesn’t make these calculations consciously, but his lack of desire to have a family happens naturally based on our developed egoism.

We were developing demographically in a very rapid, exponential manner, and suddenly our development started to even out. Demographic specialists, who make prognoses for human development, predict that the number of people in the world will be undergoing a very sharp decrease in the near term. So far the population is still increasing due to a number of regions, mostly in Arabic countries, where there are still strong traditions and religious rules regarding developing and having many children.

But in developed Arabic countries, people now have 2-3 children instead of 10-15 children as it was before. So we see that they are quickly catching up to the rest of the world.
[65858]
From KabTV’s “A New Life” Episode 1, 12/27/11

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Half Of Jobs To Disappear By 2030

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Thomas Frey, futurist): “When I brought up the idea of 2 billion jobs disappearing (roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet) it wasn’t intended as a doom and gloom outlook. Rather, it was intended as a wakeup call, letting the world know how quickly things are about to change, and letting academia know that much of the battle ahead will be taking place at their doorstep.

Power Industry

“These technologies will shift utilities around the world from national grids to micro grids that can be scaled from a single home to entire cities.

Automobile Transportation – Going Driverless

“Over the next 10 years we will see the first wave of autonomous vehicles hit the roads, with some of the first inroads made by vehicles that deliver packages, groceries, and fast-mail envelopes.

“Driverless technology will initially require a driver, but it will quickly creep into everyday use much as airbags did. First as an expensive option for luxury cars, but eventually it will become a safety feature stipulated by the government.

“The privilege of driving is about to be redefined.

Education

“The OpenCourseware Movement took hold in 2001 when MIT started recording all their courses and making them available for free online. They currently have over 2080 courses available that have been downloaded 131 million times.

“Now, the 8,000 pound gorilla in the OpenCourseware space is Apple’s iTunes U. This platform offers over 500,000 courses from 1,000 universities that have been downloaded over 700 million times. Recently they also started moving into the K-12 space.

“All of these courses are free for anyone to take. So how do colleges, that charge steep tuitions, compete with “free”?

“As the OpenCourseware Movement has shown us, courses are becoming a commodity. Teachers only need to teach once, record it, and then move on to another topic or something else.

3D Printers

“Unlike a machine shop that starts with a large piece of metal and carves away everything but the final piece, 3D printing is an object creation technology where the shape of the objects are formed through a process of building up layers of material until all of the details are in place.

“Three-dimensional printing makes it as cheap to create single items as it is to produce thousands of items and thus undermines economies of scale. It may have as profound an impact on the world as the coming of the factory did during the Henry Ford era.

Robots

“We are moving quickly past the robotic vacuum cleaner stage to far more complex machines.

“The BigDog robot… is among the most impressive and potentially useful for troops in the immediate future–it’s being developed to act as an autonomous drone assistant that’ll carry gear for soldiers across rough battlefield terrain.

“Nearly every physical task can conceivably be done by a robot at some point in the future.

“All of this technology could make us fat, dumb, and lazy, and the problems we thought we were solving become far more complicated.”

My Comment: Robots will replace people anyway. Progress cannot be stopped. Besides that, the reduction of unnecessary production will free another half of the working population. But people will have to use the freed time for “producing” themselves—building an integral society of reasonable consumption. This will bring them to the next level of the understanding of the world, beyond the limits of life and death. This is the requirement of the law of our development, and we will be forced to obey it.
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20 Signs That Europe Is Plunging Into A Full-Blown Economic Depression

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (from The American Dream): “The tax increases and budget cuts that are being implemented right now in Europe will be felt for years to come. The tremendous economic prosperity that was fueled by unprecedented amounts of debt will now give way to tremendous economic suffering.

“The following are 20 signs that Europe is plunging into a full-blown economic depression.

#1 The unemployment rate for those between the ages of 16 and 24 is 28 percent in Italy, 43 percent in Greece and 51 percent in Spain.
#2 Overall, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in the EU is 22.7 percent.
#3 Citigroup is projecting that the economy of Portugal will shrink by 5.7 percent this year.
#4 The total of all forms of debt in Portugal (government, business and consumer) is equivalent to 360 percent of GDP.
#5 The Greek “recession” is now entering a fifth year.
#6 The Greek economy shrank by 6 percent during 2011.
#7 It is being projected that the Greek economy will shrink by another 5 percent during 2012.
#8 The overall unemployment rate in Greece is now 18.5 percent.
#9 In Greece, 20 percent of all retail stores have been permanently shut down.
#10 The number of suicides in Greece rose by 40 percent in just one recent 12 month time period.
#11 According to the IMF, the amount of debt accumulated by the Greek government is equal to approximately 160 percent of GDP.
#12 In total, there are now more than 5 million unemployed workers in Spain.
#13 Bad loans in Spain recently reached a 17-year high.
#14 The overall unemployment rate in Spain is now a whopping 22.8 percent.
#15 The number of property repossessions in Spain has risen by 32 percentover the past year.
#16 When the maturing debt that the Italian government must roll over in 2012 is added to their projected budget deficit, the total comes to approximately 23.1 percent of Italy’s GDP.
#17 Manufacturing activity in the euro z one has fallen for five months in a row.
#18 The UK economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.
#19 The German economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.
#20 The Baltic Dry Index, often used as a gauge for the health of the world economy, has fallen a staggering 61 percent since October.

“Economic gloom is slowly spreading throughout Europe like a dark cloud. Some of the strongest economies in Europe are only just starting to slow down. Others are already gripped by tremendous economic pain. Much of the EU is already experiencing an economic depression…. As things fall apart in Europe, the political wrangling is going to become even more intense.”

My Comment: The method of correction of man and the world attests to the need for a person to reach complete despair at his inability to correct his situation. Only then does the vision of solution become revealed in him: the transition to a new system of integral social and national relations (the principle of mutual guarantee).

However, the awareness of the trend and natural law of social development towards a unified integral kind and dissemination of this knowledge may accelerate in society the feeling of the need to correct our nature and start changing before the dramatic situation takes place, to “take the medicine at an early stage of the disease.” Just how can we reach people?
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