Audio Version Of The Blog – 05.06.12

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Brazil Convention – 05.06.12

Brazil Convention, Workshop 4

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Brazil Convention, Lesson 5

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Brazil Convention, Workshop 5

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Brazil Convention, Workshop 6

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IMF Tells US To Sort Out Debt, Quickly

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Google): “The International Monetary Fund issued a clarion call to bickering US politicians Tuesday, urging them to solve the country’s debt problems before a still-vulnerable economy is tipped over the brink.

“In a hallmark semi-annual report, the Washington-based fund warned policymakers on the other side of the US capital that, while the world’s largest economy is improving, they invite trouble by not addressing a looming debt crisis. …

“So far the United States has avoided the type of debt crisis that has ravaged Europe – with the dollar’s safe-haven status and moderate growth providing a sizable safety net even as agencies have downgraded the country’s credit rating. …

“A flare-up in the euro area from increased sovereign and bank stress could easily undermine confidence in the US corporate sector and thereby squeeze investment and demand undermining growth. …

“Spending cuts will automatically come into effect and major tax breaks will end in the next year if Congress does not act.”

My Comment: There is no doubt that today’s rates are pre-election and everyone understands that this will be over, and they will have to pay their bills.
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A Democratic Failure…In Europe

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Amartya Sen, the Indian Nobel Laureate professor of Economics, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University): “Several features of policy making are worrying, particularly in Europe. The first is a democratic failure. An economic policy has to be ultimately something that people understand, appreciate and support. That’s what democracy is all about. The old idea of “no taxation without representation” is not there in Europe at the moment. …

“If you are living in a southern country, in Greece, and Portugal and Spain, the electorates’ views are much less important than the views of the bankers, the rating agencies and the financial institutions. One result of European monetary integration, without a political integration, is that the population of many of these countries has no voice. Economics is de-linked from the political base. That I think is a mistake and it goes completely against the big European movement that began in the 40s and fostered the idea of a democratic, united Europe.”

My Comment: It depends upon how you define democracy. If we consider the quality of equality, Europe has been always ahead of the rest in terms of arrogance and humiliation of others. The mutual hatred of the EU countries and peoples is known in the world as a bad example. And within countries with respect to the influence of people on politics or economy, then the masters have always played tricks on their people, and people followed them. Today, the crisis is not about democracy but the opportunity to no longer “play” at it—everything is exposed.
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What To Ask For When We Are In Pain

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Our task is to transform common people’s routine desires into a plea to the Creator. How do we do that?

Answer: A mother clearly understands why her baby is crying, although the baby does not realize why he cries. The same principle applies here: We have to transform people’s desires, otherwise they won’t match the Light. People cry about troubles in their material lives, but the Light won’t respond to their complaints since He was the one who created them.

It is said: “Come to Pharaoh since I hardened his heart.” It’s the Creator who arranges our troubles and I cannot ask Him to release us from hardships, why then would He have sent them? We have to refer to Him with a different request—our appeal to help us rise above our woes and allow us to choose going through anguishes because only by doing so can we perceive Him. This is how we rise to bestowal beyond receiving.

But we are incapable of achieving this state! We are deeply sunk in egoism; we suffer; we strive to at least rid ourselves of pain as we are unable to sense enjoyment.

We should demand from Him: “Give me the power that allows me to stay above my pain.” We particularly need to be aware of our unwillingness to experience pain and our desire to stay above it: Let my body suffer, but I still can be a step higher than my body; affliction will help me escape my egoistic desires. If suffering vanishes, I will return to the Pharaoh; however, if affliction persists, I will do anything in my power to try to avoid pain.

So, suffering is a necessary prerequisite to make me run away from the Pharaoh, from my egoism. But where do I run? I beg the Creator for deliverance: “Give me a chance to escape and rise above the Pharaoh.” Even though I deal with a tiny part of the common evil, this is the kind of work that I have to do consciously. My job is not to stay a miserable animal, but rather to rise to the level of a human being. I have to realize that the human is higher than the animate level. We should draw a rigid and obvious line of separation between these two states.

  • The animal in me suffers. Let it suffer! It’s just my egoism, it’s Pharaoh, with all its pain and darkness that thickens to the degree of the “Egyptian darkness.”
  • I am above suffering striving for bestowal.

But where do I get energy to accomplish this? I am so weak that I run away from the slightest pain. The more I advance spiritually, the more sensitive I become, and things that were quite easy for me previously turn out to be unbearable. I cannot tolerate anything at all, even physical trouble.

This is what we work diligently with: We strive to rise above our desires through which we tend to suffer more and more. We find Egyptian darkness in the place where there previously was the Light, but in fact nothing changes except our assessment of events.

This is how “good” Pharaoh becomes “bad”; a bright sunny day turns into unbearable darkness.

Such a state seems exceedingly dreary and gloomy to us; we have to rise above the growing pain and regard suffering as help.

It is said that “Pharaoh brings the sons of Israel to deliverance,” but only on the condition that they really strive to get elevated above their egoism.

They understand that affliction helps them rise above their troubles and separate themselves from egoism since nobody is able to voluntarily approach suffering; instinctively, people retreat from trouble as far away as possible.

So, the Pharaoh helps me by pushing me away, whereas the Creator helps me by hardening the heart of the Pharaoh. My task is to ask the Creator to grant me power to stay above and to regard bestowal more important than receiving.

Otherwise, I will simply be crying out in pain like a person who is not focused on growing and instead sobs about the multiple problems in his life. This is what we see today while the humanity is going through a crisis. People have nowhere to go; they are helpless, and therefore, they don’t want to know anything, “Give us an anti-depressant, alcohol, painkillers, sedatives, drugs” – whatever helps them disconnect from their pain.

We ask the Creator to keep us above our pain so it doesn’t deafen us, but rather, gives us another shape. Our work is to plead: “Give me a chance to bestow and enjoy it.” We shouldn’t bestow for the sake of receiving; we have to learn how to enjoy bestowal. If we do, we’ll go beyond knowledge, and attain bestowal for the sake of bestowal, thus acquiring contentment through a great sense of belonging rather than through fulfilling our egoism. It doesn’t matter if we suffer within our egoistic desires; we enjoy in our sense of belonging to Him. Those are two different kinds of vessels. Similarly, people in this world are proud and enjoy serving those who they consider worthy and great.

This is how we prepare ourselves; others will follow. In fact, an enormous desire to be pleased hides behind the “façade” of our civilization. Our goal is to correct this desire; otherwise, people will continue to suffer uselessly.
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/9/12, “Questions and Answers Regarding the Brazil Congress”

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Growing In A Circle Of Friends

Dr. Michael LaitmanToday we resemble a malignant tumor that is destroying its environment. Eventually, when it will have nothing more to devour, the body will die and so will the tumor. We are in the same mutual relations with nature—our ego swallows its environment.

How can we build an environment that will turn us into people who mutually complete one another? This is the problem of modern education: how to change man? Basically the current crisis is a social, anthropological crisis.

We suddenly realize that we haven’t been taught how to be human either in the true sense of the word. We all graduated from schools where we studied different subjects. For years teachers stood in front of us and lectured us and then expected good grades on tests. They didn’t teach us to establish the right relations among us, they didn’t teach us true values, and they didn’t explain how to understand those around us or even ourselves.

I don’t even know the basics of my psychology. Why am I the way I am? What is going on inside me? What determines the decisions I make? What is my way of thinking based on? Where do all the new desires I feel come from? What is the source of my internal urges and impulses? We were not taught all of this. On the contrary, no one bothered to teach us how to mutually connect correctly, and today we see the results of this “education” in our daily life.

This is the reason for the emergence of a new science—integral education.

We are seeing an increase in crime, domestic violence, and other social problems that cost us money, energy, and health, and summon fears and uncertainty. If we were free from them, we could release great social powers and would save billions on improving our lives.

According to integral education, the person himself should never be the actual direct target. We should only give him good examples, even without words. This is how a child looks at grown ups, imitates their actions, and thus grows. If we place him among animals he will be like them. So the good future of our society lies in setting the right environment for a person.

We actively develop this method and teach it to our children after school, who a person is, what his psychology is, how he makes decisions, why he thinks about himself and about others the way he does, why he considers certain people as his friends and others as his enemies, etc.

We teach the kids to sit in a circle, not behind desks, and we have discussions. If someone makes a mistakes or does something wrong, we set up a kind of a courtroom in which the kids, each one in his turn, play the roles of the judge, the lawyers, the witnesses, the spectators, and the jury.

Changing roles enables each one to look at him or herself and at others from the side, by playing different roles and by checking who is right. Thanks to this role play, a young person begins to understand others and realizes that there can also be different perspectives. Besides, we teach the kids that every problem needs to be solved together.

Eventually they develop integrally, understanding how to establish the right relationships among them. Then it is much easier for a child to keep the good relations with everyone. By “being in the shoes of another,” he sees that he cannot do anything and shouldn’t do anything with his evil inclination that he should only rise above it in good relations with others.

Thus the kids are coordinated with nature; having both the positive and the negative sides and the balance between them creates life. Just as our heart constantly pulses and the lungs contract and expand: Everything works in a harmony of opposites: The minus and the plus constantly change. So instead of destroying our ego, we have to use it correctly with the help of the other force. When we balance them our life becomes harmonious.

Thus our kids receive a wonderful “bonus” in their development. Thanks to that, their grades improve at school and some of them are accepted to university at the age of 13. This is because the integral education opens up such abilities in a person about which he didn’t even think of before.

We know that a person’s brain uses only about 3-5% of its potential, while here the capacity suddenly grows thanks to the fact that it works with two forces, balancing them.

At the same time, there is less violence in the classroom, the violent arguments cease and the individual outbursts end quickly, enabling a person to learn from that since the kids immediately discuss it in a circle.

As to the teacher, he isn’t above the students, but rather sits together with them on the same level. His or her role is to start the discussion and to guide it in the right direction. In the ancient world, people used to study this way, by talks and discussions. Thanks to that a person acquires positive creative power.
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From the Lecture in Chile 5/1/12, “Reaching the Internal Connection

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From Zero To Ein Sof (Infinity)

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In every practical work there are certain stages: a beginning, middle, and an end. What are the stages of the integral process? What do we have to take people through?

Answer: Integrality is already Ein Sof (Infinity). You know how to calculate an integral: from zero to infinity. So each time you try to put the puzzle together, to compose questions, and to find the solutions and the answers to the questions, you immediately discover a deeper layer of what’s going on. Nature is infinite in its depth, while we only take the first layer off and then the second layer, etc. and they are revealed as deeper and deeper each time.

We see that even what worked well and systematically in the previous layers and most important cyclically (since a cycle, the repetition, whether it is clear or static, is a result of every process and every plan that is scientifically based) then in the deeper layers that we discover the attributes, the laws, the previous patterns, as a whole don’t work anymore, but there is something else that works. If we return to the previous stage, we see that it works there, but in the deeper level it doesn’t work because totally new relationships appear there between the entrance and the exit. This is really an amazing discovery in the depth of the psychology of human consciousness.
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From a “Talk on Integral Education” #17, 02/28/12

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A Turning Point

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When there is a certain discussion in the group there are different mechanisms of resistance that stand in a person’s way. So does it mean that most of the time we will be busy dealing with this resistance mechanism?

Answer: No. I believe that it shouldn’t be here. During the preparation stage a person has to reach the feeling of despair from working with his ego. He has to understand that there is no life in it.

We should understand that if I want to attain the next stage of my development, the next dimension, the exit into the level of harmony with nature, I have to be disappointed with my egoistic development and not blow up the ego. Otherwise, it will simply kill me. It doesn’t allow me to integrally communicate with others; it won’t give me the vessel with which I can feel the harmony of nature and enter this dimension, this level.

I have to leave the ego at all their previous levels of development. The turning point, the bifurcation point, the splitting, the crisis, that we are going through today lead us to the fact that we will really “break” and leave our ego below. Humanity is facing a big problem: feeling the immense ego we’ve attained, being disappointed with it, and leaving it because we are compelled. This is called the phase of “the recognition of evil.” We have to go through it.

If we are talking about a group that already begins to feel the next level of human development, it should be people who are ready to leave the ego. They should understand that they have to totally change internally, like inserting a disc with a new program into a computer, erasing the old program and installing a totally new program. I am ready to be “operated” anew, to be fully “upgraded.” I am ready for that because on the level of the recognition of evil I found out that my ego only harms me; I perceive it as bad.

When people reach the recognition of evil and agree to try, even theoretically, to rise above their ego, they do it in the group with two guides that direct them a little, and at the same time cooperate with them. The group begins to gradually feel where these psychological “exits” are above their ego, to the new altruistic psychology, to the level called “nature.”
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From a “Talk on Integral Education” #17, 02/28/12

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The World Is Weary From Working For The Greedy Pharaoh

Dr. Michael LaitmanBefore the ruler of Egypt dies, everybody’s work has an egoistic nature. When the sovereign dies, he loses his significance; in other words, we achieve a state at which we stop cherishing our ego and do not want to devote our lives to it any longer.

We start realizing that our ego is not worth working for. We still continue to be attached to our selfishness and we even get a certain pleasure from it. At the same time, our consciousness expands and we come to understand that our ego is worthless. Even if we continue doing the same thing for 10 or 20 years, we’ll never rid ourselves of this slavery.

When a person finds himself in an unbearable situation, he asks: “What is next?” However, we always have a chance to arrive to such a query before the circumstances we are in become absolutely intolerable. All we need is to raise the level of our consciousness in order to become “sages” who see the future states in their infancy.

An infant or a small child doesn’t see the future; he demands everything right away. After he gets a little older, he begins to realize that he has to wait in order to get something he wants. When a person grows and is more intelligent, he is already making complicated calculations.

Our lives are limited by some 70 – 80 years, which makes us feel that we still have plenty of time ahead. However, as we grow we begin to clearly realize that time tends to get squeezed. We stop being animals and turn into humans. Animals never consider their future; they don’t think about tomorrow, nor do they look into the nearest moment.

Animals live in the moment. Even though animals sense certain things which humans are unable to comprehend (for example, an approaching earthquake or tsunami), they still perceive life solely through sensations of the current moment.

People, on the contrary, look into the future and are able to detect signs of their next steps. When a person is convinced that there is no need to work hard for the sake of his ego, he plunges into despair. We see now that half of the world is depressed and the number of suicides is steadily increasing. This means that people do not want to work for the Pharaoh anymore; they just don’t see any point to this kind of life.

This happens in the most affluent and civilized European (mostly Scandinavian) countries where people are secure with all sorts of material things, but it is not clear what to live for.

People would not ask questions if they did not sense that the final outcome is quite different from their current well-to-do existence. These questions emerge only with dissatisfaction: Either they lack happiness or they foresee that their current state of contentment will end soon.

So, when the “kind” Pharaoh dies, new questions arise: Why do we have to work so hard for our ego? This is what humankind as a whole and each individual separately keeps asking. It’s the point at which clarification takes place: What is the purpose of our work—is it receiving or giving?
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From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/9/12, Writings of Rabash

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The Birth Of Something New

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn our current global world we are all connected whether we like it or not, and this is dangerous because it can lead to an explosion, a world war. There are already talks about it, but there is no solution.

 

If the ego has already ended its development and doesn’t allow us to advance further, then the pressure that expands this integral system, which is totally mutually dependent, may bring about anything. And we will be ready to do anything just to break this connection. This is the uniqueness of our times.

Endless research studies show that we have reached a special point in our development that is unprecedented in human history. In the past, the growing ego constantly pushed us from behind, and we knew that life would be good for us or for our children. But today we don’t expect our children to have a better life than we have. On the contrary, soon we will totally deplete all the natural resources, pollute the environment, and run out of fresh water and clean air. There is no place where we can develop.

This crisis is the essence of a new humanity. It isn’t by chance that the word “crisis” (ρίσις) means birth in ancient Greek, a turning point from which a new life begins. So by examining the current situation, we have to understand: What is new here? What is being revealed to us?

The whole problem is that until now we have developed through one, negative force that molded different needs in us and pushed us forward to fulfill them. We lack a second, positive force that pulls and unites. This force doesn’t exist in our nature, in the human essence. No matter what we do, it is all meant for personal gain, to use others for our own benefit.

So where can we attain this second force? After all, our body and all natural systems are built on the cooperation of two opposing forces: plus and minus, hot and cold, pressure and

vacuum, etc. In the inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature there is always one against the other, and life develops in the balance between these forces, in harmony, in the right absorption and emission. But on the “human” level and on the level of our consciousness the positive force doesn’t exist, only the negative force: I constantly want to use whatever I see and receive what I feel that I lack.

Today we are at the peak of this trend, and at this point we must realize that we lack the other positive force. It will not come to us instinctively, naturally; we have to develop it ourselves. Many scientists are studying this problem. In the ARI Institute we are in contact with thousands of experts throughout the world. They all agree about this issue, that without this positive force we will not be able to go on. But where can we find it? The answer is simple: a person has to stabilize his source by building a new society.

It is common knowledge that we develop by our society. A child left in a forest will grow like an animal and will not develop into a person. A person is the result of the human society he grows in. This is why we are so concerned about the friends our children play with, the school they go to, and who they see; society molds us.

If we want to create a new man that lives in harmony with others, then we have to establish the right environment for him in order to teach him the integral way of thinking that is based on bestowal and not on receiving.

Today as the mutual global connection is growing stronger, we already feel the connections among countries. In the future the social pressure will also increase. So we simply have to take care of ourselves.

Everything depends on whether we establish an environment. No one is happy about the current situation. The conflicts everywhere are more intense and the despair is growing. There is no other choice. It is time to develop the integral education, to draw the positive force. Then we will discover that the current crisis is revealing negativity only so that positivity will be placed opposite to it. In this way our society (on every level, up to the global level), like all of nature, will be based on two forces: the positive and the negative. In the middle, in the connection, in the balance between them, we will find new life, the true “human” level.

We will feel the harmony in nature that is concealed from us since we are working with only one force. By rising above the inanimate, vegetative, and animate nature, and working on the human level by independently acquiring the positive force and balancing it with the negative force, we will become acquainted with nature’s perfect system, and discover the forces that manage us behind the screen of matter. We will suddenly discover this huge system that created life and that manages it through evolution. We will begin to develop consciously by discovering these forces and advance with them.

So our current state is actually our birth. Everything depends on us, and on whether we will manage to organize the integral education. It isn’t by chance that the current crisis is global and varied; it includes everyone and everything, and we have to find the general balance point to compensate for it.

Then, we will truly feel happy. We will begin to discover nature’s eternity, and will feel that we are on the “human” level, which is independent of our body. In our consciousness we will rise above it and discover nature’s “level of knowledge” that manages the whole universe. Many scientists are talking about this today, especially those who deal with quantum physics.

Eventually the integral education will open up new horizons for us in science, culture, society, and family by which we will acquire and create a new dimension of life, and promise ourselves a better future.
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From the Lecture in Chile 5/1/12, “Reaching the Internal Connection”

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