Audio Version Of The Blog – 01.23.18

Listen to an Audio Version of the Blog
Download: MP3 Audio

The Importance Of Making A Dictionary Of Accurate Spiritual Definitions To Replace Corporeal Definitions

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe main difficulty is that we cannot know what spiritual work is. It is neither in our sensation, nor in our intellect.

From the outset, we are people who belong to this world. We work with, understand, and discuss what we have in this world. It’s our life. The definitions in this world create a work space in us. Our world is full of definitions of receiving or giving in order to receive, within which we have greater or lesser sensation.

Our definitions accord to what pleases and pains us. This is because we are matter that desires to enjoy. Therefore, I can hear sounds, smell scents, and see things, their width and size, even though they seemingly don’t interest me. It doesn’t matter what it is, maybe it is mechanical phenomena: I always translate things into emotions. Then, in terms of whether or not I feel good, I process, feel, and live in those emotions, because whatever doesn’t enter my sensation doesn’t exist to me. I don’t see it, and really, it doesn’t exist because the world only exists in the field of my sensation: the desire to receive, to enjoy.

Therefore, we are programmed and created as sensing creatures, and what we enjoy and don’t enjoy is clear to us from our experience. As such, we form a picture of the world.

How does this relate to the wisdom of Kabbalah?

I started feeling bad in our world. Many people feel bad. You could even go as far as to say that most people feel bad. Also, it’s not just people, but the still, vegetative, and animate. However, other than feeling bad, i.e., I started feeling something unpleasant. Together with that, I start feeling an attraction to a different state. This is considered as the point in the heart waking up in my heart. Then, I start searching with this point: where is it pulling me? What does it want from me?

I arrived at the wisdom of Kabbalah. I started hearing all kinds of things, but I don’t know what is being taught. I could be studying for years, but I don’t exactly know what I’m studying. I turn up like a child who was sent to school. He doesn’t know why he’s there, but he’s there because all the other kids are there. Or maybe I feel comfortable here with my point in the heart. I feel somewhat at peace, secure, and that a good future awaits me.

But what is Kabbalah? I don’t understand it.

If you’d ask me, I could explain it using words that I read. But it’s not mine. Why? It’s because, again, the world that the wisdom of Kabbalah speaks about is not my world. It is something that I have neither in my understanding nor in my sensation.

I remember that when I was with Rabash, I used to sit at all kinds of meals, at the Kiddush he conducted during the Sabbath where he used to give all kinds of explanations on various articles and whatnot, and he would always talk about faith above reason, that everything is attained in faith above reason.

I understand what faith means. Faith means “I believe.” What does it mean “to believe”? It means that “I believe a certain thing exists.”

Why? Do you have proof?

No. If there were proof, then it would be knowledge. If there is no proof, then it is faith.

What, then, do you believe?

“I believe in God. It is what’s written.”

You believe in “Him”? That’s even more ambiguous.

What, then, is faith?

Kabbalists in the past, who started discovering the spiritual world—the quality of bestowal, love of others, “love your friend as yourself,” “love will cover all crimes,” where they started attaining that quality in their connection—named it “faith,” because it is the degree of Bina. There was never any other definition of the word “faith.”

However, afterward, when they started falling from the degree of faith, from the degree of bestowal and love—there is faith as “bestowal in order to bestow,” and complete faith as “reception in order to bestow”—and when they started falling from that degree, they held onto the understanding that it is correct, that they felt it in the past, and they were connected to many Kabbalists surrounding them in that same period, which was over 2,000 years ago, and they called their feeling “faith.” Then, the term “faith” started becoming tainted. It started becoming interpreted as “knowing as fact”: “knowing” not in terms of knowledge, but just accepting that it is how it is.

Therefore, until today, the concept of faith is very vague. We live in a way where everyone believes in what he thinks he needs to believe in.

Also, “faith above reason” is an incredibly difficult concept. We need to explain it to ourselves, beginners, and whoever studies with us. Faith above reason is the construction of the spiritual vessel, where we build the vessel of bestowal upon the vessel of reception, and as such, make spiritual progress.

It is thus very important for us to make a dictionary of correct definitions of the wisdom of Kabbalah by which we can show everyone how it speaks about a different reality, and how words that appear to be familiar to a person in this world immediately get defined differently in the wisdom of Kabbalah, by people in spiritual attainment.

That is also one of the difficulties we have in coming to revelation from the disturbances, where disturbances support revelation. Disturbances become supportive when we know how to accurately define them. That’s the difficulty. We will need to build that dictionary within us of accurate spiritual definitions to replace corporeal definitions so that we will clarify what is happening from now onward, where there is nothing in reality but the desire and the light that acts on it, and the desire needs to be defined properly, with real definitions, i.e., according to the extent in which the light acts on, divides, and hierarchizes it. That’s how we need to approach the wisdom of Kabbalah.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/23/18

Related Material:
Kabbalah, The Most Realistic Science
This World Is A Dictionary Of Spiritual Terms
Who Invented The Language Of Branches

The Times Of Israel: “Why a Death Penalty for Terrorists Won’t Solve Terrorism… and What Will”

The Times of Israel published my new article “Why a Death Penalty for Terrorists Won’t Solve Terrorism… and What Will

The death penalty for terrorists law being promoted in Israel by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman once again highlights an issue at the center of a tug-of-war, showing the inability of the Israeli people to unify on a specific stance. Arguments for and against the law have flooded the Israeli press on whether it would really deter terrorists, and what it would mean for Jews.

At face value, the Talmud justifies the death penalty for a person who acts with an intention to kill another person: “If someone comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 72:1). This law is no different for a terrorist as it is for any person making a move to murder another person.

However, whether or not the death penalty will pass in Israel will not influence the problem of terrorism at its root. The whole discourse around the topic is like discussing whether chemotherapy or natural treatments are better for treating cancer: you will always get a different opinion depending on who you ask, and the entire discussion doesn’t deal with analyzing the problem, and its solution, from its causal basis.

Therefore, I have no interest in meddling with the laws of the State of Israel, which are based on laws from the time of the British Mandate and also slightly earlier. If the State of Israel and the Jewish people really wanted to solve terrorism, then we would need to reach further back into our roots, to understand what makes us a Jewish people to begin with, and what laws we followed when we first became a Jewish people. Then, we might learn something about the laws that would have the power to completely uproot the problem of terrorism.

How to Override State Laws With Nature’s Laws: A Primer for the People of Israel

What makes us a Jewish people is the tendency to unite (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]). Our ancestors realized this tendency back in the time when Abraham founded groups not according to State laws, but according to nature’s laws. While the ancient Babylonian society was crumbling into devastating levels of social division around him, Abraham refused to accept the divisive norm of the day. Instead, he dedicated his life to a process of self-discovery and the research of nature and the system of creation. Through his research, he discovered how nature’s most fundamental laws are of love, giving, kindness and unity. Moreover, he found how these laws operate on reality’s every element, and gathered individuals who also sought better lives, formed groups out of them, and guided them on how to realize nature’s laws of love and unity in social relations. That group became known as “the Jews.”

As a united Jewish people, we enjoyed times of happiness and prosperity during the times of the First and Second Temple. Over time, however, human egoism evolved to a new level in humanity, including the Jewish people. It drove us apart and we became remote from our accordance with nature’s laws of unity. Ultimately, we replaced following nature’s laws with following man-made State laws.

Egoism makes us consider personal benefit as having greater importance than benefiting others and the whole society we exist in. If we don’t apply ourselves to unite above our natural egoistic tendency, then we build our lives more and more in a way that is opposite to nature. Terrorism is just one of the obvious ways in which our world today shows us the outcome of our natural, egoistic development over thousands of years.

We have sliced up humanity into myriad segments, sub-segments and sub-sub-segments. We value individuality over integrality, and the personal success of unique individuals or select groups over the collective success of society as a whole. This is opposite to how nature works. Nature views the planet and all its inhabitants as a single system, placing equal importance on all its parts. It is akin to cells and organs of a human body all playing a vital role in the health, sustenance and functioning of the entire body.

Our increasingly egoistic and separated approach from nature not only divides us as a people, it is the cause for every misfortune and pain in humanity. As with the example of the human body, when a certain cell or group of cells start receiving more than what they need on account of other cells, it is considered as cancerous growth. Our emphasis on self-benefit over benefiting human society as a whole separates us from identifying with and following nature’s laws of love and unity, and makes us succumb to following our man-made State laws instead. Then, the more problems surface worldwide on personal, social and global scales, the more we have to revise our man-made laws, like how we continually need to revise our medicines for treating new epidemics.

Therefore, if we approach the diagnosis and cure of the world’s many problems, including terrorism, at their source—our separation from following nature’s laws of unity—then by learning what nature’s laws are, and how we can observe them, we could pave the path to a harmonious and unified society, in balance with nature.

The Resurgence of the Method for the Discovery and Application of Nature’s Laws

The method for the discovery and application of these laws is the same method Abraham developed, the wisdom of Kabbalah. Today, this method is undergoing a modern resurgence as thousands of people worldwide, who feel the world’s current paths are leading to dead ends, start regularly gathering to discover their long-lost connection with nature, and revitalize the sense of purpose, love, unity and closeness with nature that Abraham’s group once pioneered.

Using this method, this worldwide group has become a research lab of a society based on the discovery and application of nature’s laws. If there are strong, united ties in social relations propelled by the continual learning, encouragement and promotion of pro-social values, such as unity, love, giving, mutual consideration and kindness, then negative egoistic phenomena won’t have a chance to surface. For instance, punishment would not surface as we know it in our world today, as a penalty for an offence that was done. Punishment would be felt as an inner sensation within the person, when the egoistic inclination grasps the person’s desires and thoughts with its demand for personal fulfillment on account of others.

In a society functioning according to nature’s laws, each person would have the necessary grounding, tools and supportive social environment to work with their egoistic, criminal inclinations before they materialize. Likewise, a person would be able to apply punishments, including even a “death penalty” to his own egoistic inclinations, as he would not want to harm the social atmosphere. In the Kabbalah method, such a version of punishment is called a “correction” of our nature. These corrections bring us closer and closer to the opening of a new, expansive nature where threads of love, unity and consideration bind us together.

Other than the above-mentioned times of the First and Second Temples, we have never created this kind of social atmosphere, and today our egoism runs rampant in society. As its effects of growing social division, Nazi, fascist and xenophobic tendencies, and terrorism flare up, we can either continue trying to create different kinds of band-aids and plaster them all over the place, or we can start aligning ourselves with nature’s laws and treat these problems and others at their root.

It is my hope that we will discover this positive social atmosphere that aspires to balance with nature’s laws sooner than later. The worldwide group now working on implementing this method is open for everyone to join, and already in its early stages, people immediately vouch for wondrous new sensations and perceptions that open up to them as a result of even minutely making tiny efforts towards connection and love in a society that upholds those values. It is also my hope that human society will discover the splendor of living according to nature’s laws, and that it happens sooner, through learning and encouragement, rather than later, through pains and sorrows.
[220156]

My Facebook Page: “BIN Exclusive: Kabbalist Says Be Optimistic About AI-Powered Weapons Destroying Everything”

From My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 1/22/18

The dystopian vision of an AI-powered automated weapon storm wiping out humanity can help sharpen our scrutiny of what the world really needs today—unity—by showing us what can happen if we don’t match our technological progress with our progress in social unification. The Jewish people play a major role in this challenge.

Read my full article on Breaking Israel News

My Thoughts On Twitter, 1/22/18

twitter

The dystopian vision of an AI-powered automated weapon storm wiping out humanity can help sharpen our scrutiny of what the world really needs today—unity. The Jewish people play a major role in this challenge. #AI #Torah @BINAlerts

From Twitter, 1/22/18

Related Material:
My Thoughts On Twitter, 1/21/18
My Thoughts On Twitter, 1/18/18
My Thoughts On Twitter, 1/17/18

New Life #296 – Changes In The Work World

New Life #296 – Changes In The Work World
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Summary

Despite abundant employment opportunities and the resultant prosperity, we remain unsatisfied with our work-related experiences, but why? Profit-oriented business has resulted in a kind of modern slavery in which we are brainwashed to produce and consume unnecessary things that leave us unfulfilled. When superfluous businesses all disappear, new occupations in integral education and cultural development will be introduced. The focus here will be on how to build mutual connection and enjoyment.
From KabTV’s “New Life #296 – Changes In The Work World,” 1/28/14

icon for podpress Video: Play Now | Download
icon for podpress Audio: Play Now | Download

Why Was There No Depression Before?

laitman_592_04Question: Why wasn’t there any depression before?

Answer: It is because people used to be engaged in spiritual work and they attributed any kind of spiritual state to their spiritual advancement. Now people should be working on their spirituality, but they aren’t. Therefore, it is natural that 70% of humanity is depressed. We can invent all kinds of reasons, but this is the only cause of depression, nothing else.

Question: Do antidepressants help?

Answer: No, antidepressants are a chemical compensation that do not solve the problem.

Question: Why do placebos work in curing a wide range of illnesses? Is it a method of persuasion?

Answer: Of course. A person lives through his spirit, not through various chemical materials. So placebos may be effective. Any amount of convincing, uplifting, or comforting affects a person. Provide assurance and the person will get rid of most of his illnesses.
[219145]
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 8/20/17

Related Material:
The Wisdom Of Kabbalah About Depression
Depression—An Illness Of Lack Of Meaning In Life
Depression -The 21st Century Plague

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 1/23/18

Preparation for the Lesson

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download
 

Lesson on the Topic: “From Obstructions to Ascents,” (Prep For World Convention 2018)

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download
 

Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 10, “Table of Answers for Topics,” Item 145 

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download
 

Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 50 

icon for podpress  Video: Play Now | Download
 
icon for podpress  Audio: Play Now | Download