Newsmax: “How To Cope With The Emotional Toll Of Irma“

The largest portal Newsmax published my new article “How to Cope With the Emotional Toll of Irma

When the winds calm, power returns, and food and gas are available again, there will still be people who need help. Besides the obvious physical cost of the storm, there is another aftermath that survivors will have to handle. Many of these people will have lost everything dear to them to the wind and the water: their memories, pictures, and memorabilia of loved ones who passed away. No insurance can cover this. There is only one recompense for the emotional loss that such people have endured—new human connections. Forging companionships and solidarity of residents is crucial to restoring the vitality of every disaster ravaged community.

Today, most people are so detached from one another that when they need real friends to help them, many have no one to turn to. Despite our advanced technological means of communication, it is growing harder for us to communicate with one another.

We may think that self-absorption is the personal problem of the self-absorbed, but it is anything but! In truth, the quality of human connections has immense consequences on all of society, and ultimately on the entire planet.

Acclaimed Prof. Nicholas Christakis described human society as a type of “superorganism.” Everything we do, say, and even think, he explains, ripples through society and incites similar emotions, ideas, thoughts, and actions in other people.

We can prove this by this very simple experiment. Within our families, with a few friends, or even with just one friend, if this is all we have, dedicate one day to thinking not about what I want and what will please me, but about what the person or people with whom we are experimenting feel. They, in turn, will do the same toward us.

I can testify that the results will astound you. When everyone focuses on making everyone else happy, it makes life better all around. No one is left out.

If we conduct this type of experiment on a large scale, it will echo through the country and change the way we think about society and how we relate to other people. When masses of people focus on bonding, it makes recovery from trauma, any trauma, infinitely more rapid, effective, and lasting.

The current structure of society, where people are disconnected and mistrustful of each other, makes it much harder on them to endure traumas such as natural disasters. Even day-to-day life is far more difficult when your social life can be encapsulated into a 5-inch communication box, a.k.a. “smartphone.”

The current wave of natural disasters is not the last one, nor is it the worst. If we neglect our social ties, the next wave might prove too challenging to cope with, and who knows what social toll it will take.

Therefore, we can turn the current bane into a boon. Since tens of thousands of people are already concentrated in storm shelters, we can turn them into “connection centers.” Instead of waiting for the all-clear sound to go home, people can busy themselves forming friendships that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The workshop that I shared in last week’s column demonstrates how easy it is to connect. All we need is to sit together in small groups and share these four things: 1) the most emotional moment for us in this event, 2) if and how Irma has shaped our attitude toward other people, 3) how we hope to express this new attitude, and 4) the benefits of sharing our experiences and thoughts in this manner.

Beyond the social benefit, there is another, more elusive prize to positive human connections: their impact on the environment. Social isolation undermines our emotional and mental stability, and drives us to look for compensation for our lack of human companionship. When this condition affects hundreds of millions of people, it affects everything, including even the environment.

The superorganism that Christakis describes is not confined to human society. Just like our own bodies consist of all levels of existence—mineral, vegetative, and animate—the superorganism of humanity is part of an even larger system that is our planet. When someone’s kidneys fail, it is the whole person who is sick, not just his or her kidneys. Likewise, when humanity is sick, it makes all of Earth unwell.

The symptoms may seem unrelated, but just as a headache doesn’t mean I have a problem with my head, Earth is showing its symptoms in ways we don’t understand. But what we do know is that we are an ailing society, and curing it will cure the entire superorganism we all live in. For this reason, if we want to abate natural disasters, we must heal our own society, or more precisely, our ill connections with one another.
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The End Of The Tower Of Babel

Laitman_115_05Question: Modern innovations and studies say that the period of the Tower of Babel has ended, meaning the lack of understanding of languages. Soon there will be headphones that will translate all languages and we will communicate easily.

What will communication like this provide?

Answer: This kind of communication will make it possible for us to feel the whole world as one global whole, without borders, not in the full sense of the word, but at least partially. This is because in spite of everything, language is a very big limiter of communication between people.

Question: When will the Babylonian division actually cease?

Answer: It will be when people will feel that they must rise to the next level of self-awareness.

Question: Are there languages there or not?

Answer: There are no longer any languages there.

Imagine that a gigantic spaceship is hovering above us surrounding the entire globe and hiding the sun from us.

How would we behave in a situation like this? Would we fight, argue in parliaments, think about who is going where? Would we begin to think about who is plotting against whom here on the face of the earth while a gigantic black machine is hovering over us, hiding the sun from us while we are found in total darkness about everything that is happening to us?

It is possible to understand how this could unite people…nobody will plot against anyone. What do I care about the other? After all, I see that this is the end.

Question: And then languages will disappear?

Answer: Everything will disappear. We will begin to search for a way out of the situation and “aliens” will declare: “We will talk with you only when you all become a single whole. Unite; we will wait. Meanwhile we will be hovering over you.”

We will wait, but how long? “It could be another 500 years, it makes no difference. We are above you. And every year that passes with lack of unity among you, we will get closer and closer, we will arrange situations like these for you that will whip you from behind. That is how we will help you.”

Question: This scenario would happen with suffering. But what is the truth about the absence of language, the lack of division into languages?

Answer: We will be able to make better use of getting closer and closer to each other, meaning that we will truly unite so everyone will be like brothers in a single family, without language and without distance. In such a situation, communication could be arranged that erases all differences.

But I don’t think that for this we need to put headphones on our ears, we will feel each other; there will be no need for words. We will begin to talk by means of the heart.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 7/12/17

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Raise The Ideal Above The Material Level

laitman_214.01Baal HaSulam, The Last Generation: Ethics cannot rely solely on education and pubic opinion, because public opinion necessitates only what is in the public’s favor. Hence, if one comes and proves that morality is harmful to the public and vulgarity is more beneficial, they will immediately discard morality and choose vulgarity, as Hitler testifies.

This is a very simple and practical attitude. We must raise the ideal above the material level. Humanity must work not for itself and its society because we will not find truth inside society and inside ourselves. It can only be found in rising above ourselves, that is, in unity with the upper force of nature.

If we strive for the ideal in the plane of our world, then Hitler will come and everyone will follow him because in our world there is no ideal that stands above us.

Question: Is this so even if we wash society with education and ethical ideas?

Answer: There is nothing that will help. We need the upper Light for this, and its influence we can attract only through the correct connection according to the Kabbalistic method.

Question: Doesn’t Baal HaSulam completely deny education on the level of this world. He believes that it will still lead to Nazism one way or another.

Answer: Yes. We see that today everything once again turns to this. Especially in our time when egoism, while constantly working, leads us back to Nazism.
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From KabTV’s “The Last Generation” 6/26/17

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“As The Eagle Swoops Down”

3Torah, Deuteronomy 28:49 – 28:50: The Lord will bring upon you a nation from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a brazen nation, which will not respect the elderly, nor show favor to the young.

Such egoistic qualities that you never suspected begin rising within you. They enslave you with more and more new egoistic instructions, and although you resist them, you nevertheless obey. And by obeying, you become an even bigger fan of fulfilling them. And you realize all of it!

A very interesting inner problem is revealed within you. On one hand, you are burning in your aspiration to fulfil the egoistic directions, and on the other hand, you are ashamed and you cannot do it, but you do it anyway.

It is written: “As the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you will not understand.” These are new egoistic qualities that are revealed in a person, and he does not even understand them; they control him instinctively.

Although he had some ideas about honesty, about correct relationships and obligations, nothing is left of them in regard to parents, children, or society. Egoism rules in him directly, to the full depth of his nature.
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From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/19/16

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The Three Phases Of Human Evolution

laitman_608.01Question: How did Abraham attain spirituality by himself, without any help from others if we need a group, books, and a teacher in order to attain the upper forces?

Answer: During the time, from Adam until Moses, people attained everything in a totally different way.

During the first 2,000 years of human evolution, there were special greatly enlightened souls called Chabad.

During the 2,000 years that followed, the souls were coarser and are called HGT, which refers to the generation that was in Egypt and then the desert generation and the generation of the First and Second Temples.

Now, it is the end of the last 2,000 years when the lowest souls are descending into our world.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 3/12/17

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New Life #885 – Workshop, Gathering Of Friends, And A Meal In A Kabbalah Group

New Life #885 – Workshop, Gathering Of Friends, And A Meal In A Kabbalah Group
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

Summary

How is the conversation in the workshop a simulation of the corrected connection between us? What is the purpose of a gathering of friends, and what is the internal effort that a student does during a shared meal?
From KabTV’s “New Life #885 – Workshop, Friends’ Meeting And A Meal In A Kabbalah Group,” 7/20/17

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A Neutral Attitude To Kabbalah Does Not Exist

laitman_281.02Question: It is hard for a person to remain neutral when he gets acquainted with Kabbalah. He either becomes its adversary and hater or a faithful ally. What determines which side a person will take?

Answer: It depends on the extent of the development of his “point in the heart,” on the force with which it is burning, and on the demand to break free and find an answer about the meaning of life. He will not be able to mute it and decide that the meaning of life is in observing religious traditions; he wants to discover the upper world.

A person’s nature decides what he will be: an opponent of Kabbalah or its faithful ally. I did not have a choice, I had to become a Kabbalist because the question about the meaning of life was vital for me and demanded me to find an answer to it.

All of humanity is divided into two types of people according to this feature. This division also exists inside each person; one part opposes Kabbalah and the other is attracted to it. Such a confrontation can continue till the end of the path.

Question: Have you ever had a desire to give up Kabbalah?

Answer: No, never. There were periods of weakness, which each one has, but I could not imagine how it could be possible to leave for good. It is necessary to believe that there is an upper program that guides a person. No matter where he wants to turn, the program leads him to the designated goal.

Question: Why does the upper program, which is the Creator that wants to be revealed in the created beings, awaken in people such a resistance to Kabbalah throughout all of history and even nowadays, when Kabbalah must be revealed to everyone?

It is interesting that the negative attitude to Kabbalah is akin to anti-Semitism, when clever, intelligent, and progressive people, for example, such free thinkers as Voltaire, at the mention of the Jews, as if lose their mind and begin to swear like troopers. The same attitude exists to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the mention of which turns clever, educated people into thick ignoramuses. Where does this come from?

Answer: This resistance comes from the fact that there are two forces in nature, the force of bestowal and the force of reception. A person by his nature belongs to the force of reception, which is to the desire to enjoy for the sake of his own pleasure. We accept everything that works for our enjoyment, this is close and understandable to us, and we can appreciate this and understand each other.

We are always in the process of “buying and selling,” trying to extract maximum pleasure from each other. As it is written, “Go make a living of each other.” Our lives consists of this, like in the market. Everybody understands that we are egoists; this is the basis of politics, philosophy and everything else.

Besides, we also see egoistic connections in nature, in physics, chemistry, inside inanimate matter, plants, and animals. At the level of elementary particles, molecules, and the most developed organisms, up to the human, his mind and feelings, everything acts according to the laws of egoism, the desire to enjoy. Therefore, egoism is understandable to everyone.

However, when it comes to the wisdom of Kabbalah that speaks about the opposite nature, about the force of bestowal and love that does not exist in our world, it causes bewilderment. After all, for us even bestowal is only for our own sake and love is only for ourselves.

Therefore, we do not understand what Kabbalah is talking about. We are not capable of perceiving that there is such a formula of when you act for the benefit of others. If someone ever thought that he acted for the sake of others, it was a hidden reception and a concern for himself.

The wisdom of Kabbalah says that we need to rise above our nature to such an extent that we cease feeling ourselves at all and receive a new desire that does not exist in our world. It dwells above the roof of this world where we will acquire a different, opposite desire for bestowal and a program that operates according to a principle opposite to the current one.

If today we want to be filled with all the goodness and our mind and feelings are directed only at our own pleasure, then there we will act in an opposite way aspiring to fulfill our neighbor. We will have to approach and love selflessly, not our child, friend, or homeland, but someone opposite to us and even hated by our egoism.
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From KabTV’s “The reasons for the negative attitude towards Kabbalah” 7/19/17

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Answers To Your Questions, Part 188

laitman_571.04Question: If the exile of the Jewish people is designated to mix them with other nations (this is how we see this phenomenon in our world) to be able to correct them, then mixed marriages are the best way, are they not?

Answer: This is mainly about the spiritual mixing of desires and goals, and physical mixing can be a result of this.
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If There Is No Method Of Correction—There Are No Jews

Laitman_006Question: According to the science of Kabbalah, who owns the Temple Mount and the Cave of Machpelah?

Answer: They belong to the Jewish people when they are united. However, today the Arabs are more united than we are. What kind of correction is possible when people are separated?

The unification of people is possible only through the methodology of the wisdom of Kabbalah; only it can unite everybody. The people are even proud that they have so many different movements and factions: Hassidim and “Mitnagdim,” Ashkenazi and Sephardi, Orthodox Jews and “the knitted kippahs” of various types, plus a further division into “Germans,” “Moroccans,” “Romanians,” and “Russians.”

This just indicates that we do not perceive everyone as brothers, but only as comrades in distress during difficult times. We are like nuts in a bag that are forced to be together because the external pressure keeps them in one bag.

Therefore, such commotions happen on the Temple Mount. I see the forces of nature behind all the characters acting there. But nature is in our hands and we create all the current events with our own hands. Therefore, we cannot expect something different, because obviously nothing has improved within us from yesterday until today.

Does anyone else beside our organization talk about love and unity among the people of Israel? Everyone laughs at us when we try to spread this idea of unity through radio and newspapers.

They agree to publish our articles only for a lot of money because we talk about love and who needs it? Yet, if we wrote about hatred and squabbles between opposite sides they would be happy to publish this for free.

There is no point in waiting for a good life in this situation. It is written that all the problems stem from the destruction of Jerusalem. Due to the fact that there is more and more destruction among us, the Arabs are gaining strength. One is against the other, when we lack unity, they rise. They only become stronger due to our separation. The main thing is not material actions, but our lack of connection.

The most terrible thing is that the people of Israel themselves begin to agree with the nations of the world that we do not have the right to the Temple Mount and to the land of Israel. If we continue this way, eventually we will be told that we do not have the right to exist on the Earth at all, as Hitler said. Initially he wanted to expel the Jews from Germany, but then he decided to exterminate them on the spot.

If we do not realize our mission of correcting the world, then it turns out that we do not need to be on this Earth. The Jewish people are the conductors of the method of correction. However, if we do not use it, if there is no method of correction in the world, then there are no Jews. This probably is the next stage and the entire world will agree to this, as it already happened during Hitler’s times.

Nobody wants to talk about it now, but in fact, then everyone agreed with his policies. No one protested against the extermination of the Jews. There were only a few extraordinary individuals, the righteous of the nations of the world, who helped the Jews, risking their own lives. However, there were only a few of them.

It is possible that the same thing will happen today, everyone will agree that the Jews do not have a place on this earth. After all, the people of Israel exist exactly in order to implement the method of correction, especially at a time when they are already able and obliged to do this according to the upper program.
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Honor In The Society Of The Future

laitman_268.01Baal HaSulam, The Last Generation: Their courts are busy primarily with awarding accolades marking the level of each person’s distinction in bestowal upon others.

He who bestows more upon society will receive a higher decoration.

Baal HaSulam speaks about the fact that the courts will not punish, but encourage. It will become their main function. A person will be engaged in bestowal, and the courts will reward him with their attention and the marks of distinction in proportion to his ability to positively influence society.

There is not a person without a medal on the sleeve, and it is a great offense to call a person not by one’s title of honor. It is also a great offense for a person to forgive such an insult to one’s title. 

Question: Such a notion of courts is a complete revolution in the mind of a person. Will the courts issue marks of distinction? The court must judge?

Answer: No, this is an incorrect interpretation of the word “court.”

The court is an opportunity to place a person in his place in the spiritual hierarchy from zero to the 125th degree of equivalence with the Creator. Therefore, there cannot be any disagreements. Courts must both encourage and punish. However, in principle, we are talking about a corrected society where “it is a great offense to call a person not by one’s title of honor.”

Question: If the motivation of a person living in the last generation is to feel closeness to the Creator, to become like His qualities, then is it possible that precisely the respect that he receives from society will become his “fuel” instead of adhesion with the Creator?

Answer: No, this is impossible because the society itself will direct his intention, his movement toward greater and greater adhesion with his environment. After all, exactly this will be evaluated by judges and society.

Question: Don’t these titles, honor, and respect fill his egoism?

Answer: No, here it is immediately obvious what fulfills him: the selfless bestowal to society or not.

On the contrary, for him, this is an opportunity to rise even higher above the feeling of being respected that he receives. Even the epithets addressed to him and praising him will be intended not for him personally, but for propaganda for society of the greatness of such people in the society.

It is not the person who needs this, but society needs his encouragement in order to show an example to others. Society looks at him with “white envy,” and this is good. And he is filled with such pride in front of everyone precisely in order to attract people to the qualities of bestowal and love. He has no concerns about himself, as if he does not have a body or it is not his. He acts if required, and he does not act if there is no need.

His joy is that he can be an example to others in order to bring them closer to this work. Everything happens only in the quality of bestowal.
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From KabTV’s “The Last Generation” 6/12/17

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