Entries in the 'Egoism' Category

What Is Happiness?

Laitman_715Question: What is happiness?

Answer: Happiness is a state in which the Upper Light descends upon a person and fills him with the sensation of an eternal perfect existence.

Happiness (“Mazal” in Hebrew) means luck, which stems from the root of “nozel – drip.” When the Upper Light descends on a person, then the Upper Light flows, then, it fills him with attainment, with knowledge, and the sensation of absolutely clear, perfect, and eternal existence. This is happiness.

Question: Can such a state come without any effort on a person’s part? After all, there are people who are lucky in life.

Answer: In our limited material existence, of course. It may be that a person feels that everything is fine and that he doesn’t need anything else. He simply lives an empty life. Why not? Walk into a hut in some remote village, build yourself a cozy den there, and be happy if you can.

However, the fact is that the ego is constantly developing. It needs new fillings all the time. Otherwise, a person will not feel satisfied.

How do we make the sensations that come to our ego fill it without any problems? Only if his desire is focused on bestowal, outside of himself, will he not feel that he is empty all the time. Happiness is creating such senses that are external to us, and then we will be happy.

Question: Most people think that we need harmony, a balance of attributes, in order to attain happiness. Which attributes are we talking about?

Answer: A person can live in harmony with the world around him if the person and the world become one general collective. This can happen only if a person feels the world as himself and cares for it just as he cares about himself.
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From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/11/16

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Babylon Of The 21st Century

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe crisis of modern society is a very real problem; it announces itself every day announcing through newspapers, radio, and television. It began with Europe and now is spreading to America.

The entire world is entering a new era and on the verge of large changes. The hope is that these changes will be realized through governmental and financial reform and not through world war.

For the first time in history, the wisdom of Kabbalah is being revealed and is entering the process that is taking place in the world because Kabbalists are the only ones who understand what is happening, unlike all others who are in turmoil. The world acknowledges that it cannot understand not only the present situation, but also what prospects are available for the future or what means are possible for future progress and development.

All this is very difficult to come to terms with, especially when we realize that we are talking about such huge masses of people, so different and distant from each other. All of Babylon, where Abraham once began his work, today begins to be more and more connected in all possible egoistic ways, one more explosive than another.

Babylon is a symbol of huge egoism, the “anti-Creator,” revealing itself between all creatures. Therefore, it is very hard for a person to understand how this egoism can be subject to any correction. But as the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealed, it explains that it can be corrected, and we are obligated to do so.

If not willingly, then by the path of suffering, but humanity will need to return to the state where it is once again as one body, one soul, one system, like the first man, Adam. This system will draw the entire Upper Light of Infinity and all of creation will reach adhesion with the Creator.

This final state cannot be changed; there can be no compromises. The only difference lies in how much of its own effort humanity will put into achieving this, how much it will understand the essence of the process, and how much will it desire to participate in it.

Some people should lead this process and this part is called “Israel,” which means “Li Rosh” – “I have a head.” And all the others act in relation to the head as a body and receive from it what has already been prepared for them; that is, they aren’t obliged to perform such difficult work. Of course, during this process there will be many questions and problems that will need to be resolved with the help of integral upbringing.

It is impossible to make a single change through force but only by an internal change in an individual. There is nothing to change in the world—no external changes outside of a person will help because the external world is a reflection of our inner qualities.

Therefore, the only thing needed is to correct the individual and by doing this we correct the world. This is our entire work: building such systems through which the Reforming Light will reach to the last human being. At the head of this system will be the Kabbalists who have a connection to the Creator and can make themselves a channel for passing the Light to all of humanity, to all the nations.

This process is beginning to be realized in the world, and therefore the world is quickly adopting new contours. Whether we want it or not, the upper governance is preparing humanity to receive integral upbringing. It is the call of the times.
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/2/17, Lesson on the Topic: “Mismah Arosa (Arosa Document),” “What Is to Be Done?”

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New Life #815 – From Excessive Externality To Love

New Life #815 – From Excessive Externality To Love
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe

Summary

Why do we tend to chase luxuries? How can we see beyond appearances, and how does love enable to us see the truth?
A person is willing to do anything to be appreciated and respected, so we live in a culture of lies.

A certain phenomenon has to intensify so that we can discover that it is negative. Education can help us understand that there are things that seem good and sweet, but they are actually false and harmful.

Only love can be considered an absolute discernment of the truth with which we will align. Love can bring us closer to the truth because it requires our ascent above the ego and working for the sake of everyone else.

The more we advance toward love, the more we will cease to respect people’s external changes. For example, a man who is attracted to a beautiful woman and later discovers that she has used him, will see her as ugly.

We are made of two levels, the animate level and the human level, above which we have to grow.

The education of all of society will help us acquire new values instead of the false externality. The corruption that is being revealed today in the connections between capital and power will force us to advance toward the truth.

Only love enables us to see the truth since it changes a person’s perspective from thinking about himself to thinking about the wellbeing of the public.
From KabTV’s “New Life #815 – From Excessive Externality To Love,” 1/19/17

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New Life #814 – Revealing The Lie In Our Times

New Life #814 – Revealing The Lie In Our Times
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe

Summary

Why does it seem that we are surrounded by lies? What can we learn from that about human nature and why is this study essential on our way to the next level of our development?

Today we are revealing the truth that we are living in a lie. The wisdom of Kabbalah tells us that it stems from our egoistic nature.

We developed for thousands of years in egoism, and now the lie in it is emerging. This is very good progress. No one in this world is clean of the ego, so we are all liars. No one can see things objectively.

We will not be able to advance unless we realize that our goal is to reach love of others and that everyone should do whatever he can for the sake of the society.

The media and social networks are full of false information, and each loves his own lie. We need a general social education process through which we will get to know our nature and learn to upgrade it.

Soon all of humanity will discover that the connection between capital, power, and the press does not allow us to function at all.

The evolutionary process forces us to discover that human nature is egoistic and that we have to ascend above the egoism, above the lie.
From KabTV’s “New Life #814 – Revealing The Lie In Our Times” 1/19/17

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The Plan For Exiting Crisis, Part 2

Dr. Michael LaitmanSavages with a Nuclear Bomb in Hand

The global crisis shows that the evolution of humanity has reached the end of the path, and no one has a clear plan of further development.

If we continue to move in the same direction, we will make even more mistakes. This is why the program of exiting the crisis by way of the integral education offered by the wisdom of Kabbalah is becoming revealed.

In fact, it is a crisis of a human nature itself, not a particular social order, as it has happened before when more democracy, capitalism, liberalism, or socialism was needed.

Now it becomes apparent that all these social formations did not differ from each other because they all were founded on egoism. The only way out of the crisis is through the correction of egoism by means of integral education.

Question: But democratic regimes also taught people the values of liberalism and democracy, didn’t they?

Answer: It is true, but unfortunately it was nothing more than just pretty words with no real actions behind them. If democracy and liberalism are built on uncorrected and uneducated human egoism, everything becomes permissible. A person feels that he is free to do whatever he wants without bearing any responsibility for it.

In the modern sense, liberalism means that I am allowed to act as I please with no regard to anyone, neither a society, nor a family, nor a state, nor the world itself. On their own democracy and liberalism are marvelous qualities, but when they merge with human ego, they become destructive.

We see their consequences in the modern world that relied on supposedly democratic and socialist methods and ended up with complete permissiveness as a result.

Past thirty or forty years have broken all the previous social conventions and led to chaos. It’s impossible to find a country that has maintained order and that can be governed effectively. Obviously humanity cannot exist in such a way.

That is why this crisis is a consequence of liberalism and democracy running wild. They themselves are wonderful principles, but it is necessary to check what they clothe onto. If it is a human ego, they bring to the revelation of destruction.

Question: In the past, there have been many attempts to educate humans, which ended up being a complete failure. Isn’t it already clear that it’s impossible to change human nature?

Answer: It is true that in the past hundred years humanity has lost a hope to educate a human being. The world doesn’t know how to educate human beings and doesn’t see any positive results of education. Therefore, instead of education, we engage in the acquisition of knowledge, teaching people how to read and write and giving them professional skills so that they become good workers, engineers, and doctors.

But we do not think about how to educate a Human. We are only concerned about supplying a person with a profession to enable him to start a family, give birth to children, and raise them the way he was raised, without real education. We see problems that arise between parents and children, and a gap that exist between generations. Each generation falls lower and lower.

Humanity has to educate themselves, this is the only thing lacking. Everything else is abundant, both good and bad, with nuclear weapons on the one hand and the most powerful sources of energy and the high tech on the other. In a few years it will be possible to completely replace people in the workplace with robots. But if people have nothing to occupy themselves with, they will simply start killing each other.

A person is used to having to get up in the morning and go to work, to come back tired in the evening to watch TV, and then go to bed in order to get up again in the morning and go to work. This is considered a normal life. A beast feels in place when it has obligations and gets exhausted attending to them.

On the contrary, if a person is left to himself from morning till night without any obligations, he will never arrange his life properly. After all, our ego is at the basis of everything, so a person will end up doing every possible evil. Humanity will come out of boundaries of normal life in all directions, sink into all vices.

We see it on the example of American cities that have lost their industries, where people have not been working for a several years already. It’s dangerous to even enter these cities. Quality of life there is so low, you can buy a house for a few thousand dollars, because no one wants to live there.

It becomes clear from this why integral education is so essential. After all, without it, in just a few years we will turn into savages with a nuclear bomb in our hands.
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From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/17, Lesson on the Topic: “Mismah Arosa (Arosa Document),” “Plan for Getting Out of Crisis”

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What Is Sin?

laitman_253Question: What is sin?

Answer: Sin is using the ego to harm others, but it is possible to explain the use of the ego in different ways. For example, I can cut down a tree that is still growing and according to the definition in our world, it is not a sin even though on the spiritual level it is a sin.

If a person in our world uses more than is necessary for his normal, respectable existence, all usage above this level is called a “sin.”

This is talking about regular physical existence on a normal material level. Every beast automatically strives for this. If you give a cake to a cow or champagne to a horse, they will not touch them and they will not lie down on a feather bed. They require only what is necessary for their bodies.

Even a person needs only what is required for his physical body and no more than this. Everything else should be directed toward spiritual attainment, going out to the spiritual world. This entire life is given to a person to discover the soul in order to attain the upper world, to exit to the upper world during his lifetime. A sin is when a person is not engaged with this.

Question: For a person involved with art, writing books, painting, music, accumulating money in the bank, earning interest,  and so forth, is all of this sin?

Answer: No, but he is not carrying out his mission. All of the inclinations a person has for all the various arts and sciences are given to him only for spiritual expression, directing the world toward unity. Everything else only confuses him.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 1/9/16

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Eleven Years After Arosa, Part 6

laitman_752_3Life That Never Ends

Question: Does the world develop only according to the program embedded in it or is there a place for chance?

Answer: There is nothing accidental in our development. The beginning of creation and its end are linked together, as it is written, “The end of the action lies in the initial thought.” Therefore, there can’t be any mistakes or imprecisions in the process of evolution. Statistic and finances use approximate calculations and projections, but it is only because we don’t know the exact facts.

In nature there is nothing approximate; everything is uniquely determined by the final state that sets the beginning. A person moves forward stepping into darkness and not knowing what awaits him. But this is impossible in the evolution of nature. On the contrary, the end is predetermined and therefore how to reach it is known.

The example that demonstrates this is the electric eel that catches prey with electric shocks of 500 volts. It would seem that this property had to be developed gradually in the course of evolution.

But if the eel’s original charge was not 500 volts, but 1, 5, or 100, it wouldn’t help it catch prey since 500 volts is required! So how was this quality developed in him, if the small voltage wouldn’t bring any benefit?

However, “the end of the action lies in the initial thought”; this rule is valid always and everywhere. Therefore, nature unmistakably moves forward, but this is the way of suffering due to the blows that force the transition to the new state. All living creatures and cells are forced to annul themselves and die, but there is no loss.

In nature, the law of altruism operates, according to which every creature annuls itself for the sake of the general system. It happens automatically, not consciously. Only when we reach the human level do we face a problem.

After all, a person must comply with these laws of altruistic connection and cancel his egoism of his own volition. This way he becomes similar to the upper force, the Creator.

Life is connection, and a person aspires to this connection as to the essence of life. Due to his annulment for the sake of connection with others, like a cell in the healthy body, he begins to feel and reveal the upper force. In this way he reaches an equivalence of form with the Creator.

Therefore, the Creator initially created the desire to enjoy and shattered it so that a person would have the opportunity to renounce his egoism and become similar to his maker, the upper degree. The more we annul ourselves, renouncing our egoism, the higher we climb reaching equivalence with the higher level.

By killing our egoistic desire, we become free from it and can rise to the next degree. The one who is capable of it, reveals that life is precisely in annulment and in reaching the higher and higher existence. There is no death, there is self-sacrifice for the sake of connection. Unification is the main goal and the idea of life.

Therefore, the shattering was necessary. The recognition of our shattering is the foundation for implementing correction, i.e., unification.

I annul myself for the sake of existence on the higher degree where I continue to live. After all, my idea, my desire, and everything done by me exists there, as if I would have continued to live in my children, and they in their children, and so on. The one who kills his current egoism receives the next degree—the eternal continuation.
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From the 3d part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/17, Lesson on the Topic, “Mismah Arosa,” (Arosa Document)

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laitman_293From “The Crisis and its Solution,” Arosa Forum 2006

Altruism—The Principle of Life

If we explore the principle of altruism in nature, we discover it is the basis of all life. Every living organism is composed of a plurality of cells and organs that work together, complementing each other. In this process, they are obliged to concede, influence, and help one another. The law of integration of cells and organs according to the altruistic principle “one for all” is effective in every living organism.

The law of evolutionary development forced elementary particles to connect into atoms, molecules, and then into living organic cells that are able to reproduce by themselves according to an intracellular program. Living cells have the desire to reproduce and create more complex organisms, and all this happens due to connection.

Connections become more extraordinary. Inside living bodies such processes happen with which human wouldn’t agree. For example, a cell is ready to die in order to make room for new cells, or serve as food for other cells, and so on. That is, in the process of development, the altruistic actions are performed on the part of nature when one takes care of the entire environment in general.

For example, cells of the human body exist in one system and are fully subordinate to it. It’s not because it has power over them, but because each small cell, according to its internal program, seeks to join the system. For them the law of the system, of the general connection, is the utmost and most important asset.

They themselves are willing to live or die—it is not important to them. The feeling of the law of the system in which they exist is higher for them than their own material existence. A cell kills itself in order to make way for a new life, and through this it gets connected to the general process or general program.

In terms of the general program, this cell doesn’t die, but precisely continues to live due to the fact that it provided the place for the new living cells.

It allegedly doesn’t conform to the fact that all of nature is based on egoism. The connection always involves concessions and annulment, and the more complex the living compound, the more annulment it requires.

When non-living plant and animal cells connect, concessions are not the result of a primitive egoistic calculation, but a desire to win at a level higher than the one visible to us. A cell, by annulling itself, gives life to more complex cells that appear in its place and through them gets a new existence on the higher level.

This way non-living material is transformed into a plant, a plant into an animal, and an animal into human. At each stage, the matter becomes more complex, and this high organization is only possible due to annulment for the sake of connection. This way connections become more qualitative. They have no egoistic calculations of the previous existence but only care about the higher connection.

Fish go to spawn and die for the sake of future offspring. Biologists think that this is blind instinct, but nature does not kill just like that. Due to the death of the lower level, the life on the higher level is born.

Through self-sacrifice at the previous stage, a more complex and advanced combination appears to such an extent that even conventional non-living materials become radioactive and emit particles. Any chemical compound, even the simple atoms of hydrogen and oxygen, is based on mutual concessions where each one sacrifices its independence in order to connect.

If the material then decomposes, it means that it is more stable in this form rather than in a connected one. This is the essence of all chemical reactions and processes. A more complex compound is a more valuable gain. This is the process of development that raises the nature to a more highly organized level, each time requiring more significant sacrifice.

Therefore, altruism is the principle of life, because without it, connection at the level of elementary particles, or atoms, or molecules, or any organisms would be impossible. There would be no complex living beings and only due to the complex organization do we have feelings and intelligence.

All highly organized forms of life that require the ability to match and compare one with another are based on annulment and connection as well as on the self-sacrifice for the sake of a higher state.
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From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/17, Lesson on the Topic, “Mismah Arisa,” (Arosa Document)

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Babel—Second Round, Part 3

Laitman_931-02Question: Inside the narrow family circle, a person feels warmth and protection because there is no egoistic struggle between relatives. What would happen if this circle expanded and covered many people not connected by family ties?

Answer: The positive force of nature will be revealed between these people. If they try to maintain good relationships, the force hidden in nature will be revealed. There will be a place for it to be revealed because they will want to connect above their egoism.

The distance between the force of such connection and the egoism that resists it will be the place where the positive, anti-egoistic force of nature can be revealed.

There are two forces in nature: the negative that separates us and the positive that connects us. The positive force appears if we try to connect. We become its detector, creating conditions for its revelation.

The family is too small a group, hence it is difficult to feel the manifestation of this force in it. But a tribe that unites many families provides a place for the revelation of the positive force of nature.

Abraham spoke precisely about this in ancient Babylon 3,500 years ago. He said that we have no other choice but to unite despite the egoism that erupted and the social crisis that it caused and despite the mutual misunderstanding, what is called the confusion of language.

We must rise above this misunderstanding, that is, mutual aversion, so that love will cover all transgressions of our egoism.

If we cover egoism with love, we will discover the good force hidden in nature to the extent that we can overcome our evil inclination. Egoism will grow more and more in all possible shapes and forms, and we will have to overcome it more and more.

After all, evil is revealed only so that we can connect more strongly above it and uncover the positive force even more until we feel that we live in the ocean of goodness.

And who helped us? It was the same evil egoism that was constantly growing in us. And so it is called “help against it.” So we find ourselves in the world of absolute goodness, but it is built above our egoism, above the evil forces. Now these two forces begin to work together, helping each other. The evil force helps the good force in which we live.

This method is called the wisdom of Kabbalah. It teaches how to use the revealing evil egoism correctly, every time rising above it through the good force. This is impossible to do alone, as it is written “They helped everyone his friend.”

Therefore, we should go back to this brotherly love when we all felt like one single tribe.
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From KabTV’s, “A New Life” #794 11/29/16

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New Life #396 – The Need For Community Life Today

New Life #396 – The Need For Community Life Today
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Tal Mandelbaum ben Moshe

Summary

Where does the desire to live in a community stem from? What is the social trend in this respect and how do we build the right community?

The lack of social life has been felt since the 1960’s. People began to gather in different communities. Life develops us in two different directions: indifference to others, and, on the other hand, the lack of warmth and mutuality. In the future, the community will be responsible for all the services a person received from the tribe or the extended family in the past.

In a community a person feels secure that if something happened to him, he would be supported. This is mutual help. When every individual nullifies his own boundaries and is connected with everyone as one man in one heart it is a community.

Today everyone has a very big ego that keeps us part. If we connect above it, it will be heaven on earth.
From KabTV’s “New Life #396 – The Need For Community Life Today,” 6/5/14

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