Entries in the 'Free Will' Category

Thoughts And Desires

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Shamati, 153: However, there is a special role to the thought: it intensifies the desire. The desire remains in its place; it does not have the strength to expand and perform its action. Yet, because one thinks and contemplates on a matter, and the desire asks of the thought to provide some counsel and advice to carry out the desire, the desire thus grows, expands and performs its actual work…

Our thoughts can expand or diminish our desire according to what we think about and what we engage in. If I keep thinking about something, my desires regarding that object grow and develop and I already live in them and begin to operate them.

Question: If I have a desire to fill myself and all my thoughts are automatically aimed at that, I cannot think about anything that doesn’t fill my desires. But the desires are under the Creator’s control. He created them so everything is under His control and domination. So where is my freedom?

Answer: Only in hastening your development. If you are in the right society and it influences you correctly, you hasten the development of your desires. The Creator can impact you more intensively; your desires will change more quickly, and thus you will begin to advance increasingly faster in the right direction toward the desired goal. Everything is predetermined, but the speed of the motion and style of movement will be optimal.

Comment: The whole correction is in the fact that you have to think about others, but I can’t think about others because I don’t have this desire and so I have no such thoughts.

Answer: If by being in the right society you evoke unto yourself the Surrounding Light, the desire and thoughts that determine that it is vital to be in contact with the friends will emerge in you.

Question: This means that it is impossible to change your thoughts and desires without the Creator’s force, without His help.

Answer: No. Without the Creator’s help, a person remains a beast.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/15/17

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A Question From Prison

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I will spend the rest of my life in jail. I’m trying to forget what I did, but I cannot. What should I do?

Answer: You don’t need to forget anything. You shouldn’t think about it at all. Our students teach the method of integral education in prisons. Try to tune into what is being taught and fully immerse yourself into this wisdom.

You will rise to the next level of your existence and will not feel that you are in prison. On the contrary, you will feel free and that the rest of the world is imprisoned.

I advise you to do this. This is an amazing state.

You will thank the Creator for having committed all these misdeeds. At the end of the day, it was not you who did it, but the Creator who thereby gave you this opportunity to now calmly attain the upper world.

Therefore, you can transform your prison sentence into true freedom.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Laitman” 2/15/17

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Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: About two years ago a particular incident happened to me. I was taking a walk with my wife and two children. We were walking down the street, it was a Saturday, there were no cars on the street, and everything was very quiet and pastoral. We walked up to a pedestrian crosswalk and calmly crossed the street since there was not a soul around.

Suddenly we noticed that our son hesitated a little while crossing and precisely at that moment a car appeared, moving at an insane speed, and hit him, throwing him from his bicycle onto the street.

We couldn’t understand where it came from, there were no cars around. And how could the driver have hit the child, didn’t he see the entire road? We later found out that the driver was preoccupied by a conversation with his passengers. The entire story ended fine, and my son was practically unharmed.

It was just like a movie! It’s hard to believe how something like that could happen and ended without greater loss; the risk involved could have been fatal. In a situation like this, is there personal protection from above or not?

Answer: There is no personal protection. Personal governance is directed only toward bringing the individual to conscious connection with the system of nature. And everything else happens only according to the system’s need to move toward revelation of the force acting within it. If such an event occurred, it means that it was supposed to happen in one of the elements of the system.

“Personal governance” means that one of the elements stands out from the entire system by his own unique inner qualities and surpassed all remaining parts of his development. This kind of development raised him to a different level with respect to his generation because he needed to rise and carry out a particular mission.

But in the incident with the car and the boy, there is no personal governance. There is a system that had to work out all these events in this way in order to give specific knowledge and sensations to the child, to the whole family, and to the driver.

You had to enter into contact with each other, possibly only for that moment, and then to part and move on to further development. But no matter what happens, it happens only to advance us toward the attainment of the force that drives the system. There is nothing that happens outside of this program and this goal.

Special protection from above exists only for those chosen people who achieved a certain, individual development with respect to the upper force. It is as if they leave the general masses and begin to develop their perception and understanding, working within the system individually and taking on the functions of the upper force. They then plug into the system in a special way and fall under individual governance.

But this is only because they rose above the general governance. They no longer belong to it, but want to function according to personal governance. They have a special mission and these are special people. It’s similar to the way there is only a handful of people who stand at the head of the government and make decisions for the entire country. Although in ordinary life, it only seems to us that the government decides something; in reality it is completely in the hands of upper governance.

General governance implies that everything in this world happens by order of the upper system. And personal governance is when a person begins to develop personal awareness, recognizing this system and taking into his hands control over it. He is the only one who receives personal governance because he takes on additional functions, which he is able to execute, thereby taking it away from the upper force.

This is only related to the inner development of a person, and not to the external events happening in our lives. This is the only thing in which there is freedom of choice for the individual: to take the steering wheel into his own hands.
From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #818, 01/26/17

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Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If nature controls us in everything and executes its own program, then to what goal is it leading us?

Answer: The goal of nature is to bring its every part and all parts together to a conscious awareness of the force that controls the entire system and develops creation. Everything that happens to us in life is aimed at moving us toward awareness and revelation of the upper force, the Creator.

Inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels do not have free will and are dependent on the human being, rising and falling with his attainment of this system. The human being does the work for all of creation. It’s because all parts of nature exist in one system. The vegetative and animate levels are lower and more primitive in relation to a human being, and that is why initially they are included into him.

The upper force leads a human being through states according to the process of development, eventually bringing him to the place of study, books, and teachers. Those who have matured and are ready for this type of study receive a mentor and under his leadership can continue to develop on a different level, in attainment of upper system and upper force.
From KabTav’s “A New Life” #818  1/26/2017

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Where Is My Freewill?

laitman_934Baal HaSulam “The Freedom”: So you tell me, where is my freedom of will?

On the other hand, if we assume that the will has no freedom, then we are all like machines, operating and creating through external forces, which force them to act this way.

This means that we are all incarcerated in the prison of Providence, which, using these two chains, pleasure and pain, pushes and pulls us to its will, to where it sees fit. It turns out that there is no such thing as selfishness in the world.

In our world, a person doesn’t have any freewill, nature controls him completely. He represents a certain set of desires and therefore causes some or other positive and negative influences.

Thus, the freedom of will arises in a person only when he can make a restriction (Tzimtzum) on his desires.

In this case, the upper Light begins to influence him; it raises a person above his nature and he can already work in the quality of bestowal, in other words, absolutely selflessly, without any need to pursue any personal goals and benefits.

This already is a spiritual quality that appears in us only due to the influence of the upper Light, and it comes and instigates this ability in us only if we attract it correctly. It means that we are in a circle with friends, study Kabbalistic texts, and try to constantly work on the connection between us.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/18/16

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Close To The Point Of Choice

760_4Question: What does the wisdom of Kabbalah say about the concept of freedom of choice?

Answer: Freedom of choice is the same point that attracts a person to the wisdom of Kabbalah, to determine if he has freedom of choice or not.

If a person has no freedom of choice, he lives quietly, comfortably, maximally keeping himself away from problems for the rest of his life. But if he has freedom of choice, what is that? It is in relation to what? In what framework?

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that, in principle, freedom of choice is related to the behavior of a person. A person in our world must attain a particular state, meaning he must gradually discover his inner potential in the spiritual world, which is unknown to him and is not felt by him for the meantime.

It is possible to discover the spiritual world in two ways: either naturally when life compels us to do this or a person yearns to advance by himself, voluntarily. A duality is created: either a person acts independently or he waits until nature goads him from behind, “with a stick toward happiness.”

The wisdom of Kabbalah says that all of us move forward driven by nature. But if a person invests effort, he can hasten the process so that it will be successful and pleasant.

Freedom of choice amounts to choosing how to achieve the goal that was predetermined by nature. The goal itself will be achieved in any case: it will be either through freewill or by coercion. Ultimately, a person has no freedom of choice.

Question: In what stage does freedom of choice appear to a person?

Answer: It appears after a person finishes his development on the levels of still, vegetative, and animate and transforms from an ape into an Adam. For thousands of years of evolution, systems began to be developed in which a person could use freedom of choice.

This must appear in a person as a duality: there is a desire that belongs to the next level, the upper world, and the state in which he exists on his lowest level.

Freedom of choice then appears within him: either he develops according to what is called the point in the heart (a desire for the next, higher level), or he remains on his own level.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/25/16

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Dr. Michael LaitmanA human being exists in this world under the constant influence of two opposing forces that push and develop him, like an embryo inside a mother’s womb. There are no coincidences in life.

Every event is planned and programmed by nature, even as simple as a child breaking a plate. Everything, from beginning to end, unfolds according to the plan of creation.

The more we study nature, the more we are convinced that nature is a closed, integral system that follows strict laws, not permitting any coincidence. But a human being perceives the unfolding events according to the level of his development, that is, to the degree to which he is either in agreement with nature’s system of control, or not.

An average person knows nothing of the upper governance system; he just moves through life instinctively and unconsciously. He complies 100% with all commands of the system and has no free choice, not one freely chosen action, thought, or desire.

This is why it is impossible to judge him and say that he deserves some kind of a reward or punishment, because he grows almost like a tree in a forest, according to its nature and the surrounding environment.

Question: Where is nature leading a person?

Answer: Nature wants a person to become familiar with its system, plug into it, and begin to consciously interact with all of it. Nature is called the “Creator,” the upper force, and it holds us under complete and continuous control.

Question: Does this system control each person individually or all together collectively?

Answer: It is general and individual governance because everyone is included in one integral system.

Nature is a tremendous system that is developing toward a state in which all its aspects—inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human—are interconnected correctly, consciously, and with understanding and from within this connection are able to reveal the upper force of this system, its “brain,” that has been operating in it from the very beginning, but was concealed.

When a person reveals this force in nature, he identifies himself with it and adheres to it. This is the ultimate goal of evolution in nature, on all its levels. To adhere to nature means to take upon yourself all its control, correction, all its functions. A person begins to act instead of the Creator.

Everything remains the same as before. But before, the upper force (the Creator) governed all creation: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels, all of whom were not aware of it and instinctively obeyed its commands. But now, a person is aware of the influence that is being exerted on him from above and he begins to behave like the upper force, that is, he begins to merge with it.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” #818, 01/26/17

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Re-Education Instead Of Punishment

Dr. Michael LaitmanRemark: Many years ago there was a case when a thief robbed an apartment and along with other things, by mistake picked up the book Kabbalah. After reading it, he quit his old ways, and his fate changed drastically.

Answer: This has to do with one’s freedom of choice. A person has to see and feel what he does in life and what his true realization involves.

He has to realize himself in this world and do it himself, not someone else.

That is why the concept of prison does not exist in the Torah. Imprisonment cannot be punishment because it restricts a person in his realization. It’s necessary to work on a person so that he develops a desire to realize himself correctly.

In ancient times there was a system of re-education, not punishment! Offenders got bailed out, and they all had to undergo a very serious rehabilitation course.
From KabTv’s Lesson in Russian 12/18/16

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Are We Guarded From Above? Part 2

laitman_571_01Question: If nature cares about us like a mother cares for her children, doesn’t she then have to cherish us and protect us from all harm?

Answer: An embryo within a mother’s womb develops under controlled forces acting upon it and it is 100% dependent on the upper system. This system has a goal: develop it and bring it to birth.

Opposing forces are active within the mother’s system because everything is born out of the interaction between two forces: positive and negative. That is why there are systems of absorption and excretion of substances, and all of them are controlled by the mother’s body, which has complete power over the body of the embryo.

It seems to us that the embryo experiences only kindness from the mother. But in reality, opposing forces are acting upon it, strict, powerful, in conflict with one another. One force is forcing the embryo to grow and expand; the other is exerting pressure on it and constricts it. It is almost like breathing, inhaling and exhaling, or the beating of the heart.

There are many actions that are unseen by us; nonetheless, all development is always taking place as a result of two opposing forces: plus and minus. And the material exists between them, as if in the middle of a crossfire. That is why the life of the embryo is not as sunny as it may seem to us, but rather is very complex. The embryo instinctively carries out many actions, some in resistance and some in compliance with the mother.

It carries out a real war in order to receive the right kind of strength to rid itself of foreign elements. The embryo carries out a tremendous job of discernment, consumption, and elimination. Don’t think that for nine months it is resting and growing passively while the mother does all the work for it.

Every day it it carries out a huge job under the influence of opposing forces until they mold it into the necessary external and internal form and prepare it for birth.

The embryo goes through an entire preparatory process within the mother so that when it is born, it does not require anything other than external energy, nutrition, and filling the memory cells. In essence, it has all the necessities, won by it during the difficult war on the side of the mother and opposing her. It has the strength of the screen and restriction, work of discernment and synthesis. This is the real inner war without which the embryo cannot develop.

By the way, embryo feels everything. After the first three days of “absorbing the seed” and the following forty days of formation of the fetus, it already becomes a person able to absorb and process information. It is not just a mass of cells, but a person.

Even while within the mother and in a special type of communication with her, it takes in information about the external environment both through her and otherwise. And when it comes out to be born, then it begins to sense the external world. This is now a new degree of existence.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” #818,  1/26/17

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Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Sometimes even the most non-religious people have a sensation as if some higher power is protecting them, helping them come out unharmed from the most dangerous situations.

But then there are very difficult states when it feels as if we were forgotten above or that no higher power has ever protected us to begin with.

Modern person believes less and less in protection from above. Does it really exist?

Answer: We don’t just have protection from above, but in general, we exist in this world as if an embryo in the mother’s womb, that is, within a system, binding us along all parameters and leaving us without any freedom.

The system doesn’t allow us to make a single independent movement: neither physical, nor spiritual, nor mental, or emotional. Everything is bound with steel cords into a strict system, and it is impossible to think about any kind of freedom in any sense of the word.

This force, binding us with thousands of connections, is hidden from us and that is why it seems to us that we are free and able to do anything we want. Our future, our actions, and the general system’s reactions to them are all covered by the darkness of the unknown.

Why would nature hide all this from us? In order for us to discover for ourselves the system within which we exist, to study, feel, and understand it to such a degree that we become a seamless integral part of it, in one awareness, desire, sensation with it. This is man’s predestination and the goal of his existence in this world.
From KabTV’s “New Life #818” 01/26/17

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