Two questions I received on the economy and religion:
Question: How can you explain the fact that in the United States, the financial crisis is drawing more people into religion?
My Answer: We observe this kind of reaction throughout all human history. In fact, this is the reason why religion was invented in the first place – to comfort man for the blows of fate that seem to come at him for no good reason. Religion promises people a reward for their suffering in the world to come. Of course, it is difficult to give up on a dream, and people are even willing to kill others who kill their hopes (the way I do).
In contrast, Kabbalah does not tell people to believe in unrealistic things, but rather urges people to change themselves in order to feel “the world to come” while still living in this world. One can enter “that world” only by changing oneself in this world. When one’s animate organism dies, the soul can only return back into this life; there is no “world on the other side.” Hence one will keep reincarnating until one enters the Upper World – the world of bestowal and love, while still living in this world.
Question: One reason why I am not satisfied with any method or religion is that at the end the believer is rewarded in paradise, but in a new status. That is, he does not have the needs, desires and pleasures that he sought in his life. So the person who is tested or being prepared in this life is different from the one who is being rewarded. I feel that this is unfair.
My Answer: Why so? Precisely religion promises you all the pleasures of this world, including sexual pleasures, exquisite heavenly meals accompanied by heavenly music, and so on! If a person can still believe in what religion promises him, then he is not yet ready to come out of the spiritual exile.
Baal HaSulam said that between the religious and the Kabbalistic ways of life and perception, there is a secular, materialistic period. After that, the Kabbalistic, “super-materialistic” period is revealed, because one discovers that materialism is also a religion!
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