Is Russia Part Of Europe?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You are about to travel to Russia. What is your attitude to this country? Do you see it the same as America, Europe, or Asia?

Answer: Without a doubt, Russia has a special spirit, one of Byzantium. It is by no means a European civilization. This is also evident from Europe’s attitude to Russia as to something different to it by essence. Even though this Russia seems like a Christian nation, it is nevertheless orthodox, meaning it has an element of competition with Europe over who has the Christian truth. And in addition, it has a great Asian influence as well.

Russia loves European culture. It loves France as one loves a mistress, but France’s principles of liberalism and freedom are alien to Russia. These are the principles of Europe – the principles of a new, technocratic civilization. But for Russia the slogans, “freedom, equality, and brotherhood” are vain attempts to create naked modernization. True, it does resemble it, as if smart machines were placed next to slaves….

But maybe this is exactly why Russia, the place where the commandments of the French Revolution did not catch on, in spite of all of Europe, is the place where the question about life’s meaning is apparent in every person: What are we living for!? That is why I am going there with the hope that I will be understood!

Related Material:
Russia And Europe: On The Path To Spirituality
On Russia’s Spiritual Rebirth
Feudalistic Mentality In Russia – Laitman Unplugged

The Convention In Moscow: A Strive For Unity

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How do we move faster before the Moscow convention so as to not be content with the inertia of the previous conventions?

Answer: This convention is taking place in a very important region. Many people look down upon Eastern Europe; however, this is exactly where the method of correction received a new push to develop. Special conditions of time and place that materialized there gave rise to the modern form of the method which we strive to realize now.

At least half of the people who actively study with us come from there. And this is not accidental: Secretly and openly, Kabbalists acted there over the centuries, supplying the nation with solid education and drawing it closer to spirituality.

And this is why it is vital to prepare ourselves for the forthcoming convention. A great force is hidden there as well as in entire Russian-speaking world. Let us hope that we will be able to unite strongly and turn the convention into a powerful event.

We will have three intensive days, seven lectures, various happenings, meetings of friends, and so on. We have to try to be together with all our might. If someone connects to us virtually, try to connect live as much as possible.

Conventions greatly accelerate our progress. Yesterday, for instance, we had a wonderful evening dedicated to the holiday of Shavuot. We felt that it didn’t pass in vain, that people are becoming imbued with our message. And it doesn’t matter that we invested a lot of efforts and means; it was worth it. There was a feeling of unity, cohesion, a desire to bond, to change toward spirituality. We heard excerpts from the works of Baal HaSulam and Rabash, and their melodies. It all makes a great impact on the people.

In our world, no other means are more powerful and effective than that. Now, we talk more openly, too; we use simpler language. New words are coming to the surface, while previously the conditions weren’t right for this yet. They appear as a response to the inner need of the people.

All of it gladdens the heart. I hope that it will bring about big, real changes in our world, and we will see the crisis as a springboard to the future of humanity. Today we stand at the threshold of the new paradigm of our entire life. Baal HaSulam writes that this is already obvious and it is backed by research.

So let us do our best.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/7/2011, Writings of Rabash

Related Material:
Convention = Acceleration
The Unique Force Of Kabbalah Conventions
There’s No Time To Be Depressed!

It’s Time To Start Taking Care Of The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhen a person starts practicing in the group, trying to step outside of himself and unify with the desires of others in love and bestowal, working above his egoism, he discovers a distance separating him from them: the full measure of his hatred and egoistic resistance. Gradually, he begins to see how infinite this distance is: This is how distant he is from the others.

However, when a person works on himself and achieves a certain closeness, he discovers that the distance, as well as the upper Light, the upper force, are concealed. It turns out that the distance between him and the others is divided into 125 stages or steps. All in all, this path is subdivided into five worlds, each of which consists of five Partzufim, while each Partzuf is comprised of five Sefirot, which are also counted as ten.

With each new step, a person adjusts himself more accurately to the form regarded as a spiritual Partzuf that includes ten Sefirot. We move forward by clothing in them and structuring ourselves internally to match them. Gradually, we grow closer to their ideal form, until the entire structure of the Tree of Life has clothed in a person. That is why it is said that man is the Tree of Life.

Today, in the final stage of humanity’s evolution, our egoism is satiated. It has no further development. Therefore, we feel depressed, exhausted, and turn to drugs and terror, unsatisfied with the way we live.

Essentially, our egoistic satiation is the impulse to exit to a more exalted reality, to become enriched by love. Indeed, we don’t have another choice. We think that we are restricted by the integral world locking in on us, but that is beyond the point. It’s just that the time has come for humankind to rise to another level of existence, to a higher dimension. This is why the world is changing so rapidly before our eyes.

Let’s hope that we will manage to educate the public as to how to reach love and unity so that they may step into the new dimension by taking a pleasant shortcut, without dramatic shake-ups. It is the only reason we are working around the world and telling everybody about our experience.

Our perception of the world dictates that we explain to people as quickly as we possibly can that the world is entering a new state, that nature is totally global. We must explain that nature put us in a sort of “bubble” where only one force is at work, and if we don’t harmonize ourselves with that force, we will face enormous problems.

But how do we harmonize ourselves with the unified force? To do so, we must be connected in the same manner as the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature are linked instinctively. The entire ecology is but an integral network of ties, where only man in his egoism destroys this balance. If we don’t harmonize with nature, we won’t survive.

Hence, we are circulating Kabbalah and explaining to humankind the necessity to unite, to rise above egotism and to align ourselves as best we can to match nature. Otherwise, we are a cancerous tumor on its body, which consumes the environment and dies.

Clearly, there is a difference between inner, personal, individual progress and our work on the global scale that offers a lesser quality. Nevertheless, we undertook this task simply because it’s time to start taking care of the whole world. That’s what the wisdom of Kabbalah is destined for.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

Related Material:
Revealing The Connection Between Everything
The Worlds Between Us
At The End Of The Final Exile

The Decline Of Egoistic Development

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe live in the first generation of people who wake up to discover the meaning of life and to understand why they live. In the previous generations, we used to live like animals. We had only egoism, the desire to enjoy, that constantly pushed us forward, and through it we tried to fill ourselves in an endless race from one pleasure to another. However, we were never satisfied because pleasure is opposite to one’s desire to receive, like the two poles in an electric circuit that are opposite to each other.

The Decline Of Egoistic Development_1
As soon as the Light touches the vessel desiring to enter it, annihilation, a “short circuit” immediately occurs, and they nullify each other. Every time we want to enjoy something, it is enough to just touch the pleasure, and it disappears. We sense the taste of food, but it goes away. We see something beautiful, but the charm dissipates. Positive feelings do not remain with us, and we are not able to accumulate or add them to our “piggy bank” from day to day.

In the end, we see that our generation is in despair. People have nothing to fill themselves with; they do not feel flavor or pleasure. They use drugs to escape and they calm themselves with medications and antidepressants. Why?

Our egoistic desire that was growing throughout history has stopped its development. For thousands of years, it was gaining strength, and it seemed to us that we would continue to find greater pleasures in new desires. The feeling of pleasure is the feeling of life. But today, our desire to receive has become completely satiated, and we have fallen into despair from helplessness, not seeing any possibility to move somewhere else.

This is a special time, a special condition, and that is why Baal HaSulam writes that he is glad to be born in the era when it is possible to divulge the wisdom of Kabbalah. Why is this possible? “Kabbalah” means reception in Hebrew. It teaches us how to attain wisdom, to become filled with infinite pleasure, not feeling the pleasure disappear and our dying as all pleasures vanish. The wisdom of Kabbalah leads us to endless pleasure which means eternal life.

The Decline Of Egoistic Development_2

Moreover, Kabbalah brings us to a degree where we become the masters of our lives. Along with the over-satiated desire to receive, the “point in the heart” (•) is revealed in a person, which is an additional property, the desire to bestow.

The plus and the minus, the desire to bestow and the desire for pleasures exist in the same person, and he acquires the freedom of choice. Now he has two forces, and by developing them one against the other, he begins to control them, that is, to control himself. He decides which path to take and what measure of desire to use.

Thus, he is evolving in three lines: He makes the middle line from the right and left lines. In fact, this middle line is called a “human” (Adam) because he did it; he formed his inner essence, and as a result, it belongs to him. Before that, in all our reincarnations we developed similarly to animals, pushed by our egoistic desire, and received more pleasures according to its orders.

Today, we cannot control our desires yet because we only have a small point in the heart. We get together and study the wisdom of Kabbalah which explains how to develop this point so that we’ll have two big desires. Then, we will no longer be governed from Above by the force of egoism; instead, we will hold two forces in our hands and will be able to rise above this life.
From Lesson 1, Convention in Spain, 6/3/2011

Related Material:
A Gift To Humanity
Unifying The Two Forces Of Nature Within
In The Grip Of Opposites

Climbing The Degrees Of Spiritual Worlds

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Are the mother’s love for her children and the love between husband and wife egoistic?

Answer: This love is not considered egoistic. All our desires are divided into the still, vegetative, animate, and human levels (1,2,3,4). The desires of the animate level that arise in a person are similar to the desires of animals, only they are more developed. These include the mother’s desires in relation to her child or the desires that appear between spouses.

The mother’s instinctive attitude to her children is not egoistic. Nature forces a human being (a mother) to behave in this way to satisfy the desire of another person (child). On the other hand, the ego is the desire to enjoy at the expense of a fellow human being, that is, it’s when I want to feel good at someone else’s expense. Even the fact that someone is in a bad situation can give me pleasure.

This kind of pleasures could be divided into many levels. For example, I can get pleasure from turning the other into my slave. Also, pleasure exists in the possibility of harming him, humiliating him, and causing him suffering. Pleasures from the exploitation of others, rather than from a natural desire to enjoy, is considered egoistic.

My desire to get pleasure from tasty food, from communicating with my children, or from something in life that does not harm anybody is not considered egoism. Egoistic actions are aimed at using others for personal gain.

We reveal our true (spiritual) ego at the “human” level when we come to the group. Then, we start feeling a special hostility to each other and put a wall between ourselves.

Climbing The Degrees Of Spiritual Worlds_01
To the extent that we want to become closer to each other, to study together, to have common meals, and unite in order to reach the property of bestowal, to that extent we feel an even greater hatred towards one another, aversion, and reluctance to connect. Our ego manifests at this particular moment. It is not present in common people; only those who want to connect to reach spirituality have it. These people find out that they cannot do anything with it. Why? It is so that they later develop a need for the upper force.

Where does this force come from? It is present initially in a perfect system and disappears (becomes concealed) after (as a result of) its breaking. This force exists but hides inside. If I try to unite with my friends and will not be able to, my level of egoism will be revealed to me more and more (to a certain extent). It will be my first spiritual degree, the first 1/125th of the total ascent.

Climbing The Degrees Of Spiritual Worlds_02
I am working on this for months, until I reach the state which I will not be able to overcome myself. Then, I will develop the need for the Light which used to fill us and now is hidden inside, and I will want it to come, to become revealed, and to connect us together.

This requirement frees the first spiritual degree for me: I, my friend, and the upper Light between us. Afterward, my goal will be to reach the next degree, where the ego will grow even more and hatred that I didn’t know existed will break out.

I will be irritated and repelled by small things in my friend. Together, we will have to work hard and will ascend to the second of 125 degrees, and in this way until the end of correction.
From Lesson 1, Convention in Spain, 6/3/2011

Related Material:
The Powerful And Exalted Ideal Of Bestowal
It Won’t Help Us To Play Love
Ascending The Rungs Of Bina

Kabbalists On Love Of Others And Love Of The Creator, Part 6

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.

Love of Others Is the Means to Attain the Love of the Creator

In general, there are only two commandments:

  1. between man and the Creator, and
  2. between man and man.

Yet they both aim to bring a person to the final purpose of Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator. Furthermore, even the practical side in both of them is the same. It’s because when one performs something without any mixture of self-love, meaning without finding any benefit for himself, then one does not feel any difference whether one is working to love one’s friend or to love the Creator.
– Baal HaSulam, Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah), Item 13

Related Material:
Kabbalists On Love Of Others And Love Of The Creator, Part 5
Kabbalists On Love Of Others And Love Of The Creator, Part 4
Kabbalists On Love Of Others And Love Of The Creator, Part 3

The Antenna That Receives The Creator’s Signal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You give many examples from science when we speak about Kabbalah. There was a famous inventor in Italy named Guglielmo Marconi who perfected the first radio receiver, improving its sensitivity to such an extent that it allowed for a connection at a great distance. So, do we need to improve the sensitivity of our soul the same way to develop a connection with others? Is faith the very same antenna that ensures our connection with the Creator?

Answer: Guglielmo Marconi was a great scientist, and he had many secrets. He only revealed a small part of his discoveries to us. He discovered waves we do not yet know about, which readily envelope our globe and even completely penetrate it. He was a unique genius.

When we come “outside” of ourselves, we begin to perceive the general energy field which fills the entire space between us. This field is God, the Creator. To perceive it means to attain the Creator, the upper force that connects all the souls. Then, we, together, and He, this upper force, the thought called “the Thought of Creation,” become like one whole. This is why man is called Adam, from the word Dome (similar to the Creator).

We reach a state where we simply join Him, meaning exist in Him being aware of and comprehending it. This force that we join is called the power of faith.

Faith is the Sefira of Bina (from the word “Havana” or understanding). In other words, “believing” does not mean closing your eyes and moving like a blind person, relying on something someone said. Not at all! Faith is based on the force of bestowal. When I am able to change the channel of my inner “radio receiver,” I tune to the same wave, and the information I receive from it is called faith.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

Related Material:
How Can All The Nations Become As One Family?
Tuning-In To The Creator’s Wavelength
Kabbalah: From Abraham To Present Day

The Preplanned “Lapse From Virtue”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What does Kabbalah say about original sin, and what does this lapse from virtue mean?

Answer: Kabbalah asserts that the entire tale of Adam and Eve and their lapse from virtue is an allegory. It refers to the events that took place in the upper Sefirot before the creation of this reality: our universe and us inside it.

There is no “sin” in any of this. We call it so because we fell from the spiritual degree on which we were initially created to our current degree, this world, across the entire 125 degrees. This is called the “sin,” but it was not our doing. It happened in our root.

Later, when we developed over thousands of years at the level of this world, this also was not our doing. We have developed unconsciously this entire time, without knowing how and where we developed. Egoism pushed us forward.

However, now is the first time in history that we have come to our freedom of choice. Either we will develop consciously and correct ourselves because we see and feel a benefit and purpose in it, or very big problems will come which will force us to do so through enormous suffering. In other words, at this point, we stand at the crossroads. We can choose the path of suffering or the path of attaining the entire reality. Naturally, there is a huge difference between these two directions.

In any case, we must attain the complete correction of the world before the expiration of the 6,000 years which began with the first man, Adam. So, we have approximately the next 230 years. In other words, all of us must complete the correction and every person must acquire a soul. Then all these souls connect into one common soul and rise to the next degree.

If we follow the conscious path as we attain the universe and do the work ourselves, we will be able to complete this correction in several years, here and now! If not, we will still advance, but in the bad way, which will not last more than 230 years.

This is determined by the spiritual structure of the six upper Sefirot: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. This is why we must attain correction over the course of 6,000 years.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

Related Material:
Nature Froze And Awaits Your Decision
If Something Is Wrong, It Is My Fault
The “Awakening From Above” On The Sabbath

The Embryo Of The Soul And Its Growth

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Can you explain the connection between a person, his or her soul, and the Creator? Are you saying that a person does not have a soul until he develops it?

Answer: Every person has a point of the soul, similar to a drop of semen. We need the strength to develop it. Just as a drop of semen attaches itself to the uterus, receives nutrition from the mother, and begins to grow, we also need to attach ourselves to society and cancel ourselves in relation to a suitable group, as if it were the mother’s womb.

If I were to cancel myself, I would not be a foreign body within the group, just like a drop of semen is not being perceived as something foreign. This is why the body does not reject it, and the embryo can grow.

Similarly, I cancel myself before the group and receive its strength. Then, my spiritual point, the beginning of my soul, begins to grow. In its growth, it follows exactly the same stages as an embryo inside a mother. This is explained across thousands of pages in Kabbalistic books. These stages of our soul are named accordingly, such as “conception, nursing, and maturing” (Ibur, Yenika, and Mochin).

If a person does not begin this process, in other words, if he does not reveal the upper dimension which exists outside of him one way or another through his connection with others, then his body dies, and this point of the soul merely remains a point. Once again, it clothes in a body and accompanies him, giving him the opportunity to grow.

However, when a person attains even the smallest, the first spiritual degree, he already feels that he belongs to another dimension, a spiritual and eternal one. It is eternal because it exists above our corporeal, beastly egoism that pertains to our body. Then, the body can die and decompose; the person no longer associates himself or herself with it, but rather with the spiritual state he has attained.

We must attain at least the very first degree. Then it becomes much easier to advance because the person begins to see the steps he needs to take.
From the Lecture in Rome 5/20/2011

Related Material:
Like An Embryo In The Mother’s Womb
A Child Looking For His Spiritual Parents
There Are Many Surprises Up Ahead

When The Crisis Becomes Unbearable

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe crisis we are experiencing today is an indication of our lack of unity with one another. In essence, the crisis is letting us see that we are total egoists and individualists who are living in a global world. And this is the entire problem. Nature is revealing the world’s globality to us, but our egoistic nature is completely opposite to it.
This difference or abyss between the two is felt by us as a crisis. This is why we feel pain and confusion in everything we do, and it is the reason we are plagued by diseases and misfortunes. This comes from the lack of similarity between our egoistic desire and the upper Light.

Therefore, we have to see the current crisis as the initial point of humanity’s ascent to the special state from which it once descended, according to the program contained in the informational particle that was born by the Light. We were born here in our universe and now we are returning to that perfect state.

The part of humanity in which the point in the heart has surfaced is developing with the help of two forces. All we need are the right conditions: the group, studies, and teacher. The second part of humanity is going through a developmental process and reaching a state of crisis that is becoming unbearable. That is when a question arises: What does “unbearable” mean?

The sensation of horrible suffering can bring humanity to wars, annihilation, and all sorts of problems. This is exactly what is happening: A part of the population is forgetting about everything through drugs, others engage in terrorism, and others yet are not worried by anything—they have completely sunk in theft. Egoism is breaking out in every direction. Because of the lack of inner fulfillment people feel, they don’t know what to do with themselves.

These negative phenomena are exposing the entire extent of the despair and hopelessness that humanity feels today. And people aren’t guilty of this. They feel enormous inner pressure, which is causing explosions of violence. So what can be done to relieve their situation?

We have already talked about the dissemination of the science of Kabbalah. This is the salvation. If we spread the knowledge of the science of Kabbalah before people’s ego breaks out to the surface, then we will save the world from great troubles. Therefore, everything depends on the people with a point in the heart.

Nothing depends on the world and we shouldn’t wait for any actions to be done by other people who don’t have a point in the heart. They don’t have the positive force that is able to supplement their egos. They are just carriers of a huge egoistic desire, and only give us an addition of their dissatisfaction and pain.

We have to process this enormous desire, tune into it, and together with it, aspire to unity. We have to continue studying and, in response, increase dissemination with a special emphasis on the need to unite among us. We are the ones who have to unite our common broken desire into one—our common spiritual vessel. Even though it is broken, it contains parts that are interconnected, despite them having completely different qualities of desire. Therefore, if all others will join these interconnected desires, they will also become included in this connection.

That is how one part of humanity actively builds a connection among one another, while the other part of humanity participates in this process passively.
From the 2nd lesson at the Madrid Convention, 6/4/11

Related Material:
It’s Time To Start Taking Care Of The World
The Decline Of Egoistic Development
Know The Secret Of Life