Good Environment – 07.29.11

My Good Environment – Dr. Laitman’s Advice and Principles for the Week

The Most Difficult Task Is To Ask

Dr. Michael LaitmanThanks to our Kabbalah studies, we finally understand that the Creator performed, performs, and will perform all actions. And all that is asked of us is a request that constitutes our freedom of choice. That is, we have to want the Creator to correct us.

Everything that the Creator did with us before did not require our consent; we obeyed the direct order of our nature, and thus we had nothing to ask. We simply followed our natural instinct, satisfying our growing desire in all its manifestations. However, in order to give us an opportunity to develop on our own, to acquire self-knowledge, and to reveal the Creator and His actions, at a certain moment, the Creator begins to act against our nature.

This turning point occurs in our generation. The Creator does not follow us, pushing us forward, but stands in front of us and demands that we get closer to Him by our own will. In fact, this is our job: to mobilize within ourselves forces, desires, and the understanding that we must come closer to Him. And we cannot do that ourselves; we can only request, demand from Him that He brings us closer.

To do this, we need to come and work together to discover within ourselves the desire for mutual bestowal. We must recreate within ourselves the desired form of the Creator, the perfect property of bestowal. We have to aspire within our group to achieve such relationships between us that the force, existing there in concealment, becomes revealed. This means to reveal the Creator, to know Him, in order to cleave to Him.

Then, we will advance and govern ourselves. But just as before we unquestionably obeyed our egoistic desire without even thinking about it, so now we want to obey the Creator with the same devotion. After all the issues, challenges, and scrutiny, in spite of our objections and resistance, we want to be fully managed by Him and become His faithful workers, as it is said: “Love covers all sins.”

And the key in this process is to find the point of addressing the Creator, the request to change and correct ourselves each time. We shouldn’t look within ourselves for the forces and means of becoming “righteous,” doing “good deeds.”

Clearly, it is impossible to reach true prayer at once, and we have to go through much scrutiny on the way to it. But the main obstacle is a person’s thoughts that he is the master of his actions and should correct himself and his environment by his own forces. He forgets that he is merely clay in the Master’s hands, and that “there is none else besides Him,” the only One who performed, performs, and will perform all actions. And our freedom of choice, given to us to get closer to perfect bestowal, is only to ask it from that property, that force, which will reign between us.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/27/2011Shamati #50

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If There Is No Answer, The Request Was False

Dr. Michael LaitmanWe need to reach the revelation of the Creator, and this is why we were given the method of Kabbalah to come to this revelation through our various actions, exercises, and work, which is all of our efforts. The Creator is revealed to us as the property of bestowal and love, which is manifested within us, meaning in our desire to enjoy, our essence.

Because our egoistic material in its nature is completely opposite to the Creator, His bestowal, it is exactly the place to apply efforts so as to wish to receive the property opposite to your nature. There is no coercion in spirituality! As long as you do not wish for the property of bestowal to clothe in your desire, in your substance, and as long as you do not care for that substance, you work as the property that has clothed in it, according to the saying: “And darkness will shine as the light,” it will not happen.

So, we have to develop a true desire to bestow within us. And if we ignore this, missing the available moments and opportunities, then the states in which we were supposed to reveal the need for bestowal become disclosed as its absence, but in the opposite form showed in our egoism.

And if in my current state, I can not succeed and by my own free will yearn for bestowal, that is, I haven’t switched from the egoistic desire to the need to reach bestowal, to reveal the Creator, then the desire, which I had to turn into the request to the Creator, is revealed to me as sufferings. I did not realize this desire correctly, did not work on it, and did not turn it into a prayer by my efforts. This happens to us at our every step.

It turns out that our only work is to replace our egoistic needs with the aspiration for bestowal. The main thing is to obtain this desire and all the remaining corrections will come from Above. Each time this desire is disclosed, it should be scrutinized at all four phases. When through my efforts, I reach the fourth phase, I then realize this desire and understand what it means, what I want from it, and how I can implement it. I connect in it with the Creator and make a request for Him to perform this work on my desire.

That is, when I come to the fourth phase of my work on my desire, I become able to raise the “Reflected Light” (MAN) out of it up to Keter. And if I reach such a request, this means that my desire was correct, it was scrutinized.

And all the prior requests were deceitful and false because the need for bestowal and a true desire for it were not revealed to their full depth in them. The connection with the upper force did not appear there to request only one thing: the revelation of the property of bestowal within me. Namely, it is called the revelation of the Creator by the creatures, and not various fantasies in which people imagine the Creator as a force existing outside of us.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/26/2011, Shamati #213

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A New Book: Psychology Of An Integral Community

Psychology Of An Integral CommunityMy new book Psychology of an Integral Community has been published in Russian.

Excerpt from the annotation of the book: “The world in which we live today is global and integral. It means that all of its parts are completely interconnected, and each part determines the fate of all. This is the result of progress.

Starting from this moment on, there is no place for discord between parts of the world because everything that contradicts integration goes against progress, evolution, and the law of nature. We have to recognize an absolute connection between all parts of the world as a fact.”

The book is currently being translated into English.

The Talmud And Greek Debt

Opinion: (Mario I. Blejer, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina and former Director at the Bank of England): “There are two ways to look at Greece’s majestically unsustainable sovereign-debt mountain. There is, first, a pragmatic and short-term perspective, which focuses on ensuring some form of orderly restructuring (possibly for other vulnerable European states as well) without bringing down the eurozone. And there is a “moral” perspective, which focuses on the nature of debt and on the long-term economic consequences of failing to honor it. Neither perspective is wrong; on the contrary, the problem is how to reconcile them….

“In these circumstances, the Talmud …might hold the key….

“The verse says, literally, ‘We (the court) force him until he says that he wants to do it willingly.’ So, ‘in divorces (if the man refuses to grant it), we exercise force on him until he says “I want to do it voluntarily.”‘ Similarly, if a court forces a person to sell his property, the sale is valid because it is considered to have been carried out voluntarily.

Understanding this apparent contradiction sheds light on the controversy surrounding the question of private bondholders’ involvement in the Greek rescue package. It is argued that, to avoid a default, private creditors should agree to shoulder part of the cost of the bailout. But how does one impose a financial loss on bondholders without it being classified by credit-rating agencies as a default?…

“Using the Talmudic logic, one can also show that there are mechanisms that can – and should – be used to place pressure on the parties in the interest of obtaining superior voluntary outcomes.

There are two preponderant interpretations of the Talmudic passage. One argues that coercion can change minds. When a court forces an individual until he surrenders and says that he wants to follow orders, his compliant actions are to be considered voluntary, because, ultimately, he has made the conscious decision to agree….

“The alternative is to seek a cooperative resolution, consistent with the benign interpretation of ‘forced willingness.’ This can be achieved by adopting some features of the model used in Eastern Europe, known as the “Vienna Initiative.”…

“The first pillar of that model is simultaneous involvement all parties in designing the scheme from the start…. The second ingredient is proper incentives to participate, including direct financing from bondholders’ governments…. The third component is the exercise of suasion on bondholders to achieve maximum participation, obtain binding pre-commitments, and eliminate free riders.

Since this scheme would imply losses for bondholders, substantial official muscle and peer pressure is needed….

“Therefore, under this model – and despite the initial pressure – the behavior of bondholders could be considered truly voluntary. And, while rating agencies might still regard a Vienna-type outcome as a default, the Talmudic sages show us why a more thoughtful classification is required.”

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A Circle Made Of Numberless Straight Lines

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1, “Table of Questions and Answers for Topics”: Question 102: What are Sefirot de Igulim? When there is no differentiation of above and below among the four Behinot (phases) in the Ratzon (desire), they are regarded as four Igulim (spheres, circles), one within the other, like onion skins.

In the very beginning, in the Light of Infinity, there were no differences between above and below, due to the absolute authority of the upper force which ruled over the desire to receive completely equally. But having made the restriction and the screen and having gone through the expansion of the worlds from Above downward and the return of the souls from below upward, the desire arrives at the state when it has multiple properties, differences, and peculiarities, all of which become enclosed in an integral system. And hence, no difference between them remains.

This means that in the very beginning, in the world of Infinity in State 1, desire was “round” (Igulim), as it is in the very end, in State 3. But in the beginning, desire didn’t have distinctions since they were invisible and everything looked the same.

In the very end, at the final correction (Gmar Tikkun), there are no differences either. Having revealed in this desire enormous number of properties, varieties, and details, we bind them all together into one integral system where every element is as vital as the entire system. And hence, there are no differences between them!

This is another type of “circles” (Igulim) which contain great number of “straight” ties (Yosher). But these straight connections reach a state when they lock into a circle.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/25/2011, Talmud Eser Serifot

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Rethinking Education Axioms

Opnion (Boris Wolfson, historian, professor, Russian Academy of Education, “For all his enormous scientific achievements, man still has not penetrated into the mysteries of consciousness—the most profound gift granted to him by nature. For the most part, the real essence of man remains a mystery….

“None of the modern philosophical and pedagogical theories is able to determine the basic objectives and means of education….

“It is becoming increasingly evident that to overcome the crisis in human development, our primary task is not the transformation of social structures…, but something more challenging: profound changes in consciousness and behavior of the modern man that would ennoble his inner world and fill his aspirations with new content, social and aesthetic ideals, and notions of good and evil. The challenge is to purposefully form a humanistic consciousness in the individual, group, society, and the whole of humanity….

“Humanism is not rooted in the biological structure of man, it is not inherent in him from birth. Each individual must re-learn some basic human values. Therefore, it requires more effort from the teachers, significant changes in the system of education, as well as a re-evaluation of the fundamental provisions which seemed axiomatic a short time ago.”

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The Genre Crisis

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the news  (from iHS Screen Digest, industry analysts covering global media markets, published an opinion about the fate of the 3D film format.

“In 2011 to date, titles released in 3D have grossed an average 64.4 per cent of total box office from US 3D screens, a slight reduction from the 69 per cent 3D/2D split in the first three months of 2011, and below the full year 2010 average (66.8 per cent)….

“The move shows how some US consumers have flipped in their appreciation of broad market 3D and in certain cases may believe it offers little incremental value over the standard 2D version.”

My comment: People get tired of meaningless horror and war stories; everything passes, and folly too….

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Globalization: We Are All In The Common Circle

Dr. Michael LaitmanPeople still don’t understand that our salvation lies in unity. Unity is a real force, our shield and sword. We have to go forward with it.

Today, when protestors demonstrate, they are trying to break the government’s egoism with their egoism. I am not saying that the people are wrong to advance demands, but in the modern world this approach is no longer effective. Today the world is driven by a “round” force of a closed, integral system. When you enter this circle together with others, you become similar to the integral nature, and then you achieve success. If, however, you are not in the common circle, you bring destruction to yourself and others until everything falls apart completely.

Look at what is happening in the USA. The whole world is looking at Americans, but like little children, they are unable to reach an agreement about the national debt ceiling. The ceiling has already been raised several times, but suddenly it’s as if they are stuck, like something is blocking them. Everyone is pleading, “Raise it! Keep printing dollars, we need them. We will stockpile them like pickles in a barrel. After all, without them we simply don’t know how to live. Don’t deprive us of this green current since otherwise we will be left with nothing!”

But the Americans are unable to reach a decision because they have not taken on a “round” form. And the same problem will be expressed in every sphere. A country that was healthy and successful just yesterday is suddenly finding itself in a meltdown. Like a sand castle, once it reaches a certain height, it comes crumbling down, buried beneath its own weight.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/11, “The Peace”

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You Can’t Go Against The Facts

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “The Peace”: I have come here to speak only through critique of empirical reason, beginning from the simple recognition no one disagrees with, through proving analytically, until we come to determining the uppermost topic. And it will be tested synthetically, how His work [bestowal] is confirmed and reaffirmed by simple recognition from the practical aspect.

Thus, based on our research, we have to realize that the only thing we need in life is bestowal to the neighbor. Everything that Kabbalah calls “the work of the Creator” and “love for the Creator and the creatures,” is expressed and realized by way of bestowal to the neighbor.

How can we make this clear? Where can we find the proof that this is exactly how we should live? Where can we take the strength to realize this principle? Why are we opposite to it by our nature? Why is this work hateful to us? And how can we nevertheless carry it out? After all, Baal HaSulam writes that it is necessary and obligatory. This means that experimental data has to show us facts that will obligate us to act accordingly.

In principle, this is what always happens. For example, a person is shown what kind of harm he causes himself by smoking. Specialists present this message to him so clearly and convincingly that he quits smoking even though he really wants to do it. That’s because he sees the harm with his own eyes and everyone supports him. Humanity really is fighting smoking, and if the producers weren’t pushing cigarettes “through the backdoor,” people would already have gotten rid of this habit by now, as well as anything else that causes real harm.

It’s even easier to achieve the necessary effect by using a positive influence, through something that brings benefit. If society publicly and demonstratively praises something, I will automatically aspire in the same direction. Children grow up with this value: It is the only thing of importance and we live for its sake.

It is possible to make us adopt the most diverse values, which is what in fact is happening to humanity. We are all different. Every person has his own religion, his own ideas and preferences, his own mentality, his own habits….

Therefore, with the help of research, we have to find a proof that won’t leave us any other possibility besides bestowal to the neighbor.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/28/11, “The Peace”

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