Audio Version Of The Blog – 12.28.11

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Strauss-Kahn: Eurozone Has Just Weeks To Sort Out Problems

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion: (Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former IMF Chief): “The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has warned that the eurozone is a ‘raft that will sink’ unless the region’s leaders come up with a solution ‘within weeks.’

“He said one problem is the French and German leaders — Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel — do not understand each other.

“The blunt and highly critical speech was made at an economic conference in Beijing.”

My Comment: Of course, he is right but only partly. The fact is that his decision to recapitalize the banks in the EU is only to buy time, during which it’s necessary to begin to educate the Europeans in the understanding of a new state of the world so that they see the world through the “integral glasses,” interconnected, and act only on the basis of this condition.

In this case, during the process of learning new integral relationships, interconnectedness, and mutual guarantee, people will be able to change social relationships from egoistic to mutual guarantee gradually and “gently,” to transform the relationships in the family, workplace, and then in business, economics, and finance.

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America Retreats From Marriage

In the News (from The Christian Science Monitor): “In a nation soon to be dominated by single adults, more Americans find marriage obsolete or worth putting off. But can a society afford to have so many people unwilling to make a self-sacrifice to another in a bond that drives civilization?

“The latest data show that unwed adults now almost outnumber those who are wed. Within a few years, the majority of adults over 18 will be single.

“The median age for marriage is now at its highest level as more young people put off tying the knot or cohabiting instead. And last year, only 9 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds were married, a big drop from 45 percent a half century ago.

“Surprisingly, the research doesn’t show that the Great Recession is the cause. Rather, a values revolution is driving many people away from making that special self-sacrifice to a spouse and from cherishing marriage as a social good with economic security that can leave behind a better generation. [emphasis mine]

“Children of divorce are often afraid to tie the knot. Others put careers and education first. And with less social obligation to marry these days, finding Mr. or Ms. Right seems less urgent.

“These trends are worse among the less educated, blacks, and Hispanics. For them, this ‘marriage gap’ causes many to lose out on the economic benefits of marriage. College-educated whites, meanwhile, still largely embrace marriage, allowing most to hang onto the American dream.

“Marriage, of course, isn’t for everybody. But its decline signals a troublesome shift away from the enduring spiritual values of self-denial for the sake of others, best expressed in marriage and, with it, parenthood.

“It is not only individuals who lose the opportunity to learn the happiness of finding one’s good in another, but society loses out as well.” [emphasis mine]

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ForeWord Magazine About The Book The Psychology Of The Integral Society

psychology-of-integral-society_100Favorable remarks about The Psychology of the Integral Society from a leading international book reviewer:

The book The Psychology of the Integral Society written by me and Anatoly Ulianov on the need of an integral and global education to solve the crisis, received very positive commentaries in the latest edition of ForeWord magazine, the 2nd most important book reviewer in the world.

ForeWord Reviews is a print magazine and online review service that influences the choices of readers, booksellers, book buyers, publishing insiders, and librarians. Its publication reaches an audience of 20,000; and the website receives a monthly average of 150,000 unique visitors.

The Psychology of the Integral Society explains the characteristics of an integral society in which all parts contribute to the well-being and success of the society. This one, in turn, is responsible and cares for the well-being and success of its elements, thus forming the only sustainable way to live.

ForeWord Reviews writes, “As a society, we spend so much time competing and trying to get a leg up that the concept of simply working together sounds groundbreaking in itself…”

Read the full review.

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Baby Justice

In the News (from LiveScience): “Babies as young as 8 months want to see wrongdoers punished, a new study finds.

“In contrast, younger babies prefer to see individuals being nice to one another — even when that means that someone is nice to a character who deserves a slap on the wrist.

“So, the researchers [from the University of British Columbia, Canada] set up a series of experiments using puppets to act out scenarios of helping and harming while each of 32 5-month-olds and 32 8-month-olds watched separately. After each experiment, the infants indicated their preference for the puppets’ behaviors by picking their favorite puppet to hold.

“The puppets — a series of cheerful characters, including moose, elephants and a yellow duck — were first shown interacting in either nice or mean ways.

Social calculations

“The findings, reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal that babies develop a sense of justice between 5 and 8 months of age, Hamlin said.

“’We find that, by eight months, babies have developed nuanced views of reciprocity and can conduct these complex social evaluations much earlier than previously thought,’ she said.

“Although this sense of justice may be learned, Hamlin said, the early age at which it develops suggests that an urge to punish antisocial types may be partially innate.”

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The Holy Names Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What do the Creator’s names refer to and how can they be attained?

Answer: The Lights, which enter desires and fill them, evoke the sensation in the desire of the kind of fulfillment that it is—the degree of the desire’s similarity to the Light, the Creator. They are referred to as the holy names of the Creator.

Part of the desire to receive pleasure becomes “holy,” which means that it is able to work for the sake of bestowal, and this is why it becomes filled with the Light of Hassadim or even the Light of Hochma. These desires become similar to the Creator.

The Creator Himself does not have a name. The Creator is a complete and perfect HaVaYaH filled with the Light of Infinity. But there are no names in the world of Infinity because names stand for a certain limitation: “kind,” “merciful,” etc. This is why the Creator does not have a name.

All of His holy names are different forms in which we perceive Him in accordance with the degree of our correction. It is similar to your individual characteristics, which I perceive you with: you wear glasses, you dress well, you are a father, an engineer….

In other words, I give you different names or definitions, but I do not know you in reality. I only distinguish a certain particularity in you every time, in relation to a certain specific quality. This is how the attainment of the Creator happens—through His “holy names,” different forms of bestowal, which bring us closer to Him.

But when we correct all our “620” desires and turn them into desires to bestow, they become 620 holy names, and we eventually attain Him through their collectivity. And when we combine all these names into one Name, as it is written: “And the day will come when He and His name will be One”—we truly attain the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/24/11, Writings of Rabash

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Victory Over The Creator

Dr. Michael LaitmanThe purpose of our studies is to develop recognition of evil within us. On the other hand, even without studying, people can identify the evil within themselves. We are brought up in a certain spirit and acquire cultural values; thus, we are unable to steal, beat or kill anyone. We become better, more open-hearted; we start charities and help the sick and needy. Hence, we learn to distinguish good from bad and intentionally want to do good.

At the same time, all people in this world no matter how highly developed or poorly bred they are act in accordance with their egoistic desires. Some people help others because they are afraid to get into a similar situation in the future. Others feel pain when they see their neighbors’ affliction and would like to calm down their own pain. Our egoism contains multiple bases for “altruistic” behavior, that is, caring about our neighbors.

However, it has nothing to do with authentic correction. All good and bad qualities as well as all principles of our world are rooted in egoism. A person can be the quintessence of kindness, be utterly concerned about his surroundings, be loved by everyone, but still is being governed by self-love.

In Kabbalistic terms, a person remains on the animate level since he is not in control of his own properties; rather, his properties are in control of him. No matter how wonderful he is, he is not the one who manages his behavior, but rather, his ego is in charge of him. We can call such person “an angel” according to the spiritual classification, meaning on the “animate” level.

In fact, inanimate, vegetative and animate developmental levels are considered “angels” since they implicitly fulfill “orders” of nature. This applies to everyone in this world. It explains why there are no such things as punishment or reward; they are applicable only to those who work on self-improvement in order to approach the Creator. The rest are simply ordinary “derivatives”; it’s useless to expect more from them.

We study Kabbalah because we are triggered by a point in the heart, which allows us to differentiate between reward and punishment on our spiritual path. What bothers us is whether we will rise above our nature that in fact is the Creator. We’d like to have power over it.

What does this mean? Do we really want to take over the Creator? Yes. It is said: “My sons have defeated Me. I created the evil inclination and they demanded that I create a force that corrects it.”

A person develops in order to validate his existence rather than blindly submit himself to nature. His development depends on the recognition of evil. What kind of evil do I disclose in myself? Maybe I am a thief or a liar…. But it is the Creator who made me this way.

The ability to differentiate between a human being and the Creator is in fact a genuine recognition of evil. Only in comparison with Him, my evil inclination reveals itself. It is about the desire that I identify as being opposite to His.

But how can I possibly compare myself with the Creator? For that, I need a group. It is my only opportunity, my only standard, and my sole criteria for evaluating myself. My negative mind-set towards my friends and detachment from the group allow me to acknowledge my evil inclination. Then, I unite with my friends in order to approach the Creator.

So, there are three components: myself, the group, and the Creator. According to them we evaluate evil and good inclinations, rewards and punishments, and all other details of our perception that we measure up to the Man (Adam in Hebrew) who is similar with the Creator. The rest is simply irrelevant.

Basically, this is the way to separate creation. This approach accurately focuses my attention on the goal. The group becomes a method of achieving the Creator; the Creator is hiding behind the group and reveals Himself to the degree that I immerse myself in it.

After I incorporate myself into the group, I realize that the Creator is also a part of it.  Thus, the group is a common territory between me and Him.

I disclose my evil inclination through my relationship with the group, while I am trying to unite with my friends in the group. Similar to when we exited Egypt, Mount Sinai emerges between us; it’s a mountain of hatred (Sina in Hebrew).

On the other hand we must unite and be as one man with one heart out of desperation. The gap between unity and enormous hatred constitutes the evil inclination. This is what we raise our demand to correct.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/30/11, “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

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Once Again About Religion…

Dr. Michael Laitman“Religion” in general is one’s attitude to life. It determines how I perceive life and how I discover the secret of its essence. Do I have a tool by which I discover the reason we are born, the reason for our existence and the reason of our death, the changes in life and of the times, the basic reason for all of reality and for this world, and perhaps for other worlds too?

All this is “religion,” religion is the means by which I open all the doors, understand and feel everything, and am incorporated in everything. This is where the Hebrew word “religion” (Da’at) comes from, meaning to know, to perceive, to be familiar with, to discover, to attain.

People have given the name “religion” to something that doesn’t bring them to any attainment, but only gives them a psychological guarantee for some reward for their suffering. Where does that come from?

Once, before the destruction of the temple, religion was the wisdom of Kabbalah. In that life, we attained the upper world. In Babel, Abraham discovered this paradigm, this attitude to nature, to man, and to the development, and passed it on to the group of Kabbalists that he assembled. Its way from Babel until the destruction of the second temple was realized by a method called religion or Kabbalah.

Later, however, this group that had become a nation, fell from the spiritual level to corporeality, and lost the religion, spiritual recognition, spiritual understanding, and the connection with the upper force. Abraham’s offspring were left with just the external customs that are preformed on the corporeal level, while the true religion disappeared and was concealed from them. Now we are returning to it.

In the meantime, for centuries, other methods that are based on egoism, on concealment, and on ignorance regarding the elements of the world have replaced religion.

In “The Writings of the Future Generation” Baal HaSulam says that we are not fighting anyone’s mistakes. After all, this whole process is part of the plan of the development humanity has to go through. We don’t blame anyone for anything or the new “religions” that appeared. On the contrary, through them, we have developed while we were in exile.

Now, when we are waking up towards the spiritual revelation, we discover the same and only initial religion, which is also called “the wisdom of Kabbalah.”  At the same time, all the other methods still exist: every individual can follow them according to his level of obligation. Even if a person has risen above them and is not connected to them by faith, still, as Kabbalists say, we respect their customs, which have become the cultures of different peoples. So there is always room for them. They constitute the external environment that protects a person and creates a certain framework in which one lives.

In any case, the true religion is a person’s attitude to his existence, to his outlook of life, by which he arranges every aspect of his life.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/20/11, “Introduction to TES

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How To Spend Your Free Time

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Many
 families dedicate their free time to doing things like shopping together. What should people do if they get a lot of free time in the future?

Answer: Of
 course there will be a big difference between that and what is happening today.

Today a person works five to six days a week. He is so busy that he has 
no time left to dedicate to his home. He spends weekends doing work around the
 house and shopping. Where else is he to spend his time but malls and
 supermarkets? This is how a modern person spends his leisure time instead of engaging in cultural

However, all these elements of behavior will wither away; we are already seeing this in practice. All of it will be overtaken with completely
 different activities. A person’s inner states will prevail because they will 
determine a person’s external activities.

We see how people in our groups strive to communicate: reading, discussions, with various games, music, and theater. In other words, all the groups 
that are in different places suddenly begin to create amongst ourselves a great cultural
 environment. They want to do theater, write songs and music; there is a big 
creative process going on. And we can see that this appears naturally in them, based on an inner need.

I think that what will occupy people most is their aspiration to 
express themselves as much as possible in every way of human expression, to show
 their new, inner harmony, the connection between them. As the person rises above 
himself, the transformation he is experiencing will find its expression, and 
the solution is specifically in this new culture in its various forms.

I even see this in the example of young children, who grab a toy
 guitar and wish to express themselves this way. Of course the guitar attracts them 
because they imitate the adults, but they also want to express themselves. And 
they try.
Talk on Integral Education 12/12/2011

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Getting Closer To The Center Of Bestowal

Dr. Michael LaitmanFirst we develop at this world’s level, in our egoism, when we only worry about it until we become wiser and see it as our most hateful enemy, which stands in our way.

But this is not a hindrance regarding life in this world, although here too egoism sometimes buries itself. The main point is that there are people in whom a new desire begins to grow, which is in conflict with this world and with a person’s whole life. Such people would like to disconnect from this life and rise to a different level of existence, to another reality, instead of the reality that satisfied them before.

So they enter a period called the time of preparation to enter the spiritual world (Lo Lishma – not for its sake), and begin to work on themselves by studying, the group, and a teacher. They try to enlarge the point in their heart, the first bud of the new desire, above all their egoism, above the egoistic heart.

As this new desire grows, a person begins to appreciate his new goal even more and to understand that the goal is bestowal, connection, the exit from his ego, and ascent to new desires, to connection with others. He doesn’t see his “self” any more, but the “we.” Thus, this “we” becomes so infused that the sum becomes “one.”

We aspire and yearn for this new dimension and try to rise from the egotistic level to the level of connection as we constantly increase the importance of the goal, annul ourselves and connect with others, and accept the opinion of the environment that our unity is more important than life inside our ego. The upper Light influences us in response to our efforts and advances us towards the internal change.

Eventually the internal shift, called birth in the new world, takes place, as our perception changes from receiving to bestowing. From now on we begin to see reality through the attribute of bestowal, which is totally different from our previous perception.

Now we see the same part to which we previously didn’t pay attention: the system of bestowal that exists in nature, the inner forces, the connections, the spiritual levels (Partzufim, worlds, Sefirot).

Until now, we only saw the levels of the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels, and suddenly another part of reality is revealed to us, which is called the world of bestowal, the upper world. Then we begin to study this system and according to how much we join it, we enter it.

Each time as we achieve a stronger connection, the more we connect to this system, as if we are taking another step deeper into the forest, into the field of the new world. But our whole advancement is realized thanks to the connection. And so, we get to know the system of bestowal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/26/11, Writings of Rabash

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