Choosing To Be Born

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is the meaning of the expression “There is no coercion in spirituality”?

Answer: There is no coercion in the spiritual world because eventually it all depends on a person’s exertion.

In this world receiving rules, and in the upper world, bestowal. In both cases I am obliged to obey, and this is coercion. After all, these are nature’s laws.

Take the law of gravity, for example, this is a fixed force that immediately pulls me to the ground. Can you resist its coercion? “I don’t want it to operate on me, I have my own plans.” That won’t work. The law operates, whether you like it or not. It is the same with the laws of bestowal and receiving. All of reality is full of coercion.

You are free only when you choose. What kind of a choice is this? The choice is to switch from receiving to bestowal with the help of the group, the Reforming Light, and the teacher. Actually, receiving and bestowal are one law, one force. Your choice is in how to obey it: positively or negatively. You make that choice by yourself.

So what is your choice? Is it worth it or not to join bestowal? You know everything that happened previously and something of what will happen in the future. We can’t yet feel and touch the place where the choice is made. Yet actually, an amazing void opens up for you there.

We often mention the fable of the worm that lives inside a radish. When he makes a hole in the skin, a whole world is revealed to it. It is a very narrow opening, and it is the worm’s choice to be born or not. Every time you make that choice, another small part of you is born, and you enter the new world that is already prepared for you.

Although it is a very slight and fine action on my part, it is as if I operate a huge system by simply pushing a button. The place I make the choice is exactly the “spirituality” where there is no coercion. I open up a new world for myself, and my attitude towards it becomes free.

The law operates in both places, but when I enter the world of bestowal, I acquire freedom: All this is mine—the corrected desire to receive with the intention of in order to bestow, and I control it. I am really free; with this desire, I can carry out any action of bestowal that I want. This is the only thing that I want, and there are no restrictions.

Therefore it says: “There is no coercion in spirituality.” I am born, and I transcend from a rotten apple into a wonderful world, sunshine, fresh air and singing birds. When I go through this narrow passageway, I acquire a new attitude that is based on bestowal and I become adapted to the big world. In it, I am free.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/15/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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Where Is Democracy?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: The Creator limits my freedom according to nature’s laws, but what if I don’t want that? After all, He didn’t ask me. Where is democracy?

Answer: Actually, the Creator develops modern people differently, and accordingly they ask the relevant questions about Him. This is the way it should be. This is why our world is changing, so that the questions about Him will be evoked in us. As a result, all the questions and claims should be aimed at the Creator. It is all meant for a person to reach despair.

On the one hand, it seems that there is freedom in this world and that I can do whatever I want to. On the other hand, my “childish” mind gradually perceives that the world is controlled by a system of laws and that I can’t do whatever I want to at all, even if I really want to do so. There is a difference between what is desirable and what is.

Gradually I understand that it is all about the laws of the world, which are ironclad rules. They are revealed to me more clearly and oblige me more and more. As a result I don’t feel so comfortable and so good, but on the whole this is how I learn.

At the beginning a child enjoys everything and his requests are fulfilled. Later we begin to limit him. We teach him the rules of life and demand things from him. This is how he grows.

You are talking about democracy, about freedom. But what kind of freedom is this? Freedom from what? Freedom for what? Freedom under what conditions? After all, you are not living in a vacuum; you already have certain attributes, you are already something.

“Freedom” for you is when you immediately get everything that you desire: “I want a palace!”—here you go. “I want to be strong and clever”—here you go. This way you are free of any limitations, you are omnipotent.

But you didn’t choose your mind and personality, which means that you aren’t really free. Furthermore, your desires depend on the values that you were raised with, which isn’t freedom either. There are already preliminary conditions instilled in you, which influence you. So what kind of freedom is this? It isn’t the way you imagine it. You simply haven’t clarified this.

On the other hand, the Creator really wants you to be free. Then you will be free of what he has inserted into you and instead, you will build the opposite attributes above that. You will find true freedom among the 613 “sins” and the 613 “commandments,” which is something new, a third factor, the middle line, the spiritual world. It doesn’t exist without you. If you don’t create it, it will not exist.

In the meantime, don’t forget: You are a created being and thus not free, you are limited in your qualities and in your desires.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/15/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot

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An All Powerful Desire

Dr. Michael LaitmanAll conventions must be permeated with a single idea. The idea is quite simple. The upper Light exists in a state of absolute rest, without any changes. It exists in total bestowal and there are no restrictions on its part. All restrictions on receiving the Light come from us, to the extent of our opposition to the Light.

Therefore, the only thing we need to do is to change ourselves and to some degree become similar to the Light. The Light bestows love, connection, and balance; hence, we must posses these qualities at least to some degree. By obtaining these qualities, we’ll be able to sense the upper Light, the qualities of love and bestowal within us.

This quality, this sensation is called the Light or the Creator. When we obtain the Light’s qualities, the Light will begin to dwell within us, and we’ll sense it and exist in it. We’ll observe ourselves and the world from within this quality because we’ll exist on the next degree called the upper world. This is what we need to attain.

This attainment can only come with the help of the upper Light because it has to influence and correct us. But how can we evoke its influence if the Light exists in a state of absolute rest? We have to desire this and the Light will correct us. The Light can only influence us to the extent of our desire and according to the specifications of what it is we desire.

If we wish to receive only for ourselves and to use our world egoistically, the Light influences us accordingly: It alienates us, thereby worsening our position. However, if we wish to become similar to the Light and to draw closer to it, then in accordance to our desire, the Light draws us closer. Basically everything depends upon the upper Light, on how it will exert its influence in relation to our appeal for it.

Therefore, all that’s required from a person is the desire toward love and bestow. And then, the Light will affect us, will give us the desire to bestow and love, which will become our Light. In other words, the upper Light represents an aspiration towards bestowal, a quality of love. This is what is called the measure of fulfillment of the spiritual vessel.

So, we must posses a great desire for bestowal, love and unity. This aspiration toward the Light will make us loving and giving and will allow us to exist on the next degree, in the quality of bestowal, in the upper world.
From the Unity Day Lecture “To Acquire a Desire to Give” 1/29/2012

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The Uniqueness Of The Integral System

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When I encounter the law of mutual guarantee and see it in action, I immediately begin to monitor others so that they won’t drill a hole in the boat, and I purely egoistically point out that they shouldn’t be doing this.

Answer: With a corrected, altruistic approach, I act differently. I say to myself: “They are all ideal, I can be absolutely sure of them. I only have to monitor myself so I complete them correctly.”

If I behave correctly within the integral scheme, the entire scheme will be correct. It’s a reverse implication of the same law, where each is responsible for all. If, while existing within an integral system, I behave correctly, I oblige the entire integral system to do so as well. If someone breaks the law, the entire system fails.

Engineering has examples of various systems, among them an integral one. There is a discrete system with a strictly defined beginning and end, where all the working parts communicate with each other through impulses. And then there is a system which gets aroused by a signal it receives, then calms down, comes to a state of balance, and only after that can one measure its output as a solution to a problem. This is the so-called integral, analog system.

A disturbance and, naturally, an averaging, a calming down take place in such systems. You wouldn’t be able to observe any results until everything calms down and arrives to a common denominator, to a solution.

At first, when you give a signal, you, say, bring an egoistic environment into a perturbed state. Then correction takes place: Gradually, a balance between absolutely all parts of the system is achieved; the system calms down. And then you measure the potential that results from its connection. If we talk about the human society, then the achieved result is accepted by everyone uniformly, equally, and kindly; everyone tries to uphold this very state because it is the most comfortable for everyone.
From “Lessons About the New World” #8, 12/15/11

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Who Will Save The Drowning?

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: In the mid-1960’s, there was an incident in Paris when a person drowned in a pool in front of 150 eyewitnesses because nobody came to the rescue. Had there been only one person there, he or she would have saved him, but now it’s as if the responsibility was diluted among 150 people. Hence the law that the more people there are, the less responsibility each of them has personally. How can we make this law integral?

Answer: What does “mutual guarantee” mean? I am responsible for everyone. The general and the particular are equal in their power and influence—this is what the law of global guarantee implies.

If within the final integral system (and we take it as a starting point of any explanation) even one tiny particle is missing—me, you, or him—it won’t be able to function. It won’t be able to operate at the full 100%. It will break down not by 99% or 50%, but by the entire 100% because an integral system implies the participation of absolutely everybody.

Ultimately, the law is such that one is equal to all, one is important for everyone. There isn’t anyone who could wiggle out of this, opt not to participate.

In the integral education we present a simple example: We (all of humanity) are in one big boat. If I drill a hole under myself in the bottom of the boat, everybody drowns. I may say: “I’m sorry, friends, this is my personal business. I want to drown. Or I want to take a bath. That’s it. This has nothing to do with you. What right do you have to enter my territory and admonish me or order me around?!”

If we exist within the framework of one law of nature—in the same boat, like in Noah’s Ark. If someone drills a hole there, we will all drown.

So it follows that responsibility cannot be distributed among everyone. For each person it is the same responsibility as for everyone else! That’s why each person who stands around the pool and sees that someone is drowning must imagine that if I don’t take any action, then no one will. And then everyone would plunge into the water.
From “Lessons About the New World” #8, 12/15/12

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Conformity Is Not A Bad Thing At All

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Materialistic psychology discusses the psychological concept of conformity, when a person submits to the opinion of the majority. From the point of view of psychologists, conformity is a bad thing, while nonconformity is good. Perhaps from the perspective of integrality, conformity is a very positive thing?

Answer: First of all, a person’s subordination to society and their surrounding environment is a law of nature. In other words, there is no truth or falsehood, no good or evil, nothing—there is only the directives of the environment, and I obey them, I am brought up within them. What the environment proclaims to be good or evil, right or wrong, I accept as such.

We can convince ourselves that salty tastes sweet, no problem! If the environment starts referring to salt as being sweet, ultimately I will start consuming salty candy. It alters our inner physiological parameters to such an extent that we change completely.

We cannot say whether it’s good or bad. We are simply stating a fact. After all, can I really say anything bad about acceleration of free fall or other physical parameters? This is what exists. The way we apply this is another story. But saying that it’s bad and we should therefore change and distort a person—this actually is bad. Our task is to correctly apply the laws of nature with the aim of achieving our similarity, compatibility, and harmony with it.

Question: It turns out that a social-psychological law like conformity is a big plus that helps us to unite?…

Answer: We are able to change a person precisely by virtue of the surrounding environment. Mass media, society, and upbringing, it all constitutes the surrounding environment. We selectively influence a person from the outside in order to transform him or her. This is our only tool of influence on a person.
From “Lessons About the New World” #8, 12/15/12

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Above The Level Of Death

Dr. Michael LaitmanIntegral upbringing strips a person of practically everything that characterizes our modern society. What remains is only their normal, peaceful, and regular existence (we call it the beastly level, but not with disdain as this is the level on which our physical body exists). At this point a person devotes all of his or her resources only to master the next degree, that of “Adam,” the degree of universal mutual guarantee, ascent, and unity. It is precisely in our unity that we reveal the next level of our existence: the attainment of eternity and perfection.

And this is possible since by breaking away from our animal body and attaining the complete picture of nature, its mechanism, dynamics, and the forces that permeate it from beginning to end, this entire process, a person connects to and associates himself with this process and already simply lives on that level. It’s as if he or she breaks away from their own body (we cannot imagine this state yet) and associates himself with the attained common unification and exists within it to such extent that even if his body dies, he doesn’t feel death. It’s as if this is the death of his beloved pet animal who lives next to him. He doesn’t feel that his “self” loses something thereby.

Since our body represents merely the sum of our desires and our notion of self, if we no longer associate ourselves with it, it’s as if we live detached from it. This is also a psychological problem, but it can be overcome in the course of integral upbringing.

We need to lead our students towards this gradually since the problem of death, despite the constant attempts to “bottle it up,” nevertheless drives a human being. In any task that we set before ourselves, we subconsciously include this element and are compelled to address it. Any decision that we make: to have children, to support a family, to appear a certain way in the eyes of society, and so on, anything presupposes an element of inclusion of the self into something outside of ourselves since in this manner it’s as if we continue on.
From “Lessons About the New World” #8, 12/15/12

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 02.16.12

Preparation to the Lesson
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Writings of Rabash According to What Is Explained about Love Thy Friend as Thyself
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The Book of Zohar – Selected Chapter “Beresheet (Genesis),” “Creates Worlds and Destroys Them,” Item 221, Lesson 64
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Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 6, “Histaklut Pnimit,” Item 6, Lesson 25
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Introduction to the Study of Ten Sefirot,” Item 99, Lesson 44
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