Etiquette Is Not Development

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom the materials on the principles of global education: “A more developed person feels that even a small evil inside of him is not bearable. The perception of this evil obliges a person to get rid of it, just like of everything else that is harmful. It follows from here that the person’s level of development is defined by his sensitivity to the oppositeness between him and the common law of nature: love and bestowal.”

We teach children to behave politely in society, to look good in the eyes of others. For example, it is natural for a child to get dirty while eating and while playing, but we explain to him that these are bad manners. In other words, we increase his egoism, so that other people’s disdain becomes an important factor for him. The same old savage still exists within the person, but, on the outside, everything is very proper.

The question is should we be improving our external inter-relationships? In doing so, our ego grows even more. We look proper and respectable. There are entire schools of good manners where they teach a person the rules of polite behavior. In our world, a well brought up person is called  “developed” but here we are not talking about the correction of egoism, but about looking better.

Of course, all of this is a lie that the science of Kabbalah does not take into account. Let a man live in the African jungle, and let him eat with his hands from a common bowl. This does not mean that he is less developed than a gentleman from London who flawlessly handles tableware.

Obviously, good manners should be exercised in human society, and we absolutely are not disregarding them. However, they do not relate to the internal correction of a person. Internal correction is built on the realization of evil.

This is a question of intentions. Here, a person does not need to look at the external, but to delve inside. How pleasant is he to others in his intention for the sake of bestowal? Does he relate well to others in his soul?

External presence, behind which stands the desire to use others, is of no help here. On the contrary, everything is defined by the internal approach, while the external can become its projection.

Furthermore, although it may be that regardless of all my love for my little son externally, I display strictness and I even punish him because I have no other choice. Otherwise, he will harm himself.

My love for him sometimes requires tough measures, and I need to increase this love in order for me to limit him externally or to upset him.

In relation to nature, the Creator, all of us are small children, and it relates to us exactly in the same way. Inside nature, the force of love and the unity of all parts rules. This force can even create a living body, all parts of which are in harmony with each other. They are not simply living, but they are developing, rising above the animate state on to the level of nature itself, to the human level.

It is love, instilled in the base of the force of nature, which is being revealed in the harmony of all of its parts.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/27/11, “Principles of Global Education”

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