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Question: During seminars in the group, some people talk more and some less, some are more expressive and others less. What is the right way to relate to this?
Answer: When I sit in a circle together with other people, I must see every one of them as a puppet through which the Creator speaks. This is not a person, but the way in which the Creator presents Himself to me in various forms. No matter how silly the things they say are, that doesn’t matter to me; I bow down before them. No matter how unpleasant they may suddenly seem to me, how repulsive and unattractive, I must counterbalance this by understanding that He is awakening this outlook, this antipathy in me. And this is the place of work.
It is written about the great sage Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma that he had a group of students who were total beginners, stupid and with no merits, but he placed himself even lower in relation to them, and then they suddenly became great in his eyes and he was able to receive all attainment through them from the Creator.
No one is higher or lower; all of that exists according to our evaluation. Therefore, I can sit with a group that came “from the street” – that doesn’t matter. Everything depends on how I position myself in relation to them.
From the lesson in America on 5/10/12, Shamati
Opinion (Michael Poulin, psychologist at the University at Buffalo): “What makes some people give blood and bake casseroles for their neighbors, while others mutter about taxes from behind closed blinds? A new paper published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science finds that part of the answer—but not all—may be in their genes.
“The hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are thought to affect how people behave toward each other. For example, lab tests have found that people play nicer in economic games after having oxytocin squirted up their nose. ‘This is an attempt to take this into the real world a little bit,’ says Michael Poulin.
“‘What makes you think of one of your neighbors as a really generous, caring, civic-minded kind of person, while another is more selfish, tight-fisted, and not as interested in pitching in?’ asks Poulin. Those neighbors’ DNA may help explain why one of them is nicer. ‘We aren’t saying we’ve found the niceness gene,’ he says. ‘We have found a gene that makes a contribution, but I think there’s something cool about the fact that it only makes a contribution in the presence of certain feelings people have about the world around them.’”
In the News (from Scientific American): “New research underlines the wisdom of being absorbed in what you do.
“The happy upshot of this study is that it suggests a wonderfully simple prescription for greater happiness: think about what you’re doing. But be warned that like any prescription, following it is very different from just knowing it’s good for you. In addition to the usual difficulties of breaking bad or unhelpful habits, your brain may also be wired to work against your attempts to stay present.
“Recent MRI scanning studies show that even when we’re quietly at rest and following instructions to think of nothing in particular, our brains settle into a conspicuous pattern of activity that corresponds to mind-wandering. This signature ‘resting’ activity is coordinated across several widespread brain areas, and is argued by many to be evidence of a brain network that is active by default. Under this view our brains climb out of the default state when we’re bombarded with input, or facing a challenging task, but tend to slide back into it once things quiet down.
“Why are our brains so intent on tuning out? One possibility is that they’re calibrated for a target level of arousal. If a task is dull and can basically be done on autopilot, the brain conjures up its own exciting alternatives and sends us off and wandering. This view is somewhat at odds with the Killingsworth and Gilbert’s findings though, since subjects wandered even on ‘engaging’ activities.
“Regardless of what prompts our brains to settle into the default mode, its tendency to do so may be the kiss of death for happiness. As the authors of the paper elegantly summarize their work: a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.’”
My Comment: We like to be distracted only if our activity doesn’t capture us. That’s why it’s necessary to become interested in it initially. This is what Kabbalah recommends. If you don’t create a desire, you will not be able to process information thoroughly and properly, to understand anew, and thereby create a Kli (vessel) for fulfillment.
In the News (from People Alliance Blog): “The United Nations plans to use its upcoming UN Conference on ‘Sustainable Development’ (UN CSD or Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro to amass a vast array of unprecedented new powers and literally re-shape civilization, the global economy, and even peoples’ thoughts, according to official documents. All of it will be done in the name of transitioning toward a so-called ‘green economy.’
“Among the new authorities being sought by the world body are global carbon taxes, wealth redistribution amounting to trillions of dollars per year, and a barrage of programs dealing with everything from poverty and education to health and resource allocation. Virtually no realm of human activity will be unaffected by the scheme, which analysts have described as a ‘mammoth exercise in global social engineering.’”
“‘A global transformation towards a green economy will require substantial financial resources,’ the document admits… ‘In addition, there is a need to identify and develop new sources of international funds at scale that support the global transition towards a green economy,’ the document explains.
“‘Transitioning to a green economy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think and act,’ the document explains, calling for greater ‘education,’ information, and ‘awareness’ efforts to help ‘change individual and collective behavior’ in lifestyles as well as consumption and production patterns. The agenda will necessitate ‘a serious rethinking of lifestyles in developed countries…’
“Education: Ensuring Future Support: The future of humanity — the youth — must be taught about the supposed dangers of theoretical man-made global warming. And children must also learn that the UN is needed to solve the alleged problem.
“Poverty and Green Welfare: Of course, the global transformation is going to leave a lot of people unemployed — and the UN acknowledges this… ‘Measures to support the most vulnerable groups such as access to a social protection floor and social safety nets are essential to achieve social inclusion, to deal with the restructuring towards a greener economy, and to adapt to climate change,’ the report claims. ‘Coherence between social, environmental, and economic policies is needed to maximize opportunities and buffer the social cost of the transition. A transition to a green economy needs to project a vision of a greener as well as a fairer economy and society.’”
My Comment: The plans are grand! There are plenty of questions about such an enormous project, but first of all:
– Where do the means come from?
– How can we solve the problems of people’s attitude towards themselves and nature without integral education and upbringing?
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2005: ISBN 0691120749), p. 206
Divorce has become very common today. There is an upsurge in the number of the divorced couples lately and their age is going down. Some of the married couples divorce in the first years of their marriage. There is a theory that marriage may have run its course. After all, life is full of temptations and it’s very hard to live with the same person for a whole lifetime.
A woman who has a family and children suddenly feels that she doesn’t love her husband anymore. He may be a good husband and a good father, yet it doesn’t matter; she simply doesn’t love him. There is a new natural phenomenon that is common among many women who suddenly lose the internal feeling of dependence and connection with their husband.
This was never typical of women. A woman who lived with her husband always got used to him and felt that she belongs to him. Suddenly all this is gone. This is a natural result of our development. We mustn’t blame the women if this is a natural phenomenon. First we have to study the phenomenon and see what to do about it.
It’s a result of our development: We leave the animate level and rise to the level of human, Adam, who resembles (Domeh in Hebrew) the global nature. Since we have to connect with this general nature now, with all of humanity, it breaks our personal private connections. Nature wants to “open our eyes,” to take us out of the family framework so that we will return to it later, but on a different level.
Everyone remembers the feeling of being in love, the strong unusual emotions, the excitement, inspiration, and the wholeness for which it was worthwhile to be together and to build a family. But with time this feeling disappeared. So why do we naturally fall in love that later disappears, forcing us to look for it all our lives?
Nature wants us to reach true love and to break off the beastly, egoistic love that doesn’t last. We have to change the instinctive attraction to the other sex, caused by natural passion and hormones, to a more purposeful connection.
The ordinary connection is formed because we are living for the children or for a shared household. In addition, it is convenient to be together since we can help each other and support each other when we grow old. But today we have to find the higher, internal connection. It’s impossible to keep a person in the old frameworks: He may throw away everything and leave. The children grow and leave the home and there is nothing to keep us together; so we’ve split everything that we have and get divorced. We see this everywhere.
In order to keep the unity of the family, we need a more sublime motive. It’s just as we have to reach peace and understanding all over the world since we won’t survive otherwise. But when we connect with the whole world because we have no choice, we suddenly discover that the main profit is not economic success at all! It was just an excuse to push us into building up better connections.
Suddenly, we actually discover that there is a totally new feeling in this connection that detaches us from corporeal life. We feel a fuller, more spiritual life. All of a sudden we discover a filling that we haven’t felt our whole life. We simply float in the air, feeling the extraordinary lightness of being without feeling death.
Before, I had to connect under nature’s pressures that set the condition: “You either connect or here will be your burial place.” But later I am surprised to discover that these relations are totally different. I simply couldn’t imagine that this will receive a higher filling, above this whole life.
It doesn’t matter how much you tell a person about this, he won’t understand. Therefore, nature pushes us from behind by suffering, obliging us to connect before we destroy one another. We connect since we have no choice only to eventually discover the beauty in this connection.
The same thing happens in the family. Now we hate one another and don’t want to be together, wanting to get divorced. But if each of us discovers in the world the lack of love, the need, and the desire to love, and if each of us understands what a sublime filling love brings, we will want to have these relations in our family. We will return to the family after we learn to love the whole world! Then we will want to reach an inner, personal connection with a spouse.
Then it won’t matter that we grow old in a number of years and are not as attractive as we used to. We won’t even pay attention to that. We’ll feel the same first love, but in a totally different way, and only after we learn to build internal relations by connecting with the whole world.
From a “Talk About a New Life” #19, 2/02/12