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Question: Should we teach the issue of “a healthy lifestyle” in the basic course of integral education?
Answer: Actually many articles have been published lately on this topic that present statistics showing how diseases and health problems will diminish if we keep the correct relations among us.
Of course there will also be fewer murders, rapes, acts of violence, and other types of social tensions, and accordingly, it will be reflected in the overall health of people and of society.
But there is another reason for this: A person simply becomes more balanced.
All of our problems stem from internal imbalance; if we balance the relations among us and all the systems begin to function harmoniously, all the diseases will disappear.
Theoretically, it is clear even from the data presented by integral systems theories, a person shouldn’t hurt at all.
He simply needs to be healthy and relaxed, as if about to fall asleep, and die, even without feeling this transition, meaning all should go be very easy and simple so that the analog, integral goes through this change where the human level gradually descends to the animate level, and from the animate level to the vegetative level, and then gradually wanes. If you descend these levels gradually, you don’t feel that you are dead, but it is as if you gradually fall asleep, and then you are gone, and that’s it.
There is a lot of good statistical material on the issue of health, and so it is a good idea to include it in our lectures.
On the whole, all the problems that exist in society today, we should show statistically and graphically, using videos so people will actually discover: “Wow, this is where we live! Wow, what a problem!” Not everyone else understands and has faced it; yet at the same time, together with the problem, we must immediately provide the solution for it.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/22/12
Question: Should we examine the issue of life and death and the solution to this question in the basic course of integral education?
Answer: I think it is possible because we are speaking about a person’s desire.
We should rate these desires from the level of the inanimate, the vegetative, and the animate up to the level of “Human.” We should explain that every desire takes over the others and thus suppresses them: The higher a desire is, the more real, intense, and dominating it is over the lower desires.
It is very hard to explain what the “human in me” means right from the start. It is above my animal level, above my corporeal life. If I feel that I am human, when I don’t think about the body but rather am filled by some idea, I actually don’t feel my body—it is as if I am floating above myself.
If I descend to the animal level, like an ordinary person in this world, I feel the body. But in any case, while being in my animal body, I don’t feel pain when I cut my hair or my nails because it is at the vegetative level.
If I descend to the vegetative level, I don’t feel the inanimate level, where there are no nerves and so on.
Thus, we can speak about the development from the bottom up and about a person’s descent from the top down by explaining how he gradually leaves this life.
We can explain and show a person that if he is in this social, integral body that constantly supports him, he will not feel even a minute of suffering, not in this life and not when this life is over.
A person who is connected with others constantly becomes healthier by being connected to the system that is full of mutual connection with others, and so even if something happens to him, there is an energetic compensation on the account of others. Thus, society operates as a healthy body. If a thorn enters a person’s body, for example, the whole body begins to work against it, by pushing it out, by treating the infected area, etc. The same thing happens with a person in society—the society immediately feels all the person’s internal problems and provides him with the necessary energy, and he is healed.
From a Talk on Integral Upbringing 5/22/2012
Answer: I think that this topic should also be included in the basic course because man exists in a field of information, under the influence of the media that brainwashes him and fills him with all kinds of nonsense, and they say it is possible to get rid of the crisis, to somehow to overcome it and the like.
We must give a person a strong, scientific, social, and mainly psychological foundation, so that he will certainly know and understand that is it possible to overcome the crisis only through our similarity with nature, only if we create an integral, “round” society—a society of reasonable consumption, mutual understanding, balancing people with each other, etc. This is possible only under the influence of the environment.
We need to tell a person all the theories for the solution of the crisis and show a way, through scientific opinions, that none of them can work since they are invented by our egoistic mind that wants to divert us from the truth.
I would say that the majority of these theories are designed to ensure profiting from the continuation of their development, to allow them to sit back and dig in to their own concerns. After all, we see that from the beginning they are not leading anywhere.
Therefore, the topic “Methods of Overcoming the Crisis” must necessarily be included in the basic course of integral upbringing.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/22/12
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” item 4: Hence, those who claim that because of our lowliness and nothingness it is not fitting for Him to watch over us, and therefore, He has left us, do nothing but display their ignorance. Try to imagine, if you were to meet some man who would create creatures, precisely so they would suffer and agonize their whole lives as we do, and not only that, but cast them behind his back, not wanting even to look after them, to help them a little. How contemptible and low you would regard him! Can such a thing be thought of Him?
We are very limited in our feelings and cognitive abilities, in our self-perception, and in perceiving what is above us such as the laws of time and place. So of course we cannot accurately understand and establish the right attitude to life and to the Creator.
It isn’t by chance that it says: “Don’t show a fool a job that is half done.” Seeing only a small part of reality, can we determine the general picture? Even in our lives there are different states. Most cannot even imagine in advance that one state will pass and will turn into the opposite state. So if we speak about what is concealed from us, is it possible to come to any conclusions?
I believe, however that it doesn’t stop us. Kabbalists want to save us hard labor, blows, and the prolonging of time, so they tell us from the beginning that the Creator is good and benevolent and that He is in a state of absolute rest. After all perfection is not subject to change; on the contrary, all the changes take place in us. They will occur one way or the other, but we can determine the form they will take.
You can assess the changes egoistically by measuring how much pleasure they bring you and you can also assess them differently, according to how close they bring you to the One who bestows—to what extent you’ve managed to resemble Him. If you assess the changes according to how much you receive, you will suffer until you learn to assess the states you are in and life itself by other values, according to your closeness to the Creator and your similarity to Him. According to this calculation, the degrees of your ascent as a man (Adam) that resembles (Domeh) the Creator will be built. This in fact is the whole point.
So there is a beginning, the process itself, and an end. The events occur and you have no say, and you don’t determine how you will change either. You only have to determine your feeling: How do you accept the inevitable changes? This is the only thing that depends on you.
People who accept their development as desirable are called “righteous.” Those who resist this development and don’t want it are called “wicked.” Accordingly, we feel good or bad: The feeling of life, our development, reality, everything depends on how you aim or “calibrate” yourself to perceive what is happening. Of course, whatever has to happen will happen, but depending on your internal calibration called correction, you can feel the full range of emotions from minus Ein Sof (Infinity) to plus Ein Sof. Everything depends on the degree of your agreement with what is happening.
It is by that, that the wisdom of Kabbalah helps us. If a person agrees with the changes and the corrections, if he wants to be corrected and to accept all the new steps as desirable, if he even wants to hasten these states so that they will pass as fast as possible and is ready to accept whatever the future brings “above reason”, above all the calculations, since he is already in a state of faith and bestowal, then it doesn’t matter what actually happens at the moment. In this case a person hastens the development, feels it as special, sublime, and wonderful, and this is desirable in the eyes of the Creator.
Everyone should reach this form of development, and until then, we won’t advance since we cannot advance in a bad way. A person can simply stand still, receiving new troubles and sufferings each time on the present level, until he agrees to change himself and to establish the right attitude towards his development. So on every level a person either prepares oneself in advance to the changes or accepts every change as a blow, which cause him to change under the pressure of different forces. In any case, the changes are necessary, and so consciously or under a shower of blows, a person will be compelled to accept the development as a wonderful and desirable thing.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/17/12, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”
You can find many allegorical examples that illustrate the process of the spiritual closeness. For example, a clock with a pendulum that moves from side to side reflects that a person does half the work and the Creator does the other half.
A person is only required to prepare a deficiency—this is his free will—to prepare a deficiency with the help of the environment. The Creator is revealed according to the environment since the Light is constant and doesn’t change. If a person prepares a deficiency in the size of the first ten Sefirot in which he can reveal the upper Light in the new level, the Light is revealed.
So a person is always preparing a new deficiency and then the new level of the upper Light is revealed.
We should remember that the Light is in a state of absolute rest; it is eternal and unchanging. The Creator on His part always maintains the covenant with a person and doesn’t change its terms. A person must constantly renew the covenant.
Each time he shifts with his pendulum and makes a step forward and by that is rewarded with the revelation of the Creator, closer proximity to Him. By every such attempt, he should come out with the right impression so that all his work, on the level he now finds himself, between two ascents or two descents, will be for the benefit of the King. This means that his work should be in one direction “above reason” with one intention of valuing the attribute of bestowal above the attribute of receiving. Thus a person gets closer to the Creator.
Regarding this it says: “on all your sacrifices you shall sacrifice salt.” A sacrifice symbolizes closeness to the King, and by constantly keeping the covenant between you and renewing it, you are rewarded with a revelation.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/17/12, Shamati #76
If the Creator is revealed or at least comes a bit closer to a person according to the equivalence of form one has attained, a person mustn’t allow himself to be lightheaded and to enjoy this pleasant feeling during the ascent. On the contrary, the time of the ascent is the most suitable place for working when we are required to add maximum exertion in order to more tightly hold on to the study, the group, the books, and dissemination.
We should try to maximize this time and understand that no one guarantees that all this won’t stop the next minute. Therefore, you must now, using all the means you have, tie yourself to the state of ascent, so that even if the pleasant state changes into the exact opposite state and becomes dark and unpleasant—a state of fogginess, confusion, helplessness, and powerlessness—then even in such states which are full of despair, you will want to remain adhered to the Creator.
This closeness will not sustain the pleasant states, but although you feel bad now in your desire to receive, you wish to remain loyal and to adhere to the King. So neither the ascents nor the descents will affect you if you feel or don’t feel a filling in your vessels of receiving. On the contrary, it is when there is no filling that you can be sure that you are operating without any self-reward, in order to bestow.
In order to do that you need a “covenant.” If you yearn for bestowal, you discover that you can form such a covenant with the King, and that the Creator will keep this covenant. Thus you can be sure that when the descents come and you feel that you are totally empty and cannot hold on to bestowal, thanks to your earlier work, you will be able to remain adhered even in the “dark.”
Our whole work is actually done at “night,” where bestowal and faith are. As it says: “Say your grace in the morning and your faith at nights,” since it is at “night” that faith and bestowal are revealed.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 6/17/12, Shamati #76
On June 11th, the Israeli Writers’ House in Tel Aviv held a press conference of the social Arvut Movement that brought together representatives from all types of media: newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet: News of the Week, Satellite, Age, Reka, Nine, Zman.com, Mignews, etc.
The representatives of the movement talked about the objectives and basic directions of their activity and responded to questions.
The Arvut Movement strongly proclaimed itself in the hot summer of 2011 when the reality of the “global village” announced itself in the protest movement in the streets of Israeli cities. Integral relationships, which gripped the world, put everyone in very tough conditions and left Israel, with its tangle of problems, no room for error. The crisis quickly dispels the illusions of the past: If we don’t learn to live by new rules, we will be forced to study the science of survival.
And so, the main goal of the Arvut Movement is to consolidate the society on the basis of the principle of mutual guarantee. Disagreements and conflicts should not mislead us, although sometimes they seem unresolvable. We need to rise above what divides us and unite around common solutions to all problems.
The Arvut Movement quickly managed to unite thousands of people from all walks of life. Its materials are published in leading websites; it publishes books and pamphlets, gives lectures and organizes seminars in various organizations. Along with this, the movement focuses its forces on several major projects, covering the widest audiences.
The technique of integral education was developed by international efforts. The educational programs of the movement were presented in UNESCO and the UN. They are already used in U.S. prisons, and Šiauliai University signed an agreement to use the technique of integral education in their educational process.
In the media, the Israeli TV channel Arvut.tv is created on the basis of Channel 66. It serves as the foundation for programs on the subject of mutual guarantee, broadcasting the concept of the unity of society in a variety of genres, without which no modern problem can be solved.
Roundtables in Hebrew and Russian, which are regularly conducted throughout the country, are the flagship project of the movement. This scheme has been already used by dozens of cities, as well as colleges Tel Hai, Beit Berl, the University of Haifa, and even the Knesset (the Israeli general assembly). Here, polar points of view come in contact, and seemingly irreconcilable opponents find common ground.
This summer, the Arvut Movement, together with large public organizations such as the youth movement Scopus, Association of Community Centers, Council of Judea and Samaria, Kulanana, Union of Volunteers, Kenes Sderot le hevrah, youth movement Bnei Akiva, Israeli Students Association, Tnuat a-Noar Be Yisrael, Maccabi Hatzair youth movement, organization Maace, Israel’s Women’s Parliament, and women’s organization Ahoti (“My Sister”), are carrying out a wide campaign called “120 Roundtables: Public Dialogue or a Collective Position.” In the consolidation of society, we cannot do without mutual guarantee, and first of all, it requires a restructuring of values because society cultivates values based on division and stiff competition.
During the summer months, roundtable discussions will be simultaneously held in most cities of the country; they will be attended by representatives from all levels of government. This public campaign will be completed in the Knesset in November.
Of course, journalists had many questions: “Can the idealistic idea of mutual guarantee be combined with the tired society that believes in nothing? Where is the guarantee that a collision with the reality of the Israeli political kitchen does not become bitter disappointment?”
– “We are not an insurance company,” said Zion Alon, a strategic adviser to the movement. “Only one thing can be guaranteed: the failure of the old way has put us on the threshold of degradation.”
“But is not an attempt to negotiate with those who are guilty in this situation doomed to fail?”
– “We focus not on trying to negotiate, but on changing the approach to solving problems,” said Igor Dion, head of the Russian-speaking department of the Arvut Movement. “We find a firm basis of common interests, and only at this level do we begin to agree with each other. Any other approach automatically makes right the one who is strong.”
The word “utopia” sounded repeatedly in the audience.
– In Greek, it means a place that doesn’t exist, explained Emma Sotnikova, press secretary of the movement. “You need to create this place to change the relationship between people. Otherwise, Israel has no future. In the 21st century, in the information age, the “Fourth Power” becomes the first one. So, use it for good,” she encouraged journalists.
After the press conference ended, discussions and disputes continued on the sidelines, which made it obvious that the topics raised by the Arvut Movement were interesting for many of the invited guests.
Opinion (George Soros, financier): “Euro-zone governments have around three months to ensure the survival of the single currency,’ billionaire investor George Soros said in a speech on Saturday [June 2nd].
“‘We are at an inflection point. After the expiration of the three months’ window, the markets will continue to demand more but the authorities will not be able to meet their demands. …’
“The European Union is ‘like a bubble’ – not a financial bubble but a political bubble – that could pop as a result of the euro-zone crisis, Soros said.
“‘In the boom phase, the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive,’ he said.
“’In retrospect, it is now clear that the main source of trouble is that the member states of the euro have surrendered to the European Central Bank (ECB) their rights to create fiat money. They did not realize what that entails – and neither did the European authorities,’ he said.
“The euro-zone needs a European deposit insurance scheme for banks, Soros said, as well as direct financing by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) for banks, which ‘must go hand-in-hand with euro-zone-wide supervision and regulation.’ …
“Soros said that too much blame had been placed on peripheral euro-zone countries such as heavily indebted Greece and Spain, and that creditors like Germany had to share responsibility.
“‘The center’ is responsible for designing a flawed system, enacting flawed treaties, pursuing flawed policies and always doing too little too late. …
“‘The authorities didn’t understand the nature of the euro crisis; they thought it was a fiscal problem, while it is more of a banking problem and a problem of competitiveness. And they applied the wrong remedy: You cannot reduce the debt burden by shrinking the economy – only by growing your way out of it,’ he said.”
My Comment: I am not a financier, but there is nowhere to grow, and the paradox lies in the fact that we are trapped: We have found ourselves in a closed system of complete interdependence, but we act like individualistic egoists in the dark, and that is why we cannot understand why we cannot cope with the crisis. And the crisis is not in our unsuccessful attempts to handle the existing situation, but in the fact that we don’t understand that we have to change our approach, to change our thinking to interconnected and integral, and then we will understand how to break the deadlock.
Today, essentially there are no family relationships. Even if there is a family, everyone in the family feels as a separate element, independent from his or her partner. Moreover, children feel independent from their parents or at least very much want to be. And parents do not want children to burden them.
Under the rule of egoism, we have unwillingly destroyed the foundation of the family, so-called the building of the family. Therefore, we need to do something about this for the sake of our future. If today up to 70% of young people don’t want to get married and raise children, we are facing by no means a rosy prospect. I am not mentioning the fact that there will be no one to feed the aging population; we are confronting this now, especially in Europe.
We must restore the charm of family life because this doesn’t exist today! Everything is done involuntarily: Women might still want to have children, but men are passive, they want nothing.
Integral upbringing tells a person about the connection between people, leading him to connection with others. He suddenly begins to feel affection and love, feeling towards other people, and starts feeling others more than before. And today, people no longer feel each other; they just communicate via text messages.
Integral upbringing generates good feelings towards others and evokes a kind of feedback sensor: a person becomes more sensitive to how others relate to him, how he relates to how close to or distant he is from others. He begins to respond with more feelings, and thus a sense of need in other people, lost due to egoism, is awakened in him.
He feels a source of warmth, joy, success, and confidence in this, and not in closing himself in his apartment like in a shell, and providing himself with a pension, healthcare, and other programs, so that everything will be fine. The need for warmth, empathy, and mutual contact that integral upbringing cultivates in him will lead him to his desire to recreate a family.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/22/12