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The Ego Of A Person Who Works On Himself

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can we defeat the Klipa of Canaan?

Answer: The Klipa of Canaan is the disrespect one feels towards the means for his spiritual advancement. It is revealed after a person decides to start the spiritual work and to come out of Babylon, which means of the general ego. This ego is revealed in the meantime as a person’s personal ego.

The ego is defined as the force of repulsion one feels towards the friends in the group that yearns for unity and mutual guarantee. When we begin to work on unity, the repulsion that I feel towards every friend is called my ego. This is already the ego of a person who works on himself.

But the first ego that was revealed in Babylon is a personal, individual ego that I feel I must exit. I feel bad and uncomfortable. I am not sure that it is the ego yet, but I simply want to exit the shattering, the shattered life in which nothing works out. I feel confused. The tower of Babel symbolizes the initial clarifications when we realize that if we connect we will feel good, just like in integral education.

The Klipa of Canaan is the egoistic force that appears in a person in the form of disrespect towards the spiritual work, the teacher, and the group. He is ready to connect to the Creator only: This is his goal. He wants to continue working individually, by himself, and doesn’t need the group. He even sees the teacher as a mere source of information.

This is all our work. Everything starts from Joseph who is the most important figure, which means the attribute that collects (Osef) everyone to this point. Neither the friends, the group, or the teacher demand respect or need any special treatment. It is only needed in order to focus us correctly on the attainment of the Creator like an elite military unit that operates according to this principle, according to these values.

Everyone should understand that no matter how much he lies to himself, the greatness of the Creator and the goal cannot be greater than the means, which are the teacher, the group, and the study.
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/13

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“Dry” Science Will Not Replace The Attainment Of The Upper World

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: I have no desire to simplify the wisdom of Kabbalah for the framework of distribution to the masses. I want to be involved with a dry methodical science and to pass it on in a form like this. This concerns me very much. With what could this be connected?

Answer: This is due to the fact that you don’t understand how much the wisdom of Kabbalah is a practical science. All of the calculations and sketches are good only when you see clear and precise actions behind them: How humanity will ascend to the level of the Creator, reveal himself to the next world, to the next dimension, for itself.

When this truly will begin to be shown to you practically, and the wisdom of Kabbalah is an absolutely practical science, then you won’t have any contradictions and opposition between it and the work with the masses. This is work, just like taking care of a newborn, when you feed it and clean up after it, feed it and clean up after it all the time. And you do so for many months, until it becomes a small person.

Initially this work seems to you to be miserable, unpleasant, repulsive, and even unnecessary. But this will pass.

To the degree that you yourself enter into the science of Kabbalah, you will feel more and more how much it is impossible to advance forward without attainment, and all this calculation will be empty, it will not replace discovery of the upper world. The upper world can be discovered only when you act in mutual participation with the friends and through them with the Creator, and simultaneously descend with this down to the masses of society.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention “Unity Without Boundaries” Day One 12/13/13, Lesson 1

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The War With Klipat Canaan In The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, “Igrot” (Letters), Letter 43: …Our sages have already said, “The fear of your teacher is as the fear of heaven.” This, therefore, will be the measure of exaltedness that such a man obtains by his sanctity, for his exaltedness will by no means exceed the exaltedness of his Rav.

…I have already said and elaborated that the biggest Masach (screen) is in the work in the children of the land of Israel, since the domination of the Canaan Klipa is in this place, and each one is as low as the ground, his friend is even lower than the ground, and many others like him.

…Allegorically, you can say the words of our sages about the verse, “Leave Me and keep My law”—“I wish they would leave me,” mean that they were proud of the exaltedness. And although “He and I cannot dwell in the same place,” still, “Keep My law,” be attached to a genuine righteous with proper faith in the wise. Then there is hope that the righteous will reform you and will sentence them to a scale of merit as is appropriate for the presence of the Creator. What could come out of their humility and lowness so the Creator will not move His abode from them if they have no genuine righteous to guide them in His law and prayer, and lead them to a place of Torah and wisdom?

In this world, we are given the people who can become our friends so that we join them and study together about how to exit ourselves and rise by faith above reason, that is, to appreciate bestowal above reception. We need to connect between ourselves so that we do not just act by common efforts but turn into one force inside which everyone loses his personal image and connects to one whole, to one heart, together with everyone else.

To help us do this, we also are given a teacher in this world. It is very important how a person learns through his attitude to the group and the teacher to build his attitude to the Creator. It is impossible that a person establishes a higher form of the Creator’s greatness than the greatness of the teacher and even of the friends, the group. He needs all this to exit himself, to rise above his egoism.

It requires a lot of work. After all, if a person has been instilled with reverence for a Rav, which is called religious upbringing, then he would not have to work on this. He would have felt that he relates to a great person as to his father, together with many others from his environment. He would have grown in such an environment where everyone talks about that and relates in this way. This is called Hasidism. It is easy for a person to live in these conditions. He is not required to carry out inner work against his egoism: constant scrutiny, critical self-analysis. He relies on the opinion of the environment. Seeing that everyone behaves in the same way, he is inspired by them and advances with this.

So society supports the personal authority of some individuals. Of course, this does not raise him in relation to the Creator, but in this form it is possible to hold on smoothly, without all the ups and downs in life, feeling nice, comfortable, and confident. A person feels that he has someone to rely on; someone takes care of him, prays for him.

However, we come to the stage of human development when the majority of people cease to receive religious education from childhood. On the contrary, they are accustomed to despising others, not recognizing any authority, believing themselves smarter than everyone else, having no respect for anybody. This is called Klipat Canaan with which the forefathers fought when they entered the land of Israel.

It was not easy for those who left Babylon or for those who get out of their Babylon today to bow to the leader, Abraham. This is the degree of teacher that a person must have if he wants to approach the entrance to the spiritual world through the group and studies. This does not apply personally to a teacher or a group because a person sees them with his egoistic eyes and judges them according to his shortcomings.

Of course, everyone appears insignificant to him, one worse than the other. The teacher also seems so-so to him. He thinks that, if he had studied with the forefather Moses or Rabbi Shimon, then he would have advanced better. Similarly, he thinks the friends are weak and do not present anything. He does not believe the sages that every person judges to the extent of his own flaws, and that in reality, the world of Infinity in all its perfection, is before him. He himself lowers this divine perfection to his own low level and thus sees the world as despicable.

We need to realize that we will not get permission to enter the spiritual world until we begin to appreciate the friend, group, and teacher as highly as we imagine the Creator. As it is written, “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator are one.” With this condition, we rise from below to above, raising a human to the level of the Creator. The same condition acts in the opposite direction, from top down, that is, the same level, the same reverence, the same greatness we need to bring downward from the world of Infinity, the Creator, and extend it the group, teacher, and every friend. Otherwise, we will not succeed.

We need to thank the upper management that it has organized such a reality for us where we surely can see how far we are from the Creator according to our attitude to the teacher, friend, and group.
From the Preparation for the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/13

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A Road Paved With Stumbling Blocks

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is it like under the guidance of a spiritual teacher? Is it like a trip with a tourist guide in London or like dangerous mountain climbing where you cannot take a step to the left or to the right without a guide since you might fall?

Answer: In a tour of London you can listen with half an ear to the tourist guide and at the same time walk around as you like. But is this similar to the spiritual path, which you know nothing about?

You have to enter spirituality. The guide tells you that in order to enter spirituality you have to keep certain conditions, but you say that you don’t accept half of these conditions but keep on following the group. How can that be? Can you climb a mountain if you don’t accept half of the guide’s instructions? You have to be as obedient as a baby and totally annul yourself in the arms of the guide.

Question: But I am not a baby I am an adult! I gained a wealth of experience in my life and I have studied with other teachers before.

Answer: You are even less than a baby! If you don’t listen to the guide’s advice, you are like a grownup with the tiny brain of a baby who doesn’t let others take care of him. There are strict laws here that cannot be changed. You cannot ask for mercy like in court. In court you can still cry and plead for mercy. But here there are no manipulations that will help: There is a law, “He has given a law that cannot be broken.” Choose: Do you accept it or not?

There are many people who climb mountains and there are always those who stumble and fall into the great abyss, back into the domination of the egoistic forces, the Sitra Achra. Only few reach the king’s palace that is on the mountaintop: those who have the patience, which means that they try as hard as they can to follow the guide, against any thoughts they may have and against their own mind.

These are the small differences that determine everything where you encounter the resistance of your mind and cannot overcome its demands and do the opposite compared to what the teacher or Baal HaSulam demand of you. It is because you agree with everything else in your ego, but here you encounter what is against your ego, and it is here that you need to ask for help and to ascend.

These are the points that you encounter and which you cannot overcome. They connect and become a line, a path that brings you to the Lord’s palace. It is impossible to advance any other way. You say: “But I agree to everything else!” It is wonderful that you agree, but everything else has nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality is only in the points where you don’t agree!

You advance only through the points where you disagree: one point after the next. You have to agree on them, under the influence of the environment, the study, etc. but your agreement doesn’t have to be pragmatic. If you agree to disseminate as the teacher asks because you hope to receive a reward, then it is not working in faith above reason anymore, but for a corporeal reward.

We should be careful in using the points of friction and not making them worthwhile. You cannot agree to disseminate in order to feel that you are great standing before a crown or in order to make money. You have to follow these stumbling points in faith above reason and then these points will turn into a line.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/13/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Economics Is An Imaginary Science

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, interviewed by Piotr Dutkiewicz): “With the global crisis ongoing and the ruling class tittering on the verge of panic, there is a real possibility of a massive shift to the right, not unlike that of the 1930s. I think that such a shift will be difficult to prevent, let alone counteract and reverse, without a totally new theoretical alternative. …

“In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when capitalism was just taking hold, there was nothing apologetic about the market. On the contrary. The market was seen as the harbinger of progress – a powerful institution that heralded liberty, equality and tolerance. …

“The political system, by contrast, is wasteful and parasitical. Its purpose is not production, but redistribution. Its members – the politicians, state officials and bureaucrats – seek power and prestige. They eagerly ‘intervene’ in and ‘monopolize’ the economy. They tax, borrow and spend – and in the process stifle the economy and ‘distort’ its efficiency.

“The market became the chief ideology of the triumphant capitalist regime. It helped spread capitalism around the world, and it assisted in the fight against competing regimes, such as fascism and communism. In the Soviet Union, where production was besieged by chaotic planning and accompanied by tyrannical rule, organized violence, open corruption and restricted consumption, the market symbolized the ‘other life.’

“When economics first emerged in the late nineteenth century, capitalism was already victorious. But it was also highly turbulent and increasingly contested by critiques and revolutionaries, so it had to be defended; and the ideological part of that defense was delegated to the new priests of liberalism: the economists. In order to perform their role, the economists have elaborated an intricate system of mathematical models. This system, they claim, proves that a free, totally unregulated economy – if we could ever have one – would yield the best of all possible worlds, by definition.

“The conventional counterclaim, marshaled by many heterodox critiques, is that neoclassical models may be elegant, but they have little or nothing to do with the actual world we live in. And there is certainly much truth in this observation. But the ‘science of economics’ is besieged by a far deeper problem that rarely if ever gets mentioned: it relies on fictitious quantities.

“Every science rests on one or more fundamental quantities in which all other magnitudes are denominated. Physics, for example, has five fundamental quantities – length, time, mass, electrical charge and heat – and every other measure is derived from those quantities. For instance, velocity is length divided by time; acceleration is the time derivative of velocity; and gravity is mass multiplied by acceleration. Now, as a science, economics too has to have fundamental quantities – and the economists claim it does. The fundamental quantity of the neoclassical universe is the unit of hedonic pleasure, or ‘util.’ …

“Now, in the final analysis, all economic quantities are reducible to utils. The util is the elementary particle of economic science. It is the fundamental quantity, the basic building block everything economic is made of. The utils themselves, like Greek atoms, are identical everywhere, but their combination yields infinitely complex forms that economists call ‘goods and services.’ Every composite of the “real economy” – from the aggregate quantities of production, consumption and investment, to the size of GDP, to the magnitude of military spending and the scale of technology – is the sum total of the utils it generates. And the price magnitudes of the “nominal” economy – for instance, the dollar prices of an industrial robot (say $5 million) and a trendy iPhone ($500) – merely represent and reflect the util-denominated quantities of their respective ‘real’ quantities (whose ratio, assuming the reflection is accurate, is 10,000:1).

“And, yet, and here we come to the crux of the matter, this util – this basic quantum that everything economic is supposedly derived from – is immeasurable and in fact unknowable!

“Nobody has been able to identify the quantum of a util, and I very much doubt that anyone ever will. It is a pure fiction. And since all ‘real’ economic quantities are denominated in this fictitious unit, it follows that their own quantities are fictitious as well. To measure ‘real GDP’ or the ‘standard of living’ without utils is like measuring velocity without time, or gravity without mass. (I should note here that a similar critique can be leveled against classical Marxism. The elementary particle of the Marxist universe is socially necessary abstract labor. This is the fundamental quantity that all “real” magnitudes are made of and which the nominal spheres (should) reflect – and yet no Marxist has ever measured it.)

“The students, dazed by the endless drill of ‘practical’ assignments, do not even suspect that their ‘computations’ are practically meaningless. Most professors, having graduated from the meat grinder of neoclassical training, have had all traces of the problem safely erased from their memory (assuming they were aware of it in the first place). And the statisticians, whose job is to measure the economy, have no choice but to concoct numbers based on arbitrary assumptions that nobody can either validate or refute. The entire edifice hangs in thin air, and everyone keeps quite lest it collapse.”

My Comment: But today the edifice is crumbling, and we need a new economy: an integral interaction. Production is necessary only to meet the required needs. Distribution is equal, in accordance with everyone’s needs. Money is void. To receive necessities, it is mandatory for everyone to take part in the life of society and most importantly in integral education and upbringing. Thus, society will come to its natural balance, in itself and with nature.

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The Intention Is The Means For Changing Ourselves And The World

Dr. Michael LaitmanOur entire problem is in the intention of our actions. A person’s actions are divided into physical and moral aspirations, inner desires that can be expressed in a particular form in his actions. We live in a world that is composed of two components: our inner aspirations and the outer actions. The most important thing is the inner aspirations to which, in general, we don’t attribute much importance.

It is clear that the world around us is directed toward a particular goal, and the form of our advancement doesn’t depend on us at all. We see that all our programs and projects lack value, and we cannot realize them. They disappear somewhere and in their place various other events arrive. You see that we don’t control anything. We make all kinds of revolutions, build something, aspire in a particular direction, but at the end, everything turns out differently and we cannot understand what is happening to us.

The wisdom of Kabbalah says that the world is under the influence of absolute laws that we must know and not just observe, and we must use them in the right way in order to reach the best state possible for us in the field of the application of these laws.

In any case the world will reach the goal. A person, whether he wants to or not, will reach a state that was planned from the start by nature and toward which it has led us for billions of years.

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, it is possible to reach this final good state in two ways.

One of them is the way by the forces of nature. This way is unpleasant, bad, pushing us forward through suffering and influences our ego, our instinctive desire, which acts automatically to be in the most comfortable state that we can choose for ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, at each and every moment.

When nature develops us through suffering, it shows us the inferiority, baseness, and vulnerability of this state, and then through this state, we are forced to seek something else. However, the idea is that nature constantly leads us in this form so that we choose the next state according to its goal, and eventually we advance.

Thus we advance by the way of trial and error because we don’t know our next state and don’t understand what it must be in comparison to the previous state. We flee from the previous state without aiming for the next state; we move forward unconsciously: The main thing is to hide, to escape from the suffering just as every animal instinctively flees from danger.

This advancement, in any case, brings us to the goal, but by a long and difficult path.

As a result, we are invited to understand the whole chain of events we have been passing through over the course of thousands of years of our evolution.

In this way, we discover a very interesting truth: the need for the change in intention in all of our actions. In other words, our actions can remain as they are. The main thing is to work on changing our intentions, and this is, in fact, talking about a change in myself.

The most difficult thing for the person is to change himself. What do I want from what I am doing, from my life, from every state through which I am passing?

You see that the intention I am now maintaining, either consciously or unconsciously, is only for my own good or for the good of others. In this case, I must change in some way! How can I rise above my nature, change myself, my intention?

The Kabbalists say that this is the main thing, the most important thing for the person. There is no need to do anything else. We try to change our lives, our society, and the wisdom of Kabbalah says that everything changes through a change of intention. If we change our intention, we change everything. If we can control our intentions, we control the entire universe, all the worlds!

Therefore, if, today all of the intentions in all of my actions are only for my own good, I must transform them so that in every activity they will be only for the good of others.

Is this possible? In principle, no. If we look at the reality that surrounds us, we see that everything acts only egoistically. In other words, we and the nature around us—human society, all inanimate objects, plants, animals, and humans—only act for their own benefit, for themselves, and cannot change in any manner.

However, if we continue to act this way, we will cause even greater suffering. And now it is evident in our world at an increasing rate: All kinds of troubles are coming upon us that are becoming more and more threatening.

On the other hand, in each and every generation, there are a number of people (in our generation they are many) who are beginning to understand that they must reach something else, to go out to another level of existence, to another level of intention, to understand what is happening and rise from the level of the activated to the activator.

This desire acts in the subconscious of all of us. Among a part of us, it is revealed less, among another part, more. In other people, it is revealed in various, unique forms. We see the ways in which people come to us, how they find us. You see that we exist in the field of our intention, and they are attracted to it and join our groups.

Many of them disappear after this, returning to their world. Many of them certainly don’t understand why they came as it seems we didn’t explain this to them in a good way and in our lessons and workshops about Kabbalah. Therefore, we must advance and correct ourselves in this also.

However, in a general manner, in our time, there are already many people who aspire to change their intention so that, through the two intentions—for their own good and for the good of others—they can begin to manage their state and the state of the world that surrounds them.

Therefore, even though our first intention is absolute egoism, an intention for our own good, we can correct it. For this, intelligence and control were given to humanity.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention “Unity Without Boundaries” Day One 12/13/13, Lesson 1

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When Praise Is Disturbing

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: How can one not fall for the pride of the friend to whom I nullify myself? And, how do I myself need to relate to this when they praise me so that the praise doesn’t stop spiritual work?

Answer: It is truly possible to destroy a person through praise. For the most part, I relate to my students with a little mockingly, a little derision, and sometimes rudeness. Sometimes, I push some individuals away, holding them at somewhat of a distance, not allowing myself to get close to them, and they to me. There are people who also behave this way toward me or toward other friends.

The entire idea is in the intention: why we do it.

If, in this way, friends begin to be arrogant, then you must solve this problem among you by discussing it in the workshop circles. I very much recommend behaving specifically this way. Everything that accumulates in you that you cannot resolve personally must be introduced in workshops.

You arrange an anonymous discussion there without relating to a specific friend, but you pose the question in such a form that the problem will be clear to everyone. If, after that, the behavior of the friend doesn’t change, return to this in a workshop in another few weeks, and gradually the person will understand what is happening to him.

I don’t see another way to influence a person and explain to him what is impossible to explain directly. We don’t have the right to do this, except through the workshop. This is an amazing opportunity that is given to us in a group. This is why we exist in this world where while we are still in an egoistic state, “for my own sake,” we can negotiate some altruistic interaction, and in such a manner, go forward.
From the Moscow Virtual Convention “Unity Without Boundaries” Day One – 12/13/13, Lesson 1

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The Living Force Of The Universe

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Let’s suppose that people see that the society around them has a negative influence on them, as pressuring them, and at any moment it is able to negatively change their lives. How can they acquire strength to resist this society?

Answer: We offer them the altruistic strength that is completely opposed to the egoistic power. It is not meant to destroy it but to balance it. Today everyone is shouting: “We need to develop onward and to continue to produce a consumer society! To increase productivity each quarter! To create more jobs! Grow, grow, grow!”

Growth is no longer possible! Not in any way. They are just shouting because they don’t see another solution. The politicians say this because they need to maintain their positions in the government. The economists are silent because they don’t have anything to say.

And we offer people the integral system that gives a person the second power of the universe, of the world, of nature: the force of mutual cooperation. It is specifically this force that is the living force of all creation. Because the energy that turns the atoms, molecules, and all the huge galaxies is not just the egoistic force, but within it exists a second force: the force of unity. And we need to pull it out from the inside.

If we didn’t have the force of bestowal and love, then we wouldn’t be born, we wouldn’t develop, we wouldn’t do anything! We have these urges, but at the most minimal, instinctive level in order for life to exist. We understand that we need some communication between us, but now nature is demanding the next level of unity, the conscious one!
From Kab TV’s “Integral World” 10/24/13

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Concerns Of The “Golden Billion”

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Suppose that all of humanity begins to degrade, but the “golden billion” continue living well from the materialistic point of view. Why would the “Golden Billion” still not be happy?

Answer: Because he also developed the desire, awareness, and feeling of emptiness. After all, we are in a collective integral system! They cannot do whatever they want! They don’t choose their states for themselves. We all have an influence on each other; they upon us and we upon them.

Today, every person influences the entire world and all six billion influence the “golden billion.” What they think, others will also think. There is nowhere to escape from this! And if not them by themselves, then their children in any case will become like all the rest; moreover, the egoistic incentive will gradually disappear. The instinct of the preservation of the self is diminishing.

And this is the work of the entire system, the program of nature, its fundamental law: To bring the entire system into balance, only on the conscious psychological level, on the “human” level.
From Kab TV’s “An Integral World” 10/24/13

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