A Compass That No One Needs

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Our life is a continuous chain of events, encounters, and situations, a series of questions that require answers. A special sense that could allow us to tell the difference between good and bad, between what is beneficial and what is harmful, would be very helpful in order to prevent our stumbling and making sure that we advance in the right direction.

We surely would teach children this skill because, if they could tell the difference between good and bad, they wouldn’t go off-track and could fulfill their life efficiently.

Good intentions very often lead us into trouble, and sometimes a person pays for a mistake that he makes with his success, and sometimes his mistake can help him in some way. However, we don’t need mistakes; we need a method that will allow us to constantly keep going in the right direction.

How can we create such a compass that will indicate the right direction in every situation? How can we understand what is good and always aspire for it?

Answer: Indeed, at first, I don’t even know what is good and what is bad. A child wants many things, but he only receives some of them from his parents. Sometimes, they tell him, “No, this isn’t good for you. It will harm you.” This is how he learns what is bad.

In addition to that, he learns what is good, although he often may not like what is good. “Be a good boy, listen and learn, and help.” Sometimes, the actual term, “a good boy,” deters the one it is intended for.

Therefore, we eventually should distinguish between what is good and what is bad. For some reason these terms are not absolute. In our world, there are no universal labels that indicate the variety of shades between these two opposites, and so everything depends on education.

In different societies, nations, and cultures, there are generally accepted conventions as to what is good and what is bad. But, at the same time, there are still disputes in every nation as to what is good. So, eventually, there are only vague definitions that lend themselves to many interpretations.

On the other hand, the moment a person approves something and decides that something is good, it is very hard to convince him and to explain to him that good is a totally different thing.

These criteria depend on our innate attributes, on our parents, on education, on our friends, and so on. It is always painful to change our values and our perception as to what is good and bad.

Therefore, we need criteria that are above all the conventions and the doubts, criteria that are independent of a political platform, economic situation, social status, and so forth. We need a perception of what is good and bad that is above humanity, above any doubt. Only then, if I listen, see, and understand that it is so, I can adapt my life and my actions to this perception.

It turns out that the axiom as to what is good and bad for humanity must be written in Heaven, and, then, accordingly, we will begin to clarify how to distinguish between good and bad in different variations and aspects. When there is a great difference, we can solve the problem easily since we can all see the contrast.

However, when it comes to fine points that not everyone can see, we must educate people and teach them to feel what is good and what is bad. Thus, they will be able to distinguish between the shades and nuances, and find the right solutions.

Everyone can develop the talent to do so. The tree of knowledge symbolizes this ability. In fact, this tree encompasses the whole world and our whole life.

Question: Where can we acquire this talent?

Answer: Who actually needs it? Who recognizes the need for it?

Unless humanity, like a stubborn donkey, hits its head against a wall and realizes that there is nowhere to advance and that darkness is coming, it will not listen and seize the opportunity to develop the sense for good and bad.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/10/14

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