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Answer: It is hard to say something about this because I haven’t seen any historical studies—simple, true, and clear— that can explain why such a nation with such a strange nature, behavior, outlook, motivation, and psychology was created. This is a complete mystery.
The Russian people are not attracted to the normal egoistic life, and the rigid ladder of the development of human desires for food, sex, family, wealth, honor, and knowledge does not apply to them. In their case, a desire to attain honor or knowledge suddenly erupts in them or they may suddenly fall or perform experiments of self-sacrifice, etc. This is especially common in Russian literature, according to which the people just suffer quietly, accepting everything as a fact of life. We cannot see anything parallel to this in other nations. The sufferings described by Shakespeare, Hugo, and Dickens are totally different and incomparable to what Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and later writers, or even Solzhenitsyn describe.
We see that the people don’t feel the egoistic truth as a destiny they should follow, which means to be filled by anything possible. For them, the American model, according to which a person has everything: money in the bank, a house, a family, and a car and sees himself and others only according to this perspective, is totally unacceptable. Everyone is happy; everyone is satisfied, and we have attained heaven in our America.
This is opposite to the spirit of the Russian person. What does he need? It is the search: “What does he want?” This is an egoistic development, but at the same time, opposite and savage. What are they suffering for? What is the goal? It turns out that the goal is concealed and isn’t egoistic.
The only meaningful thing for the Russians is their pride of power. If the Europeans are ready to sell themselves for money, the Russians can be bought by the admiration that they are strong and can stand against the whole world. Their ego is greater than money. If Europe can be manipulated in any direction for 5-10 billion Euros, in Russia every revolution involves pain and suffering, but at the same time sympathy. This is a totally different level of ideals.
Comment: We keep attributing the notion of God-seeking to the Russians.
Answer: I don’t know if they search for the Creator, because we see what religion is turning into. In fact there is no search for the Creator anywhere. All the religions are rapidly deteriorating, stagnating, and dying, including the Russian Orthodox religion, which doesn’t allow progressive growth. All the Russian Orthodox counties are in very difficult economic situations, although they adopted the Russian Orthodox religion as the basis for their life and developed it.
In other words, religion isn’t the main thing here, but the attitude to life, the inner psychology of a nation, that basically differs from the psychology of the Protestants, for example. These are two opposite things. Thus it turns out that they cannot develop and are forced to live in poverty in today’s world, all because of their psychology and their inner understanding of the world. The people feel, understand, and know this, and so the government can steal from them and the people will never rise against it. There have never been bourgeoisie revolutions in these countries.
But the Russians will see themselves in the future because their search is above money. Typically, the animal desires such as food, sex, and family exist in Russia on a minimal level. The next level is the desire for wealth that is so highly valued in the West, whereas the Russians prefer knowledge, which is a higher desire. But this isn’t suitable for our world, and so on the one hand, the Russian civilization has great potential, but on the other hand, it cannot be fulfilled because in order to fulfill knowledge and honor in our world, you need money, but they don’t feel it.
Question: Does this mean that Russia and Israel can basically work together?
Answer: The point is that we only seem to be close in spirit, but in fact we have a different approach, because for the Israelis, everything stems from the spark that is aimed at the Creator, whereas for the Russians, it stems from the nature in which they developed. From a Kabbalistic perspective, these are the attributes of the souls. Russia will undergo this process in its own special way, but in the meantime, everything depends on us. If we succeed in the spiritual work, they will be attracted to us.
From KabTV’s “Conversations with Michael Laitman” 8/5/15
Opinion (Viktor Frankl, book): “Every era generates a unique neurosis. At the beginning of the 20th century people considered that lack of sexual satisfaction to be the source of all our troubles. Now, however, at the beginning of the 21st century we are troubled by something else, by our disappointment from life.
“If before a person suffered of an inferiority complex, today he suffers from a feeling of emptiness, a feeling of living a meaningless life.
“An American student wrote that all his friends and relatives in America, young people his age, are trying to understand what they live for in the first place. The disappointment from life also affects people who belong to the older generation, who have successful careers and are considered to be successful people. Now we see more and more clearly that the feeling that life has no meaning is penetrating every aspect of our life. Our animal instincts don’t tell a person what he needs, and traditions don’t teach him what to do anymore, and so not knowing what he needs and how he should live, a person cannot understand what he wants.
“Among the causes of death of American students, after car accidents ranks suicide. 85% of the students who were interviewed did not find any meaning in life. 93% of the students were healthy both physically and mentally and lived at a high standard of living, had good relations with their parents, engaged in social activities and excelled in their studies. A person naturally aspires to determine and to fulfill his goal in life, which is an aspiration for a meaning in life. The aspiration for a meaning in life is not a dream and not self-deception but self-programming that determines a person’s future. This motivation is a unique human attribute. A person thinks about it when all his corporeal needs are fulfilled, which means that the aspiration for a meaning in life is an independent motivation and not the outcome of other needs.
“A person always aspires to exceed the limits of his own personality and is attracted to something greater, whether a goal he has to fulfill or a love of another person. A person opens up either because of his own interest or because of love. The more he dedicates himself to his work or to love of others the more human he is, thus being closer to himself. In fact, a person can discover himself only when he forgets himself, and as a result of self denial.”
My Comment: True fulfillment of the meaning of life is in attaining the source, the Creator. Only then does a person feel that he is filled with the meaning of the eternal, perfect universe. This inclination is embedded in us by nature, by the Creator, and so we have to discover its essence and the method of fulfillment, the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Answer: People who make this claim do not understand the purpose of creation and the fact that each species in nature acts and exists for the sake of another higher form of being.
Inanimate nature exists in order for plants to grow; plants exist in order to raise animals, and animals in order to raise humans, while people exist in order to raise the Creator.
Each level of nature is required to maintain a higher level. Just like the task of the earth is to support the plants and lend itself for their use, so the task of an animal is to be used by man. The question is only in exactly how to use the animals, in what form.
This is why we are given laws that define how to rear animals, how to kill them, how to prepare the meat, and how to eat it. All of this is described in great detail in the laws of Kashrut.
If we perform these actions correctly, then through them we sanctify both plants and animals, raising them to the degree of man, and together with man, onto the next degree. After all, a person lives in order to bring himself up to be Adam (man), “similar” (Domeh) to the higher force.
This is how I see it through my knowledge of the wisdom of Kabbalah and understanding of the entire system. I am not forcing vegetarians to eat meat. For example, my wife eats it very rarely, but not for ideological reasons but simply because her blood type is A, and people of that blood type do not like meat. So this occurs in a natural way.
But the problem is that vegetarians are usually fighting for their idea. I have not yet met a single calm vegetarian. One would think that on the contrary, those who eat meat should be bloodthirsty and aggressive. But they appear to be calmer, perhaps because they are well fed, while vegetarians, possibly from lack of satiation, are often very irritable and demanding.
I do not understand why they are taking such a strong stand. Let everyone eat all the foods that nature has provided for us. We do not realize that we exist in a closed system of nature, and if we somehow alter our habits, then through that we change the laws of nature even on its still, vegetative, and animal levels.
Suppose the majority of humanity would now decide to become vegetarians, meaning, they would change their attitude toward the still, vegetative, and animal nature. Thus, we introduce into the overall system, which integrally ties all of us together, a new attitude that is opposite to the one originally imparted to us by nature.
Nature intended for every level to nurture and raise the one above it: the still would do that for plants, the plants for animals, and the animals for people.
We are made in such a way that we need to use all types of food specifically in this form: salt and water from the still level, permitted vegetables from the vegetative level, and permitted meat from the animate level, carrying out all the laws of their preparation.
We are talking about natural laws. I am not simply eating, but through this I am figuring out my attitude toward general nature. After all, I have to observe all the rules that determine what can be eaten and what cannot, and if it is allowed, then in what form. And if something cannot be eaten, maybe it could be used not as food, but in some other way, for example, for making leather.
Everything is structured so that a person would utilize all of nature correctly. If he does not do so, then through one’s incorrect relationship to nature he introduces a distortion into the overall system and alters physical, chemical, and other natural laws.
And then we are surprised when suddenly, some volcano erupted, or a tsunami appeared, or that there is an extraordinary heatwave up to 50° C in London. We do not understand why such disasters occur “all of a sudden,” and yet it is we ourselves who have disrupted the balance in the system.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/2/15
Answer: It is possible, and moreover, we need to achieve this mutual feeling not only in the family, but on the scale of all of humanity in order to be one person with one heart.
After all, from the very beginning we belonged to one body, one desire. All matter is desire manifesting itself in different ways at different levels. Originally only one desire was created, but then because of the fall of Adam and the breakage, we lost the ability to feel as one person.
But now we need to return to that, despite the fact that our growing egoism amplified all feelings manyfold. Complete breakage and destruction prevail between us.
But when we unite on the day of love, the 15th of Av, after all the darkness and mutual hatred that are revealed on the 9th of Av, then we will reach a magnificent unity that is 620 times more powerful than before.
Question: In a perfect spiritual family, spouses never quarrel with one another?
Answer: Together we try to uncover what kind of disagreement or misunderstanding still remains between us. But all of this happens under the rays of Light that illuminate the darkness, since the benefit of Light is attained only out of darkness.
We uncover the dark areas and understand why this darkness is necessary, for it sharpens the taste of our relationship, like pepper or mustard added to a dish.
Question: What should be the first step toward a perfect marital relationship, since we are presently as remote as the east is from the west?
Answer: Try to perceive each other as if you belong to one whole. Begin to cultivate these inner feelings within yourselves, so that each would start to feel the other as oneself. And then you will be able to feel each other together without words.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/30/15