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