From my column in Ynet: “How to Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds?”
It seems that precisely now, when we have everything and in abundance, crises just continue to grow. This is the way of the environment telling us, “Guys, the time has come to grow up!” Rav Michael Laitman explains how must we deal with the global laws of nature and act according to them in daily life.
There was a great king who had a son in old age, and he was very fond of him. Hence, since the day he was born, he thought of only good things for him. He collected the finest, wisest, and most precious books in the kingdom and built him a school. He sent after the finest builders and built palaces of pleasure. He gathered all the musicians and singers and built him concert halls, and called the finest bakers and chefs to provide him with all the delicacies in the world.
But alas, the son grew up to be a fool, with no desire for education. And he was blind and could not see or feel the beauty of the buildings. And he was deaf, unable to hear the poems and the music. And he was ill, permitted to eat only coarse flour bread. (from The Writings of Baal HaSulam – “The Essence of Religion and its Purpose”).
Human society in the early 21st century has not known better conditions since the development of mankind on Earth. Like the son of the king, we have everything that we need to live well, peacefully, and confidently: abundant food, advanced medicine, developed industry, farming, international trade, a transportation network throughout the world, an available Internet, and what not! And despite all the immense benefits and all the improvements placed in our possession, we still continue to absorb blows and endure crises one after another. When will there be an end to suffering? When we grow up….
A New Life Is Coming To Light
When a new baby is born, he is entirely enveloped in warmth and love. His parents take care of him faithfully and conscientiously and provide everything required for his proper development: a roof over his head, food, clothing, and toys. Even as the infant grows, they don’t stop being concerned about him for a moment, and they watch over him until he is able to survive on his own. They continue to take care of him, play with him and support him until his emotions mature and the right connections in his brain are created that help him react correctly to the reality that surrounds him.
Adolescence, the transition between childhood and youth, is a problematic period. The youth tries to imitate the adults around him and does everything to be like them in his external behavior, while still maintaining the same “small child” inside of him that tries to shake off being invested and taking responsibility, he will demand that they continue to take care of him and pamper him as much as possible. But life is stronger and more rigid—living requires work, raising a family requires being a provider, bringing children into the world requires the development of devotion. One can choose to continue to enjoy games and exciting experiences, but as most of us have experienced in our own flesh, the environment will push us strongly enough to motivate us to get up from the comfortable lair, take responsibility, and be concerned about our own needs.
The Age of Maturity of Humanity
Humanity today is developing like an adolescent. For thousands of years nature adjusted itself to us and prepared a comfortable environment for our development. Now the task is completed. The world has become global and interdependence between us has reached a summit. We have grown up; the time has come to change. From day to day the connection between us continues to become tighter, obligating us to learn the rules of the new, global, connected world. Now we need to be independent, to adapt ourselves to the nature that surrounds us, and to begin integrating into the true system of life. This is precisely the present point in time in which humanity is found – “adolescence.”
Like an adolescent who wants to feel grown up and simultaneously remain a child, while the environment compels him to mature and goads him to take action, so humanity has also received everything and now endures one crisis after another. This is the way of the environment, signaling to us that the time has come to grow up….“Nature, like a skillful judge, punishes us according to our development,” writes Rav Yehudah Ashlag, Baal HaSulam, in the article, “The Peace.” “For we can see that to the extent that humankind develops, the pains and torments surrounding our sustenance and existence also multiply.”
The breakdown of social connections in all areas of life and the artificial attempts to maintain the connections between one person and another, between husband and wife, between parents and children, between employee and employer, and so on, fail time after time. And this is precisely the reason that specifically in our day the wisdom of Kabbalah has been revealed. It is the method that teaches the global laws of nature and how we must behave according to them in everyday life. Only its power can help us create a beautiful, good, and safe environment here.
If we build connections between us fit for life in today’s connected world, we will gain an understanding and a feeling that will help us make the right decisions, and we will succeed in all our ways. When we build relationships between us based on concern for others and mutual responsibility, all troubles and annoyances will cease and we will gain all the treasures that nature has intended for us, like that prince in the famous parable.
Rav Dr. Michael Laitman is the head of the world “Kabbalah for the People” movement and provides daily lessons in Kabbalah that are broadcast on [Israeli] Channel 66 and on the Internet. The movement invites everyone to come and learn the wisdom of connection based upon the general fundamental rule of our people, “And you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
From Ynet article 8/4/16