From my column in Ynet: “Who Is Behind the Revolution of the World to Develop?”
The worldwide chain of terrorist attacks, the awakening of Islamic extremism, the decline of the European Union, and the deepening polarization between sectors and communities—are revealing that the world is crumbling. The sooner we become aware of this development, the sooner we will be ready for change and thereby prevent disasters.
To initiate effective social revolution, we need only one thing: a desire to instantly change unbearable social interactions.
For the most part, such a change is the result of a demand from a particular social group that attracts the masses toward a clearly defined goal, but not every effort necessarily spawns a real revolution. When does it? It is only after new relationships are created that bring about a reorganization of the social structure and its institutions. When this change becomes permanent, it is possible to say that a revolution occurred. In fact, throughout history, this is the way most of the great revolutions in the world began: the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the “People’s Spring” Revolutions in Europe, and the wave of “Arab Spring” revolutions in the Middle East.
The question is, how should we respond in the opposite situation when revolutions, uprisings, and crises break out that change the face of human society, and for the first time, we have no ability to control what is happening? The result has already appeared before our eyes. The world is crumbling and humanity is sinking into confusion.
A Global Wake-Up Call
Day by day, the world is simultaneously surprised and dismayed by the dramatic events in the international system, in particular by the extreme upheavals in the developed nations: the horrifying terrorist attacks in Europe that are encouraging a sharp rise in right-wing nationalism, the “Brexit” that signals the impending end of the EU, the deepening purges following the attempted coup in Turkey, waves of Muslim immigrants wandering between continents, and the election campaign in the United States that has deteriorated to an all-time low. Global instability has spawned chaos, the expected relationship between cause and effect just about doesn’t exist, and as the pace of strange events continues to grow, it is difficult if not impossible to make decisions.
Despite advanced technology and sophisticated means of communication, it is impossible to foresee an outcome from the beginning, to establish governmental programs, to plan long-term strategies, to budget, and manage. Apprehension about the outbreak of a third world war grips many and is growing in light of past experience that has accumulated and proven that even security alliances, agreements, and treaties may be violated at a crucial time. From incident to incident, the lack of control becomes clear to all the political decision-makers: from the top leaders, advisers, and managers, to the most junior officials. It is clear to everyone that to lead in the twenty-first century is to manage the entire world.
From Linearity to Global, From “I” to “We”
When analyzing the process leading to the current global crisis, consider another player that has entered the field: a global and integral communications network is gradually beginning to transform every element in society, where each becomes an inseparable part of the whole, just like the organs of the human body. This is not a familiar processes of globalization that exists to be used to create international business cooperation; but on a deeper level of relationships between us; the common desire was hidden from our senses and now is becoming clear as a stable and unified network of mutual support.
In such a harmonious structure, the laws of conduct work differently: no one is more or less important than others, no nation is more or less prominent than the other countries. Everyone is considerate of each other and all of them equally, a concern resulting from the commonality between us. Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes in the Introduction to The Book of Zohar: “Indeed, when all human beings agree to abolish and eradicate their will to receive for themselves, and have no other desire but to bestow upon their friends, all worries and jeopardy in the world would cease to exist, and everyone will be assured of a whole and wholesome life, since each of us would have the whole world caring for us, ready to fulfill our needs. Yet, while each of us has only a desire to receive for ourselves, it is the source of all the worries, suffering, wars, and slaughter we cannot escape.”
As long as we continue to cling to our natural egoistic perception and fail to adapt to the new global reality, the dissonance will continue to grow. As a result, there is high volatility, the crises strike us one after another, and the only hope left for us is the view finder of world leaders who themselves are powerless, and they cannot predict the developments and take preemptive action.
How Does One Behave in a Connected World?
We must stop burying our heads in the sand. The order has changed, and it is impossible to halt or deny the new reality and the futility of the current system. If in the past, we felt a natural, inner urge for change, and the force of revolution brought the transformation of human society; today the world is pushing us into a corner and pressing us to change and build new relationships: between person and person, between husband and wife, between parents and children, between employee and employer, between bankers and industrialists, and between politicians and citizens.
The waves of crises affecting us in recent years and intensifying in recent months are only a reflection of the egoistic relationships between us. They are an expression of the broken links in the network of connections between us, which we must correct. This is why Communism failed, the American dream shattered, and the European Union breaks down. Every system—including socioeconomic systems—that ever flourished or faded is the direct result of relationships between us.
The turning point of humanity is dependent on an unprecedented radical revolution, but the revolution is conceptual, material, and spiritual, sufficient to cause a revolution in the heart of each and every person. Instead of concern for ourselves, we need to be concerned about others: instead of “I”, “We”!
A Trend Toward Global Unity
“I am glad that I have been born in such a generation when it is permitted to disclose the wisdom of truth. … We deem it as dependent not on the greatness of the sage, but on the state of the generation.” (Baal HaSulam, The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence).
Our individualistic generation is obligated to begin walking the path of unity and mutual support. Only then will we be adapted to the global network of connection that is being revealed. To avoid going over the edge of the abyss, we must pay attention to the warning signs that appear on the way directing us to develop sensitivity to each other and to connect with each other in a mature and responsible way.
The wisdom of connection, i.e., Kabbalah, is the precise answer to the constantly deepening separation between us. It is this method that has the ability to develop in us the necessity for mutual responsibility and for reaching out to one another. Rav Kook writes in praise of this wisdom: “Precisely at a time of great peril and crisis we should take the best of cures.” (Letters, Volume 2). The sooner, the better it is for us to open the books of Kabbalah to learn how to build the right relationships between us so we will act according to the laws of nature, which always aspire to harmony and balance. So we will know which systems of life are essential for our existence and how to build them to make our lives better.
From Ynet article 8/2/16