Audio Version Of The Blog – 01.24.17

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My Thoughts On Twitter, 1/24/17


What the Resistance to Trump’s Inauguration Reveals About Us

The Book of Zohar is open for all, but people’s egoism conceals their access to the upper world. To reveal it—one must open their heart!

Trump’s main task is to unite America. But how to elevate people from alienation to connection? Only Kabbalah can do that.

Global warming escalates for the 3rd year in a row. The Book of Zohar explains: by our attitude to each other, we throw nature out of balance.
From Twitter, 1/24/17

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The Jerusalem Post: “Fake News And The Truth About Human Nature”

In my column in The Jerusalem Post: “Fake News And The Truth About Human Nature”

Depression, violence, substance abuse, alienation and isolation are symptoms of the self-entitlement epidemic. Humanity’s final frontier is not to conquer space, but to conquer the space between us.

Earlier this month, an unsubstantiated BuzzFeed dossier claiming to contain compromising information about the President-elect, Donald Trump, was picked up and treated as real news by CNN. The news had turned out to be false, and in his first news conference in months, Trump grilled the CNN reporter, called his network “fake news,” and prevented him from asking questions. Since November 9, when the stunning results of the US elections came in, there has been a growing buzz around the question of whether or not fake news was used to promote candidates.

Fake news is nothing new. It is an oft-used means to mislead people for financial, political, or other purposes. Governments, political parties, and even public relations professionals often misreport in order to accentuate their side of a debate, or simply fabricate stories just to pull the public to their side. In fact, the news today is so plagued with bias that it can either be fake or misleading, but it is always bent.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics states that a journalist must “Never deliberately distort facts or context.” In today’s world of journalism, such a statement could easily count as fake news. When every news outlet clearly states its political position, we can only expect news outlets to deliberately distort facts and context in order to manipulate public discourse and public opinion. The interest of media is to serve their shareholders, not to inform the public.

Here is a classic case of a media outlet using news to manipulate the public’s view. In recent months, terrorists carried out three deadly attacks in a very similar fashion—driving trucks into a crowd of unsuspecting pedestrians. The first attack took place in Nice, France, the second happened in Berlin, Germany, and the third ramming occurred in Jerusalem, Israel. Despite the similarity of events, and despite the fact that in all three incidents there were casualties, and the driver was clearly a terrorist deliberately plowing with his truck through the crowd, BBC News reported the third incident, in Israel, very differently from the first two. Here are the headlines that BBC gave to each of the attacks: France: At least 84 killed by lorry at Bastille Day celebrations. Germany: Lorry kills 12 at Christmas market. Israel: Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem after allegedly ramming pedestrians, injuring at least 15, Israeli media report.

Remember the SPJ Code of Ethics item that journalists must “never deliberately distort facts or context”? Indeed, how very far we are from the days when we considered the press the “watchdog of democracy.” The only thing they watch today is their shareholders’ interests. Yet, there is a reason for this sad state.

The Ego Is King

We may be eyeing journalists these days, but to be honest, bias is all over the place. Take polls, for instance. We used to put them on a pedestal and regard them as the bastion of objectivity. Following their two flops—to predict the outcomes of the Brexit vote and the US elections—polling companies have lost the public’s trust. Now, even the influential French newspaper, Le Parisien, has decided to abandon opinion polls in the run-up to the general elections, and to “shift focus from ‘horse race’ journalism to on-the-ground reporting.”

Another major issue of trust is with the US Judicial System. Since the president nominates the Supreme Court justices, and Senate must approve them, it means that by definition, the US justice system is politically bent from the top down. If the Supreme Court is subject to the influence of political interests, can we even expect objectivity anywhere in the judicial system?

Wherever you turn, personal, sectarian, financial, or political interests determine the way the country is run. This is true for the United States, as it is true for every single country in the world. Yet, as sad as this is, knowing the truth is the first step toward correction. In Kabbalah, realizing the negativity of human nature and its adverse impact on our world is called, “recognition of evil.”

Indeed, today the ego is king. Sociologists have written about our culture of narcissism since the late 1970s, but since the turn of the century they have begun to think that our selfishness has become an epidemic. Spiraling depression, skyrocketing divorce rates, escalating violence, ideological and religious radicalism, an explosion of substance abuse, growing alienation and isolation, escalating political disputes, all these are symptoms of the self-entitlement epidemic that is threatening our well-being and our very existence.

To Correct Human Society, Correct Human Nature

Describing the entire correction process for human society is a bit of a tall order for a newspaper column. I detailed this in several of my books, including Self-Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How society can turn self-interests into mutual benefit, and Completing the Circle: An empirically proven method for finding peace and harmony in life, which also includes examples of practical implementation of the correction process. Yet, I would like to highlight the basic principles for constructing a healthy society.

The Engine of Development

You cannot suppress or crush the ego. Humanity has been trying to do so for centuries, and has failed miserably. Our egos are not stagnant; they are constantly growing, so every defense we erect against them crumbles as soon as more intense egoism appears. The pressure released when such outbursts occur causes violence and disorder throughout society. In fact, the world we see today—where the ego is destroying everything of value on the planet—is precisely the result of our failed attempts at crushing the ego.

Also, the ego is the engine of our development. Humanity’s greatest achievements emerged from man’s egoistic search for fame, fortune, and knowledge. If we crush the ego, we will crush progress.

Humanity’s Final Frontier

The New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, said recently in an interview with Tucker Carlson on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show: “Connecting people to people will be a huge job. …I think that the best jobs will be people-to-people jobs. We’re going to see a whole new set of jobs and industries around the heart, around connecting people to people.”

Indeed, humanity’s final frontier is not to conquer space; it is to conquer the space between us. In this perilous time, humanity’s single most important task is to rise above the ego and unite. This may sound utopian or unrealistic, but it is feasible if we employ the right approach and use the right means.

Almost 4,000 years ago, Abraham the Patriarch discovered that life exists on the balance between giving and receiving. As is today, Abraham’s society in Babylon was shattered by alienation and by aspirations for human achievement. The ancient Hebrews came from multiple tribes and nationalities. Escaping the alienation in their own tribes, they flocked to Abraham, who taught them how to love one another, the trait that eventually made us into a nation. Today, after two millennia of abandonment of this most valuable asset, we must not only return to our roots and restore our unity, but also share the method for achieving it with the rest of the tormented world.

Abraham and his descendants developed a connection method that enabled their disciples to transcend the egoism that stood between them and bridge it with love. The higher the threshold of egoism became, the higher the bridge they built above it. The book, Likutey Etzot (Assorted Counsels), writes, “The essence of peace is to connect two opposites. Hence, do not be alarmed if you see a person whose view is the complete opposite of yours and you think that you will never be able to make peace with him. Also, when you see two people who are completely opposite to each other, do not say that it is impossible to make peace between them. On the contrary, the essence of peace is to try to make peace between two opposites.” King Solomon aptly summarized this approach in his proverb (Prov 10:12): “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes.”

Until now, we have enshrined receiving and we have totally abandoned the element of giving. We have warped society and made it selfish to the core. Now we must reintroduce the element of giving into our communities, so that the positive force of connection will offset the negative force of separation.

In previous columns, I wrote about Connection Circles and other techniques we can apply in order to install the positive force into society. But before we can employ any of them, we must decide that we no longer want to live in an egoistic world where the press is misreporting, the justice system is politicized, and the economy benefits only the ruling elite while the rest of us are slowly sliding into poverty. Just as physicians need a diagnosis in order to prescribe an effective cure, we need “recognition of evil” in order to start healing our society. This is where we are right now; it is the first step toward recovery.

What Does The Teacher’s Greatness Depend On?

laitman_588_03Question: Why is the teacher’s true greatness always concealed from us?

Answer: Because you cannot see anything.

Take me, for example, your teacher, you can look at me as much as like, but you will not see any greatness in me.

You will only see an old man who very much wants people to begin studying the wisdom of Kabbalah, not from his books but according to the original sources of Baal HaSulam and Rabash. You can take The Book of Zohar and the writings of the ARI, go ahead, but they are much more difficult and distant from us.

I am simply an expert, up to a certain level, of the method of getting closer to the Creator! A methodologist! And this is what I teach you.

The teacher’s greatness, just like the Creator’s greatness, depends on the student. The Creator is revealed to us only according to our feeling of His greatness. Why is He concealed? Because you don’t think highly of Him.

It is the same with the teacher, to the same degree. How do you know your teacher? You don’t know him. Therefore, everything depends on his greatness in your eyes. Only on that!
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 8/7/16

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Another One Of Trump’s Bombs

laitman_220In the News (Bloomberg News): “President-elect Donald Trump’s fiery stance on drug prices is putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies that may be designed to bring their support for his planned overhaul of the nation’s health-care system.

“Hours after Trump upended pharmaceutical stocks Wednesday with a pledge to force drugmakers to bid for government business, the U.S. Senate narrowly rejected a proposal to allow importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. …

“Trump’s remarks may have had the effect of bringing pharma companies to the table in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which the president-elect has made a priority.”

My Comment: We cannot even imagine the meaning of such an announcement because the budget for health care and the amount of money spent on medication for the population equals the defense budget.

Pharmaceuticals are a very profitable business; a lot of money is spent and a lot is burned. A medicine that costs ten cents, for example, is sold for a thousand dollars. If Trump lowers the price of these medicines, which means that the pharmaceutical manufacturers will receive only what they deserve, not 500 or 5,000 times more than the cost of to produce it.

Trump is a bold man. He has undoubtedly been given a very important role. He is the embodiment of humanity’s shift to a new road, to a new goal, to a new path of development, and at least through him the upper force will be heard.

I don’t want to praise him to such a level, since he is merely a puppet on a string, but a chosen puppet. Compared to the one who was elected before him, he embodies a totally different representation of the Creator. Let’s hope he will succeed.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 12/19/16

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Hebrew, A Language That Descended From The Light

Laitman_631_3Question: Hebrew is written from right to left, whereas most languages are written from left to right. What is the reason for that?

Answer: In nature everything comes from the source of goodness, from the Creator, from the Light that descends from Him, from the right line. Therefore, this is the attribute of the Hebrew language so this is how it is used.

Other languages do not stem from the Light but from a desire of egoism, and so they are written from left to right.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 7/27/16

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Education From Infancy

laitman_946Question: From what age is it possible to begin spiritual education?

Answer: It is really from infancy.

Spiritual education is the right attitude of a person toward others and it should be taught from birth or even as education for future parents. When a child grows, it is necessary to put him into an environment that engages with integral education, first in kindergarten, then at school, and so on. As soon as he learns to sit, put him in a circle with other children.

Even if they still don’t understand each other, don’t relate to each other, and each one is involved with their own toys, it doesn’t matter. Subconsciously the child feels that he is in a society.

Integral education is widely practiced in our community. Even before they can walk, our children already attend special children’s groups where parents learn with them. And that is how it is until school age when they can participate in lessons and shared meals.

Then at the age of 14 to 15, they go to university (we prepare them for this), and by the age of 18-19 they already have college degrees. Each and every year dozens of children and youth pass through our method of education.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 7/3/16

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What Was The Talmud Written For?

laitman_527_07Question: What was written in the Talmud if there is the commandment in the Torah: “thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deuteronomy 13:1)?

Answer: The commentary to the Pentateuch (Torah) is not meant to be an addition to what was written. It is simply impossible to understand the Torah if we read it without explanations. If we didn’t have the Talmud, we could not understand anything about the interactions between the different parts of nature. The Talmud explains the interactions between people on the levels of the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. It describes this with different images from our world, but it is actually speaking only about a person’s inner world of a person.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/25/16

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 01.24.17

Preparation for the Lesson

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Lesson on the Topic: “Preparation for the Convention, ‘All As One,'” “Plan for Getting Out of Crisis”

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Lesson on the Topic: “Mismah Arosa” (Arosa Document), “Prayer of Many”

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