From my weekly column in Ynet: “2017: An Optimistic Prediction”
Terrorism, waves of immigration, Brexit, Donald Trump, jingoism, ISIS, the legalization of soft drugs, climate crises, raging social networking, and a host of negative dramatic events plagued us in the past year. Summarizing the year is the easy part; the wisdom is in understanding what must change so that next year’s summary will be better. Rav Laitman with an optimistic prediction for the year 2017
2016 was a year of many upheavals in the entire world. It was a complex, intense year full of sharp turns that ultimately permeated the public consciousness with the recognition that we are in a problematic social, economic, and security situation. This recognition is also the best thing that has happened to humanity, and it also grants an opening to great hope.
It turns out that we can succeed in anything or at least prevent deterioration if we just change our way of thinking. The secret of success lies in identifying the connection between the various negative events, locating the factor that motivates them, neutralizing it, and in this way, balancing the course of events in 2017.
The End of the Era of Egoism
According to Kabbalah, the factor that links a variety of events, both positive and negative, is the egoistic nature of humans—the desire to receive pleasure and delight—the attempt to benefit maximally and succeed in all areas of life, even if we trample others on the way there.
What is surprising about the year 2016 is that there already are clearly recognizable signs of the end of egoistic development after the thousands of years of the existence of the human species. The wars, crises, and great disappointments that we experienced this year are a sign that the egoistic system in its exploitative form doesn’t work anymore.
The egoistic fuel has run out. There is no more drive to enter into financial, commercial, political, military, and cultural competition because the end is in sight. In this way, no one wins; all of us lose. Combine the processes of globalization, advanced technology, and three-dimensional printers in the equation occupying the world, and the conclusion is that the future in the labor market starting from the year 2017 will be very different than what we have been familiar with up to now. In such a situation, even more severe events are liable to happen than what we were exposed to in the past year.
A Time for Renewal
Egoism will not disappear. It is inherent in us from birth. But the moment the understanding becomes more clear in the consciousness of humanity that if we continue to operate only from our egoistic nature, we will fall into an abyss, only then can the need for an essential change be awakened, and from it, we can begin to search for a new method that will transcend the negative power of the ego for somewhere new and positive.
The desire for profit, the drive to succeed, and mutual competition that have motivated us up to now—the characteristics and inclinations of human nature—will not blur or become extinct. We need to learn to use them wisely and beneficially, instead of for an individual’s personal benefit, directed toward the benefit of all of society.
The wisdom of Kabbalah exactly fits the transition from the old world to the new world, from 2016 to 2017. It has the power to guide a person and all of humanity in a positive way, stimulating the right questions and providing a wide and deep perspective for understanding the processes that are visiting the world. The method of connection that the ancient wisdom of Kabbalah offers provides a way that can change our attitude toward others, treat each other correctly, and make a living from each other, but with respect. With the help of a process that integrates study and experiential workshops, the ability to connect with each other is developed. We become closer to each other emotionally, and we transcend our innate egoistic nature to a broad, eternal, and higher reality.
Symbolically, the end of the year is celebrated with the end of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. From the darkness, the Light breaks through; from the crack in the ground, the plant sprouts, and from the crisis, life is born. I have never been so optimistic toward a new year in which the two components required for achieving a good and happy life have been placed together before our eyes: despair in the results that we have achieved so far, and in contrast, the wisdom of Kabbalah is available to everyone who desires it; it provides the right direction toward the royal road. The future is in our hands. 2017 can be optimistic.
From Ynet article 12/29/16