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The Jerusalem Post published my new article “The Second French Revolution”
To avert the risk of a second Revolution, France’s next president will have to do what currently seems impossible: unite the French people
Faced with constant threats of terrorism and sharp divisions concerning immigration, economy, Frexit and other weighty issues, the French public went to the polls this week to determine who will lead their nation.
Whoever wins next month’s runoff will determine far more than the fate of France. At stake is the future of the entire European continent. But in order to succeed, the new president will have to achieve what currently seems impossible: unite the French people.
The French Republic is split in two. The new president will face fierce opposition similar to that which Donald Trump is facing in the US, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing in Turkey and Mark Rutte is facing in the Netherlands.
Even if French citizens can agree on a new leader, if the country parts from the European bloc and closes its borders, he or she will still have to cope with swarms of immigrants inundating France and taking over Paris. Besides posing a major political and humanitarian challenge, relations with the immigrants will continue to divide the French people and disrupt their lives.
At the end of the day, there is no solution to these problems, at least not one that everyone agrees on, and can therefore pose a sustainable solution.
Albert Einstein once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” From my own heritage I know that problems are not meant to be solved; they are meant to serve as levers for ascending to higher levels.
Rabbi Kook wrote in Letters of the Raiah: “The great rule about the war of views, when each view comes to contradict another, is that we need not contradict it, but rather build above it, and thereby ascend.”
In the coming years, it will become increasingly clear that the most formidable challenge today’s leaders face is maintaining and enhancing the internal solidarity of their nations.
From Individuality to Interconnectivity
The main cause of friction and animosity among people is our self-centeredness. It makes us reject one another, hate one another, and turns us into such narcissists that it ruins our chances of establishing meaningful relationships with other people.
The French, the Turks and every other nation in the world may sign any law they want. They can agree on compromises and establish an apparent stable social order, but experience has proven that agreements are destined to be broken, and countries are destined to disintegrate.
Today, even the United States of America is not immune to fragmentation. The only thing that can reverse our growing alienation is the understanding that we are not meant to settle our disputes; we are meant to rise above them and unite.
It is just as King Solomon said: “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Prov 10:12). When we do this, our differences become strengths, as they force us to enhance our unity to match our intensifying level of disunity. In doing so, we learn to operate like a healthy organism whose various organs perform starkly different, yet complementary tasks.
The sooner we learn to work in this way, the sooner we will change the direction of society from ominous to propitious.
The French need not cover up the chasms in their society. Each faction is unique and has its own traditions that should be preserved and cherished. Instead of trying to make society uniform, the French would do well to treat their differences as varieties, elements that enrich the French society and add color and vitality to the country.
Even if challenging, the very effort will invoke such positivity that it will invert the dismal feeling of uncertainty and insecurity currently prevailing there, and enable the diverse communities to coexist in peace.
France’s future leader will have to maintain the two levels—rifts and differences, even to the point of hatred, and above it a level of mutual responsibility to enhance the unity of the entire French society.
Social tensions will not fade away. On the contrary, they will grow and thereby enable and compel the French to build stronger bridges among them. Again, the idea is not to accept the viewpoint of the other, but for all sides to form a new vision, one in which the unity of French society is primary, and everything else is secondary.
In this way, the differences between the factions will not be dismissed or suppressed, but rather embraced as contributors to the diversity of a united French society.
The Unity-Above-All Principle
If it is to succeed, the new French leadership will have to agree that the unity-above-all principle is its top priority. The cohesion and solidarity of the people depend on adhering to this notion on every level of life.
Unity must be the basis of relationships in society, family, work, schools and universities, and even in politics. There should be a Department of Unity, much as there is a Department of Justice, and it should take precedence over all other federal agencies. Its sole task will be to elevate and exalt the importance of unity above everything else—through social media, news media and every means of advertisement.
Presently, the world is going from bad to worse. Yet, the more hateful we become, the more life is forcing us to connect. As long as we resist this trend, the clash between life’s direction, toward connection, and our desire to separate will become increasingly painful. Unless we learn how to use reality’s tendency to connect for our benefit, by connecting above our hatred, the tension between the two opposite forces will snap, and an all-out war will break out.
When the war is over, a leader will still have to unite everyone above their differences. If leaders around the world understand the principle of connection above hatred and lead their countries toward it, they will translate this into applicable laws that will change all public systems and transform public discourse. These, in turn, will help each person rise above the isolation and find joy in connection and unity.
This year is going to be crucial for Europe as France, Germany, and other countries will decide the identity of their leaders for the coming years. If these elected leaders commit to unity, Europe will prosper. If not, the EU will disintegrate and the chances of war breaking out will increase dramatically.
Answer: If we overcome ourselves in order to show off only one day a year, as if we are doing good to others, it will not lead to anything good and can even make things worse.
We must understand and realize how egoistic we are and to what degree we have to change ourselves. This is the reason there is a method of correction, of re-educating ourselves. I am ready to offer it and to show everyone the ancient method that that we have had since the days of Abraham.
I truly hope that the Jews will listen to it, that they will unite and will be a role model for the whole world, and thus, the whole world will become peaceful.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 3/27/17
There are two levels of connection with the upper governance system. On the ordinary level, a person cannot independently affect the upper system in any way; he functions in it instinctively. The system exerts an influence on him from above and he instinctively reacts to this influence, being connected to the system in countless ways.
However, a higher level of connection with the upper governance system is possible, and Kabbalists have it. And no external objects or actions are necessary for this because this is an internal process, experienced by the individual.
Question: But still, traditions of Judaism are not just external actions; do they not have deeper roots?
Answer: The commandments have roots, but the actual physical actions do not possess spiritual power. We should not believe that the upper force is contained in the mezuzah. The mezuzah only symbolizes this force and helps us to learn about it. It demonstrates to us that a certain force called “mezuzah,” which guards the “home,” exists in nature. And what we call “home” is the soul. And this is how we come to understand that there is a “soul” and within it, there is a “mezuzah.” In this way we are introduced to spiritual concepts.
There is no divinity in the actual physical mezuzah nailed in the doorway. It merely points to a force in the spiritual world, to a particular role of the Creator with respect to the souls. All its divinity is contained within this understanding. In our world there is no divinity. Mezuzah is a symbol pointing to the fact that if I build my soul, then within it there will be a particular protective power called “mezuzah.”
Question: What does it mean to build the soul?
Answer: To build the soul means to carry out correction: the restriction of one’s desire, the screen, and the Reflected Light. For this I need the connection with others, for us to be at least ten, “Minyan” (the quorum of ten), and in the right kind of connection between us, we build the soul, “home.”
All the commandments of this world are only symbolic. The proof of this is Abraham, who destroyed all the symbols because people started to attribute spiritual powers to them and worship them as idols.
But in reality, these objects only symbolize spiritual actions that the person is obligated to perform: to build a connection with others above the personal egoism of each in order to create within this connection a place for the revelation of the upper force of bestowal and love that dwells between them. This is the point of spiritual action: to connect with the others above personal egoism. This is called love.
Question: If I perform such action, connecting with others, will I attract to myself some force that will protect me?
Answer: Of course! But you will no longer be thinking about that because you will acquire the power of love and all your goals will be directed toward helping others, in order to “live” within them and provide them with all they need. This is what is called “love your neighbor as yourself,” when you are ready to give him your only pillow. Only this force protects us in life, there is no other protection.
From KabTV’s “A New Life,” #819, 01/26/17
Then our spiritual work in Egypt begins. We want to detach ourselves from egoism and not to be subordinate to it. This is called the seven years of hunger in Egypt.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/18/16
The desires called Ammonites or Moabites cannot be corrected in the form that they exist. They can be corrected only through death. It means that a person completely annuls his egoism.
In other words, all ten Sefirot are in the impure area, in receiving for one’s own sake, and in such a form that they can’t be corrected; hence, they must go through the complete annulment of intention. This is death. In the wisdom of Kabbalah, all that goes to bestowal is called life, and to reception, death.
Therefore, all the desires that are called seven nations of the world cannot be corrected. We only can kill them within ourselves, and only once their egoistic use completely ceases can we begin converting them to altruistic use.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 10/19/16
Comment: Chemists who study the brain describe different chemical reactions for different desires. In fact, they have understood that it is possible to describe everything except intention. It is specifically this which differentiates a human from a beast.
In a beast, intentions and desires correspond, whereas in the human, the more he develops, the more his intention is separate from his desires.
Light is the origin of external energy. Desire is what already acts within my substance. If I want to achieve a new state, then the desire itself becomes intention. In the wisdom of Kabbalah, I don’t associate the intention with matter, but with the upper Light that changes me.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/25/16
Answer: Unconscious spiritual work is summed up by the fact that all of us automatically carry out the instructions of nature, the work of the Creator. Working consciously means to begin to participate independently, wisely, with understanding, through planning in advance; and then our eyes will open and we will see where we are truly found.
In what way is the intelligence of a little child different from the intelligence of an adult? An adult understands where he is and what he is doing while a little child does not. The same thing happens even in the spiritual world. We still don’t understand or see the spiritual world because we cannot exist within it correctly. When we begin to acquire its characteristics, to the degree that we become equal to its characteristics, we begin to discover it among us.
Question: What does it mean that all of us are working for the Creator? If we are already carrying out the laws of nature, so where is the problem?
Answer: We carry out the laws of nature automatically, against our will. The problem is that you must consciously take upon yourself all of the functions of the Creator and fill His place. When we are in His place, meaning that we adhere to Him and fully attain His relationship with creation, to that degree we become like Him. This is the goal of development that has been placed before us.
Question: Does this mean that I am a slave of the Creator against my will?
Answer: Certainly. You are now like a guest sitting in front of the host and swallowing everything that the host gives him. So you must get up and say: “Stop! I am not interested in carrying out your instructions, except on condition that I will carry them all out independently, with the understanding that I am doing this to bestow to you both pleasure and goodness; I no longer want to be a slave but a conscious human being; I want to be like you!”
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 12/18/16
New Life #842 – How Racism Works
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
An enlightened person is someone who transcends his racist egoistic nature, a person who achieves the characteristic of “Light.” This person sees that perfection can exist only with connection and completion between all the different parts of the puzzle.
From KabTV’s “New Life #842 – How Racism Works,” 3/21/17
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