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The largest portal United with Israel published my open letter to Mark Zuckerberg “How Facebook Can Actually ‘Bring the World Closer Together‘”:
This is an open letter and proposal to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.
Your new mission for Facebook, “to bring the world closer together,” is refreshing news to hear about. It indicates the meaningful insight you have acquired as to the unhealthy state of our world and what it needs in order to heal. Despite today’s alarmingly widening divisions in human society, I do not see many influential players aiming to address the issue at its core and directing their energies and resources to bringing people closer together.
As someone who has dedicated the last 40 years to the research and practice of nurturing human connections, I am certain that this is the inevitable future of the world. My daily experience in fostering connected communities of people from all of the world’s religions and ethnicities has proven to me that the only way to build a better world is to unlock the natural human capacity to unite above differences.
So, when someone like you, who commands a major portion of humanity’s virtual infrastructure, declares bringing people together as a mission for the next decade, it gives me hope that we might just be able to orient the world towards unity with less chaos and suffering than could otherwise be expected. This is why I feel obliged to offer you my insight into the natural human capacity for connection and where the world is going in that regard.
The World Is Changing Course
Your observation that the world’s challenges are global in nature and cannot be met by a single leader, country, or a top-down structure, is accurate. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are moving towards a perilous turning point in our social evolution: Current power structures are gradually collapsing before our eyes, while new ones are not yet in place.
Politicians are losing their reins while growing increasingly detached from their people. In an interdependent world, current politics becomes an outdated game, as it necessitates its players to continuously immerse themselves in egoistic power struggles to maintain dominance. It is an environment that is simply unfit to safeguard the interests of the public, regardless of who the leaders are. In many countries, people see a broader and more pragmatic picture of reality than their political leadership and are beginning to raise their sights higher.
In parallel, the current foundations of socioeconomics are shaking as automation and artificial intelligence are spreading through the workforce. As you well know, the jobs of the near future are uncertain and some form of a universal basic income is likely to become a necessity. With this, profound changes are expected regarding the notions of “work,” social class structure, and the collective ethos of Western culture.
Under the hood, economics and politics are mere reflections of human relations. They represent what we give to and receive from society, how we make decisions and solve problems, how we distribute responsibilities and prioritize collective interests. It is the relationship between human beings across the planet that is on the cusp of evolution: Exploitive relations and self-centered perceptions are reaching maximum capacity; mutual concern and a more holistic perception will shape the world of tomorrow.
A Virtual Gym for Community-Building
As stated in your mission, we must empower people to build strong communities. To do that, we have to provide knowledge and guidance on how to continuously nurture and increase our capacity for human connection, in addition to providing the technological tools and infrastructure that help people organize.
For instance, you have mentioned the importance of helping people find common ground before they approach their differences or aim to solve common challenges. We need to establish virtual communication practices that will encourage this. And just as people have gotten used to thinking about how many “likes” they got for their posts, they can get used to thinking about how much they made their community more connected.
Seeing our common humanity is much like a muscle that needs to be trained. Today’s culture is numbing that muscle by pressing on our primal, egoistic impulses and perpetuating divisiveness. Therefore, community members should routinely work on strengthening their ties and maintaining a social climate of healthy, positive connections.
To assist them, they also need collective measurements and feedback for their combined efforts to maintain a positive climate. Artificial intelligence could certainly be utilized to make the virtual community environment a facilitator of healthy human relations. In other words, it would be a virtual gym for community-building.
From a global perspective, such positive Facebook communities could also serve as models to help us learn how to build our future society. As the world becomes more interdependent, people will have to expand their circle of concern. But preaching moral values no longer works. Instead, we need to enhance our social sensitivity, broaden our worldview, better understand our nature as human beings, and, most importantly, learn how to tap into our inherent wiring for human connection.
My Proposal: A Pilot Program
I propose setting up a pilot program for the creation of a virtual community that is actively nurturing positive connections. Its members could be diverse people from all walks of life who would be interested in participating in such a social experiment.
While there could be a vast array of features considered for future implementation, from my experience, I am certain that by simply following a few guidelines and communication practices, immediate positive results would be seen.
As I’m sure you know, multiple fields of research have repeatedly shown that positive social connections make us happier, healthier, and better at what we do. I project that within a matter of months, participants in such a pilot program would experience similar positive effects in a noticeable way, which we could empirically measure.
Should you be interested, I would be more than happy to collaborate in designing such a pilot program and share the experience I have gathered over many years, building a network of both physical and virtual communities joined by people from all walks of life.
Question: What do we need this for?
Answer: We feel this need because we are dependent on this force. We find that our lives in this world are very limited, and we suffer. This suffering makes us look for the cause, and the cause is within it, within that same single force. We want to uncover this force in order to improve our condition.
There are people who explore this general force of nature and discover that this is a force of kindness, a force that wants to bring us to perfection. But in order for that to happen, we first need to become aware of our evil. It is impossible to attain kindness without knowing its opposite, that is, evil. It is possible only through our own experience of the contrast, of the fundamental difference between good and evil.
We want to experience comfortable, pleasant conditions. As soon as we experience hardship, we immediately try to protect ourselves, to distance ourselves from it. Then, in addition to our feelings, we need to engage our intellect with which we can begin to figure out how to avoid these hardships. In this way, we develop emotionally and intellectually.
Naturally, we try to distance ourselves from unpleasant experiences and approach pleasant ones. For the thousands of years of our development, beginning with the most primitive forms of life to this moment when we find ourselves in the 21st century, we are gradually building within ourselves a new mechanism, giving us the ability to better understand and sense how we need to behave.
Ultimately, out of all that’s available to us, we try to build a maximally comfortable form of existence for ourselves. We try to use this general force of nature in which we exist in order to be comfortable, according to our understanding. In essence, this is our entire work in this life.
With this specific goal, we develop the sciences, culture, education, psychology, philosophy, and history. Basically, we just want to know how to feel better because the pursuit of pleasure is a basic human need, our natural desire to receive.
Kabbalah is physics on a higher level, from a more advanced perspective, the “physics of the future.” In ordinary physics, there is no talk of the observer having to change his own qualities. In the theory of relativity, the observer’s experience changes relative to time, speed, and distance. Nevertheless, he himself does not change. His psychological state remains the same.
The correct combination of physics and psychology is when we focus not on the perception of reality, but rather on who is perceiving it and what kind of corrections it is possible to make within him in order for him to experience a new world. This is the next stage of development for the theory of relativity because time, speed, and location do not change outside the observer. Rather, it is the observer who changes in his approach by correcting his own inner qualities.
Then, we find that there is nothing eternal that remains in our world; everything becomes relative and temporary. A person changes all of his qualities and changes reality itself. Then, we rise still higher. Kabbalah says that reality does not have any form at all, that everything depends on the perception of the observer. So, we can draw a conclusion: The force of development in nature is constant and eternal; we exist within it, possessing various changing qualities, and we must figure out what is constant and what is variable within us and within the reality surrounding us, having learned to differentiate between constant and variable.
The constant is the force of nature or the upper force, Creator, and the variable force is the person observing it. The entire reality that the observer perceives is a direct consequence of his inner qualities. If we change the person, then we change the world he perceives.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 6/27/17
Answer: There are more ancient books than The Book of Zohar, but it is unique because it describes a person’s whole spiritual path, his continuous ascent, the correction of his soul. The other books are not meant for the continuous progress of the one who attains. This is the reason that The Book of Zohar is unique and special for us.
The main thing is that it was written from the top of the ladder of attainment. The people who wrote it were the greatest Kabbalists.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 2/5/17
The religious form of all the nations should first obligate its members to bestowal upon each other to the extent that (the life of one’s friend will come before one’s own life), as in “Love thy friend as thyself.” (Baal HaSulam, The Last Generation)
All the nations should come to the fulfillment of this upper law that will unite all parts of nature, including inanimate, vegetative, and animate, into one single system.
“Love thy friend as thyself” means love your friend more than yourself because achieving the correct connection with others leads us to elevation above our material life. Every person must do this.
From KabTV’s “The Last Generation” 6/5/17
Answer: Each year attainment becomes easier. People who come to Kabbalah today are more prepared to comprehend it.
Their egoism is more productive and prepared for the rapid adaptation of spiritual states. Due to this, their path is much shorter; hence, many students who have been with me for ten years are at the level I reached in twenty years.
Question: Have the means of attainment remained the same or did something change in the methodology?
Answer: It is hard to say because the spiritual attainment of my students is different. For example, after two years of studying, under the influence of the materials of Baal HaSulam, I wrote books and none of them did so. Nevertheless, today they are at the level of twenty years of my studies of Kabbalah, although they have only been studying for ten years. It is impossible to explain. Such things can’t be measured in the years of our world.
Question: Does the current quality of attainment differ from the past quality?
Answer: Of course, today it is more concrete.
All those who come to Kabbalah today live in a completely different world, at a completely different time, and the previous generations can already envy them.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 1/29/17
Torah, Deuteronomy 28:29: You will grope at midday, as the blind man gropes in the dark, and you will be unsuccessful in your ways. You will be only oppressed and robbed all the days, and no one will save [you].
Everything that you could keep in your intention of bestowal and love, in what is called a Kli—the vessel in which you can retain the upper Light, upper attainments, sensations—will disappear. You are left with nothing—robbed, poor, sick, absolutely stricken in everything.
If you do not unite with others into one single whole in which you can correctly reveal all the greatness, the importance of spiritual wealth, then you get into the state of “death,” “darkness.”
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 12/7/16
Preparation for the Lesson
Writings of Rabash, Vol. 1, Article 5
Writings of Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 46
Lesson on the Topic: “The Period of ‘Between the Straits'”